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Delete a shortcut or land a man on the moon?

  1. Sep 6, 2007 #1


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    Dear Mr. Gates:

    My computer has enough flops to count every man woman and child on the face of the Earth in the time it takes my heart to beat twice. Why oh why then, is a simple operation like deleting a shortcut such an incredibly time- and resource-consuming task? It takes, like, 30 seconds to delete a single shortcut. That's something like 60 Gigaflops.
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  3. Sep 6, 2007 #2


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    I seriously doubt the processing power factors in at all. You could be running a flops-intensive task at the same time as deleting the shortcut and it wouldn't be slowed.

    (Of course, if you're doing this in Vista, I feel you -- very poorly designed there!)

    Minor note: 30 seconds * 2 Gflops = 60 Gflop, not 60 Gflops; the seconds cancel.
  4. Sep 6, 2007 #3


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    Happens every time*. There's something highly time-consuming about this menial task. I'm on XP.

    *that is, every first time. Subsequent deletions are fast. Makes me wonder if the Deletion Daemon is not a "morning [strike]person[/strike] daemon".
  5. Sep 6, 2007 #4


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    A lot of the overhead is the permission and registry checks. The OS does a million checks first to see if deleting the shortcut (or any file) is going to screw up the operation of any programs, or prevent you from being able to run them. It has to hit the disk in eight million places to do all these checks, and most of the delay is your hard drive seeking around. It has to check for permissions, which also takes time since there's a ton of unnecessary network infrastructure, layers of software, and cryptographic bull built into it. Finally it has to journal the filesystem transaction, which involves a few more disk hits, and then the deletion actually occurs. The deletion itself is probably a couple of milliseconds.

    You could use an operating system like Linux if you prefer. There is no registry, it doesn't care if you screw up your programs, the permissions are just a couple of bits in a field, and the filesystem is more efficient than NTFS. You type rm and the file is deleted pretty much instantaneously. It takes longer for the shell to print its subsequent prompt than it does for the deletion to actually occur.

    - Warren
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2007
  6. Sep 6, 2007 #5


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    Yeah, kind of puts a dent in the whole "convenient feature" philosophy.
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