Author Topic: I feel better about not upgrading...  (Read 8261 times)

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4050
I feel better about not upgrading...
« on: December 05, 2013, 10:18:19 PM »
my laptop to the latest tech after reading this: http://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2013/12/05/how-are-laptops-used-on-the-international-space-station/  Seems NASA also thinks Lenovo T61s running Linux are good enough to do the job...

I.P. Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3574
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
    • Technical Meshugana
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2013, 08:19:00 AM »
That was a fun little read.

Quote
There are, last time I checked, about 80 laptops deployed throughout the ISS. Most of them are Lenovo T61P laptops, but there are still a few old Lenovo A31p Thinkpads floating around.

Coincidentally, those are some of the finest Thinkpad models ever produced by IBM/Lenovo as well. Also just goes to show how much processing overkill systems have had for the past decade for most people's needs, and how software bloat has been the only major driving factor towards the need to upgrade.
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

michaelrecycles

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 177
  • Location: Monterey Bay
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2013, 09:15:24 AM »
Also just goes to show how much processing overkill systems have had for the past decade for most people's needs, and how software bloat has been the only major driving factor towards the need to upgrade.

Yes. It's infuriating that my 4-year-old laptop is starting to have trouble just browsing the internet.

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4050
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2013, 12:32:03 PM »
...and how software bloat has been the only major driving factor towards the need to upgrade.

Well, I admit that I did upgrade to a SSD.  But it's only a 120 Gb one (hard as it is for someone whose first hard drive was a whopping 20 megabytes to use the word 'only'), and it's only about 1/4 used.

But there's a reason for bloat.  I work on a research project at the local U, and sit in on a meeting with CS grad students.  Every now & then the project leader gives problems that are supposed to be real-life job interview questions.  Last week's was amusing for the range of results.  The problem:
Quote
Produce all the words that could be made with only the 7, 8 and 9 keys of a telephone.

Here's the worst solution, but nicely programmed using an in-fashion tool:
Quote
with open('/etc/dictionaries-common/words','r') as wordFile:

   words = [line.rstrip('\n') for line in wordFile]

   

del words[:67249]

totalPermutations = []

for i in xrange(2,12):

   totalPermutations.append([''.join(val) for val in permutations('pqrstuvwxyz', i)])

   

phoneValues = frozenset([value for sublist in totalPermutations for value in sublist])

results = list(phoneValues.intersection(words))

print results

The perpetrator said it worked on his home machine - i7 with 24 GB RAM! - on a lab machine it ran into swap after a couple of minutes, and was still crunching when killed 10 minutes later.

The smart grad student came up with this one-liner:
Quote
cat /etc/dictionaries-common/words | grep "^[P-Zp-z]\+$"
(almost identical to my Flex solution) that runs in under a second on my laptop.  But both of them will almost certainly get degrees, and jobs.

I.P. Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3574
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
    • Technical Meshugana
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2013, 02:13:40 PM »
Well, I admit that I did upgrade to a SSD.  But it's only a 120 Gb one (hard as it is for someone whose first hard drive was a whopping 20 megabytes to use the word 'only'), and it's only about 1/4 used.

Oh, I'll likely do similarly with my X61s here eventually if the old 80GB WD ever dies out. Even with SSDs, the hard drive is still any system's largest bottleneck, so it's forgivable. ;)

But there's a reason for bloat.

-snip-

The perpetrator said it worked on his home machine - i7 with 24 GB RAM! - on a lab machine it ran into swap after a couple of minutes, and was still crunching when killed 10 minutes later.

The smart grad student came up with this one-liner:
Quote
cat /etc/dictionaries-common/words | grep "^[P-Zp-z]\+$"
(almost identical to my Flex solution) that runs in under a second on my laptop.  But both of them will almost certainly get degrees, and jobs.

There's a reason I said what I did a couple days back:

As a fellow in the IT industry, trust me when I tell you that papers behind your name don't mean much in tech because computer science degrees these days are the geek equivalent to the beautician degree. I know folks with a bachelor's in CS who couldn't code their way out of a wet paper sack. You want more pay? Be excellent at your job once you get your foot in the door. ... The bar is set pretty low by our colleagues, take advantage of it.

