20i Domains

Are We Being Mugged By Software?

Discussion in 'General Board' started by crabfoot, Jun 17, 2010.

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  1. crabfoot United Kingdom

    crabfoot Active Member

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    I'm disillusioned by the way the world is run, anyway - but I can see a trend, and I have disliked it for a long time.

    I'm fed up of the way that software works slowly. In the 80s I had a computer, that computer took a while to boot up. Over twenty years later, and I still have to wait THE SAME few minutes for the computer to boot up. Run a spreadsheet, it still takes THE SAME few seconds as it did in 1987 to process a row.

    When I was young, we had valve radios, and you had to wait for the valves to warm up before anything happened. Transistor radios removed the waiting time - turn the radio on, and it worked.

    There are other analogies, like go back to steam driven cars - they lost out to petrol because of the warm up time. I knew a man (sadly dead now) who had a Stanley steam car from 100 years ago, which would work as well as anything if you waited a couple of minutes for a head of steam to build.

    WHY does the world put up with this rubbish programming?

    Go back to the 1980s and spreadsheet or database processes took a few seconds, on a 4.88MHz processor with 8 bit registers and a hard disk with a 20ms response time. They still take the same time on modern equipment - we are all conditioned to "the wait".

    The only differences I can see since the 80s - Bill Gates is very rich, and has a lot less in the way of competitors these days.
     
  2. Domain Forum

    Acorn Domains Elite Member

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    articles.co.uk
     
  3. SuziWong

    SuziWong Member

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    You need furry dice hanging from monitor, and go-faster stripe? I have those on eBay NOW!
     
  4. monaghan United Kingdom

    monaghan Moderator Staff Member

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    Got to laugh!

    I remember long time back when change of corporate ownership forced me to move my development environment from OS/2 to Windows 3.11 as this was the new global platform. Slower, lost proper multi tasking and was less productive, but this was an "Upgrade" as far as the Windows installation process was concerned :)

    Others had the same issue when they had to move from Word Perfect on DOS to Microsoft Word for Windows, didn't do a lot of the fancy stuff WP did and was slower needing use of the mouse.

    How we love progress :)
     
  5. FC Domains

    FC Domains Well-Known Member

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    Well today I will be editing a schematic and starting the layout of a very dense surface mount PCB.
    This will be done on a 100Mhz Pentium running DOS 6.22.
    It's much faster and responsive than the Windows version on my 'loaded' workstation.
     
  6. aZooZa

    aZooZa Well-Known Member Exclusive Member

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    It's just a function of CPU power, memory and OS complexity. I wouldn't fancy trying to boot Windows 7 with 16KB of RAM and an 8088 4.77MHz CPU. Back in the 80s, there were many micros that held their OS in ROM. I think the Apple II with Visicalc heralded the adoption of computers in business for the masses. Nice trip down memory lane!
     
  7. retired_member12

    retired_member12 Retired Member

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    There's far too many bits of bloatware about these days, that true, and coupling that with the annoying but all important AV software we all need, every god damn routine seems to need checking through that before it's allowed to run, made especially worse when each program insists on a quick call 'home' to check for updates before you get the chance to run it. Sometimes you do stumble of a piece of software you don't feel the need to upgrade from, I still use CAD software that was written in 1997, and has run perfectly on every Windows platform since, including 64-bit too. They were the days of genuine standards compliant programming!

    Visicalc, now that brings back memories. I remember showing that to my boss at the time, he almost wet himself with excitement, we never saw much of him for about a 6 months after that, he went spreadsheet crazy.
     
  8. disruptive

    disruptive Well-Known Member

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    Its a vicious circle or virtuous - depending on how you see it. Consumer demand means more functionality which puts pressure on the hardware and we see better HW, but then the software guy envisions a new product that consumers might want.

    I have a ZX80 - perfectly good for some computing..but any laptops today have an additional 30 years of development, so its like a horse and cart and the motor car - they both get you from A to B. But I'll take my Bentley - thank you!
     
  9. Edwin

    Edwin Well-Known Member

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    If you are willing to put in the effort, it is possible to get Windows to run REALLY fast. I have been running XP Pro for years, and I've been line by line several times through the stuff that runs on startup, background processes, Services etc. killing every piece of junk.

    I have also turned my back on Adobe Reader and Sun Java, THE 2 worst offenders.

    Now, I can have IE, Firefox and Chrome open with a dozen tabs each, Word, Excel, several copies of Watch My Domains Pro, Notetab+ and Pegasus Mail all running with no (perceptible) slowdown...
     
  10. monaghan United Kingdom

    monaghan Moderator Staff Member

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    This is the thing, isn't a consumer system supposed to do this for us? You'll never get full optimisation with a standard build consumer OS, but surely it should be doing most of the work for you allowing non-geeks to get decent performance?

    My retired mother & father (non-geek) should be able to get decent performance out of their machine by default, not have to get me to spend time on it when I visit!
     
  11. Edwin

    Edwin Well-Known Member

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    Regardless of whether it should or shouldn't in an ideal world, it doesn't in the "real world" so it's a case of either knuckling down and fine tuning everything yourself, or putting up with slowdowns and the occasional hang-up.

    Waiting for Microsoft and all the other software makers to solve the issue for you means you'll be waiting basically forever...

    (Aside: that doesn't mean that I don't agree with you, but regardless of what we feel about it, nothing's going to chance hence the need for proactivity!)
     
  12. davedevelopment

    davedevelopment Well-Known Member

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    I've somehow learned to live with slow programs. I run a nettop at home and I can live with that grinding a little now and then, particularly when I open two gmail tabs in firefox.
     
  13. monaghan United Kingdom

    monaghan Moderator Staff Member

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    I know the "real world" and I've been involved with computing since the days when a "PC" was a Personal Computer rather than a computer that was compatible with an IBM PC XT. BUT... but when an item is marketed as a consumer platform, then in my mind, it should be simple and operate correctly and efficiently. Of course, if it did "just work" there'd be a lot of unemployed PC engineers :)

    My Win 7 mediacenter sitting in the lounge shouldn't fail to record programs or decide it will record 2 of the same program concurrently on BBC1 London and BBC Scotland and pop up a message saying there's not a spare tuner to record the other scheduled program in the same time slot on a different channel.

    As a geek, I can work round this and I do

    As a consumer who'd bought the system from the high st, I would expect this to work or be fixed just as if it was a DVD or VCR, after all, that's what the marketing has told me that the device will do and it is not working.
     
  14. Edwin

    Edwin Well-Known Member

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    BTW, not to drag the conversation too far off-track, but now that you mention the VCR, it makes me wonder how long it will be before hard disk recorders start failing by the thousand? Hard disks don't last forever, and when millions are sold into the consumer channel it's like a ticking time bomb for a few years down the line...

    I doubt 1 in 100 average consumers realise that hard drives have a finite (and often quite short) lifespan - lots of people must be relying on their HD recorders to store family movies, wedding films, and the like...
     
  15. monaghan United Kingdom

    monaghan Moderator Staff Member

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    I've had 2 fail :( As they are a consumer item, I was able to take it back to the shop though.

    Digital photos are another worry, I spent hours explaining how to backup photos onto CD / DVD, but most people I ask later when they last backed up have not bothered.
     
  16. doodlebug United Kingdom

    doodlebug Retired Member

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    Good point to back up on DVD and CD, that's what I've done, I still get photo's done in good old fashioned paper form aswell.

    I'm lucky because I only have a laptop and no PC, I do loads on it and have loads on it and havn't reformatted for 1 year yet it runs fine with no issues :cool: (fingers crossed)
     
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