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Too_Many_Tools
02-24-2010, 06:03 PM
Off topic but likely of interest to the members here.

I would like someone(s) discuss what happens to a computer when it is left running for a long time both hardware and software wise.

What prompted this request is that I notice that if I leav IE running for a few days it gets VERY VERY SLOW.

But again the general subject of what happens when one lets a computer run for days, weeks, years? would be of interest to me and others also.

Thanks

TMT

KiddZimaHater
02-24-2010, 06:09 PM
My computer stays on for weeks at a time. The only time I shut it down is when I do a system scan, or update. But I always log off of the Internet when I'm done surfing the web.
I haven't had any issues as far as slowing down, or anything else by leaving it on.
My electric bill's probably a few bucks higher though.:o

Ryobiguy
02-24-2010, 06:14 PM
Two separate things - long runs of computer vs. long runs of IE.
If some application gets slow maybe it's got some buggy leak which is the cause of it. If you don't have IE open, do things slow down?

Hardware-wise, if I leave my computer on for a long time I avoid some wear and tear: hard drive spin-ups and thermal cycles on the CPU.
Also, I don't have to wait for it to boot up.

-Matt

Your Old Dog
02-24-2010, 07:00 PM
According to the engineers at work, if you leave a computer on for days at a time and it starts to act up the first thing you do is reboot. This supposedly flushes out the cache memory.

I've heard the average harddrive is good for 10,000 hours before the the bearings wear enough that data can get screwed up when reading it. That info may have changed over time.

If you are running IE8, try going to Google Chrome instead. I just did this yesterday and it solved my crawling speed problem. I got this info from a friend. I google'd IE8 and found this site.

http://www.blogsdna.com/1900/how-to-run-google-chrome-on-windows-7-64-bit-version.htm

Frank Ford
02-24-2010, 07:01 PM
My Mac G5 has been on continuously since I bought it four and a half years ago, serving both my Web sites in addition to being used for my regular computer stuff. Haven't noticed any degradation of performance

Fasttrack
02-24-2010, 07:02 PM
Usually what happens is your system gets bogged down running a bunch of useless programs in the background. I leave mine on for long periods of time, but I keep an eye on my process manager and make sure I don't end up with a bajillion useless apps running in the background ;)

vpt
02-24-2010, 07:22 PM
My dell pc has been on for 6 years, I have left it off now for the last few years because I have been on laptops. But it still runs fine when I turn it on.

RB211
02-24-2010, 07:45 PM
Heat is the enemy, if the computer stays consistent running temperature, all is good. Too cold is just as bad as too hot. I wouldn't leave a laptop on 24/7...

lazlo
02-24-2010, 08:02 PM
I have two simulation machines in my office that I keep pegged 24/7. One is running XP and has an uptime of 9 months. The other is running Win 7 and has been running 3 months straight (I rebooted it to install Win7). As long as your apps are well-behaved, you won't have a problem, and even if you have ill-behaved apps, Vista/Win7 now contains almost all third party software in user-space, so they won't take the kernel down.

As far as energy concerns, all x86 processors have extensive power management features that are supported by Windows and MacOS. If you're really concerned about power, set your machine to sleep after an hour of idle, and suspend to RAM (S3) after 2 hours. You can also set a timer to power off the hard drives and/or monitor after N minutes.

aboard_epsilon
02-24-2010, 08:07 PM
I've heard the average harddrive is good for 10,000 hours before the the bearings wear enough that data can get screwed up when reading it.

mine are living on borrowed time then
C- drive
13,827 hours and 803 power on count

F-drive
14,042 hours and 1450 power on count

all the best.markj

PS...just downloaded a prog called "crystal disk info" to find this out .

daveo
02-24-2010, 08:07 PM
My home pc goes out when the power goes out, I always leave mine on. This one 3 years....

brian Rupnow
02-24-2010, 08:17 PM
When I lived up in Peterborough, a fellow where I worked had his house burn down. The forensic fire specialists said that his daughter had left her lap top turned on in the basement, and eventually the fan in it burned out and the resultant heat build up started a fire.---The house insurance refused to pay, saying the fire was caused by negligence!!!!!

Richard-TX
02-24-2010, 08:22 PM
A poorly written app like IE, which has memory leaks, is no indicator that anything is wrong with the computer if it misbehaves when left running. I expect IE to self destruct after a while...so far it has met all my expectations.

I have computers on a UPS that are never shut off and they have been running continuously for the past 8 years. Sure they have been rebooted a few times but never actually had power removed from them.

