Why? That's what I ask myself. Why? Why is it that in 1984 I could boot a 1 MIP VAX 11/780 in a few minutes even though it was connected to a an LA-120, 1200 baud dot-matrix printer? Why?

Now, as I type this on a 700 Mhz (say 500 MIP, just to be conservative) machine with 64Mb of RAM and 15Gb of disk and it takes longer. There's no 1200 baud to get in the way because it has a 1024x768x16 TFT LCD display. It weighs 1.7kg and has 64MB of RAM, while my VAX had 4Mb and filled a reasonable chunk of the machine room. Why?

It's a fine piece of hardware. It's a Sony VAIO, albiet crippled by that micro-wave oven controller architecture that is now the Pentium. Pentium? Penultimate death of hardware design. I like Sony VAIOs. They are horribly expensive and they are pretty me proof; they are tough. I have two.

Unfortunately the system, err program loader, that runs on them, namely Windows, is not. It takes an eterninity to boot the damn thing and it's running on some machine 500 times faster than my VAX with 16 times the memory and is about the size of two VAX 11/780 memory cards. Why?

I'll tell you why. Both Microsoft and Intel want to sell junk. It is now commonplace to have to reboot more than once a day. It is so commonplace that it is considered to be normal.

Once I had a MicroVax II, a tiny machine in size and power. It ran untouched for 8 or 9 months on end. It was processing twenty thousand email messages a month. Why did it die on month 8 or 9? Because some idiot kicked the power cable out.

I think it was lucky I was not in the office that day.

I'm now so jacked up on adrenaline, vitriol, Apocalypse Now (redux) and bad Bordeaux red I think I'll leave this page as it stands. Those fuckers are out to kill software and they're doing a pretty damn good job, but not on my watch. Wait till I get to Linux.

What are the charges?

© 2004, Boyd Roberts. All Rights Reserved.

Your comments are welcome and if you liked this page you can donate via: