The question should have been divided in two: one for machines with Vista, others for those without. I had a machine with XP an 1 GB worked very nice. When I put Vista on it, I had to upgrade it to 3 GB (which is what all machines at my office have).
But developing on a Vista machine ...!? If using VS 2005 or even 2008 this works but when you have to support legacy applications (like me supporting Pocket PC apps developed with eMbedded Visual C++ 3.0 you wouldn't use Vista for it )
Thats the easiest way I agree, but Vista is the platform to develop today's software. To develop with a legacy environment I rather do that under a virtual machine with the correct envorinment and try to migrate that ASAP to the newest technology I can.
However, if its about hardware, thats not always possible, so it might be the only way.
Because it's sales that sell the product that make the company money isn't it? The fact that it takes developers longer to write the thing in the first place when short of resources doesn't enter the managers minds. 4 years ago I was given a 486 to work on, I nearly brought my 2 year old laptop to work as it was better, I left after 9 months.
I'm so glad I work where I do now. 4GB RAM, 3Ghz Core 2 Duo, 64bit OS & ~0.5TB HD space!
i can see 40gb of ram.. only because there will be some kind of large neural network predicting the code you're going to write. Pretty much programming in the future will be writing a paragraph of what you want in non technical terms, and the neural network will generate it.
of course that would be no fun
Einstein argued that there must be simplified explanations of nature, because God is not capricious or arbitrary. No such faith comforts the software engineer.