Why Progress Bars Don't Move Smoothly ▓▓▓░░░░░░

Tom Scott
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4 minutes remaining. Then 15 seconds. Then 5 hours. Why can't computers just tell you how long something's going to take? • MORE BASICS: ruvid.net/group/PL96C35uN7xGLLeET0dOWaKHkAlPsrkcha
Written with Sean Elliott twitter.com/SeanMElliott/ • Graphics by William Marler wmad.co.uk
I'm at tomscott.com
on Twitter at twitter.com/tomscott
on Facebook at facebook.com/tomscott
and on Instagram as tomscottgo

Published on


Mar 1, 2021




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Tom Scott
Tom Scott 2 months ago
I'm having to film back in the Tiny Room against green-screen again, as lockdown means the Centre for Computing History is closed! Hopefully they'll be open again soon, although that depends on a very different kind of progress...
Culiynl 23 days ago
RanMind YT
RanMind YT 23 days ago
why do you private your videos before you upload them
Michael Conroy
Michael Conroy 29 days ago
How did you put in the time estimate of this video in the script as you were recoring? I slowed down the video speed to .25 but can't see where you may have stitched two takes together.
NoobKing Month ago
PrxjectMeme Month ago
Why does my phone tell me that this comment was posted before the video was?
kiwi8 ?
kiwi8 ? 4 hours ago
Who dislikes this??
leatherlip05 8 hours ago
Progress bars shouldn't even be a thing, false hope
Devin du Plessis
Devin du Plessis 12 hours ago
4:48 don’t try to reboot the machine just because you think it’s crap.
thelazywhitedog 14 hours ago
10 minutes->2 hours-> 16 days-> 2 years-> 5 minutes-> 40 seconds-> 13 years-> 1 second-> start again from the top
Elliot Nilsson
Steam says that a game will be done in 2 days but actually completes it in 20 mins
The Dragon Of Canada
"Some files are bigger than others" I would've died if it said *DickPix . Png*
William Napitupulu
🟥🟥🟥⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜ 🟥🟥🟥⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜ 🟥🟥🟥⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜⬜ LOADING....
Geomontage Day ago
If only the UK government had a progress bar. I struggle to believe things are still 'happening' at times we are told great 'progress' is being made.
ver strahlt
ver strahlt Day ago
well explained.
Sandstorm930 Day ago
Sandstorm approved use of “Janky”
tulsatrash 2 days ago
What is the longest rail train to have ever moved in or through France?
Kreyk 29
Kreyk 29 2 days ago
The reason why don't they move smoothly is that they are not straight, we look at them and don't even think about the third dimension
szubert - max
szubert - max 3 days ago
1:57 maybe 4 different loading bars? For each process?
Philippe Futureboy
I didn’t expect that Tom Scott.exe could be rebooted. The more you know 🌟
theawesomness07 3 days ago
Among Us downloading task be like: Estimated time: 4 days *2 seconds later* Estimated time: 6 seconds
Christoph Southwell
Gosh Tom, call me out why don't you!
ike 4 days ago
I like to combine the speed in rate of transfer or time remaining while also having my harddrive light & CPU task manager to see which is bottle-necking at what point. This is a form of entertainment I guess
flex 5 days ago
I love the bars that stop at 100% for 10 minutes or so
Paulo Lukeny
Paulo Lukeny 6 days ago
What is this golden piece of chanel that just dropped on my recommendations, SUBBED!
Windows 10X
Windows 10X 6 days ago
It’s actually placebo its jus randomly stoping at random intervals and thats why it stops at 99% cuz it’s actually at 70% or 50% or maybe even 30%
SuperPlayer56 Gaming
Things to do do, to make progress bar faster: Buy an ssd Upgrade ram (and probably buy more ram than you have on a computer) Buy better proccesor Buy better router/modem and get faster internet Buy faster hdd(s) Install linux Congratulations!!! Your game/program now loads/downloads/installs faster!
dick harambe
dick harambe 6 days ago
Working on updates 2% complete 1 hour later Working on updates 10% complete Working on updates 100% complete
Ruelle Heroux
Ruelle Heroux 7 days ago
Can i express how perfectly aligned the timer is in video to the RUvid timer?
ProHolmes 7 days ago
I just like windows' there are 7 years left for finish copying your files. While showing me the speed and amount of data left, which definitely won't be 7 years if i divide data amount by speed.
shmo247 7 days ago
Modern warfare updates: 1%.......2%.........not enough storage delete 148gb of data
Thot Slayer 420
Thot Slayer 420 7 days ago
what about a 2D progress block, width for data (so maybe mb or gb) and height for file count, never seen one, just thought of it
kalle anka
kalle anka 8 days ago
Best solution would be to put a title to every segemt of the progress bar. Anyone who watches porn on the hub will have found this out. If you dont care about foreplay you know exactly on te second to skip to, to skip that part. So for a progress bar for a install. Just title the segement so that we know what part the computer is working on and we know what we might think of upgrading
RamennBowls 8 days ago
"The most important job is to reassure that yes, things are happening, progress it being made" That moment when the progress bar is stuck at 99% for about 28 minutes...
