OT: productivity and long computing delays

Paul Rubin http
Wed Sep 27 22:32:36 CEST 2006

skip at pobox.com writes:
>     Paul> Anyway, I did the same build on a 2 ghz Athlon 64 and was
>     Paul> surprised that the speedup was only 35% or so.  I'd have to get a
>     Paul> multiprocessor box to obtain really substantial gains.
> Maybe your build process is i/o bound.  If you're using GNU make and have
> the make dependencies set up properly, the -jN flag (for N = 2 or 3) may
> speed things up.

It's almost all CPU-bound on both the Pentium M and the Athlon.  But I
wasn't as much asking for technical approaches to speeding up
calculation, as for general strategy about dealing with this downtime
productively (I figured it was ok to ask this, given the other thread
about RSI).  My workday is getting chopped up in a manner sort of like
memory fragmentation in a program, where you end up with a lot of
disjoint free regions that are individually too small to use.

As for the technical part, the underlying problem has to do with the
build system.  I should be able to edit a source file, type "make" and
recompile just that file and maybe a few related ones.  But the
results of doing that are often incorrect, and to make sure the right
thing happens I have to rebuild.  I'm not in a position right now to
start a side project to figure out what's wrong with the build system
and fix it.

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