We have hundreds of machines up for 3+ years without rebooting.

The only issue is that when power goes out and things cool down, it is always an unknown if it will boot again. Hard drives can fail to spin up, power supplies and mother boards may not function, etc.

The only time my home machines get turned off is when I lose power. Been that way since I got my first computer.

Your Old Dog
02-24-2010, 08:24 PM
mine are living on borrowed time then
C- drive
13,827 hours and 803 power on count

F-drive
14,042 hours and 1450 power on count

all the best.markj

PS...just downloaded a prog called "crystal disk info" to find this out .

If what I've heard is accurate, another friend tells me when the bearings start to go out of tolerance that you can simply reformat the drive?

nheng
02-24-2010, 08:28 PM
If you are leaving IE open, it may be filling up its cache. That will slow down IE in general as the default size is ridiculously large. I set the cache at anywhere from 1MB to 10MB for home machines.

Another factor would be a memory leak in IE, already mentioned. This could slow the machine down if not kill it.

Another possiblity is that your memory is being filled with zombies while you sleep :D

Den

The Artful Bodger
02-24-2010, 08:31 PM
A computer, even one running Windoze will run for years without any problems if the programs it is running and clean and free from resourse hogging errors such as memory leaks.

If you want to run your computer for a long time physically (i.e. pull the plug out etc) disconnecting it from any network, including the Internet, when you are not using it may avoid a lot of issues.

dp
02-24-2010, 08:56 PM
One of my hosting servers has been on for quite a long while. 695 days, in fact, dutifully serving up web pages for 51 web sites, a dozen email lists, and I don't even know what else my customers are running. It has 2G of RAM installed of which 713 MB are free, and another 763 is available as unwired swap. Come to think of it, that's the least uptime of all of them because it got moved to a new location.

Gotta love Unix - Sun's Solaris in this case. It just works - like my Mac computers.

airsmith282
02-24-2010, 09:32 PM
i ride both sides of the fence here, Mac systems run almost forever no shut down, pcs dont fair as well in this department, you can do it but they need to run at a much cooler temp then a mac but will run somewhat good when never shut down,

laptops pc or mac not a good idea to leave them running all the time. not built to with stand the beating.

hardrive life has a alot to do with typ of drive sata, ide scsi also manufactore of the hardrive means almost everthing,

i have seen even old 20 gig hardrives that never get shut down still runing on old mac plus computers now were talk old stuff, but there are still alot of them around still running ..

i still find that the scsi drives are still built the best...

darryl
02-24-2010, 09:52 PM
My PII gets shut down every time I quit it. It's probably had about 10,000 startups from cold, and usually gets run for at least 3 hrs at a time. The power supply was replaced once, but not because it needed it. That was poor diagnosis on someones part as it didn't fix the problem. The hard drive has been changed once, but not because it failed. It was just too small. The replacement has been taking this punishment for about ten years now, as has the original motherboard, modem, video card, and sound card. It's on it's fourth cmos battery, and the processor fan needed rebuilt once after about three years, and hasn't failed since. The original cd drive still works, but not so well anymore, and the cd burner still works.

I've had all the usual Windoze problems of course, and replaced the monitor (only once, I'm on the second one still but it's getting dim). I don't use the scanner much, but it does still work. I've gone through a few printers of course. The keyboard is the original bent one I got back in '97 when the computer was newly bought. I hate this new straight one on the xp box.

The xp box has only been in real use for about three months now, and the video card fan is failing. If I'm not careful to touch both the metal on any usb patch cord and the back of the computer at the same time, the computer will crash at the moment I plug the cord in. Same goes for any of the usb memory sticks or a direct memory card insertion. I have to hold one hand on bare metal on the tower, then at least touch the row of pins briefly once before inserting the card or the computer will crash instantly the moment any plug in is made.

This box started off being fairly quiet, but now it's making many different noises, and has surpassed the PII in mechanical noise.

steve45
02-24-2010, 11:06 PM
There are many computers being used in industrial control applications that never get shut off.

polepenhollow
02-24-2010, 11:14 PM
You get more dust in it.
k Liv

Tony Ennis
02-24-2010, 11:46 PM
"I wouldn't leave a laptop on 24/7..."

My Mac stays on 24x7. After a few minutes it snoozes however. I think that's common behavior for all laptops.

outback
02-25-2010, 12:18 AM
I let my computer run nearly all the time then my harddisk failed. The people that built my computer then repaired it said leaving a computer run all the time shortens the life of a harddisk by 80%. Harddisks run at high RPM and the bearings fail sooner or later.

