Making Trash Look Fast

I have known for years that typical PCs running that other OS are about half as fast as PCs running GNU/Linux. Now M$ admits it’s true. They are selling PCs with no crapware except theirs and, of course, they do run faster, a lot faster. Of course, if you install anything on them they will run slower again thanks to the damned registry, fragmentation, etc.

The idea is that the registry is a binary database of configurations that can be read quickly for booting or starting applications. In practice, the registry grows larger rapidly as applications are installed or removed and it becomes slower. There is even software for “cleaning” the registry to tune it up again. Then, also, every other application installed wants to run a process or two and get pre-loaded at boot time whether or not the end-user will use it…

Anyway, if the user is interested in installing applications, it really does not help performance much that the initial installation is clean…

GNU/Linux on the other hand does not tend to slow down much no matter how many applications are installed unless a bunch of them start processes by default. A GNU/Linux system will run just as fast after five years of use while that other OS may need re-installation every few months. I’ll stick with GNU/Linux, thanks.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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53 Responses to Making Trash Look Fast

  1. School teachers usually cannot run AD either. They can run thick and thin clients just fine. Some of the distros set up a terminal server so easily that teachers do load the CD and make it happen. That’s how I first set up a lab with LTSP, a distro with the configuration of the server working out of the box by default. It’s a bit more complex than that with Debian but EdUbuntu and SkoleLinux do it.

  2. oldman says:

    “That looks like scripting to me. The advantage of scripting is that the IT administrator can tweak it in short order to make changes everywhere. Scripting works very well in *NIX systems.”

    And scripting in powershell even better now under windows. For one thing one has a full IDE with build in debugger to develop scripts, and the IDE/Debuggers are free Pog!. As someone who did his time writing bash scripts blind, I have no trouble saying that the powershell development environment is superior in all ways.

    “I had an experience with AD once that wasted a bunch of my time. ”

    Lets call this what it is Pog. You did not have the documentation for the environment, and I willing to bet that you did not at the time at lease know enough to check up the tree for overriding policies. The part that counts is But once you figured it out it was done.

    As far as CUPS is concerned, my experiences were closet to those set down in this famous little post.

    http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/cups-horror.html

    “Using openSSH, I can do ssh someserver “wakeonlan somelist of PCs computed or static” and it works. If the clients are not all on the same subnet, I can use SSH to spread the commands to servers on different subnets. Typically, I use terminal servers so some server is available to each subnet.”

    I’m happy for you Pog, however your technical skills are fairly uncommon among schoolteachers, and those who have them are more likely to be earning better money tending Linux servers.

    The bottom line is this. What you can accomplish due to your skillset has nothing to do with the usability of maintainability of your preferred platform. In fact, IMHO, anyone who knew something about computers who would look at what you are doing would probably conclude that Linux requires someone with (expensive) senior system administrator skills in full time employment – the expense of which when benefits are added in over time, will easily dwarf any software licensing costs that you avoid using Linux and FOSS.

  3. ChrisTX says:

    “They are needed often with that other OS. I once had it demand a re-boot in the middle of a presentation I was giving to students.”

    Demand? Really? What process did crash then, the local security authority subsystem?

    Besides that, Windows does not demand reboot.

    …or wait… *thinks* on XP… could be, been years since I last used XP actively, but if I recall correctly, there wasn’t a way to hide Windows Update notifications on XP. Since Vista however, you can tell the reboot reminder to go to hell.

    “Active directory does much more than that out of the box”

    Explaining AD doesn’t work. You need to ‘feel’ it to understand what AD means and contains and what LDAP doesn’t.

    Same for PowerShell tbh, but that can at least be demonstrated to a certaine extend with examples. However, the true beauty of it requires experiencing it as well.

    “A teacher could manage group policies in an active directly structure easier”

    When my school got their server and my teacher asked me for my experience, it was horrible what fifth graders could do. The informatics teachers had >50 PCs filled with crapware, viruses and trashy backgrounds after about every week.

    An entire WDS-powered install (w/ AD integration) and few AppLocker, IE, user right and such policies later, that problem was – well ‘resolved’ is one way to describe it. Plus it’s very helpful if you can deploy software to computers instead of having to go around and installing that manually.

    “Don’t confuse the apparent convenience of M$’s methods as being anything more than providing start-up scripts and directories to users.”

    You can specify start-up scripts per ADDS’s group policy, that’s correct, as well as specifying directory creations/copies/links or shortcuts, but uh that’s only an incredibly small fraction of what group policies can do.

  4. That looks like scripting to me. The advantage of scripting is that the IT administrator can tweak it in short order to make changes everywhere. Scripting works very well in *NIX systems.

