Saturday, October 21, 2017

Process Lasso Doesn't Work

In both of the past two days, I've had a more concrete example showing that Process Lasso isn't very useful.  I've had instup.exe suddenly start - causing my audio to stutter.  Since changing "Priority class" has generally not been much help, I've tried to change the I/O priority of instup.exe from "Normal" to "Very low[.]"  However, instead, I got a stupid error message that said, "You either do not have sufficient rights, or the OS does not support the specified I/O priority."

That defeats the whole point of Process Lasso!  If you can't change the priority to lower its resource usage, then what good is it!?  Seriously!  Process Lasso doesn't automatically reduce resource usage, and it won't allow manual resource reduction, either.  It serves no purpose and doesn't do what it has been advertised to do.  If it doesn't allow users to forcibly restrain resources, then it is not any different than other task managers like Process Explorer, which also give similar error messages when trying to end processes or do similar things.

If a program is using abnormally high resources, and if Process Lasso doesn't automatically restrain it, I want to manually restrain it.  I don't care about "having sufficient rights" or if "the OS does not support the specified I/O priority."  No.  I already played those games with Task Manager and Process Explorer.  Process Lasso is supposed to be different.  It's supposed to give users ACTUAL control.  If Process Lasso doesn't automatically restrain a program's resource usage, then I WILL.  I got Process Lasso for a reason - not to be given the same crap as other task managers.  I don't care if I have to use brute force to restrain a program's resource usage.  I...want...the stop - by any means necessary.  Do not give me any bullcrap error messages.

Anyway, my rant's over.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Process Lasso Seems Useless for Me

Disclaimer: I am not a seasoned user of Process Lasso, and I do not have the full version.  This post reflects the perceptions of the free version of Process Lasso by a novice user with certain expectations of the software.


I've known about Process Lasso for probably around ten years at least, but since it wasn't freeware, I didn't download it until August of this year.  For years, I was interested in Process Lasso due to the fact that it was advertised as running independently of the CPU (I may be wrong, but that's how I remembered it).  Honestly, I was a bit skeptical of that since I didn't know how a program could truly be independent of the CPU if it ran on the same hardware that the CPU controlled.  Nonetheless, I had been interested in giving it a try sometime, and this year, I finally had a stronger need to try it - due to the fact that my HP 15-AY039WM laptop has tended to have 100% disk usage for long periods of time.

Process Lasso did help a little with controlling disk usage on my HP 15-AY039WM.  However, for other purposes that were more pressing on my eMachines EL1360G-UW11P - like stopping high CPU usage of background processes, lagging, and sound stuttering upon high CPU usage, it really hasn't been very effective.

Controlling Disk Usage

In regards to controlling the disk usage of my HP laptop, Process Lasso actually has helped somewhat - at least some of the time.  I can't say that has been always the case since I still have problems with disk usage.  However, I attribute that at least partly due to the fact that, when my HP laptop has high disk usage, there's not any one program that causes it, and in the times where only one program has high disk usage, the problematic program is often different.  It's just the weird nature of my setup on the HP laptop.  I suspect that the high disk usage by multiple programs might be the result of HP's proprietary software since I have Windows 10 on my Acer AXC-704G-UW61 and have rarely had disk usage problems with it.

Also, in regards to controlling disk usage on my HP, Process Lasso did that only after I had to manually lower the I/O priority for whatever program was problematic at the time.  Still, in controlling disk usage, Process Lasso has helped at least somewhat - but not as much as I would have liked.

Controlling CPU Usage and Preventing Crashes

Process Lasso has been much more disappointing in what interested me in the program years ago in the first place - reining in CPU usage of background processes and preventing system lockups.

Once, on August 22nd on my eMachines, I double-clicked a song on iTunes, but it didn't play.  I had this happen before occasionally, but I now had Process Lasso installed, and it didn't do anything.  You could say that you can't blame Process Lasso for iTunes's lack of response, and maybe so, but afterwards, I clicked on the Process Lasso icon in the system tray, but it didn't do anything at first.  However, when the window finally did appear, it was blank, and the title bar said, "Process Lasso (Not Responding)," and it took a long time before all programs - including Process Lasso - finally worked.

Call me crazy, but isn't that what Process Lasso is supposed to prevent?  Isn't it ironic that Process Lasso itself crashed?  Even if all other programs on the computer were non-responsive, you would think that Process Lasso itself would at least have allocated resources to keep it responsive 100% of the time.  But no.  It's just like any other program.  It's vulnerable to freezing, too, and it doesn't even do anything to stop or prevent it from happening in the first place.  This proved right my skepticism from years back.