Reese606 9 days ago
The only accurate progress bar is the 3DS one And no, not the blue one The one when your digitally downloading a game off of the eShop
Ask Master
Ask Master 10 days ago
100% ... Restarting... 30% .... ... .. 58% ............... 79% ................ 100% .................................................................... Aaaaand it crashed
Adam Cogley
Adam Cogley 10 days ago
gunship sequel budyboy
you should create a program that changes the line on the video
YaBoy •
YaBoy • 10 days ago
Putting my finger over the progress bar to see if its moving
Vex989 10 days ago
Steam installing a game be like: 1 minute left -- 2 hours left -- 5 days left -- 6 minutes left
agustinbs 12 days ago
Are you reporting from 1998?
DG Secret
DG Secret 12 days ago
Tom Scott : Why Progress Bars Don't Move Smoothly Me : Wondering why the progress bar on the title doesn't move
Peto 12 days ago
KoGa 12 days ago
"Why can't computers just tell me how long something is going to take?" Because progress bars don't show you time... they show (suprise!) progress.
Rory M
Rory M 12 days ago
Shout out to those 99 years that I was told it was gonna take for my game to open when I was 8.
P Church
P Church 12 days ago
This is why I leave and do something else when I’m downloading something. If it takes 5 minutes or 2 hours I’ll have something nice to come back to once I remember
GigaGame 13 days ago
who needs a progress bar when u have a gaming fridge that can download anything almost instantaneously
YY YELLOW 13 days ago
Why this guy is soo much underrated
karehaqt 13 days ago
Good old Microsoft Minutes
Deconimus 14 days ago
How was the halting problem not mentioned in this video?
KysterPSY 14 days ago
Loved the Sopranos kinda ending.
Pat Smash
Pat Smash 14 days ago
My loading bar just goes backwards
Chane 16 days ago
looking at you STEAM
A Skellington
A Skellington 17 days ago
Yajihba 17 days ago
Someone tell computer making people to put this when turning on a computer after shutting it down
Lordlouckster 17 days ago
Solution: Have individual progress bars for each step. Step 1/4: 10% Step 1/4: 20% ... Step 1/4: 100% Step 2/4: 10% Step 2/4: 20% ... Step 4/4: 90% Step 4/4: Done!
Hasan A
Hasan A 17 days ago
The one thing I wish I could do when it came to downloading something is allocate as much resources to downloading as possible. I love that you can still Watch Netflix, have a conference call, and edit a video in Adobe After affects, while downloading somthing, but sometimes I just want to download something, walk away and have the computer just worry about downloading or moving the file.
Sideways 17 days ago
This is the corollary to Windows 10 offering to kill any app that takes more than 15 seconds to do something - apparently Windows isn’t seeing a progress bar😅
Eeee 18 days ago
Bar: 1% to 99% : 20 minutes Bar: 99% to 100% : *10 hours*
Viktória Vadon
Viktória Vadon 18 days ago
I agree, as long as the progress bar is moving (and not backwards!), I know something is happening!
Frog 4096
Frog 4096 19 days ago
3:42 Looking at you, Windows 10
Samson Kinyanjui
Samson Kinyanjui 19 days ago
/////// / / / / / / / / / / / / / 10more years ///////// / / / / / / / / / / / 30more seconds
Riley Carpenter
Riley Carpenter 19 days ago
mozl83 20 days ago
That's also why many programmers have gone the other way and just show "progress indicator" instead of progress bars. Like the spinning wheel on Windows. It just shows that the PC didn't freeze and is still working, but you don't have any indication on how long it's going to take. Also if "time" isn't a parameter itself then the progress bar can never be give you a proper "remaining time". A countdown is always accurate because the time itself is the parameter that makes it work. Filetransfer ist based on the files and not on the time, so it will finish when it is finished, not when a certain amount of seconds have passed (like the queue in the supermarket. Fewer people doesn't mean the line is faster. There are just fewer people in front of you.).
Cameron Figgins
Cameron Figgins 20 days ago
Minecraft’s progress bar be like: And I took that personally
Zari Hanssen
Zari Hanssen 20 days ago
Loading time estimates be like: 20 minutes 4 seconds 45 minutes 5 minutes 999999 hours
Butter of Sorrow
Butter of Sorrow 20 days ago
Personally I like loading screens that tell you what exactly they're doing, like most source and goldsource engine games. "Validating game resources." "Sending client info." That kind of thing.
