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Jeroen W. Pluimers on .NET, C#, Delphi, databases, and personal interests

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20 years ago today: Here’s a nickel kid. Go buy yourself a real computer.

Posted by jpluimers on 2015/06/24

An eternal Dilbert strip that is based on the tiny Here’s a nickel kid. Go buy yourself a real computer fragment from single.h:

#if _FP_W_TYPE_SIZE < 32
#error "Here's a nickel kid. Go buy yourself a real computer."
#endif

20 years ago, we were in the autumn of the 16-bit computing era, the heydays of the 486 family of processors. While Delphi 95 still being 16-bit, but Windows 95 trying to bridge the gap between 16-bit DOSWindows 3.x programs and the 32-bit Windows NT world. Linux and 68000 both were far ahead in the 32-bit world.

By then Dilbert didn’t even have it’s own domain, but it ran in Europe in some magazines

10 years later, it was on the cover of Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment (2nd Edition):

Here's a nickel, kid. Get yourself a better computer. By scottadams@aol.com. epic.

Here’s a nickel, kid. Get yourself a better computer. By scottadams@aol.com. Epic.

Now we are well into the 64-bit era (in 1995 few systems like DEC Alpha and PowerPC used), even the mobile world (could you imagine that in 1995?) uses 64-bit (ARM has won there, but who will have won the desktop and server world in 10 years from now?).

–jeroen

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2 Responses to “20 years ago today: Here’s a nickel kid. Go buy yourself a real computer.”

  1. KMorwath said

    In 1995 your machine would have been already a Pentium, unless you were going for a cheap one. But it took really a loooong to switch from 16 bit computing to 32 bit, since 32 bit processors had been available for years. The problem was not processors – Intel CPUs were already fairly capable ones with some features unmatched by competition, especially its security model never fully used by any OS – it was software support that took too long to move ahead.

    • jpluimers said

      Given the price, many people were trading in computers only every 5 years or so, so in early 1995 even many developers here still had 486 computers.
      Windows 95 though played a big role in making the Pentium popular, so despite the Pentium FDIV bug, by mid 1996 lots of them had switched over as most compiler and operating system vendors had worked around the bug.

      Back then, as soon as I could, I was already running a Pentium and a 32-bit Windows NT. Memory hungry (:

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