The Red Computer

Lesson Details

Subject: Business

Title: The Red Computer


You have one at home!!! What does a nuclear tracking computer from the 1990's and a PlaysStation 3 have in common? More than you think.


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In 1992, the United States signed the SALT, Strategic Arms Limitation Talks with the Soviet Union to limit the size and scope and scale of nuclear weapons worldwide. At that time there were tens of thousands of nuclear warheads both United States and Soviet Union spread over submarines, underground tanks in Europe everywhere, a vast amount keep track of. The Defense Department trying to fulfill the vast needs of the SALT treaty and nuclear weapons and how quickly they deteriorated and the complexities commissioned the Defense Department to build an extremely fast and sophisticated supercomputer called Red. 

Red was able to process 1.2 Teraflops of information, an extraordinary number at that time. It was able to process 1 trillion calculations a second, absolutely incomprehensibly fast and able to do remarkably complex things. Red cost $55 million to build. It was the size of a tennis court and it ate up the same amount of electricity as 800 homes. I was recently playing with the Red the other day, well not Red exactly. I was playing with something similar to Red, it's called a Sony PlayStation 3. This piece of technology has exactly the same processing power as Red except it costs about $300. You plug it into the wall and anyone can do it. This shows you the speed at which technology and the ability to process information has changed and continues to change and will change. What we once thought of the 1996 is not that far away it’s only 20 years ago. 

What we once thought of as untouchable and you incomprehensibly difficult in terms of processing data and information has now been put in the hands of pretty much anyone. One can assume that if this curve of change continues and it’s as an algorithmic curve, logarithmic curve so it only gets steeper and climbs faster that probably in the next five years computer processing now processing power now, that we feel is untouchable and expensive will be in everyone's hands. The chairman and founder of the Intel said that in the not-too-distant future computer processing power will be so cheap you'll be able to essentially paint your walls with it. 

If that's the case, we can expect to see video almost everywhere and if you walk through Times Square today you can see video screens the cover entire buildings. I am old enough to remember when they put the first Jumbotron on 42nd St. and Eighth Avenue which was a Sony video screen which was quite small by comparison and there was an uproar that television had been taken to the streets. There was concern that people would stop their cars to watch TV and there would be accidents. Today of course whole sides of buildings are covered with video for a tiny fraction of a fraction of the cost of what it cost to put video on that Jumbotron initially and that is also only the beginning.

The whole point of this exercise is to say two things, one is that video is going to become ubiquitous. The amount of video we see today is nothing in comparison to the amount of video we’ll see in five or ten years from now. I expect every wall will be covered with video, every bus side will be covered with video, every space that you can find will be video-oriented. Even your home in your mirror in your bathroom no matter where you can find they will be video. That means that the demand for video will be astronomical. Of course the same technology that will make video screens and the ability to transmit video so inexpensive and simple to do, is also going to make making video easy to do. So cameras will be next to

Probably free or next to nothing. 

Edit systems are already free for the most part. The only thing is not free here is the skill set to make the content to fill those screens and that's the whole point of this site, this business, the reason we are all here together. We're going to walk into the future together you and I. I'm going to teach you how to make video and I'm going to teacher you how to fill those screens and I'm going to teach you how to have a fulfilling successful and money-producing career based on this new technology and not only where the technology is now but where the technology is inevitably going so stick with me.

© Michael Rosenblum & Lisa Lambden 2015