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(Fark)   Question for computer nerds: Compared to my first computer, my current computer has a CPU that's over 300 times faster and has 500 times more memory and storage. So WHY DOES EVERYTHING STILL TAKE JUST AS LONG?   (fark.com) divider line 394
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5143 clicks; posted to Main » on 11 Jul 2012 at 2:30 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-11 03:41:52 PM

SFSailor: And, yeah, another overall vote for "keep a tidy system" here... an old Core 2 Duo with a couple GB of RAM I picked up for ~$100 a couple years back flies along just fine, if you don't need the latest games and don't run a bunch of crap. And *especially* if you throw a cheap SSD in for the OS.


Seconded. Just installed a GeForce GT 610 and maxed out the RAM capacity (8 GB) and mines purrs along just fine.
 
2012-07-11 03:43:33 PM

thejoyofpi: t3knomanser: Developer time is expensive. CPU time is very cheap.

What about my time as I sit here waiting for an unresponsive Chrome tab to stop choking my browser?


Oh noes!!! Teh facebook is slow so I waste time while I'm wasting time!!!

/get back to us when it affects real work
//I had no idea so many farkers had their GEDs in CS/CE
 
2012-07-11 03:44:12 PM

Phoenix87ta: JackieRabbit: Two words: Code Bloat

Too many programmers suck these days. They have more CPU cycles, so they use them. They have more memory, so they use it. Memory leak? Pffft, who cares. Garbage collect? Java does that for me. Multi-thread a task? What you talkin' about?

/first computer: TRS-80 Model 1

I still don't believe this. I think it's an elaborate hoax perpetrated by Sun.


Wise man. It does garbage collect - when it decides to. It can be controlled some, but not much and if you don't get it just the way java wants it, it will thrash. Give me the good old days when once you've updated your pointers and something goes out of scope you dalloc and move on.
 
2012-07-11 03:44:55 PM
It's not your computer; it's your AOL dial up connection, dummy.
 
2012-07-11 03:45:10 PM

Skw33tis: Gates' Law: Every 18 months, the speed of software halves.


heh
 
2012-07-11 03:45:48 PM

umad: Oh noes!!! Teh facebook is slow so I waste time while I'm wasting time!!!

/get back to us when it affects real work


yeah Google Calendar (which I use for work) choking does affect my real work dumbarse
 
2012-07-11 03:46:14 PM

TheGreatGazoo: I'm not sure there was a 4800 baud modem. It went from 2400 baud to 9600 baud when you could spend $1000 on a US Robotics or a Hayes, and they weren't compatible with each other because they had competing specs. USR sold them really cheaply to BBSs to encourage their spec to spread, and then eventually a spec for formed and they both would talk to each other.


There was a 4800 baud modem, the v.27 standard. It was short-lived as the 9600 baud modem approved by the ITU (v.32 standard) came out shortly thereafter.

The USR proprietary HST (high speed transfer) allowed 9600 baud transfer rates in an era where everyone had 1200 and 2400 baud modems. In the BBS world at that time, you were hot shiat if you owned a USR modem. Hayes had the far less popular Express 96.

I recall going from a 2400/9600 HST modem that I bummed from a sysop friend of mine to a 19200 v.32 "terbo" SD modem that claimed to be software upgradable to future specifications like 28.8k. Never worked quite right and the company ended up going out of business.

And I bought my original Soundblaster 8-bit card for something like $300. Man, nostalgia time...
 
2012-07-11 03:47:15 PM
Junk-grade Chinese & other Third World components.
 
2012-07-11 03:48:55 PM

Invisible Pedestrian: lordargent: As an old school web developer (that moved over to traditional programming), I think all of this embedded shiat has gotten totally out of hand. Now you go to a page and it's trying to serve you things from 20+ different domains (note the scroll arrows), WTF.

Sweet mother of Thor, THIS. Why the fark do you need scripts from twenty different sites to show me a video, or worse yet, a farking image?


Because there's no reasonable standard for cross-domain scripting and we don't have all the content we want to show you on our servers. You're welcome, btw.
 
