Prop Tool Sucks.

Heater.Heater. Posts: 19,257
edited May 18 in Propeller 1 Vote Up0Vote Down
My apologies for the inflammatory thread title but in this case it is literally true. The Propeller Tool is sucking over 30% of my CPU performance even when not doing anything!

As I'm travelling in the USA just now I noticed that the battery life of my Surface Pro 4 seemed rather short. Then I started to wonder why the the thing is getting rather warm all the time. I put this down to my habit of having a ton of tabs open in Chrome, no doubt with their Javascript churning away doing whatever they do.

Today it bugged me enough to open up the task manager and see what was happening. To my surprise the Propeller Tool is top of the list consuming over 30% of my CPU and hence battery life!

This is a big surprise because:

1) There is no sign anywhere else that the Prop Tool is even running.
2) As far as I recall since I fired up the Prop Tool last this machine has been restarted, upgraded, power cycled...

Anyone else seen this problem?

I can live with the Prop Tool getting wedged and draining performance but when there is no sign of it even running, except in the task manager, that is a bit of an issue.

prop_tool_sucks.jpg



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Comments

  • 24 Comments sorted by Date Added Votes
  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 21,024
    edited May 18 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Does it show up on your task bar? Maybe you just had a zombie process running as a remnant from a previous session that was very actively trying to do something it couldn't.

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • No, nothing on the task bar. Nothing anywhere.

    When I get a free moment I will play with this again. Start the Prop Tool, sleep, reboot, etc, and see what happens.
  • I have no processor usage with Propeller.exe*32 on a Win7, in fact it stays around 17 on the list while idle.
  • I have not had the problem with the Propeller Tool, but I will have to reboot every couple of days because Chrome does not give up memory. Uses 10 GB of 16GB.

    Maybe its Chrome sucking the battery?
    Infernal Machine
  • Mine says 0%...

    It's been fine for me for years...
    It does crash sometimes when accessing removable media though...
    Prop Info and Apps: http://www.rayslogic.com/
  • Heater.Heater. Posts: 19,257
    edited May 18 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Chrome does not suck CPU or battery. Not unless it's running some of my webgl animations :)

    Neither do I have to boot all the time due to Chrome memory usage.

    Just now I have 19 tabs open in Chrome. That and a couple of other apps use 60% of memory. CPU usage is 3%. Most or which is the Window Manager and Task Manager!

    The culprit was the Prop Tool. As shown in the screen grab above.

    I suspect this is some weirdness to do with the Surface going to sleep or some such.
  • Did the PropTool maybe run in one of the other "Desktops" you have now in Win10, and you simply did not see it?

    Still wouldn't explain the CPU load, since PropTool usually does not run long enough while compiling to produce CPU load.

    Mike
    I am just another Code Monkey.

    A determined coder can write COBOL programs in any language. -- Author unknown.

    The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this post are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119.
  • msrobots,
    Did the PropTool maybe run in one of the other "Desktops" you have now in Win10, and you simply did not see it?
    Hmmm....possibly, maybe. As far as I know I have only ever had one desktop. I would not even know how to start another.

    But you start me thinking....

    Last time I used the Prop Tool this Surface was connected to my Samsung monitor. Both monitor and surface screen were is use.

    In that situation it's a lottery as to which screen applications open. Or which screen they will pop up dialogues. It's a mess.

    So, it's possible the Prop Tool was displayed in a position that should be on my Samsung screen, which is not here. So I could not see it.

    That does not account for the CPU usage though.
  • Heater. wrote: »
    Chrome does not suck CPU or battery. Not unless it's running some of my webgl animations :)

    Neither do I have to boot all the time due to Chrome memory usage.

    Just now I have 19 tabs open in Chrome. That and a couple of other apps use 60% or memory. CPU usage is 3%. Most or which is the Window Manager and Task Manager!

    The culprit was the Prop Tool. As shown in the screen grab above.

    I suspect this is some weirdness to do with the Surface going to sleep or some such.

    Interesting indeed. I can't replicate it.


    Infernal Machine
  • I have had proptool crash and leave a remnant process in the background bogging down the CPU. I had to kill it as a process, not an application, and it freed up horsepower.
    Andrew Williams
    WBA Consulting
  • Bet that is a zombie process.Did you try turning it off and on again? ;)
    Feel the need for speed between your PC's com port and Prop?
    Try the FTDI 245 and the FullDuplexParallel Object.

