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 As a result, people have optimized that "first response", doing things like displaying a stale and out-of-date bitmap of your desktop, because seeing something is better than seeing nothing.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.