    I had an experience with AD once that wasted a bunch of my time. A principal asked me to allow a home-and-school coordinator to be able to print on the restricted colour printer in the office. I found the printer in AD and added her ID to the list of permitted users. She still could not print. The reason? AD is hierarchical and further up the list of rules she was excluded by group. Of course this setting was not transparent/visible at the level of administering the printer. How much easier is CUPS when I just have to add an ID and they are good to go? GNU/Linux is open and transparent the way I like things.

    Using openSSH, I can do ssh someserver “wakeonlan somelist of PCs computed or static” and it works. If the clients are not all on the same subnet, I can use SSH to spread the commands to servers on different subnets. Typically, I use terminal servers so some server is available to each subnet.

  5. oldman says:

    “That can all be done with openLDAP and pam-ldap.”

    Nope. your average LDAP server doesnt know how to do much more than authenticate users. Active directory does much more than that out of the box, and can be extended to do even more by commercial products.

    “Don’t confuse the apparent convenience of M$’s methods as being anything more than providing start-up scripts and directories to users.”

    The big difference is, no scripting is required to get system setup done. Once the system setups are planned out, implementation is simply a matter of filling out a glorified checklist and then applying the policy at the appropriate level.

    A teacher could manage group policies in an active directly structure easier than they would mastering all of scripting skills and command of Linux systems arcana that your method entails.

    “I manage desktops by providing one or more standard desktops and the user can configure what he gets as he wants. ”

    As long as you can dictate what the user uses, it works. The minute that you have to deal with any system type other than your pre-chosen setups, your method falls upart

    “There is nothing that cannot be done with these simple tools.”

    The same simple tools exist in the modern windows environment. for instance, I just user the attached powershell script to start up over 100 virtual machines with one command.

    $startup = Import-Csv c:\data\scripts\start-vms.csv

    $vc = connect-viserver viserver.someplace

    echo ” Connected to vCenter…” | out-host

    foreach ( $server in $startup) {

    if ($server.action -eq “on”) {

    # only servers marked as on get turned on.

    $vm = get-vm $server.name

    if ($vm.powerstate -eq “PoweredOff”) {
    # only try to start a server that is off
    echo ” Starting $vm…” | out-host
    $started = start-vm $vm
    }

    }

    }
    echo ” Disconnecting from NexGen vCenter…” | out-host

    $vc = disconnect-viserver -confirm:$false

    simple tools are winderful eh, Pog?

  6. We can do a lot without AD.

  7. ChrisTX says:

    “Oracle has demonstrated tests on LDAP databases with 50, 100, and 150 million entries.”

    Wow. With their *proprietary* Oracle Internet Directory (OID), not OpenLDAP. Well guess what, Active Directory also hosts a LDAP database and is interoperable in its core. Your point being?

  8. That can all be done with openLDAP and pam-ldap.

    Oracle has demonstrated tests on LDAP databases with 50, 100, and 150 million entries. They got tens of thousands of transactions per second with a central server and a few replicas. I am sure a few thousand entries is no problem. One school where I worked had 700 accounts and caches on each terminal server. It was snappy and we shared files and logged people in smartly. This can be done over VPN etc. for larger systems.

    I manage desktops by providing one or more standard desktops and the user can configure what he gets as he wants. Don’t confuse the apparent convenience of M$’s methods as being anything more than providing start-up scripts and directories to users. e.g. instead of /home/someuser, you get /home/groups of groups/groups/someuser and it all comes together, sharing within groups and all. Further, it becomes trivial for everyone to have their own customized website. There is nothing that cannot be done with these simple tools.

  9. oldman says:

    “For example, AD. The world had LDAP but instead of adopting that, M$ extended it with lots of unnecessary stuff making their clients and servers incompatible with everyone else. ”

    Having the possibility of centralized management of
    desktops via group policies is unnecessary Pog? having the ability of centralized share management is unnecessary?

    Not in my shop it is’nt. The different on campus administrators in my place of employ can manage centrally their pieces of an active directory forest that encompasses some 11,000 users (and growing) and which spans globally.

    Is that unnecessary, Pog?

  10. I don’t mind keeping up with current technology but much of what M$ does is about current marketing. M$ is motivated by making money. I am motivated by finding better ways to do IT. So far, I have not seen any technology from M$ that does not make better lockin rather than better technology. For example, AD. The world had LDAP but instead of adopting that, M$ extended it with lots of unnecessary stuff making their clients and servers incompatible with everyone else. That was for lockin, not performance. I have never seen a server from M$ do what needs to be done better than a GNU/Linux server. I have never seen a client that was not bogged down by having to talk to one of M$’s servers.

  11. oldman says:

    “I have been burned by that other OS so many times I would be irrational to try it again.”

    And yet the same could be said about Linux, yet I come back to it time and again/ This is because I want to keep up with the state of the art (such as it is) for the Linux desktop, if only to know what I am up against should it ever become more prevalent than it is now.

