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Everything posted by Poolsharkzz

  1. Good afternoon to all! What a day - and what a night tonight - "my girl", Hillary will be speaking, so I will have to make this brief - can't miss the show!!! Okay, here is the deal... "overcharging people" - Take a step back, in fact, quite a few... From my point of view, it seems to me that you are under-charging people! In fact, due to your market conditions there in Vancouver, Canada - you could not charge what I charge - I'm sorry for that. Vancouver, Canada - while it is a beautiful place - is TOTALLY different than Chicago, the 3rd largest market in the United States - and the United States is Micro$oft's largest market. I mean, do we really have to go here in detail? No, I don't think so - your smarter than that. You cannot compare the two - or their Markets - and Market Forces declare the price charged. Remember this? Post # 87: Here's another one, straight off of NewEgg... Motherboard : Foxconn P45A-S - $119.99 Processor : Intel E2180 - $69.99 Memory : 2GB OCZ DDR2-800 - $42.99 Video Card : EVGA 7200GS - $29.99 Total cost : $427.92 * plus State Tax and Shipping First Class from southern California? Not sure. + $25.00 and... Acer 22" widescreen LCD monitor - $206 Microsoft comfort curve keyboard - $23 Logitech optical mouse - $14 Total Cost: $243.00 * plus State Tax and Shipping First Class from where? Not sure. + $25.00 and... Samsung ML-1640 Laser Printer -$105 USB2.0 Device Cable A-B M/M 6FT - $9 * plus State Tax and Shipping First Class from where? Not sure. + $25.00 Total charge: $114.00 I'll take your $50.00 "handling charge"... (no other mark-ups or fees) Plus Chicago City Sales Tax - yes - that's how it works - @11.25% - Welcome to the Big City! * Using the "Big Calculator" I download as part of a Tune-Up to replace Micro$oft's default calculator... Total Cost: $427.92 + $243.00 + $114.00 + $50.00 = $834.82 Chicago City Tax = $93.92 Shipping / State Tax = $75.00 Grand Total: $1003.74 - Minimum Sorry guys, I checked out NewEgg's website - lots of cool stuff but it said nothing about omitting State Tax and Shipping Charges or its all included with the price. I Quote: This falls right in line with what I said $$$$$ - so why not go high-end? More Power, more speed, more storage, more Ram = more for the future! Your going to have to make payments anyways.... Acer? Crude, but okay, down here only the Chicago Public School System uses Acer - Not a big seller, I afraid. Brand name is what sells, for the most part - mainstream products, like Dell, HP, Apple. Samsung Printer - Good choice, brand name, quality product, but it's not apples to apples - The Dell 948 has everything you can imagine: Print, Fax, Copy, Scan, Memory Card Reader, Front USB Port, Front CF / MD Port - Print, Fax, Copy, Scan from Memory Card, Print Photos, Removable Storage, etc. I didn't see any of these features on the Samsung Printer, I even went to Samsung's website. Good little printer if you want just that - a good little printer - fast too, right? I'll say it again: Everything you describe as "overcharging people" is in fact what differenciates me from all others in my market - meaning that if you only do "step one and step two" and then give the system to the customer - great - but I do: step one, step two, step three, step four and step five - taking it to the next level - with a whole bunch of extras and a smile! I Quote: "I sell my time, knowledge, experience - in a way so that the customer will ALWAYS remember me - this is what differenciates me from my competition in the marketplace." "Always remember me" meaning: Person #1: "Where did you find that cool program, what's it called: Spyware Terminator? Never heard of it." (* it doesn't matter the name of the program) Person #2 (former customer): "Yeah - It's great, and freeware too. My computer guy, poolsharkzz, loaded up with my system (and trained me to use it properly) the last time I had a problem - my rig kept crashing and locking up, didn't know why - so I took it to him and not only did he fix the many problems, but gave it a tune-up, cleaned it, memory upgrade, optimized my internet connection (my downloads and page renderings are much faster now and my system zips right along and "feels" a whole lot better!) he fully updated it, downloaded a bunch of cool programs - especially ones for the kids, etc. - I didn't have to lift a finger with a 24 hour turn-around - all for $450 clams". Person #1: "Wow! Maybe I should give him a call - that's different from my guy - he only charges me $50 bucks - but then, he doesn't do all that extra stuff either." Person #2 - "Sure, his number is on that red & yellow sticker located on the side of the case - he's usually around, ask for him." It's set up that way. Amen DigeratiPrime "Performance is an economic problem" - Yes, all around, I totally agree - If you read later on in the posts, the OP said something to the effect that after he removed Norton he ran AVG and found 4 nasties - then after removing them, things went south with the system so then the OP mentioned about getting together with an "IT Person" and they were going to do a backup and then reinstall... Which means that they would have reverted that system back to 2001 - back to pre-SP1 - and I am sorry - that system would not have left my shop until it was fully updated - and yes - tweaked! By that point, if the OP was in my shop, I would have spell-out to him all the options, (like I said before) and gave him the choices. Zxian - "Wow... so you'd take an employee's profit margin over customer satisfaction?" Super Moderator or not - Stop acting like a fool - You know better - That's the way it done man! Sorry! If you were to show the customer a reasonably priced system I have - using your numbers. Wow!! - Check out Dell's website - the $$$$$ are not that far off - and 1 year's warranty and 1 year's phone support? Hmmmm.... Vista? - I'll save that for another post - but in the meantime - check this out: http://www.askvg.com/sp1-failed-to-fix-sev...do-we-need-sp2/ And there are a whole bunch of other articles I've found, I just don't have the time tonight to list. Bottom Line: An auto-maker - any auto-maker - makes a model of car or truck and 1 in 150,000 "blow up" and "catch on fire" for no apparent reason - would you buy that model of car or truck? Do we have to discuss recent events - http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/366462_tomatoes10.html * Change "Tomatoes" to "Vista"... Experience with Vista? - Yes, November 1st, 2007 - I bought my Wife a brand new system - I described it in my last post - minus 1 Gig Ram (2 Gig total with that rig) and two weeks later - I sent it back and told Dell to put XP Home on it - which they did - and I couldn't be happier! I love it when a company puts out software in it's "Alpha Stage"! It's in it's "Beta Stage" today. Grisoft made the same mistakes with their new AVG 8.0 - or do I have to link them posts too? "every time they bring up a "problem", I show them a link or the fix" Please call or write Micro$oft and tell them - maybe you can help with SP2 - You're talking to the wrong guy. I hate Mac - totally backwards - Mopar - but I geta kick out of their commercials! SP1 was for Vista what SP2 was for XP. - Are you insane??? - XP SP2 was a complete re-write of the entire kernel for XP!! - meaning it should have been "tagged" as a whole new operating system! Vista SP1 was put together to fix a bunch of bugs that really are not fixed yet. Pinto. My Uncle used to race Pintos a few miles north in Union Grove, Wisconsin - Wrong place to go... "but underneath..." - If you swap out the 4 speed, 4 banger, 4 barrel carb and dump in a 302 Boss, is it really still a Pinto? I mean, really, is it? How about a 351 Winzer? Been there, done that! Okay... How about just unscrewing the butterfly screw that holds the air filter cover on, take that off, remove air filter housing, take your screw driver and turn that set screw on the 4 barrel carb to allow a little more gas & air mixture into the carb - and then "open up" the intake valves by removing the entire assembly for the air filter - what do you have now? A Tweaked Pinto!!!!! VAROOM! * Sounds a little like optimizing the internet connection, no? Let the bandwidth flow... SP3 updates Believe it or not, I am finding a whole lot of systems with SP1 only on them - meaning they didn't update when it first was offered. Or updated since. $325 for fixing front brakes? - Right in line with the industry standard for Chicago, IL... * Which is the problem - thinking everything else in the world is like in your neck of the woods. $150??? - If I caught a sales promo of some sort - not here in the Windy City - I am sorry, it seems that I live in a place where the cost of living is much higher that where you are at. Bummer.... * Hey, I'll let you in on a little secret - Market Forces decide the price here too! "A happy customer" - I have plenty of those! "quite a few people who disagree with your practices" Yes - "IT" People, that is... And finally... Now you're just resorting to personal insults and calling people stupid 1.) I NEVER called anyone stupid. 2.) I NEVER personally assaulted anyone. 3.) I didn't throw the first punch - or do we have to go back and - you guess it - read the posts? 4.) Sorry boys, you're dealing with a successful "Big City-Mouse" - I am sorry if I hurt your feelings! 5.) The only thing I chewed up and spat out was Vista - and that "Tweaking" was bad. Junk. I gotta run, it's after 7:30pm - my girlfriend will be on.... Cheers! poolsharkzz
  2. I have a few minutes this afternoon, I guess I will respond, since the tone has changed... Okay, where to begin? crahak - Disagree - If you are going to put together a new "sub-$500" (or any $$$$$) system for this guy, you would allow him to walk away with his old CRT Monitor (do I really have to go there?) Keyboard (full of goo, slime, black marks on keys, keys faded, drinks spilled, stains, discolored, dust trapped in-between keys, the "A" and "T" keys stick, Roller Ball Mouse get clogged up with dust, hair, goo and crap every two weeks, etc. from what year - 2001? Not to mention the incredibility sub-standard printer that came standard with those systems? From a business / profit margin point of view: If you were my employee, and you shrugged off a chance to make me some money and you ignored it, not only would you be FIRED, but I'd take the profit margin lost out of your last check and then black-list you within the Industry for years to come. Why? You NEVER pass on an opportunity to make a profit - especially in this "hypothetical" - that is, upgrading his hardware. That would be like putting back on an old dented, rust covered bumper on a brand-new Mustang - and that would never happed in my shop. Secondly, a hardware upgrade is not what the OP asked for: "Trimming down a less than reliable XP system" - It was not: "Need advice on a cheap hardware upgrade for a XP system" A good sales man would first see that, but also would make the new hardware offer, explain the pros, cons, and benefits in great detail, and then ask for the business - if he said no - no means no - and then leave it alone - no matter your personal view or opinion. It's just business, nothing personal. The same applies here - If I caught you pushing a hardware upgrade on a customer as hard as you have been in these posts, by mid-morning you would be tossed out the door and you would've found yourself sitting the local watering hole, sipping your favorite poison, counting your pennies, wondering how you would explain to your olé lady that you lost your job. Where's the problem with you charging them say, $50 to assemble it $50 bucks wouldn't fill my gas tank! $50 bucks wouldn't pay for a date out with my wife! I gotta eat too! Did you review (read) the Salary Links I provided? (I'd bet you didn't!) If I touch something, I charge $60.00 per hour - my base rate - and that a far cry shy from Geek Squad at $150.00 per hour. You're the one that's talking about OS'es here. Correct, and I have explained this many times already - you don't go backwards with the OS, going forward means Vista - Junk. I don't have any use in the world for Vista in its present form today - or do we need to open a side thread on Vista and all it's bugs, annoyances, hick-ups, failures, hassles, disappointments, SP1 and it's failure to fix the many bugs in which all can be still easily recreated - calling it by different names in San Fran, "Performance Tweaking" PDF Files, sales numbers that don't add up, was / still is? Illegal in Europe, The lawsuits, Jerry Seinfeld and a multi-million dollar marketing blitz won't change anything. Remember Coke back in the 1980's? No not that - Coca-Cola? Sure we all do and that vain attempt to change Coke into the "New Coke Formula" - that lasted two weeks and they pulled "New