My frustrations with my IT laptop

This is my first attempt at a blog, and the blog folks tell me I can feel free to write what I wish. I wonder if they might have had me confused with someone else and when they come to their senses I’ll get a polite note. In any case – here goes…

I’ve been particularly frustrated lately with the behavior of my Intel IT laptop system. Don’t get me wrong – our IT guys are doing great with a thankless job and my frustration is not with them, but with the experience my system gives me.

The other day, I was between meetings and I had forgotten where my next meeting room was and needed to quickly check my calendar to find out where I was going. I always suspend my laptop (which is a brand new model) instead of hibernate so I can resume it as quickly as possible, so I opened the lid on my laptop so I could check my Outlook calendar.

I see various demos and claims of resume speeds, but that doesn’t even remotely coincide with the resume speed of my new laptop after it has been configured with all the requisite corporate security and whatever other middleware is installed on my system. Often times, I resume my laptop and although the desktop might appear relatively quickly (in the geological sense), it often takes several minutes for me to be able to actually do anything useful (like open Outlook and check my calendar). I have noticed that it’s nearly always the case that while my system is bogged down and unusable that the little hard drive light on my laptop is stuck on (often for minutes at a stretch). Don’t tell my IT guys, but I have developed a habit of terminating some tasks like the virus scanner or our corporate backup utility whenever I catch them in the act.

Whatever the extra IT software is that runs on my system, it seems to be able to detect when I’m in a hurry and performs extra operations at those times, and this day was no different. I’m standing in the hallway holding my laptop on one hand and waiting for the system to resume and become productive so I can click a couple buttons with my other hand. I think one of the principles of Einstein’s theory of special relativity is that when you’re in a hurry time stretches out, and I’m standing there in the hallway for what seems an eternity.

I finally did manage to get into my calendar and determine where my next meeting was. It was now several minutes past the hour and I was in a hurry, so I closed Outlook and shut the lid on my laptop to suspend it while I rushed to my meeting.

I had a little walking to do and I hustled right along, but by the time I arrived it was about 5 minutes past the hour. After apologizing for my tardiness, I put my laptop on the table, connect the projector to it and open the lid… in time to see the message on the laptop screen “Preparing to Standby” followed by the screen going black. Argh!

13 Responses to My frustrations with my IT laptop

  1. Hi Knut,
    Very interesting post, which helps to dispel the notion that these kind of things only happen to mere mortals and not to brilliant Intel fellows with advanced degrees that hold dozens of patents.
    I guess a problem with suspend/resume doesn’t discriminate between ordinary PC users and those who you’d think would have the best IT support on the planet.
    I guess it must’ve known you were in a hurry and decided to give you a hard time.
    As a frequent victim of suspend/resume “coma’s”, I can certain empathize with your frustration.
    Please keep us posted on your progress.

  2. Good day Knut, good day all,
    seem that the reason of system being that slow on standby is that Windows is trying to write down all the *.dll and another ‘auxiliary’ files to hard disk after use, instead of leaving these as they were. I’ve tried to defragment HDD with O&O Defrag, then shut down the system and check fragmentation of HDD on another PC. Fragmentation was really noticeable, despite I shut down the system immediately after defragmentation. Looks like not Intel, and not IT, but architecture of software is the one to blame.
    Did you notice the same effect running the same notebook under Solaris or Linux? Can you check it, with just another HDD (to preserve an ability to run Windows for office tasks)?They are working with files in another way then Windows does.
    Regards – Sergey.

  3. Randolph T. Romero says:

    I understand your pain, Knut! If our laptops could restart instantly, or even relatively quickly compared to now, I would use my calendar and task manager for everything! Instead, I recently went back to a paper planner for appointments a daily task planning! EEEEK! (can’t believe I signed my name to this response!)

  4. Shahed Ameer says:

    Nice blog entry, Knut! I had the same experience as you but since last year I’ve been on the Mac pilot and there is a night & day difference in the sleep/resume performance compared to Windows. It is much more reliable and consistently fast. Try a Mac – you won’t look back. SSD & Mac is an even better combo…

  5. HSH says:

    Some time back I heard Microsoft was going to make improvements to Windows that would enable the OS to take better advantage of SSDs. Now that Windows 7 looks like it could come to market some time this year does that mean that the SSD improvements are around the corner or that we’ll need to wait for another generation of operating system?

  6. laptop acer says:

    I understand your pain, Knut! If our laptops could restart instantly, or even relatively quickly compared to now, I would use my calendar and task manager for everything! Instead, I recently went back to a paper planner for appointments a daily task planning! EEEEK! (can’t believe I signed my name to this response!)

  7. Nice blog entry, Knut! I had the same experience as you but since last year I’ve been on the Mac pilot and there is a night & day difference in the sleep/resume performance compared to Windows.

  8. This is my first attempt at a blog, and the blog folks tell me I can feel free to write what I wish. I wonder if they might have had me confused with someone else and when they come to their senses I’ll get a polite note. In any case – here goes…