Are you feeling bloated? — 35 Comments

  1. Yay first!

    Just pointing out a typo… did you really mean to say you ran out of dick space? Do you have one of those extra special laptops from Amsterdam?

  2. They have to bloat the software in order to drive new hardware sales.

    Vista being a case in point. It is bombing so badly because people are not buying it to upgrade their XP installs as they don’t have the recommended hardware for the ‘Vista Experience’ and some experience it is too.

    The only times I have come across Vista is when it has been supplied on a new machine and that was only to remove it and install XP on to it.

    But a quick glance at other operating systems shows similar bloat. Well not bloat per se but lots of crud automatically installed to fill up the hard disk:

    Vista Home – 1.5GB hard disk space
    Fedora 7 – 1.2GB hard disk space
    Mac OS X Leopard – 5.7GB hard disk space

    Windows 95 – 120MB!
    Windows 3.11 – 12MB (+DOS)

    And of course not to mention memory requirements.

  3. Grandad, I found this on the web. Maybe it’ll explain your disk space issue.

    Parkinson’s Law

    Data will increase to fill available storage
    Storage doubles every 18 months
    By end of Century there will be 1 Terabyte of Data for Each person on earth.

    I think this law was written in the 20th century because most people have a Terabyte of space already.

  4. Grandad,

    I think things are reaching a plateau. We bought our first PC for our parish in 1994, it was 540 MB and cost Β£880 Stg. In 1996 I changed parish and they bought a disastrous Tulip PC that had 850 Mb but broke down constantly – though did mean we were able to join the Church of Ireland online community from February 1997. Moving to Dublin in 1999, it was 8.5 Gb in 1999, 60 Gb in 2003 and 300 Gb in 2006 – to what end? I’ve no idea. I use the machine for word processing and the web.

    I remember reading in 1997 that things were going to get 250 times faster in the next few years, I reckoned that once they got to a certain speed, no-one would notice the difference. How many of us can tell between a tenth of a second and a hundredth of a second?

    I think Robert is right, they have to slow down the stuff they’ve speeded up, otherwise they won’t sell anything.

  5. I think this is kind-of like wages. When you’re on the dole, you can get by, but wish you could have just a few quid more to break even. When you get a super job paying a huge amount, you still just get by, owe a lot, and wish you could get paid more so you could get out of debt and break even.
    The comparison is that when you’ve no space, you can write a program but wish you had more space. When you’ve a /huge/ amount of space, you can write the same program, run out of room and RAM and /still/ wish you had more space.

    I do wonder where all the space goes. I remember writing programs on the ZX Spectrum with a whopping 48k of RAM to play with, and not being able to fill it. These days, almost all my JavaScript is at least that in size…

    I was chuffed a few years back when I managed to cram 5 200GB drives into a monster machine just so I could claim to have a 1TB box. Now, that’s not worth bragging about.

  6. Back towards the early to mid 1990s when ‘Multimedia’ was the big buzz word, I remember coming across a comment that went like:

    Someone noticed that personal computers were getting too fast so someone invented multimedia to slow them down again.

    Certainly seems to have been the case πŸ™‚

  7. Okay – someone needs to lower the tone back down to where K8 initially set it, and it might as well be me, with this only slightly related, but entirely true anecdote.

    I arrived in the UK from South Africa in 1999. I took up a post as an IT tutor at a FE college. At these IT centres, our student intake was predominantly over 40, with a significant proportion of over-60s.

    In order to avoid network problems, students kept their work on what you refer to as “a three and a half inch floppy”.

    Imagine the scene. I was running my first workshop. 10 attendees: 7 male, 3 female. All at least 45 years old. Innocently holding aloft one of the students’ disks, I asked “Does everyone have a stiffy?”

    It was a good ten minutes before anyone recovered enough to be able to explain to me (a) that they are known as floppies in the UK and (b) what a “stiffy” is.

    I’m lucky I wasn’t had up for sexual harassment or something!

  8. Robert – I am seriously thinking of upgrading my laptop for several reasons…
    I need more memory
    I need more disk space
    My battery is iffy
    Herself needs a newer one and she can have this one!

    I found a nice little jobby for €900 – 2Gb memory and 200Gb disk

    One drawback – It will come with Vista!! Do I really have to fork out again for a copy of XP?

    I do agree about data expanding to fill the empty space, but having said that, there is another PC in the house with a 250Gb disk in it. There is plenty of space on that. My requirement seems to be around the 80Gb size, so 200 should be more than enough.