I turn mine off every night at bedtime. Laptops get turned off if I'm not running them, even for lunch.

Outback

BadDog
02-25-2010, 02:02 AM
The home built I'm currently using has been running for about 2 weeks at the moment. We had a power outage and I shut it down after 5 minutes so I didn't exhaust the UPS. Before that it had been running for about 2, maybe 3 months? Maybe more, I don't keep up with it, but reboots of any sort are VERY infrequent. I mainly shut it down only when going out of town or something, or to replace/upgrade hardware, and that's been the case since it was built, and the same with the one before.

I've had similar (though generally improving) experience since about 95 running NT 4.0, and have run every MS OS released since. As long as it's running the NT Kernel and you don't have some trash like Norton, Apple Apps, anything by Adobe, Lime Wire or their kin running, you should have little problem. Earlier OS tended to force reboots for just about everything, but that's not nearly so common any longer.

As for HD, I have over 1.5 TB across 4 SATA disks. Most are set to suspend after 15 minutes of use, but the main never sleeps, and it's been running for almost a year. The previous build's main is now one of my redundant backups, and it ran pretty much 24x7 for over 2 years. However, my mother, who runs her's an hour or two a day at the most, sometimes not turning it on for days, has had 2 HD failures in 2 years (she's finally started listening to me about backing up!).

ptjw7uk
02-25-2010, 04:26 AM
Most servers are left running 24/7 but then their hard drives are designed to do this whish is why they are more expensive.
If on a normal pc back up the data regularly and buy a spare hard drive they are so cheap these days its silly not to have a spare.

Peter

taydin
02-25-2010, 04:50 AM
What is the per kilowatt price of electricity in the US? In my country, electricity costs about 20 cents per kilowatt.

EVguru
02-25-2010, 05:30 AM
Both my PC at work and the one at home run on a UPS and are shut down and the ups output turned off whenver they are not in use. I've yet to have a power supply fail (other than a second hand one) or a hard disk crash. The experience here at work is that the standby section of the power supply is what usually fails, simply by clocking up the hours. Most of our installations have the power connectors under a false floor, so they can't be properly powered down.

We have a rolling replacement program and I do all the decomissioning of old machines, running boot and nuke to wipe the hard drives so the machines can be sold to staff or donated to charity. A significant proportion of machines will fail after being turned off for a few weeks, previously having been run continuously for years.

Your Old Dog
02-25-2010, 05:48 AM
...............................

If you want to run your computer for a long time physically (i.e. pull the plug out etc) disconnecting it from any network, including the Internet, when you are not using it may avoid a lot of issues.

True but don't forget about the little button memory battery inside. If the machine is left unplugged too long the battery can go flat.

Evan
02-25-2010, 08:58 AM
I let my computer run nearly all the time then my hard disk failed. The people that built my computer then repaired it said leaving a computer run all the time shortens the life of a hard disk by 80%. Hard disks run at high RPM and the bearings fail sooner or later.


Bearing failure is way down the list of reasons that hard drives fail. The first place reason is heat. If the temperature of your hard drive is running above 85F then it is above factory spec. It makes very little difference until that climbs to the range of 120F or so but anything beyond that has a dramatic effect on MTBF. Even if the hard drive is running nice and cool the main failure mode isn't bearings.

The limiting factor in terms of normal wear and tear is the number of spinups the drive makes. Each time the drive shuts down the head is moved to the landing zone where it is latched and parked touching the disk platter. When the drive next spins up it the head will be ever so slightly stuck to the platter because of the extreme smoothness of the surface. It must be yanked free so that it can start to fly on the cushion of air that is being dragged around by the rotating disk.

Each time this happens a special laser engraved pattern in the landing zone is worn down a little bit. That pattern helps to prevent the head from sticking to the disk. Eventually enough wear takes place that one day the head will stick enough that it will be damaged on the next spinup. I have even seen the heads ripped right off the cantilever arm.

If you leave your computer on 24/7 you are better off to leave the hard drive running as long as it is running cool. If you can't make it run cool by adding a case fan to blow fresh air over the drive(s) then you should set it to spin down in an hour or so rather than 15 minutes or whatever it may be set at.

The big item combined with short spindown time settings is background software that continually writes something to the hard drive. If there is something running that in any way needs data or wants to write something like an entry in a log file then it will be starting the hard drive from the spindown state every time it needs access. This especially applies to open web pages from any browser, not just IE.

