Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 27th Dec 2012 19:50 UTC
Windows The HTC HD2 is probably one of the most enduring mobile phones out there. While it originally shipped with Windows Mobile way back in 2009, it has become one of the most hacker-friendly devices out there, and hackers have managed to port virtually everything to the device - various versions of Android, MeeGo, Ubuntu, and Windows Phone have found their way to the HD2. Russian hacker Cotulla, responsible for many of these ports, has just announced the next big port: Windows RT is now running on the HD2.
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It would be a small miracle if it didn't run
by saso on Thu 27th Dec 2012 20:21 UTC
Member since:

The fact that Windows RT runs on the HD2 at all is a small miracle - this is a phone from 2009, running on a single-core 1Ghz Snapdragon processor with 576 MB RAM.

Contrary to popular belief and the ever lasting senseless GHz-GB march, a 1 gig CPU with half a gig of RAM is plenty enough to run almost any modern OS. The problem isn't that the system is too weak, it's that software developers are so inundated with an embarrassment of riches that is modern hardware performance, that they've become complacent and instead of writing software properly, they succumb to the "meh just get more powerful hardware" mentality.

The examples of this are abound all over the software landscape. Take for instance Office, a suite who's core functionality has remained unchanged for essentially two decades, yet compare the system requirements for Office 2003 and Office 2013 (10 year difference):

Office 2003:
CPU: 233 MHz+
RAM: 128 MB
HDD: 400 MB

Office 2013:
CPU: 1GHz+ with SSE2

Each of those specs has increased 4-8 fold and yet, most changes in functionality were largely under the hood and nothing that would justify the absolute ballooning in sysreq's.

Reply Score: 7

unclefester Member since:

Samsung galaxy mini -192 mb ram, 600mhz, android 2.3 -no real problems.

Reply Parent Score: 2

tanzam75 Member since:

Each of those specs has increased 4-8 fold and yet, most changes in functionality were largely under the hood and nothing that would justify the absolute ballooning in sysreq's.

Actually, Office is now very light on system resources -- principally because its actually resource usage has NOT grown at anywhere near the rate that hardware has improved.

Ten years ago, I might've launched Character Map to grab some symbol that I didn't know how to type. These days, I just launch Word. It's just as fast -- in fact, it's faster, because I've probably got that character on my MRU list in Insert --> Symbol.

The thing you have to remember is that the stated "System requirements" are very different from actual resource consumption.

It may "require" 1 GB of RAM, but that's with the OS loaded. Excel 2013 (x86) uses 18 MB at launch. Word 2013 (x86) uses 25 MB. PowerPoint 2013 (x86) uses 27 MB.

It may "require" 3 GB of disk space fully-loaded, but that's if you install the fully-loaded everything-bundle. Install Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and you'll use around 1 GB. And if you really want, you can delete other components that you don't need.

It does require a 1 GHz CPU -- but probably not because it needs 4x the clock speed. No, it's because they've decided to turn on the SSE2 compiler optimizations. What would be the point of requiring a 233 MHz CPU with SSE2? They don't exist.

The reason that Microsoft Office "requires" more system specs than it actually uses is simple: Because it can. Because PC specs have gotten so good that you'd be very hard-pressed to find one that could not meet the specs. Because it's better to overspecify the requirements than to underspecify. Because it costs more to support someone running a system more ancient than that.

If you install Office 2013 in a Windows 7 VM, turned off most system services, reduced the RAM below 1 GB, and then restricted CPU utilization to, say, 10%, I bet you it'd still run.

Just like running Windows RT on an HTC HD2.

Edited 2012-12-27 23:37 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 9

galvanash Member since:

To expand on the previous comment a bit, the reason the specs call for a 1Ghz CPU and 1GB of RAM are that the minimum OS requirement is Windows 7 - and the minimum requirements for Windows 7 call for a 1Ghz CPU and 1GB of RAM...

Yes, it needs 3GB of disk space, but that is mostly because of the way the installer works (it puts the entire install image on your harddrive - even if you never really install any of the optional components). The "core" parts of all the Office apps probably only take up about 350MB at the most.

The requirements are simply a side-effect of the minimum OS required. They can't state lower requirements than the OS itself calls for...

The only thing special is they chose to require SSE2, which seems reasonable since it is available in all AMD/Intel processors made since 2003. Windows 8 requires SSE2 as well...

Don't want to sound like I'm piling on, I agree completely with you overall point. Its just that Office is a bad example of software bloat - its actually quite lightweight relative to most Office Suites (OpenOffice I'm talking about you).

Edited 2012-12-28 01:49 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

saso Member since:

Agree, Office might not have been the best example, just something off the top of my head. In any case, as for the RAM requirements, I think you're way too optimistic there - the measures you gave most probably don't include shared libraries and a host of other resources (OSes like to lie about such things). As for disk resources, I see no reason for them to inflate 8x, even with added functionality - I mean, we're talking nearly a full DVD's worth of data, the equivalent of some 100000 full-PAL JPEG images.

As for OOo/LibreOffice, again, fully agree, that thing needs an intense diet, real bad.

Reply Parent Score: 2

bassbeast Member since:

And folks wondered why I have Office 2K7 on my desktop but run Office 2K on my netbook ;-)

But I would say in some ways you are right, in some you are wrong. take browsers for instance, IE and all the Chromium variants run in low rights mode, run tabs and plugins in separate processes and all that takes memory and cycles, but the trade of gets you better security and less likely to crash. Compare this to FF where i don't know how many times I had managed to crash even the latest version, all it takes is one misbehaving web page to knock the whole thing down.

And I don't know about everybody else but personally if it comes down to using some of my memory or using swap, please use the memory! One of the things I love about Win 7 is how its superfetch learns all the programs I use and when I use them and has them all loaded and ready to go, so much nicer than launching and waiting on the program to load from disk.

Finally when it comes to Office? frankly they have added a LOT of features in that time, whether you use them or not is another matter but they have added a lot. Personally I just wish everyone wrote a "lite edition" for your tablet/cellphone/netbooks and a "deluxe" edition for your laptops and desktops so we'd have the right tool for the job. If you wanna use a little more CPU to give me more features on my hexacore desktop hey, no problem, but when I'm on my AMD Bobcat netbook I'd really prefer if you didn't suck my battery dry.

Reply Parent Score: 2

suryad Member since:

How dare you make so much sense? I completely agree! One of the reasons why I am still running office 2003!

Reply Parent Score: 2

Temcat Member since:

Another Office 2003 user here. Bought a used box and been happy since. I also have LibreOffice and Softmaker Office, but use Office 2003 99% of the time. The only problem is Excel files with more than 64k rows, but LO Calc can handle that.

Reply Parent Score: 2