Microsoft minutes



  • I was a bit worried that I probably wouldn't live long enough to see this finished.

     Applying Attributes... Please Wait! 

    Fortunately in the next few minutes the task completed. 



  • Well, I still probably can live that long but if not, then my son would resume my work.

    NB: I don't have a son yet, but 65,7 years are probably sufficient for achieve that.



  • I'm happy to see they don't use GetTickCount for time estimation. That would top at 49.7 days.



  • MS minutes are actually a cross between a New York Minute and a Day in the (silicon) Valley. 



  • @clively said:

    MS minutes are actually a cross between a New York Minute and a Day in the (silicon) Valley. 

    Multiplied by Leap Years per Fortnight.



  • Must have been one hell of a vacation.

     


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @proko said:

    Well, I still probably can live that long but if not, then my son would resume my work.

    NB: I don't have a son yet, but 65,7 years are probably sufficient for achieve that.

    <sense version="6">I see commas...</sense>



  • Many programs, most infamously Windows Explorer, try to guesstimate how long a task will take.  And they always get it wrong.  Why do programmers continually try to do this?  Why not display something that says "xx out of yy files processed" which is more meaningful and easier to get right.

    Also, the TRWTF is that he's using Vista.



  • @El_Heffe said:

    Many programs, most infamously Windows Explorer, try to guesstimate how long a task will take.  And they always get it wrong.  Why do programmers continually try to do this?  Why not display something that says "xx out of yy files processed" which is more meaningful and easier to get right.

    Also, the TRWTF is that he's using Vista.

    Perhaps because it would really suck to see 45 out of 48 files copied... when the first 45 files were a few kb and the last 3 are a couple gb?

    "Gee, it was moving so quickly, and now it isn't moving at all!"

     



  • Yeah.  Unfortunately customers expect our software to work on Vista.  Running Vista on my personal machine means I don't have to risk killing my dev machine while testing. 

    We normally use VMWare for test systems but if you think Vista is slow on real hardware try running it in a VM.



  • You don't know the Microsoft Minute yet? It's been around for almost a decade!

    Userfriendly: microsoft minute 



  • Non-computer example of a similar thing.

    In 1960 it was predicted that there was enough oil left in the ground for about 40 more years.

    In 1980 it was predicted that there was enough oil left in the ground for about 40 more years.

    In 2000 it was predicted that there was enough oil left in the ground for about 40 more years.



  • Even if they get it wrong, it eventually gets close and is a relatively accurate indicator.  What's worse is when it takes longer to calculate how long the operation will take than the operation actually takes.



  • @m0ffx said:

    Non-computer example of a similar thing.

    In 1960 it was predicted that there was enough oil left in the ground for about 40 more years.

    In 1980 it was predicted that there was enough oil left in the ground for about 40 more years.

    In 2000 it was predicted that there was enough oil left in the ground for about 40 more years.



    So it's safe to say we have enough oil left in the ground for about 40 more years.

    OR

    So it's safe to say we have enough oil left in the ground forever.



  • @tray said:

    @m0ffx said:

    Non-computer example of a similar thing.

    In 1960 it was predicted that there was enough oil left in the ground for about 40 more years.

    In 1980 it was predicted that there was enough oil left in the ground for about 40 more years.

    In 2000 it was predicted that there was enough oil left in the ground for about 40 more years.



    So it's safe to say we have enough oil left in the ground for about 40 more years.

    OR

    So it's safe to say we have enough oil left in the ground forever.

    If only we could breed/kill/bury/decompose dinosaurs fast enough... Renewable energy!



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @El_Heffe said:

    Many programs, most infamously Windows Explorer, try to guesstimate how long a task will take.  And they always get it wrong.  Why do programmers continually try to do this?  Why not display something that says "xx out of yy files processed" which is more meaningful and easier to get right.

    Also, the TRWTF is that he's using Vista.

    Perhaps because it would really suck to see 45 out of 48 files copied... when the first 45 files were a few kb and the last 3 are a couple gb?

    "Gee, it was moving so quickly, and now it isn't moving at all!"

     


    Then display the progress for the current file in bytes. Still less stupid.



  • @aythun said:

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:
    @El_Heffe said:

    Many programs, most infamously Windows Explorer, try to guesstimate how long a task will take.  And they always get it wrong.  Why do programmers continually try to do this?  Why not display something that says "xx out of yy files processed" which is more meaningful and easier to get right.

