Print Story Young man, there's a place you can go, I said, young man, when you're short on your dough...
The B.A.D.TM

Today's blog is a special edition in-depth review of my new Dell. I use a lot of super duper high tech words so if you don't know computers or if you're a girl you'll likely just want to skip todays entry and come back tomorrow. QED.



  • The new box has arrived in perfect condition and seems to be running with no flaws. That said, the Dell setup docs1 leave a bit to be desired even though it's a pretty simple task. After about an hour I had her up and running, networked with my old loonux box and surfing the web. For the meantime I need to have the old monitor handy until I get the loonux box configured to run headless, so things are a bit messy, uh, a lot messy, albeit functional, at the current time:

    The box is right snappy, even with the heinous Win XP default GUI, which is, quite frankly, just awful. How MS spent years and years working on an interface that ended up looking like that is beyond me. In fact I'll bet I spent an hour un-installing crap that Dell installed and poking around the control panel to turn off and change the gui. At least they let you do that. Sheesh, it's no wonder the Mac zealots feel all superior when they compare their stuff to this crap.

    The box is right snappy though. She runs dvd's in full screen with nary a hiccough and looks damn good while doing so:

    The soundcard is putting out noticeably better sound than my old SB Live did, and while I didn't try to record anything I did install Audacity which I plan on trying tonight. The media-card reader is the shit. I crammed my memory stick from the 40 year old Olympus digital camera into a slot (since there are NO DOCS I tried the only slot that looked like it may fit, there are 4 slots each of a different shape) and BLAMO I see the pics in a folder on a removable drive and I do a quick drag ~y~ drop and boom it's done. Damn, that's worth the price of the box right there. No more messy cables and whatnot for the camera! The monitor is terrific too, worth every penny. So thus far, other than the heinous job Dell does of setting it up, (there's about 10 things running in the system tray right out of the box!!! and lots of demo software installed that you have to take off) I would give it high marks.

    Speaking of which, I need info on where to go to take stuff out of the system-tray startup and docs that show what the services do that are running (I'm guessing 1/3 of them aren't needed) and I guess just general info on how to tweak XP to make it run lean and mean.

    Also, and I feel kinda dirty saying this, but it was actually kinda fun to futz about with a different OS, even though it's a loooooooooser OS like Windows. I've downloaded OpenOffice and an FTP client for moving stuff from my old box, and need to look for some graphics software (they install a 90 day demo of PaintShopPro - thanks guys) for manipulating and viewing photos and whatnot and she'll almost be a right functional machine.

  • I'm pretty sure I'm going to get either CakeWalk Sonar Home Studio or Cubase SE but can't really come to grips with which one will better suit my needs. Or is there something else I should look at?
  • Today's lunch will be a modified hammy sammy, which, is a hammy sammy minus the cheese cause cheese == cholesterol == the bad. Bah, so you can just lop off a big ol hunk of flavour regarding the ol hammy sammy for a while. Bah.
[1] - THERE ARE NO DOCS!! You get some quick start posters (which probably do the job for most people) but alas! nary a manual can be found for any hardware. Zip. Nill. Ah well, you get what you pay for.
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Young man, there's a place you can go, I said, young man, when you're short on your dough... | 36 comments (36 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Hold it hold it hold it by DesiredUsername (2.00 / 0) #1 Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 05:31:51 AM EST
You bought a new computer to run WINDOWS? Bwahahaha.

Also, I would like the recipe for Chopped Up Tomatoes In A Bowl.

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Now accepting suggestions for a new sigline

Well, sorta by Bob Abooey (2.00 / 0) #5 Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 05:42:43 AM EST
I mean, for now, yeah, I wanted to run software that Loonux doesn't have (at least not without downloading 2,000 special libraries and recompiling your kernel 20 times) but loonux is going on it as well.

re: Take lettuce, onions, carrots and tomatoes. Chop. Dump in bowl and serve with chilled beverage.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

[ Parent ]
Bob, you need TweakUI by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #2 Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 05:36:04 AM EST
From Microsoft. Also, "Open Command Window Here" is pretty darned useful.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

Ohh, I like it by Bob Abooey (2.00 / 0) #7 Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 05:49:02 AM EST
I was going to mention that the command prompt is better than I remember it being.