Coke" from the shelves quicker than a teenager with a hooker - and we got years of "Coke Classic". While I do give kudos to Micro$oft for going in a new direction, Vista should have been like that Blondie with a "shake" and those 36DDs that sat across from you at the coffee shop last night - you know - the one that smiled at you? Vista had to be perfect - well, at least better than needing a few beers in me before I brought her home... Now, if Micro$oft comes out with SP2 for Vista in the way SP2 was for XP - I'll reconsider my position. Yet, you only added the cost of those items to the situation where someone buys or builds a new PC I'll say it again - read the posts: Post # 24 - approx half way down - I Quote Myself: "If you are going to spend any money on that system, I would suggest getting a new keyboard, lazer mouse, and a 19 inch flat panel monitor - your family will thank you in more ways than one! (and, you are now half way towards a new system $$$$$-wise)" * This comment was made by me well before you came into the picture. Did you really think that in the back of my mind I was thinking of a upgrade altogether? and I was called lazy? I missed suggesting a printer - "I'm fired" - Don't make the excuse that my post was too long either. "5 minutes of work on a P3 for $450" I'd break that down for you, but I don't think you would understand all that goes into it. I've explained just the very basics. in these posts... It takes almost an hour just to update to SP3+ via Windows Update! Not to mention Java, Flash, Shockwave, Adobe, QuickTime, DirectX, .Net, extra Micro$oft programs, etc. and that's the very beginning of what I do. I take ownership with a system, meaning that I make that system run as smooth as my Wife's does - she has a Intel 2160 @ 1.80 GHz, 1 Gig of Ram running XP Home SP3. Not to mention all the extras and there's too many to list. "make $ overcharging people for this" Yes, if YOU were the customer, I would expect for YOU to know all this and this conversation would be mute. When the electrician replaces one socket with an GFI Outlet and charges you $125.00 - is that overcharging? How about this past weekend, my wife brought the Jeep in to get the front brakes done - is $325.00 overcharging? Is a 25% mark-up on all components that I spent my time finding overcharging? I am not sure about yours but it costs me money to put it on my credit card! This is a business with two goals - in this order - make lots of $$$$$ and make people happy. A common, non "IT" person does not know that their XP system should be set NTFS. A common, non "IT" person does not know about MTU, TTL, MaxConnectionsPerServer, MaxConnectionsPer01Server - or most of the inner workings of their system: ..."where is the System32 Folder?" The Registry, system settings, BIOS, and on and on.... A common, non "IT" person most likely does not even know this forum exists! I sell my time, knowledge, experience - in a way so that the customer will ALWAYS remember me - this is what differenciates me from my competition in the marketplace. Th3_uN1Qu3 is right - No benchmark is able to measure the "feel" of the system. For the end-user that only does basic tasks with their computer, that's what matters the most. Wrapped up with quite a few extras and a smile - I have had nobody ever come back to me and say that what I did was wrong - or that their system is running worse cause of what I did to it. But, I will tell you one thing - A Memory Upgrade is part of the "core" of a Tune-Up - I'm really surprised that I have to explain this to you: Since normally I do not have Th3_uN1Qu3 around, after confirming via running, CPU-Z, SIW, CrucialScan, and using the Intel Chipset Identification Utility, (quite possibly confirming those findings with Ram manufacturer and HP as well) that his CPU, Motherboard, and that his memory was not upgradeable not only with the amount he had but the type - quantity but also quality - he was maxed out on both accounts. Honestly, I would most likely not charged him the total $450 - it most likely would have been approx $150 less or the total cost of an upgrade to 1 full Gig - that is, replacing quantity but also quality. It also depended on whether his system during the Tune-Up gave me a hard time or not! Anyway you slice it, he would have paid: $500 for hardware upgrade - $350 for 19' Monitor, Speakers, Keyboard, Lazer Mouse - $150 for decent printer - $35 for printer cable - that's not including me @ $100-$200 - we will act as if I had no involvement - meaning no mark-ups on anything... This falls right in line with what I said $$$$$ - so why not go high-end? More Power, more speed, more storage, more Ram = more for the future! Your going to have to make payments anyways.... jcarle - Newer is not often better. If you need an example, look at Vista. Tell that to the guys with the 9x Kernel Project or the guys at the XPize and Vize Project. Ponch - I always take my business VERY seriously. JedMeister You are correct on all accounts - this became a heated debate over tweaking versus hardware upgrade. In fact, BOTH are needed, but none the less, all the OP wanted was to fix what was broken - In fact, I don't think he would have paid for anything except a minor Memory Upgrade, if that was possible. Sometimes I get alot of weird stuff here in terms of customers - here's an example (let's not argue over this one - what done is done) - Two ladies walked into my shop a while back - referred from a past customer that I didn't remember - It seemed that one, the Wife, and two, the Therapist, was dealing with a Husband with a serious Porn Addiction and wanted to know if I could stop him from getting online to his favorite websites. From what I gathered, this was costing this family a whole bunch of money and needed to stop. I smiled and said "Sure - just take away the computer" They didn't get the joke - the Wife said that she liked the computer, so did the kids and even the Husband needed it for work, e-mail, etc. What to do? Well, after thinking about it (I'm still trying hard not to laugh - fun times, I'll tell ya!) I came up with this: Using a combination of Open DNS, Content Filtering, Domain Blocking, Adult Site Blocking, Internet Explorer 7's Restricted Zone, HostsMan / HostsServer, and a well-rounded Hosts File - entries gathered from the Keylogger I installed without his knowledge - The Husband could not access his favorite sites - or any "bad" sites for that matter - nor