February 24th, 2005


On multipliers in computing

It's one of the features of the advance of computing technology that something new will often be some multiplier of its predecessor. But this is getting ridiculous.

I just installed a new graphics card in my home PC. It's a fairly high end one, and I'm running the desktop at 1280 x 1024 x 32bit colour.

This work PC is running at 1280 x 1024 x 24bit colour, and for what I do, that's perfectly OK. I'm not actually asking for a replacement yet. But it's a 4MB graphics card, whereas the home one is a 256MB card. Yes, that's 64 times as much RAM. The amount of RAM in a graphics card has doubled eight times since this machine's card was high end.

Moore's law seems inadequate for that.

(ATI are now talking about release a 512MB card pretty soon now.)


I've managed to disable the VGA device under Windows XP, with somewhat problematic results - in other words, XP is stuffed.

(Symptomology - at the end of Windows start-up, at the point when the screen should go from the initial splash screen to showing the desktop, the screen goes black and never comes back. In Safe Mode/Command Prompt Only, the list of loaded drivers just sits there.)

Anybody got any idea of a way on re-enabling it? Without reinstalling XP?

(I can dual-boot the system into W2K instead, which is fine. It's also on a LAN, so if there's any way of doing remote admin, I could do that.)

Yes, I do feel stupid.

(I'm also wondering whether changing the graphics card to something totally different would persuade XP to re-enable it.)