Why is text file processing SO slow?

Kragen Sitaker kragen at dnaco.net
Thu Sep 21 23:40:07 CEST 2000

In article <8qbjl5$275$1 at news.udel.edu>, Terry Reedy <tjreedy at udel.edu> wrote:
>2) How many times will you run the program?
>3) What is your exchange rate between computer time and human time?  (By
>traditional economic principles, a human hour is now worth at least 100 x a
>pc hour.)

I recently calculated how much it costs, in real-world depreciation, to
run a 700MHz motherboard and CPU for a month.  It's about $17.  I
didn't factor in power (which I think is around $3 a month) or space
(about $.01-$10 a month, depending on location).

By that measure, an hour of human time is worth roughly a month of CPU
time, mitigated only by the fact that it typically takes an hour or two
of human time per month to babysit the CPU.

>4) What adjustment should be made for the fact that programming time saved
>is now and computer time spent extra is in the future?

This is called "net present value", and calculating this adjustment is
a common activity among economics geeks.  Unfortunately, I don't know
how to do it.

<kragen at pobox.com>       Kragen Sitaker     <http://www.pobox.com/~kragen/>
Perilous to all of us are the devices of an art deeper than we ourselves
                -- Gandalf the Grey [J.R.R. Tolkien, "Lord of the Rings"]

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