    Your experiences as blogged over the past months and years speak for themselves and I will not dispute them. I will however note My experience – that when run on a properly provisioned fairly modern ( under 4 years old) system, even windows 7 runs far better than anything that you have experienced with XP and is easier to manage than XP AND Linux.

    Not everyone is going to hang on to older equipment forever. Not every school district is a broke as the ones that you taught in, and not every teacher is as willing to give up the tools that they know as those that you worked with.

    That is an observation from my world. Make of it what you will.

  12. I have been burned by that other OS so many times I would be irrational to try it again. That’s the same way I would not buy a car from a certain manufacturer who sold me and millions of others a lemon.

  13. oldman says:

    “I once had it demand a re-boot in the middle of a presentation I was giving to students. I removed XP the same day.”

    What does an experience with an obsolete version of windows that have to do with the the newer versions (vista, windows 7) both of which have special code to allow for restarts of locked components?

  14. Reboots are sometimes need in GNU/Linux. They are needed often with that other OS. I once had it demand a re-boot in the middle of a presentation I was giving to students. I removed XP the same day.

  15. ChrisTX says:

    “re-re-reboots.”

    You might want to check Windows Vista (2006), it includes Windows Restart Manager allowing Windows Installer 4.0 and other custom applications ( Chrome 11 Dev build got it a few days ago for its updater ) to automatically restart locking system components.

    Sounds familiar? No? Ok, then I have a question: If there’s a security relevant glibc update, how do you install it properly *without* a reboot? Same for any other library in use.

    It should be pretty obvious that the way of killing a process here isn’t a solution. Windows – unlike Linux – has however a servicing API allowing services to be restarted properly, without a forced termination.

    Anyway, if libc ( or for Windows kernel32.dll, ntdll.dll etc. ) is locked in use, how exactly is it that you update that without a reboot properly? I think Microsoft (and the Linux Foundation as well) would need *your* help on that issue fixing it!

  16. D-G says:

    “Candy is the browser integrated into the OS compromising security, …”

    Charlie Miller (NSA-trained) from Pwn2Own fame [1]:

    > Q: In Pwn2Own 2010 there is still no trace of Linux as
    > possible target. Is it too harder to find exploits for
    > Linux or a non commercial operating system has no
    > interest for exploit hunters?”

    > A: No, Linux is no harder, in fact probably easier,
    > although some of this is dependent on the particular
    > flavor of Linux you’re talking about. The organizers
    > don’t choose to use Linux because not that many people
    > use it on the desktop. …

    No shit. Straight from an expert. Linux isn’t worth it. Wait, it gets better [2]:

    “For Firefox on Windows, I give him a 10. That was the most impressive of the three. It’s really hard to exploit Firefox on Windows.”

    Wow, Firefox ON WINDOWS is really hard to exploit. Just about unthinkable!

    “… rounded corners on windows, and transparency to waste CPU cycles for no benefit.”

    ROFL. Says the advocate of an OS which many of its finest evangelists promote by spinning cubes and wobbling windows with a little help of Compiz.

    FYI: Gnome also employs rounded corners on windows, even without compositing. And what do you know? XFCE also has rounded corners on windows. It’s a conspiracy!

    FYI2: the Windows Vista/7 effects are miniscule and refined. They aren’t meant to stand out like Compiz’s nonsensical pixel orgies. Compiz is a wonderful example for a ludicrous “We can do it too, and better!” tool.

    “Then there is phoning home, running anti-malware, and re-re-reboots. None of these things does much to make your job easier but you still pay for it.”

    – Phoning home? Paranoia, check.
    – Anti-malware? Nope, I’m not using it, haven’t had malware ever.
    – Re-re-boots. Rebooting? Yes, perhaps once in a month, because hibernation just happens to work in Windows.

    [1] http://www.oneitsecurity.it/01/03/2010/interview-with-charlie-miller-pwn2own/
    [2] http://www.zdnet.com/blog/security/questions-for-pwn2own-hacker-charlie-miller/2941

  17. No. Candy is the browser integrated into the OS compromising security, rounded corners on windows, and transparency to waste CPU cycles for no benefit. Then there is phoning home, running anti-malware, and re-re-reboots. None of these things does much to make your job easier but you still pay for it.

  18. oldman says:

    “I understand perfectly why M$ is still in business, the people who care enough to reject M$’s candy are still too few. ”

    So using an application that saves me time and effort is taking candy Pog? Are you really saying that is it OK for one to take longer to get ones work done, if you are running FOSS on a Linux desktop?

  19. Don’t put words in my mouth.

    GNU/Linux is an operating system. It is a standard means of controlling hardware and processes. It can by definition do anything. Large numbers of people already do use GNU/Linux for everything. It is affordable, reliable and efficient. It runs in everything from controllers to the largest super-computers.

