Back to the grind

School’s started, again, 5 years in a row. This time I’m taking more courses that aren’t related to Engineering like Management, Psychology, and Japanese ^_^. In total that’s 24 credit hours out of a possible 30 for two semesters, a wicked work load.

Should be fun 🙂

The Indestructible M200

I’ve already written a few articles about my tablet laptop, the Toshiba M200, and I’ve been incredible impressed by it’s durability, adaptability, and overall functionality. So what have I forced it to do now? What other feat has the M200 surpassed? Two words: Windows 7. I decided to install Windows 7 RC 1 on my tablet for a few reasons, including: It’s free, … it’s free, and… I have a SSD. So far I’m quite impressed at the tablet’s ability to run Windows 7; the actions are very smooth, it’s responsive, fast in booting up and loading applications. The only thing I’ve noticed so far is that Aero doesn’t work at all, even if I try forcing it to start Aero I end up having to reboot as the screen just gets stuck in an endless flicker. But I can live with no Aero, considering it’s overall functionality is awesome.

PC Woes

So conveniently on the day after I lose my phone my computer’s Hard Drive dies, there goes 130GB of personal data. Although I did make a recent backup since I had to send in my motherboard for repair which only came back to me about a week prior. At the moment I’m running my desktop computer with an old old old… old 80GB Maxtor drive which I figured I’d use to try Windows 7 RC while I wait for my hard drive to come back.

So what are my first impressions of Windows 7?

Well… it’s very… blue. I changed as much of the colors that as I could the second the install finished. But so far it seems decent, although my old HDD isn’t attributing anything good to the overall performance. What are my performance ratings?

Processor: 7.3

Memory: 7.5

Aero GFX: 6.1

Gaming GFX: 6.1

HDD: 4.3  (awww……)

Anyway I’ll see how much of it all improves when I get my other HDD back.

Ohhh Cellular-Ma-Fone.

I lost Samsung u740 two days ago and I’ll be honest… I feel mildly useless with out it. I mean I didn’t store anything incredibly important on it besides my contacts, but still! I’ve already run into situations while on the road or away from home where I’ve needed a phone… so terrible. But to top things off, I burnt myself on a Shindaiwa T230 trimmer on the same day!

But on the bright side I bought a HTC Touch Diamond on eBay for like $200, which is pretty damn good considering my retarded cellular company sells them for well over $400. What I did find the most interesting about those retards is they only use the location feature to find your phone in the case of an emergency (normally for the paramedics to find you) and it requires a court order. But I have to wonder… why do I (the owner of the phone) need to have an emergency and a court order to find my own phone? Their response: Wut?

I did however learn something from them about the streaming radio issue I previously had with the Samsung u740. The other cellular company they were partnered with provided an RTSP relay in the network which solved the problem of not being able to use RTSP streaming. Since they are no longer partnered… no more relay, but is my cell company going to fix it? Apparently there is no estimated on a fix for the ‘issue’. Fantastic.

Toshiba M200 and a Solid State Drive

So I decided to amp up the performance of my Toshiba Protege M200 tablet by installing a Transcend 64GB SSD into the already awesome device. And I must say: Wow! So quiet! And it got a huge boost to hard drive performance all the way from 4.4 to 5.8 in the Windows Experience Index. On top of that it’s a lot cooler now but did I mention quiet???

I have my power options in Windows to allow the processor to lower it’s speed even on full power so the fan barely comes on. Even while I type this post, the fan it totally silent so this computer is emanating NO SOUND what so ever and holding steady at 55c for the processor temp. Now of course compared to my new 45nm quad core AMD which is 45c at full load, doesn’t come close. But for a 90nm processor in a 5 year old tablet laptop, I’m doing pretty damn good.

Q: Does it really boot faster with SSD?

A: I’d say it shaves about 2-3 seconds off the boot time of mine*.

Q: Does your profile and applications load faster?

A: Definitely seems more responsive, yes. For both loading my profile and applications.

Q: Is Aero any more stable with the SSD?

A: Not really.

Q: Do games play better with the SSD?

A: I may see a bit better on loading screens but overall frame rates will probably remain the same.**

Q: Has your battery life improved a lot?

A: Solid State Drives require far less power than traditional hard drives, but how much they actually draw on the battery I can’t really say (verses the cpu or gfx). Presumably I should, but I haven’t had the chance to test it yet well yet. So far Vista estimates about 2:30 hours on the battery with my current setup. I’ll know more when classes return.

*Specs: 1.8 GHz, 2GB PC2700, Clean Vista Ultimate Install

**No games installed yet