2012-07-11 03:49:17 PM

dukeblue219: TheHappTroll: All you guys calling for SSDs why not more RAM? Win7 Pro 192GB

Well I would definitely agree that you want to have at least 4GB of RAM. However, it seems like any decent system from the last couple years will already be there, and if not it's like $20 to upgrade. Still, your performance gain may only be somewhat noticeable. I have seen first-hand computers that struggle become lightning fast with a new SSD (now you can get 120GB for under $100). Put Windows 7 and your main programs on the SSD and your system will load to a useable desktop in less than 10 seconds or so.

Seriously, upgrading to an SSD is probably the single most game-changing upgrade you will ever do on a computer. All those times Windows seems to be "doing something" and you're not sure what it's doing will simply go away.


This! Not to mention that a lot of home computers have Windows 7 32-bit which only uses 4 gig of RAM. I've seen several friends buy (relatively) expensive 8 gig ram to put in their 32-bit machines.

The only thing I would advocate with any SSD is a rock-solid data drive that will back up anything you put on an SSD. It is very difficult to recover data from an SSD if it goes bad.
 
2012-07-11 03:49:18 PM
Also, Steve Jobs was right. Flash needs to die.
 
2012-07-11 03:49:30 PM

JohnnyC: Egoy3k: My PC is super fast. Honestly the coolest (IMO) "new" tech are SSDs essentially your OS runs as if it were completely loaded into RAM, which is pretty sweet.

SSDs are extremely nice to have. :)


I have four windows 7 pcs at work with SSDs in them. They take 22 seconds from power on, to ready to login. the Users had them for 3 months before I started getting "they aren't as fast as they used to be". Luckily I benchmarked them. They were still taking exactly the same amount of time to do everything. The user's perception had changed.
 
2012-07-11 03:50:11 PM

Pockafrusta: This was my first system... circa 1982

[www.mew3.us image 640x566]


Mine too! Timex Sinclair ZX81 - 2 kb onboard, 3 kb 'Expander Pack'.
No nostalgia though -- the thing was a piece o' crap. Had it two weeks and took it back to "Consumers Distributing". Then got a Commodore64 and used it for 9 years.
 
2012-07-11 03:50:41 PM

IAmRight: LineNoise: I swear my ipad has gotten really slow lately. I even restored the thing. I'm sort of going into tin hat land and thinking that apple is intentionally slowing down the 1st gen ones to get me to upgrade.

I noticed my phone started suddenly getting really sh*tty about the time Verizon called to tell me I was eligible for my free upgrade. I'm beginning to think it's all a scam.


or u mean how sometimes you and ur friends will be listening to music and talking about a song or a band and somehow ur ipod plays that as its next track...idk creeps me out everytime..
 
2012-07-11 03:51:37 PM

thejoyofpi: What about my time as I sit here waiting for an unresponsive Chrome tab to stop choking my browser?


There are only a very small amount of people making all the tools you use to masturbate and stalk your ex. They are all overworked, because learning how to do it well takes ten years and nobody wants to be lonely for that long.
 
2012-07-11 03:51:38 PM

weiserfireman: JohnnyC: Egoy3k: My PC is super fast. Honestly the coolest (IMO) "new" tech are SSDs essentially your OS runs as if it were completely loaded into RAM, which is pretty sweet.

SSDs are extremely nice to have. :)

I have four windows 7 pcs at work with SSDs in them. They take 22 seconds from power on, to ready to login. the Users had them for 3 months before I started getting "they aren't as fast as they used to be". Luckily I benchmarked them. They were still taking exactly the same amount of time to do everything. The user's perception had changed.


Sounds like typical users.

/Stupid users.
 
2012-07-11 03:51:52 PM

dv-ous: Chrome is free.


My time isn't. The point is that users' time is being wasted because developers can no longer be bothered to worry about performance.
 
2012-07-11 03:53:36 PM
Wirth's Law - Software gets slower faster than hardware gets faster.
 
2012-07-11 03:55:52 PM

thejoyofpi: Also, Steve Jobs was right. Flash needs to die.


And ironically, it outlived him.
 
2012-07-11 03:59:11 PM
It has to keep an eye on you now to make sure your not doing anything wrong. At the same time it is calculating how to lead you down the path it wants you to follow, to do things they way it wants you to. It's under a constant strain.
 
2012-07-11 04:00:22 PM

thejoyofpi: dv-ous: Chrome is free.

My time isn't. The point is that users' time is being wasted because developers can no longer be bothered to worry about performance.