It's stories like these that drives that point home daily. I don't even professionally sling code over in the information services end, and I can tell i7 kid's solution is a hot mess that deserves a slap against the side of his head instead of a diploma.
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

BlueMR2

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1787
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2013, 03:44:01 PM »
Yes. It's infuriating that my 4-year-old laptop is starting to have trouble just browsing the internet.

You're doing something wrong.  My current laptop is 7 years old now and my desktop is 10 years old.  Still surfing fine.

wortdog

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 13
  • Location: Mahomet, IL
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2013, 04:20:48 PM »
I love my T61p, and I hope to keep using it for many more years.

I.P. Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3574
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
    • Technical Meshugana
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2013, 05:49:11 PM »
The smart grad student came up with this one-liner:
Quote
cat /etc/dictionaries-common/words | grep "^[P-Zp-z]\+$"
(almost identical to my Flex solution) that runs in under a second on my laptop.  But both of them will almost certainly get degrees, and jobs.

I've been rolling around this one in the back of my head and finally figured out why it was bugging me. Needless use of cat (wasted process as it's only one file), needless caps specification, and technically Q and Z weren't part of the Bellcore standard.

Code: [Select]
grep -i '^[pr-y]\+$' /etc/dictionaries-common/words
Good effort, though.
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

michaelrecycles

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 177
  • Location: Monterey Bay
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2013, 06:12:33 PM »
Yes. It's infuriating that my 4-year-old laptop is starting to have trouble just browsing the internet.

You're doing something wrong.  My current laptop is 7 years old now and my desktop is 10 years old.  Still surfing fine.

I do admit this is not my strong suit. Websites with video are the biggest problems.
What are you doing right?

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5759
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2013, 06:24:48 PM »
I read the same story, but (to put it in context) I read it on a computer security related site.  Let me paraphrase:

"We are too stupid to install basic virus mitigation software on windows computers and these things have turned to shite."

Now... I am the world's biggest Linux bigot.  Don't get me wrong.  I think it's the right choice (assuming a sane distribution, a sane install, and sane mainenance).  But.... this is just stupid.  Windows requires virus mitigation, just like Linux requires regular updates.

This isn't about upgrading.  It isn't about Windows.  If anything it's about a zillion dollar installation that can't manage to do what a computer illiterate 10 year old can manage fine.
Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight

Paul der Krake

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3532
  • Age: 9
  • Location: WA
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2013, 08:26:33 PM »
Side question: what are the logistics of keeping laptops running in space? Shouldn't they need extra hardening to protect them from radiations?

Also just goes to show how much processing overkill systems have had for the past decade for most people's needs, and how software bloat has been the only major driving factor towards the need to upgrade.

Yes. It's infuriating that my 4-year-old laptop is starting to have trouble just browsing the internet.
Don't tell the NSA, but in the past few weeks at work I have had daytime fantasies of walking up at a javascript conference with an explosive belt around my waist...

Maybe all CS grads should be required to program on an ARM board running nothing but xterm and vim for a semester or two.

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5759
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2013, 09:12:38 PM »
Side question: what are the logistics of keeping laptops running in space? Shouldn't they need extra hardening to protect them from radiations?

Also just goes to show how much processing overkill systems have had for the past decade for most people's needs, and how software bloat has been the only major driving factor towards the need to upgrade.

Yes. It's infuriating that my 4-year-old laptop is starting to have trouble just browsing the internet.
Don't tell the NSA, but in the past few weeks at work I have had daytime fantasies of walking up at a javascript conference with an explosive belt around my waist...

Maybe all CS grads should be required to program on an ARM board running nothing but xterm and vim for a semester or two.

Even if it makes me an enemy combatant: I like the way you think
Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4050
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2013, 09:25:35 PM »
I've been rolling around this one in the back of my head and finally figured out why it was bugging me. Needless use of cat (wasted process as it's only one file), needless caps specification, and technically Q and Z weren't part of the Bellcore standard.

Code: [Select]
grep -i '^[pr-y]\+$' /etc/dictionaries-common/words
Good effort, though.

Good point about cat.  The others depend on how the problem is defined/understood: it was given with a picture of a p-z keypad, and my thought was that the caps spec eliminated some acronyms that arguably aren't 'words'.

BlueMR2

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1787
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2013, 08:14:57 AM »
I do admit this is not my strong suit. Websites with video are the biggest problems.
What are you doing right?

