It starts with little things; a pause before continuing – a hesitation about what to do next. You hope its just a fluke, but alas, it only gets worse. Before too long it you have to admit it: the memory is gone. No, I’m not talking about human memory, this is about computer memory.
Bill Gates and Paul Allen were the geniuses that built Microsoft from the ground up. They secured a sweet deal from IBM to put their Disk Operating System onto new IBM machines. And thus DOS and its numerical descendants were born. Finally Microsoft gave us Windows, and people cheered. And then, every few years, Microsoft gave us a new, better (?) version of their operating system. Windows 95, 98, ME (or 2000), XP, Vista and Windows 7 arrived.
After twenty years of windows, one wonders what else can be improved on, besides adding bells and whistles. We’re getting to the point where it’s sort of like a toaster or lawn mower. I think we’re about done. However, I’m willing to bet that this latest version is still not going to address my Windows pet peeve: memory problems.
When Windows first came out, who would have thought we’d now be doing such amazing things as wirelessly sending videos by email to our friends. And yet…Mr. Gates flagship software still won’t give me back memory when I close an application.
If you’re curious about what Microsoft has to say about this issue, do a Google search. They offered three different answers, all of which I found laughable.
1. “Buy more memory.” Really? You tell me the minimum memory requirement for my Windows 7, 64 bit installation is 2GB. I have 4 GB. It’s not enough. I’m betting that if I had 8GB that Windows would hog all of that too. That’s like buying a new car and then finding out it will only go half the speed you want. The manufacturers answer: “You need a bigger engine!” Ludicrous.
2. “What’s the matter with Windows using all of your memory? That’s what it’s there for.”
Back to the car analogy: My tachometer goes up to 8000 rpm too. But do I want my engine running that fast? NO!
3. “Shut down some of your programs. You may have to reboot.” What? This is not a solution.
I’ve found over 20 different programs on the web for managing memory. Most of them are fairly inexpensive, some are free. I’ve installed two of them on my desktop computer to manage memory. Depending on what I’m doing, I run one of those two applications every couple of hours. I can bring my memory usage from about 70% back down to about 35%.
But I don’t think I should have to do this. Microsoft has a history of buying out rivals as a shortcut to solving their software issues. If the rival won’t sell, Microsoft simply takes a bit of time, builds their own version and steamrolls the competition. It is incomprehensible that after all these years they have not solved this simple nagging problem.
Many people I know have Apple computers. They all tell me Apple doesn’t have this kind of issue. So…listen up Bill…this is not an impossible task.
Wikipedia will tell you that about 1000 different computer engineers worked on building Windows 7. Microsoft Windows 8 is coming out soon. I’m sure they had just about as many brains building this version. Are they finally going to solve the memory problem and save my computer from it’s daily dementia attack? Or am I finally going to throw up my hands and buy an Apple?