Streamlining Vista

These are the performance tuning steps I usually take after a fresh install of Windows Vista:

  1. Disable System Restore
  2. Adjust for best performance (System Properties-Advanced Tab, Performance)
  3. Disable User Account Control
  4. Pick one or the other: Google Desktop or Windows Indexing (most Dell computers have Google Desktop installed by default)

These are great actions to take on slower and/or less graphically capable computers. Everything just seems to pop once these changes are made. Far more responsive…and much more of a Windows XP look and feel.

M0n0wall

Anyone out there using monowall as a personal/professional firewall? I’m having great success with it on generic pc hardware and ALIX hardware. How does it compare to off the shelf solutions for you? Have a recommendation for a good pci wireless card to use with it?

Wireless Repeaters

Does anyone out there use them…or should say, use them well? I have one installed at a client location, but it helps fill the wireless gap that is their warehouse. I stopped in at a new client today and their old IT staff had a repeater sitting right on top of the wireless access point. Seems like a recipe for disaster. Care to share your thoughts?

Resurrecting a Pentium 4

Do you have an old Windows XP Pentium 4 computer sitting around that is slow and no one wants to use it? Bring it back to life! Here’s what I did to breathe some life into an P4 2.0Ghz HP Pavilion with 512MB RAM. It’s about $150 and is not for the faint of heart, but if you really want to make the computer usable again and are on a limited budget it just might be the ticket.

  1. Upgrade the RAM to the maximum (This Pavilion’s max was 1GB, check Crucial.com for your systems specs): http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820141437
  2. Install a SATA PCI card (I used an Adaptec 1210SA I had laying around):
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816102062
  3. **Boot and install the SATA card driver**  (VERY IMPORTANT)
  4. On a separate computer make an image of the existing IDE hard drive: (This thing rocks)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812161002
  5. You’ll probably need an SATA power adapter. You’ll definitely need an SATA cable.
  6. Restore image to a new SATA hard drive: (The Pavilion had a 60GB drive)
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148231
  7. Remove the IDE hard drive and install the new SATA drive. Boot it up!
  8. WOW

Windows Vista Movie Maker…how to make a DVD?

Well, I’m sorry to say it doesn’t look possible. If you like using Movie Maker to edit than you can just publish the movie as an AVI and import it into whatever software you want to use to author the DVD. Here’s how to make the AVI:

1. Click on Publish Movie
2. Select “This Computer”, Next
3. Choose your filename and where you want it to put the file, Next
4. Select More settings: DV-AVI(NTSC), Publish