Linked by Jordan Spencer Cunningham on Tue 22nd Sep 2009 16:50 UTC
Apple We all have our most favored machines of yesteryear; in this I assume that most people are like me, anyway. Breaking away from the mundane every-day news of boring (I jest) new technologies such as touchscreens the size of a wall and upcoming operating systems that support graphics cards with 1.5 GB of vRAM, take a walk down memory lane-- or "Neurological Alley" as I like to call it-- and take a look inside, outside, and in all of the nooks and crannies in between the circuits of the Macintosh Plus and its accompanying System 6, fresh from the splendor of 1986.
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The Wikipedia article "History of Mac OS" confirmed my dim memory - System 6 used the high byte of a 32-bit address for flags. Don't forget, at the time RAM was so expensive, that lots of system routines were in ROM, although the ROM routines could be overridden with patches. Of course on the original IBM pc, RAM was *SO* expensive that a full 640k once seemed like a lot.
This 1m-to-8gb jump, I just spot-checked and upgrading a Dell optiplex-960 to "8GB DDR2 Non-ECC SDRAM, 800MHz, (4DIMM)", the total price with just that feature is only $938 in today's dollars, this 8000-fold memory expansion still boggles my mind.

All MacOS up through System 6 used 24 bit addressing. System 7 was the first that could use 32 bit "clean" addressing. OS 8 was the first to require 32 bit addressing.

RAM was expensive, but the price dropped incredibly quick. The first 32 MB SIMM the company I worked for bought cost them $1100. I can get one hundred times that memory for less than one tenth that price.

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