If you have calculated long enough, it is likely that you have already seen strange things. For example, I had an HP printer that – and I swear to God, I'm not kidding – would only print if it were off. It would remain under siege, placidly mocking your attempts to send print jobs to its damn file, until you press the power button to turn off the printer. Once disabled, the bubbly ink beast will print a single document. If you had to print multiple documents, you had to turn on and off the printer between each document. This problem persisted during the installation of several operating systems and several motherboards.
One of the rumors I remember hearing about Windows 95, long ago, that moving the mouse during long installations of applications could increase the speed of your computer. installation. This still seemed slightly ridiculous, although the idea that your mouse has an impact on system performance is not what anyone who has ever tried using a USB 1.0 mouse can attest to it. In the early days of USB 1.0, it was possible that mouse clicks interrupt your processor and so that your mouse does not react when your processor is under a heavy load. Moments of pleasure.
This is due to a flaw in the way Windows 95 generates events and the fact that many applications are driven by events.
Windows 95 applications often use asynchronous I / O, that is, they request an operation on the file, such as a copy, and tell the operating system that they can be paused until the end of this operation. While sleeping, they allow other applications to run, instead of wasting computing time to continually ask if the file operation is complete.
For reasons that are not entirely clear, but probably because of performance issues on low-end computers, Windows 95 tends to bundle messages related to I / O completion and does not wake up immediately the application to repair them. However, it activates the application to allow the user to enter it, to give it an impression of responsiveness. When the application is enabled, it also handles pending I / O messages.
So, if you move the mouse, the application processes I / O messages faster and installs faster. The effect was quite pronounced; Large applications that might take an hour to install could be reduced to 15 minutes with proper mouse input.
It would seem that if we observed this effect in action probably depended on how the installer was written, but the fact that there was a real effect at first is rather hilarious. Even today, this kind of thing is not completely unknown. In the PC version of the original Dead Space, the reload rate of your recorded game is directly related to the frame rate of the game. If you want to load games faster, disable V-Sync (this may require Nvidia Inspector , I do not remember it honestly). I found this problem myself and tested it years ago. If it takes 45 seconds to load a saved game with a locked frame rate of 30fps and you start the game at 240fps unlocked, loading your game takes 5 to 6 seconds. My theory of work is that the game only performs a certain amount of I / O work per image and that it is hard-coded into the engine. Speed up the frame rate and speed up I / O.
This is not exactly the same as this old Windows 95 problem, but it's a similar idea. Does anyone have another type of random, surprising or interesting computer hardware?