The Unit (was: One-upsmanship (was: Secret Mac))

From: Sellam Ismail <>
Date: Thu Apr 18 10:28:57 2002

On Thu, 18 Apr 2002, Hans Franke wrote:

> a) Size
> of course size - we all agree her size does matter,
> and bigger is better - isn't it ? Now, size is a
> measured in meters, we just have to decide if we go
> for area (m^2) or volume (m^3). I'd rather like to
> see area area included. Tree reasons: first (most
> important to me), area numbers are usualy larger
> than volume numbers for for similar machines.
> Second, volume would give tall systems and advantage
> over systems with a large footprint. Third by using
> just the 2d footprint we can cover odd shaped machines
> very easy. And a PET should get a higher value of Z
> than any tower-PC :)

I think a better way to make an older PC get a higher Z is to invert the
data bus width and RAM size.

> c) power consuption - Yea, raise my power bill and
> switch of the neighborhood... Unit is Watts (w).
> I would suggest to use the amount of input power,
> so including all losses in Power supplies atc, which
> belong directly to the system - and if you happen
> to have an integrated steam engine to drive your
> mechanical computer, the wats have to be calculated
> from the amount of coal needed to run the engine ...

What about peripherals? Do we add up all the power consumption of the
associated peripherals, like disk drives, printers, cassette records, tape
drives, core memory units, drum memory, etc.?

> d) Memory. Most would go for bytes, or kilobytes, but
> first, only units without a prefix are to be used, and
> second, bytes are not realy applicable to all machines.
> for example the early Zuse machines had only a storage
> for floating point numbers ... I think bit may be an
> apropriate number. The backside of this is that the
> numbers get pretty soon very high - and the Z number
> quite low. To be counted is all external Memory. I'd
> exclude registers etc. Only real main memory. If there
> is no memory at all, the number 1 is to be used (well,
> sounds odd, I can't come up with a machine totaly without
> memory). High numbers are bad.

Wait, are we trying to make the Z number high for older machines, or low?
I would imagine that we would want the number to be lower the more classic
the machine is (think of it as showing how far along from the beginning a
machine is).

> Area: 45x50 cm = 0,225 m^3
> Weight: 17,5 kg
> Power: 105W
> Bits: 32768
> IPS: 250 kips (assumption)
> Result: 50,47 nZ (Nanozuse)
> or a Kim 1
> Area: 20x40 cm = 0,08 m^3
> Weight: 1,5 kg (including power supply
> Power: 15W
> Bits: 9120
> IPS: 250 kips (as above)
> Result: 0,79 nZ
> Well, the machine is a lightwight baby with the same processing
> power than the PET .. only the large footprint helps

Single-board computers will always result in an anomalous calculation.

> I think machines like a Northstar (or most S100 boxes) have a big
> advantage ... lage footprint, superheavy powersups and not to much
> processorpower ...

And more classic than a PET.

Sellam Ismail Vintage Computer Festival
International Man of Intrigue and Danger

 * Old computing resources for business and academia at *
Received on Thu Apr 18 2002 - 10:28:57 BST

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