word processor history -- interesting article (Evan Koblentz)

Noel Chiappa jnc at mercury.lcs.mit.edu
Thu Jul 7 18:13:13 CDT 2016

    > From: Mouse

    > "The most amazing achievement of the computer software industry is its
    > continuing cancellation of the steady and staggering gains made by the
    > computer hardware industry." - credited to Henry Petroski

There's a reason I run considerably older software (which I prefer because
it's less bloated) on somewhat older hardware (which is cheap, used) - i.e.
hardware that's considerably newer than the software running on it - and your
quotation nails it.

The response time I get with Epsilon V8.0 (circa 1996) on an Athlon XP is
scintillating - my finger has barely started to come up on the key before the
screen reflects the command (e.g. to switch buffers). The response time is
blindingly fast.

Now, admittedly, Epsilon was fast to start with (i.e. on contemporanous
hardware), so perhaps it's not the best example. But the same is true for
other things, albeit to a lesser degree; e.g. switching windows to different

Older software on newer hardware provides a sparkling user experience, in
terms of responsiveness.


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