    Also, the TRWTF is that he's using Vista.

    Perhaps because it would really suck to see 45 out of 48 files copied... when the first 45 files were a few kb and the last 3 are a couple gb?

    "Gee, it was moving so quickly, and now it isn't moving at all!"

     


    Then display the progress for the current file in bytes. Still less stupid.

    Hey, I know, then we could take that and the transfer speed and calculate how much time it will take!

     



  • @aythun said:

    Then display the progress for the current file in bytes. Still less stupid.

    I prefer progress dialogues where they have multiple counters. # and % of total files done, # and % of current file done, and estimated time remaining for complete operation and current file. For most people it'd be information overload, but at least you can see exactly what's holding things up.

    Has anyone else noticed that even after (by my count) 9 major versions of windows (95/98/98se/ME/NT3/NT4/2k/XP/2k3/Vista), Explorer's file handling is still the biggest pile of moronic crap you'd like to flush down a toilet? Start to copy/move lots of files, and if file (say) 999 of 1000 causes a problem, the entire operation is aborted? And if you're on Vista, good luck getting even that far, as file operations in Vista explorer leak resources like nothing else and hose the system in short order.
     



  • @MarcB said:

    Has anyone else noticed that even after (by my count) 9 major versions of windows (95/98/98se/ME/NT3/NT4/2k/XP/2k3/Vista), Explorer's file handling is still the biggest pile of moronic crap you'd like to flush down a toilet? Start to copy/move lots of files, and if file (say) 999 of 1000 causes a problem, the entire operation is aborted? And if you're on Vista, good luck getting even that far, as file operations in Vista explorer leak resources like nothing else and hose the system in short order.

    I haven't had that problem, I was copying 500MB of music to my PSP with 475MB free space, explorer copied until full and deleted the file that it couldn't copy fully. Mind you it's irritating to try and unmount it safely but windows won't let you because something is still accessing the drive even though it stopped copying an hour ago.

    Although its infinite love of the temp folder when copying and downloading is less that fun.



  • @m0ffx said:

    Non-computer example of a similar thing.

    In 1960 it was predicted that there was enough oil left in the ground for about 40 more years.

    In 1980 it was predicted that there was enough oil left in the ground for about 40 more years.

    In 2000 it was predicted that there was enough oil left in the ground for about 40 more years.

    That's media-created sloppy reporting, spin, and sheer idiocy. Here's the real data:

    In 1974, it was predicted that if current trends continue, world peak oil (the point at which it production can no longer be increased and supplies will start to become scarce) would occur in 1995. Peak oil is the turning point, after which things will become progressively worse; it is impossible to predict how long after that it will be before oil becomes infeasibly expensive to burn for power, but most people figure it as a decade or two.

    Current trends did not continue. People started building cars that did more than one mile to the gallon and world oil consumption dropped significantly. People stopped using oil-fired heating for their homes and moved to electric and gas installations. Increased interest in oil futures increased the rate of discovery. Peak oil was pushed back a few decades.

    The US reached peak oil in the 1970s. The US is now importing most of its oil, which has completely wrecked their economy on the international scene, which is precisely what was predicted. The US government has been in a state of denial over this for the past decade.

    The world will reach peak oil sometime between 2005 and 2050, with most estimates being placed in the next few years. (We may have already hit it; new discoveries are starting to drop off rapidly, but we won't know for sure until a few more years of data come in). Peak oil will be reached in Iraq, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia sometime between 2010 and 2020. Nobody's sure about Canada and China yet; optimistic estimates of those figures are what could push it back as far as 2050. All the other major oil-producing countries have already peaked, most in the past decade.

    Note that the problem is not the amount of oil left in the ground, but the rate at which it can be extracted. It doesn't matter how many millions of barrels are down there if you can only get a couple hundred out per day.



  • Did anyone notice that 24K days is almost 2^31 seconds? Could be a coincidence, but it seems most likely that it somehow started the countdown at INT_MAX.

     



  • @asuffield said:

    Nobody's sure about Canada and China yet;

    Actually, Canada's a pretty sure thing. There's a hell of a lot of oil in the Alberta tar sands. Standard estimates place the reserves at or around Saudi Arabia's (depending on who you ask, of course). Only problem is how energy intensive it is to extract the oil from the sand.

