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Geek Trivia truth or fiction.....640K should be enough - Bill Gates

By maxwell edison ·
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The quote, "640K should be enough for anyone", attributed to Bill Gates, is often used as a humorous jab at Gates. In fact, the geek even used it in his geek trivia news letter. My question for you, even though I'll answer it myself, is this. Do you think Bill Gates really said that, or is it an urban legend? Most people would answer yes, he did say that, because it's been repeated so many times. However, Bill Gates never did say it, at least not in the context as often presented (or so he says).

In the spirit of the old saying, a lie will travel 10,000 miles before the truth puts its shoes on, I though I might try to dispel that urban legend by telling what Bill Gates really did say, and the context in which it was said. His main point, at least according to Gates himself, was that the 640K limit in early PCs was imposed by the design of processing chips, not the software, and he'd been pushing to raise the limit. So in the context of the limits imposed by the "chip of the day", and the chip of that day was the 8088, 640k was indeed enough for anybody, because any more than that wasn't supported by the processor limitations.

So what do you know for sure? Did Gates really say that, or did he not? Is he trying to backpedal by his subsequent explanation, or is the quote really a lame attempt to discredit Bill Gates?

An interesting article, including a personal reply from Bill Gates on the issue, can be found at this link:

http://tinyurl.com/2zhpr

(I wonder if this article is "truth or fiction?)

What's the purpose of this discussion? Well, it is "tech" related, so it can't be slammed as yet another off-topic discussion. And it does address something in a Techrepublic newsletter. Are there any other "truth or fiction" examples out there? And besides, I had 15 minutes to kill, so I though it might be interesting to see what kind of life (if any) this does take.

By the way, try to find the exact text of that particular speech in which he allegedly said that. Happy hunting.

Later...

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Not again...

by Cactus Pete In reply to Geek Trivia truth or fict ...

I debunked this one over a year ago when Colin appeared...

http://tinyurl.com/yvqgr

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Thanks for remembering me

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Not again...

It is an old topic that has recently been resurrected and just doesn't apply to the modern computers but many people seem to think that something said that long ago applies today.

When Mr Gates said it it was referring to something totally different than today as Maxwell rightly points out he was referring to the 8086 CPU's or whatever they where back then and DOS from memory.

That was a long time before Windows {as we know it today} was even dreamed of by the end users at the very least currently I'm installing SP2 for XP on this unit and the 1 GIG of RAm that I have here isn't enough to make this a reasonable fast installation but at least I'm accepting that I'm nothing more than a "Beta" tester who pays for the privilege.

Probably why I like Linux so much but than again when I started working with computers back in those days I was using command line Unix on Main Frames so I could be a bit biased.

Col

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