Monday, December 28, 2020

Why reboot, and how often?

Windows PC restarts restore performance. The rationale might be best understood by the analog of a garage workbench.

Upon finishing a project, what's often left on my workbench are tools, scraps, wood chips, sawdust, parts containers, etc. The computer's workbench is called "memory" - which is different from "storage." A computer restart cleans up the workbench and puts everything away properly... open files, ports, connections, software programs, etc.

Windows is a pretty messy place after doing work (contrast with a Mac, which is more tidy), mostly because software programs (Excel, WordPerfect, and the hundreds of programs that make up Windows itself) don't always clear their workspaces (memory) when closing up. Windows and other important programs will open dozens of programs and files to do the necessary behind-the-scenes work of keeping the computer secure, operational, responsive to disk drives, keyboard and mouse, remote connections, Internet availability, firewall, etc. Once the workspaces are full, most running software programs will slow down until the workbench is cleared off by a restart.

While I appreciate the relative simplicity of my workbench, it might be nice to have a "reboot" button that would clean it up automatically.

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