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That Bothers Tim



A blog of things that make my brain hurt...

After putting much thought into the possibility of consistently writing for a blog and understanding it was part of my slightly less bitter self-improvements, I decided to put into written word the many foibles that have irked me. This week we will start with; shutting a computer off.

With many years working in the IT field I have been asked one question more than any other, why should I leave my computer on. From a security aspect, this answer is quite simple, leaving your computer on will allow your system to obtain patches at regular intervals which will keep the system both secure and running well. When dealing in a business environment this is very important and may even be required in your chosen field of work.

In addition you will also avoid dealing with that pesky, your system has been updated and requires a restart to complete that can occur if the patching occurs outside of regular hours, and most likely when you’re trying to get something done. This is also avoid the troublesome my computer gave me 15 minutes to save my work but my coffee needed to be refreshed and I had the intention of coming back but I got busy talking to Marylou and now I got back and my system rebooted and the 14 page document that I began writing and did not save is gone, can you get it back? Yes, it is true this will also happen if your system reboots during the nightly patch window and a document is left open and unsaved but no one does that.

With the request of leaving your system on to ensure it is patched, I have always received the rebuttals; “What about the power consumption?”, “Leaving my computer on will waste power and I ride and e-bike to work to reduce may carbon footprint.” These are both valid concerns, well, not the e-bike thing, but that will be another bitter blog. A system that is in the correct state will use only slightly more power than a powered off computer. Yes computers, much like many electronics, still have a small power pull even when they are off. If the pro and cons could be measured financially the benefits to the overall productivity, and the less time lost to mid-day updates and reboots will far outweigh any cost incurred with the nightly power drain.