    One thing you have to admit though Ian, is that prices have nicely stabilised. By my reckoning, a decent machine will cost in the region of €1,000 and that has remained stable for some time now. In fact a desktop is even cheaper.

    Karyn – You can’t be serious? You actually referred to a disk as a stiffy? I would LOVE to have been there!!!


  9. If you buy a new laptop and want to use the 250GB disk from the PC in your house you could buy a USB disk enclosure. Simply pop the disk into it and plug the usb cable into your laptop and hey presto. Check the link.

    As for a new laptop coming with Vista pre-installed, ask the suppliers to put XP on instead. I don’t know if all suppliers will do this but Dell certainly do.

  10. Not a bad idea, Empty[Head].

    I’m supposed to be going Up North at some stage and was thinking of dropping into Curry’s or one of those places. As I will be wandering in off the street, it’s unlikely they’ll install XP while I wait.

  11. You don’t necessarily need to fork out for a copy of XP but of course it would be illegal to use one that you already have πŸ˜‰

    The only thing is that some laptops that come with Vista only might not have drivers available for XP. So you might need to do a bit of digging about to make sure XP will work happily on it. If it is a big name brand laptop, it might be worth your while checking out if XP can be preloaded instead.

    When I’m asked about buying laptops, which is a lot! I always give the advice that there is never any need to spend more than €899. And get as much RAM as you can.

    Of course I never took my own advice with the last laptop I bought because I bought an Apple MacBook for €1200. But my MacBook has 2GB of RAM and I can run XP on it as well as OS X. If I felt anyway masochistic I could install Vista on it too if I really wanted to. But I don’t!

  12. Here are a few quotes from Bill Gates
    640K ought to be enough for anybody.

    Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.

    If you can’t make it good, at least make it look good.

    People everywhere love Windows.

    Since when has the world of computer software design been about what people want? This is a simple question of evolution.

    We’ve got to put a lot of money into changing behavior.

    You see, antiquated ideas of kindness and generosity are simply bugs that must be programmed out of our world.

  13. Because of problems with space I’ve got two external disk drives attached to my laptop, which makes it rather hard to balance it on my lap.

  14. Grandad, you could always check out Curry’s website or the website for whatever store you chose.

    Pick a laptop model, check the contact details for the store in the town/city you’ll visit and then ask them if they could install XP on that model of laptop for you.

    I’m not saying they’ll do it for you but it’s worth a try. I wouldn’t touch Vista at the moment and I’d still be dubious about it after SP1 is available for it.

  15. Kae – Sorry.. You went into my spam trap! Whatever about the Spectrum, what about those people who produced stuff on the ZX81? 1024 bytes???

    Robert – So my price of €900 for a Sony with 2Gb memory and 200Gb disk is about right then?

    Brianf – You have just proved once again that that bloke is from another planet altogether!!

    Red – When you get to the stage of lugging all that lot around, then you might as well get a desktop?!

  16. Empty – Guess what site I am quoting my €900 from!! I was thinking of doing precisely that.

  17. That is quite a good price for that laptop. Particularly for a Sony Vaio.

    As a comparison I just checked a cheap as chips Dell Inspiron 6400 and bringing it up to the same spec as the Sony it comes to €787 reduced from €847 but that is only with a 160GB HD. And only base warranties too.

  18. Sloppy programming from Microsoft will always mean that their resource intensive software will continually devour RAM and Disk space.
    I put Vista on to my home built PC, AMD Athlon 64 with 2GB RAM and it behaved like a 386!! Needless to say I reverted back to XP.

  19. First off, using many of the readily available free programs on the web, you can save a lot of space (and cash if you’re the paying type) and get as much productivity and a many features. But I’m sure most web-savvy folks knows about that kind of stuff now. So that’s not what this is about.

    I’m on about games. Now, you lot might not notice this, if you don’t play anything regularly. I like mindless entertainment, because I’m a mindless person. But I’m amazed at how much space games takes up these days. Back in the old times, games also came out on floppies. And when the CD hit the stands, you could compile 500 games on one disc. Hours of fun. Now, however, a game easily takes up a DVD or two. That’s 4-5-6 even up to 11gb for one game. One! Not a compilation. But just the one game. And that saddest thing is, it’s mostly bloat as well. Gameplay and storyline takes a backseat to eyecandy graphics. Sure you’ll go “ooh” and possibly even “aah” when first you load it up. But I find it funny that I still return to Duke Nukem 3D or the old Mario games time and time again, while leaving the new games unplayed for more than a few minutes.

