Critical Section


slow launchers

Monday,  05/12/14  07:54 PM

Yesterday I mentioned how slowly Adobe Reader launches on Win 7 compared to an old Acrobat Reader on Win XP.  This struck a nerve, because a bunch of you supplied me with other examples of programs which used to launch much more quickly than they do today:

  • Photoshop.  Everyone agrees this is the slowest launching program ever, and just gets slower with each release.  Except for...
  • Visual Studio.  Wow does VS 2010 take forever compared to VS 2005, which is way slow compared to say VB 6.  What the heck is it doing during a launch, writing a novel?
  • Outlook.  Yeah, it was always slow, but it seems to get slower and slower and  s l o w e r.  Somehow its Office brethren are not as bad; Word and Excel are not speed demons, but they're not slower than they used to be either.  (OTOH, Powerpoint ... yeah, it's a pig.)
  • Firefox.  Slower than molasses.  When Firefox was my daily browser, I always kept an instance launched so new windows would open quickly.  Now that I use Chrome this is no longer an issue.
  • Safari.  Yep, slow.  So slow in all ways that many Mac users have turned to Chrome.

You might think this problem is limited to Windows, but no.  I have a really old Mac SE30 (yay!) and I boot it from time to time just to make sure it still works, and man is it fast.  Really.  I know the old Mac OS (7.5.5) was a pig for many things, but ... somehow those old programs just launched right up.

On the other hand, if you ever want to see speed in action, try launching stuff on Linux.  Wow.  Poof, instant launching, even big complicated programs.  I mostly use Linux as a server OS, but every time I use it as a desktop I wish my desktop was as fast.

Okay one final point: I think this is a big reason why people like tablets.  They're instant on, and apps are instant launch.  You never worry about whether something is "already running".  That's a big deal.

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