Author Topic: Does playing muds screw up my computer?  (Read 3146 times)

Dan

  • Posts: 2409
Does playing muds screw up my computer?
« on: March 02, 2003, 03:55:11 PM »
Lately I have had some trouble with trying to convince my stepdad and mother that playing Arm or any other scrolling text MUD doesn't screw the computer up.

Its gotten to the point where he wants to run defrags and scandisks every day, either to thwart my efforts of getting onto the comp or because he seriously thinks there is a problem.

I've not really ran into any major problems, but I hear it from them both that things run slow and he keeps getting errors.

So any technical help here? Or a good thing I could say to convince them that playing Arm isn't ruining their comp?
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Delerak

  • Guest
Does playing muds screw up my computer?
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2003, 04:12:17 PM »
They are right, your enabling the staff to input virii and worms into your computer which will give them the power to know everything about you and your family, like what you eat for breakfast, what kind of detergeant you use and what movies you like, they do it to us all.  It must be done for someday armageddon will reign over the entire earth, and the overlords will truly be overlords.

Meep

  • Posts: 135
Does playing muds screw up my computer?
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2003, 04:31:43 PM »
No. Playing muds does not screw up your computer because although the text is scrolling, all of the commands and served text and processing is actually being handled through the server that the mud is running on.. in Arm's case, Ginka.

However, some mud programs have crash problems (though I doubt that's the issue with your recalcitrant pc). Are you running a lot of logs? If you are keeping a lot of little logs, that could contribute to fragmentation (albeit in a VERY minor way, unless you have a tiny disk drive).

Drive fragmentation is an issue caused by the way that hard disks store information. Basically, imagine a hard disk plate as a big appetizer plate divided into concentric rings. Each ring is further subdivided into smaller compartments. Because these compartments are of a set size, they can only store so much data. When one compartment is filled, it goes onto the next and so forth until the entire file is saved. With most file systems, even if the last little compartment isn't full.. if you get in a different file it will start in a brand new compartment.

Taking the example of a circular appetizer tray, it would go something like this. Say each compartment on the tray can only hold 10 pieces of appetizer and each different type of appetizer needs its own tray. So first you have 32 sicilian olives. Well, you start at the outside and you pop in your olives.. these olives take up -4- compartments.. 10 per plus 2 in the fourth. Then you have 25 pickled onions.. that takes up three.. then 57 mini-quiches.. well you get the idea.

Fragmentation happens when you delete a file.. because the next time you save a file to the hard disk, it will look for the first empty space...

In keeping with appetizers, say that your guests ate up all the pickled onions. Now, between the olives and the quiches, you have 3 empty compartments that can be filled. So, the next appetizer to be brought in is 7 deviled eggs. So.. that only takes up one spot. But there's still room! So you load up your next batch of appetizers and its 40 shrimp toasts. So you load 20 in the free compartments.. but there's no more room between the eggs and the mini quiches! So... what does your computer do? That's right, it fragments the file, putting the rest of the shrimp toasts AFTER the mini quiches.

The more you delete and save, the more and more fragmented your disk becomes and the longer it takes your hard drive to read a file (since the file is broken up into non-continuous sectors it is skipping all over the place trying to find the information).

Things to keep in mind when diagnosing your problem: What is the age of your computer? Over time, hard disks begin to degrade and when they do, they become rife with errors, corruptions and may just finally crap out. What is your hard drive's capacity? Smaller drives tend to fragment more quickly. How much memory do you have on your computer? Keep in mind, that although 32Megs was fine five years ago, many computers nowadays are coming out with a gig or more of RAM. If you're not running at least 256 Megs of memory, you could start running into problems, especially if you have a lot of programs (and memory intensive programs) running in the background.

Also, don't rule out the possibility of spyware, unwanted TSR's and viruses, all of which can eat away at your system's resources.

Another thing to look for is whether the computer slows, locks up or crashes when you are running a certain program. Black and white does this on my computer for no apparent reason (except that I think there's a memory leak in the program). It'll be running along fine and then it'll just start grinding and taking longer to process before locking up completely. But it happens ONLY when I run that specific program.

A couple things to try to alleviate the problem: disk defragmenting (it is unnecessary to do this every day, unless you are saving and deleting files constantly. It is very time consuming to defrag a large drive, and if it is a large drive, then you run into the law of diminishing returns very quickly). Windows comes with a disk defragmenter but I've found that proprietary defrag programs work faster and better.