Anyway, later that same day, I was watching a video in VLC when instup.exe started (it often causes high CPU usage) - and caused the video and sound to lag and stutter - as had been the case before I installed Process Lasso.  Process Lasso had proven to be a disappointment since it didn't automatically see that instup.exe was causing high CPU usage - and didn't restrain it so as not to disrupt the video.

The next afternoon, Process Lasso again proved to be a disappointment.  After opening some web pages, the eMachines froze briefly twice.  Upon looking at Process Lasso, its graph showed two major dips in responsiveness.  Later, after opening another web page, the computer briefly froze yet again.  Process Lasso was no help.

A few weeks later, on September 14th, I set the priority level for TrustedInstaller.exe (another problematic process) to "Below normal[,]" and while I succeeded in changing the priority level, the CPU usage didn't change.

Finally, more recently, on October 11th, I changed the CPU affinity for a process in Process Lasso by deselecting one of the cores.  However, the process still caused high CPU usage - but just caused one of the processor cores to run full blast - rather than more evenly distributing the load to both cores.  It seemed to do nothing to actually reduce the usage - but just reallocated it.


Basically, Process Lasso hasn't lived up to my expectations.  I still have problems with the sound stuttering when processes like instup.exe, svchost.exe, and TrustedInstaller.exe start, and Process Lasso seems to do nothing - either automatically or manually - to lower - not reallocate - CPU usage.  Programs and web pages still lag and freeze occasionally - particularly when the background processes start, which Process Lasso amazingly does nothing to stop or control.  All it seems to do most of the time is lower the priority for Google Chrome.  But Google Chrome isn't the problem.  It's not what causes the computer to lag or freeze.  It's the stupid background processes using 40-50% or more of the CPU!

Maybe I'm being a bit unfairly critical, but I think that Process Lasso is a bit overrated.  It seems to be just another task manager because I haven't even been able to change the priorities of some processes, which has been the case in other task managers - like Process Explorer.  It doesn't really do anything.  But again, maybe I'm being unfairly critical since I am not an experienced user, and I also have only the free version.  After all, it HAS helped control the disk usage of my HP laptop somewhat, but its effect on maintaining responsiveness and preventing lockups has been nil.

My view is that background processes should use limited resources.  No one process like instup.exe should use 50% of the CPU and cause programs to stutter or freeze.  A computer should always be responsive.  The user interface should have a dedicated amount of resources to ensure constant responsiveness.  Similarly, background processes should have a maximum level of resource usage.  If one program uses abnormally high resources, how can you stop it from choking up the system if you can't even move the mouse or use the keyboard - or access a task manager - or anything like that?  There needs to be a minimum amount of resources that has to be allocated to the user interface so that users can respond to problems.  Otherwise, without those guaranteed, allocated resources, programs like Process Lasso just won't work reliably.

On a side note, I had wondered for some time how one would make a system that would set a blanket, maximum CPU level for certain programs and processes.  How would the system know what processes to limit?  Making a list of processes would be impractical since there are so many, and there could also be new ones not on the list - and processes causing high resource usage could vary from one day to the next.  That's how I came to think that the user interface should have a minimum, dedicated level of resources to ensure responsiveness.  I also thought that a maximum level could be set for programs that started after a certain point.

Around a week ago, I learned that there is actually a distinction between foreground processes and background processes, so that would also make setting maximum resource usage levels easier.  I like that the Wikipedia article "Background process" says, "On Android, CPU use for background processes is bounded at 5 - 10%."  That's how it should be in Windows.  Foreground programs should have fewer restrictions, while the background processes should have more of them.

Anyway, I realize that there might be some features in Process Lasso that I haven't tried, but my point is that, from the perspective of a novice user of Process Lasso with certain expectations - namely that it would control unruly processes and prevent lockups at a basic level, it really hasn't been effective.  Basically, my point is, to any novice users hoping that Process Lasso will stop most lags and lockups, don't get your hopes up.  Even a freeware version should have adequate functionality for novice users, but Process Lasso hasn't even achieved that.  It has helped with disk usage, but for reducing high CPU usage and preventing lockups, it hasn't worked.  Still, maybe I've been unfairly critical, but nonetheless, I think that maintaining constant responsiveness is important, and I think that Process Lasso could do better to ensure a minimum level of resources for the user interface - and to ensure a maximum level of usage levels for background processes or other unruly programs.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Joe's Blogspot Renamed to Jemascola's Blogspot

A minute ago, I renamed this blog from "Joe's Blogspot" to "Jemascola's Blogspot."  I just felt that Joe's Blogspot was too generic of a name, so using a more unique name would make it easier to find - and also more interesting.