    I understand perfectly why M$ is still in business, the people who care enough to reject M$’s candy are still too few. I am working to change that. Tough, if you don’t like that.

  20. D-G says:

    “Yep. How much faster would they be with Debian GNU/Linux and XFCE? Perhaps your school needs/wants slow PCs but mine do not.”

    Pog, why don’t you cut it out already? It’s so funny and lame at the same time to read in each of your very intelligent posts the same implicit accusation over and over again:

    PEOPLE WHO DON’T USE GNU/LINUX ARE DUMB AND NEED HELP.

    GNU/Linux is right for everyone, GNU/Linux can do everything, GNU/Linux has software alternatives for everything that other OS offers, GNU/Linux is better at anything, and so on and so forth. 20 years in existence but Microsoft still has the majority market share on the Desktop. But it’s not our fault. No way!

    – Self-Deception? Check.
    – Cognitive dissonance at work? Check.
    – Paranoia? Check.
    – Parroting ideology without understanding it? Check.
    – No proofs offered for intersubjective verification? Check.

    The religious cult of GNU/Linux … a grotesque exaggeration? Not at all. Your blog proves it.

    More than anything else you seem like a bitter old man who can’t for the life of him understand why Microsoft is still in business.

    I pity you, Pog. I really do.

    My advice: just let it go.

  21. ChrisTX says:

    “How much faster would they be with Debian GNU/Linux and XFCE? Perhaps your school needs/wants slow PCs but mine do not.”

    You see, considering I setup their network (I am a student there) and due to a special regulation in Germany, this will count as 5th “Abitur” ( this is somewhat your German high-school diploma ) subject for me, and considering my school’s very happy with their setup, it will count as A+ for that one.

    Considering Linux couldn’t run half the applications most teachers here use and need (ie they use some strange JavaEditor instead of NetBeans, as it’s easier for beginners ) I wouldn’t have gotten that with XFCE and Linux.

    So, they wouldn’t have been ‘faster’ at all, as it would simply not have gotten them the job done ( and me that extra grade ).

  22. Yep. He’s gone. Too much ad hominem mudslinging.

  23. Yep. The weeds will be high when I return again.

  24. Yep. How much faster would they be with Debian GNU/Linux and XFCE? Perhaps your school needs/wants slow PCs but mine do not.

  25. lpbbear says:

    “Keep in mind also that I don’t manage Windows machine for a living, and that means if you do and happen to have Windows installs slowing down to a crawl under your care, there is pretty much nothing to blame except your incompetence. (Yes, I am looking at you, Ipbbear).”

    Are you so seriously devoid of intelligence that you imagine I have scores of customers with systems “under your (my) care”? I fix em and send them on their way. I don’t see them again until the next time their “superior” operating trashes itself. Otherwise I don’t see their systems, talk to them, or go over to their houses for dinner and I certainly do not have their systems under my care. Any slowness that happens is between the designers of the product and the person actually using it and has nothing to do with my competence.

    “1) 98lite is never designed to work with anything other than the 9x line of operating system – not even NT4 (http://www.litepc.com/98lite.html). Speaking of incompetence, eh?”

    What an ass. Try the following site before you make claims about what I said or didn’t say.

    http://www.rif.org/

    This is definitely one guy you should add to the dump list Pog. This guy is a moron so blinded by his bigotry he reads meaning where there isn’t.

  26. oldman says:

    “I am on the short list for another teaching position.”

    Fantastic Pog. I hope it comes through.

    IS this going to be another post up north?

  27. ChrisTX says:

    “because the hardware does not need upgrading”

    Sorry pal, but my school runs Windows 7 Enterprise + Office 2010 Standard fluently on Intel P4 2.8Ghz CPUs (you know, those pre-HT things) with 512MB RAM and on-board GPUs.

  28. Some schools are not in a position to negotiate better funding. Think 7 levels of bureaucracy below where the budgets are decided. The school gets some formulaic amount and have to work with it. I was once in a school where $1million was hacked from the budget after staff had been hired.

    “Go on then – modify those “37GB” of code”
    Most of the code I use is pretty decent. I usually can substitute another code if one does not do what I want. In rare cases, I write scripts to massage data or link applications as needed and in still more rare cases, I write my own code. However, the licence does permit me to modify the code if needed. I have reconfigured and rebuilt software from time to time to activate/deactivate some feature.

    I have quoted lots of reliable sources on these pages. Maybe you should read more.

  29. My experience has been that people like Free. They have no clue how to become Free and I help them. It works.

  30. JoeMonco says:

    MyAnecdotalEvidenceBeatsYourFacts™

    That basically sums up what Pogson has on his side. Hell, if you can manage to call your opposition “trolls” long and hard enough, they must be on the err, right?