  20. Another thing that takes up a lot of disk space over time are Windows updates. As a rule I switch off automatic updates in control panel and only ever download and install critical updates / patches.
    Each update creates an uninstall point / backup in the Windows folder and over time these backups take up a lora lora space.

  21. Robert – Now you have me confuuuused πŸ™ I’m not worried about a 160Gb disk, and it’s a bit of a saving. Though when I tot it up on the Dell site, I can only get it to 767, and that’s with 2Gb and a better battery. If I can’t get the Sony, I may go for the Dell. There again, I may stick to the Remington typewriter.

    Dalif – I’m afraid you won’t find any games on this machine [or any other in the house]. I used to play, but got tired of them. They take up too much space and time.

    Empty – Don’t Microsoft say all their updates are critical? Bloody Hell!! – I just measured my Windows folder – over 4Gb. So that’s where the space is going!

    TT – I think I’ll join you..

  22. As a programmer myself I can tell you that it’s simply laziness. Rather than completely re-write the old program they just start adding appendages onto it which requires more appendages (patches) to keep the whole thing from blowing up. Programming is like making law – it’s hideous, ugly, inefficient, and ultimately likely to destroy the world.

  23. Hey Grandad,

    You bring back some rather ancient memories (ancient as far as computers go anyway). My first PC was a Packard Bell 386SX33 with 2MB of memory, a 30MB hard drive, Windows 3.11 on top of DOS 5.0. I splurged $80.00 to bring it up to a whopping 4MB of RAM and I was in the butter zone baby. My first game was Wolfenstein. I blew away a whole lot of Nazi’s I tell you what.

    Don’t like Dell all that well. Have you looked into Tiger Direct? I’ve been doing business with them for years and they’ve never let me down yet.

  24. Ah yes, I miss the SneakerNet! πŸ™‚ It is all about the GUI now days, Grandad. If we all went back to PC-Dos (Notice I didn’t say MS-DOS, because it was created by the evil scoundrel, Mr. Gates.), we’d probably be a lot smarter and better off. Of course, the little white blip would probably drive us all mad. πŸ™‚

    My first PC was actually my parents, but I used it anyway. It was a 286 running at the scorching speed of 12MHZ. It had 640k of memory and a 20 Mb hard drive. That bad boy had all of their accounting and business software on it, plus the first version of Microsoft (bastard) Flight Simulator. πŸ™‚

  25. Grandad – of course I did. That’s what they’re called in South Africa. The 5 and 1/4″ ones were called floppies!

  26. Rhodester – It’s behaving itself now. Vista is good for something!

    JD – One of the reasons I got my first PC was Flight Simulator. Those lovely triangular wire-frame mountains! Ah! The good old days……

    KirkM – I’m a bit wary ordering stuff like laptops from the States. Apart from the dangers of the shipping itself, they are talking here about slamming additional tax and duties on non-EU Internet orders.

    Karyn – It’s a terrible pity that those disks are obsolete now. I would love to go into a computer store and ask where they keep their stiffies.

  27. JD,

    Being another one of the old(er) computer geek type techs, I sincerely hate to tell you, since you seem to despise Billy boy so much (and why not?), that a young man named Bill Gates and his tiny, obscure company named Microsoft, developed PC DOS for IBM. Billy boy later broke away from IBM because they “restricted” him too much as far as further development was concerned.

    I’m awful sorry about that.

    By the way, my first business computer was an Apple IIE (Enhanced) with Apple Soft for an OS, 2 floppy drives (9 inch?), and no hard drive. Can anyone say “Open-Apple-Reset”?

    And I loved IBM’s OS2. Too bad it died.

    Ironically enough my wife still has hers stuffed in our hallway closet. We swear were going to haul it out one day and fire it up.

  28. Ah Karyn,

    I re-read one of your comments again and I correct my horrible mistake on the size of the floppies for that Apple IIE. It was the 5-1/4 inch.

  29. Kirk, I bow to you, sir. I stand corrected. But, the important thing in my point of view, is that Billy boy didn’t receive all the proceeds from PC-Dos. πŸ™‚

  30. Gregory – You’re throwing Linux at me again. That confuses me. I wonder if I could put Windows 3.1 on a CD and do things that way?

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