Code your own web browser that never crashes then you might be able to biatch about the quality of a free web browser without looking silly.
 
2012-07-11 04:01:45 PM
Computers have long since outrun Microsoft's best valiant attempts to slow them down, although the Office team gives its best attempt every few years, so it's very rare that it's not a third party problem. If it's not the crapware preloaded on the system, it's an overly enthusiastic antivirus that wets its bed and spams you with useless warnings to make sure you don't forget it's there, or a VPN client that takes over your entire computer and hooks into every kernel call to make sure no communication anywhere doesn't go through it. Then they both combine to cause a bluescreen. That's to say nothing of single-threaded programs that piggyback on office apps to connect to remote services, completely hanging the app while the 386 in Siberia on a phone-coupling modem chugs through the request.

However, I will not blame Outlook for politely asking you to hold up for a minute when you have 200,000 emails in your inbox, 90% unread, and only a gig of RAM, as someone who recently asked me why computers are so slow did. I reminded him that back in 1992 it took ten minutes to boot into Windows 3.1 and another 5 to get dialed up into a BBS to check 3 emails, and now he's complaining about two minutes to load Windows and Outlook together.
 
2012-07-11 04:02:41 PM
My Etch-a-Sketch runs CRAZY fast!
 
2012-07-11 04:05:09 PM

Needlessly Complicated: My Etch-a-Sketch runs CRAZY CRAY CRAY fast!


ftfy
 
2012-07-11 04:05:16 PM
I should fire up my 33 Mhz Performa and see how fast it goes. I remember it would take a half hour to scan a negative with my $1000 Nikon scanner. At least it paid for itself.
 
2012-07-11 04:07:32 PM

LineNoise: Likewise because of the advances in memory\cpu\storage, people don't need to code as tight as they used to.


So true - I do embedded work on a system with 32MB RAM and 128KB of NVRAM. Every byte counts when we code.
 
2012-07-11 04:07:59 PM

RichieLaw: Just do it man. Everything is so cheap now. I was able to get a 120 gig SSD on Newegg for less than $100 and use that as my boot drive. WIN7 runs like a freakin dream.


Certainly is in my plans for the next 12 months or so: Buy a 120 or 256 gig SSD and install Win 7 on it, then move most of my other programs on my current HD to that SSD.

And I would skip the 8-core. Unless you're going to be running a home server or something anything more than 4-core's is a waste right now. (I just bought my 6-core because it was super cheap and was the best value for the money at the time). If I had to do it all over again I would buy this CPU as you can't go wrong with a quad-core 3.4 GHZ that can easily be OC'd with stock cooling to close to 4 GHZ.

Well that merits a question: wouldn't it be a benefit if you have a multi-core processor while you have a browser (like Chrome) and running/looking at 15-20 pages at the same time?

I honestly would go to the six-core processor since I won't buy a new rig for a long time. If I can get a little more efficiency running an 8-core processor I would do it.
 
2012-07-11 04:08:05 PM

PC LOAD LETTER: I remember when candy was $0.25 as well.


Fetus.
 
2012-07-11 04:10:57 PM

Egoy3k: thejoyofpi: dv-ous: Chrome is free.

My time isn't. The point is that users' time is being wasted because developers can no longer be bothered to worry about performance.

Code your own web browser that never crashes then you might be able to biatch about the quality of a free web browser without looking silly.


This.

I think thejoyofpi is subby.
 
2012-07-11 04:11:28 PM

RichieLaw: dukeblue219: TheHappTroll: All you guys calling for SSDs why not more RAM? Win7 Pro 192GB

Well I would definitely agree that you want to have at least 4GB of RAM. However, it seems like any decent system from the last couple years will already be there, and if not it's like $20 to upgrade. Still, your performance gain may only be somewhat noticeable. I have seen first-hand computers that struggle become lightning fast with a new SSD (now you can get 120GB for under $100). Put Windows 7 and your main programs on the SSD and your system will load to a useable desktop in less than 10 seconds or so.

Seriously, upgrading to an SSD is probably the single most game-changing upgrade you will ever do on a computer. All those times Windows seems to be "doing something" and you're not sure what it's doing will simply go away.

This! Not to mention that a lot of home computers have Windows 7 32-bit which only uses 4 gig of RAM. I've seen several friends buy (relatively) expensive 8 gig ram to put in their 32-bit machines.