I don't know.  There's not much to do.  Even if you never upgrade the OS, at least keep current on your browser (and Flash if you need it).  Doing a disk cleanup every month or so to clean out the cache can make a HUGE difference in browser responsiveness.

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5759
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2013, 08:21:47 AM »
I do admit this is not my strong suit. Websites with video are the biggest problems.
What are you doing right?

I don't know.  There's not much to do.  Even if you never upgrade the OS, at least keep current on your browser (and Flash if you need it).  Doing a disk cleanup every month or so to clean out the cache can make a HUGE difference in browser responsiveness.

adblock and noscript make a huge difference, too.  They're both helpful in security and in speeding things up that you don't need.  (Turn on scripting for the domains that need it and ignore the rest.)

I'll also raise you one on IP's grep:  Remove the single characters that don't count as words in my book:

Code: [Select]
grep -i '^[pr-y]\{2,\}$' /etc/dictionaries-common/words
Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4050
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2013, 12:13:13 PM »
I do admit this is not my strong suit. Websites with video are the biggest problems.
What are you doing right?

Possibly not the answer you want, but I simply don't allow video or audio on my main work machines.  (I have a separate machine for the rare occasions I need video.)  I don't even install the plug-ins, so worst case I just get a "can't find Flash (or whatever) plugin" message.

Paul der Krake

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3532
  • Age: 9
  • Location: WA
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2013, 12:18:00 PM »
I do admit this is not my strong suit. Websites with video are the biggest problems.
What are you doing right?

Possibly not the answer you want, but I simply don't allow video or audio on my main work machines.  (I have a separate machine for the rare occasions I need video.)  I don't even install the plug-ins, so worst case I just get a "can't find Flash (or whatever) plugin" message.
You can also toggle media.autoplay.enabled in firefox's about:config page (just type "about:config" in the address bar and hit enter). Not sure if other browsers offer the same feature. You can also allow certain sites to run media automatically, like youtube for example. Unless you browse youtube solely for the comments :badpokerface:

daverobev

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2683
  • Location: Canada
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2013, 12:43:27 PM »
Thing is, I have a pretty new computer (Ivy Bridge Celeron I think it is - 847, 1.1GHz, with 4Gb RAM).

Firefox is getting *bad*. Or something has screwed up, on some sites it just bogs down and stutters now.

I'm using Flashblock, Adblock Plus, and the latest FF - or close enough - 25.0.1

Firefox with 2 tabs open, both MMM forums, uses a quarter of a fucking gigabyte of RAM (yeah, yeah, I know, it's not all about that - I have plenty of RAM).

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/cibc-profit-drops-to-836m-1.2451841 *was* causing problems (neverending 'loading' animation on the tab) but it seems ok now. I'm talking scrolling up/down would stutter.

Websites just load in so much shite now. I dunno, maybe my adblock custom filters are part of the problem.

From what I can see on 'about:memory', javascript is using a LOT of the RAM. Not sure why I get two Flash plugins loaded (one per processor core?).

Bleh. Anyway.
Amex Canada $1k+ of sign up bonuses

daverobev

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2683
  • Location: Canada
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2013, 01:11:02 PM »
Wow, Easylist (for Adblock plus) uses about 50Mb!

Deleting that and re-adding seems to have helped something, plus I turned pipelining on, tinkered a bit here and there... Fingers crossed. Now I have half a dozen tabs open and mem usage is 327Mb, heh.

My first 'PC' was an Amstrad PC 1640 or something - 20Mb hard drive, 5.25 inch low density floppies. Man.

Amigas were SO much better.
Amex Canada $1k+ of sign up bonuses

I.P. Daley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3574
  • Location: Cow country. Moo.
  • Got that mustache feeling.
    • Technical Meshugana
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2013, 08:44:52 PM »
Side question: what are the logistics of keeping laptops running in space? Shouldn't they need extra hardening to protect them from radiations?

Also just goes to show how much processing overkill systems have had for the past decade for most people's needs, and how software bloat has been the only major driving factor towards the need to upgrade.

Yes. It's infuriating that my 4-year-old laptop is starting to have trouble just browsing the internet.
Don't tell the NSA, but in the past few weeks at work I have had daytime fantasies of walking up at a javascript conference with an explosive belt around my waist...

Maybe all CS grads should be required to program on an ARM board running nothing but xterm and vim for a semester or two.

Even if it makes me an enemy combatant: I like the way you think

Seconded.