    Current production methods only became profitable by Wall Street standards within the last few years, as the price of oil poked its way upwards. It's expensive to separate the oil from the sand, as it requires plenty of boiling water, which is generally heated by natural gas - burning gas to produce oil... real smart. Then of course the oil needs a lot of processing before it can even hit the refinery. Light Sweet Crude it ain't.

    There's been talk of putting a couple nuclear plants in/around the extraction areas, to produce hot water more than electricity, which would cut costs somewhat. But of course, mention the term "nuclear power" and far too many people start reaching for their torches and pitch forks.

    The Albertan economy, particularly in Calgary and Fort MacMurray, is totally insane because of all this tar sands business.. A burger flipper at McD's can get north of $17/hr starting wage, last I heard. That's pretty decent money, no matter how you look at it. Of course, you need to be earning $75/hour minimum just to afford a cardboard box under the freeway overpass, so maybe not quite as impressive.



  • @MarcB said:

    @asuffield said:

    Nobody's sure about Canada and China yet;

    Actually, Canada's a pretty sure thing. There's a hell of a lot of oil in the Alberta tar sands. Standard estimates place the reserves at or around Saudi Arabia's (depending on who you ask, of course). Only problem is how energy intensive it is to extract the oil from the sand.

    You seem to have had difficulty reading to the end of my post, so I will repeat it for you:

    Note that the problem is not the amount of oil left in the ground, but
    the rate at which it can be extracted. It doesn't matter how many
    millions of barrels are down there if you can only get a couple hundred
    out per day.

     

    Nobody is sure about Canada yet. Oil in the ground is useless; if they cannot get it out at a high rate of barrels per hour then it will have no impact on peak oil. The question of how fast it comes out is the deciding factor in how long it will delay peak oil.

    (Nobody is sure about China because the Chinese government aren't in the habit of telling the rest of the world what they've got, and when they do, they're usually lying)



  • From Microsoft minutes to oil... The oil will never run out completely because long before that happens it will become too expensive to use as energy source. And it is already happening. Cars are becoming hybrids because making significantly more efficient fuel only models without loosing too much power is no longer feasible. Next time I buy a car it will be a hybrid. And that trend will continue as oil keeps pushing the cost of driving a car up. Soon the oldest fuel hungry cars will become rarities and the scraping rate of even relatively new cars will increase because it is no longer worth it. Less and less oil will be used until the fuel economy will be but a distant memory.



  • P.S There will always be a "fuel" economy, energy is one of the base resources, but oil will be out of the picture...


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @MarcB said:

    Start to copy/move lots of files, and if file (say) 999 of 1000 causes a problem, the entire operation is aborted?
    <font face="courier new,courier">xcopy /c</font> is your friend.

    And if you're on Vista, good luck getting even that far, as file operations in Vista explorer leak resources like nothing else and hose the system in short order.
    Can't comment on that.



  • @MasterPlanSoftware said:

    @aythun said:
    @MasterPlanSoftware said:
    @El_Heffe said:

    Many programs, most infamously Windows Explorer, try to guesstimate how long a task will take.  And they always get it wrong.  Why do programmers continually try to do this?  Why not display something that says "xx out of yy files processed" which is more meaningful and easier to get right.

    Also, the TRWTF is that he's using Vista.

    Perhaps because it would really suck to see 45 out of 48 files copied... when the first 45 files were a few kb and the last 3 are a couple gb?

    "Gee, it was moving so quickly, and now it isn't moving at all!"

     


    Then display the progress for the current file in bytes. Still less stupid.

    Hey, I know, then we could take that and the transfer speed and calculate how much time it will take!

     


    ...which, given the screenshot, obviously isn't working.



  • @asuffield said:

    @m0ffx said:

    Non-computer example of a similar thing.

    In 1960 it was predicted that there was enough oil left in the ground for about 40 more years.

    In 1980 it was predicted that there was enough oil left in the ground for about 40 more years.

    In 2000 it was predicted that there was enough oil left in the ground for about 40 more years.

    That's media-created sloppy reporting, spin, and sheer idiocy.

    It's what I was told by someone in the oil industry who was speaking to an audience of science undergraduates. It may be a gross oversimplification, but if you call me a 'sheer idiot' you call them one too.