could he figure out how I did it nor could he figure out how to "fix" it - the client's family was very pleased, to be sure! HostsServer acts like a local HTTP Server - you can also replace the 404 page... "Access Denied. You are not allow to view this site. A notification e-mail has been sent to the System Administrator which will be forwarded to your Wife and Therapist. Please surf away from this website immediately." I also put a couple of graphics there - family pictures approved by the Wife. Like I said, I hard a hard time keeping a straight face during it all! I handle mostly general hardware or software upgrades, security enhancements, Virus or Spyware infections, crashes and recovery, slow computers, parental controls, enhancing internet connection speed, tune-ups, stupid questions, dumb customers, basic training, and the like. Simple basic stuff really, nothing fancy - I just got a customer off Win 98 to XP SP3 - after 5 years! Th3_uN1Qu3 - Your right, I don't get right all the time. I have to disagree with you on Dell - Yes, their phone support isn't "world-class" and "5 stars" but it works for me - for a year I do not have to deal with stupid questions, like: "Why doesn't my printer print in color?" You know what I mean... As for ordering parts or components, I had only a few problems with that - they send me the wrong stuff and had to wait a few extra days for the return to go through. The old printer does not work with Vista? I've had that problem many times in the past, it's one of the reasons why I recommend Dell - The all-in-one 948 never gave me trouble in a Vista setup - but then I have had only a few so take that for what it's worth... jcarle - Money in the bank! "There are literally thousands of things" - alot of what you described there the customer does not know - or understand - why should I teach them for free? Bottom line - If the customer wants to learn more about their system, why can't I charge them a fee for "basic training"? Some folks feel that everyone on this planet knows about this kind of stuff because they do - basic maintenance and staying on top of security? I beg to differ. The OP's Uncle is a fine example - He most likely got Norton when he first bought it as a 45 or 90 day promotional thing - back in 2001 - and decided to subscribe to the service - been there ever since. If he knew that Norton would be a resource hog on his system, really good chances are he wouldn't have subscribed to the service - why cannot I make money on his lack of knowledge? Free Advice - I give it all the time - read the first posts - but I have to draw the line somewhere, no? Okay, I'm done ranting for this evening - have a good one to all! poolsharkzz
  3. Gentlemen, I am sorry to say that our time together has to come to a close. I have asked the "powers to be" to close this thread after my response, which will be brief... We not going anywhere with "debating" (I'm using that term loosely on all our parts) about mostly hypotheticals and points of view based on no knowledge of market, market conditions, economy, customer expectations, business philosophy, etc. If I wanted to go on vacation from Chicago to Montreal or Quebec, I could take a plane, train, boat, drive, or hitch-hike - there are many ways to go about getting there - in the end, it's all the same - so as long as you get there, right? I prefer a first-class seat on an airplane, you may decide to drive or hitch-hike - the decision on how to proceed is in the eye of the beholder. Its been fun, lively, entertaining, and I've learned a few things - I hope you can say the say the same. If not, I'll say it again - read the posts! Needless to say... It's called For the Love of Money by The O'jays, you id***. I was putting it in "simple, stupid" terms because I didn't know if you knew who wrote the song - making it easier for you to understand. This is one of the reasons I have requested to have this thread closed. Need I say more? Besides, in your haste to bash, you missed "Queue" - meaning: a type of data structure or Mail "queue", used by non-commercial SMTP e-mail servers to process incoming and outgoing e-mails. "Cue music, lights..." TANSTAAFL You are right - "there ain't no such thing as a free lunch" - or were you using the acronym as a quazi-response to the many negative claims towards the positive virtues of the free software / hardware movement? And I was called an id***? Junk. Typically, the kind/type of customer You guys, seriously, you really need to read the posts! Especially if you are going to offer advice or help to others!!! The first description was discussing the kind/type of customer that I've had experience with that had problems or issues with a system... The second description was discussing the kind/type of customer that I've had experience with who was interested in purchasing hardware - or a new system. Again, you really need to read the posts and understand the context in which they are placed, the bigger picture in which it's placed, and it's history - if not, ask "what do you mean by that?" - otherwise, you will make the same mistakes again! I'm finished here. It's been a slice. poolsharkzz
  4. You guys still haven't given up yet, have you? I mean, look at the score, if I was in YOUR shoes, I would have left the field long ago! That's Okay, I am enjoying this! Why? I have to be honest, I've learned a thing or two (from Mr. Snrub - disable via Bios - I've never thought of that!) and I am sure you have.... Let's respond to a few statements: One quick example: Dell Vostro 200 This was not a viable example, as I pointed out. You failed here - the low-end and high-end examples I pointed out are real world examples of a home-based system that I would only deal with. I'm sorry, what you described is junk. The e2180 processor: Junk for my uses. While I will agree 100% that this processor would be a HUGE upgrade versus his PIII - It is not what I would recommend for Vista Home Premium or especially Vista Ultimate - I would not recommend these Operating Systems in the first place - I am not getting into why except when Microsoft had to release a 15 page PDF File explaining how to "tweak" performance out of a default Vista setup AND change the the so-called "Minimum System Requirements" for Vista - Foobar!!!! When I am recommending hardware to a customer, I am not only looking at today, but I am also looking at tomorrow - meaning that I am looking at not today's OS (Vista) but