Tom Sloan Cartoon: Moore’s Law

Written by Tom Sloan

People break laws all the time. Besides some natural laws that are immutable like the law of gravity, there’s Moore’s Law which to date has not been broken. That’s tech for you. — There are a lot of man-made laws out there that make you wonder. One state law says that no vehicle may be driven over 60 mph without a driver. You are not allowed to hunt rabbits in your motorboat. There is a famous law that outlaws sleeping on top of a refrigerator. So far, I’ve successfully eluded the cops on the last one. One of my favorite laws comes from Kansas. If two trains are on the same track, neither shall proceed until the other has passed. Ponderous! Most laws can be broken. People disregard them all the time because they are plain old dumb.

byte cartoon 53 robot memory

Cartoon by: Tom Sloan

The one law that applies specifically to tech hasn’t been broken in a half a century — Moore’s Law. Back in the prehistoric days of 1965, Gordon Moore stated, in so many words, that computer memory will double roughly every two years. Here we are today and his law is still on the books.

As I look through a BYTE magazine from 1981, there is an ad for a 16K memory board kit for the bargain price of $249.95. Today, a third of a century later, I see that I can buy a 128GB flash drive for just $50. Based on those 1981 prices, that flash drive would cost two billion dollars. Again, ponderous!

Some natural laws are immutable, however, like the law of gravity. For, I’m Tom Sloan.

Tom Sloan has drawn cartoons and illustrations for numerous publications — including the original BYTE magazine. Not limited to print, Tom’s cartoons and collages are displayed in museums and galleries throughout the United States. He’s also an accomplished animator. He’s created animations for such as clients Sesame Street, HBO, Nickelodeon, Captain Kangaroo, Romper Room, Burger King and McDonalds.