TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Back to Being a Luddite (Oh Well)

Re: Back to Being a Luddite (Oh Well)

Fri, 14 Jul 2006 16:44:47 -0400 wrote:

> Gene S. Berkowitz wrote:

>> Excuse me, but throwing RAM at a problem caused by poorly written crap
>> simply leads to more poorly written crap. In 3 years, you'd be writing
>> "I wouldn't even try to run Vista 2010 Pro with less than 128GB of RAM,
>> and generally prefer 1TB."

> Your statement is very true and people will indeed be saying what you
> wrote. But what are we consumers supposed to do about it? What can we
> do about it? Not a damn thing! Heck, I come from a world where we ran
> an entire hospital on a mainframe with all of 128K with a 16K operating
> system. It blows my mind that 'core' memory is so cheap today we
> measure it in gigabytes, but it annoys me that people bloat up
> everything to milk it.

I used to develop an application for a mini-computer. It ran in an 8K
program space with about triple that for the OS. We did a lot. We
really did. But we were obviously running out of steam after about 6
years and after about 10 years the system got retired. People just
didn't want to buy 24x80 glass CRTs when the competition was giving
the color graphics. We had letter writing where you embedded the
format codes, the competition had DOS then Windows WordPerfect. Word
didn't really get rolling until later.

And to be honest I doubt we'd be able to even make the system work any
more. We were in the insurance industry. I'd bet that the legal (both
law and lawsuit avoidance) data issues and logic would make it
impossible for my application or the hospital's to operate. Now that
computers are more powerful, Legislatures no longer seem to care about
the cost of implementing things. Courts also. I've programed payroll
systems. Back in the later 70s. I don't even want to consider it
today. Way too complicated. Some studies have come to the conclusion
that the insurance processing costs now eat up 1/2 or more of the
medical system. At least for non-invasive surgical issues.

Gene S. Berkowitz wrote:

> In article <>,
> says:

>> In article <>, Gene S. Berkowitz
>> <> wrote:

>>> I don't run a virus checker; I do run a software firewall, and my 5
>>> PCs are behind a router. I have zero infections on any of the PCs I
>>> have running at home.

>> If you don't run a virus checker, how do you know?

> Because my systems operate the same as when I initially set them up, I
> periodically monitor my ethernet traffic for unusual activity, and I
> don't have crashes, pop-ups, or other trouble.

>> That's not just foolish, it's stupid. There are free AV products out
>> there, some of them very good. I use Avast! on all of my home PC's.

> Honestly, when was the last time you ACTUALLY had a virus infect or
> try to infect your system? The virus threat is vastly over-reported,
> with the big numbers coming from single strains infecting large
> corporate networks.

I run some networks for some small businesses and I have my own mail
server in my home office. I get to see a lot. Plus I have some friends
who work on computer security at the NSA level. Every IP address on
the planet is under attack. Period. End of discussion. So any computer
not connected to the net via a NAT router is asking for trouble when
just sitting there. If you have to be exposed as in a dial up
situation or as a server had better have protection running all the

And even a NAT router doesn't stop web surfing injected things or
viruses in emails.

My new local pool president doesn't understand technology but he uses
his computer a lot. He doesn't see the point of mailing lists so he
emails the entire pool membership and doesn't BCC the list most of the
time. I got a real spike in virus infected emails just after his first
email like this and it continues 6 months later. Plus my mail server
got a spike in attacks on the domains in my email addresses. Just
because you don't see the attacks, doesn't mean they are not
happening. Your ISP is killing off most of them for you and trying to
figure out how to do it and stay in business.

>>> That said, I don't download from sites I don't
>>> trust, I don't use IE or Outlook, and I delete "Hey, Take a Look at
>>> This" emails. Basically, the precautions that anyone should take
>>> (don't eat found food, don't have unprotected sex with multiple
>>> partners, don't leave your keys in the ignition) metaphorically apply
>>> to the internet.

Yes but the bad guys are walking down the street at night throwing
bricks through windows. And now walking up your driveway. But on the
computer they aren't leaving piles of broken glass as a indication of
some thing's up.

>>> The real performance killers are not evil spyware; it's cluttering up
>>> your PC with "trusted" conveniences like RealPlayer, QuickTime, and
>>> CD- recorder "helpers" that sit in your system tray consuming memory
>>> and CPU cycles waiting for you to finally play a stream or burn a CD.

>> While I agree that they're unnecessary and mostly pointless, the
>> system tray apps don't consume cycles. They do consume memory,
>> however. Removing them helps, but "modern" OSes consume enough that
>> taking that step isn't much by itself. Memory is currently cheap. You
>> can significantly improve performance just by adding memory. I
>> wouldn't even try to run XP with less than 512M of RAM, and generally
>> prefer 1GB.

> Excuse me, but throwing RAM at a problem caused by poorly written crap
> simply leads to more poorly written crap. In 3 years, you'd be writing
> "I wouldn't even try to run Vista 2010 Pro with less than 128GB of RAM,
> and generally prefer 1TB."

My wife likes her automatic door locks, power windows, fuel injection,
cruise control, etc ... So do I, I just think I could live without them
easier. My grandfather's generation thought 2nd gear on a 3 speed
manual transmission was a foolish waste of money. :)

As someone who's written code for small memory foot prints, there
becomes a point where spending an extra 2 years to elegantly code
something to cut the memory usage in half will put you out of
business. At one point during a major update to our package we got
blunt with management. And they realized it was cheaper to give away
some hardware than to try and write perfect code to fit into the same
foot print we were using for the previous 5 years.

Steve Job's is credited with saving Apple. But in many ways he caused
the problem. The early culture at Apple and Mac was to be insanely
great and not throw equipment at issues when a prefect piece of
software could do the job with less. The problem was that no software
is anywhere near perfect and to plan for it to be so was a
disaster. Inadequate networking, disk speeds, sound ports, etc... all
were very limiting for the 1/2 of the Macs life. Now those issues are
mostly gone and Macs are selling much better than in a long time. But
you need to have a 100 gig disk drive and a gig or more of ram to make
them sing. Literally. :)

None of this excuses the crude that people accept from MS. I don't
blame MS. It's the strategy that won the platform wars for them. The
gave people what they wanted. Lots of buggy features, lots of
revisions, etc ... Now they and we are paying the price.

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