    Look – if you want anecdotal evidence, my XP install runs a good duration of 4 years, moving from one machine to another, and saw nothing but performance gain. And in case you are wondering, I have got MS Office, 3 browsers, and anti-virus suite and all kinds of *nix related apps I use for my daily tasks. Keep in mind that this is an install I have in an VMWare VM container, with the entire file system located within a file that is also subject to its own fragmentation. The box I am currently using also has three other operating systems running along side the XP VM, with two also being in a VM. Keep in mind also that I don’t manage Windows machine for a living, and that means if you do and happen to have Windows installs slowing down to a crawl under your care, there is pretty much nothing to blame except your incompetence. (Yes, I am looking at you, Ipbbear).

    Windows can be made more efficient and this was done years ago by a product called “98lite” and “IERadicator”.

    Utter nonsense:

    1) 98lite is never designed to work with anything other than the 9x line of operating system – not even NT4 (http://www.litepc.com/98lite.html). Speaking of incompetence, eh?
    2) I am using IE right now!

    Seriously, you have obviously no experience in Windows outside of the consumer realm in the 1990s. All the things you can say can be simply dismissed with the obvious fact that you have been next to oblivious to anything Windows-related for the past 10 years. If you want to convince someone, at least try and be a bit convincing before resorting to the word “troll”.

    I move people to Linux regularly. Only one person has ever asked to go back to Windows. (an elderly lady who said it was already too much for her to remember how to use Windows)

    So you job involves moving grandmas to Linux? Lower your expectations, people.

    I like Free but I emphasize the freedom.

    Really, Pog? Go on then – modify those “37GB” of code in your Debian distro. I dare you. If “freedom” is such an important thing to you, then don’t just talk about it – exercise it.

    The price is a clincher though. Schools often have miniscule budgets, as close to $0 as they can get. The position is teaching. The fixing is part of “other duties as assigned”…

    Right, because rather than to negotiate for more proper funding, the obviously right thing to do is to settle for an abysmal budget and rest the future of the next generation on subpar services and materials (like ancient computers that are older than the kids they are supposed to serve). You were a Physics teacher, right? Why not use your ability to figure out why that’s never a good idea, then?

  31. oe says:

    South of the border where the business of America is business…I have learned never to say Linux is Free whether I hand them a LiveCD or give them the full-kit install, no need to set up that negative bias of free (price) = cheap (quality). If they probe about this issue before honestly trying it (and most of them perhaps 80% have come to really like it) and tell them the white lie that “it’s pirated”, that really seems to increase the value proposition in their eyes. After the have honestly passed judgement (good or bad) then I let the cat out of the bag.

    Some lessons I have learned over the years:
    1) Don’t mention free, freedom or philosophy. My oldest son let me in on this; this 3-D shooters, bouncing cubes, solid modelling/blender/render tools and Web2.0 stuff sells more than stability, extensibility, and standards compliance (except at an engineering school, hard science lab, and similar places). Sex Sells as they say.
    2) When people are bitching about the mainstream alternates, usually MS, very occasionally the fruity-cat OS, keep a stack of LiveCD’s of some mainline distros available and just hand them off. Nicely done labels with instructions sweeten the deal.
    3) If people bring you repair jobs of MS stuff because the heard from a co-worker, friend of a friend, etc. that you “know a little, can you look” refuse to look at it if they want same-old same-old. Keep a stack of reputable local computer shop business cards handy. If they’re willing to try something new, sure invite them to bring the old kit in and give it the full install after having them pick a distro from among 3-4 of the most common LiveCD’s, short of a HDD smoking out stuff has never come back once it has the bird on it. Yeah you’ll get calls for a while on easy stuff that takes 2-3 minutes to answer and these taper off as they get used to the differences.
    4) Don’t overwhelm them with distro choices and the history, its fascinating, but most folks just want to get their stuff done no fuss. They’ll come to appreciate the stability of it later when it just keeps working like an appliance.

  32. Ray says:

    Hope you get the job :D

  33. I am fairly confident of getting the job. I have worked with the principal before and the director knows personally several of my referees.

    I like Free but I emphasize the freedom. The price is a clincher though. Schools often have miniscule budgets, as close to $0 as they can get. The position is teaching. The fixing is part of “other duties as assigned”…

  34. oe says:

    Good luck with the teaching interview, I’d think I’d learn a lot sitting in one of your classes (Still thinking about making those “howto” videos?)

    As to
    “Unfortunately I am too busy fixing their “superior” operating systems to go to the zoo.”

    Hey at least it’s a steady revenue stream. Wonder if throwing in a complementary Linux LiveCD would do any wonders along with a couple printed pages of emergency how to get on the net till the next repair shop visit to your clients would help make the soft sell…just never say it free, that four letter word biases so many people against Linux (quixotically).

  35. Ray says:

    Either way, manufacturers are going to install crapware on PCs.

