(This is a message I sent to as answer to an article where I criticized the then (2002) current trend of making Linux desktops heavier and heavier): A Modern, Low Resources Linux Distribution and All the Real Reasons Why We Need It
I am the author of the LJ article. I knew only one hour ago about this forum. After reading all the comments, I would like to reply too. Please be patient if this reply is a bit long.
Open or Closed Source? It doesn’t matter: Let’s look at Joel’s notes as generic westerner consumers, regardless of software preferences, to see why both HW and SW should be optimized.
Forget what Joel says. Just power down your new computer, power it up and measure how long it takes from that instant to you reading the mail just downloaded, or actually start any other modern program, whatever its license is. Did it take 20/30 times less than five years ago? Looking at load time when everything else is already up and running is reductive. See also this email
Freedom of choice when buying hardware is getting smaller every day (consumer, not geek freedom). They build new hardware ONLY for the guy which plays 3-d games online all the time. And force everybody to buy that, even if they will never use it. Try to measure the cost per needed megabyte, will you? Cost per megabyte is meaningless if you can’t buy only those you need. The “but is so cheap, why bother?” argument is equally ridiculous.
Yes, it is ridiculous. Apply it to cars. Today we have small cars, big cars, family cars, sport cars,….Imagine you need a new SMALL one, because you still just need it to buy groceries once a week 3 miles away. Imagine this talk with the car salesman:
SALESMAN: “sorry, sir, we only have Mercedes now, starting from 30000 USD”
YOU: “but I need just a *small* thing, don’t want to spend that much”
SALESMAN: “how can you be so cheap? Don’t you realize what a good deal it would be? They cost much less than three years ago, and the cost per pound 100 times less than five years ago…”
Last but not least: you want a 3-d game station and word processor integrated? Go buy it: your money is just yours, and nobody can tell you how to use it. At the same time however, nobody else should spend YOUR TAX MONEY without reasons: your generic county or state clerk, in his office hours, only needs to write memos and do spreadsheets. Why should he be equipped with 16 millions color cards, and multimillion gate CPUs?
Personally, I would gladly buy a 4 GB hard disk at the same amount of the 40 GB sold now, if it was the same speed, absolutely silent, and go one year with one AAA battery. That would be progress, REGARDLESS OF SOFTWARE. And any professional will tell you that if you do need 40 GB, many small disks will go much faster than one. They have cost reduced the wrong things.