Posts for Tag: snow leopard

Stronger ... Faster ... Smaller? An OS upgrade that's smaller than its predecessor

It's a big Apple news day...

Having been a Windows user for the majority of my computing life, I've been trained to expect every subsequent new version of Windows to be larger than the version it succeeds. I made the switch to Mac a little over a year ago and kinda had the same expectation of the new OS 10.6 release. Stronger, faster, but maybe a little more bloated which I don't have an issue with given that hard drive prices continually get pushed down. However, I come to find that when upgrading to the new Mac OS build, you actually free up 6GB of space. That's definitely a refreshing revelation.
It made me think of a tech documentary (one of the best, in my opinion) called Triumph of the Nerds on PBS. One particular line was from Steve Ballmer who was describing how in the early days of Microsoft, they were bucking the trend of building big bloated software. Here's the quote:

"In IBM there's a religion in software that says you have to count K-LOCs, and a K-LOC is a thousand line of code. How big a project is it? Oh, it's sort of a 10K-LOC project. This is a 20K-LOCer. And this is 50K-LOCs. And IBM wanted to sort of make it the religion about how we got paid. How much money we made off OS 2, how much they did. How many K-LOCs did you do? And we kept trying to convince them - hey, if we have - a developer's got a good idea and he can get something done in 4K-LOCs instead of 20K-LOCs, should we make less money? Because he's made something smaller and faster, less KLOC. K-LOCs, K-LOCs, that's the methodology. Ugh anyway, that always makes my back just crinkle up at the thought of the whole thing."

The really ironic part is that Microsoft doesn't seem to invest money in actually making its OS more streamlined. Windows just seems to get bigger and bigger. Given all the advances in coding and technology, why can't someone make an OS more powerful yet slimmer? The short answer is that they never had to. CPUs got more powerful and memory (hard drives, RAM) got bigger/cheaper. Still, it's nice to see that someone actually decided to take a step back and say, "Hey, I can make this software perform better AND reduce its overall size."