A Roomful of Meth-Addicted Monkeys

I was on travel last week with one of my colleagues. We went to the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center to attend a software team meeting sponsored by a client, and to give a couple of presentations to PSC staff.

During a quiet period my colleague and I happened to find ourselves comparing notes on our company-supplied laptops: Dell Latitude E6500s. My colleague, let's call him Diglio, runs Windows 7 on his, and I am running Kubuntu 10.04. We were just sitting ourselves down in an empty conference room to take advantage of the CMU wireless to check our email.

Diglio opened his laptop, which had been suspended, and nothing happened. Well, sort of. The fan came on, but not the screen. Nothing he could do would turn the screen on, he had to reboot.

Watching that I said, "That happens to me sometimes too. I thought it was the Linux power management tools that were screwing up. Do you sometimes close the lid to suspend, stick the laptop back in your case only to find a very hot laptop a bit later when you realize that it didn't suspend properly as well?"


It was then that I remembered a Slashdot story about the Dell E6500s which I had read back in November. One of the comments was, "...the power management firmware seems like it was written by a roomful of meth-addicted monkeys."

After observing how both Windows and Linux experience the same power management issues on the E6500s, I'd have to agree. How hard could it really be for a vendor to get his own hardware's power management firmware to work properly?

Dell, any comments on that?


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naughty monkey

martyrsoul_'s picture

mirc indir mircI wonder what these naughty friends know you have done ?

Resent the Monkey comment

JChimpo's picture

Being a fine and intelligent Chimp, I resent that Monkeys are presented as Stupid. With that said I guess it takes a monkey to use monkey written software. My Ubuntu Thinkpad suspends and wakes perfect every time. I think we, monkeys, have made good progress over the years. Next we need to improve Linux battery life.


Monkey Comments

Bob-El's picture

Mr. Chimpo, you should not resent the monkey comment. Since you claim to be a "fine and intelligent Chimp" you should be aware that chimpanzees are apes, not monkeys. Don't you watch TV?

Only the

Doug.Roberts's picture

Sorry for the misrepresentation: I meant to imply that it was only the meth-addicted monkeys who were stupid!



Why Suspend?

Bob-El's picture

I can understand a Windows user wanting to suspend his laptop. My wife's Acer laptop is running Vista and it takes so bloody long for the darn thing to shut down and the boot-up time is nothing to brag about either. However, suspend does seem to work just fine on her laptop.

Meanwhile my almost 8-year-old Toshiba Satellite A30 is running Ubuntu 10.04 very nicely (Windows XP was a dog on it), shuts down in 8 seconds, takes a little longer to boot up and suspend usually works. But with such a fast boot and shutdown, I just save my work and shut 'er down?

Why suspend...

Anders's picture

I usually use this kind of functionality when working in the commuter train, it's brilliant, just close the lid and later restore the work in progress by opening the lid...

Other than this situation I would agree ;o)

Meth monkeys

rtc's picture

I've had that happen once on my MacBook pro. I have to say that the sleep function on the Mac is the best I've seen. Windows is terrible. It takes the computer forever to get going again while the Mac is almost instant on.

Meth monkeys

rtc's picture

I've had that happen once on my MacBook pro. I have to say that the sleep function on the Mac is the best I've seen. Windows is terrible. It takes the computer forever to get going again while the Mac is almost instant on.

Not limited to Dells

OtakuN3rd's picture

I have a Sony Vaio VGN-BZ562NBB that has flaky power management, too.

i read that windows 7 and

Anarionist's picture

i read that windows 7 and windows vista have so much over head because of M$'s hidden DRM enforcement and Backdoors hence the security flaws and you know what i believe it take a look at what services xp is running right them down then do the same with seven and vista and youll notice several that are not familiar some granted maybe necessary but a majority of them are just wasted resource's. http://www.badvista.com/ for more info

but after reading that (now ive been a ubuntu user since 9.04 but recently went back to Wind Woes just so i could play a couple of games and then i realized i dont really play games that much) didnt even back any data up from windows at all just dropped cold turkey and located my 9.10 karmic koala disc formatted with gparted and thought with a certain unchangeable mind that i will never ever ever ever install windows on any system or use windows ever again period. plus i missed Guake i love my drop down terminal :)

Meth addicted monkeys

John Boker's picture

Not all meth-addicted monkeys are bad coders. It really depends on the source of the meth...

BillG again?!

Roland's picture

I remember hearing somewhere that Bill Gates decided to deliberately obfuscate the Power Management API to make it difficult in that area for non-MS software to use it, back in the 1990's. Has that now turned around and bit them?

they do provide a ACPI

turn_self_off's picture

they do provide a ACPI testing system thats their usual empbrace and extend style. Iirc, if one use it to code the firmware, one will have a firmware thats incompatible in various ways with the intel specs.

Open Source Firmware

Matthew Stinar's picture

The industry needs to move in the direction of better documented chipsets and open source firmware. Windows 7 will still overheat, but at least Kubuntu will work. ;)