Avaya calls in Doctor Kruzselnicki for launch

Avaya calls in Doctor Kruzselnicki for launch

Avaya opened its spiffy new premises - Avaya House - last week, calling in TV/radio personality and science guru Dr Karl Kruzselnicki to address invited guests and a handful of freeloading journos.

Dr Karl's keynote was appropriate for a marquee packed with beer-swilling sales types and shandy-sipping tech heads. The good doctor, who holds degrees in medicine, science, engineering and quite possibly a number of random degrees in the completely bizarre - spoke about the future of computing.

It was a subject dear to most attentive hearts and one he has spoken about at length on Triple J Radio - Less is Moore, a critique of the theory espoused by Intel founder Gordon Moore that says, every 18 months, we develop the technology to shrink transistors to half their previous size.

Dr Karl reflected on one of the first digitally stored program computers, ENIAC, in 1947. It weighed 27 tonnes, covered about 460 cubic metres and could add 5000 numbers a second. To do all of this, it chewed up 170 kilowatts of power - enough to run a small village.

While computers, unlike just about every other industry, are packing more grunt for less bucks, his stab at the software industry was well received.

"One great advantage of Moore's Law over the last 10 years is that it has helped really badly written software keep on running. Recently, when Microsoft Windows 2000 was released, it had some 63,000 known bugs, as well as who-knows how many unknown bugs. Software has been bloating and getting bigger. And while it's been getting bigger, it's also been getting buggier. We've had progressively worse and sloppily written software programs," said Dr Karl.

"But thanks to Moore's Law, we have faster machines which are able to deal with this crummy software, so that it still runs. Moore's Law has given the makers of badly designed software a free ride. Some computer software companies have the saying: "Don't worry how big or bad it is, we'll just throw some faster hardware at it". If we followed Moore's Law up to the year 2050, doubling the number of transistors every 18 months, we would have a very powerful computer indeed. It would have the storage capacity of 200,000 human brains, and a processing speed some 500 million times faster than the current Pentium or Apple G4 computer's chips," he said.

Dr Karl went on to explain why toast always lands butter-side down, because of human bone structure of course, and the effects of gravity on US Airforce human guinea pigs. So what will computers run on in 100 years? One suggestion is DNA - yeah, the stuff they tried to pin on OJ Simpson and yet he walked, while Clinton was a little less lucky. His IT managers obviously were still lagging in the 20th Century.

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