The issue with IE isn't a memory leak although there may well be memory leaks in third party plugins in IE. The main problem with IE is that amount of memory it will consume. That problem isn't so much a limitation caused by filling up the cache ram. Windows sets aside a limited amount of Ram for the Graphical Display Interface, known by the acronym GDI Ram. That ram doesn't change if you add more system ram. You may have plenty of free application ram but if the GDI ram is full Windows will begin acting strangely and it will not give an error indication.

In this listing of all the active objects currently running n my system you can see at the top that it has been running for over 400 hours without reboot according to the CPU utilization of the system idle process.

Highlighted in yellow is the resource utilization of Internet Explorer. In that is highlighted in orange the number of GDI objects that IE has invoked which is a huge 1,765 GDI ram objects. The limit on the number of objects depends on system configuration and the type of GDI objects in use but once the limit is reached Windows will not be able to invoke any more. This can only be corrected by completely closing all instances of the process in question.

http://ixian.ca/pics7/pe1.jpg

With IE in particular it will often leave an instance active because of the activity of a plug in program that seems to be unrelated such as Foxit reader if that process was invoked by IE to begin with. In that event either all such instances must also be closed or terminated by the user or the system must be rebooted.

I use this program called Process Explorer to manage this issue so that I don't need to reboot so often.

It is available from Microsoft as part of the Sysinternals Suite at:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/default.aspx

airsmith282
02-25-2010, 09:31 AM
Evan if a hard drive is properly parked on shut down the heads are no where near the platters, for years pc's have had a lousey shut down program for parking the drive windows me and higher are supposed to have had this problem fixed. now i havent torne a drive down in along time to check this under power but the fix was suposed to have been made, Macintosh computers have always had a proper shut down and drive head parking program in them and they heads are no where near the drive platters,when the system has had a proper shut down..

hitting the rest button or hard crash shut downs holding in of the power button for a forced shut down these will all cause the heads to crashon the platters and have so many times at it and some drives it only takes once, you will screw the drive,.,

bearing failers are not usually do to running the system 24/7 its more due to poor quaility bearings, and if you can get 5 or more years out of a harddrive by never shutting it down then your doing pretty good..hard drives now adays are really piss poor built compared to a few years back and older

PC's do need to run at cooler temps then macintosh sytems do so macs dont need as much on the cooling area ,,

an average machintosh desktop/tower power supply will usually run for just under 8 years with no shut downs some have run even longer , they take a good beating on the power packs when you get power losses etc. and still keep running ,, i have seen this many times over the years the quaility is outstading.

Evan
02-25-2010, 09:41 AM
Evan if a hard drive is properly parked on shut down the heads are no where near the platters

That is not correct. There are a few models of drives that ramp the head off the platters entirely but that is only a small minority. The great majority of drives park the head on the inner track of the platter and latch them there with a mechanical switch activated by the pressure of a small spring. That latch is released when the drive spins up by the pressure of air acting on a small plastic vane.


for years pc's have had a lousey shut down program for parking the drive windows me and higher are supposed to have had this problem fixed.

There is no program for parking the heads. They park themselves when the drive spins down.

http://metalshopborealis.ca/pics/harddrive1.jpg

lazlo
02-25-2010, 09:48 AM
Highlighted in yellow is the resource utilization of Internet Explorer. In that is highlighted in orange the number of GDI objects that IE has invoked which is a huge 1,765 GDI ram objects. The limit on the number of objects depends on system configuration and the type of GDI objects in use but once the limit is reached Windows will not be able to invoke any more.

GDI is Microsoft's GUI interface (like Quartz2D for Mac or GTK for GNOME). Each GDI object is a handle to a button, menu, font, bitmap etc. So the more buttons, pictures, text panes you have, the more GDI objects you have.

Windows XP, Vista, and Win 7 has a default of 10,000 GDI objects, so the 1700 you have with 10 tabs in Internet Explorer is fine. If you notice, the Sysinternals Process Explorer has 834 :)

Evan
02-25-2010, 09:57 AM
From Microsoft:



When you run a Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC) application on a computer that is running Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2) installed, you may see memory leaks for Graphics Device Interface (GDI) objects when you create and destroy child windows. To see the memory leaks, view the GDI objects of the process in Task Manager.

This problem also occurs on a computer that is running Windows Server 2003 when the Themes service is started. By default, the Themes service is disabled on Windows Server 2003.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/319740

This is just one example of the problem.

EVguru
02-25-2010, 10:09 AM
I strip hard drives at work frequently. If they've failed and cannot be wiped, then I have to make sure the data cannot be recovered.

