Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Getting Turned On

My employer is considerate enough to provide its customers with free WiFi access and occasionally my IT skills (such as they are) are called upon to help guests connect to an access point. One such request was made as recently as last night and I managed to connect my customer's laptop to the network by switching on his wireless and rebooting his machine!

Although pleased the problem didn't require a technical solution, I was struck by how long it took to boot the machine (a Sony Vaio running WinXP) into a state in which useful work might be done - a staggering four and a half minutes! I have fond memories of XP and I didn't remember my XP machine taking so long to get started: nonetheless, I thought that I'd benchmark my own machines anyway and I confess to being surprised by the results.

Computer (RAM) Operating System Network Connection Login Dialog Time (mm:ss) Total Boot Time (mm:ss)
DELL Dimension 8400 (3.0GB RAM - Desktop)Ubuntu 10.04 LTSEthernetc 00:3001:05.75
DELL Inspiron 1501
(1.0GB RAM - Laptop)
Ubuntu 10.04 LTSWirelessc 00:3601:16.05
DELL Inspiron 530s
(3.0GB RAM - Desktop)
Win Vista Home Premium (SP2)Ethernetc 00:4502:02.75
DELL Inspiron6400
(2.0GB RAM - Laptop)
Win XP Professional (SP3)Wirelessc 00:4504:26.6

For the purposes of this test, useful work meant opening a web browser (actually, Firefox on all the machines tested) and navigating to Google's front page. I realize that there are plenty of reasons why this test is not likely to be error free; however, it does give a reasonable estimate of the boot times of each operating system on the various installation platforms. You'll notice that my XP machine takes almost as long as my customer's! Moreover, whilst my Vista machine appears to have performed reasonably well compared with the two Ubuntu machines, it is noteworthy that I was able to perform the test (open a browser and navigate to Google) before everything in the startup routine had loaded.

This post is not intended as a platform to bash Microsoft, but it does illustrate yet another advantage of Ubuntu over its commercial rival.

No comments:

Post a Comment