Smaller Software

Michael has some good thoughts back to the olden days when Scoble post in response to a fuzzyblog post (gotta love the tangled web we weave eh?).

My first computer was a Radio Shack MC-10 which had a full 4k of ram (expandable to 20k with a huge ass expander pack). My next computer (and first real one) was a 386DX that I upgraded to two megs ram so that I could play Falcon 3.0 with sound. Course, that was a long time ago.

It sucks that it seems that computers never really get faster because the new software sucks the life out of it, leaving us with a mean speed about the same as the last one. Sure, windows 3.11 would run blazingly fast on my current XP2500, but when I had it on my 486 it ran probably about the same speed as XP does on my current system (or my previous K7-900 system). I’m sure if I upgrade to longhorn (I’m sure Robert will put me on the beta team to try to get me over into the microsoft camp) my nice fast box now will run the same speed as my 486 with windows 3.1 on it.

Of course, new software means new features to help the user be more or less efficiant, which is neat, and better games, more fully featured apps, etc. Linux has the same problem, I’m sure comparing the speed of something like KDE 1.0 on the hardware that was out when it came out you’d see the same speed as the current version on the current hardware. At least with linux you can always not use the graphical UI and still be productive as a workstation, or have it headless and use it as a server and have only what’s needed, your services, not a full gui, web browser, etc loaded up. I ran this site off a pentium 90 with 32 megs ram for about 5 years with 0 problems or speed issues. Running a website, even a small personal one (just a website and mail server) off of something like Windows 2000, just wouldn’t be possible.

Speaking of the MC-10, a page with full details including specs and software downloads! Finally I can play lost world pinball again! An MC-10 Emulator (not updated for a few years now) also exists.

Running a personal website off an MC-10 probably isn’t possible either though 🙂

5 Comments on “Smaller Software”

  1. Aaah, nostalgia — isn’t it fun? If you’re really in the mood to see me wax nostalgiac (which, I’m sure, sounds absolutely thrilling…) my Newly Digital post (on my pre-TypePad weblog) goes back to the first machine my family had: an Osborne 1. Man, but that was a beast of a machine…

  2. Cool read, thanks!
    I’ve been meaning to post a “Newly Digital” for a while, but just never got around to it. One of these days….

  3. Now all Microsoft and Scoble have to do is give everyone who runs linux 24 glass beads, and they will all run Windows! Worked for the europeans that got Long Island, and giving out baubles seems to be working for MS, too.

  4. For historical accuracy let me amend my post by saying it was Manhatten, and that it was actually 60 guilders of beads (which some later historian said was worth $24 of the then-current dollars).
    I do love this quote from the above article. Jefferson, when talking about native “sales” of land, referred to the process with this statement:
    “[I]t is true,” he noted, “that these purchases were sometimes made with the price in one hand and the sword in the other.”
    Reminds me of some tactics used today by.. ah… certain companies.