Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 12th Jul 2004 08:45 UTC
Editorial This article describes some of my annoyances in computing. If you had any problems reading this article, then skip this one. It will only be a waste of your time. There are a lot of annoying things in the wonderful world of computing. Of course, nothing is perfect, but that doesn't mean we are not allowed to complain and scream and throw our keyboards at our monitors when yet another irritation pops up.
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by Daan on Mon 12th Jul 2004 15:45 UTC

Many of the comments are very very annoying, especially those concerning boot times.

"1) Cut off irrelevant services enabled at boot time. Use an OS which does this by default.
2) Keep the OS running and go to the toilet after you did that 1 per month reboot.
3) Get yourself a faster HDD, architecture.
4) Get yourself a nice CF to boot off."

Complete nonsense. Just get yourself a Macintosh SE/30 (16 Mhz 68030) and see how it boots within 30 seconds. If a faster PC were the solution, my 350 Mhz PC would boot in 1,4 seconds to boot. Yet it doesn't, the BIOS already takes 20 seconds. And Longhorn is waiting to bring the next-gen PC to a crawl.

Then you have hibernation.

- First, it wastes disk space. Disks have become larger though, with the average 386, physical memory was about 1/10 of the hard drive, today it is about 1/240.

- Second, sometimes you need to reboot your PC. Not everything is hot-pluggable yet, so that you have to reboot for the kernel to recognise a device.

- Furthermore we all know that Windows loves reboots. Either because you have done something that requires a reboot, or simply because your PC crashes. Yes, the cause is probably el-cheapo hardware with crappy drivers, yet not everyone only buys state-of-the-art devices and checks the internet every day for new driver revisions. That's a fact.

- Hibernation still costs time. Even with hibernation, starting my PC takes twice as long as the SE/30 booting cold.

Then you have the "do something else while your PC boots" people. Well, you can't. If you use Linux, you probably dual-boot between Windows and Linux, so if the BIOS is ready after 20 seconds, you need to choose the OS. You have to wait for this as otherwise you are likely too late and the (wrong) default OS has started. Then, halfway during the startup you have to log in, no matter whether you use Windows or Linux. So no, you can't push the button, walk away and find your PC started afterwards. And if you do, your system isn't properly secured.

So let it be clear: A faster PC doesn't help, neither does hibernation, nor doing something else during startup.

Then the bootloader: the whole idea of the bootsector, the bootloader, LILO, GRUB and MBR is just a hack. It worked to boot MS-DOS off a 20 MB harddisk with only one partition, yet if you have ever used OpenBoot or OpenFirmware (no, not OF 1.x or 2.0, those are really buggy) you really don't want to go back to the PC BIOS.

And if you don't know what Open* is, just imagine that you would throw away the BIOS and put GRUB into its place.