tomorrow's OS (Windows 7) AND looking ahead at the next version of Windows (Windows "8"???). Why? System hardware should last 8-10 years at a minimum - if you take care of it. Hell, I have a box here that was built in May, 1996! (and still going strong!) If you purchase top-end "today", "tomorrow" all you need to do is purchase the latest updated OS. If the customer is dead set on an OS upgrade - then it's either Vista Home Premium or Vista Ultimate. I have never had anyone ask for Vista Business. I've had very few ask for Vista in general! Will the e2180 processor run Windows 7 well? or run Windows "8" well? - No, I really doubt it, not if Micro$oft keeps with it's history of bloated, buggy, newly released operating systems. Will the e2180 processor run XP SP3 well? YES What about the e2180 processor running Vista Home Premium or Vista Ultimate well? "Without too much hassle" is too much hassle for me - or my customers! "Systems straight off of NewEgg: I would NEVER use NewEgg or any other website like NewEgg for one reason - no one year support warranty as Dell offers. I do not want to deal with the daily drama. Let's look at those prices in "my" real world: If I went down that route, I would have to place a 25% mark-up on all components, add in the cost of shipping charges First Class from southern California, not to mention my hourly rates for putting the components together and setting up the system complete with security and maintenance programs, tweaking the security, internet connection, cleaning out the registry, disabling unnecessary services, slimming it down a bit, a delivery charge (trip charge) to the customers home, a set-up / installation charge, State and Local Taxes, and a basic overview "basic training" of what I did to their new system... and we still haven't added in the extra costs of a decent printer! Are ya learning something yet? For Chicago, the 3rd largest market in North America - in the neighborhoods that I mostly do business in - Gold Coast, Magnificent Mile, Streeterville, Lincoln Park, Down-Town, Up-Town, North & South Loop, Lake Shore Drive, Hollywood, Lake Forest, Highland Park, etc. This is not Canada nor is this Idaho - My typical customer is 45+ years old, lives in a 500k (or more) home, usually drives a 70k car to his 55-60 hour per week senior management position, has 3 children and a "trophy" wife with fake boobs who loves to shop. Your quotes of $427.92 and $324.00 and "sub-$500 PCs" are not my "real world" examples - not here in my market - not here for the majority of my customers - not here by a long shot - They EXPECT to pay the amounts I describe - otherwise they feel they are not getting QUALITY - like I said: "junk". I could only imagine what would happen to me if I sent one of them a box of components! "Besides, who said it had to run Vista in the first place?" Are we now going backwards on the OS as well? You look forward to the next and future Operating System, as I already explained. "especially when you look at the average IT wages these days" Best Buy's "Geek Squad" here in Chicago charge $150.00 per hour for home service, not to mention the $95.00 "trip charge"... You see, I think you are equating your general area of Canada or Idaho with the rest of the world and not thinking that maybe things are a bit different in Chicago versus the coffee shop where you at! Look here: http://swz.salary.com/salarywizard/layouth...IT10000048.html and here: http://swz.salary.com/salarywizard/layouts...amp;x=0&y=0 http://salary.monster.com/salarywizard/lay...amp;x=0&y=0 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Loop "I'll give you an example of how "tweaks" are costing a company more money and time" Now here is a real world example! Even though this example has no bearing on a home-based system - you are right, every XP system I have ever dealt with I converted it over to NTFS right away- it's part of my tweaking - and I find 9-10 of the systems set with the "default settings" of FAT32 - just another reason to tweak! The Network Location Awareness Service for a home based system should be set to "Manual". "that every 15 year old knows" Most 15 year olds are too busy "tweaking" their profiles on MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube - or creating cool Visual Styles. UAC? is the biggest mistake Vista has - a million nags does not mean "more secure". Junk. "Oh boy, I had missed that post..." This is because you do not READ the posts. In closing, I was going to give you guys a general breakdown of my business, services offered, and how to go about it - giving you folks a way to effectively use some of that energy... Instead I am going to suggest that you get off the couch that your brother left to you as a "hand-me-down" before he went off to college and instead of you joining him, you decided to spend a few years living in your parent's basement - go to the coffee-house, "sip on a latte", use the free WiFi, and tally up the score... poolsharkzz - 1000 - perfect score! Well, I'm biased here, but I am still waiting for someone to tell me if his Uncle's system NEEDS any of the services I listed. Th3_uN1Qu3 - 995 - I'm really impressed! and your what, only 18? - smart kid - some of you should take his lead. Mr. Snrub - 998 - I have a feeling that you holding back on a wealth of information - sorry the debate became quite "unhealthy" - I didn't throw the first punch. Zxian - 0 - "NEVER disable the DNS client service" - sorry, that and those out of the blue statements before reading the first posts really hurt you. jcarle - 25 - +500! - the NewEgg quote really got you - bonus for giving solid advice to Th3_uN1Qu3 and a few bonus points for trying to play ball in my court without knowing anything about the court you're playing in.. crahak - 10 - +750! - Vostro 200 and "dirt cheap" is where you went wrong - bonus for looking a bit like Bret Hart's old tag-team partner - Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart - miss them guys! Kelsenellenelvian - 0 - +250 - sorry, but you came in way too late in the 4th quarter to make any difference, but points for trying. * Note to all: I don't walk around my neighborhood tweaking XP installs either - I just was smart enough to make a living out of it! Bashing what I do or how I do it or where I do it isn't going to make any bit of difference - I'm still gonna get paid! Are you? "Queue" Donald Trump's theme song.... "Money, Money, Money, Money..... Money!!!!"
