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Computer speed knob

Wait! What did it do? I missed it!
  (+20, -1)(+20, -1)
(+20, -1)
  [vote for,

I work as a computer programmer. I want a large knob on the outside of the computer which can be used to slow down the operations within from infeasibly quick to a sort-of dithering human speed, and all speeds between.

Then I'd be able to see it draw the missing textbox before it's obscured, thereby proving its existence. I'd be able to read the top as well as the bottom of the unexpected error message that whizzed by. I'd be able to confirm that my amendment of 4000 things is working on the first few before it spoils all four thousand. Once I'm happy it looks OK, I wind the knob back up and off it goes at the gallop.

Oh, but hang on....

theNakedApiarist, Jul 25 2008

(?) CPUKiller http://www.cpukiller.com/
"...is a software capable of slowing down your computer up to 99%" [phoenix, Jul 25 2008]

Mo'Slo 4BIZ... http://moslo.info/
"...slows both DOS and Windows programs without discernable effect on Windows or other programs." [phoenix, Jul 25 2008]

SpeedswitchXP... http://www.diefer.d...switchxp/index.html
"...is a small applet that sits in the system tray and allows dynamic switching of the frequencies of mobile Intel and mobile AMD CPUs under Windows XP." (designed for notebook computers) [phoenix, Jul 25 2008]

(?) SenseSurface http://www.gizmodo....tual_display-2.html
One of those programs should be linked to one of these things. [BadarZ, Aug 02 2008]


       I like this +
xandram, Jul 25 2008

       Well, it's certainly bakable in the newer mobile processors though I don't know if they go slow enough. Of course it was baked in the bad old days with the turbo button on 286s, but what does this give you that couldn't be easier and better done by a screen capture program?
MisterQED, Jul 25 2008

       "Then I'd be able to see it draw the missing textbox before it's obscured..."
That's what debug mode is for.
phoenix, Jul 25 2008

       I can visualise a USB mounted potentiometer with a debugger?
Jinbish, Jul 25 2008

       "Step" and "Trace" modes on processor emulators can do this, but with a multi-tasking OS with interrupts going on they're less that useful........
8th of 7, Jul 25 2008

       [phoenix], I can't turn on 'debug mode' in software I didn't write.   

       Remember, this is only halfbaked ladies and gentlemen. Kindly, nobody has mentioning the problem that, in order to usefully sniff round what's going on as the computer runs at a snails pace, I'd ideally need to be able to run some software at a proper speed! Incorporating that feature makes it a lot less bakeable, but even without the feature it'd still be useful once in a while.   

       More useful would be one that I could wind to a stop, and then back up a bit!
theNakedApiarist, Jul 25 2008

       Maybe you could do it with virtualization? Set the virtOS to run half/quarter/whatever speed and use the full horsepower to the "real" machine to do the work.
Noexit, Jul 25 2008

       This sounds very useful.   

       Could also be used as a good excuse to take a long lunch ("Well, Boss, my spreadsheet is still recalculating - don't know why it's taking so long, but I'll be back in 2 hours when it's done")
phundug, Jul 25 2008

       "I can't turn on 'debug mode' in software I didn't write."
Sorry! It's not clear you're talking about third party software, especially when you start out "I work as a computer programmer."

       See links.
phoenix, Jul 25 2008

       generally speaking, in terms of processor speed, you only have a limited number of "gears" to shift through. Pinning out the pots on the mother board (do they still have those?) and wiring them to a deep rotational switch would work. Not sure what happens when you do this with the timer running, probably nothing so it would work. Or you could have a program that eats processor cycles up to a given fraction but modern OS hate these and tend to crash when you crank them up to the point that graphics rendering slows. Programs nowadays are designed to hide the fact that they are struggling to make output deadlines and tend to just give up if they can't get enough processor attention.
WcW, Jul 26 2008

       The fact that I have no need of this does nothing to detract from its worth. (+)   

       Can it make an eager whine when you crank it up?
Voice, Jul 28 2008

       I bunned this on title as I thought it might be a system that detected user annoyance at tardy prompts, multiminute startups or g r a d u a l web pages then changed the task priorities of what the users preferred to high   

       If I was a first level programmer I'd say step mode but actually this is a very nifty idea
beanangel, Jul 30 2008

       Excellent idea.
hippo, Aug 01 2008

       A long with this fast or slow knob, there needs to be something else.   

       In a car the operator can accelerate and brake, but they can also shift gears. Forward Reverse cruise tow.   

       Seven years later, I wonder whats available? Two of the links died. Still seems a good idea.
popbottle, Feb 07 2015


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