Thanks, that's just the kinda thing I'm looking for.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

[ Parent ]
Something else that's useful by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #21 Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 08:41:57 AM EST
The Cygwin Tools.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Who are the old guys on the monitor? by nebbish (4.00 / 2) #3 Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 05:37:35 AM EST
Victorians or something?

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It's political correctness gone mad!

Heh.. by Bob Abooey (2.00 / 0) #10 Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 06:03:13 AM EST
That's actually The Who. Or what's left of them.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

[ Parent ]
Only a few years out then [nt] by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #11 Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 06:05:00 AM EST

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It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
XP by lb008d (2.00 / 0) #4 Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 05:38:47 AM EST
Except for the Design-By-Fisher-Price® interface it Just Works®. The first thing I do when logging into an XP box is revert to classic everything.

Googling for "XP tweak" comes back with many hits. I've disabled the themes service on my XP machines.

Bob, what would your mother say by sasquatchan (4.00 / 1) #6 Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 05:46:14 AM EST
about that awful mess of a desk there ?

And food ? By your computer ? Egads man. You know what that causes, don't you ?

a right mess it does

And as DU mentions, just wtf is in your bowl there ?

Life on the edge!! by Bob Abooey (2.00 / 0) #9 Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 06:01:27 AM EST
I did dribble some salad dressing on my shirt while eating, but nothing fell on the new keyboard.

re: See my response to DU for the recipe.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

[ Parent ]
Sysinternals Autoruns by hulver (4.00 / 1) #8 Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 05:51:26 AM EST
http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/Autoruns.html

It's the shiznit. Seriously. Now you're running windows you will get some sort of Malware infection. You can use that to kill all sorts of sneeky startup locations.

Plus the "Hide signed microsoft stuff" option is really handy. You can easily see all the extra stuff that Dell crams on there.

As to what each service does, just turn it off and see what breaks. A quick google on the service will tell you if you can turn it off and what it's for.

I did find a really good site once about what each service did, but I forgot to bookmark it.
--
Cheese is not a hat. - clock

Sysinternals should be the IE default home page by Rogerborg (2.00 / 0) #12 Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 06:11:38 AM EST
And for that matter, IE should run as a limited user by default.

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Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.
[ Parent ]
I'm using Firefox by Bob Abooey (4.00 / 1) #19 Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 08:01:15 AM EST
But that's still a right good piece of advise.

Man, this running Windows stuff is turning into my own personal VietNam. How do retards the unwashed masses manage it?

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

[ Parent ]
No by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #20 Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 08:07:18 AM EST
The firefox install page should be the default IE home page.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
That was my win 3.11 strategy by Bob Abooey (2.00 / 0) #14 Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 06:17:25 AM EST
I used to play with the win.ini  and sys.conf or whatever files until I broke something. Same with QEMM. I can't tell you how many times I had to cram those 30 floppy discs one after another into that machine to re-install.

Thanks for that, I'll give it a look.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

[ Parent ]
You could always use the GIMP by Rogerborg (2.00 / 0) #13 Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 06:15:29 AM EST
By which I mean, make the bitch find you a decent graphics package.

For future reference, 6 clicks to bliss:

Start [Click]
Setting->Control Panel [Click]
Advanced [Click]
Performance (Settings) [Click]
Adjust for best performance [Click]
OK [Click]


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Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.

You want me to blindly trust The Man??? by Bob Abooey (4.00 / 1) #15 Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 06:28:45 AM EST
He's the one who got me into this mess. Crikey.

I'll bet that's like the abort-cancel-okay dialogue. No matter what you click on the same thing happens. I.e., nothing.

Speaking of which, do they make some sort of performance monitor stuff like loonux? Loonux is big on that kinda stuff.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

[ Parent ]
Sort of? by blixco (4.00 / 2) #16 Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 06:50:20 AM EST
There's task manager (start -> run and type taskmgr and bang enter) which will give you and overall view of processor time and "memory" use as well as per-process useage for cpu time and memory.  You'll need it to kill processes.  There's perfmon (Start -> Run and type perfmon, then bang enter) which has very granular readouts, some or most of which require a book to decipher, depending on your comfort level and knowledge.

Perfmon is prolly your best bet, once you get to know it.
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Taken out of context I must seem so strange - Ani DiFranco

[ Parent ]
Taskmgr shortcut key by hulver (4.00 / 1) #28 Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 10:47:46 PM EST
Ctrl-Shift-Esc
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Cheese is not a hat. - clock
[ Parent ]
"Looks Damn Good"??? by SmoothP (2.00 / 0) #17 Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 07:24:01 AM EST
Holy Cusack, that's the worst shot of Uncle Jerry I've ever seen!  He almost looks like Clapton in that shot.


