Extended versus expanded memory

This will going to date me as sure as cutting me open and counting my rings. I just dug this notbook up, and it contains a couple pages of notes like

Mem total used free
Conv 640 69 571
Upper 0 0 0
Adapter 128 128 0
XMS 3328 1088 2240
total 4096 1285 2811

device c:\dossetver.exe
device c:\dos\himem.sys
dos = high
files = 30

This is followed by alternate versions of the same format, except optimizing for EMS instead of XMS (emm386.exe, baby)… pages of “devicehigh /L: 2,12048=c:\dos\setver.exe”

I realize, when I look at stuff like this, why I get so annoyed when I look at my task list and see even trivial apps that shouldn’t be running at all (I’m looking at you, Apple) taking 4 megs of memory. It used to take forever to get Wing Commander to run. It was crazy.

I feel like saying “Gamers today. You don’t know how good you’ve got it.” and then pointing at myself and laughing. What in the world drove me to waste days – days! Working on crap like that? Trying to get games to run in DOS back when they were really pushing it was a lot like tearing down and rebuilding your house every time someone came over for dinner.

“What? You need to grate cheese? Oh no!”

And we put up with it! We loved it! Wow, were we all morons.

One thought on “Extended versus expanded memory

  1. Evan

    We weren’t morons. We were learning.

    This is why it annoys us when we hire young people who don’t know how their computers work, and don’t know the difference between a local and network hard drive. The EMS/XMS dichotomy in particular was very good at teaching us how our computers worked.

    We weren’t morons. Morons are the people who don’t learn.

    People should want to know stuff like this. I’ve had Apple employees insist that we shouldn’t, because we’re willing to use other household appliances without knowing how THEY work – why are computers any different? I would object to that in two ways. First, computers are vastly more customisable tools than microwave ovens, and second, we SHOULD want to know how our microwave oven works. Who’s willing to have a little machine that generates really quite a lot of radiation sitting in their kitchen without bothering to learn how it works or why (or if) it doesn’t leak that radiation? Who are these people?

    They’re morons.

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