This genome sequence was 1.8 million base pairs in length. They finished sequencing in 4 months (let me write again "four months").
Today, by newly developed techniques and instruments, it is feasible to produce 100 million base pairs per day.
J. Craig Vender told more about the above in the Science Magazine, February Issue. This was the main key reference point in the inspiration of drawing this cartoon.
This cartoon was published at PLoS BLOGS.
[Please click on the cartoon for the bigger version.]