Thursday, November 06, 2008

Why, Microsoft, Why?

So my Google toolbar just crashed IE yet again. Usually it works fine but every so often it freezes as I type stuff into it. Perhaps time to look into disabling auto-complete.

So I give Vista the three finger salute and up comes the task manager. And I tell it to kill Internet Explorer.

But instead of killing Internet Explorer, Vista waits a while and then up comes a dialog box to ask if I am sure I want to kill a running program. Well that is absolutely the only reason I ever use the kill process command in the task manager so yes I am. And then Vista waits a while and tells me that the program is not responding which again is something I already knew and is in fact the reason I am attempting to kill it.

Why can't the machine just do exactly what I tell it to? I want a process killed, I want it to be like Tony Soprano, I want that process whacked immediately, as in now.

Bringing up the task manager is the big hammer, I only ever use it after the close window command has failed. It really does not need a confirmation prompt.

But more importantly, why are we still stuck with the obsolete 1970s style file I/O interface which lets a process keep a file open for hours on the offchance that it might need to update it. File system operations should be atomic. It should be possible to pull the plug on a machione that has been sitting idle for several hours at any time. Instead, the shutdown process is frequently hung for long periods as some process (Adobe acrobat reader is a frequent offender) shuts itself down.

OS/X does not appear to be very much better in this regard. For some reason MacBooks stop shutting down the minute the cover is closed. So it is not possible to tell the machine to shut down, close the cover and pack it away. Instead you have to tell the machine to shut down and then wait for it. That is broken.

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