Resources arenít the same thing as RAM. RAM use, CPU load nor HD cache should have nothing to do with ďout of memoryĒ messages. A P90 doesnít use resources any more than a P4. A single program should never hog any appreciable amount of resources and one should keep track of them closely enough that they never get near a level that a single program could cause problems. If you keep your resources up in the 70% range then any single program that drags your resources down to a level that causes problems needs to be replaced or updated.
You have to get down into the 10% range before resources become an actual problem, but anything below 60% is an indication that you have too much stuff running in the background and your computer is probably not running as well as it should. If a program is causing lockups due to resources and the program isnít particularly misbehaved then the msconfig startup needs cleaning out. http://www.pacs-portal.co.uk/startup_content.php
With Win98 and SE I used a program called TclockEX that would display a 2 digit readout of my resources to the left of the clock. I knew which programs took what resources and what programs didnít return the resources when exited. It is normal for some programs to keep a couple of percent after shutdown but more than that is unacceptable. I replaced a couple of programs because they were resource hogs. The only partial hog I tolerated was Zone Alarm because I was too cheap to buy one and I assumed that others might take the same 10% or so. But it was time for action no matter what was running if they ever got below 60%.
The bar running across the top of TclockEX that shows CPU activity alerted me to several problems as well. Unfortunately that bar doesnít work in XP. Resources arenít a problem in XP, but that can be a trap if you donít keep the services and msconfig startup cleaned out anyway.
I actually did the initial work on that 120Mb file for the museum display on a P3 600Mhz with 512Mb of RAM. I ran it out of RAM quickly and everything was done s l o w l y in the scratch disk, but the computer ran fine. My computer never froze with memory messages in Win98/SE over 4 years and I am an avid multitasker. I did get illegal action messages and rare BSODs, but then I knew it was time to Ghost in a clean system. I got memory freezes in Win95 but I didnít really know what I was doing back then and Win95 didnít manage memory very well.