The Death of Booting Up

Three cheers for computers that start instantly.

Farhad Manjoo

MacBook Air.Remember "booting up"? It was the first thing you did every morning—you waited two minutes, three minutes, sometimes even longer while your computer ran through a series of self-tests, loading screens, and an error prompt or two before settling into any kind of useful state. Booting up was a bear, something to be avoided at all costs. In 2001, according to one study, half of all office computers were left on during nights and weekends, wasting enormous amounts of electricity. But hey, that’s better than booting up, right? You can also blame long boot-up sequences for the early-1990s screensaver fad. Monitors used to suffer "burn-in" when a static image remained on the screen for long periods of time. Screensavers were just a way to keep computers busy so you didn’t have to turn them off.

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