Mark Bernstein writes:

There’s one question that bothers me about huge programs like Excel, though, a question you don’t quite address. What are they doing with all that space?

I actually think that Excel’s “minimum system requirements” come from all the other apps that it installs. For example, if they use a part of Internet Explorer 5.x to parse XML or display HTML documents, they just install ALL of Internet Explorer 5.x (which most people have anyway, so it doesn’t really take up that much extra space for most people). There are a few applications such as Microsoft Query, the Jet Database Engine, and Microsoft’s Picture editor, and the office toolbar, which probably get installed when you install any Office App. The actual Excel EXE itself is under 7 MB.

On my system all of office takes up 190MB, which confirms my belief that it is the shared office components which take up all the space. But who cares? It’s a great app and it’s 1% of my disk space.

Lies, Damn Lies, and Direct Marketing

George Meyer, one of the writers on the Simpsons, likes to collect examples of advertising in which “the word-to-falsehood ratio approaches one.” In an interview in the New Yorker, he complained about a magazine ad for a butter substitute called Country Crock. “It’s not from the country, there is no crock,” he told the interviewer. “Two words, two lies.”

Recently I got this piece of junk mail from Earthlink…

About the author.

I'm Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Trello and Fog Creek Software, and CEO of Stack Overflow. More about me.