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640K should be enough for anybody.
     - quote attributed apocryphally to Bill Gates

I couldn't use 8 gig if I tried.
     - Tori Lease, 1997

To the above remark by one of my undergrad programmers at the Beckman Institute, another replied: "Really? I'm straining at eight." Not so hard to imagine now, is it? But how much disk did $300 buy in 1997? 1992? I still have a few sub-gigabyte hard drives lying around, and they even work. But at any point on the Moore's Law doubling curve for CPU, disk, RAM, GPU, or network bandwidth, there are early and late adopters. I am usually a reluctant early adopter, though the opportunity cost of dealing with system problems have made me an impatient late adopter of late.

When people see my desktop or Start Menu, though, they inevitably remark, "you can get rid of some of that". What's funny is that I've spent years - since around 1997 - sorting software into "malware I don't want", "bloatware I don't strictly need", "something useful I might need once or twice someday", and "something I use daily, or often". If it's in my Startup folder or my Start Menu, it's intended to be. If I bothered to put a shortcut on the desktop, and it isn't in the shortcuts folder I use to keep my desktop clear, it's probably a freshly installed app or upgrade I haven't had time to sort yet. The only exceptions are services, controlled from the Administrative Tools directory of Windows XP, just because I can't be bothered to clear things out with that and regedit all the time.

Now here's my question: What did I buy 2Gb of RAM and a 100Gb internal HD for? To add insult to injury, whenever I try to bring up a student's attachment in a crawlingly slow instance of Thunderbird, or worse yet, run out of GDI resources (so that new windows won't open or are missing their detail panes), everyone's a critic. God help me if I get a BSOD. "Too many things open," they cluck, shaking their heads. I don't hear the end of it.

Fortes fortuna iuvat, said the Romans. Fortes fortuna comedo, say I! After all, it's people such as me who drive the economy of scale for the incredible explosion of resource growth.




( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 6th, 2008 07:17 pm (UTC)
Howdy! Haven't seen you on here for awhile!

Don't get me started on the whole bloat vs. system resources discussion. I'll be here all day!
Nov. 6th, 2008 07:20 pm (UTC)
Let's get it started! Let's get it started in here!
Hey there! Yes, I've been away for the better part of two years, no matter how you look at it. Let's just say I was waiting for "regime change". :D

So... how about that bloat and those system resources?

Nov. 6th, 2008 07:47 pm (UTC)
Re: Let's get it started! Let's get it started in here!
Long story short: I believe programmers should write apps and OSen with the idea that theirs will NOT be the only thing running at once. I have no problem using 8G of memory to run a graphics software if most of that 8G is going towards actually rendering, drawing, processing and what not.

I do NOT like to be forced into running 8G so I can have graphics software not act like it's remote desktopping over a 28K modem while I have a web browser, mp3 player, and a chat client open. All of these apps should be written to minimize memory as efficiently as possible.

Some people chose to run things that take more resources than another option which would take less (like being able to turn off the little file copy animation in older versions of windows, or gnome vs. fvwm2), but I like having the option of having even more stuff open at once instead of using resources for some useless animation/graphics.
Nov. 6th, 2008 10:27 pm (UTC)
I installed Windows Vista Professional 64-bit with FP1 on a system with a Core 2 Duo E6700 with 4MB L2 cache, and 4GB of RAM, and my computer never runs out of memory and practically never crashes. If you haven't had any experience with Vista on a sufficiently powerful system, I like it.
Nov. 8th, 2008 04:43 am (UTC)
We started with our first real computer with 40 MB, and we were thrilled when we doubled to 80 MB. Now, I have 600 GB.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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