The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Friday, November 16, 2007

It seems that the Event Horizon for Computer History is somewhere around six minutes

So I'm reading Reddit and come across an article about the increasing bloat in Microsoft applications. Nothing terribly new there, but this bit:

The Stone Age

Back in 1999, when I was working as an advisor to Intel's Desktop Architecture Labs (DAL), I remember how thrilled we all were to get our hands of Windows 2000 and Office 2000. Finally, a version of the Windows/Office stack that could leverage all of the desktop horsepower we were building in to the next generation Pentium 4 platform …

First-off, let me characterize the state-of-the-art at the time. The Pentium 4 CPU was about to be unveiled and the standard configuration in our test labs was a single-CPU system with 128MB of RDRAM and an IDE hard disk. While a joke by today's standards, this was considered a true power-user configuration suitable for heavy number-crunching or even lightweight engineering workstation applications.

What Intel Giveth, Microsoft Taketh Away

has me going nuclear.

Stone Age? In 1999?

It's 1988 and I'm given an account on the university VAX, sharing the CPU with 50 other people on a system that might have had 4MB of RAM and a few hundred megabytes of disk space (we were only allowed five minutes of CPU time per day, which was enough for regular usage, although a friend of mine did manage to blow through that limit regularly by playing a version of Space Invaders he wrote for it).

It's 1984, and for my birthday (and Christmas of 1983—given that my birthday is two weeks after) I received a Color Computer 2, running at a heart stopping 889kHz with a whopping 16KB of memory and a highly advanced means of block storage—the cassette recorder (which recorded data at a breathtaking speed of 1500 baud).

Methinks the author of the above article is in desperate need of a clue-by-four.

Stone age my XXX.

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