Form sometimes follows function. For the most part, form, is what comes after we are done, however. The concepts of the laptop are a great example. I have four laptops in my office. One that is now my Hyper-V server because it has 32 gigs of RAM. One from work and two others. One is a Microsoft Surface Book, I made fun of the surface product line for a long time, but I always said when it improved I would try it, the Surface Book is the Surface line improved! The last laptop I have is a MacBook Pro.
Yes, there are a lot of computers in my house (between 10-11 depending upon if my daughter is borrowing the second MacBook). One of the reasons I have so many is I have a couple that just isn’t worth anything anymore, but I use them because they have functions I need. My laptop that is running Hyper-V has 32 gigs of RAM, but it has an older slower hard drive. So I use it to run things as I test them, but I don’t use them for performance testing.
There is a difference now in the number of physical computers I have in the house. With four people in the house, we have one per person plus a couple of extras for me. But just because I have fewer computers doesn’t mean I am running fewer overall compute resources. I have two distinct cloud accounts (AWS and Azure) that I have things parked in from time to time. I also have between 6-12 virtual machines (Hyper-V, plus the VMWare Fusion product for the Mac and the VMWare Workstation product for my desktop computer). I run some different systems locally. That is more to see how they react, interact and operate. So I can run Ubuntu, Android OS and various versions of windows that are no more. I have a Windows XP setup still available if I need one. I have Windows 7 installed as well for testing if needed.
Once upon a time, in the early 2000 period, I had between 14 and 20 computers running at home with various versions of server operating systems. Mostly back then they were various versions of Windows servers running various Microsoft servers. When we moved to the new cable model around 2005 and off the slower ISDN line, I had my domain Hoosierdom.com connected to the universe! That allowed me to log in and operate and interact with various servers. The concept of VPN was something that was important to show customers.
All of this leading to a reality check. First off there is a cost to cloud computing, so I am very careful what I do and don’t run in the cloud. I make sure to start, and stop, systems every time. I don’t want to have issues where I have a compute resource costing me money. That said, I don’t do that in my home lab. I realized that yesterday when I realized how slow my PC was. I didn’t think about it until yesterday am because I hadn’t noticed it. I saw it yesterday and realized; I had something running I had started almost a year ago, and never shut down. Every single time my computer booted the VMWare Workstation was loading and loading one of the three operating systems I had installed in that software. So I was loading two PCs. I only noticed because I switched my regular order of events yesterday am, and didn’t have to go upstairs to get a cup of coffee after starting my computer. I sat there getting more and more frustrated with how slow it was. Then I subtracted the two flights of stairs, get a cup, pour coffee, walk back downstairs, and I realized something was wrong.
So I began troubleshooting, which is when I realized I was running two computers at once. I would like to say it was a fresh double boot of a Mac and a PC resulting in a more efficient Scott in the morning. But the reality was that I was loading an old version of Android and was slowing myself down!
Today my computer was much faster. Now, it wasn’t just my old VM running that was slowing me down. In fact, if you look down at your systems tray you will see some icons. The more icons you have, the longer, it will take your computer to boot. Check out what you are loading and make sure you need everything in your system tray. If you don’t need it, don’t load it. The easy way to get to the place on a Windows 10 computer is to hold down the shift key as you select restart. This will bring you to the system startup settings menu and you can get rid of all the crap you don’t need. Do, leave malware and virus protection loading though!
Images today courtesy of automated whiteboards (various)