So I've noticed something recently - my computer from 2008 keeps running out of 4GB.
What operating system is it running? How are you measuring memory usage? How are you sure it's "running out"? (Note: if you're running Vista, which would be in-line with a 2008 computer, the memory read-out in Task Manager is very misleading.)
In school I've been taught memory is precious and we should conserve it.
When did you go to school? Virtual Memory has been ubiquitous for ages now.
But I have this feeling someone somewhere has finally said - memory is unlimited at 64 bits and you are to no longer consider it to be a limitation, don't waste your time writing optimal code.
More like... someone finally realized that memory that was sitting around unused could be better-used as a disk cache. There's zero reason to have completely unused memory in a computer, so even a MB of free memory represents a failing of the OS.
Before someone says - upgrade your dope man - computers haven't improved enough since '08 to warrant an upgrade. If I was complaining about a '00 or even '05, then yes. But dual/quad 2.6GHZ w/ 4GB is not that fucking bad.
Well, I don't have enough information to address your concerns unless I at least know what operating system you're talking about. There were a lot of people who thought that Vista was "running out of memory" because the read-out in Task Manager was misleading, and reported "empty memory" without reporting "memory which could be made empty in less than a millisecond". Which is the majority of memory used on modern Windows OSes... the Windows 7 machine I'm running now with 8 GB is actively using 3.7 GB, has 4.3 GB "available" (which means it can be cleared in a millisecond if there is demand), and has 640 MB actually free (meaning, completely empty.) That's typical.
The problem with Vista, which I suspect is what you're having troubles with, is that the Task Manager readout shows memory used by the disk cache as "used" when it should have been reported as "free". (Well, more accurately, it should have been reported as "available" like Windows 7, but the read-out only had 3 lines of data to work with, not 4.)
Anyway, lemme know what OS you're talking about and we can figure out your memory problem.
<- I couldn't make my shit work, so here's a Godzilla head.