We all know it: multitasking is wonderful. (I’m watching a video about Software Transactional Memory while I write this post. It turns out that Simon Peyton Jones looks like Rupert Everett…) You’re probably listening to music while reading this web page, and there’s probably at least an email package running at the same time as well. It’s all pretty great.
The strange thing is that the traditional computer can only do one thing at a time. Multitasking is all an illusion, using speed to gloss over the single-tasking reality.
The computer will have dozens or more tasks on the go at once and will be effortlessly swapping between them faster than you can blink, so you never notice.
( How multitasking works and what problems it causesCollapse )