No, I will not enable javascript on your fargin' website just to read your content hidden behind a panel telling me to turn on javascript. (inspects element, deletes)



The others depend on how the problem is defined/understood: it was given with a picture of a p-z keypad, and my thought was that the caps spec eliminated some acronyms that arguably aren't 'words'.

Fair enough on the keypad. As for that last bit, output should be identical between the methods.



I'll also raise you one on IP's grep:  Remove the single characters that don't count as words in my book:

Code: [Select]
grep -i '^[pr-y]\{2,\}$' /etc/dictionaries-common/words

I thought about that myself not long after I'd posted... well played. I was also mulling a way to purge the all 100% consonant string entries from the dictionary for the abbreviations, but realized I'm not the one responsible for the quality of the dictionary being supplied. If the client doesn't want garbage entries returned, they can provide a dictionary free of the garbage entries they don't want returned in the first place. ;)
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4050
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #20 on: December 08, 2013, 12:21:14 PM »
If the client doesn't want garbage entries returned, they can provide a dictionary free of the garbage entries they don't want returned in the first place. ;)

My thought, too.  And then there are loan words, like 'cwm' (from Welsh, in which w is a vowel)...

Another thought on the 'cat | grep' version is that there's hidden system overhead in the pipe...

William

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 195
  • Age: 27
  • Location: Nebraska
    • First Quarter Finance
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2013, 12:25:44 PM »
I bought a used Thinkpad T60p in 2008.  I don't know how old it is but my guess is 2006.  I'm typing on it now with no issues whatsoever.

I love my thinkpad!

Here's hoping it lives forever! 

In the future I may need an updated graphics card and possibly get an external monitor for HD.  Other than that this computer seems impervious to time!  Haha.
If you're still in the first quarter of life, read my blog.  If not, probably don't.


http://firstquarterfinance.com/

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4050
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2013, 10:12:00 PM »
One drawback of the T60/61, and I think most if not all laptops, is that it's next to impossible to upgrade graphics cards.  However, my T61 handles largish (21"?) 1600x1200 display when in its dock.

Mr. Minsc

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 162
  • Location: PEI, Canada
    • ThriftyHamster
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #23 on: December 09, 2013, 05:59:50 AM »
My mid-2007 24" iMac still works great. :)

Hardware Overview:

  Model Name:   iMac
  Model Identifier:   iMac7,1
  Processor Name:   Intel Core 2 Duo
  Processor Speed:   2.4 GHz
  Number Of Processors:   1
  Total Number Of Cores:   2
  L2 Cache:   4 MB
  Memory:   3 GB

Since I discovered the latest version of OS X (10.9) is free  I'm considering the idea of spending the $110-130 to max out the ram on this thing.  I plan to get as much life out of this computer as I can.  Barring serious hardware failure, not new computer for me anytime soon. :)
My budding blog: thriftyhamster.com

daverobev

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2683
  • Location: Canada
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #24 on: December 09, 2013, 10:05:10 AM »
Core 2 and newer are just excellent. Poor old AMD.

Still, the game's changed.. oh how I wish I'd bought some ARM shares a few years back...!
Amex Canada $1k+ of sign up bonuses

gimp

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2355
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #25 on: December 09, 2013, 10:45:04 AM »
Quote
There are, last time I checked, about 80 laptops deployed throughout the ISS. Most of them are Lenovo T61P laptops, but there are still a few old Lenovo A31p Thinkpads floating around.

I see what they did there.

Regarding radiation hardening: this is an EXCELLENT question. In fact, rad-hardening is a fascinating topic. A lot of the chips used in space vehicles are 1) really old, because their errata is known very well, and they do the job, and 2) rad hardened.

However!

Did you know that alpha decay happens everywhere? Oh yeah, it sure does. Back when chips were packaged in lead, it was a big issue; but it's still an issue today. Even back in the 60s they did experiments to see if they could protect from alpha decay entirely, and the answer was nope, no matter how well packaged.

So what do we do?

Fault tolerance is the name of the game. If random flip-flops can flip-flop randomly (I'm so funny), we need to design things in such a way that random errors don't cause issues. One such method is through error-correcting codes. Hamming codes were common; today we use derivatives of the same. They're pretty decent; we can correct several simultaneous errors, and we can detect a bit more than we can correct. If we were willing to spend more silicon on ECC, we could get better and better performance. We also have other methods - redundancy, line-poisoning, and so on. In short, things just pretty much don't fail. I can't recall the last time one of our server chips decided to reboot or lock up due to something like this.

