Does anyone remember the days ... ah, those were the days! ... when software had to fit into, like, a 16 kB computer?
Now an upgrade to iTunes is a quarter of a gigabyte!
How can a program that, you know, plays music, take a sizable portion of a gigabyte? Just imagine, in ten years time, you'll be getting programs that occupy a terabyte of disk. Wow, that will be impressive.
Just be glad you're using the Mac version. The Windows version is programmed by 5 year old's on crack, and would probably be 4gb.
Reminds me of the Battlefield 2 updates in 2004. 1.0GB - 1.5GB. I had friends that would walk to my house with a blank DVD to get the files, instead of trying to download them on Verizon's Damn Slow Line (DSL). Now we have games that take up 15GB to 40GB of space.
I think this increase is to keep the time needed to download a constant ] . As the average download speed goes up, so does the software size, so it still takes 15 minutes. Your old 32K program on a 300baud also took 15 minutes (I have not verified the numbers by calculator - you get the idea/point)
It is the same with mails. Now an average mail (because of XML and HTML and pictures and whatnot) takes 100Kb - but your mail store is in Gbytes. Before the mail was hundred bytes or maybe 2 kb and you only had 5Mb space. Again, the amount of mails you could store/scan is constant ]
I also think of the boot time of a computer. An old XT or AppleLisa took 2 or 3 minutes to boot of the floppy reading in about 150K into memory. My Win7 needs about 1.5Gb memory painfully ] collected from 20Gb of core files which takes about 2 to 3 minutes.
Do you see a pattern?
Maybe the real reason is that if one of the factors got "out of hand", like it takes 20 minutes to boot windows, then developers are forced to THINK and make it faster. But - hey - anybody can wait 2 minutes! And when boot goes in 1.2 seconds, then there is time to add another fancy feature because there is time.
Thus a big applicatin always takes 15 minutes to download, a machine takes 2 minutes to boot and I can only reasonably manage 20K of mails. Constancy is the result of continued change. (?!? ehr?)
I think you are right. Designers assume that they can get away with keeping boot times slow. But the thing that annoys me these days is the time taken to shut the damn thing down. I mean, you know you are supposed to do an orderly shut down, so you select "shut down" from the menu, and then 5 minutes later it is still, like, "please wait while the system shuts down".
What the heck is it doing in those 5 minutes? Imagine how annoyed you would be if your room lights took 5 minutes to turn off when you flicked the switch.
It might not be 5 minutes, but we've had some florescent lights take quite a bit of time to get warm enough to generate enough light. I would guess a minute or two, to get to the point where you might be able to see random GI Joe/Barbie/Arduino pieces on the floor to avoid stepping on them, and even then, it takes a bit longer to get bright enough to read by.