I went to primary school in the 70ties. Fountain pens or pencils were not allowed, only ballpoints. My mother thought it was stupid and talked the teacher into allowing me to use a fountain pen. Calculators were around but we were still tought the art of doing calculus in the head and on paper. Still use that a lot.
It's a Dell (with xp) and the mb only takes 2GB. I have been promised a Core-i5 machine with 8GB (refurbished Dell win win7), don't know when that arrives, but for now I'm programming with this one. Can't wait till I actually start earning money, wich should be soon (I guess that's being selfemployed for ya).
I have 2GB of ram in a P4, and usually 2.5-3GB in swap. When the swap gets over 4GB (Firefox seems very happy to do that) the system gets too slow to work with. Not sure what would happen if I turn swap off. I probably would see lots of out-of-memory errors and have to use the reset button often.
On Linux I've been told, a bit of swap can actually speed up a system by freeing up ram for disk caching.