You Can Never Have Too Much RAM

I just put a 60-gigabyte hard drive and another 256 megabytes of RAM in my home-brew PC this weekend. What a difference the latter makes with VMWare, which lets you run more than one OS at the same time, hot-keying back and forth between virtual machines.

(In the process of pulling the PC out from its home-office corner I noticed the utter rat’s nest of cables coming and going every which way. Cleaning it all up, I discovered at least three power supplies that are no longer attached to anything. Go figure.)

VMWare had the market pretty much to itself until now. But Connectix, which sells the invaluable Virtual PC for the Macintosh, has noticed VMWare’s progress and wants some of that market. So Connectix is about to launch Virtual PC for Windows. I’ll be giving both a workout in the next few weeks and will let you know how it goes.

Of course, now I’m wondering if 384 megs of RAM is enough. As soon as Microsoft sends me a copy of Windows XP to test, I’ll be running it in a separate virtual machine. But memory is getting so cheap — the 256MB DIMM cost about $60 — that I’m already thinking of filling the third DIMM slot with a 512MB chip.

Was it really only 20 years ago when I owned a computer that had a then-incredible 64K of RAM?


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