Did Windows 95 Run Faster By Moving The Mouse Cursor?

TECH NEWS – It seems there is credibility behind the urban legend: by moving the mouse, Windows 95 might have actually been faster!

StackExchange has explained why there’s credibility behind the fact that within the nowadays obsolete operating system might have performed much better if we used the mouse. Let’s see the explanation: „This is because of a flaw in the way Windows 95 generates events and the fact that many applications are event-driven. Windows 95 applications often use asynchronous I/O, that is they ask for some file operation like a copy to be performed and then tell the OS that they can be put to sleep until that operation finishes. By sleeping they allow other applications to run, rather than wasting CPU time endlessly asking if the file operation has completed yet.

For reasons that are not entirely clear, but probably due to performance problems on low-end machines, Windows 95 tends to bundle up the messages about I/O completion and doesn’t immediately wake up the application to service them. However, it does wake the application for user input, presumably to keep it feeling responsive, and when the application is awake it will handle any pending I/O messages too.

Thus wiggling the mouse causes the application to process I/O messages faster, and install quicker. The effect was quite pronounced; large applications that could take an hour to install could be reduced to 15 minutes with suitable mouse input.”

So if you have moved the mouse around while say, installing a game under Windows 95, then you might have seen a slightly faster installation due to this flaw within the operating system. Nowadays, it cannot happen anymore, but it’s still interesting to see what Microsoft’s OS was doing back in the day…

Source: PCGamer

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