Soooo, computer programs occasionally set timers when they need to do stuff. For example, “call this function every 30 seconds to check if I have new email.” Now, the CPU inside your computer isn’t constantly processing shit and crunching numbers. There are huge lulls where your computer is just sitting idle and the CPU doesn’t need to do anything at all. In recent history CPUs have started going into a low power consumption mode when they’re not doing anything. But if there are a lot of timers then the CPU isn’t able to sleep as much as it could otherwise.
So get this, some Intel dudes wrote an application that records which programs cause the CPU to wake up, and how many times it happened. Some other dudes at Red Hat filed a bug report against Pidgin saying that we were waking up the CPU too freaking often. So we made it a little better (still not perfect, but who uses SILC anyway?)
Isn’t that crazy? I think one of the people pushing for fewer wake ups said that he increased the battery life on his laptop from like, 2 hours to 5 hours or something ridiculous. The goal is for everything in Linux to be 100% event-driven.