Banazîr the Jedi Hobbit (banazir) wrote,
Banazîr the Jedi Hobbit

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Straining at eight: fortune favors the glutton

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.

Tags: computers

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