Yesterday I was using the computer and when I opened a program – Adobe Elements, I think it was, there was one of those “Program Update” messages. Now, if I use a program very often I usually install these, but I always click on the “show Details” button first to see just what they are going to add-change-improve and the size of the update. There’s probably no need to do that, it’s just a long-held habit.
This one was for stability and smoother running (my words) so it was okay, and the update size was 32.3 MB. I clicked “INSTALL” and waited while it downloaded the files. But I got to thinking about that 32.3 MB.
These days, that’s not considered much, we see program updates of that size and larger all the time. But back about the time I went from a computer using DOS (Disk Operating System) to a 286 using Windows, the hard drive on that computer was big. Back then, no one could have imagined drives with several gigabytes, or even one and two terabyte drives.
I remember going to work and telling a couple of my friends in computer services (they would be called IT these days) about the new home computer. I listed off the stats: chip, chip speed, monitor, keyboard. But the critical numbers then – and perhaps still today – were the RAM and the hard drive size. That baby had 286k of RAM and a 40 Megabyte hard drive! Wow, 40 MB! They agreed that was great stuff. I remember thinking that with 40 MB, I’d NEVER run out of hard drive space!
You couldn’t run any of today’s programs on that kind of set-up, but at the time it was hot stuff.