Over the last few months my aging netbook has been struggling to keep up with my demands. I'll be the first to admit that I am seldom light on hardware, typically asking it to do things it was not really designed to do, so it's only natural that the machines eventually give out in desperation and seek a comfortable retirement as a repurposed auxiliary server somewhere. Although this is not quite possible at the moment, I have been on a recent resource scrounge. This system, which has been updated about as far as it can be without some very serious surgery, has struggled to keep up with the standard tools that I use when building websites or writing smart clients ... and that's just downright unacceptable.
One of the first places that I look for problems is the Task Manager. After a fresh boot and launching Chrome, this is what I am treated with:
Nothing terribly out of the ordinary. Chrome, Dropbox, and Evernote can be seen running ask expected. About 770 of the 1008 Megabytes of (addressable) RAM have been consumed, the majority of which is the result of Windows 7 being a pig on resources, but it's nothing like Vista. That's certainly a plus. But wait a minute ... there are four Chrome processes running? How many tabs are open?
This is what I really don't like about progress in software development. Sure, many people1 have systems with at least twice as much RAM and far more processing power, but why the heck does a single site require so many resources?
Sometimes I am sorely tempted to roll my system back to a mid-2006 configuration. Sure, I'd be using a very old version of Opera and Windows XP, but I'd likely squeeze just a bit more performance out of this older hardware. The drivers certainly exist, though I'm not sure if WinXP would use the SSD as efficiently as possible. This sort of solution would also get in the way of using Visual Studio 2010, as that software package won't run on such an ancient operating system.
All this said, patience is a virtue. Just a few more weeks, and I should have enough saved up for something much newer. It's been a long time coming.