  5. You really have to stop, you are embarrassing yourself! The Dell Vostro series is for small businesses ONLY - meaning that unless he has a State Tax ID Number on file that's already been confirmed with Dell's Small Business Sales Division, he could not purchase a Vostro from Dell. Besides, what your describing is junk: http://www.pcworld.com/article/136090/dell_vostro_200.html Quote: Price When Reviewed: $1198 http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2165031,00.asp Quote: $899 Direct I would suggest going to Dell's website, clicking on "For Home - Desktops and All-In-Ones" and then click on the Inspiron 530 Icon - and then on the right - click the green button - "build yours" - starting at $749.00 - (after $200.00 Instant Savings) and learn a little something 'bout a little something! Even if you started on the left with the cheaper $279.00 setup - which is still junk if you want to run Vista correctly - you can easily get it up to $850.00 - plus tax - not including a printer. Don't forget to add the 22 inch Flat Panel Monitor with the Webcam and Mic - that way he could have a few extra background services running! Let me guess: You want to replace his current junk that is still usable today and will be still usable for a while longer (with the proper attention and care) with junk that is bottom-line barely usable today in which that junk will become outdated unusable junk sometime in the near future? I've proved my point again. Stop while you're ahead. poolsharkzz PS. Microsoft's Advice on How to Speed Up Vista - Direct from the Horse's Mouth: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details...;displaylang=en * Yes - There's even a section or two in there about disabling unnecessary services and shutting-off visual effects to speed up system performance! Wow!!!! Th3_uN1Qu3 - Thank you for the registry entries - I'll look at it more closer tomorrow!
  6. Thanks, hey, maybe one day you will? The bottom line is that we helped speedemon86 as best we could and supplied him with more than enough information to put him down the right path to solve his Uncle's problems - whatever he decides to do with that system. Nobody debated that - some got picky on the details, some got hung up on services, or tweaking, or slimming down, or couldn't read, and some crossed the line - and now feel a bit silly they did. I wonder what speedemon86 is going to think when he comes back to these posts and reads all the hell he caused? LOL Hey, I got one for you - can you help me out? On the desktop / right-click / new / shortcut - and the new shortcut wizard should pop-up, right? Well, I get a error dialog box that reads: "rundll32.exe is not a valid Win32 application" I hit "Okay"... Then I get another error dialog box that reads: "Unable to create file 'new shortcut' File system error (16389) As the second error dialog box appears, I get an system icon on the desktop named "new shortcut". I ran the system file checker, googled my brains out, I checked Doug Knox's website, Kelly's corner, Microsoft's and tried what little I found but no luck fixing it... No error codes listed in the Event Viewer. No other problems present. Got any ideas? I found this: "You are missing a registry branch key. Export the branch from a working XP machine and import it on yours. The key-branch details are:" HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile What does your look like? Mine is: Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile] @="Application" "EditFlags"=hex:38,07,01,00 "TileInfo"="prop:FileDescription;Company;FileVersion" "InfoTip"="prop:FileDescription;Company;FileVersion;Create;Size" [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\DefaultIcon] @="%1" [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell] [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\open] "EditFlags"=hex:00,00,00,00 [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\open\command] @="\"%1\" %*" [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\Scan with Icon Catcher...] [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\Scan with Icon Catcher...\Command] @="\"C:\\Program Files\\Icon Catcher\\IconCatcher.exe\" \"%1\" /single_instance" [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\XQSHP] @="&Boost with Advanced WindowsCare" [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\exefile\shell\XQSHP\Command] @="C:\\WINDOWS\\system32\\cmd.exe /c start \"XQSHP\" /high \"%1\"" Could you compare with yours and tell me what I am missing? poolsharkzz
  7. Wow-whee, Zow-whee!!! Sorry guys, I am on a different time zone than most, so I tend to get behind in all this discussion - Sooooooooo exciting! For the record - Yes, we are all "professionals" here, some more than others - this is a very "healthy debate" - with different points of view - which is good - keeping an eye on the temperature is indeed quite prudent - keep sharing - but keep that in mind... I agree with Th3_uN1Qu3 - older systems are fine - if you know how to take care of them. I ran for 9 years with Win ME on a Intel Celeron 633 Mhz with 256mb PC 100 Ram and a 14 Gig Hard Drive that I orginally purchased in 1998 with Win 98 - it did okay - a few BSOD evey now and then, lock ups, crashes, and the like that was all part of having Win ME - and Yes - super-tweaked and tuned for max performance and speed! "Remove the entire A/C system from the car" - That would be like removing the spare tire out of the trunk - come on, now! I think you stretched that quite a bit farther (say from New York to LA) than I usually go - or tweak - or remove - for that matter... Besides, do you really NEED the A/C system? No! Do you really need the A/C system in a car for it to run properly? No! By removing the entire A/C system from the car, will the car be a little bit lighter and thus you might get a little better fuel economy? Yes! Would I remove the entire A/C system from the car without the owner's permission? Do you see where I am going with this? You not compairing apples to apples. All Operating Systems since Win 98 come "out of the box" with dial-up settings as the default internet connectivity settings standard - check it out next time... MTU, TTL, MaxConnectionsPerServer, MaxConnectionsPer01Server, etc. - if I have DSL or a Cable broadband connection, I would want my system setup to handle such. How about simply removing the registry key that calls out to the network looking for any shared folders or printer? Or changing the