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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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Reboot – You’ll Feel Better

Comments (15)

For the last 20 years the solution to at least 50% of my computer problems is “reboot.”  Interestingly this is no longer a PC problem.  While working on getting Amy’s Mac set up this weekend, I rebooted TWICE.  I rebooted (turn off – wait 15 seconds – turn back on) my car this morning when the radio didn’t come on.  I had to reboot my iPod this morning because it was frozen.  My Garmin watch needed rebooting on Friday because – hell – I don’t know.  The solution to the problem with my new Sony PS/3 – unplug it and plug it back in.  Troubleshooting tip #1 on my new Dish HD receiver – turn it off and turn it back on.  Don’t even get me started about my Vista boxes.

I put this in the category of “fucking stupid.”  It’s not going to work to have to reboot my consciousness 20 years from now.

  • http://capital-risqueur.blogspot.com David Dufresne

    Eh eh… I love my new Archos 605wifi PMP, but I find it telling that they go out of their way to tell you how to reboot, do a hard reboot, find the reset button, reset the memory cache, repair, reformat, etc…

  • http://www.feld.com Brad Feld

    According to http://roc.cs.berkeley.edu/, Rebooting may be unavoidable.

  • Jesse

    I’ve rebooted my Christmas lights before. When they stopped blinking in different patterns, I unplugged them and plugged them back in solving the problem.

  • Art

    Or not… :-)

    server% cat /etc/redhat-release
    Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS release 3
    server% uptime
    17:49:27 up 317 days

  • Qian Wang

    Don’t we already reboot our consciousness? I think it’s called “sleep.” If you don’t do it, you would get blurred video, memory allocation errors, a general slow-down, and some other pretty erratic behavior. And if you really persist, you’ll get a hard-freeze. So if God can’t create something that works without rebooting, we can’t really be too hard on Gates and Jobs. And I think all-night tooling sessions fueled by Jolt are just attempts at besting other nerds’ uptimes.

  • Joel Wampler

    I’ll try not to sound like I’m bragging when I tell you that my SuSE Linux desktop at work has been running for 243 days now… But I have recently started using a Windows Media Center PC so I can totally relate to what you’re saying. :)

  • http://mattishness.com mathew johnson

    yeah, but christmas lights are pretty complicated machines, so it’s to be expected – i’m surprised you didn’t have to update the ‘string of christmas lights firmware’ as well :)

  • Peter Kazanjy

    Preach it, brotha!

    It’s partially our fault as users for tolerating it for so long.

  • Amish

    You have to reboot everytime even in life. When you’re stuck with programming problem (that’s hogging your thought process a.k.a. memory), take a step back and reboot. Come back and it gets solved.

    When you have a big problem in life, leave it behind and reboot.

    Reboot is nothing but “starting fresh”, “clearing your memory”. That’s a solution to most problems in life, not just electronic objects.

    Winners are generally the most effective “rebooters”. They have the capability to start fresh even after failure.

    Rebooting is a GOOD THING. :-)

  • http://sophisticatedfinance.typepad.com Robert Hacker

    Now that you have raised the question of re-booting consciousness, we will expect you to fund 5-10 business startups in this area to commercialize the concept. Gates Foundation would a logical co-investor, even though Bill has apparently never had to re-boot.

  • http://WWW.ajira.com Nari Kannan

    There is a simple Engineering explanation to the reboot problem. It has to do with the number of “different” suppliers involved in creating a product. VAX/VMS needed to be rebooted once in 2 or 3 months, Windows once every day! It may have to do with applications exiting and not cleaning up after themselves, freeing resources like Heap Memory after you exit. The more applications from more vendors, the probability of bad programming goes up!

  • Steve Bergstein

    Rebooting is not a good thing if you’re the pilot of an aircraft, the doctor performing robotically assisted surgery, the driver of a car, or like a friend of Brad’s, a space shuttle astronaut.

    There are many situations in which this requirement is just unacceptable (and as patently absurd as is suggested here).

  • Rick

    I recycle my Directv HD DVR and wait a full 10 minutes before the thing comes back to life.

    I do it 2-3 times per week and it’s always when I want to actually watch something.

  • http://avc.blogs.com fred wilson

    i wouldn’t mind rebooting if the reboot took 5 seconds.

    but my macbook takes something like 5mins to run through the reboot cycle.

    my blackberry is worse.

    my set top box is even worse.

    i’ve taken naps that are shorter than the reboot cycle on my windows machine!

    Fred

  • http://www.groovypost.com MrGroove

    Ahhhh… I need to comment on this one. One sec, I need to reboot first. BRB

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