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For the last 10 years, I have been asking people more knowledgeable than I, "How big should my swap be?" and the answer has always been "Just set it to twice your RAM and forget about it." In the old days, it wasn't much to think about — 128 megs of RAM means 256 megs of swap. Now that I have 4 gigs of RAM in my laptop, I find myself wondering, "Is 8 gigs of swap really necessary?" How much swap does the average desktop user really need? Does the whole "twice your RAM" rule still apply? If so, for how much longer will it likely apply? Or will it always apply? Or have I been consistently misinformed over the last 10 years?
Giving them both their due, neither cars nor software are perfect. Both could stand improvement. I don't see anything in this world that couldn't use a little improvement.
On the other hand, "Unsave at Any Speed" unfairly characterized Chevrolette's Corvair as poorly designed when the real problem was that many Corvair owners took no responsibility for routine maintenance. The Corvair has been called the poor man's Porche because it was a well balanced car that would perform well if its tires were properly inflated.
In the same way, much of today's software is amazingly good, especially considering the cost to acquire FLOSS. Most of the software used by people who use
Joe Sixpack wants to surf his p0rn; he doesn't want to "waste time" with those pesky software updates. If his tires run flat he'll just buy new ones. Now let him go where he wants to go!
When was the last time we held car manufacturers liable for damage caused by potholes? Do we expect car manufacturers to keep us safe from the consequences of driving over nails or off a clif?
Yes, everything could stand some improvement, especially those silly shrink-wrap or click-wrap license agreements. I still don't see how the software that is not guaranteed to do anything useful has to be treated like the crown jewels. But that does not seem to be the focus of "Geekonomics." Let's work on reducing the targets for malware while we thank those who provide the software that works as well as it does.