system's memory usage settings from "Programs" to System Cache"? Or removing most of the Visual Effects, DNS errors caching, enable smooth scrolling, Clear Type, and a whole hosts of things... Properly tuning up an engine is a far cry from removing the entire A/C system. nLite/vLite - Don't use them, I know very little about them, and don't see the need for them, and was never part of the original topic. At a later date, maybe I'll research. "EVERY time I nlited my system or started tweaking services, something broke" Again, I have to agree with Th3_uN1Qu3 - read the service descriptions - learn about them and what they do and how they fit together into the bigger picture. * Microsoft has this amazing website stocked full to the rafters with all kinds of data that pertains to services, the registry, drivers, updates, Kbs, - the whole ball of wax... Do you need the website address? It's www..... Spelling it with a $ just proves your lack of education - Do you really want to go there? I really hope not - it would be quite silly on your part - you need to think about what you say before you say it - you will make yourself look like a fool... Just because you cannot recognize what "Micro$oft" means does not give you the right to throw a punch... Computers 101 - It's an "old school" saying in certian circles, meaning that at the time because Micro$oft was rolling out a new OS, what, every 6 months it seemed?, it would get expensive to keep up - and it did for some - and some got angry - thus the dollar sign. Half way down the page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_political_spelling Not too common to see it spelled that way any more - My hope was that there were a few "old schoolers" here at the forum. "You want proof that there's nothing wrong with XP as it is?" Nobody said nothing was wrong with a default install setup of XP - nobody. * Update: The XPize & Vise Projects "For $450 you'd get quite an upgrade (or an entire new computer even)." Oh Yes - you are correct - I totally agree - a substandard, under-powered processor, very minimum amount of Ram that's under-quality, MAYBE last year's HD Drive model - weak speed, FSB, and storage capacity - weak Optical Drive: CD read / burn maybe, no DVD Burn, no HD, no Flat Panel Monitor included, crap Video Card, crap Sound Card, crap Graphics Card, crap Network Card, no Speakers, just a 101 keyboard, a roller ball Mouse and Pad - and a whole lot of spyware / trialware... call eMachines today! To purchase a home system to run Vista correctly and properly you will pay in Chicago anywhere from $950.00 - $1,250.00 plus tax complete - or for a couple of hundred more for a few "extras" - this is a far cry from simply a tune-up or an upgrade... Foobar to the so-called "Minimum System Requirements" for Vista - I know better, so should you. Again, we have another person posting who cannot take 5 minutes and read the very first post - or understand the reports given in the first post - HE CANNOT UPGRADE HIS SYSTEM - it would not be in his best interest to do so $$$$$ - wise, the hardware is too out-dated - he would have to purchase a brand new one. I would not recommend this to anyone, especially when they have everything they need sitting right in front of them. Will I sell a memory upgrade for an older system? Yes! If it's possible to do. Here you cannot - read the first posts! "Those specs are exactly what XP was originally designed to run on." Yes - XP - before SP1 - we are at SP3+, the key word is "originally" - today is a different story. "I suggest you check again / DNS lookup from a web server" Okay - if I lived 100,000 miles away from that server - it's located two blocks away from my shop. Never had any problems with slower page load times - whether I use my ISPs or OpenDNS - I use OpenDNS for proactive security reasons - please read and learn: http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=214446 My ISP isn't patched yet - still, I haven't noticed any difference in page load times. "Wow... you charge people half the cost of a modern computer... to make their old computer slightly faster, if not more broken?" - Again, you really need to read ALL the posts before becoming part of the peanut gallery... What I do to a system is nothing more that what has been described at this forum: http://www.msfn.org/board/Windows-Tips-n-Tweaks-f10.html I have never had a customer come back into my shop and complain that their system is screwed up or "broken" as you put it. In fact, most of my customers are referrals - meaning they liked what I have done and are happy enough to tell someone else to use my services... "Broken" TELL ME what I have broken? Describe in detail what I have broken for my review and our peers.... Can you? I doubt it. In fact, I know you can't. Case closed. Feeling a bit silly yet? "Please tell me if I've been rude or off-topic" Your past that - which again shows that you have not read ANY of the past posts - or know what you're talking about. "debunk several myths" Do I have to debunk the debunker again? Take a few minutes to READ the past posts! If you do not understand something - try learning! "I tend to use this a lot lately... are you guys drunk?" Th3_uN1Qu3, I couldn't have said it better! I have 1GB Ram in my system - I use only a little more than half at any given time - maybe 600mb max? Again - well, Th3_uN1Qu3 said it all! "Do you think everything that Microsoft makes is perfect?" Zxain, your response is the only thing you said last night that made any sense! "Disable those "unnecessary" services" I have already discussed this - I am still looking for someone to answer whether his Uncle NEEDS any of the services I listed. "is your browser that much faster at responding to your typing" Yes - because I installed a nifty little program called: Prio - Process Priority Saver http://www.prnwatch.com/prio.html I have the base priority of iexplorer.exe set at "High" and believe it or not there is a very noticable performance improvement all around - try it sometime! Besides, I use all my systems in a multitasking environment: for word processing, invoices, payroll, taxes, accounts receivable / payable and the like... I bought my system to run the best it can - so why not improve on what Micro$oft did? I agree with Mr. Snrub execpt for a few points: 1.) We are not talking about the "corporate world" or "workstations" - this is a home-based system hooked directly into the internet that is very weak on CPU processing power and the Ram itself - not the amount - but the quality... Which is key here - and I have said this all along - less is sometimes more! 2.) Yes - some folks just take BlackViper's word for it without research - that is why I gave him "The Elder Geek's" website which has detailed explanations - check it out. In closing, forget all of these posts for a minute and look at the title of the very first post: "Trimming down a less than reliable XP system" I've made my point. poolsharkzz
