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Too much indexing going on

Posted: 11.19.07

When I start up my 1.86 MHz XP-pro based HP laptop WS computer which I've been using for over two years and sort of gotten comfortable (albeit not satisfied) with, it's a slow process. Checking the Task Manager (which I now run all the time to see what makes the machine suddenly stop) I see that it is loading several visible programs (plus the hidden ones like drivers).

It takes five to eight minutes for the machine to be ready to work after I've pressed the on button. I've seen others that take longer. In fact, this is one of the reasons people leave their machines on all the time, which has the doubly bad effect of wasting precious resources consuming power, and also exposes the machine to zombies who use it at night to send spam. (Unless, of course, you're participating in some massive Petra FLOP experiencing and donating your cycles.)

And when it's finished and I open my first application or a directory, there's another wait, and this is due to one or more indexers getting things ready for me. Nice to be so well taken care of, never mind the time I'm wasting waiting to do actual work.

I was recently offered a new program to evaluate, a real-time disk de-fragmentation. As valuable and interesting as that sounded, I sadly turned it down—my machine is too haunted as it is. I'm not worried about Disk eeper interfering, I just don't want any more background ops.

Once I manage to get an application or two open, while I'm working the various background indexers (like Google desk, Windows search indexer, Picasso, etc) click off at various times to do their housework and when they do it steals cycles and interrupts my work. There is one pernicious background operation (I think it's the virus checker) that stops my machine so cold the cursor won't move and even the Task Manager doesn't update. Then, after 20 seconds or so, life continues.

Indexing is done so you can find things quickly, and that's helpful when you have a lot of things like photos, phone numbers, files and music. And every program and operating system has an indexer for you, whether you want it or not. And because the ISVs know you're a lazy SOB, and don't defrag your disk once a week or clean out you trash can, they know you also won't index your files, so they will do it for you—whether you want it done or not.

Getting the word out, when you want it out

I do defrag my disk, run spy checking software, and empty my recycle bin and index the one program I have that requires it. I don't want auto indexing, background or not. This is my computer isn't it? I mean I know I'm just renting the OS and all the apps. They aren't mine; I've gotten over that, but shouldn't I be allowed to have my machine run the way I want it to?

Must I really have every file I create virus checked? Am I that dangerous?

So I want to ask, nay, beg the ISVs to give us a choice—auto or manual indexing. You could use an icon of a tooth brush—do you brush your teeth every day? OK, then you must be an adult, click here for manual indexing.

Guess who? And since this was almost our Halloween issue I leave you with this photo—know who it is? Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nathan_awesome