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Uncivilized Shutdown

Just push the button.
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(+5, -2)
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Among the numerous disadvantages of modern personal computers and their operating systems are long boot times and the requirement that a ritual be completed before the machine can be safely turned off. The need for a "civilized" shutdown did not always exist. A Commodore-64 could be turned off by yanking its power cord with no risk of data loss (if your work was saved beforehand.) Modern operating systems (especially Micro$oft's) perform needless background disk-accessing tasks that disallow this. My suggestion: - Restore the option of harmless "uncivilized" shutdowns. - Introduce an operating system that boots at least as quickly the Commodore-64's ROM basic. In relation to the latter: the much-hyped "instant-on" feature awaited on new PC's is a sham. It requires that the machine be perpetually kept in a sort of "suspend-mode", from which the symbolic act of "turning it on" awakens it. Pulling the cord will result in the need for an ordinary, "long" boot.
dsm, Oct 03 2000

Switch on and play http://www.halfbake...h_20on_20and_20play
More wishful thinking, with plenty of discussion. [egnor, Oct 03 2000, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Ctrl-alt-del-del-del-del-del http://www.halfbake...del-del-del-del-del
Another remarkably similar idea, and more discussion. [egnor, Oct 03 2000, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       Macintosh computers shut down within about a second or two. You're still not supposed to just pull the plug, but it's a lot less tempting (or necessary) to do so when it only takes a second to shut down.   

       Of course, they still have a ways to go in reducing startup time, but even there they take about a third of the time of a Wintel machine.
PotatoStew, Oct 03 2000

       I've got a Commodore 64 I'll sell ya.
thumbwax, Oct 03 2000

       Amiga's just had an on/off switch on the power supply. No fuss, no bother!
DrBob, Oct 03 2000

       It all has to do with cache. Pulling the cord reduces cache to smash. Unix/Linux also suffer from this - too many 'things' open, lotsa nice goodies in memory for speed. Wintel do the same with ten gadzillion DLLs that have to load/run/munch on RAM. The most fun you can have at a trade show is 'trip' over the power cord :) ...some people now secure theirs to prevent this. Let us all discard Windows and Linux, load our old DOS versions and then howl at hte software manufacturers for new applications that work. Overall, I agree that the startup and shutdown times are simply becoming ridiculous.
jetckalz, Oct 03 2000

       Amen, jetckalz. I'm all for bringing back the text-based interface. You think the market is ready for this? :)
absterge, Oct 03 2000

       Windows (at least 95-98) badly need a "SHUT DOWN NOW" command which will unconditionally force a flush of all cache blocks (should generally take <1second) and immediate shutdown. When programs hang, it's very annoying not to be able to do an even remotely "proper" shutdown. See my entry on Ctrl-Alt-Del-Del-Del-Del-Del.   

       On a related note, some disk-caching cards have a battery-backed memory store so that the system really can be unceremoniously shut down without harm to the file system. When powered up again, any blocks that hadn't been written to the disk will be.
supercat, Oct 04 2000

       Why ever turn the system completely off? Most laptops have a suspend mode that will last at least a day on batteries. Desktops usually have suspend mode too - with a cheap UPS they could last a long time.   

       I've never seen one that was really fast enough. I suspect that not all the state is saved - the standard initialization and some testing is probably used for most devices instead of just writing stored state. Graphics memory is probably not saved.   

       It should be possible to save and restore all state in a fraction of a second.   

       What we need is an OS that doesn't crash every day.
tolly3, Feb 14 2002

       BeOS and other OS's that use journaling filesystems come very close to what you want.. I shut off BeOS machines every day using the power switch, with no ill effects. If that's not good enough for you, more experimental OS's like EROS (http://www.eros-os.org) make all operating system objects persistent -- combined with a journalling filesystem, this would be the ultimate 'turn it off and don't worry' system.
Jeremi, Feb 15 2002

       //Amen, jetckalz. I'm all for bringing back the text-based interface.//   

       Is Linux not a text-based interface? Linux is probably the best example of a lightweight OS. Not that many processes run in the background, unless you're running X Windows, which (1) kills the command prompt thing and (2) is utterly braindead anyway.
disbomber, Apr 21 2005


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