Saturday, July 22, 2006

Yet another Windows annoyance

My laptop is an older Presario 730US (aka the crotch cooker) with only 256MB of RAM and limited disk space. It came with XP Home pre-installed which I used one of my "Upgrade" licenses for XP Professional on. Compared to the workstations I have at work and home it is quite slow; 4200 RPM drive and realistically base memory for XP. Needless to say I run the laptop as bare as possible. One of the things I found recently was is you turn "Automatic Updates" off you save 8-13MB of memory. Yeah that seems like nothing compared but years of mainframe and other systems analyst work I have done over the years knows better; every little bit counts. For example; you can save large chunks of memory in CICS by making required programs resident so they don't load on 4K page boundaries but load compacted behind each other (you see the same thing in the Windows world where software products will state "Load Faster" but what they are doing is loading .dll files and crap into memory and leaving them there; so yeah their product will load faster but do you really need that there all the time taking up memory that can be used elsewhere). When it came to Automatic Updates, there are more powerful workstations with that setting "On" so when they download and install updates I would plan to do the same manually on the laptop. At least that was the idea.

I knew an update recently came down from the Land 'O Gates so I tried to use Windows Update.

The site cannot continue because one or more of these Windows services is not running:

  • Automatic Updates (allows the site to find, download and install high-priority updates for your computer)
  • Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) (helps updates download more quickly and without problems if the download process is interrupted)
  • Event Log (keeps a record of updating activities to help with troubleshooting, if needed)
When I go to services, all three are started. Okay, WTF? So I go to Security Center and turn "Automatic Updates" back on. The laptop pretty much slows to a crawl as the computer goes out and does something (I assume since the CPU fan sounds like a jet plane and the hard drive light is almost constantly on that it's downloading updates and installing them. Yup. There's the bubble. Two security, one Windows XP, WGA and the Malicious Software Removal Tool (hey, remove WGA for me).

Of course the point of this long rant is I lose a bit of functionality and have to accept yet another thing on my computer that is not needed all the time and plays a very small part in the performance of the laptop.

Even better; restart is required - which means it will f'ing nag me every fifteen minutes. How f'ing annoying...

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