Verbatim from Ralph Melton // Summer Plans

This first bit is from verbatim, because it’s something we all need to know.

64K

I was talking with coworkers last night, and got to talking about computer memory.

At one point, we had a Commodore 64 with 64 kilobytes of memory. My father was fond of mentioning that when he was in college, the computer that supported all of CalTech had 64K of memory.

So how would I convey this progression to my children? My iPod shuffle has 1 gigabyte of storage–14 powers of 2 more.

So, I asked, what is something that’s 64K now? A pocket watch? A microwave?

My colleagues came up with an answer: 64 kilobytes of memory is the storage used for an icon. (Specifically, a 128×128 icon, using 4 bytes per pixel).

That brings the scale to a comprehensible-enough level to make me say “Wow!”


This is from me…

NOLS

I applied today to the National Outdoor Leadership School in Wyoming. They called me back pretty rapidly, and said that they may be able to let me come, but that my weight is really an issue. We talked about that for a while, and there may be some room for me going, but they’re really concerned about my health. The trip I also want to go on is full, so I’ll be waitlisted.

It turns out that this is not backpacking in the normal sense of the word as we think of it on the East Coast, where you’re traveling on trails and camping in relative glades. This is 5-miles-a-day in the wilderness hiking, where there’s no path, there’s compass work every quarter-mile, and you really risk losing your balance on rocks and slippery ground where you’re hundreds of miles from the nearest outhouse.

It could be cool. It could also be a tremendous amount of work. I have to see a doctor, fill out some paperwork, and get them some money, and then we’ll see whether or not I can go to Wyoming this summer.

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2 comments

  1. You know what I’m going to say.

    If tht kind of work and challenge is something you think you will give you a great deal of satisfaction and enjoyment…

    …go for it.

    I know you’re a very disciplined and driven person – and if you believe you can do it, those people are saying the same thing my cross country coach said to me the first year I walked on two weeks into the season – before I finished third on the team in our first meet a week later. He said different things after that – mostly, “let’s make you even better.”

  2. You know what I’m going to say.

    If tht kind of work and challenge is something you think you will give you a great deal of satisfaction and enjoyment…

    …go for it.

    I know you’re a very disciplined and driven person – and if you believe you can do it, those people are saying the same thing my cross country coach said to me the first year I walked on two weeks into the season – before I finished third on the team in our first meet a week later. He said different things after that – mostly, “let’s make you even better.”

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