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Comment: He measured single-threaded compiles?!!! (Score 2) 132

by Bruce Dawson (#45535705) Attached to: Speed Test 2: Comparing C++ Compilers On WIndows

Visual C++ has this handy /MP option which tells the compiler to do multi-threaded compiles. On some of our build machines (with 16 cores) this gives an almost linear increase in build speeds. It's obvious from the author's discussion of multi-core that he is not aware of this option and did not use it.

A performance benchmark which doesn't turn on the go-fast option is not going to produce meaningful results.

The author also doesn't discuss debug symbols. VC++ generates debug symbols by default, whereas the other compilers do not. Generating builds without symbols is not a reasonable scenario for most builds, so this makes the file size comparisons rather meaningless.

Comment: Re:iTunes (Score 1) 519

by Bruce Dawson (#43732131) Attached to: iTunes: Still Slowing Down Windows PCs After All These Years
Oh yeah -- I forgot that I blogged about this iTunes annoyance. Luckily I found a way to delete orphaned references to moved or deleted music files, but it really shouldn't have been necessary. Here's the post:

Comment: Re:iTunes (Score 1) 519

by Bruce Dawson (#43732089) Attached to: iTunes: Still Slowing Down Windows PCs After All These Years
There are many ways that I might want to add media to or remove media from my computer. I might use explorer to copy them, SyncToy to synchronize with another machine, use the command prompt to delete files, etc. iTunes could detect all of this -- it's not hard -- but it doesn't. It forces users to manually rescan their music folders in order to find new files. Doing this scan often leads to duplicate listings of files, and it fails to detect when files have been deleted. It's lousy.

Comment: Re:iTunes (Score 1) 519

by Bruce Dawson (#43729113) Attached to: iTunes: Still Slowing Down Windows PCs After All These Years
Why would I want to put my Media in that particular folder? I should be able to put my media anywhere in the music library and have my music player figure it out. Zune and Windows Media Player do this fine, and equally importantly they notice when files have gone away and they remove them from their catalog. Handy. iTunes doesn't. Zune and Windows Media Player have other problems of course...

Comment: Re:iTunes (Score 2) 519

by Bruce Dawson (#43728239) Attached to: iTunes: Still Slowing Down Windows PCs After All These Years
iTunes scans your folders for new files periodically? First of all, I have never seen it do that. It never notices when music files have been added or deleted. That is probably its biggest weakness compared to other music players. Second, if iTunes did want to stay synchronized with what was on the hard drive (crazy idea) then directory notifications are a far more efficient way of doing that.

Comment: "twice the perf" misses the point (Score 1) 405

by Bruce Dawson (#41374733) Attached to: Are SSDs Finally Worth the Money?

> twice the performance

This comparison misses the point about SSDs. Yes, SSDs may have somewhat better bandwidth, and may improve startup times slightly, but that is not their advantage. They have awesomely better seek times, which makes some operations hundreds of times faster. Putting Visual Studio's .sdf files on an SSD avoids lots of VS 2010 hangs.

This blog post I wrote discusses the random I/Os to the Windows Live Photo Gallery SQL database at startup. On my photo collection I see 5,000 random disk I/Os, which are painful on a laptop HDD but would be a non-issue on an SSD:

In situations like this an SSD is probably a *hundred* times faster than an HDD. Database accesses seem to be a common scenario where an SSD is worth its weight in gold.

In short, if an SSD is only twice as fast then it's not worthwhile. If it's ten to a hundred times faster, then hell ya.

Comment: Re:Not likely (Score 1) 3

by Bruce Dawson (#35499716) Attached to: LED lamps less efficient due to poor design
Yep. It's actually a trivial problem to avoid in this case. You just need to locate the transformer downstream of the switch instead of upstream. That's it. That's all it takes to go to perfect efficiency (when turned off). This implementation is equivalent to manually unplugging the light when it isn't in use, putting it on a switched socket, etc. However the consumer shouldn't have to do these hacks -- the lamp should turn off fully. It's easy. Whether it's likely depends on whether we demand it.