Similarly, other parts of the system are more fault tolerant as well - RAM especially.


gimp

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2355
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #26 on: December 09, 2013, 11:00:04 AM »
Core 2 and newer are just excellent. Poor old AMD.

AMD's chips are just fine, but intel chips are better. However, if you're looking low-end, AMD is more value for money! Of course, I have a shiny new 6-core top-end i7 extreme...

But my laptop runs a core 2 duo released in 2008 or whatever. It's a beast. My laptop is still perfectly fast in 2013. Running linux helps, of course, but even my windows 8 install is fast enough when I feel like booting it up for some reason.

If your old computer is having trouble doing basic tasks, here's what I'd say.

- Your computer hasn't innately gotten worse. Most devices in the box work perfectly until they die, with very little degradation.
- I assume you're running windows, so:
- Defragment the hard drive; there's a windows tool to do this already installed.
- Clean your registry; use something like ccleaner.
- Uninstall any crap you don't need.
- Clean the registry again.
- Delete any files you don't need that were left over by the uninstall process.

At this point, things tend to be running smoother. But if not:

- Start your task manager, and sort the columns so you see what programs take up the most CPU cycles and the most memory.
- Are those programs you want? Do you know what they are? If you don't know, google to find out.
- Look in your startup folder. Chances are you've accumulated, like, ten+ programs there that start up and run 24/7. If you don't need them, remove them.
- After figuring out the biggest offenders and removing them, clean the registry again.

Oh, one more thing.

Get rid of your toolbars. Every single one. Right now. A lot of folks think these are a good idea. Delete with extreme prejudice, clean the registry, then check if they're actually deleted.

That tends to solve most problems... if not, you have more choices, such as re-installing windows, or asking your computer-nerd niece or nephew to clean things up for you twice a year (and paying them; if they're teenagers, at least $30, or $10/hr whichever is more, or if they're adults, double that.) If you think the price is steep, compare it against what a professional shop charges (and remember that they won't try to up-sell you or lie to you or install weird programs.)
« Last Edit: December 09, 2013, 11:01:58 AM by gimp »

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4050
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #27 on: December 09, 2013, 12:09:26 PM »
Still, the game's changed.. oh how I wish I'd bought some ARM shares a few years back...!

I don't think the game has really changed.  Rather, all the new kids who wanted to play the 'media appliance' game rather than computers now have their own sandbox, and may leave us alone.


daverobev

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2683
  • Location: Canada
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #28 on: December 09, 2013, 12:26:23 PM »
Core 2 and newer are just excellent. Poor old AMD.

AMD's chips are just fine, but intel chips are better. However, if you're looking low-end, AMD is more value for money! Of course, I have a shiny new 6-core top-end i7 extreme...

But my laptop runs a core 2 duo released in 2008 or whatever. It's a beast. My laptop is still perfectly fast in 2013. Running linux helps, of course, but even my windows 8 install is fast enough when I feel like booting it up for some reason.

If your old computer is having trouble doing basic tasks, here's what I'd say.

- Your computer hasn't innately gotten worse. Most devices in the box work perfectly until they die, with very little degradation.
- I assume you're running windows, so:
- Defragment the hard drive; there's a windows tool to do this already installed.
- Clean your registry; use something like ccleaner.
- Uninstall any crap you don't need.
- Clean the registry again.
- Delete any files you don't need that were left over by the uninstall process.

At this point, things tend to be running smoother. But if not:

- Start your task manager, and sort the columns so you see what programs take up the most CPU cycles and the most memory.
- Are those programs you want? Do you know what they are? If you don't know, google to find out.
- Look in your startup folder. Chances are you've accumulated, like, ten+ programs there that start up and run 24/7. If you don't need them, remove them.
- After figuring out the biggest offenders and removing them, clean the registry again.

Oh, one more thing.

Get rid of your toolbars. Every single one. Right now. A lot of folks think these are a good idea. Delete with extreme prejudice, clean the registry, then check if they're actually deleted.

