Originally Posted by jlinkels
This was not trying to find a rant on Windows, I am seriously convinced that the slowness of Windows is caused by the filling up of the registry. I think we agree that a Windows machine get slower over time, especially if more software is installed, and that it feels like new when we do a clean install.
If I use regedit to search for some key, it takes *seconds* on a fast machine to search thru a registry of a few megabytes. That fits in the assumption that the registry is slow to use. If it is just a bad implementation of the regedit search function, I wonder why MS has not been abale to fix it since 1995.
In Linux, no matter how many packages I have installed (and on some machines that is QUITE a lot) it stays fast as ever.
If I can find an good and true explanation for Windows' degradation over time other than the registry, I will use it in the future. I like a good rant too, but dislike telling untruth.
THe reason it takes a long time to search the registry is exactly that, you're "searching" for that string in every key.
When a Program wants to look up a setting it says "The Key I want is HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Explorer\Drive_letters", or something like that, the registry finds it in the index, and plucks it out in a jiffi.
On linux, the program says "My settings are in /home/yourname/.vimrc", the OS looks for it in the file-system index (bigger than a registry index), and gives the program its filehandle.
The reason windows slows down is because of all the crap that ends up running on it at boot, I have gotten very good at removing this stuff. And my Windows box boots in almost the same time as my linux box, even though the Windows box is running an FTP server, a media server, A file server, an ssh server in cygwin, and an HTTP server. The linux laptop runs a samba file server and no more. I've had this XP install for 3 years now, through 2 different RAID controllers.
I still prefer Linux though, and if my games worked on it, my PC would run a nice Linux Distro.