The most resource intensive program ever



  • I was a consultant working alongside, though on different projects, with another consultant who was an independant.  So one day he was trying to figure out why his program didn't work, and was trying to be tactful about blaming it on some program of mine that he thought was on the same server.  His programs were constantly crashing, but it was 'never his fault'. 

    Throughout the day, he kept asking "Are you *sure* you don't have anything running on venus?". I'd say no, I've got nothing on that server.  A few minutes later, purposefully in front of the IT director..."Are you really, really sure you've got nothing on venus??"  He had the 'ready to pounce' sound, like he'd found the evidence and just wanted to be diplomatic and give me a chance to admit my shame before he exposed me in front of the IT director.  I again said no.

    "Well, you and I are the only ones who could possibly have anything running on that server, and my program is going slow because it's being interfered with by *SOMEONE'S* program which is taking 99 percent of the resources!  Now Jim, that program isn't mine, therefore it's got to be yours, so please cancel your 'System Idle Process' program".

    The IT director and me looked at each other and I just had to leave the room shaking my head, trying to be politically correct and not burst out in uncontrollable laughter.

    --Jim



  • @jimolina said:

    The IT director and me looked at each other
    and I just had to leave the room shaking my head, trying to be
    politically correct and not burst out in uncontrollable laughter.

    --Jim



    I'd have to do the right thing.   Though once I got home I'd realize all the times I should have said...

    I'm just not sure if I should blame it on a cracker who got into this machine (this is particularly good if this is one of the few machines left in the world without a network connection), of If I should slab my forehead and go "duh", and then tell him that I forgot about that program, but he can kill it if he wants.   (will this crash the system or not?   I'm not brave enough to try on anything of mine)

    There are even better responses, but I can't come up with them until I my next shower.


  • That happened to me once too.
    Customers were complaining about a slow app of ours and called in an external consultant.
    A few days later we received an email with a screenshot indicating that he'd found the cause, and pointing us to the system idle processes being 99% on the SQL server.

    Of course the email got forwarded to half the company and (I left the place since) we still chuckle talking about it when we meet up.



  • John C. Dvorak complained about the same thing in his 'XP Decay'
    article at http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1304348,00.asp, so it must be true!






  • @spanky said:

    John C. Dvorak complained about the same thing in his 'XP Decay'
    article at http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1304348,00.asp, so it must be true!




    Jeez, he said that? Can we trust him with all his "big picture" observations when he gets little stuff like that wrong?



    A few weeks ago on TWIT, I'm pretty sure he called the Xbox 360
    "Playstation 360" or some other wrong name--and this was in reference
    to himself actually playing with a pre-launch press model or something.



  • Why is PCmag allowing a computer- and Windows-illiterate to write mindless columns on computers and Windows?



  • Well he does say that the System Idle process took up all his resources which I hoped he meant Memory and not cycles.  It shouldn't take any memory other than its tiny footprint.  If he did mean cycles... well... he should try killing the process to speed up his system :)



  • During my first co-op job I was examining and analyzing the contents of
    the database of an inventory management program.  The program
    itself would take 4+ minutes to load so after constant complaining IT
    sent someone to look at my machine.  After testing my network
    connection and the router I was connected to the IT worker started
    looking at my computer itself.  Looking at the running processes
    she noted "System Idle Process" was taking up a lot of cycles and tried
    closing it...



    Oh, and to the guy who was wondering what that does, it doesn't do anything.  The os wont let you cancel it.



  • @dhromed said:

    Why is PCmag allowing a computer- and
    Windows-illiterate to write mindless columns on computers and Windows?
    Maybe all the literate people steer away from PCMag ( and similars ) like the plague ?



    I still find an article about the advantages of deep cycling Li-ion
    batteries in a PCWorld mag amusing. ( Hint: Li-ions HATE being deep
    cycled )



  • Of course, the real question is, why did Microsoft put the remaining system resources as an item in Running Processes?



  • thats an easy one, because percentages always have to add up to a 100% right?
    I guess Sys idle proc compensates for the rounding in the rest of the percentages too.



  • <FONT face=Tahoma>Perhaps renaming the damn thing to something like "Don't blame it on me if your app is slow" should clear all the problems</FONT>



  • I attempted to kill System Idle Process with this

    http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/ProcessExplorer.html

    Which lets you kill a lot of things that windows won't, but it wouldn't let me kill that.

    It's a task manager on steroids basically.

    On a side note, over thanksgiving my aunt was asking me about her
    computer.  She was complaining that her performance was down to
    like 40%, and when she first got it, it was around 90%.  She
    wanted to know how to get her performance back up to 90%.  I had
    no clue what she was trying to say, but told her she should just
    reinstall windows, that her computer probably came with a cd that could
    do it for her.  Later on I realized that she was probably
    confusing the free space on her harddrive with performance.

    This is the same aunt that was trying to talk to me one time about how
    she hated doing stuff in visual basic for her tech school computer
    classes, it was too much like DOS.



  • @twobitbela said:

    I attempted to kill System Idle Process with this

    http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/ProcessExplorer.html
    [...] it wouldn't let me kill that.


    Because it's not an actual process.


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