You have to go back to removeable platters and spindle packs as far as I know to have the head actually moved clear of the platter surface. I've still got the remains of a 10Mb Eagle around here somewhere with a head assembly that weighs about 2Kg.

At one time PC hard drives used a stepper motor to move the head and running an active park program was good practice so that the head was on an unused track when the disk spun down. These days a linear motor is used and the head will either automatically park due to to drag when the drive is powered down or is mechanically or magnetically biased to a park position.

The heads are not moved clear of the platter in any of the disks I've dismantled in the last few years.

lazlo
02-25-2010, 10:17 AM
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/319740

This is just one example of the problem.

What's the problem? If any program written by anyone allocates objects without freeing them, whether it's a display object like a GDI, or a class object like an MFC, it's going to leak memory. Hell, iTunes and QuickTime are one of the worst offenders there :) But GDI objects are just one of many different objects used in a Windows program. There are MFC objects, VC++ objects, OS handles, DX objects,...

Internet Explorer is perfectly well-behaved in your process tab. Keep in mind that GDI objects are private per process, and like Chrome, Internet Explorer uses the excellent strategy of putting each IE tab in a separate process, so badly behaved web pages or plug-ins (like Flash :() won't take the whole browser down when they crash.

So each instance of Internet Explorer that comprises your 10 tabs is only taking between 270 and 600 GDI objects. That pales in comparison to Sysinternals' Process Explorer's 834 :p

Evan
02-25-2010, 10:18 AM
I believe a few of the IBM DeskStar line do ramp the head off the platter instead of parking on the platter. They are the exception.

Evan
02-25-2010, 10:22 AM
So each instance Internet Explorer that comprises your 10 tabs is only taking between 270 and 600 GDI objects. That pales in comparison to Sysinternals' Process Explorer's 834

Process Explorer is hooking every process on the machine. What do you expect? It isn't normally running so it isn't a problem. Also, I said the problem isn't normally IE, it is child processes that are invoked by IE.

BTW, I didn't make it clear, the total number of GDI objects for IE in the above list isn't just 1765. It's 1765 plus all the instances listed below.

That adds up to almost 6000 GDI objects. Piggy.

lazlo
02-25-2010, 10:26 AM
Process Explorer is hooking every process on the machine. What do you expect?

You're still not understanding what a GDI object is. It's a graphical object. Each line, button, font, text window, etc. is a GDI object. It doesn't have anything to do with how many processes' it hooks, it has to do with how complex the interface is.

If you want to see a program with a ton of GDI objects, launch iTunes or one of the Office Apps, which have hundreds of buttons, menus, fonts, text regions. They will have thousands of GDI objects allocated. Windows can handle up to 10,000 GDI's (have no idea what the Mac or GNOME limit is), so that's fine as long as they clean them up when they're done.

Evan
02-25-2010, 10:45 AM
I know what a GDI object is Robert. You can also adjust the maximum number higher to accomodate more open applications.

In the registry editor go to

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\Session Manager\SubSystems

Select the Windows key and modify the string so that the portion "SharedSection=1024,3072,512 " reads "SharedSection=1024,8192,512"

Then go to

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows

Modify GDIProcessHandleQuota value to 16,384 instead of 10,000

Also set USERProcessHandleQuota to 18000

lazlo
02-25-2010, 10:56 AM
If you want to see a program with a ton of GDI objects, launch iTunes or one of the Office Apps, which have hundreds of buttons, menus, fonts, text regions. They will have thousands of GDI objects allocated. Windows can handle up to 10,000 GDI's (have no idea what the Mac or GNOME limit is), so that's fine as long as they clean them up when they're done.

I'm looking at Process Explorer with FireFox with 10 tabs, and it has 1,898 GDI objects allocated. :p

That doesn't mean that FireFox is piggy'er than Internet Explorer. ;) It just means that my tabs have more lines and buttons drawn than Evan's If you close one of the tabs and replace it with a plain tab (the Firefox default URL, for example) the number of GDI's allocated drops a lot.

I'll try it with Chrome and Iron later this afternoon...

mochinist
02-25-2010, 12:29 PM
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lazlo
02-25-2010, 12:33 PM
I know more than you...no I know more than you....

Or, another way of looking at it:


No, there's nothing wrong with leaving your computer running, even if you're running Internet Explorer :rolleyes:

dp
02-25-2010, 01:02 PM
I believe a few of the IBM DeskStar line do ramp the head off the platter instead of parking on the platter. They are the exception.

