Friday, November 20, 2009

Thoughts on OS's

So here are my thoughts on os's these days.

I just recently got my new HP netbook. It's a great little device, but here's my worry, it's not very powerful and it's running windows, My old laptop is running windows as well and is slowing to a crawl.

What are some common causes of slowed down computers?
From Computer Hope:
Hard disk drive is short on available disk space.
Several software programs have been installed/uninstalled leaving behind bad files and/or confusing the software.
Data Corruption.
Outdated drivers
Computer is overheating.
Corrupt OS.
Bad Hardware.

It would appear there are two common causes here.
1. The hardware capability is declining.
2. Operating System related errors.

Hold up before you start getting all upset and claiming that if the people who wrote the programs cleaned them up right then you wouldn't have these problems.

What I want to know is why these programs are becoming so integrated with the OS that the OS can't simply clean itself up?

I was watching the Google OS talk as well as reading a little on it. One of the things I noticed and it's becoming a bit of a theme across OS developer's now a day's.

Let's build OS's that are designed for specific hardware and really only market for that.

What I'd really rather see is OS's that when you load them up will look at all hardware connected and self configures itself to be the most optimal OS for that hardware. What this means is now instead of having 300 print drivers loaded into your system and 45 wireless network card configurations, the OS looks at what you have and decides what's best and get's rid of the rest. Typically true hardware to the system should have only those drivers loaded, no more, no less.

I know this sounds crazy and in some ways it is, but what happens next is the OS is also linked up with the web, so let's say you plug in a new hardware item a new sound card, a new stick of ram or something. Things might be a little hokey but with a basic set of drivers that will control (in a limited way) most hardware, you now tell the computer to rescan for system updates, at which point you can optionally load the new driver's for this new device onto your system, and again it re-configures itself to run as optimally as it can with this system.

What can this mean for boot up times? Well if the OS doesn't have to constantly be verifying what equipment you have and assume you just plain have it and go forward from there. If/When it runs into a hiccup such as it expected a stick of ram somewhere and didn't see it, it jumps to the degraded mode until you either update and "auto" re-configure the system or repair the problem.

I think if you can resolve hardware checks as well as re-design the bootup to start simultaneously kick off processes that will help considerably.

Once more, you won't have to constantly be pinging the devices (wasting power) just verifying that the components are there.