While diagnosing a sound problem in one of our classrooms, the teacher mentioned to me that her computer (less than a year old) was “a bit slow sometimes”.

When I checked it, she had 39 PowerPoints, 61 Word documents, and 28 browser tabs open.

About The Angry Technician

The Angry Technician is an experienced IT professional in the UK education sector. Normally found in various states of annoyance on his blog. All views are those of his imaginary pet dog, Howard.

9 responses to “WE NEVER CLOSE”

  1. Daniel Beardsmore says :

    Did you actually check the commit charge? It would be interesting to know how much RAM that really does use. Of course, if it’s XP and has IE 8 running (unlikely but conceivable), it’s a foregone conclusion that you’ll be in RAM deficit long before that point …

  2. Daniel Beardsmore says :

    That said, I was diagnosing a slow PC fault recently that was triggered by printing invoices, and at this point the PC had completely ground to a halt.

    The cause? Every invoice in a batch run required a separate instance of Crystal Reports Runtime. Each CR process needs 100 MB RAM. In Windows 7, every CR process got started *simultaneously*, so a batch of 10 invoices would sink 1 GB very quickly (basically all the free RAM left). A batch of 20 would be very slow while Windows pretended that the PC was fitted with 3 GB RAM. New CR processes were being started faster than existing ones were closing.

    However, the guy wasn’t aware of the cause, and didn’t realise that the problem was proportional to the queue size (only that anything more than 10 invoices would be a bit slow), and his batch of 200 invoices was attempting allocate 20 GB …

  3. ScottishTech says :

    Sounds like a prime candidate for disabling tabbed browsing!!

    In saying that – I must confess that I’m quite guilty of running Firefox with umpteen tabs open, but never to THAT extent!

  4. squiddie says :

    I came across your site by accident… fantastic!!! :) I have been a tech for the past 12 years and come to realize that most computer related problems are located between the chair and keyboard.

    Keep em’ coming!

  5. Techguru4u says :

    How quickly I resolved PEBKAC as the cause of most issues. I discovered that PEBCAK (ann: Peb- Cake) sounds so much like a Virus that end users are comfortable with telling their friends that “Their Problem was Pebcake” – I dare not tell too many of them that “Problem Exists Between Chair and Keyboard” is PEBCAK

  6. Paul says :

    So you added more RAM right….

    I’m a sys admin for a school district here in the states and enjoy your site. Its like your in my head. Comforting to see even on a different continent the issues are the same.

  7. Richard Dennett says :

    I always find telling them its an ID 10 T error works well… id10t

  8. Dude says :

    Good one. My personal Favorite goes to a secretary in the time of the Old Religions… Every floppy she use can never be read again after she saved data. 3 Floppy drive later, I finally ask her to show me every step she does with her floppy until I realize it might have to do with the conviction she has at storing her floppy on the back of her metallic closet behind a magnet which oddly make it also very easily accessible… :-\

    The same woman one day complains of a dot matrix printer sometimes printing gibberish stuff until it get couple of slaps and start working again… after pulling it apart, I find out a couple of pennies wondering on the board… :-\

  9. Peely says :

    Some time ago, one of our exams officers was constantly complaining about their computer running slow and that it was ‘ridiculous’ and was ‘fed up with it all, it’s useless’. Admittedly the machine wasn’t top-spec (3GHz Pentium with 2Gb Ram running W7), but nothing that would prevent someone from running some large spreadsheets, browsers, and basically some general office use.
    After looking at what he had open, I noticed that Excel was utilising over 1.5Gb of memory and eating up CPU too. I then take a look and notice that one of the spreadsheets contained several worksheets, each containing lots of details of over 1000 pupils on each (with pictures). Furthermore, he had IE with loads of tabs open, 2 other users hadn’t logged out and the uptime was in excess of 30 days.
    An heated discussion ensued with regards to what he could have open and his urgent need for an upgrade whilst I insisted it wouldn’t make much difference unless we got a dogs b**l*cks PC, which we weren’t going to do.

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