That tends to solve most problems... if not, you have more choices, such as re-installing windows, or asking your computer-nerd niece or nephew to clean things up for you twice a year (and paying them; if they're teenagers, at least $30, or $10/hr whichever is more, or if they're adults, double that.) If you think the price is steep, compare it against what a professional shop charges (and remember that they won't try to up-sell you or lie to you or install weird programs.)

Oh, I know AMD is 'fine' but they are always too hot to be really good in laptops, and since the Athlon beat the P4 years back they just haven't been able to gazump Intel.

Not sure if all that advice is for me, but thanks - not necessary though, it's only Firefox that's getting a bit grumpy. I suspect it's Adblock Plus just having a bit too much extra to do. It's actually fine for most things. I have about 40 processes running on Windows 7, which is pretty good. The only real memory hog is Firefox at.. 340Mb for 4 tabs. My registry is shiny clean, and my fragments are few :)

I should probably just start a fresh install of firefox.. I've been copying my profile across from machine to machine for a few years now. Don't want to lose all my passwords and cookie preferences ("No!"), but if it gets much worse I suppose I will.

What's the alternative? IE? No. Chrome? Fuck no. So Firefox it is, and Firefox it'll stay. If only they'd work on memory optimisation a bit more...

Quote
Your computer hasn't innately gotten worse. Most devices in the box work perfectly until they die, with very little degradation.
Specifically on this I'd.. well, I agree, but it's also unfortunately not also true that *the internet* hasn't got worse. The amount of bloat on webpages is insane..
« Last Edit: December 09, 2013, 12:28:10 PM by daverobev »
Amex Canada $1k+ of sign up bonuses

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4050
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #29 on: December 09, 2013, 02:01:02 PM »
What's the alternative? IE? No. Chrome? Fuck no. So Firefox it is, and Firefox it'll stay. If only they'd work on memory optimisation a bit more...

There's always Opera.

I'm honestly not too happy with Firefox.  My Opera (admittedly not the latest version) doesn't play well with Google Docs, which I need to use  for one project.  Firefox did, up to around version 15 (the one I'm using), but later versions don't.


daverobev

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2683
  • Location: Canada
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #30 on: December 09, 2013, 02:31:34 PM »
Still, the game's changed.. oh how I wish I'd bought some ARM shares a few years back...!

I don't think the game has really changed.  Rather, all the new kids who wanted to play the 'media appliance' game rather than computers now have their own sandbox, and may leave us alone.

Mm, I was meaning in terms of computer sales. "PC" sales, I know it's.. not exact, because iPads "are" PCs, but if you take PC to mean desktop or laptop computer with a traditional keyboard and mouse and - most importantly - no artificial manufacturer walls to the installation of the software you want to install.

I know that MS are following Google and Apple in terms of the Windows App Store.. And the last few years have done a lot of good, in terms of MS releasing reasonably priced versions of their software (Express editions initially, Home & Student Office, etc).

What makes me go cross eyed is people giving a flying fuck about a Facebook app. No.. you don't need an app, you need a web browser, which pretty much every device has. Oh, the LinkedIn app isn't so hot on device X. Uhhhhhhhh.

Mind you. I closed my Facebollocks account a while back. I know, it's a simple and easy way to stay connected with people, but ugh ugh ugh no. Just no.

/rant :)
Amex Canada $1k+ of sign up bonuses

daverobev

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2683
  • Location: Canada
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #31 on: December 09, 2013, 02:34:44 PM »
What's the alternative? IE? No. Chrome? Fuck no. So Firefox it is, and Firefox it'll stay. If only they'd work on memory optimisation a bit more...

There's always Opera.

I'm honestly not too happy with Firefox.  My Opera (admittedly not the latest version) doesn't play well with Google Docs, which I need to use  for one project.  Firefox did, up to around version 15 (the one I'm using), but later versions don't.

I have a version of Chromium installed, actually. I think Opera is going to be using the same rendering engine as Chrome and Safari.. now? Soon?

"Morally" or "ethically" or however you want to describe it, I just want to support Mozilla. Not that I have anything against Opera - if they were better than Firefox with the same adblocking capabilities I'd have happily paid for it. I do donate to Moz every now and again because, let's face it, I spend much of my day looking through a Firefox and Thunderbird lens.
Amex Canada $1k+ of sign up bonuses

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5759
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #32 on: December 09, 2013, 02:52:01 PM »
What's the alternative? IE? No. Chrome? Fuck no. So Firefox it is, and Firefox it'll stay. If only they'd work on memory optimisation a bit more...

