one gig is not enough

Thirteen years ago I worked for the first time on a SGI computer. “Super Computer” as it’s owners liked to call it whenever they could. They spent more than you would pay for mid sized house on it’s memory alone. It had 1GB RAM. Telling people casually about this machine back in the day I had to emphasize: No, not the hard drive, the RAM is one Gigabyte. There were a handful of computers of this size in Germany back in the day.

Yesterday I saw somebody beach-ball on a MacBook. She just uses it for the normal communication things you do these days, no ‘heavy’ applications. This computer had the same memory size: one Gigabyte. And it is not enough. The machine was swapping. Horribly slow.

Something is a bit odd here: Using one gigabyte you could store one million pages of text. Or one thousand books with a thousand pages each. Or you could fill the screen of the laptop with 350 layers of images. 349 of them being invisible.

Memory is cheap these days. But wasting a whole GB is something that might
lead to the wasting a whole 16GB in a few years. That memory one could use probably for real useful things as well.

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