Heh, when I bought my current setup I went for the quad-core processor because I knew I would be upgrading to Vista 64-bit at some point. Well worth it too.
 
2012-07-11 04:12:41 PM
One thing i've come to notice about many computers now is the quality of parts. There are performance pieces, and there's garbage out there.

What I think, is that the average consumer, when buying a computer looks for big numbers, which isn't always the best idea. Also, i'm willing to bet most people don't know how to do proper research on computer parts or they don't have the patience for it. I think this is what larger companies are hoping for, so they can just throw big numbers at you, with the majority of consumers having the wrong preconceived notion, that they're getting more bang for their buck.

Another major problem is a "factory image" or "clean restore" is still terrible because the pre-installed bloatware will slow your computer down. If computers just came with a clean OS install, they'd run a lot faster, even with crappy hardware.

I'm just tossin that out there because it's not always the user. However, i'm not letting all users off the hook. I've seen a fair amount of people running three or four virus protection programs, or 15 different tool bars while they wonder why their computer is slow.

Today's day and age forces a need for users to be computer savvy, which is unfortunate, because most are not. Acquiring that level of knowledge for a comfortable user experience just isn't worth the hassle, so it's going to be this way for a while. If this same level of knowledge was required to use my car, i'd be walking everywhere.

I love tomshardware and newegg, they're great resources for help.

NOTE: This perspective is coming from someone who builds their own computers, and has worked in the IT industry for a while.
 
2012-07-11 04:13:21 PM
Inverse-Mooreian Homeostasis™
 
2012-07-11 04:15:14 PM

MrSteve007: The problem is that your computer doesn't have a "Turbo" button:
[4.bp.blogspot.com image 640x445]
From 33 mhz, to a blistering 66 mhz!!!


LOLKLock. I remember this dude I used to hang around with in middle school always hate those because his dad would lock the computer so he couldn't use it.
 
2012-07-11 04:17:37 PM
It doesn't.
 
2012-07-11 04:17:57 PM

Rwa2play: Well that merits a question: wouldn't it be a benefit if you have a multi-core processor while you have a browser (like Chrome) and running/looking at 15-20 pages at the same time?


Only if those pages are doing a lot of heavy work simultaneously. Most likely they're doing next to nothing so your total system load wouldn't even fill one core.

Unless you're doing a lot of heavy computation, like encoding video, the main advantage to multi-core systems is that they remain responsive when one task is busy. It's a big difference going from one to two cores, and you notice a little improvement thereafter, but the point of diminishing returns is around three or four cores, IMHO.
 
2012-07-11 04:20:49 PM

rooftop235: tuna fingers: Two words:
Micro Soft

Not true.
Your precious Mac uses very similar hardware. Your hard drive can only sling data so fast. The system bus can only move data at certain rates. Your streamlined OS? Not really so.

So while the Windows users at least have an easy to get to log file, to see WTF happened, you just sit right back and enjoy the spinning beach ball of failure.

/Owned 2 iMacs, 3PC (windows), and dabbles with Linux.


/Applications/Utilities/Console.app
Alternatively, if you want to be a real baller: /Applications/Utilities/Activity Monitor.app
Now click your hung app (The red one), and select "Sample Process"

Boom, a WAY better output than anything Microsoft can throw into it's logs.
Additionally, how is this fast?
Right click on "My Computer" and select "Manage"
Wait while mmc loads and figures out what it's supposed to load (There will be no notification that it's doing anything at all until mmc gets it's act together which can be several minutes if an application is plowing through 100% of your CPU time).
Open "Event Viewer"
Hope that the "Applications and Settings" loads without a 2 minute wait.
Realize that even though it's an Internet Explorer lockup, the log you want is actually listed in "Windows Logs->System"
Read the error code and look it up in Microsoft's MSDN database on a different device.

/System Administrator.
//Microsoft has really nice tools for Sysadmins, but your personal computer? fuggedaboutit.
///Linux has problems with programs deciding that it doesn't want to use syslogd and will just write to the install directory.
////Like a dick.
 
2012-07-11 04:21:08 PM

Fish in a Barrel: Rwa2play: Well that merits a question: wouldn't it be a benefit if you have a multi-core processor while you have a browser (like Chrome) and running/looking at 15-20 pages at the same time?

