Everybody has to start somewhere
I suppose it would be appropriate to call John Romero a game developer or designera creative type with a smattering of programming and level design ability. He's had a great deal of success in his career (with Doom and Quake) and a great failure (Daikatana). Regardless of what you think of the man, many of us hardware types tend to believe our programming brethren are every bit as skilled in hardware mojo. Romero, on the other hand, is out to prove me wrong. Get this:
Well, I finally upgraded my machines to P4-1.5Ghz and let me tell ya, you definitely need to know a few things before going out and buying the stuff you need. I went to Fry's here in Dallas and picked up the Intel 850i motherboard, RDRAM and P4-1.5Gzh processor.
While I certainly won't chastise him for his choice of a P4, I do take issue with that "fry" word in there. It becomes painfully obvious why soon:
The first hint that I didn't know everything I should know was when I asked the sales guy for 256Mb of RDRAM. He told me I had to buy 2-128Mb sticks because the RAM has to be doubled. Wow, I thought that idea went out in the late 80's. Okay, so I bought two sticks, which ended up being more expensive than one stick of 256Mb RDRAM and it was even more expensive than the P4 itself!
OK, so he admitted he wasn't omnipotent in regard to hardware, but that paragraph is extremely painful. Being unaware of the dual channel nature of the i850 is of no huge consequence. Buying two 128MB sticks of RDRAM (which I can only hope was PC800) from a retail store is downright masochistic. The price of RDRAM is still higher than SDRAM products, but the price has fallen to less than a dollar a megabyte
It gets worse as the article goes on. Rather than spoil the surprise, I'll let you read the remainder of his tale. Those of you who have ever had trouble with putting together a new PC, take heart; this will likely make you feel much better.