Our little technology rituals don't do anything--or do they?

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/09/06/our-little-technology-rituals.html


It depends very much on the background app. Facebook is notorious for eating battery life while running in the background.


Says who? I’m not saying this is absolutely wrong, just that after a week or so of continuous uptime my MacBook will be visibly slowed by a million extraneous processes and system cruft that rebooting undoes much faster than I can manually. Maybe there are OSes or architectures where this is irrelevant, but not the ones I’m familiar with.


I sprinkle the amount of blood contained in a field mouse onto the backside of my keyboard on the occasion of each blue moon.

The only trouble I ever have with my computer is the occasional unruly daemon.


“tilting” their body or the controller as if it really influenced their onscreen performance led directly to actual motion-sensitive controllers

Were motion-sensitive controllers really a response to players tilting back and forth? Or were they just a fancy new feature to differentiate your console, suddenly viable with new, cheap MEMS accelerometers?

Anyone heard the backstories here? Behind Nintendo’s decision to stake the entire Wii platform on the damned things, Microsoft’s to forego them entirely, and Sony’s to add a half-assed one and see if any developers would care?


Your Cargo Cult rituals are ridiculous. Mine make perfect sense.


But… we’re the same person!


Rituals are never really about changing one’s environment - they are about the changes to the person performing them. Those who continue to look for evidence of change in the outside world are still missing that point.

But no, claiming that there are no technical reasons for quitting processes and/or restarting systems is just silly. For a skilled user, it is not too difficult to close that application with the memory leak or delete that unwieldy cache file. Or to re-engage the network interface. But for those who aren’t comfortable using the CLI sometimes restarting everything is the quickest, easiest way to restore “normal” performance.


It’s the Atari Blow, and you know it.


You need to look in to your “Background App Refresh” settings.

side thought… Why is it I never read this kind of honesty when reading about apple vs ms?


The difference is, you’re not a journalist.


rebooting slow computers

Meh. On my current desktop PC, it takes about 5 seconds to get through POST, about 5 seconds to get to a login, and about 5 seconds to get to a usable desktop. Whether there’s a runaway process, or something is chewing up RAM, or whatever, it only takes 15 seconds to reboot, whereas I could spend the next 5 minutes figuring out WTF is chewing through CPU cycles.


My editor-in-chief tells me the same thing. Then he tells me to go out and not come back until I get a picture of Spider-Man.


Yeah, 50 different cryptically named processes listed as running in task manager. Which one do I NOT need to have running?


We used to use a machine at work which I used to say that we understood at the trained monkey level. There was a series of switches and knobs set and punched paper tape run through in a very specific order every morning to get it to run. We had NO real conception of what each of these steps and controls was actually doing, and if it didn’t work our only recourse was to zeroize it and start from the beginning.


I once watched an IBM repair person “fix” a locked 3270 keyboard by turning it upside down and whacking it. Someone was eating in the terminal room!


When Microsoft produces an operating system that actually closes processes, frees system resources upon close/terminate, and manages run-away processes so they don’t take up more cpu cycles and ram than necessary, I’ll stop my little ritual of rebooting.


I spend 30 minutes evaluating, saving or close open tabs and documents. Then reboot is 10 seconds.

“wiggling accellerometers, tilting game controllers”

Heh. On Android, the recommended method to reset the magnetic field sensor involves waving the device in a figure eight, then tliting, rotating l/r, and rotating cw/ccw.