French Comprehensible Input
100% done = 90% done *Adobe Premiere users* will understand 😂
Helio Gonzalez
Helio Gonzalez 21 day ago
Silksong Date
Silksong Date 21 day ago
4:48 smh now you'll have to record everything from the start rippppp
SoftBunnyCreations Vibing
pencilchat 21 day ago
my monitor froze during a download once, so i thought it took 4 hours to get a 20mb download done.
Zoltan 22 days ago
▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓░ 94%
Eugene Lo
Eugene Lo 22 days ago
Imagine the progress bar in the title is how long Tom Scott's life is
Cypress 22 days ago
is this the guy who says “xnyopit”
fossar _
fossar _ 22 days ago
Is it just me or was the audio an video out of sync (I'm assuming deliberately)? If so nice choice.
Tomáš Lipták
Tomáš Lipták 22 days ago
I think the best loading screens are when there are actually two (think winrar) one for the whole process and the other for individual processes. From there you can see that it is actually doing something.
youtubeusername 22 days ago
Pov: you kept checking your scroll bar through out the video
The cheese
The cheese 22 days ago
Me when I tilt my phone facing down and the progress bars start moving again.
Pawit Ninnabodee
Pawit Ninnabodee 22 days ago
The absent water posteriorly impress because lion constitutively polish worth a hapless priest. determined, rotten kite
RanMind YT
RanMind YT 23 days ago
What is the 1% that’s taking so long to load
wozerD 23 days ago
Leo Telles
Leo Telles 23 days ago
You look young and old at the same time. That's a real mistyr to me, you should make a video about it!
AK Nephtali
AK Nephtali 23 days ago
The worst thing is when it goes to 99% immediately and then stays there for what feels like a millennium. Thank you for explaining this in your usual awesome way!
SYS 23 days ago
A thing the program could do to resolve, or at least find a more smooth load, is by logging the time, taking the estimated time that it took, and telling you that number. If it was a game, it could show how long it had taken the last 10 times, (assuming you would've loaded it that many times), and let's say a file upload, it could track how long it would take for 100 files, and estimate the amount of time, that this would take because its 10x times larger, or half the size = it would be 10 times longer or ½ times faster.
BlurryPirate 23 days ago
Phill Wainewright
Phill Wainewright 23 days ago
Dropbox "Time Remaining" when uploading a video is a complete work of fiction.
Stipe Poljak
Stipe Poljak 23 days ago
Intro music from the Chase?
HowDeeDoo 23 days ago
Steam update estimation times. 3 minutes, 7 minutes, 18 minutes, 2 hours, 17 hours... 12 seconds.
whadup 24 days ago
I cant be the only one that was annoyed that the two progress bars didn't match perfectly 😁
Kebbo 24 days ago
John Southfield
John Southfield 24 days ago
The gaudy grip monthly hand because relish spectacularly apologise through a private cost. watery, pricey continent
Lambor_ghini 24 days ago
Progress screens can lock up and fool you to wait forever but ultimately you have to reset the computer..
Bubba Games
Bubba Games 24 days ago
The video progress bar is half a second off
Haydenex 24 days ago
Loading Comment ■■■■□□□□
Zak Fallows
Zak Fallows 24 days ago
I have four letters for you: RTOS. A Real Time Operating System (RTOS) provides hard or soft guarantees of how long a program will take, in instruction cycles. Sometimes this is critically important, for instance if the machine is doing quantitative chemistry and it needs to error out if the reaction time wasn't very close to 90 seconds. It's fun stuff.
Cristian Martinez
Cristian Martinez 25 days ago
why a linguistic knows computing, that aint fair
Paul Potter
Paul Potter 25 days ago
Who else checked that the video progress bar was in sync?
jeremiaas15 25 days ago
What I'd like to know is, how is it possible that progress bars always show, even if for a split second, 100%. Surely, if that were truth, the next thing would pop up instead.
LRC 25 days ago
I love it when a simple download says "2 years remaining" or "∞ time remaining".
AsrithTechsys 25 days ago
Are you anyway realated to Linus Torvalds?
TROVEN 25 days ago
Who else leave cursor at the edge of the progress bar to see if its actually moving?
Sara Olmstead
Sara Olmstead 25 days ago
The ugliest geranium invariably retire because client fortuitously muddle round a unbecoming hyena. oceanic, assorted oxygen
Thaer Razeq
Thaer Razeq 25 days ago
Always, stuck at the dreaded 99% or 100% more so than the previous 98% or 99% combined.
Craig Smith
Craig Smith 25 days ago
Large cache SSD and a modern high core CPU like Ryzen 9 or 10+ core i9. RIP, progress bar existence
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