“Bloat. If you think that Americans are getting fatter, take one good look at the operating system (OS) your computer is running right now. It gets larger and more weighed down with every update,” Hal Licino writes for HubPages. “We are in the third decade of global personal computing, and have we really progressed that far?”
“Let’s go back to the dawn of personal computing and grab an old sentimental favorite, the Apple Macintosh Plus… The generally recommended configuration for a Mac Plus is System 6.0.8. This is an OS that needs a legitimate minimum of 1 megabyte of RAM to be able to multitask, connect to a network, print, display WYSIWYG in millions of colours (on modular Macs), as well as run a reasonable GUI. Those are functions that usually require at least 500 times more memory under Windows XP and 1,000 times more memory under Windows Vista,” Licino reports.
“When we look at OS hard disk requirements, we find similar discrepancies. System 6.0.8 requires 1MB, Windows XP requires 1.5GB and Windows Vista 15GB. Yes, Vista needs 15,000 times the hard disk space as System 6.0.8,” Licino reports. “System 6.0.8 is not only a lot more compact since it has far fewer (mostly useless) features and therefore less code to process, but also because it was written in assembly code instead of the higher level language C. The lower the level of the code language, the less processing cycles are required to get something done.”
“The Mac Plus has a Motorola 68000 CPU running at 8MHz. The AMD has an Athlon 64 X2 4800+ with two cores, each running at 2.4GHz. In absolute computing power exclusively measured in processor speed, AMD’s combined 4.8GHz is 600 times faster than the Motorola. However, the AMD is a far more advanced processor, thus performs in conventional benchmarks much faster than the old 68000 per Mhz. So it’s very safe to say that the AMD is at least 1,000 times faster than the Mac Plus,” Licino reports.
“We decided to splurge and fit the maximum possible 4MB RAM into the old Plus. After all it was going up against AMD with its 2x512MB RAM for a total of 1,024MB or 1GB. That’s about 250 times more memory than the Mac,” Licino reports.
“For the functions that people use most often, the 1986 vintage Mac Plus beats the 2007 AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+: 9 tests to 8! Out of the 17 tests, the antique Mac won 53% of the time! Including a jaw-dropping 52 second whipping of the AMD from the time the Power button is pushed to the time the Desktop is up and useable,” Licino reports. “We also didn’t want to overly embarrass the AMD by comparing the time it takes to install the OS vs. the old Mac. The Mac’s average of about a minute is dwarfed by the approximately one hour install time of Windows XP Pro.”
Full article, with test results, here.
MacDailyNews Take: Have a Mac that can boot into Mac OS 9 (not running as Classic via Mac OS X)? It’s very, very snappy, but we’d never trade Mac OS X for it. Licino’s claim that “for the majority of simple office uses, the massive advances in technology in the past two decades have brought zero advance in productivity,” is ridiculous to anyone who’s used both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger (even just Exposé by itself is a big productivity boost). As for Windows, productivity has never been one its strong suits or main selling points.