The content of this blog is my personal opinion only. Although I am an employee - currently of Nvidia, in the past of other companies such as Iagination Technologies, MIPS, Intellectual Ventures, Intel, AMD, Motorola, and Gould - I reveal this only so that the reader may account for any possible bias I may have towards my employer's products. The statements I make here in no way represent my employer's position, nor am I authorized to speak on behalf of my employer. In fact, this posting may not even represent my personal opinion, since occasionally I play devil's advocate.

See http://docs.google.com/View?id=dcxddbtr_23cg5thdfj for photo credits.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Laptop slow to come out of Standby


You were disbelieving when I told you that my laptop sometimes takes 5 minutes, up to half an hour, to come out of standby and get to the point where I can do useful work.

Here is an example:

Today I sat at my desk at 8:33, and brought my laptop out of standby.

This is my first email. I started writing it at 8:47.

i.e. 14 minutes to come out of standby, and get to the point where I can do useful work, like sending email.

(I often see much worse.)


Most of the people involved in "speeding up standby" measure time, e.g., from hitting the "Come Out of Standby" button, to displaying your desktop. As a result, people have optimized that "first response", doing things like displaying a stale and out-of-date bitmap of your desktop, because seeing something is better than seeing nothing. Unfortunately, many such optimizations actually end up delaying time to actually being able to get work done.

Many of the problems that need to be overcome relate not so much to actually coming outr of standby, as to processing time-based work that has been queued up while in standby.

But, to a user, it doesn't matter.


I now actively try to avoid using my laptop at home. It so often takes so long to come out of standby or hibernate, and get useful work done, that I can no longer use my work provided laptop PC to "squeeze work in" - e.g. I can't check my email in the 15 minutes before supper, if it takes 15 minutes to go from standby to being able to read my email. I'm not going to bother even if on average it only takes 5 minutes to start up, if it frequently takes 15 minutes or more.

I would lock my laptop and leave it on my desk at work, except that my employer provides no other way that I can work at home. I can't connect to work from my home PC, IT does not allow it. So, I lug my laptop around, but do not even try to use it unless I have a 2 to 3 hour timeslot available at home, in the morning, in the evening, or on weekends.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

I wonder if I should move my resume t...

I wonder if I should move my resume to Google docs?

It won't get a nice URL on Google docs.  On the other hand,  Google docs is a lot easier to use than other sites, such as geocities, where you have to upload the document.

I would rather have it on a wiki, but Google doesn't seem to have a wiki.

Google docs' editor supports inserting links - but it is a bit of a pain to use, almost as bad as creating links on SharePoint.  Not like a wiki, where creating links is the easiest possible thing.

Is it better to be persuasively wrong than non-persuasively right?

With respect to an issue

a) one may be wrong or right

b) one may be able to persuade those with power, or one may be unable to persuade those with power

For good measure

c) one may be able to persuade those with knowledge but not power, or not.

Alhough this last point, c) may not matter much.

It is nice to imagine that it
0) is best to be right, and able to persuade those with power. Best for both you, and the organization you belong to.

What is next best?:

1) to have been wrong, but to have been able to persuade those with power to follow your incorrect recommendations

2) to have been right, but to have been unable to persuade those with power to follow your correct recommendations

I am sure that anyonme with experience of business or politics realizes that 1) is better: it is better, for your career, to have been perusaively wrong, than non-persuasively right.

Particularly if you are able to be promoted and transferred away before the bad effects of the incorrect recommendations have been felt.

But what about the organization? Is the organization better off rewarding persuasively incorrect people? Or should the organization try to recognize non-persuasive correct people?

Heck - if the consequences of an incorrect decision are felt late enough, there is no benefit to the individual to have been correct: all that matters is that the individual was persuasive. Nevertheless, and organization that does not favor correct over incorrect decisions shoud not last long.

ISO New Tablet PC

(Posted originally on LinkedIn's TabletPC forum. No responses, so I'm looking.)

I'm about to start shopping for a new tablet PC, and am looking for recommendations.

This will be my 5th tablet or pen based computer. Unfortunately, my satisfaction runs only 50%:

1) Compaq Concerto (GOOD)

2) Epson EHT-400c (BAD)

3) Toshiba Portege 2505 (GOOD)

4) Toshiba M400 (BAD)

Unfortunately, my most recent TabletPC, the Toshiba M400, was decidedly unsatisfactory. Way too loud. Too many trips to shop. I have given up using it, and am giving it away to a relative. I bought it sight unseen (and un-listened-to) from Toshiba's website --- a mistake I swear I will never make again. I suspect that I erred in choosing the highest frequency (and hence hottest) CPU around.

I hope that my next TabletPC will be more satisfactory.

My wife quite likes her HP Pavillion tx2500 TabletPC. I may get that, although I usually want a higher end TabletPC - larger screen, more disk space.

My wish-list:
* convertible - keyboard attached
* as many pixels as possible - e.g. 1400x1050, preferably larger
* good display management, handling docking/undocking changing display pixels
* ability to drive at least one external monitor, independently - I often use my portable PC docked, using an external monitor and the portable PC as an extra display.
* big disk - at least 250GB, preferably 500GB
* I am highly likely to want to run at least 2 or 3 virtual machines on it - my company's work environment (Windows), and my personal environment (TabletPC, but also Linux) - and hence need lots of space. E.g.my Toshiba M400 had toolittle disk space, and I needed to upgrade it.
* Preferably processor made by my employer -I must show at least a modicum of corporate loyalty.
* Fingerprint a nice to have

Blue-sky wish-list:
* accepts video input, so it can act as a second display for some other laptop