back to article Ex-Microsoft maverick takes us on a trip through vintage Task Manager code

Former Microsoft engineer Dave Plummer has taken YouTube viewers deep into the source code for Windows Task Manager while debunking a distressing Icelandic sobriquet for Microsoft's flagship operating system. Plummer has already admitted to writing the stone-cold killer of processes for early versions of Windows. Still, a …

  1. Anonymous Anti-ANC South African Coward Bronze badge

    Have you rebooted your bloated fetal sac today?

    1. tfewster

      Several times - It's Microsoft.

      No, I'm not having a good day.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        No, I'm not having a good day.

        It could be worse - you could have been suffering Excel-overload while prepping for Cyber Essentials..

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Alan Bourke

      Re: "I'm proud of my younger self for a job well done"

      What are you even on about?

    2. Martin Summers Silver badge

      Re: "I'm proud of my younger self for a job well done"

      "Couldn't make it up."

      You seem to have had no trouble.

  3. xyz Silver badge


    Case in point... Bing... A slag heap (from a coal mine) (Scottish).

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Locali(s/z)ation....

      And in English it is a small dent / area of damage in something like a car.

      1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: Locali(s/z)ation....

        Are you sure you don't mean a 'ding'?

  4. Kev99 Silver badge

    Way back when Win3.1 came out, our office adopted it. After a few weeks, I modified the logo so it had broken panes. Our IT director saw the mod and never had me remove it. In my opinion the "OS" hasn't improved with age.

    1. ThomH

      Surely a dislike of OS/2 or VMS would be more easily rolled forward into a dislike of modern Windows? It's like disliking macOS because OS 9 used to crash a lot. Like, really, a lot.

      1. aerogems Silver badge

        To be fair, the 16-bit versions of Windows would also crash a lot. Like, really, a lot. And during the early days of the 32-bit transition, a poorly behaved 16-bit app could bring down the entire OS because it meant bypassing all the memory protections that were the whole point of going 32-bit. I don't really remember OS 9 crashing a lot, but then it basically only had cooperative multi-tasking, so you could generally only do one thing at a time with it. It was a huge selling point of OS 8 that Apple finally added background printing. I still remember seeing OS 7.5 systems tied up for hours at a time while printing long documents to slow ass dot-matrix printers from around the Apple ][ days. Credit goes to the engineers that the printers still worked, but you could probably find a reasonably skilled typist who could put things out on a typerwriter faster than those things.

        1. Snapper

          OS 9 crashed a LOT, especially when QuarkXPress was doing what it was trying to do. MS Office was pretty unstable on it as well.

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        a dislike of OS/2

        Disqualifies you from being a *proper* techie..

        Windows beating OS/2 is the clearest example of marketing beating functionality that I can think of. I blame IBM *and* Microsoft.

  5. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

    Not just me, then

    One of the less pleasant elements of Windows 11 is, in my opinion, the recalcitrance of the Task Manager to take absolute control of the operating system and blow away hung processes as needed; instead, if the UI becomes unresponsive, Task Manager will either not appear at all or only appear partially. Just another of the many questionable choices made in Win11.

    1. Alumoi Silver badge

      Re: Not just me, then

      It's by design. If the UI doesn't work, nothing works.

    2. doesnothingwell

      Re: Not just me, then

      "Task Manager will either not appear at all or only appear partially. "

      Thats why you start it before anything else and leave it running. Your chances of getting it to run quickly for a kill are greatly improved.

  6. Roland6 Silver badge

    "… the approach I did take was valid for the day because it kept it both robust and small”

    This approach is also valid today, for essential unilities.such as task manager/resource manage.

    I’m uncertain what "Today I would use a lot more of the C++ language itself and the STL library” would actually bring other than an increase in size of executable and greater dependency on other components and thus less robust.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: "… the approach I did take was valid for the day because it kept it both robust and small”

      "Today I would use a lot more of the C++ language itself and the STL library," [Rust]

  7. K.Kong

    Why don't the numbers add up?

    I see my CPU utilization is 30%, but adding up the CPU used by every process does not add up to anywhere near 30%. What is the explanation?


    1. Sigmund Fraud

      Re: Why don't the numbers add up?

      processes made of dark matter ... innit?

    2. richardcox13

      Re: Why don't the numbers add up?

      And if you look at Process Explorer (SysInternals) you'll see a different number again.

      Short version: there are some choices made about what counts as a process's CPU time (eg. how Windows uses the currently executing thread's stack for interrupt handlers).

      Also Task Manager rounds to integers, so a lot of cases where a thread uses (say) 0.1% CPU in an interval round to zero, but across 10 threads that adds up.

    3. W.S.Gosset

      Re: Why don't the numbers add up?

      System Processes are not shown by default.

      Toggle that; see the extra work being done.

  8. Uncle Ron


    In the 1970's IBM tried to abandon it's stupid attachment to naming it's products (usually) 4 digit numbers, like 3480, 6670 and on and on. They named it's newest typewriter the "Etron." It wasn't much of an advancement in tech, but it was attractive looking and sturdy. All the marketing brochures and ads and all the rest were prepared and printed and distributed, and trademarks were registered all over the world. Announce day loomed. Then, someone had the bright idea to see if "Erton" was a word in some other language. Do a Google search and see what "Etron" means in French. The biggest scramble since an 18 wheeler full of eggs crashed on I-95 took place at IBM HQ.

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