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August 2015 Newsletter Bookmark

Reboot

I remember the bad old days when I had to reboot my computer several times a day. The reasons were the usual suspects: the computer hung up in some unresponsive state; operations had slowed down so much that a clean reboot would make it go faster and I would gain back the time lost rebooting; going out to lunch and not wanting to keep the computer running and disk drive spinning; having a hard time debugging some code and wanting to just start with a clean slate; wanting to save power and lessen the air conditioning load, etc. etc. etc.

Of course the most famous reason was the BSOD. That’s the Blue Screen of Death introduced by Microsoft sometime in the 90’s to let one know that the operating system was so fouled up that it couldn’t unscramble itself and wanted to be put out of its misery by a nice clean reboot. Of course, ‘they’ blamed it on faulty hardware so it was really, really not their fault.
Over time the need to reboot got less and less as the operating systems got more reliable and robust, and hardware, such as memory, got even better, and disk drives and the computer would put themselves to sleep to keep wear and tear to a minimum. Over even more time, the need to reboot got even more infrequent and I found myself letting my computer run for days, weeks and months at a time without a reason for a reboot.

Until, recently I was working away at my system when suddenly it locked up as we used to say. I figured it was just some update getting in the way and gave it a couple minutes to clear things up. That didn’t work so I decided I would have to reboot my computer for the first time since I got this new one in over a year ago.

Then I had the awful realization that I didn’t know how to reboot my computer! I couldn’t believe that I didn’t know. I’ve booted computers thousands of times in my career and I was looking at the computer trying to find the button and I had to get down to floor level to look around the sleek and stylish cabinet to find the button. I found two but couldn’t read any label so I poked one and then the other with no response. There used to be reset buttons that would immediately reboot a computer and I guess that wasn’t the case here. So I did the press and hold for 6 seconds trick and that did it. If that didn’t work I would have gone to the wall plug, but the computer was alive enough to know I wanted a ‘hard’ reboot.

But not knowing how to reboot my computer really struck me as a watershed moment in my history of using computers. The hardware and software have become so good, so long lasting, so reliable that there’s probably people who have never had to reboot their computer. Well, there’s probably not that many but I’m sure they’re around and their numbers must be growing.

I also realized that I’ve got to bring my programming skills up to new levels so that my programs are up to the reliability of the computers they’re running on.
I think I need to reboot myself but I’m not sure if I’ve got a power button I can hold for 6 seconds! And I’m not sure I would want to!


Read Full August 2015 Newsletter

Reboot

I remember the bad old days when I had to reboot my computer several times a day. The reasons were the usual suspects: the computer hung up in some unresponsive state; operations had slowed down so much that a clean reboot would make it go faster and I would gain back the time lost rebooting; going out to lunch and not wanting to keep the computer running and disk drive spinning; having a hard time debugging some code and wanting to just start with a clean slate; wanting to save power and lessen the air conditioning load, etc. etc. etc.

Of course the most famous reason was the BSOD. That’s the Blue Screen of Death introduced by Microsoft sometime in the 90’s to let one know that the operating system was so fouled up that it couldn’t unscramble itself and wanted to be put out of its misery by a nice clean reboot. Of course, ‘they’ blamed it on faulty hardware so it was really, really not their fault.
Over time the need to reboot got less and less as the operating systems got more reliable and robust, and hardware, such as memory, got even better, and disk drives and the computer would put themselves to sleep to keep wear and tear to a minimum. Over even more time, the need to reboot got even more infrequent and I found myself letting my computer run for days, weeks and months at a time without a reason for a reboot.

Until, recently I was working away at my system when suddenly it locked up as we used to say. I figured it was just some update getting in the way and gave it a couple minutes to clear things up. That didn’t work so I decided I would have to reboot my computer for the first time since I got this new one in over a year ago.

Then I had the awful realization that I didn’t know how to reboot my computer! I couldn’t believe that I didn’t know. I’ve booted computers thousands of times in my career and I was looking at the computer trying to find the button and I had to get down to floor level to look around the sleek and stylish cabinet to find the button. I found two but couldn’t read any label so I poked one and then the other with no response. There used to be reset buttons that would immediately reboot a computer and I guess that wasn’t the case here. So I did the press and hold for 6 seconds trick and that did it. If that didn’t work I would have gone to the wall plug, but the computer was alive enough to know I wanted a ‘hard’ reboot.

But not knowing how to reboot my computer really struck me as a watershed moment in my history of using computers. The hardware and software have become so good, so long lasting, so reliable that there’s probably people who have never had to reboot their computer. Well, there’s probably not that many but I’m sure they’re around and their numbers must be growing.

I also realized that I’ve got to bring my programming skills up to new levels so that my programs are up to the reliability of the computers they’re running on.
I think I need to reboot myself but I’m not sure if I’ve got a power button I can hold for 6 seconds! And I’m not sure I would want to!


Read Full August 2015 Newsletter



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