OT: productivity and long computing delays

Larry Bates larry.bates at websafe.com
Wed Sep 27 22:04:45 CEST 2006

Paul Rubin wrote:
> I'm doing something where I frequently but unpredictably (i.e. I can't
> plan for it in advance) hit a snag that requires me to rebuild a large
> project.  The rebuild takes a couple hours.  During that time, I'm
> twiddling my thumbs and/or posting here, i.e. not getting anything
> useful done.  But the delay is not long enough that I can really
> switch to another project for a while.  
> Anyone got any suggestions?  How do you deal with this?  It could be
> mitigated with a faster computer (I'm using a 1.2 ghz Pentium M) but
> the overall task isn't large enough to justify going out and buying
> one.  Anyway, I did the same build on a 2 ghz Athlon 64 and was
> surprised that the speedup was only 35% or so.  I'd have to get a
> multiprocessor box to obtain really substantial gains.

Just guessing - A significant portion of the time might be I/O
that is disk bound so faster CPU won't help.  If that's the case
faster hard drive (10K or even 15K rpm) or a striped drive array
could help.  You should also check memory, if CPU starts
swapping, the swap I/O will kill your performance.

-Larry Bates

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