    (And no, I can't name who, since I was lectured by about half a dozen oil people last term. They were from either BP, Shell or Invincible Energy (a consultancy and training firm))



  • @asuffield said:

    You seem to have had difficulty reading to the end of my post, so I will repeat it for you:

    Note that the problem is not the amount of oil left in the ground, but
    the rate at which it can be extracted. It doesn't matter how many
    millions of barrels are down there if you can only get a couple hundred
    out per day.

     

    All depends on if you're talking about proven reserves, total reserves, or extractable reserves. There's a limit to how much liquid oil you can pump out of a hole without very expensive and heroic measures - oil derricks use the fact that the oil's under pressure and naturally wants to escape to the surface to do their work. As the amount of oil decreases, so does the pressure. Injecting CO2 or other materials to boost the pressure will work for a while, but has its limits.

    By contracts, the oil sands just have to be "extracted" by using a drag line and a lot of trucks to ferry the stuff to the processing plant. There's no limit to how much can be pulled out except how deep and wide you're willing to make the mine (and of course, how much is in the ground in the first place).

    So even if Saudia Arabia has a few billion barrels left under the sand, only some % of that will actually be economically extractable. Given a choice of a billion barrels of which 10% are recoverable, or 500 million barrels of which 100% are recoverable, I know which one  I'd pick.

     

    But no matter how you slice it, oil's a limited resource, and for all the Republicans bend over and put out for the oil companies, boosting production isn't the answer to the problem. Oil WILL run out at some point, and then only the places that had the foresight to invest in alternative energy sources will survive. If the U.S. won't wake up soon (or better yet, 10 years ago), the eagle's going the way of the dodo.



  • @aythun said:

    @MasterPlanSoftware said:
    @aythun said:
    @MasterPlanSoftware said:
    @El_Heffe said:

    Many programs, most infamously Windows Explorer, try to guesstimate how long a task will take.  And they always get it wrong.  Why do programmers continually try to do this?  Why not display something that says "xx out of yy files processed" which is more meaningful and easier to get right.

    Also, the TRWTF is that he's using Vista.

    Perhaps because it would really suck to see 45 out of 48 files copied... when the first 45 files were a few kb and the last 3 are a couple gb?

    "Gee, it was moving so quickly, and now it isn't moving at all!"

     


    Then display the progress for the current file in bytes. Still less stupid.

    Hey, I know, then we could take that and the transfer speed and calculate how much time it will take!

     


    ...which, given the screenshot, obviously isn't working.

    Good work with the sarcasm detector.



  • @MarcB said:

    By contracts, the oil sands just have to be "extracted" by using a drag line and a lot of trucks to ferry the stuff to the processing plant. There's no limit to how much can be pulled out except how deep and wide you're willing to make the mine (and of course, how much is in the ground in the first place).

    There are limits and they are not well-understood. The limits come from the need to preserve the structural integrity of the site and the investment available. Oil sands are basically a mining operation, and like any mine, you can only dig it out so fast - even strip mines are quite slow.



  • @m0ffx said:

    It's what I was told by someone in the oil industry

    Every word that comes out of their mouths is a lie. 



  • @PJH said:

    <font face="courier new,courier">xcopy /c</font> is your friend.

    That's fine if you're doing something easily representable by the miserable wildcard support offered in the command shell, but otherwise the graphical route is the only practical option, unless you want to sit there for an hour going Y Y Y Y N Y N N N... 



  • @m0ffx said:

    It's what I was told by someone in the oil industry who was speaking to an audience of science undergraduates. It may be a gross oversimplification, but if you call me a 'sheer idiot' you call them one too.

    The oil industry has little to no interest in swaying public opinion toward alternative fuels. By the time the market crashes, their executive managers and majority shareholders will have retired like kings. As long as their investors do not panic before it is too late.

    Given that, do you trust any spokesperson of the oil industry to honestly tell you how bad the outlook really is?



  • @MarcB said:

    @PJH said:

    <font face="courier new,courier">xcopy /c</font> is your friend.

    That's fine if you're doing something easily representable by the miserable wildcard support offered in the command shell, but otherwise the graphical route is the only practical option, unless you want to sit there for an hour going Y Y Y Y N Y N N N... 



    I laughed out loud at that. Really:D Makes the point very well.



  • @Arancaytar said:

    @m0ffx said:

    It's what I was told by someone in the oil industry who was speaking to an audience of science undergraduates. It may be a gross oversimplification, but if you call me a 'sheer idiot' you call them one too.