Ah yes - the infamous IBM DeathStar drives. I have a 15-disk array from a Canadian company that uses DeathStar drives. They're IDE but the interface to the computer is SCSI. For a while I was buying replacement drives in bulk. There seems to be something in the array firmware that expects to see these 75G IBM disks as others I've tried won't work. Fortunately they're cheap on Ebay if you can find them at all.

Evan
02-25-2010, 01:12 PM
It just means that my tabs have more lines and buttons drawn than Evan's If you close one of the tabs and replace it with a plain tab (the Firefox default URL, for example) the number of GDI's allocated drops a lot.


A GDI object isn't a button or other graphical visual on the screen Robert, it's the hook to the programming Method(s) used to draw it and modify it. Two visual objects on the screen may look identical but if they are drawn by different Methods they can have drastically different impacts on GDI usage.

As an example my camera control and logging software I wrote to control and operate my telescope camera has a lot of graphical interface elements including mouse over buttons, constantly changing displays as well as special controls that redraw and alter the entire GUI and elements of it. Yet, because of the way I create the visual elements and manipulate them it uses no more than 57 GDI objects at most. I also don't use exception handling because I write software that doesn't create exceptions.

http://ixian.ca/pics7/timebot.jpg

lazlo
02-25-2010, 01:49 PM
A GDI object isn't a button or other graphical visual on the screen Robert, it's the hook to the programming Method(s) used to draw it and modify it.

A GDI Object is a GUI class object, where objects are bitmaps, fonts, regions, etc. The GDI object Method draws the object.

http://i164.photobucket.com/albums/u15/rtgeorge_album/MSGDIs.png

So the more complex the gui, the more GDI objects it will have allocated. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that, as long as the app frees (calls the object Destructor on the right column) when it's finished with it.

So Internet Explorer, Firefox, iTunes etc allocate thousands of GDI's because they have a complex GUI, not because they're resource pigs, and the number of GDI's an app allocates has very little to do with the stability of your machine if it's left on for long periods of time.

Evan
02-25-2010, 05:52 PM
A GDI Object is a GUI class object, where objects are bitmaps, fonts, regions, etc. The GDI object Method draws the object.


Nice to see that you agree for a change.

I have the link to that table in my favorites.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms724291(VS.85).aspx


So Internet Explorer, Firefox, iTunes etc allocate thousands of GDI's because they have a complex GUI, not because they're resource pigs,

In a way you are right. It's because the programmers don't know or care how to reduce resource use. There is always more than one way to skin a pig.

MrSleepy
02-25-2010, 06:30 PM
I also don't use exception handling because I write software that doesn't create exceptions.

Your software might not ..but if you write software that has to interface with the myriad of driver and hardware combinations and o/s variants then exception handling provides a way to crash gracefully in the extreme and to ensure you dont trash anything you ought not to..but mainly to debug using your own messages or codes.

I wrote this software..
http://mentaladvisory.wordpress.com/2009/03/13/the-boss-gt8-editor/

its been downloaded 160k+ times and the help threads had close to a 1000 posts from people with problems relating to MSs implementations of midi ,their hardware,their drivers and through to my software...Exceptions are a good way to diagnose where faults are..

Rob

MrSleepy
02-25-2010, 06:44 PM
Back on topic..

On my new fancy ,all singin,all dancin Toshiba laptop I get around 7 hours before it bsods related to nvlddmkm.sys..

I believe the problem is related to overclocking of the nvidia graphics and lowering the clocks via custom settings helps..

no updates..nvidia or toyota (sic) cant recommend settings and unless it foobars Il have to stick with it.

Rob

lazlo
02-25-2010, 06:51 PM
So Internet Explorer, Firefox, iTunes etc allocate thousands of GDI's because they have a complex GUI, not because they're resource pigs

In a way you are right. It's because the programmers don't know or care how to reduce resource use. There is always more than one way to skin a pig.

Sigh. I'll try one last time:

Internet Explorer, Firefox, and iTunes -- basically any modern app, allocates thousands of GDI objects because they're rendering thousands of buttons, lines, curves, bitmaps, and fonts on the screen, not because they're lousy programmers, or because they don't care about wasting resources.

So not surprisingly, Firefox allocates a similar number of GDI objects as Internet Explorer to render web pages with similar numbers of buttons, bitmaps, lines, curves, ....

