Just wondering...

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by SR71, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. SR71 macrumors 68000

    Jan 12, 2011
    Boston, MA
    ... Why do some of the members here say "MBA with 4MB of RAM," or "4MG of RAM"? It's clearly for 4GB of RAM. Not 4MB, not 4MG. 4GB of RAM.

    Lol, sorry for this mini-rant, just curious about this.
  2. sammich macrumors 601


    Sep 26, 2006
    Because not everyone is aware of the technical differences/terms used to describe technical equipment.

    Everyone usually knows that they mean if they say 'MBA with 2MB of RAM' and they don't bother to correct it.
  3. billtanderson macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2004
    Croydon, UK
    Unfortunately some of us are old enough to remember when we talked of ram in MBs so some of us still type it by mistake.:(
  4. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    My first computer had 256K of RAM. A few years later we upgraded to one with a whopping 640K and a 20MB hard drive. Just think. It took 57 floppy disks to back up that hard drive.
  5. drbf macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2011
    Oh yes I remember those days.............................
  6. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    I used to work with a fellow that had been around since the days when codes and data were breadboarding into the computer.

    In his 70's, when I knew him, he was routinely hacking and doing low level things with computers.

    But for whatever reason, he would call bits and bytes interchangeably. At first it really bugged me. Then I go used to it and it didn't bother me at all.

    So I say, the 2 and the 4 are the most important points. :)
  7. christophermdia macrumors 6502a


    Sep 28, 2008
    My first "computer" was a Commodore 128, but my first "real" computer was a Packard Bell 8mhz Processor (16Mhz Turbo) with 256kb ram and it was a BEAST! Those were the days!
  8. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    I remember the big RAM shortage of the mid-1980s (after a failed attempt at propping up the US RAM industry with tariffs on Japanese RAM). It took us months of shopping around (and about $500) to find 256K of RAM to boost that computer to 640K. We had previously boosted it to 384K by installing an expansion card that also added a DMA chip. It was exponentially better by the time i upgraded to a 16MHz 386SX PC with 1MB/RAM and 40GB HD a few years later. I think that machine cost about as much as that 8MHz 8088 PC with 256K.

    Those were certainly the days. I was a DOS user back then (virtually skipping Windows until shortly before 95 came out). I got pretty good at speeding up those PCs with disk caching utilities, defragmenting hard drives, using utilities to access the "high memory area" to maximize all 640K we got, etc.

    Macs had somewhat better memory management back then, but my first experience with the Mac was System 7.6 on a PowerBook 540c. It had a similar footprint to my MacBook Air, but was about 4 times as thick. With a 240MB HD and 4MB of RAM and a color screen, it was pretty advanced for its day.

    in all seriousness, those old computers handled word processing, spreadsheets, and even basic PowerPoint presentations reasonably well. True, those machines would chose on SD video (let alone HD video) and didn't have enough storage for even 1/3 of a CD, but that helps put into perspective while even "ancient" chips like the Core 2 Duo still hold their own for tasks that the average user throws at them. Hardware always advances more quickly than software. Looking back at the past 25 years or so I've used computers, I've noticed that hardware advancement is pretty steady while software advancement comes in fits and starts. That means that for a time, even old hardware manages to keep pace.

    On the PC side, the adoption of the GUI and breaking of the 640K barrier in the early 1990s sparked a massive increase in computing power. Before then, hardware had gotten significantly ahead of software. The next big development was multimedia, and then the Internet. Shortly after, Steve Jobs returned to Apple, and since then he has largely dragged the rest of the industry along with him. The iPod and iTunes were the next major advances, IMO, as they ushered in a new era of media consumption. Since about 2007, most of the development has been on the mobile devices front. As far as PCs/Macs are concerned, we're still digesting the conversion to 64-bit (which has been as tortuous as the transition to 32-bit was on the PC side in the 1980s/1990s, though a bit quicker). I think we're still waiting for the "next big thing" to take us to the next level on the PC front (using PC in the broad sense). Maybe it's "Watson" or maybe it's still in a lab or entrepreneur's mind at this point, but the main effect has been that the CPU and even RAM have not been the bottlenecks for a while.

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