Sunday, May 31, 2009

How To Save The World 33 Million Hours a Day

I was reading that Fedora 11 will have a 20 second boot time to login screen.

That made me curious how quickly the operating systems I'm using bootup, get on the network and shutdown.

I used a stopwatch to time Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty, Debian Lenny and Windows XP Professional.

Time from power on to login screen:

Ubuntu 24.9 seconds
Debian 37.7 seconds
Windows 75.5 seconds

Time from login screen to wireless network connection:

Ubuntu 22 seconds
Debian 14 seconds
Windows 82.7 seconds

Time from power off to shutdown:

Ubuntu 12.9 seconds
Debian 7.7 seconds
Windows 74 seconds

Total time to boot up, get on network and then shutdown are:

Windows 232.2 seconds (3.82 minutes)
Ubuntu 59.8 seconds (.99 minute)
Debian 59.4 seconds (.99 minute)

If we assume there are 1 billion PC users in the world running Windows and they each turn on their computers, get on a network and shutdown once a day - that's about 3 billion minutes per day. That means people are spending 50 million hours a day waiting for a PC to do something. If those 1 billion PC users switched to a faster operating system they could eliminate 2 minutes of waiting...that's 33 million hours a day.


Postscript - July 2009

I'm using the 2.6.30 Linux Kernel and Ext4 file system both of which shave off a few seconds from the time it takes to get boot and get on the web. Using my stopwatch it took this laptop 43.5 seconds from power-on to wireless web access. It's actually a little faster than that since I had to manually choose which kernel to boot and enter my user name and password.