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Microsoft Jingle Bells

December 23rd, 2009 by Multimedia Mike

I acquired an MP3 all the way back in 1997 or 1998 which is a parody of Jingle Bells holiday tune that laments Microsoft-branded bloatware. Mildly humorous at the time, the song now serves as a technology time capsule. The internet seems unsure of who wrote or performed the song or when it was recorded, but the lyrics give a clue about its vintage. The singer complains that MS Word takes a whole 60 megabytes of RAM to run and occupies 900 megabytes of disc space.

Nine-tenths of a gig, biggest ever seen,
God, this program’s big: MS Word 15!
Comes on ten CDs, and requires–damn!
Word is fine, but jeez, 60 megs of RAM?!
Oh! Microsoft, Microsoft, bloatware all the way!
I’ve sat here installing Word, since breakfast yesterday!
Oh! Microsoft, Microsoft, moderation, please.
Guess you hadn’t noticed: Four-gig drives don’t grow on trees!

This clearly hearkens back to a time when 4 gigabyte drives were considered premium. I’m trying to remember when 4 GB drives were introduced and would have commanded a prohibitive price. Whenever it was, it still strikes me as ironic considering that I am typing this on my Linux-based Eee PC 701 which is equipped with 4 GB of storage which is just barely enough for Ubuntu 9.10 to tread water (ran out of space today, in fact, and I had to scramble to make room to keep working).

Posted in General | 6 Comments »

6 Responses

  1. Peter Says:

    The song probably coincided with Office’97, which was released in Dec 1996.

    Office’97 was the last version of office available on floppy disk format. A full installation required about 40 x 1.44MB floppy disks. Suspect the song was poking fun at that. :D

  2. Kostya Says:

    Indeed, when I got my first computer in 1997 even 850 GB were rather spacy. And it was maybe two years later when I finally got 2GB HDD. Also 64 MB RAM were rather standard those days.

    Also I’d like to remind you that my IBM ThinkPad 390 with 4GB HDD was enough to me to develop some codecs for FFmpeg. Oh, those were the days!

  3. cubeeggs Says:

    It was David Pogue in 1997:

  4. Multimedia Mike Says:

    Mystery solved; thanks!

  5. JudgeDeadd Says:

    Hey, I have that MP3 somewhere!

  6. Wilfred Says:

    But it’s still true, try and install windows 7 on 4 GB. :-)