    Check out my spin driver for the Parallax "96 x 64 Color OLED Display Module" Product ID: 28087
  • Heater.Heater. Posts: 19,257
    edited May 19 Vote Up0Vote Down
    As far as I recall this machine has been power cycled and restarted a number of time since I left Europe. Which is when I remember using the PropTool last.

    I have to find time to try and reproduce this.
  • Almost sounds like an auto upgrade to me :)


    Novel Solutions - http://www.novelsolutionsonline.com/ - Machinery Design • - • Product Development
    "Necessity is the mother of invention." - Author unknown.

  • I run the my prop on an old dell laptop with Xp. It only hangs up on occasion when switching to fast from prop tool to Labview visa comm. The Dell is a good machine.
  • I'm sure the Dell is a great machine.

    Question is, what are the operating system and applications up to?
  • Heater. wrote: »
    Just now I have 19 tabs open in Chrome. That and a couple of other apps use 60% of memory. CPU usage is 3%. Most or which is the Window Manager and Task Manager!


    I have never had that many tabs open at one time. How do you manage that many? Let alone the computer keeping up.
  • TorTor Posts: 1,720
    edited May 19 Vote Up0Vote Down
    19? I have at least a hundred open. Divided over 20 or 30 desktops. The reason? I do different things at different times. If I were to painstakingly dig out or re-search for all the tabs I had collected for a particular issue I was working or researching on, I would never be able to go back to anything after days, weeks, or months.

    I have more than once ran into the 'max 255' X Windows window limit.
  • Tor
    19? I have at least a hundred open. Divided over 20 or 30 desktops. The reason? I do different things at different times. If I were to painstakingly dig out or re-search for all the tabs I had collected for a particular issue I was working or researching on, I would never be able to go back to anything after days, weeks, or months.

    I have more than once ran into the 'max 255' X Windows window limit.

    WOW You must have an impressive setup. I would never have imagined that was even possible.


    Novel Solutions - http://www.novelsolutionsonline.com/ - Machinery Design • - • Product Development
    "Necessity is the mother of invention." - Author unknown.

  • I run a Surface 3 with the latest version of Windows 10. The proptool idles at 0% CPU. Weird.
    Feel the need for speed between your PC's com port and Prop?
    Try the FTDI 245 and the FullDuplexParallel Object.

    Check out my spin driver for the Parallax "96 x 64 Color OLED Display Module" Product ID: 28087
  • I have two identical Insignia (Best Buy house brand) Win10 tablets, one I bought for work and one for myself. On the work one PropTool simply works, just as it did on my old XP box. On my personal one, though, PropTool works if I start it from the Start menu (hey I have ClassicShell) or the desktop icon, then load a spin file, but if I click on a spin file in Explorer PropTool locks up hard taking up 25% of my CPU (it's a quad core processor). Do that four times and I have to hold the power button down to turn the tablet off.

    The only difference in the two setups is that on my personal tablet I have a 64G microSD card in the socket and I've configured windows 10 to put my Documents, Pictures, and Music files on it instead of on the onboard flash. Most applications work fine with that, and considering the tiny amount of data PropTool uses compared to a music player or full word processor, it's hard to see why it would have a problem, but it does. I'm sure it's not anything chip did "wrong." I've had similar issues in my Windows software over the years because of undocumented Windows crap. You would laugh yourself silly to see how much code it takes to open a serial port in Windows through the API, a one-line-of-code operation nearly everywhere else.
  • I have not seen any performance problems since adding the Propeller tool. Wish I had an answer.
  • Prop tool sometimes crashes in such a way that it accidentally ends up hosting the entire running Windows OS, translated, in an internal P8X32A virtual machine. It literally takes over from the Intel hardware seamlessly and without dropping a bit flip or a network packet. Quite remarkable really.

    And it does it with only 30% CPU load. Just make sure you hibernate your system instead of shutting down :)
  • AleAle Posts: 2,286
    I thought you were going to complain about the ton of features BST supports that Propeller Tool, still after > 8 years, doesn't... not about some zombie process... Well never happened to me with PropTool, not that I use it that often, but it is running since Sunday, I never turn off this computer nor I quit anything... Just the occasional forced update-reboot.
    But don't worry!, what PropTool doesn't do in this machine is overtaken by Quartus and Diamond, they like to start as zombies or zombify themselves at the drop of a hat...
    I have like 50 Tabs in 4 windows of Opera :)
  • Ah, yes, I was being a little, shall we say playful, with my choice of thread title there.

    My reported problem seems to be a rare occurrence. I have not managed to reproduce it since.

    I get the feeling it's something to do with Win 10 on the Surface Pro going to sleep and resuming badly or some such.
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