Only if those pages are doing a lot of heavy work simultaneously. Most likely they're doing next to nothing so your total system load wouldn't even fill one core.

Unless you're doing a lot of heavy computation, like encoding video, the main advantage to multi-core systems is that they remain responsive when one task is busy. It's a big difference going from one to two cores, and you notice a little improvement thereafter, but the point of diminishing returns is around three or four cores, IMHO.


Thanks for that. Sounds like I'll have to prioritize getting Win 7 then getting an SSD drive to migrate most of my HD.
 
2012-07-11 04:22:20 PM
It's called the Red Queen Hypothesis:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Queen's_Hypothesis
 
2012-07-11 04:22:20 PM
A realistic answer is that your computer is doing more all the time than it used to be doing.
Way back in 486 days people mostly ran DOS or a pretend to be not DOS GUI windows(3.11). Here you were for the most part just doing one thing at a time and only the one thing was going on. no hotbars, auto updater, firewalls, etc. running.

Today you have "so much" CPU power that software makers feel just fine about soaking up some of that all the time even if it's really not needed. Like how Adobe reader kind of always runs on your system from start up even though you are not looking at a PDF. It pre-loads a little of it self so that when you do go to look at a PDF it loads the PDF an entire second or two faster.
+
Lots of bloatware is loaded on your system from the factory and all the hotbar toolbar let us gather info about you stuff is taking a little bit of umpf out of your system all the time too.
+
And all the 3d mouse shadows, see through window pains, and other shiny pretty distract the stupid monkey stuff also adds up.
+
To go with all of that windows is still using a hard drive based swap file that is so integral to the windows environment that even with 16GB of RAM it still stores some stuff on the drive and slows you down to go look at it from time to time.
+
Also there is the preloading biz. Some games like TF2 take longer to load today than they did just 5 years ago when they came out. This is due to udates that take advantage of the added video and system RAM. Now instead of loading from the drive from time to time while you play(which had it's own issues) we load as much as we can upfront to not have to do it later during game play. This may cause slower upfront(from start to play) times, but should smooth out over all game play during play time. And games are not the only thing to do this.
=
Things seem to move about the same speed as they always have

However all of that is just a bit. Really things are faster, and do measurably take less time to do than they did 10 years ago. Mostly people just think it should be faster than it is because of believing marketing hype, commercials, and the fake O Apple app load screen shot BS, and the human inability to perceive time as a constant(which it more or less is where gravity is a constant).

BTW all of that was really about Windows based PC systems and not OSx based PC systems specifically, though i imagine they share much of the same issues in regards to bloat ware and so on. I just didn't talk about OSx specifically as OSx is still too small a market share to bother thinking about right now in terms of generic answers to broad questions.


All in all you can think about this as not unlike how a modern Honda Civi gets close to the same MPG as a 1993 did when it was new. Sure lots of improvements in the engine and other areas have improved fuel economy. but most of that is off set by all the extra safety features. like more reinforcement bars, airbags, and such. Along with extra comfort features like all power windows and locks and such that adds extra weight to the car.

but really human perception is mostly to blame.
 
2012-07-11 04:23:27 PM

Rwa2play: RichieLaw: Just do it man. Everything is so cheap now. I was able to get a 120 gig SSD on Newegg for less than $100 and use that as my boot drive. WIN7 runs like a freakin dream.

Certainly is in my plans for the next 12 months or so: Buy a 120 or 256 gig SSD and install Win 7 on it, then move most of my other programs on my current HD to that SSD.

And I would skip the 8-core. Unless you're going to be running a home server or something anything more than 4-core's is a waste right now. (I just bought my 6-core because it was super cheap and was the best value for the money at the time). If I had to do it all over again I would buy this CPU as you can't go wrong with a quad-core 3.4 GHZ that can easily be OC'd with stock cooling to close to 4 GHZ.

Well that merits a question: wouldn't it be a benefit if you have a multi-core processor while you have a browser (like Chrome) and running/looking at 15-20 pages at the same time?

I honestly would go to the six-core processor since I won't buy a new rig for a long time. If I can get a little more efficiency running an 8-core processor I would do it.