A.K. Boomer
02-25-2010, 07:58 PM
In keeping with the OP,
What happens to your computer with constant running?
You will end up with a computer full of dust,,,
My first one I never shut down for over 5 years - but it was in hibernation mode,
On the particular model I had it made the fan run at low speed 24/7 thats enough to bunk up a circuit board cuz when I disassembled it it was really bad, can't imagine what it woulda looked like if it was left on and the fan was in normal mode...

spope14
02-25-2010, 08:37 PM
I would imagine not a lot electronics wise. The heating system computer at my workplace is an old 486-33 (With TURBO) and has been running constant with APC for 16 years now. We have thought about changing it out- but hey, it works. Our main server has been running strong for three years now, and our secondary server has been online for six or more.

bob_s
02-25-2010, 09:02 PM
Actually each GDI object may have many associated handles.

If you look at Evan's output there is at the bottom of the screen a total handles count of 15962. Just the cost of multiple tabs/windows inside a browser.

Evan
02-25-2010, 09:05 PM
So not surprisingly, Firefox allocates a similar number of GDI objects as Internet Explorer to render web pages with similar numbers of buttons, bitmaps, lines, curves, ....


You don't get it Robert. There is more than one way to draw what looks like the same button. The button control for instance has half a dozen different ways that it can be presented. It can also be hidden behind a bitmap and not be seen at all but still respond to the mouse. Some ways use more resources than others but are easier to program. While most of this is not under the control of a web page author it is under the control of the web browser programmer.

Tight programming is more work which means higher cost in a corporate environment. It is a lot like the difference between a home shop machinist and a job shop machinist. The job shop can't afford to polish something unless it is required. The home shop machinist may like to polish parts that can't even be seen.

lazlo
02-25-2010, 09:49 PM
You don't get it Robert. There is more than one way to draw what looks like the same button.

And yet, Firefox allocates almost exactly the same number of GDI objects that Internet Explorer does, for the same number of tabs :rolleyes:


Actually each GDI object may have many associated handles.

That's true on Quartz2D (MacOS's version of GDI) but a GDI object only supports 1 handle per object.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms724291%28VS.85%29.aspx


If you look at Evan's output there is at the bottom of the screen a total handles count of 15962. Just the cost of multiple tabs/windows inside a browser.

That's the total number of object handles. That's the combination of the GDI's, the OS handles, the MFC handles, process handles, etc. But your latter comment is correct -- the high number of GDI objects is an artifact of a large number of multiple tabs/windows inside the browser.

So for example, when you first launch IE or Firefox, or even Process Explorer, you will have a low number of GDI objects allocated, because there are few drawn/rendered GUI objects. When I first launch Process Explorer, I get around 400 GDI's (Evan's shows over 800). Expand some of the processes, add a couple of column of data, and add the charting options like Evan shows, and Process Explorer quickly doubles the number of GDI's its allocated. Did it suddenly turn into a resource pig? No -- it just rendered a bunch more GUI objects.

None of that matters to the stability of your machine.

Evan
02-26-2010, 06:56 AM
And yet, Firefox allocates almost exactly the same number of GDI objects that Internet Explorer does, for the same number of tabs

Yeah, and Firefox is also a pig. Being open source doesn't guarantee good programming.


None of that matters to the stability of your machine.


It most certainly does if you are running out of GDI ram. I have only one IE window open and only one tab for this page. IE is running two instances to show this page with a total of 589 GDI objects. I also have Opera open to this page and it is using 262 GDI objects. If I open 9 threads in Opera in new tabs for a total of 10 pages open the total GDI objects increases to only 364.

If I open the same ten tabs in IE it uses a total of 1744 GDI objects. IE is a pig and so is Firefox in the recent versions. The difference is in the programming. Opera calls the destructor for anything that isn't currently displayed, as it should. IE and Firefox do not.

Too_Many_Tools
02-26-2010, 02:14 PM
A related question...are older computers better built/more reliable than newer computers?

From what I see, I would say yes.

TMT

knudsen
02-26-2010, 03:26 PM
In the good old days there were computers.

In later days, there were business grade and consumer grade computers.

A current day consumer grade computer is not designed to be left on 24/7 and is not the quality of a current day business computer.

A current day business machine is designed to left on 24/7 for over 5 years, and remain serviceable, if not free of defects during that time-frame.

The quality of computers from before they were really split off to business/consumer grades was probably somewhere in between.

Good quality computers have cost about the for the last 20+ years now. Computers seem cheap, because the money is worth less, and obsolete or just less than high end machines run as good as you need them to, thus enabling you to buy cheap the less than high end hardware.

lazlo
02-26-2010, 03:33 PM
A related question...are older computers better built/more reliable than newer computers?

