Ode to Vista..


Hi all.  So, this is a rant (skip if you will).

You’ve come to love and respect the rant process, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this entry.  This fact warms the cockles of my heart, maybe below the cockles, perhaps the sub-cockle area; Maybe in the liver.  Maybe in the kidneys, perhaps even in the colon, we don’t know.. [veiled nod to a song by Denis Leary]

Anyhow, back to my pet peeve of the month/year: Windows Vista.
Seriously.  I’m honestly running out of patience with this OS. 

Why can’t I keep Vista from taxing 100% of my CPU? 

If it’s not unwanted checks for available windows updates (see "Trusted Installer.exe" rant in the archives), it’s Windows Defender deciding to schedule a malware scan while I’m using the PC.  The key here is "while I’m using the computer". 

I guess on a faster quad-core machine this might be less noticeable, but a 3.6GHz hyper threaded machine with 2GB of RAM (256MB Video RAM as well) isn’t exactly a slow boat, either.

I’m actually quite happy for these background services to kick off whatever their purpose is in life.  Usually it’s for the greater good of the operating system. 

However, you have to ask the big question.. Why is a background service (especially something orphaned to svchost.exe) using 100% available CPU? 

Especially on a computer which has been set to promote CPU use for Applications/foreground applications and has also specifically been set to maximum performance (most of the UI eye candy has been disabled).

In short, I get the feeling that there just hasn’t been enough diligence in performance tuning.  It’s actually kinda funny (in that ironic sense) because BITS (Background Intelligent Transfer Service) has a bi-polar sense of CPU balancing too – all or small.  Perhaps this is the way life needs to be.. but that will likely drive people back to Windows XP.

Just a thought.


About Rob Sanders

IT Professional and TOGAF 9 certified architect with nearly two decades of industry experience, 18 years in commercial software development and 11 years in IT consulting. Check out the "About Rob" page for more information.

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