Jings, perhaps we should send Robert Scoble to explore the outer moons of Saturn, because he seems a long way from the ground just now. Andy Orlowski wrote a neat piece about a memory leak in Tablets - one in the handwriting recognition which means that if you leave them on long enough they, um, effectively fill up with digital ink. (Andy’s splendid imagery, not mine.)
Has Robert Scoble noticed this bug? Well, he’s noticed being taken to task over it, and throws up his hands. But read on. Scobletalk in italics:
The Tablet team tells me they have identified the bug and are investigating a fix for it…Why haven’t I hit it? I shut down my Tablet PC most evenings and start it up from a fresh boot. Why do I do that? Because I’ve been using computers for 20 years and have learned that’s the best way to work.
Flipping heck. Hey, Robert, I’ve been using computers 20 years too - actually, rather longer, since I had a play on one of the first Apple Lisas in the UK, plus the Prime machine at university, and of course Multics, and my Sinclair Spectrum… and I’ve learned that modern machines, you don’t have to turn off. True, you don’t get memory leaks eating up everything if you turn them off. But you also get big chunks of the day back, mostly at the end of the day when you have to save all your documents and half-done work. I have a lot of half-done work.
His defence continues: This was a behavior I learned on [Apple] System 7.0 back in 1992 when I was a page designer at San Jose State. It takes an extra minute in the morning to boot up, but that’s why I never hit this bug. The interesting thing being that there must be lots of people at Microsoft (yes, I know he hasn’t always been at Microsoft; but anyway) who do the same, shutting down their machines at the end of each day. This means that devastating bugs like the famous 49.7-day time-counter crashing overflow don’t get found until it’s wayyy too late.
By the way, fixing these kinds of bugs isn’t easy and even if they were, deploying the fix isn’t easy either. Well no, but that’s why they pay the MSoft folk the big bucks. If it was easy, everyone would do it and we’d call it “breathing”. Though breathing isn’t that simple when you break it into bits like calcium ion cycling. Ask anyone with cystic fibrosis.
Someday I’d like to introduce Andy to some of the developers here so that he can see the process that changing one line of code would take. I believe that whooshing sound is Andy seeing how cheap flights to Seattle are right now.
I’ll let you know if I hear more.
Final Scoblepoint: he says “Jonathan Hardwick has more on this here“.
Ink-deluged Tablet users - both of you - rejoice, just rejoice.
- These posts might be related (the database thinks..):
- More things I found interesting.. 8 September 2005 (late) (8 September 2005; score: 81.55%)
- What's the point in embargoes? It's not to keep things sikrit (25 July 2005; score: 63.38%)
- What's a guy gotta do to get a little Scoblejuice around here? (5 October 2004; score: 50.55%)