  36. Being unemployed and still with snow on the ground I have plenty of time to work on the blog. I am on the short list for another teaching position. I may tighten things up a bit next week…

    For now, I tolerate a lot of noise if the comment at leasts exhibits some knowledge of the matter. It is annoying when I post lots of links and examples but the troll accuses me of having no evidence that matters… ;-)

  37. oldman says:

    “Please get rid of these frigging trolls. Not a single one of them has a clue about anything nor anything to add to this blog worth reading. If I wanted to listen to drooling morons and psychotics I could go find an insane asylum to tour….if I had the time. (or webebigotedagainstlinux.blogspot.com) Unfortunately I am too busy fixing their “superior” operating systems to go to the zoo.”

    Pog

    It seems to me that Mr. IPBear has a point. You are definitely dealing with a case of “be careful what you ask for” with all the new attention to your blogging. The question is, do you want to follow the demands of your “allies” and ban us all or do you want to let the discussions continue?

    When you banned Amicus Curious from your site, I suggested that if you really wanted not to hear from abusive types like him, the best thing might be to turn off all feedback. There are plenty of bloggers who do this, perhaps you may want to consider becoming one of them.

  38. JairJy says:

    “You admit that crapware slows it down. How is crapware any different from “normal” software???”

    Well… Crapware means that will slow down the system, that’s why is called crapware, duh?

    “Normal” software like GIMP, MS Office, Google Chrome or Visual Studio doesn’t slow the system, but if you install Absolutely Free Anti Malware Toolbar it will slow your system, because is malware, spies your system and more.

    Mmm… Windows XP is ten years old, if you what to say shit about Microsoft products, you should start using them more and use newer software too. Since Vista the Registry problem is gone, also the fragmentation.

  39. lpbbear says:

    First, yes Windows DOES slow down over time. I see this all the time. A reload of Windows will have it running speedy once again whereupon the process starts all over again. A year or two later its just as boggy as it was before the reload.

    Who cares why it happens. I certainly don’t nor would I waste time fighting with it. Deal with it….reload it and move on if you think its that important and…..you believe the Sun revolves around the Earth….or Uranus.

    Windows can be made more efficient and this was done years ago by a product called “98lite” and “IERadicator”. (for the Microsoft challenged among us use Google to look it up, its a REAL search engine) Contrary to Microsoft’s bullshit to the DOJ about IE being part of the system this product removed IE from the system along with other unneeded “crapware” Microsoft tried to shove down users throats. The result was a version of Win98 that was not only faster but more stable as well. A newer version is available to clean up WinXP and Win 2000 and improve the performance in those two products.

    In all the years I have worked with Linux I have only seen Linux slow down for 2 reasons. Errant applications causing memory issues and one server that was running slow. It turned out the server had a failing hard drive. There was so much friction in the drives mechanism that it was actually too hot to touch when running….interestingly Linux kept right on running flawlessly….just slower.

    I move people to Linux regularly. Only one person has ever asked to go back to Windows. (an elderly lady who said it was already too much for her to remember how to use Windows) Otherwise no one has had any problems using Linux. The myth about “relearning” is simply that…a myth.

    Please get rid of these frigging trolls. Not a single one of them has a clue about anything nor anything to add to this blog worth reading. If I wanted to listen to drooling morons and psychotics I could go find an insane asylum to tour….if I had the time. (or webebigotedagainstlinux.blogspot.com) Unfortunately I am too busy fixing their “superior” operating systems to go to the zoo.

    “Windows, the “Yugo” of operating systems. Yugo to the mechanic, yugo to the parts store, yugo to the bank to pay so yu can go to the mechanic and parts store!”

  40. nightgoblin says:

    Yes, putting non-free blobs into separate packages is a move in the right direction.

  41. Debian GNU/Linux now has the default of no binary blobs in its installation. FSF likes that. Installing on random hardware, particularly for network installations is a pain so I use an unofficial installation image including the blobs. At least with GNU/Linux we have a clear choice.

  42. nightgoblin says:

    I’ll agree with the troll on one thing: FSF doesn’t consider Debian to be truly Free. Sometimes installing proprietary binary blobs is the only way to make existing machines work. Users shouldn’t have to buy new hardware just to try Linux. It is however certain manufacturers fault for not cooperating and experienced users will not reward those with another purchase of their hardware.

  43. XP is the most-used desktop OS in the world last time I looked. Why should it not be the basis of comparison? It is quite reasonable to compare GNU/Linux to XP and see that GNU/Linux runs quite well on the same hardware, making that a better route than “7” no matter what the behaviour of “7” because the hardware does not need upgrading. That is what my last school did. Not one staff member said we should go to “7”. One wanted to go back to XP.

    Vista was slower than XP on every machine I compared.