+ - LED lamps less efficient due to poor design-> 3

Submitted by
Bruce Dawson
Bruce Dawson writes "LED lamps are very efficient at generating light, but in some cases they draw almost as much power when turned off. This makes their average energy consumption, with some usage patterns, worse than for incandescents. This problem will only be avoided if the market demands better. Write to and insist on lamp power supplies that turn off when the lamp is turned off. We deserve that much."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Even according TFA, it doesnt add up. (Score 5, Insightful) 368

by Bruce Dawson (#33225134) Attached to: Portugal Gives Itself a Clean-Energy Makeover

Dumping pollution into the environment is often cheaper, at least in the short term, than trying to avoid creating waste, or trying to dump the waste responsibly. Burning coal is cheaper because of this. If you factor in the costs -- acid rain, altering the chemistry of the air, acidification of the oceans -- coal is more expensive.

And, by reducing their fossil fuel imports Portugal has now insulated themselves from the vagaries of the energy market. The next time oil prices spike the US will be force to send crates of money to unfriendly regimes because the US is addicted to their oil. Portugal will thrive while the US stumbles.

Portugal is planning ahead. The US is hoping that it can continue to be profligate forever.

Money isn't necessarily a proxy for emissions. Often it is a proxy for human labor.

Comment: Re:Windows Live Photo Gallery (Score 0, Flamebait) 326

by Bruce Dawson (#32559736) Attached to: A File-Centric Photo Manager?
I'm sorry to hear that you can't find a Windows version of Windows Live Photo Gallery. Such a shock. Luckily the OP asked to solve a problem on Windows 7, so your concerns are not relevant.

Now if you'd wanted to post some alternate suggestions that work on linux then that would have been productive. Merely mentioning that a free Microsoft program doesn't work on linux, when the OP asked about Windows, is just trolling

Comment: Re:so what? (Score 1) 1590

by Bruce Dawson (#32009838) Attached to: Arizona "Papers, Please" Law May Hit Tech Workers
What documentation are you planning to carry to prove you are legal? Drivers license? Proves nothing. Birth certificate? Better, but not something I really want to carry around. Ditto with passport. As others have said this risks being a hassle for citizens. It will also make many people less likely to trust the police and thus less likely to report crimes. There is a reason that the police don't generally enforce immigration laws.

Comment: Re:Experience says otherwise (Score 1) 596

by Bruce Dawson (#31156548) Attached to: Are All Bugs Shallow? Questioning Linus's Law
Reality does not insist that Windows programs require root access. I have one piece of software that requires administrative privileges (Starry Night Enthusiast -- I've complained to them). Every one of the dozens of other software packages I have installed (Python, Office 2007, Perforce, Visual Studio, Family Tree Maker, Streets and Trips, Cam Studio, Fractal eXtreme, SyncToy, Total Annihilation, Xbox 360 SDK, Image Magick, WinDirStat, Airfoil, Garmin Training Center, etc.) works fine as restricted user.

The two PCs that my other family members use are both locked down -- they don't have the admin account passwords -- and they are totally fine.

Your complaint is outdated. And you haven't provided any examples of these many programs that (inappropriately) required administrative privileges. Put up (so we can evaluate the importance of these 'many' programs that require root) or shut up.

Comment: Re:Bugs are an error in the... (Score 1, Insightful) 596

by Bruce Dawson (#31152768) Attached to: Are All Bugs Shallow? Questioning Linus's Law
You need to update your criticisms, and give more details. Very little software on Windows requires administrative privileges -- Vista forced those necessary fixes years ago. The remaining needs for administrative privileges are, by and large, for administration and software installation. You know, the sort of thing that allows locking a machine down securely.

As for proprietary networking, my Windows box uses TCP/IP. What does yours use?

And I didn't really understand #1, #2, or #3. You need to give more details to justify your claims, and preferably to show how they are any different from Linux/OpenSource bugs.

Comment: Re:How do they determine those dates? (Score 1) 128

by Bruce Dawson (#30656418) Attached to: Mars Images Reveal Evidence of Ancient Lakes
This question got modded as insightful? I think the poster should have to read the article before having comments modded as insightful. From the article: > The researchers determined the age of the lakes by counting crater impacts They don't go into a lot more detail than that -- it's not a scientific paper -- but that at least answers your first question. Asking for more details is reasonable but asking those questions actually requires some effort. Questioning scientists intelligently is more than just speculating about their possible failures without reading what they've said.

Our business in life is not to succeed but to continue to fail in high spirits. -- Robert Louis Stevenson