Monday, September 20, 2010

Reboot Once a Month Whether You Need it or Not

Actually most people should do that more often than once a month, but that wasn't where I was going with that topic...

It is more of a measure of how busy I have gotten in the last couple weeks than it is a helpful hint. 

Back in the bad old days of Windows 3.0 or 3.1, you would reboot or reset your computer when it crashed.  The Mac's had their own problems with little cartoon bombs popping up and they'd do their own dance, but Windows was notorious for being unstable back in the day.

You learned the keystrokes for forcing a save on your files, which typically is where you hold down "Ctrl" and "S" and it would save for you.  To this day I still do a Control S fairly regularly, especially on those programs that I find unstable.   Almost every program where you Can save a file Will save a file if you do those key strokes, even in these days where the big spreadsheets and word processors force a save every so many minutes to a backup file.

Ok, there's your helpful hint - Control S.  Keyboard shortcuts are fun because only the power users tend to use them - surprise someone by using one!

As I sat down today I realized that my laptop was completely shut down and turned off.  For me, that is not normal.  The nice thing about having a laptop, even this 5 year old "beater" is that you can sleep or hibernate it, and it comes back up with your programs "where you left them".   It is the Roll-Top Desk of the age.  Hibernate is something that I heavily use because I have many projects running at one given time.  I'm involved in the political campaigns of three people here, closely, two more on the fringes and I am doing volunteer work for most of them.  One of my fellow volunteers, Nick, was joking about how I had more free time than a person who is actively working at a, you know, sit down real daytime job, and then commented how he may not be right about that depending on what the other person did.

At the end of the night I tend to just hibernate the computer, set it aside and at around 7AM I start it and begin my daily brain dump, here, with everything just where I left it at 10:30 last night.

To give you an example, just after starting the laptop, I have Firefox up and running with 15 pages tabbed, a copy of Notepad that I use as a scratchpad, a copy of Open Office Calc for my spreadsheets.  That is just inside the physical PC.  I have a virtual PC running that I do all my blogging from which is running Firefox and another 10 tabs are open there.  To restart the computer is a complex task for me since I have to save all my work, close all those browser windows and the 25 or more tabs, save all those spreadsheets, database files...

Ok, enough, right, you get the picture!

So here I sit, Monday morning with a clean restart of the PC.  The last time I started this thing was back at least two weeks ago.  Can you imagine trying that with Windows 95?

I am running Windows 7 on this particular machine.  I am very happy with it, but then again I was very happy with Windows XP.  There's that Virtual environment that I use as a Blogging Safe Room which is running Windows XP but it could easily be Linux since I do some Web Development on that platform as well.

Last night I got back from the dog walk, started answering emails and closing tabs as I went along.   After I got down to the last 15 tabs I thought it was a perfect time to do that Orderly Shut Down. 

Waking this morning after the dog walk, its up and making my right leg warm running on fresh copies of everything.  It pretty much guarantees that tomorrow on Patch Tuesday, Microsoft will want to install Yet-Another-Critical-Update that requires me to restart the computer yet again, and I'll ignore that for another week cancelling their nag screens and cursing the Programmers, Microsoft for writing code that way, the evil Hackers, Lewis and Clark for discovering Washington State, and others who are more or less connected in my alleged mind.

Then I'll reboot and be back to this state again.

Its like when you were a kid and you came home and Mom had made your bed while you were out.

Thanks Mom.  Thanks Microsoft for giving me the chance to think of a warm childhood memory about Mom.  Now please stop making me reboot!

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