Run a virus scanner to check for any possible viruses. There are several excellent pieces of virus scan software out on the market and the investment is worth it. I use Fprot but some other good ones are Norton Antivirus and McAfee Virus scan and V-shield. Some of these programs may even come packaged in a Utilities software bundle that includes defragmenters and other system utilities timesavers and also, streamliners that may remove unneeded files and things that may be clogging up the system. Many of these also include disk scan software that is more reliable than the windows standby when checking the disk for errors and corruption.

Install a spyware sniffing and discarding program like Ad-Aware by LavaSoft. This is a free piece of software that finds unwanted spyware (sometimes installed by games or websites that you may travel to). Just go to Yahoo and look up Ad-Aware (or Ad Aware).

You may also, if running windows 95 or 98, go into your close program dialogue box (alt-control-delete just ONCE) and close all programs except for explorer.exe and  systray.

Also, try booting the computer into safe mode and see if it runs better in safe mode.

The BEST way, really, aside from all of that, is if you bought the computer pre-assembled from a company like dell or gateway, is to call their tech support.

But aside from the mud client software you are using (if using something other than standard telet) somehow being corrupted, having a memory leak or somehow screwing with the pc, scrolling text and mudding really shouldn't be affecting your pc in the ways you are describing.

<edited by incoherent author>
I may not have been clear on the whole disk defragmenter/appetizer tray example, and I feel as though I got carried away, what with the talk of olives and other standard appetizer tray fare. I just want to iterate the fact that I haven't slept, and it makes perfect sense to me.

 :shock:
lt;Varak> "If my theory proves correct, weezers and dwarves, due to their similar evolutionary environment, should join in a symbiotic relationship in extended isolation."

Angela Christine

  • Posts: 6595
Does playing muds screw up my computer?
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2003, 04:41:08 PM »
I think daily defrags are more likely to screw things up than MUDs.  On my old Windows 3.1 computer defraging the harddrive led to at least one program getting messed up about 1/4 of the time.

The only way I can see MUDs potentially causing trouble is if your hard drive is almost full, you log everything, and keep all your logs forever.  Even then, logs are just text files so they shouldn't take up too much space on a modern drive.

Good luck.

AC
Treat the other man's faith gently; it is all he has to believe with."     Henry S. Haskins

Dan

  • Posts: 2409
Does playing muds screw up my computer?
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2003, 04:46:14 PM »
We have plenty of free memory, and I never log anything.

I think it may be that we have too many programs running in the background. Now I have to figure out how to explain this to someone who knows everything. You know that guy right? Argumentative, is always right? Stepdads...
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Lazloth

  • Posts: 1783
Re: Does playing muds screw up my computer?
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2003, 04:53:08 PM »
Quote from: "Dan"
I've not really ran into any major problems, but I hear it from them both that things run slow and he keeps getting errors.

So any technical help here? Or a good thing I could say to convince them that playing Arm isn't ruining their comp?

It's unlikely but your client may be contributing to the system's degradation:  memory leaks and spyware (alluded to above) are items virtually every computer operator will touch periodically.  Flush your system, reboot, do the virus dance.  Have your parents record the errors they see and hunt them down on google.
quote="CRW"]i very nearly crapped my pants today very far from my house in someone else's vehicle, what a day[/quote]

Supertech

  • Guest
Muds degrading system performance.
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2003, 07:05:02 PM »
You can listen to the well reasoned and excellently explained responses (like those above) all you want.  But Im here to tell you that Muds definately do destroy your system.  Use a little logic here.  All those letters and words keep scrolling up the screen.  THEY HAVE TO GO SOMEWHERE.  They are scrolling up the monitor, so they have to be collecting somewhere.  Inside your monitor is the most likely place.  

First, you will notice that the back and top of your monitor has little holes all in it.  Some might say that is to let heat out.  Nonsense.  Thats to let all those words and letters escape that constantly move up your screen.  Check behind your desk and sweep up occasionally.  If there are no letters or words are piling up back there there, your monitor must be getting clogged.  You will have to remove the back cover of your monitor, turn it upside down, and shake it violently until all the used up letters and words come out, vacuum out the inside, then take a toothpick and clean out all those little holes in the cover so they dont block up again.  

If you find little clumps of numbers have all "gunked up" inside the monitor (usually from the status bar) and the vacuum wont get them, I suggest using a pressure washer or a garden hose if a pressure washer is unavailable.  You can find some petroleum based products at your local computer store, but I feel that these are too harsh on the delicate components.  Good old fashion water seems to work best, just remember to immediately plug the monitor back in so the water will evaporate more quickly.

