Beta Labs – Process Lasso Gets Even Faster!

While developing version 9 of Process Lasso, the first thing I did was implement a low-level change that I had planned for some time. This particular portion of code hadn’t seen substantial changes in at least 6 years.

Basically, using a container to cache process handles, I have been able to reduce process handle opens by a substantial amount. The reduction is so dramatic that it really added up when we went to benchmark this change. While the results will vary depending on how many processes you have running, a typical user can expect the Governor to consume 50% to 75% less CPU cycles over it’s normal course!

Similarly, the GUI will have a reduction in CPU use, though it’s less noticeable when not minimized since the CPU use from process management is eclipsed by GUI related stuff.

Of course, CPU utilization was already negligible, but this matters in another way – the tamper resistant processes we’ve long battled with. This change allows us to do away with that list of problematic security software that doesn’t handle frequent open requests well.

Now, don’t think the original approach was ‘wrong’ in any way, it was just less efficient and I underestimated the overhead added by security software intercepting all these open requests – and everyone has security software. On a normal system, a process open is a relatively fast process – there’s no I/O for instance – but when you start adding security hooks, the chain gets much longer.

Yesterday we back-ported this change to v8.9.6.7 beta, and we’ll go final with it after testing is complete.

Even better, we have much more planned for version 9, and other projects. It is your support that makes all this possible, and we thank you for it!