Saturday, January 13, 2018

This is gonna hurt me more than it hurts you.....

I started using computers back when they weren't even a regular consumer thing yet. You know - the days of 80286 processors? Anyway, when I use a computer, my brain still processes (see what I did there?) what's going on in the background when I turn the computer on.

You know, POST, finding the boot drive, loading the boot loader into RAM, and then the operating system gets loaded into RAM and begins to transform your hardware into a collection of devices that you can interact with.

One of the reasons I typically leave my home desktop on all the time, is that I like not having to wait for that whole process to finish before I can do something. Thankfully, the process has gotten faster in recent years but, you know, instant gratification culture and all that.

Of course, one option other than turning your computer 'off', is to put it into sleep mode. This way, instead of the whole system shutting down and having to be completely rebooted again, the current contents of RAM (everything your computer is actively doing) are copied to the hard drive as one giant file. Then, when you wake it up, it just quickly reloads the session right back into RAM and you continue where you left off. Alternatively, newer computers don't actually copy RAM contents to the hard drive, they just keep the RAM powered up and put pretty much everything else to sleep, which is much faster.

I seldom make use of sleep mode. It makes me nervous for some reason. In my mind, I liken it to putting the computer into suspended animation, a kind of digital prison where the computer isn't allowed to do anything at all while I'm off doing who knows what. I prefer to let my computer use its idle time to run anti-virus scans, perform updates, index files, and whatever else it needs to do to keep itself in tip top shape.

When I close the lid on my Macbook, I silently whisper "There there", as if I'm about to freeze it in carbonite (obligatory Star Wars reference).

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