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The Smaller the Better

Week of September 29, 2000
Published simultaneously by the Bloatbusters™
Read more about Kwanhaeng at the RISKS Digest


Six short months ago, at the age of 50, I bought a computer, a Compaq 5600i Presario refurb PII/450Mhz/128MB/16GB/Win98, and that was my first direct contact with one of these beasts in my long and eventful life. It took 3 weeks and many calls to the police about illegal operations before I overcame my fear. Then the screen was always blue. Finally, I got mad at the son of a bitch, and just hit it with everything but the kitchen sink, and then I threw in the sink.

Here's the good news: I became a freeware junkie. 10GB evaluated, out of probably 40GB read about and decided against, got 4GB in here now, about 2GB of which came with it. Within 2 weeks, I - a person whose life has been spent at manual labor - formulated a theory: The better programs tend to be small ones. The smaller the better. Actually, that took about 3 downloads to figure out.

It seems to vary depending on type of app. Don't know how small graphic apps can get, for example. Different layers of architecture etc. Probably a lot of even what I got is bloat by your definition, but that was the best I could get.

Well, this bugger don't hardly ever crash, but the big MS programs and big graphics programs don't run too well on it. I hate them anyway. They have to get reloaded or DLLs and this and that go missing. I have been to the Registry only a few times; I don't even know what it's supposed to look like; but mine must be the worst. I use free cleaners, and have paid for some 3rd party keep-it-fixed stuff.

So this is the first time I have seen all my suspicions confirmed in print, and I read it all. I am sorry to tell you, this is not the holy grail yet. The holy grail is a bunch of tiny programs, or some configurable hub apps, not too large, with tiny satellites, that will do it all. At maybe 1/10 the space overall, and none of the hassle, and work every time, without necessarily typing no less.

I clasp you to my hoary bosom while reeking of tobacco, stale wine and cheese, in a comradely embrace of nauseous umbrage, recognition and yellow teeth, and request admission to the Brotherhood of the Barfarama.

How can I help?

I would love to write more, but I must now procure several gallons of chlorox and lysol and a pair of hip boots to wade through the mess I just made after reading your excellent site.

I am a Zen Buddhist and a vegetarian, and it is not good to have to pray to not commit thoughts of extreme horror upon innocent dukpa bound beings whose primary crime is a naive trust in their 'education'.


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