Sunday, November 20, 2005

I hate Windows

I am a teaching assistant for a Masters-level Computer Science course. My current task is to grade 45 papers submitted digitally by the students.

To make my life easier, I opened all 45 papers on my laptop and then switched between them as I graded each question. My intention was to first get a sense of the level of the answers by grading all of the answers to the first question before going on to the second and third parts of the exercise.

My laptop is not new. Its a PIII 900Mhz with 512Mb ram. Initially opening these files took about 5 minutes. With modest delays, I was able to review the first answer on all 45 papers. Then I put the computer in sleep mode (since I was by then tired).

Today, I opened my laptop to try and start grading again. After 30 minutes, I still could not open Firefox, Explorer or my instant messenger programs. The screen was on, my mouse worked, but the machine was hung.

After many such experiences, I now know to first try and shutdown the computer cleanly. This of course did not work because there was too much going on for the machine to handle. So I powered it off and restarted from scratch.

Why oh why does this happen? The machine was responsive before I put it to sleep. Is Windows like a person now? It takes me at least half an hour to get up in the morning. Maybe computers need the same amount of time to shake off the lassitude of sleep.


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