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Re: Paul Graham's PyCon Keynote & The Programmer's Apprentice

On Mon, Mar 31, 2003 at 10:11:17AM -0500, Christopher Barber wrote:
> > From there, Paul said that if Moore's law holds, computers will be
> > 78 quintillion times faster in 100 years (...).
> Of course, Moore's law will not hold.  The rate of doubling of the
> amount of transisters you can fit on a chip has slowed since Moore's
> original observation.  It is quite possible that the growth could
> hit a brick wall at some point in the future.  Of course, computers
> could become faster for other reasons, such as increased parallelism.

Yes, the 78 quintillion figure was not put forth as an absolute
certainty, but as a reason to stretch your mind to think about 
unfathomably large increases in computing power.

Even if computing capacity increased by a more prosaic millionfold
in the next century, there would be inefficiencies to mine that led to
more elegant solutions and higher programmer productivity.  Heck, even
if we reach some fundemental limit and get another 15 doublings in
speed, 32K times faster isn't anything to sneeze at.  

Regardless of the actual increase in speed and the fundemental limits to
Moore's law, it's important to remember that there will be increases in
computer performance, and those increases can open up computing to new
computationally intensive domains as well as lead to new programming
paradigms that directly increase productivity.  (3D Visual C++ doesn't
count.  :-)