Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 21st May 2010 12:45 UTC, submitted by martini
OS/2 and eComStation After god knows how many years, it's finally here: the final release of eComStation 2.0. We first reported on eComStation 2.0 back in December 2005, when the first beta was released, and between then and now, we've seen countless betas and release candidates come and go, but the wait is finally over.
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RE[4]: Hmm
by jido on Sat 22nd May 2010 20:51 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Hmm"
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That's what I was saying in my previous comment: we've just settled for what's been given to us as some sort of OS gospel dyed with consumerism. Does anyone recall what was the standard laptop RAM size in 2000? I'm really interested into knowing. I have memories of my father using a word processor on an Amstrad CPC6128 in the late 80s. In 2000, I was using Office 97 and Windows 95 on a Pentium 133Mhz Olivetti laptop with with god knows how much RAM.

My laptop bought in 2000 had 128MB RAM for Windows 98, if that is any indication.

What is it, that's so crucial, that Word 2007 can do today that I couldn't do in 2000 with Word 97?

Oh please.

Can you think of a single relatively common application (or task) that:
- exists today
- didn't exist in 2000
- requires that amount of RAM ?

I can't. Please, don't reply "games".

I am sure you could do most of the stuff we use computers for back in 2000, BUT user expectations have changed. It feels sad when you try using an OS from back then and run into something that it can absolutely not do -- even if it is as simple as handling a modern file format.

That is why keeping an old OS up-to-date with recent versions of the apps is very welcome, you get a mean and lean OS which responds to (most) user expectations.

I've never filled the 2GB in my laptop in 2 years. So memory freedom is something I had never thought about.

A general trend is that the more recent the application, the more memory hungry it is. So if you want a good user experience (by today's standards) you better have enough RAM available. That said, I agree that 2GB is still quite comfortable (depending on OS).

The questions that arose from that comment are:
- why can't OS makers make smart OSes? Remember that 32 bit versions of Windows up to Vista were limited to 3GB? 32-bit Mac OS X 10.5 managed more than that. Obviously, there was a problem with Windows. My RAID controller and the Intel Turbo Memory are mutually exclusive. There's no explanation nowhere and I just have to deal with it.

Actually the consumer version of Windows was limited to 2GB and the pro version to 3GB if I remember well. The former was an arbitrary limitation added by Microsoft, which didn't exist in MacOS X and Linux.
However there was a hardware 3GB limitation in a number of computers, notably laptops-- you could add more RAM but only ~3GB were addressable.

- what's the proportion of 32-bit XP, Vista, Windows 7 compared to their 64-bit counterparts? Is it so unbalanced in favor of 64-bit that the viability of 32-bit in the coming 5 years is questionable?
- is RAM the reason for a 64-bit architecture? I thought it was twofold: speed of data transfers to memory and between registers, and width of computations.

The speed of data transfers to memory depends on the width of the bus. You could have a 64 bit bus on a 32 bit architecture.
On the Intel architecture a significant benefit of 64 bit is the increase in the number of registers, which reduces the need to hit the caches. A 32 bit OS cannot benefit from it.

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