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Don’t we all love hard disk indexing? 10 August, 2008

Posted by aronzak in Linux, Vista, Windows.
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Daily hard disk indexing is a useful idea if you forget about where you put yesterday’s files, and need to search for them every day. For the other 99% of us though, we’re not that stupid and it’s a huge waste of resources. And, despite the fact that most users won’t ever use it, developers lumber us with indexing. It was one of the criticisms of Vista, but some Linux distributions insist on it. Why? Developers don’t understand the end user’s needs, and so make something based on what they think will be useful. The only problem with this is, it ain’t so.

Before I upgraded my ram, ‘find’ (or ‘updatedb’) would make the computer unusable, even just to browse the internet, as my slow 5000 rpm laptop hard drive would be busily reading from the disk, writing index tables back to the disk, and dumping all of my memory to swap, and reading from swap in order to run my programs.

My advice? Delete /etc/cron.daily/find or /etc/cron.daily/updatedb. You’ll never notice the difference, since you never use ‘locate’ anyway, adn your computer will run much faster, and you won’t need to enter your root password at every bootup to kill a process.