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iso size growth

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http://crunchbang.org – I started with #! 9.04 - thinking of that reminds me of two things: 1) time flies 2) this distro is great, cause I use it since then nonstop..however,  I remember 9.04 came with a ton of programs like thunderbird, rhythmbox, audacity and tons of small cli apps. now it is 2012 and we have a very cool basic choice of smaller applications and at the same time have an iso size that wont fit on a cd anymore. just wondering: why does a system take more space over time? is it code? drivers&codecs?  - Would be interested in your insight & knowledge, since I am everything but a progra (HowTos)