  44. ChrisTX says:

    “In practice, the registry grows larger rapidly as applications are installed or removed and it becomes slower.”

    OH SHI-, even if it’s performance decreases by O(log n), you’d need a real shitton of entries for that to slow down anything.
    But good you show off your ‘experience’.

    “There is even software for “cleaning” the registry to tune it up again.”

    Did you even read what you linked to there? No?
    “In fact, technology journalist Ed Bott has claimed that no one has ever successfully managed to measure any significant performance increase from the use of a registry cleaner.”

    “Of course, […] they will run slower again thanks to […] fragmentation, etc.”

    Yup, check Windows Vista (2006). That solved that fragmentation issue forever. Don’t worry, you’re not outdated there, it’s been only 5 years!

    “A GNU/Linux system will run just as fast after five years of use while that other OS may need re-installation every few months.”

    Since when is that the case?

    “Where I worked last year we had GNU/Linux and XP running side by side on PCs with 256 or 512 MB RAM and 40gB PATA drives.”

    XP? Really? 2001 software vs 10 years newer Linux? How about you compare Windows 7 / Server 2008 R2 SP1 (2011) to Linux?

    “I saw one that took five minutes to respond to a click.”

    Did you run Windows Performance Tools to trace it then?

    “See, for example, Windows 7 Pro 64 major slow down”

    One thread of a user who didn’t even respond so far? Really?
    I can also make your a darn slow W7. How to do it? Easy:
    1. Start -> msconfig
    2. Boot tab
    3. Click Advanced options
    4. Tick ‘Number of processors’
    5. Set ‘Maximum memory’ to 128
    6. Reboot
    7. ????
    8. Lag.

    Or – go to some crack site and download everything you find.

    Point is, you can’t make decent points so you just invent crap with no references.

  45. oldman says:

    No doubt the loading of demoware on new systems (aka) crapware on some OEM windows offerings is a problem, doubly so when the user is a neophyte who doesn’t understand what all of the junk is.

    But once again, the proposed solution (go to a Linux desktop running FOSS) is for most people potentially far worse than just uninstalling the crapware, a task that will take a far shorter time than will having to relearn how to use their computer completely.

  46. oe says:

    Makes you wonder if MS is into forced refreshes from built in obsolescence, but not too severe lock-in (short-lived, somewhat open), Apple takes the other milk the customer route, Mac is stable but has a cult like draconian lock-in of the “iLife” (so long life, closed system), each only offers half the cookie that Linux offers completely, open-system, with all the advantages that entails, and stable for years, and for me, anecdotally speaking, it has done both better than the two commercial alternatives for some time now. Least we not forget that some BIG corporate names are coding major chunks now for Linux,….(IBM, Oracle(Sun), RedHat, GE, once-Nokia, etc.)

  47. Brian Page says:

    D-G said:
    “Bullshit. Windows slowing down over time is a myth. ”

    well that’s a troll.
    In that if you think that: you’ve been living under a bridge and haven’t ever used windows.

    there are a few things you can count on to the point they’re cliche:
    death
    taxes
    windows slows down for no reason.

    you spend months with a windows computer, doing nothing but surfing the net, playing that one game you installed and keeping up with windows and antivirus updates.
    and for not reason you get the feeling that it’s slow.

    you don’t even have to be technical to get that feeling.
    my mom, dad, mother-in-law, sister, cousin, uncle, co-worker, neighbor, friend, boss, etc…
    they all run windows.
    they all complain about the same things.
    they all drink the kool-aid and want to go out and buy a new computer to replace this “old” (8 months) pc.
    They all feel like it’s their fault somehow that they suffer from this fate.

    windows visibly ages over time.
    if you need evidence of this: try using windows yourself.
    just don’t come to me looking for money to buy your next hit.

  48. D-G wrote:“Windows slowing down over time is a myth”

    You admit that crapware slows it down. How is crapware any different from “normal” software???

    Where I worked last year we had GNU/Linux and XP running side by side on PCs with 256 or 512 MB RAM and 40gB PATA drives. They were mostly about the same age/generation. Side by side tests on identical hardware always showed the XP machines took much longer to log in and to load apps. Further, they definitely slowed down, some needing re-imaging in a few months. I saw one that took five minutes to respond to a click. The user would not let me put it out of its misery. After the school year was over and she had completed all her paperwork I gave her a new machine and put GNU/Linux on the old machine whereupon it flew. 10s to log in and 5s to load OpenOffice.org.

    We have had people suing people over the slowness of that other OS. Where I worked a few years ago it took 2 minutes to login and get a stable desktop on that other OS but only 10s on GNU/Linux on the same hardware. Google finds 660K hits for XP slowing down.

