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However, I now have discovered that it is running the 32-bit version of the product.
I am so old that I once wrote an internal memo arguing that 16 bits is enough, if you learn how to structure your system into segments (similar to the DLLs of today). It was more or less true, too, in those days: The Pascal compiler compiled to 17Ki 16-bit instructions. (The machine adressed by words, with separate code and data spaces, so in fact 64Ki meant 128Kibyte code, 128Kibyte data.)
Applications have grown to completely crazy sizes nowadays, so 16 bits should not be enough for everybody. But with the exception of a very small subset of problems (which is likely to require a supercomputer anyway!), if you cannot fit the stuff you are doing into 32 bits, then you should go back to the drawing board and strongly reconsider your structure of modules, DLLs, processes and whathaveyou. I see no valid reason whatsoever that an office package should not have plenty of space in 32 bits (heck - we were running a rather fancy office suite on that 16-bit machine!).
The demand for 64 bits everywhere is like the demand for a new car to be able to go 240 km/h in a country with standard highway speed limit of 80 km/h and only a few top rate four lane motorways going up to 110 km/h. Noone really needs the ability to go twice as fast. And extremely few need 64 bits. It is like 4K video on your 5" phone screen being an essential marketing point. Or HiFi sound distributed in 24bit/96KHz format. It is a sales point, but really, it is a "mine is bigger than yours" thing.
The HiFi markets ended up essentially ignoring 24/96. I wouldn't be surpised if we five years from now have a wave of "lean" software design in 32 bit format. Because with proper system design, there is no reason why any process would need more - even in light of the classical 640K-argument.
There's a significant part of me that wants to disagree with you on this score, but I really can't. The flat memory addressing scheme beyond 4GB and the extra kernel potential there (depending on how your OS is structured) is about the only major benefit of going beyond 32bit in practice, and honestly, how necessary is it?
I think it's fair to argue that it's nice to be able to address huge memory windows beyond 4GB for many reasons, even if it's not physically backed by RAM, but again at the end of the day, it's not necessary.
The only problem with ignoring that is that it increases the cost of such software by making it necessarily more complicated - now you have to use segmented addressing of some kind.
I guess at the end of the day the engineers and bean counters came together and felt it was a necessary advancement.
So while I agree with you, I can see the other end of this too. There's definitely room for 64 bit systems. Maybe they don't need to be as ubiquitous though.
If I had to bet, I'd say 32bit isn't going away for the forseeable future.
I say that because people think they need $100-$300 sneakers - just like a pro; and titanium golf clubs (Expensive substitute for aluminum unless you're making fighter-jets) and any number of other "pro" level (in price, at least) items because they need that edge - so they can win in the Olympics, I suppose.
The main advantage of the larger address sizes is to allow larger amounts of directly accessible data (max. amount data/file -> max no. records in table -> and so on). Very large calculations with very large number. For such purposes it is useful to have 64bits, but only for a very few. IP and MAC addresses need to have ever larger sizes available, but in most aspects of your claim I agree: everyone seems to think they need to buy a system that is designed for needs they won't have - but it makes the feel good to think they need it.
Hi Greg no one is ever going to solve these sort of clues - you have to play by a set of rules and you shouldn't need specific knowledge of anything to solve it ( bridge in this case ) ( if no one solves your clue you have failed as a clue setter )
A globally acceptable way to write your clue could be
Formal agreement to reduce (8)
"We can't stop here - this is bat country" - Hunter S Thompson - RIP