Except that the Operating Systems and browers are not configured to use more than 4 cores. Or at least that is what I understand to be the case. By the time that architecture comes out there will be 6 and 8-cores much cheaper and better built. I.e. don't run as hot and higher GHZ.

Then again, I'm only a hobbyist computer guy, so there might be information out there I'm not sure about.
 
2012-07-11 04:26:10 PM

Hyperbolic Hyperbole: Ponzholio: Or the days of Napster where you'd queue up 3 songs right before you went to bed and if you were lucky you'd at least get one downloaded before it kicked you offline...

I actually bought an album off of Amazon in the last week (because the Amazon coupon website gave a free three bucks so lol $3 album so I guess I didn't *really* buy anything) and the album I bought was classical songs played in movies. 100 songs, $3, over a gig of data, ten hours of music. It was done downloading by the time I'd taken all the groceries inside.

So yeah. Stuff it, subby.


I got that too. Don't make the mistake I did and listen to Bolero from start to finish twice in a row. It stays in your brain permanently after that.
 
2012-07-11 04:27:29 PM

TheHappTroll: All you guys calling for SSDs why not more RAM? Win7 Pro 192GB


*Yawn*, why not 8TB's
Link
 
2012-07-11 04:28:42 PM
Aside from all the system technical speak above:
Perhaps this is more internet driven and not system driven, but at the turn of the century I think I would have been crazy to try and have my computer do something like stream a 5 minute Youtube video. I also used to fall asleep drinking and trying to download songs from Napster (don't tell Lars). And back then, how many people had the ability to store 50,000 songs on their hard drive? Plus, your super faster and much more efficient machine costs significantly less than your machine from 10 years ago. And is probably much more portable. Are you Farking and iTuning on a handheld phone-like device? FFS, thinking about some of the peripheral advances of the past 10-15 years makes me unzip my pants. Who needs pron?
 
2012-07-11 04:28:44 PM
No matter how much faster your new computer is compared to your old one, 2 weeks later it won't be fast enough.

Habituation is a pain.
 
2012-07-11 04:29:27 PM
ANSWER: It doesn't take just as long.

If you modern computer does the exact same stuff your old computer did, you will find it does indeed do it almost instantly. You are comparing apples and oranges.
 
2012-07-11 04:29:55 PM

NorKnOAd:
NOTE: This perspective is coming from someone who builds their own computers, and has worked in the IT industry for a while.


Been building my own since 1969.
Working in IT now.

Mostly it's because the majority of people out there, including, most importanly the IT people , have no clue as to what they are doing.

Not naming any names here, but if you lease google software from google and it's hosted on the google server and it's running as slow as molasses in Febuary, you shouldn't blame google. They know better.
Oracle, meh, different story.
But firing google because your own IT ddepartment can't figure out how to move the data as fast as they can provide it is like refusing to eat at a smorgasbord restaurant because they have too many selections and you can't process the menu mentally.

Of course, doing tech support for a company like that, hell, bullet proof job security.
Which is the only reason I took this job.
It's like being the head bandaid tech at a barbed wire fight.
 
2012-07-11 04:31:57 PM

mstang1988: TheHappTroll: All you guys calling for SSDs why not more RAM? Win7 Pro 192GB

*Yawn*, why not 8TB's
Link


If only I had a true server at home.
 
2012-07-11 04:33:16 PM
It's more and fancier, of course.

Started on a TRS-80 Model I with 4 kilobytes - 4,096 bytes - of RAM. My first hard drive was the size of a tower case, and could have held one average .mp3 file, if it weren't divided into 4 1.25mb platters. Still kept me off the streets at night. And in the daytime, come to think.

/paleface
//adjusts onion
 
2012-07-11 04:37:47 PM
Short Answer:

You are doing more and you are still using a HD which (access time is a female dog when everything is being cached to it)

Long Answer
Less efficient programming, less efficient programming languages, more built-in support for EVERYTHING so everything is always running in the background, new tech, deeper software stacks and abstraction layers, GUI's, bloatware, you not knowing how to make a computer run right, slow HD's. Bet subby has a laptop with 5400RPM harddrive. SSD, one of the best things that has ever happened to the computing world! list goes on and on and on.
 
2012-07-11 04:40:17 PM
Super Mario Brothers: 40 KB
World of Warcraft: 31,620,442 KB

Times have changed...
 
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