You might not be aware, but my main machine accesses the internet through a fairly slow connection. Relatively speaking anyway. I get about 256k, which works out to a steady 26KB/s. A speed that’s pretty ok for web-browsing, but I won’t be watching Let’s Plays on this.
At least it’s a speed that ‘should’ be ok for web browsing. I’ve noticed that modern applications don’t really play nice with slower connections. This is another part of computing where I feel that developers are too concerned with performance and not sufficiently concerned with efficiency. The assumption that the best way to fix a problem is to throw more power at it and develop algorithms to take advantage of that power, instead of more reliably using the technology we already have. My connection isn’t going to get faster no matter what window scaling algorithms are thrown at it, however what does happen is that I’ve noticed connections closing and timing out more often than they used to when I was using Windows XP and a 56k modem. Which is strange right? For example Facebook has to be loaded twice, because the first time it’s virtually guaranteed that the background connections will die out and Facebook will just stop loading, same for the WordPress admin site.
I want to talk about efficiency in software development in far more detail later on, but today I want to share my solution to the transfer problem. I’ve got the following settings configured with TCPOptimizer in Windows 10.
I’ve noticed a few differences, but not only did I only have to load Facebook once, but I did it while Viber was updating itself in the background at full tilt. Also it seems like the background WordPress admin connection kept up while I was typing out the entire article, without forcing me to save everything to notepad and reload. It might not be a fully objective test, but I’ll consider it a win.
By the way, have I mentioned how much I get annoyed at applications that force update themselves? Fortunately I also make a product that stops that behavior in Windows 10, Update Controller. If you look on the right side of the page you will find a link.