It’s freezing!

It’s freezing!

No, this post is not about air-conditioning on public transport — it is about computers. Specifically about responsiveness in user experience (UX).

To feel in control when you use a computer interface, it needs to respond to your actions in 10 milliseconds. One hundredth of a second. That’s pretty quick, and that’s what makes clicking and dragging feel natural.

Delays feel like a loss of control. Significant delays, where the computer appears to do nothing, are especially frustrating. It’s at this point where we start to refer to the computer “freezing”.

My iPhone does this sometime. It varies from app to app. Facebook is particularly noticable. After posting a comment, the app freezes. I can’t scroll the page, or touch anything, for a number of seconds. And there isn’t an hourglass or rotating circle to tell me to wait — that the app is busy. Eventually it comes good. When everything on my iPhone freezes, it’s usually time to turn it off and on again.

I can tolerate this in an iPhone. It’s a small computer and it’s always on. I don’t like it freezing, and it doesn’t do so too often. I’d rather it never froze, but I can cope. It’s my gaming rig (my desktop PC that I play games on) that is causing grief.

My gaming rig is freezing. Seems to do this at least once every time I turn it on. I’ll login and it’s ok. A couple of minutes later, it freezes. And it takes a couple of minutes before anything works again. I can’t run any programs. I can’t open new tabs in my browser. I can’t even click links or scroll pages already open in my web browser! Very frustrating, and I don’t know what causes it!

I certainly expect better from this PC — a quad core CPU with 4 GB of RAM, plenty of disk space, and a 9800GT video card. Windows 7 Pro 64- bit is the operating system.

I’ve changed the power plan. Stopped media throttling (registry hack). Defragged the hard disks. Uninstalled Adobe Air to stop it checking for updates. No luck.

Updating all the hardware drivers manually next. Hope it solves the problem. Freezing, it’s frustrating. Way more so than air-conditioning.

Sent from my iPhone