November 09, 2004
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Grinding to a halt
My computer at work was always running slower than my co-workers, but we couldn't believe that the difference was due to his CPU being just 200 MHz faster than mine. And during the last week or so it was getting much, much worse. I kept on blaming it on WSAD and it having a memory leak.
The other day I threw up my arms and decided to do something about it. I did a couple of things, the first being a defrag of my drive. I had no idea how bad it was. People kept on telling me that you don't have to defrag a NTFS drive, but I have a feeling that that there were wrong or I misunderstood. The second thing that I did was run some anti spyware programs on my box. They found things and I cleared those off.
So, now my computer seems to take less memory, and my test suite runs much faster. I guess that the spyware was tracking all the http requests to my own box and trying to log them... Both those solutions helped my box run faster which means a happier Jim and that's all that matters. ;-)
Posted by jim at November 9, 2004 09:39 PM
From what I've read, it's not the file system itself that determines how a hard disc fragments over time, it's the operating system. NTFS is a very old file system spec. I've noticed less fragmentation under Windows XP than 2000. Windows 98 used to fragment like crazy (but with FAT32). What do you use at work?
Spyware can definitely be a drain on system resources. If you're not installing any strange software (like Kazaa) at work, then it's likely you're picking up spyware through Internet Explorer and it's many vulnerabilities (yes, you can pick up spyware just by browsing now via ActiveX).
The solution at home is to make sure you update regularly with Windows Update (http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com) and use Firefox (http://www.mozilla.org) instead of IE. The solution at work is to pressure IT to change their Windows update policies, virus and spyware checking and convince them to adopt Firefox at a grassroots level with good arguments. Now is a good time, too ... Firefox just hit 1.0!
At work I use Win2k.
I don't know *how* there got to be spyware on my box. It could have been there when I got it (it wasn't a clean box). I have been using Mozilla / Firefox at work for most stuff, but everyone once and a while I have to use IE for testing purposes. I don't think that I would be able to pressure anyone in IT to switch the "corporate browser" to Firefox, no matter how much I would to at this point. That would not be a small roll out... ;-P
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