Back in the olden days, when I bought my first Disk ][ to hang onto my Apple ][ Plus, I was amazed at how much the 140KB floppy drive could store. After using it for a while, I was sure that it was big enough to hold every program I’d ever buy, and most of the programs my kids would need as well. Nowadays, of course, I have a 32GB iPhone 3GS and a 64GB iPad, and I’m out of room.
The release of Riven brought into focus just how crazy this all is. Riven weighs in at 1.01GB and requires you to have 2GB of free storage just to install it. I don’t blame the game itself — in fact, I played it when it was the first DVD-based game ever for the Mac, replacing five CD-ROMs. The graphics were superb, and I understand that they require lots of memory to hold them, but really! I took a look at some of the larger iOS apps I currently have installed, and Treasure Island, the Experience is the largest, weighing in at 468MB, or nearly half a GB. The next seven biggest range between 393.7MB and 286.3MB, adding up to over 2GB. And I’m not even a game player — if you installed the HD version of Rage recently, you had to clear up 744MB of space for that one alone. These apps are mostly recent releases, and I don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.