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People seem to forget exactly how slow old computers were. its real easy to say todays computers are bloated when you compare it to say a C64 running GEOS. But when you compare performance of todays systems to ones 20 years ago at the same tasks any though of bloat will go away.
lets take a graphical word processor even the lowest end of modern computers will seem fast and leen side by side to the one in GEOS as you wait for the letters to pop up as you type or the screen redraw as you scroll
You think well why dont they make programs today that could fit in 32k of useable ram? Well they could but it wouldnt be anyfaster compared to MS word and it wouldn't have 1/100000 of the functions so why bother to spend the time to do it.
in all reality programs today are not neer as bloated as it seems. Even on the smallest harddrives around today You'd be hard pressed to fill it up with programs alown when 10 years ago you realy had to watch what you installed.
It all comes down to "why?" . Sure I could find programs written that only need a few megs of ram to run, but why bother when I can get anything and my system will have no problems running its not like im hurting for harddrive space or ram. Why should developers restrict ram useage when 256M+ is the norm