    The oil industry has little to no interest in swaying public opinion toward alternative fuels. By the time the market crashes, their executive managers and majority shareholders will have retired like kings. As long as their investors do not panic before it is too late.

    Given that, do you trust any spokesperson of the oil industry to honestly tell you how bad the outlook really is?

    They probably don't want public opinion to shift, but the fact is it is shifting, so most of the multinationals are deciding they want a piece of the action, and investing in renewable energy themselves. That way if it does reach the point that oil is no longer getting them the money, they're well placed to reposition themselves. Also, if the oil price rises, then renewables become MORE profitable, because they are cheaper by comparison. When we reach the point where renewables are CHEAPER than fossil fuels (perhaps with tax policy, perhaps without), then we'll see a real shift. Unfortunately the market forces will probably act too late to prevent major climate change.



  • @Arancaytar said:

    @m0ffx said:

    It's what I was told by someone in the oil industry who was speaking to an audience of science undergraduates. It may be a gross oversimplification, but if you call me a 'sheer idiot' you call them one too.

    The oil industry has little to no interest in swaying public opinion toward alternative fuels. By the time the market crashes, their executive managers and majority shareholders will have retired like kings.

    The oil industry has a great deal of interest in alternative fuels. When the market collapses, they want to be the ones controlling the distribution of the replacement.



  • It's not a unique problem to Microsoft; the following screenshot (by Mackie) is of Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard):



  • @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    It's not a unique problem to Microsoft; the following screenshot (by Mackie) is of Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard):

    Uhh ohh, it looks like someone ran out all their battery power and the system clock was reset to Jan 1st 1971 or some obscure incredibly old date. This has a tendency to cause erratic behavior all over mac os x...at least that's my experience, but I'm willing to bet the same happened to you.  



  • @kaamoss said:

    Uhh ohh, it looks like someone ran out all their battery power and the system clock was reset to Jan 1st 1971 or some obscure incredibly old date. This has a tendency to cause erratic behavior all over mac os x...at least that's my experience, but I'm willing to bet the same happened to you.

    To me? Why would it happen to me? That's not my screenshot. Besides, Mac OS X warns you if the clock is detected to be set to an implausible time, and for many years Apple have provided a free service that lets you set your clock over the Internet. My iMac's battery is flat, and if I have it switched off at the wall, the next time it boots it has the clock set correctly faster than I can see the wrong time.

    Besides, you're suggesting that Apple never has bugs …

    … with their time calculations …

    (First from Mackie, copying from one hard drive to another as I recall, the second one from John Blumer, erasing free space on a 60 GB Seagate drive in an Apple eMac running Tiger.)



  • Blasphemy!

    Ban him! Hang him! 



  • I didn't mean to imply that apple never has bugs with time calculations, but I've used 3 macs since 10.2 and I've yet to see anything like that, except if the clock is reset on my laptop after I kill a battery. I guess I need to use my mac more...

    Just curious, did you google those screens or have them laying around? 


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Daniel Beardsmore said:

    It's not a unique problem to Microsoft; the following screenshot (by Mackie) is of Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard):

    Looks like someone needs to uninstall Spotlight, and install Desktop Search.

     

    I kid. 



  • @kaamoss said:

    I didn't mean to imply that apple never has bugs with time calculations, but I've used 3 macs since 10.2 and I've yet to see anything like that, except if the clock is reset on my laptop after I kill a battery.

    Killing batteries is legal in your country?

    I've been using Mac OS since version 7.1, and I've never had a bad time estimate that I can recall. I would imagine that I've had just about every other conceivable bug though.

    @kaamoss said:

    I guess I need to use my mac more...

    Just curious, did you google those screens or have them laying around? 

    The Spotlight screenshot was one that Mackie e-mailed me a few days ago and I'd yet to do anything with it. The one of the Finder was one he'd put on his site years ago, but he's one of those people who has to rip his site down and design a whole new one every so often, so I have it lying around in a PDF he made of his screenshots collection. It was also a JPEG, for no good reason, so I massaged it back into a PNG. The drive erase one was given to me by John and I posted it on my site in mid-2006.



  • @PJH said:

    Looks like someone needs to uninstall Spotlight, and install Desktop Search.

    *golf clap*



  • @magetoo said:

    @PJH said:
    Looks like someone needs to uninstall Spotlight, and install Desktop Search.

    *golf clap*

    I didn't know it is multi platform now :)


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