So I’ve mentioned many times before that more RAM is arguably1 the most important upgrade you could add to your computer.

I’m the type that likes to have lots of things up, like iTunes, Photoshop (which consumes a lot of RAM when you foolishly open 20 images at the same time, each 10 megapixels), and Firefox (web browsers are more RAM-hungry than you’d expect)… All at once.

Today, a new recommendation: Eclipse is RAM-hungry. (Perhaps because it’s a Java app. I’m unabashedly convinced that Java is the biggest drain on system resources ever.) But with 2GB of RAM, Eclipse’s thirst for 150MB isn’t a big deal.

What is a big deal, though, is HP’s Web JetAdmin. I installed it to see what information it was able to receive from our network printer, kind of hoping for help in my search for MIBs. It’s taking 145 MB of RAM.

But also, it uses an SQL Server backend, and SQL Server is using 120MB of RAM.

So the net effect is that, with only Eclipse running, I’m using over a gig of RAM. (And that’s “using,” not “having the OS cache components in unused portions of”). I think it’s time for an uninstall party. (The good news is that Vista’s actually handling it really well. The system’s snappy as ever, even with massive background processes running on a desktop machine.)

[1] I say “arguably” since it depends on your usage and what you already have: in some cases, your CPU may be the bottleneck, and sometimes the hard drive is the bottleneck. But in my experience, RAM is the bottleneck 95% of the time.

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