I guess some Windows operating systems have maximum RAM sizes they can accept. I don't know if there's there any way to determine the maximum except by trial and error. I moved a Win95a hard drive from a 32MB machine, where it was fine, to a 1008MB machine where the graphical user interface (GUI) didn't work even with the same monitor and video card (while the command-line interface (CLI) worked), but where Win 3.11 GUI on the same drive and Knoppix 4.0 Linux GUI on an optical disc and Hal91 Linux CLI on a floppy did work. (I eventually found another machine and got the Win95a GUI to work but only in safe mode; ditto with Win 98SE.) Maybe the max (if any) is due to internal addressing using constant-length numbers (maybe Linux uses unlimited-length addresses), and I suppose Microsoft would design for machines likely to come out during the maintenance lifetime of the OS version, by the end of which we should buy a newer version, so they might never reveal the max before an end-of-life date is announced. This is a problem because RAM is larger in newer machines. I don't know if most system boards that support large RAM will still support small RAM, if RAM technology and system board support for RAM technologies is no longer compatible with small RAM. Probably specialty system boards are available that support as little as 32MB RAM but I imagine I'd have to pay too much to justify keeping a 15-year-old OS (give or take). It's becoming harder to find a sufficiently old machine cheaply through Craigslist (most ads are not specific enough) or for free by looking at what gets trashed (there are too many system boards to be familiar with most of them). I don't like having to upgrade OSes and therefore apps and docs too often, especially when I don't need the newest technologies and features in newer OSes, just the basics.
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