    Check out M$. They know all about it. See, for example, Windows 7 Pro 64 major slow down
    “My baseline is Win7 Diagnostic mode (no services, no startups) – let’s say that is 100% (quite fast)

    Running only windows services and Eset – it drops to about 60%

    But then when I’m working running several MS Office apps, Firefox, Skype and a few smaller programs, it drops to 5%!! Quite noticeably and frustratingly slow for what is supposed to be a very speedy computer.

    The CPU usage is not high, memory is fine. But it is just SLOW.”

    I can run 30 simultaneous users in much less RAM all year long without slowing down in GNU/Linux.

  49. The registry is fluffy. It becomes huge and does not scale. In comparison, GNU/Linux has to read one small text file to configure an app at loading. It scales. The same amount of disc I/O is done for each load whereas growth of the registry means more seeking.

    That’s the beauty of GNU/Linux. Stuff does only what it has to. That other OS is doing needless work for every simple task. Security updates as well as bug-fixes and upgrades are all done by one simple mechanism. No muss. No fuss. It makes it very easy to maintain a GNU/Linux system. You can do it manually, interactively or by scripts. It is just as easy to maintain one machine as a hundred.

  50. D-G says:

    Pog, Pog, Pog. It’s getting boring fast.

    “I have known for years that typical PCs running that other OS are about half as fast as PCs running GNU/Linux.”

    For once, show us proof instead of your delusions.

    “Now M$ admits it’s true.”

    They don’t admit anything. They merely have addressed that customers want crapware-free PCs which OEMs (OEMs! You know what they are?) don’t deliver.

    “Of course, if you install anything on them they will run slower again thanks to the damned registry, fragmentation, etc.”

    Bullshit. Windows slowing down over time is a myth. (Incidentally you can read about it in “c’t magazin für computer und technik 5/2011″.)

    “Then, also, every other application installed wants to run a process or two and get pre-loaded at boot time whether or not the end-user will use it…”

    Oh, you mean like LibreOffice!?

    Also, there’s an app for that “problem” built right into Windows: msconfig. Why don’t you use it?

    “A GNU/Linux system will run just as fast after five years of use while that other OS may need re-installation every few months. I’ll stick with GNU/Linux, thanks.”

    Blah, blah, blah. Where’s your frackin’ proof? Have none? As usual.

    Let’s see:

    – My old Windows XP installation survived five years without need for reinstallation, without slowing down.
    – My Windows 7 installation is now 1.3 years old. That means I should’ve reinstalled it at least two times by your reckoning. Unfortunately I never had to reinstall it.

    Your hypothesis has just been falsified.

    Oh, yes. You wrote: “may need reinstallation”. A ludicrous cop-out because you’ve at least realized how full of yourself you are.

    Can you prove anything you write? No, it’s all just BS.

    Thankfully your audience is miniscule. We really have done you a favor by discovering your lunatic blog.

    By the way: you did know that Richard Stallman doesn’t consider Debian to be a truly free OS? [1] Maybe you should go with the program, Pog, and change to gNewSense. I, for that matter, can’t take you seriously since you don’t use a totally free OS. You’re probably a paid Debian shill.

    [1] http://www.tildehash.com/?article=interview-with-richard-stallman-2011

  51. Bender says:

    Not to mention constant bandaids for bad design like defragmentation. NTFS fragmentation is so bad that even a clean OS install is already fragmented! My Gentoo installation containing ~320k files has only about ~80 files fragmented, that is less than 0.1% after constant usage!! And i constantly read/write to it!

  52. Bender says:

    Fragmentation alone, don’t get me started. After a clean installation the OS is already fragmented! In order to fix the non-issue you need to defragment the partitions all the time. Talk about a bad design. I got a gentoo OS which tends to write lots of files all the time and i got like 76 files fragmented on 320k total :D

  53. JairJy says:

    But on Linux there is another problem, that if you installs a lot of apps you have to download lots and lots of updates every month.

    Try it. Install GIMP, OpenOffice, Battle for Wesnoth, KDE4 and go on. Simply every release of KDE are 200mb to download, and is updated every month or so Wesnoth is almost the same.

    On the other side, Windows only downloads security updates, and almost every app updates themselves or notifies about a new version, so the users can easily choose what to update and don’t.

    However, I don’t see how the registry “filling up” would make Windows slow down. So what if it gets bigger? How does that hurt anything?

    RAM utilization can’t be an issue. Infrequently accessed parts of the registry will get flushed to to pagefile.

    Disk fragmentation COULD be an issue, but the registry gets defragged when you defrag your hard disk.

    The registry is a transactional database. Do queries on the database get slower as more records are added? I immagine that at some point they would, but it would have to be a LOT of records. After all, even Access can handle many thousands of records without choking.

    Do you have some evidence to support your statement that registry growth makes Windows slower? Do you have some benchmark that can show how many transactions/sec the registry can handle? Can you show me how that number decreases as the registry grows in size?

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