Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Missing Simplicity - 3 GiB Install of Windows XP

I was surprised, saddened and a little worried when I saw the properties of the Windows folder on my computer. Over 3 GiB just to install a non-stellar operating system? Where are we heading to? Perhaps 20 GiB and 40,000 files just for the install of Windows 7?

I wish to point out that a clean install of Windows XP takes much less space than this and has much less number of files as well. It's only after one installs all the updates, patches, etc. that the Windows directory becomes excessively bulky and cluttered (In fact the System 32 folder on my computer has so many files that even scrolling through it slows down tremendously as Windows Explorer relentlessly tries to render all the file icons).

Windows keeps saving backups of all the old files whenever I update a component, something I just don't want, but something Windows just doesn't allow me to choose. Please Microsoft, I just don't want to go back to IE 6 when I install IE 7, IE 7 when I install IE 8 Beta 1 and IE 8 Beta 1 when I install IE 8 Beta 2. Please don't save IE 6 and IE 7 when I install IE 8. I just don't want them back. I want a clean, light and fast system. So please, at least give me an option to not save anything that I don't want saved.

Missing those days when I used to play the 75 KiB Dave game on a 1 MiB MS-DOS install.

Seventy. Five. Kibibytes. Phew!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. - Collapse of an Icon

It's a slightly emotional moment for me, as I keep track of the series of unfortunate developments taking place one after the other at one of the world's oldest, largest, most well known, most respected and most successful financial titans.

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., undoubtedly an icon, is on it's deathbed. I feel emotional about this because in a way, I associate myself with Lehman Brothers. In my final year at college, Lehman came to my college for campus recruitment. And I remember that, shamefully, I just missed it. Yes, I missed it for 2 reasons:
  1. I was at home when Lehman came, recruited people from my college and went back.
  2. My resume wasn't sent to Lehman by my college's Placement Cell (or so I've heard).
I remember how since many days (before Lehman finally came to my college) there was a buzz all around about the package Lehman was going to offer- something in the range of 15 million to 20 million Indian rupees per year. This was (and is) naturally a very rewarding package, which anybody shall be fortunate to have. I had a strong belief that if it's research or consulting posts that Lehman is coming for, then I'll shine for sure. The turn of events was such that I was under an impression that Lehman was going to come some days later, and so I went back home that weekend, and in the meantime Lehman came and went back. And I just missed it. To this day, I don't know what job profile Lehman brought to my college.

I remember feeling quite sad for many days when I came to know that Lehman came and went all of a sudden, unexpectedly, and I didn't even know this. And even to this day I never fail to narrate the story of Lehman to my friends.

So today, when I read about the impending demise of Lehman Brothers, I feel sad, the way Lehman employees are feeling sad.

Staff gathered in a meeting room at the Lehman Brothers office in Canary Wharf in London on Thursday.