There's always Opera.

I'm honestly not too happy with Firefox.  My Opera (admittedly not the latest version) doesn't play well with Google Docs, which I need to use  for one project.  Firefox did, up to around version 15 (the one I'm using), but later versions don't.

I share your firefox concerns... they're not what they used to be... but:
Have you tried later FF versions?  They broke a crap load of stuff around FF14/15.... most of which they've fixed.  (Most, not all.)  It might be worth trying the current versions.  I had to use FF14 for quite a while because of a number of non-negotiable broken work-related web interfaces.
Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight

BlueMR2

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1787
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #33 on: December 09, 2013, 03:17:52 PM »
What's the alternative? IE? No. Chrome? Fuck no. So Firefox it is, and Firefox it'll stay. If only they'd work on memory optimisation a bit more...

There's always Opera.

I feel your pain on this one.  I'm currently using IE and Chrome, depending on the task.  Not a big fan of IE, but it's already built into these machines.  I don't like/trust Google, but Chrome is fast when I need fast.  Firefox, no way, too bloated and slow, we have that on some machines at work and I hate it.  Opera, I've used, but they company keeps popping up in the news sounding like a bunch of little crybabies (which is something I can't stand).  Safari is garbage.  On the Linux boxen I use Konqueror, but it's got all kinds of goofy rendering problems.  Man, I really hate HTML/CSS/Javascript/the DOM, it's such a mess.  :-)

daverobev

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2683
  • Location: Canada
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #34 on: December 09, 2013, 04:31:40 PM »
What's the alternative? IE? No. Chrome? Fuck no. So Firefox it is, and Firefox it'll stay. If only they'd work on memory optimisation a bit more...

There's always Opera.

I feel your pain on this one.  I'm currently using IE and Chrome, depending on the task.  Not a big fan of IE, but it's already built into these machines.  I don't like/trust Google, but Chrome is fast when I need fast.  Firefox, no way, too bloated and slow, we have that on some machines at work and I hate it.  Opera, I've used, but they company keeps popping up in the news sounding like a bunch of little crybabies (which is something I can't stand).  Safari is garbage.  On the Linux boxen I use Konqueror, but it's got all kinds of goofy rendering problems.  Man, I really hate HTML/CSS/Javascript/the DOM, it's such a mess.  :-)

And the irony is that it (HTML standards) are MUCH better than they used to be - I mean, IE9+ is actually pretty good!

But the availability of jquery and good plugins mean people just load up their sites with tonnes of crap. I mean seriously, you have a few kb of text as the core of what people are visiting the site for!
Amex Canada $1k+ of sign up bonuses

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4050
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #35 on: December 09, 2013, 04:39:37 PM »
I have a version of Chromium installed, actually. I think Opera is going to be using the same rendering engine as Chrome and Safari.. now? Soon?

I have both practical and ethical reasons for not wanting to use more of Google than necessary.  The practical is that every piece of software I've seen from them is crap.  Ethical: they do things (like Streetview) that to my way of thinking are profoundly unethical, so I'll give them as little as I can.

Quote
Not that I have anything against Opera - if they were better than Firefox with the same adblocking capabilities I'd have happily paid for it.

Whereas most ads don't bother me at all.  Now if they could come up with some way of blocking things like slider windows (even when they're not ads), I might switch.

I share your firefox concerns... they're not what they used to be... but:
Have you tried later FF versions?  They broke a crap load of stuff around FF14/15.... most of which they've fixed.  (Most, not all.)  It might be worth trying the current versions.

Maybe one of these days, when I have some spare time.  But there's another major annoyance with the FF versions I've used: the just can't seem to fathom that I might want to have several versions around, with different settings.

daverobev

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2683
  • Location: Canada
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #36 on: December 09, 2013, 06:33:02 PM »
I have a version of Chromium installed, actually. I think Opera is going to be using the same rendering engine as Chrome and Safari.. now? Soon?

I have both practical and ethical reasons for not wanting to use more of Google than necessary.  The practical is that every piece of software I've seen from them is crap.  Ethical: they do things (like Streetview) that to my way of thinking are profoundly unethical, so I'll give them as little as I can.

