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Thread: Quick question re: software dying

  1. #1 Quick question re: software dying 
    j
    j is offline
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    I am under the impression that software degrades over time because it is copied and re-written as it is opened and closed.

    Am I right? If I am wrong, why does software degrade over time?

    I am having trouble with software running on an old Windows platform; the system does not have Sleep Mode and Defrag is NOT available [I think Defrag is on the computer, but has been locked out], so that can not be the source of the crashes.

    The application [a generally rugged commericial application] opens and sets up fine, but I get a sharing violation when I try to run it.


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  3. #2 Re: Quick question re: software dying 
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by j
    I am under the impression that software degrades over time because it is copied and re-written as it is opened and closed.

    Am I right? If I am wrong, why does software degrade over time?

    I am having trouble with software running on an old Windows platform; the system does not have Sleep Mode and Defrag is NOT available [I think Defrag is on the computer, but has been locked out], so that can not be the source of the crashes.

    The application [a generally rugged commericial application] opens and sets up fine, but I get a sharing violation when I try to run it.
    No, the software doesn't degrade.

    Sharing violations are most offten caused by one program opening a file that another program wants to write to. Once in a while an application will lock a file that it has opened even though it doesn't want to write to it.

    What most often happens is the libraries used become contaminated with mismatched versions after installing xx number of applications, games, etc. So the software becomes unstable. Each library has functions that the applications call, when the versions are mismatched often a program will run but not properly, or with any stability. It's like placing the wrong part in your car that looks about right and will let it run but doesn't exactly work as well as the original.

    So, most of the time the versions of DLL and other such libraries just get out of sync. This is not something that happens on it's own (unless you have hardware problems). It happens because different programs install different versions of the same library, or overwrite a newer or older version all together.

    Windows and Linux both suffer from this problem, Linux a bit less so. In the end you just have to format and start over. I have a workstation that is in need of this exact procedure. I installed one too many applications and now one of them has messed up one or more semi critical libraries.

    Defrag will not "Fix" a PC, it will however make it run faster. Many people have the false impression that if their PC is crashing all the time it needs to be defragged. All defrag does is move the same data to a better place on the hard drive so it can access it faster. It's still the same data.

    Now, if your PC has bad memory an overheating processor, or other hardware issues then it's possible certain files on a machine can become corrupt. Defrag actually can help this processs along by moving data through a faulty system.


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  4. #3  
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    One other thing that will degrade programs over time. If you are not running an UPS, surges and spikes often cause bits and bytes of data loss. Over time this random drop out of those add up. Sooner or later, program lines start to fail or drop out.

    Defrag and chkdsk have aways seemed to be more "fragile" than the rest of the OS, largely I suspect for the reason that (In)Sanity gave, the DLLs.


    As was mentioned, defrag won't fix a pc. It only puts the data in order so that the heads don't have to search for bits of a program over different platters in the hd. In essence that removes the search and seek time and thus speeds up the reading of the programs.
    "Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo."
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  5. #4  
    Forum Isotope (In)Sanity's Avatar
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    Yah, a UPS is critical for anyone who values their PC's data. I for one run one on all my workstations and servers. The switches and routers are also of course on a UPS. A 700 - 800 VA sized UPS works for most people these days. This server is only on a 450, that however is plenty considering it has no CD-ROM, floppy, monitor, keyboard or mouse The routers are on a seperate one. Be for warned that the batteries in the UPS systems need to be changed every couple of years. That can be a bit of an expense.
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