Thursday, November 28, 2019

Best Buy's Black Friday $90 5TB hard drive:
quite a deal, considering it holds the the data
of nearly 46 billion punch cards

A nearly 1-ton IBM 5-megabyte hard drive
being fork-lifted into a plane in 1956. It would
take 1,048,576‬ of these to equal a $90
5-terabyte Black Friday external hard drive
that a toddler could hold in his hand.
So Best Buy is selling a Black Friday Western Digital 5-terabyte portable hard drive for 90 bucks.
     Such a device holds the equivalent of almost 46 billion IBM punched cards (120 bytes each), which would have set you back (in 1996) $800 million dollars (at $42.085 for a box of 2000) and some change (that being $3,349,771.78)
     Forty-six billion punched cards would have taken IBM's 1930s Endicott factory more than 12 years to make (10 million per day, 7 days a week).

     In 1956, IBM introduced a 5-megabyte hard drive weighing nearly a ton; it had to be fork-lifted onto a truck or plane. Best Buy's portable hard drive, which fits a jacket pocket, stores as much data as a mere million of those.

Bits in an 80-column 12 row IBM punched card: 960
Bytes: 120
Bytes in a Terabyte: 1,099,511,627,776
Bytes in a 5-terabyte hard drive: 5,497,558,138,880
Number of IBM punch cards required to hold 5 terabytes: 45,812,984,490 2/3
Size of IBM punch card: ​7 3⁄8 by ​3 1⁄4 inches (187.325 mm × 82.55 mm)
Height if stacked: 5,056 MILES (143 per inch)
WD Easystore 5TB External USB 3.0
Portable Hard Drive: Width: 3.2"
Height: .8", Weight 8.1 oz.
Length if laid end-to-end: 5,332,556 miles
Cost of IBM punch cards (UC Davis 1996 Central Stores Online Catalog): $42.085 per box of 2,000
Cost per byte of above: 1.75354166666667
Cost to store 5,497,558,138,880 bytes on punch cards: $803,349,771.78

Friday, November 22, 2019

Donna Reed: "The easiest 50 bucks I ever made"

John Barrymore, the villainous Mr. Potter in 1946's It's a Wonderful Life, didn't believe that Donna Reed (25 when she costarred in Frank Capra's most enduring and endearing film) was really the country girl she made herself out to be
     One day, when a cow was on the set, Barrymore saw his chance to bust Reed, so he offered her $50 if she could milk it. After doing so easily, Reed, who grew up in small town Dennison, IA, said it was the easiest 50 bucks she ever made.
     P.S. The basketball court that slid apart to reveal a swimming pool in It's a Wonderful Life was not a studio set. It was Beverly Hills High's "Swim Gym" and is still in use. The cinematic Bedford Falls, 75 buildings in four acres in RKO's Encino Ranch was demolished in 1954.
     Also, and this is VERY IMPORTANT: the bird in the office of the Bailey Brothers Building & Loan was Jimmy the Raven, who appeared in every Frank Capra film after 1938.

Monday, November 4, 2019

PBS streaming smash London 42nd Street revival this month

Gay Christmas is early this year the presents are free, and you can unwrap them almost all month.*
     PBS's Great Performances is streaming 42nd Street RIGHT NOW (Billed as "Broadway's Best" even though the production is London's 2017 West End revival of New York's 1980 production.)
     From Wiki:
     The show is a jukebox musical of sorts, in that, in addition to songs from the 1933 film 42nd Street, it includes songs that Dubin and Warren wrote for many other films at around the same time, including Gold Diggers of 1933, Roman Scandals, Dames, Gold Diggers of 1935, Go into Your Dance, Gold Diggers of 1937 and The Singing Marine. It also includes "There's a Sunny Side to Every Situation", written by Warren and Johnny Mercer for Hard to Get. A 2017 revival added the song "Boulevard of Broken Dreams", written by Warren and Dubin for Moulin Rouge.
     Nearly nothing compares to the Brothers Warner Busby Berkley movie versions of the songs in the stage version, although we have to say that the PBS's West End version of We're in the Money outstrips the Gold Diggers of 1933 film version, which was sung a little off-key by Ginger Rogers, and her Pig Latin went on a bit too long. (Oh yes it did.)
     In Dames, Berkeley cut a hole in the roof of a Warner's sound stage to get the camera higher for an overhead shot. In the stage version, a huge mirrored surface is ingeniously lowered at an angle to give the audience a similar perspective.
     *Several Broadway shows will be presented on Fridays in November. A PBS Passport will allow you to stream all of them during the month. 42nd Street is streaming now without a passport. It may be replaced Friday or Saturday with the next performance in the series or be available all month.