Looking at my XP installation over the years it shows how software bloats, how new developers don’t know how to optimize anymore. My first XP installation in 2003 was usable with 256 MBs of RAM. When I got my current DELL machine in 2005, I needed just 180 MBs of RAM to boot it up and about 260 MBs of RAM with Firefox/IE, OE and Trillian loaded. Today, with Firefox, WMailLive and Trillian I need 650 MBs of RAM — just to load them.

I checked my services, and whatever is in there is indeed needed, or I am forced to need them because new versions of apps need them. E.g. the Windows Desktop Search had to be added, otherwise WMailLive wouldn’t search within my emails! And then there’s iTunes, which consumes 20 MBs of RAM even when it’s loaded, just because the people who wrote its services don’t know how to write Windows software.

And speaking of WMailLive, it’s a piece of shit. Every time it loads it kills my hard drive reading God knows what for at least 5-6 minutes, its search ability is nowhere as good as OE, it crashes (I’ve already seen 3 bugs in 1 week while I found only 1 in OE bug all these years), and it has some usability problems compared to how OE used to work (e.g. there was an instance that I could not delete some text, or a URL I typed in an email wouldn’t be clickable but rendered as plain text). It’s a lot of small things like these that piss me off.

And don’t tell me to move to Linux or OSX, because the story there is EQUALLY shitty. Linux needs at least 512 MBs of RAM to work these days too, while OSX with Leopard needs 2 GBs of RAM to be usable. My Powerbook with Tiger runs out of RAM with its 640 MBs all too frequently for my taste. Besides, I need Vegas for my video work, so I can’t leave XP behind, not even for Vista.

The real problem is not XP or Vista, or OSX or Linux themselves. It’s the developers. They don’t write software as they used to anymore. They don’t care if the CPU spends more cycles here or there or if memory is over-consumed. PCs are fast enough today — they think– that they can afford to ship their application faster, rather than spend time and do the tedious work of optimizing. And this of course is true for compiler writers too, and so new languages and the apps they produce are by nature more bloated and heavy — but easier to develop, they say.

I don’t know, but I am getting older, and I just don’t like all this inconvenience. I want things that work, and work fast and as I expect them to work. I don’t want changes. I don’t want, as it happened a few days ago, to be FORCED to stopped using OE because some douchebag at Microsoft decided that OE won’t have Hotmail access anymore so we all had to upgrade to WMailLive. I was a paying customer for Hotmail (I asked for a refund after all this), and simply put, WMailLive sucks. It’s not ready for prime time and doesn’t have the usability, speed, memory optimization, stability, and all other features as found in OE.

I don’t want Windows Mail Live. I want a semi-updated Outlook Express.

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