[Vm-dev] historical memory sizes (was: PICs)

tim Rowledge tim at rowledge.org
Sun Jul 29 21:13:16 UTC 2018

> On Sun, Jul 29, 2018 at 12:38 PM, Phil B <pbpublist at gmail.com> wrote:

>   And I went into 1990 on 16mb PCs (I was a day 1 adopter of Win 3.0 as it was the easiest sell to get business people off of DOS... to all human beings who have suffered as a result: sorry, but as bad as Windows is/was, DOS was worse).

In the early 90s when I was at ParcPlace we had all sorts of fun with customers that screamed bloody murder about having to fit an *entire megabyte* of memory in their PCs. Something about it reducing the amount of money available for executive bonuses IIRc.

To develop the Windows VW VM back then we had to have multiple autoexec.bat files so that one could test and run a (really crappy) debugger by not starting up the networking drivers. Then after it crashed, swap the autoexec.bats around, reboot, wait.... wait.... connect to the file server, move files around, edit C code, move files around, swap the autoexec.bats around, reboot, wait... wait... run the (Green Hills? Lattice?) compiler, move the autoexec.bats around, reboot, wait, run the debugger, etc etc etc. It was *awful*.

At least the Macs could avoid all that stuff, even if the cost was using MacApp (or MacPal, or something like that) and having a damaged mind as a result. Oh, and when I started at PP there was no makefile for the Windows VM, so I had to hold my nose and cope with writing a makefile for the horrific 'nmake' system. Blech.

I did however have my own personal Acorn Archimedes to play with though, with a colossal 4Mb of ram and a *20Mb* disk! And networking! And it was several times faster than a 386! And *not Windows*.  Still got it somewhere, though not powered up since maybe 2000. These days a Raspberry Pi runs Smalltalk about 500 times as fast for less than the cost of the power lead back then.

tim Rowledge; tim at rowledge.org; http://www.rowledge.org/tim
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