Intel designs their parts, and bin sorts (thermal/speed sort) around a 7 year, 24/7 reliability spec. That hasn't changed in 20 years. Keep in mind that DRAM are designed around a less stringent reliability spec.

Heat will dramatically shorten the lifespan of a chip, as will over-voltage (overclocking) due to electromigration .

So barring motherboard assembly issues including counterfeit electrolytics, bump cracking, and solder failures from cheap lead-free solder, modern PC's are just as reliable as their progenitors.

knudsen
02-26-2010, 04:02 PM
Intel designs their parts, and bin sorts (thermal/speed sort) around a 7 year, 24/7 reliability spec. That hasn't changed in 20 years. Keep in mind that DRAM are designed around a less stringent reliability spec.

Heat will dramatically shorten the lifespan of a chip, as will over-voltage (overclocking) due to electromigration .

So barring motherboard assembly issues including counterfeit electrolytics, bump cracking, and solder failures from cheap lead-free solder, modern PC's are just as reliable as their progenitors.

Add to your list dust, fan and hard drive bearing failure, over loaded or under designed power supplies, power hits, network hits modem hits, static hits (which has been reduced with more robust grounding of computer and peripherals), failed connector contacts, problems with amateur assemblers and repairs, case temperate, etc., etc., etc., few failures are CPU/Mem or any other semiconductor, unless murdered by the installer. Most semi-conductors die from murder, not natural causes.

lazlo
02-26-2010, 06:52 PM
Add to your list dust, fan and hard drive bearing failure, over loaded or under designed power supplies, power hits, network hits modem hits, ...
Most semi-conductors die from murder, not natural causes.

Good point -- agree completely.

Evan
02-26-2010, 07:10 PM
Dirt is top of the list which is why heat is the main cause of failure. You would not believe what some of the computers my customers brought in looked like inside. Here is an example:

http://ixian.ca/pics6/dirt.jpg

I offered up to 3 year warranties on my computers but with a written proviso; it must be cleaned at least once per year by me, at no charge, for the warrantee to remain valid.

danlb
02-27-2010, 01:55 AM
mine are living on borrowed time then
C- drive
13,827 hours and 803 power on count

F-drive
14,042 hours and 1450 power on count

all the best.markj

PS...just downloaded a prog called "crystal disk info" to find this out .


I have a set of 4 gig SCSI drives from around 1998 that have been spinning virtually non stop. I leave the system up 24x7, powering down when the power failure exceeds the UPS capability. 100,000 hours MTPF used to be normal.

Of course, those drives were $700 each when I bought them.

Dan

Langanobob
02-27-2010, 10:26 AM
What is the per kilowatt price of electricity in the US? In my country, electricity costs about 20 cents per kilowatt.

Taydin, the price here varies widely by area and there are also different rates for residential, industrial and commercial. Lowest prices are somewhere around 5 cents per kWh in a very few areas and highest rates are in Hawaii where the price is around 30 cents per kWhr. I think an average price for the whole country is about 12 cents.

In 2008 worked in Turkey at the Germencik geothermal power plant near Aydin. I bought a Yamaha YBR125 motorbike and rode nearly all over Turkey during my work breaks. I would like to thank you for the wonderful hospitality and friendliness of the Turkish people.

Bob

lazlo
02-27-2010, 10:49 AM
I have a set of 4 gig SCSI drives from around 1998 that have been spinning virtually non stop. 100,000 hours MTPF used to be normal

That's still the case. SCSI/SAS drives are targeted for enterprise servers and have much higher MTBF's, and warranties. If you hold a SCSI and a SATA drive in each hand, the SCSI drive is substantially heavier, the platter chamber is hermetically sealed, much better bearings, ...

Seagate Cheetahs (SCSI) have a 5 year warranty. A Seagate consumer-class SATA drive has a 3 year warranty, and Western Digital SATA drives (the same company) have a 1, 2 or 3 year warranty, depending on how much you paid for the drive :rolleyes:

aboard_epsilon
02-27-2010, 11:18 AM
Warranty is bugger all use to you when it fails

would you want the company looking at every thing on your hard drive, when you send it back to them .

all the best.markj

lazlo
02-27-2010, 11:33 AM
Warranty is bugger all use to you when it fails

Right, but the manufacturer does a risk analysis when they manufacturer a drive to determine the warranty. As a rough rule of thumb, the longer the warranty, the longer the drive will last.