Oh, absolutely - which is why I installed Chromium and not Chrome. I absolutely hate google.. which is fun, as my wife is a google addict - gmail, google docs, calendar, all that. I've tried to talk her out of it but it's embedded. As to their stuff being crap, well. It functions very well for certain people. But the fact they can change ("fuck up") the UI at any time at their sole discretion, change things, remove or add options, or - much worse - follow you across all their products is absolutely a deal breaker for me.

Webkit itself isn't evil. Apple? Yes. Google? Yes. Well, maybe evil isn't the right word, but as you say - to be avoided as much as possible. Sad world.. or just normal I suppose. It's just we're more aware of it all, us peons ;)
Amex Canada $1k+ of sign up bonuses

William

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 195
  • Age: 27
  • Location: Nebraska
    • First Quarter Finance
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #37 on: December 09, 2013, 08:12:40 PM »
One drawback of the T60/61, and I think most if not all laptops, is that it's next to impossible to upgrade graphics cards.  However, my T61 handles largish (21"?) 1600x1200 display when in its dock.

Hmm.  Then I guess it isn't possible to hook up an HD monitor to my little t60?
If you're still in the first quarter of life, read my blog.  If not, probably don't.


http://firstquarterfinance.com/

daverobev

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2683
  • Location: Canada
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #38 on: December 09, 2013, 08:23:48 PM »
One drawback of the T60/61, and I think most if not all laptops, is that it's next to impossible to upgrade graphics cards.  However, my T61 handles largish (21"?) 1600x1200 display when in its dock.

Hmm.  Then I guess it isn't possible to hook up an HD monitor to my little t60?

Define "HD". The marketing people will try and tell you 1366 * 768 is HD. You can connect to a 1600 * 1200 screen by analog VGA. You can get a dock that has a DVI port. There are ways of getting HDMI from ExpressCard, I think.

DVI and HDMI are adapterable - except DVI doesn't carry sound. You should be good to 1920 * 1080 and beyond, there.
Amex Canada $1k+ of sign up bonuses

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4050
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #39 on: December 09, 2013, 09:46:50 PM »
Oh, absolutely - which is why I installed Chromium and not Chrome.

Lost me on that one... Chromium is a non-Google Chrome?

Hmm.  Then I guess it isn't possible to hook up an HD monitor to my little t60?

I could easily be wrong, but AFAIK the only good way to connect any external monitor is via a dock - at least that's the only way I've ever done it.  There apparently are (or were - I don't see anything that looks current) PCMCIA video cards, but I've zero experience of them.

daverobev

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2683
  • Location: Canada
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #40 on: December 10, 2013, 10:16:57 AM »
Oh, absolutely - which is why I installed Chromium and not Chrome.

Lost me on that one... Chromium is a non-Google Chrome?

Hmm.  Then I guess it isn't possible to hook up an HD monitor to my little t60?

I could easily be wrong, but AFAIK the only good way to connect any external monitor is via a dock - at least that's the only way I've ever done it.  There apparently are (or were - I don't see anything that looks current) PCMCIA video cards, but I've zero experience of them.

Chrome is Google's proprietary stuff on top of some adaptations to Webkit. The open source stuff Google does is, obviously, available, and people have packaged that part up into a browser that does not include the closed-source stuff - Chromium.

http://www.chromium.org/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chromium_%28web_browser%29
Amex Canada $1k+ of sign up bonuses

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5759
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: I feel better about not upgrading...
« Reply #41 on: December 10, 2013, 01:50:14 PM »
I share your firefox concerns... they're not what they used to be... but:
Have you tried later FF versions?  They broke a crap load of stuff around FF14/15.... most of which they've fixed.  (Most, not all.)  It might be worth trying the current versions.

Maybe one of these days, when I have some spare time.  But there's another major annoyance with the FF versions I've used: the just can't seem to fathom that I might want to have several versions around, with different settings.

I've had the same issues.  But it is totally do-able.  Use the profile manager.  If I remember right, you're a unix guy...  Just make a /usr/local/firefox/<version.number/ and plop the releases in there.  If you *want* to keep the old versions, just untar them in a directory and don't use rpm/dpkg package managers for the old ones.  (And make sure you uncheck the "upgrade me when possible" checkbox!") 

I've sometimes had to have current release plus 2 or 3 other old releases to manage picky applications.  As long as you use a different firefox profile, you'll be okay.  You can even run all of them at the same time as long as you remember to start them with the '-no-remote' switch.
Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight