Wirth's Law and OS's


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Aug 15, 2013
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"software is getting slower more rapidly than hardware becomes faster."

Maybe its the reason for what will be a bit of a rant. I use my phone primarily as a communication device, fine, and followed most closely to that as an internet browser, especially as I work away a lot.

The reason I bring up Wirth's Law is because I cannot understand why (and this is tried and tested) I can fire up a ~12 year old 700mhz duron computer with 256MB ram and 10gb HDD, with an XP install, and open a fair few tabs of the same sort of sites as I would on my phone, minimize it, play a game that is probably an original of a pretty standard smart phone game, and exit to find all of my tabs still there, loaded still, and not redownload on what was 56k dial up (an equivalent to my being in 2g zones a lot).

So, I wonder very frustratingly, that despite having jack all running, and even though 600MB of 1GB RAM is being occupied by just the OS/UI, can it NOT store a sub 1MB web page and insists on flushing it from the RAM, forcing a lengthy redownload as soon as I go back into each tab. There should be more than enough physical RAM to store the whole session offline once its downloaded the content initially, but even if it didn't, theres surely virtual memory it can fall back on as my old rust bucket computer would have, in the interest of the end user experience in not wasting time and bandwidth.

Maybe that is a small functional thing that a few developers are responsible for, but it is the attitude that borne it out what I'm annoyed by... the taking for granted resources, as if to say, "so what if its only a few MB's, its getting flushed from RAM and everyone has wifi/unliminted 3g now anyway, so live with it". Plus the fact a little phone UI, which doesn't seem half as functional as my old desktop OS's needs 600MB and at least a dual core chip just to be running, seems, on paper, laughable.

The taking for granted of resources seems like its only getting worse. I have mainly only 2G signal and a 500MB cap, as do many others. The resources are not endless. Heaven forbid I get onto some of the ridiculous permissions developers are wanting.

Computer science has turned into computer wall street... middle finger to actual resources, plus, how can I get you to buy stuff!

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