No no by Bob Abooey (2.00 / 0) #18 Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 07:51:48 AM EST
The monitor looks damn good. Er, that is to say the picture quality of the monitor looks damn good. Uncle Jerry, on the other hand, looks like he died 3 years ago.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

[ Parent ]
Cakewalk v. Cubase by lm (2.00 / 0) #22 Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 08:59:08 AM EST
You can probably get away with just Garage Band.

Also, if you want some healthy flavor on your hamwich try taking a vegetable peeler to a carrot over your ham. I learned that trick from watching Dave. A++++. Would watch again.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
Well by Bob Abooey (2.00 / 0) #23 Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 09:26:58 AM EST
Audacity pretty much does what I "need" but I want to play with something a little more advanced, not out of need but just to while away the hours that may have otherwise been meaningful.

For the record I did look at the Macs for that very reason (Garageband) and I was looking at, at a minimum, about $600 more for a slower iMac. True, the iMac comes with better software, and the hardware is probably better (but I've never had problems with cheap hardware in all my computing years) but it was also slower and more limited with regards to upgrades.

The tradeoffs didn't equal $600 in my mind.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

[ Parent ]
Also by lm (2.00 / 0) #24 Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 09:35:08 AM EST
If you install Cygwin you get rxvt for Winders.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Right by Bob Abooey (2.00 / 0) #25 Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 09:59:17 AM EST
I use it at work from time to time. It was a massive pig to download as I recall.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

[ Parent ]
Piece of Cake. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #29 Wed Mar 22, 2006 at 05:58:37 AM EST
Also Services for Unix are excellent.

[ Parent ]
How about Rosegarden? by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #30 Wed Mar 22, 2006 at 05:59:24 AM EST
Only works on Lunix, mind, but I'm sure you are competent to switch from teh Evil XP.

[ Parent ]
I've looked at that in the past by Bob Abooey (2.00 / 0) #31 Wed Mar 22, 2006 at 06:05:42 AM EST
I mean, I've been running Loonux since 1998 and quite frankly I'm tired of having to compile a new kernel or futz with loading modules and having to download 800 terabytes of new libraries just to do something that Windows does out of the box.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still keeping my loonux box as an "Internet server" to keep the Windows machine more secure, but for now I'm really not interested in spending hours hacking stuff that may or may not work.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

[ Parent ]
I didn't just trollerise you, did I? by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #32 Wed Mar 22, 2006 at 06:17:39 AM EST
Also, I agree with you. Although the time I spent on Monday getting Loonix to work on my parents' laptop (my Mum wants to do score editing and doesn't really want to pay lots of money) was not too hard at all.

Although I couldn't get the MiniPCI wireless card to work, so out with the CardBus one.

And Rosegarden's synthesiser was unhappy. Which means I got the functionality I could have got with KDE on cygwin, were I to attempt to compile Rosegarden (and I failed to get KDE to run, so maybe I wouldn't be best at that.).

[ Parent ]
Damn you! by Bob Abooey (2.00 / 0) #33 Wed Mar 22, 2006 at 07:04:22 AM EST
That's twice you trollered me.

That's it, I'm moving you over to my troll file, won't get me again.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

[ Parent ]
Troll me once, shame on you. Won't get trolled aga by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #34 Wed Mar 22, 2006 at 07:12:51 AM EST
That what you meant?

[ Parent ]
Don't try to play nice now.. by Bob Abooey (2.00 / 0) #35 Wed Mar 22, 2006 at 07:23:16 AM EST
You probably don't even have a mom, let alone one with a laptop.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

[ Parent ]
Trolls are spawned, by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #36 Fri Mar 24, 2006 at 05:29:50 AM EST
you're quite correct.

[ Parent ]
re: startup bullshit by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #26 Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 01:35:18 PM EST
Start>> Run>> msconfig>> startup tab

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

smartmedia by dev trash (2.00 / 0) #27 Tue Mar 21, 2006 at 02:15:08 PM EST
impossible to find these days

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Blizzard of Death '06
Young man, there's a place you can go, I said, young man, when you're short on your dough... | 36 comments (36 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback