Sunday September 18, 2016

Snake Oil Software: How SoftRAM Hoodwinked The World

Do you know anyone who actually fell for this? SoftRAM 95 was software that could supposedly double your memory without an actual hardware upgrade, and it managed to be a pretty big hit, being the only software specifically written for Windows 95 when the OS launched.

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"There were two parts to SoftRAM," explained Seltzer. "One of them was the device driver, the kernel mode software, which supposedly did the memory management and the compression. And then there’s this program that you run to see how much memory it’s compressing, and it shows dials and stuff." "It turns out that even if you don’t load the device driver at all, the program that shows you how much memory it’s compressing does exactly the same thing," Seltzer laughed. He describes the interface as a "fabrication"آ— but it was enough to coerce thousands into parting with the software’s asking price of $79.95.

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