Bardex

  • Posts: 178
Does playing muds screw up my computer?
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2003, 07:13:04 PM »
Thing to not run in the background while you're online (especially if you're on dialup with an old fashioned modem and not DSL or cable):

Wallpaper. Just get rid of it. It's pretty, but it's a memory hog.

Screen savers. Set yours to just go black when you've been idle for "x" amount of time. Again, pretty, but memory sucking. If you shut down the computer when you think you'll be idle for more than an hour, disable screen savers altogether. If you leave it on while you're sleeping, let the monitor just go black, or better yet, shut the monitor off and turn it back on when you're awake again.

IE. It's evil. Find a different browser.
Newer versions of Netscape. Not evil, just buggy. Older versions are still perfectly fine for most purposes.

ICQ. Unless you know how it works backward and forward and can be SURE you're preventing people from finding the portal that ICQ uses, just don't use it. This has to do with the ICQ configuration and "file sharing" mechanisms.

File sharing. Disable.

Kazaa. UNinstall. Do -not- delete.

Another thing to consider: get RamBooster and run it every couple of hours. There's no need to leave it on, again, if you're not actively using something, don't keep it open. RamBooster is an applet and it's a free download. A google search will lead you right to it.

Any of these things, especially combined with any other of these things, can cause memory issues. Hackers getting in through open portals can cause hard disk issues (though that's rare if you're on dialup, most hackers just aren't interested in you).

Defrag is a great thing to do - once a month, and only if your system tells you you're more than 92% fragmented. If you're at 92% or better don't bother with it, and wait another month and try again.

On the old windows systems (win95, win3.x) I'd also recommend a weekly chkdisk. If you do this, and it asks if you want erroneous data converted to files, answer NO. Otherwise you'll just load up your hard drive with .tmp files that you have no use for.

If you have dsl or cable, use a firewall. Any firewall is better than none in -most- cases, though I've heard McAfee is a little persnickety about some things. There's no excuse not to run a firewall if you are on high-speed internet. If you don't use it, you might as well just put your computer out on the curb with a sign that says "EXPLOIT ME BABY!" taped to the box.

Good luck!

da bardic technician
ugar and Spice

Meep

  • Posts: 135
Does playing muds screw up my computer?
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2003, 01:51:55 AM »
Also, earlier versions of certain operating systems (there are 3 versions of windows 95 and 2 of 98) are prone to more problems system-wise than their later counterparts.
lt;Varak> "If my theory proves correct, weezers and dwarves, due to their similar evolutionary environment, should join in a symbiotic relationship in extended isolation."

Impska

  • Posts: 152
Does playing muds screw up my computer?
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2003, 02:35:11 AM »
Quote from: "Meep"
<edited by incoherent author>
I may not have been clear on the whole disk defragmenter/appetizer tray example, and I feel as though I got carried away, what with the talk of olives and other standard appetizer tray fare. I just want to iterate the fact that I haven't slept, and it makes perfect sense to me.


It actually made perfect sense to me. I learned a lot about fragmenting/defragmenting that I had no idea about before.  Thanks.
quote="Lirs"]Sometimes I wonder why I do it.. when reading the GDB feels like death.[/quote]

X-D

  • Posts: 5818
Does playing muds screw up my computer?
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2003, 05:43:05 AM »
kazaa RUN, FLEE, HIDE, uninstall, also Gator, uninstall, search out and destroy every last vestige of said worm/virus/spyware, IE, sucks, netscape or opera, DON'T USE OUTLOOK EXPRESS, biggest hole that even the worst cheapest virus/worm/trojan and other icky things take advantage of to get into your computer MS has basicly zero security there, and it is worse with XP, hhhmmm, what else, deskmates, purge, use tons of cpu time and ram, AOhell and prodigy/yahoo brousers/dial software also use up like 99% of cpu time and an incredible amount of ram, if you feel you have to defrag, don't do it with ms, use something that works to optimize your files for use, norton 2002 or better, lots to choose from, ms defrag is a dumb defrag program and likly to do more harm then good.

if all else fails, beat computer with a large hammer till it is many little parts, this will not help the computer but it will make you feel better and give you reason to build a new one.
A gaunt, yellow-skinned gith shrieks in fear, and hauls ass.
Lizzie:
If you -want- me to think that your character is a hybrid of a black kryl and a white push-broom shaped like a penis, then you've done a great job