The content of this blog is my personal opinion only. Although I am an employee - currently of Imagination Technologies's MIPS group, in the past of other companies such as 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.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Yet another tale of IT upgrade woe

I got into work at 9:05am - late for me.

5 minutes to boot my notebook PC. Then I see "There is a client optimization pack..."

Not a security patch. Not urgent. But the last 2(actually, first 2) "client optimization packs" took 5 minutes to install, and ended up giving me an on-the-fly degfragger, Diskeeper 2008 Pro Premiere. It's not clear that the defragger really helps performance, although one would hope that it has; but the defragger has removed IT's standard time-wasting excuse when I complained about PC performance "first defrag your disk", adding a day or so to getting any problem resolved (i.e. enough time for IT to deem me unresponsive, and decide that my problem has gone away). I.e. the on-the-fly defragger has been a win, possibly a real win, but certainly a win in accountability.

So I figure "I can waste 5 minutes; I hope this optimizationm pack is as good as the last".

1.5 hours later, I am finally able to work once again.

At least I cleaned my desk; read the economist; brushed my teeth; read some slides that I had printed for my exercise bike; cleaned up my personal cellphone voicemail.

Unfortunately, I got no real work done. I have no access to a second computer. I can't even clean up my company voicemail, since that is no acessible only from my PC.

Back when I had my long-lamented but fragile AT&T Tilt SmartPhone, I would have cleaned up my personal, Google, email. And maybe web browsed a bit. But that phone was fragile, although great up until it broke.


This is just the usual sort of computer problem:

* I cannot rely on my PC to start up in a timely manner

* the time to apply patches and upgrades also needs to be taken into account in benbchmarking startup.

I.e. from my, the user,point of view, it is the time to being able to do useful work. I don't care if what is stopping me from getting work done is coming out of standby, virus scanning, thrashing as multiple applications wake up and perform timer based actions, or security upgrades: they ALL get in the way.

Heck, add to these the frustration that impels me to spend two minutes blogging about my frustration. That's another 2 minutes wasted.


More and more I want to have a second computing device, so that I can work on the second when the first is blocked, and vice versa.

I want to have all of my data on the network - NFS or, better, Google apps -so that I can migrate machine to machine without loss of access. It's ironic that I say this - I, the often disconnected one, who wants to work where there is no Internet. But when I have Internet, I want to use it.

I want to have a desktop PC at work, and not just carry my laptop back and forth. I want thedesktop PC to start doing all of this startup crap overnight or, to save power, just before I get to work -so that it is ready to work when I am. E.g. I want to be able to remotely power it on when I start driving to work.

If I am forced to use alaptop as my primary device, I want to be able to have the laptop boot, come out of standby, while I am driving to work and walking up the stairs. I don't want to have to park its disk when I am moving. THIS may be the big benefit of solid state disks.


I want to stop wasting time and get to work right away.

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