> > There is Parity memory and there is ECC memory,
> > but when the buyers always want the cheapest ...
> > You don't really expect a 500$ PC to have all the stuff
> > that is built into a 5000$ machine, do you ?

I expect reliability from everything I buy, no matter how cheap or expensive
it is.

> machine support ECC not parity. Also ECC is not using software to mask
> hardware faults, it is using hardware to correct hardware faults. Parity
> PCs, on the other hand, used software to stop the machine after a hardware
> fault.

I think what the original poster was implying is a shifting of blame, not a
prevention.  If the software crashes, whatever the reason, people tend to
blame software first.  This tendency to shift blame to software can be
exploited by "ethically challenged" hardware vendors to mask faults in

> Today's memory is much more reliable than it was 15 or 20 years ago so
> advantage of ECC to the home user is not worth the cost. I check any new
> memory and than I don't worry about it. I did not check once on a non-ECC
> memory DIMM and had the memory work fine until I switched to Win2K.
> Investigating, I found that there was an unsoldered pin on one of the
> chips. Obviously Win 95 didn't actually use that memory, and Win2k/WinNT

Perhaps, but as you have documented, the most reliable non-ECC memory chips
in the cosmos can't make up for a bad solder connection, broken track, etc.
And don't forget the Single Event Upset phenomena, which will become ever
more pervasive as geometries shrink.  If all memory was ECC, it would no
longer be a specialty item, and therefore enjoy the same cutthroat volume
pricing that non-ECC memory does now.  And that would be a good thing.  I
refute the notion that home users don't deserve reliability - most home
users don't know how to recover their machines after a major system crash.
This is like saying that only auto mechanics need reliable cars - everyone
else can use lemons.  Every "non-techie" I know who has a computer is really
frustrated with it.  And guess who they call for help?  Hint:  not Compaq,
not Microsoft.  If the PC industry wants to revive their sales, they need to
start making better machines with better software on them.  So far the only
advantage I see to the GHz wars is that you can execute your way to the next
crash faster than before ;-)

Best regards,
Ivan Baggett
Bagotronix Inc.
website:  www.bagotronix.com

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