Friday, October 05, 2007

Blast from the Past

Earlier this week we picked up an old Dell Dimension from its owner who purchased the computer in January 2001 with Windows 98 installed. Up until the failure of his hard disc he hadn't a day's trouble with the PC (probably mainly due to the fact that it wasn't on-line). We installed a new hard disc and reinstalled Windows 98 from the Dell recovery CD (he had all his original Dell-supplied CDs after 6 1/2 years - how many people lose them after 6 1/2 months?!). What surpised me and prompted me to post this blog was just how fast Windows 98 can run. Start up time was 40 seconds from button push to full systray. Shutdown time was an incredible 3, yes 3 seconds! All applications opened in a flash and this is on a P3 box with 128MB of RAM.

When I see how long it takes for Vista to boot and shutdown on our Dual Core box with 2GB of RAM you start to wonder are we going in the wrong direction. Time is the one thing we have less of as the years go by, so do we really want to spend that time looking at an hourglass? Perhaps we should be pushing for stripped down operating systems and streamlined applications (hands up all those who actually understand pivot tables, VBA macros and VLOOKUP in Excel, let alone use them). The term "Less is More" comes to mind.

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