  8. You guys just want to keep here at the shop a bit longer today! Moving ahead - SP3 - If you are running XP, you should be at SP3+. Why? Because one day, most likely in the near future, (Windows 7 - 2010?) Micro$oft will announce the support cycle for SP2 will end. Most likely, they will "update" the Windows Update Site again and the folks running SP2 will not access. Like SP1 - you will no longer receive all them wonderful security updates that Micro$oft sends to us on Patch Tuesday. Also, SP3 has a few patches that fix a few outstanding bugs XP has, not to mention a few security enhancements. It always good to keep your system as updated as you can! Fast User Switching - Okay, MAYBE in "our" world - but again, read the first post - his Uncle asked him for help - meaning that he Uncle has limited knowledge of how XP works - his Uncle most likely knows how to turn it on, open Internet Explorer, check his e-mail, and do a little surfing - In my experience most OEMs desktops start you off with auto log in as Administrator, set up as the default settings. Most people don't change this because they don't know how to or don't care to. Is this true with this system? I don't know. Does his Uncle have an iPod? I really doubt it, but you never know. That's why I gave him not one, but two really good, expert level resources for all the information he could ever want or need concerning services - both sites spell it out like if you were a 4 year old, he couldn't go wrong. If he did, all he has to do was ping me a quick e-mail. Two or more accounts for this system? Might be true, but I really doubt it. Speedemon86???? Remember, we are looking at a fairly under-powered computer - why would anyone set up additional accounts that equates into an additional burden on the hard drive, CPU, Ram, registry, etc. Manual - I agree with JedMeister - BlackViper's Guide is pretty foolproof - manual or disabled services will speed-up boot times - less for the Hard Drive to put into Ram or page back to file... Think of it this way: you have a very small car - an older one - from the early 1980's - with a hell alot of miles on it and hell alot of wear and tear - would you try to haul more or less weight? Given today's HDD and memory capacities - "picky" - I have explained this too many times already - he doesn't have what we have in terms of a modern, desktop PC. Lets be frank here: he has what we all know is nothing more than a oversized paper-weight - but it is all he has - and all he has to work with. To make this system run a whole lot better - and performance has been the key issue here - it needs to become a lean, mean, secure, tweaked, slimmed down, updated PC - to make it until the hardware finally gives out or XP finally becomes unsupported on April 14, 2014 or Windows 7 SP1 becomes available and then he can finally upgrade his PC - which is what I am telling all my XP SP3 customers - ride that horse until it either drops dead or something much better (hopefully) comes your way. There is nothing "today" about this system - except a few software updates and a guy who needed a little help. It been suggested that he should use Ubuntu, Puppy Linux, Fedora - he uses W2K and his Uncle's is XP Home SP2 and he said twice now that he is very happy with what he has - read the posts people! Hosts File - You guys are going to drive me to drink! (or is that the plan?) From the website: http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm Editors Note: in most cases a large HOSTS file (over 135 kb) tends to slow down the machine. This only occurs in W2000/XP/Vista. Windows 98 and ME are not affected. To resolve this issue (manually) open the "Services Editor" Start | Run (type) "services.msc" (no quotes) Scroll down to "DNS Client", Right-click and select: Properties Click the drop-down arrow for "Startup type" Select: Manual, or Disabled (recommended) click Apply/Ok and restart. If he decides to use HostsMan / HostsServer - this is also highly recommended! Currently, the updated MVPS Hosts File is 565kb with 18,201 entries. At home, I have DSL and with HostsMan / HostsServer, OpenDNS, Speed Guide's TCP Optimizer, and a few well-documented changed system settings and the standard registry tweaks that appear at this forum: I actually have gained speed versus lost performance in my internet connectivity... Again, its all about leaving as much resources available (Ram, CPU cycles) for other things to use - he has limited resources - kinda like going to the bar with only $20.00 bucks in your pocket - you can have only a few beers and then you gotta go home. Here is a thought: Imagine simply setting his system so that the kernel stays put in Ram versus paging back to file - speeding up performance - what if the system couldn't do it because he has 20-30 services running and the 2-3MB needed for DNS Client? He only has 512mb Ram. "Computer Cleanup" - If your case came into my shop and it was 3 years or older - I would spend the 15 minutes doing it. Besides, it impresses the customer! I offer it as a part of a computer "tune-up" service - which also includes most of what I have painfully mentioned in all of my posts - all the programs are freeware - it just a matter of downloading them - they all should be included with most systems anyway... If you take the time to teach your customers a thing or two about a thing or two - just the basics - they will always come back for more which equals billing hours! I have one huge registry "tune-up tweak file" that merges most of the better known and proven registry tweaks - and removes most of the unnecessary garbage from the registry: like unneeded time zones (who cares what time it is in Korea? or Russia?), unneeded languages (tell me you speak Chinese or Arabic) windows classic color schemes (when the last time you used Rose, Wheat, Teal, Rust, or Pumpkin?) don't ya "love" them tool tips?, and to tighten down system security, especially with Outlook Express and the Windows Media Player. I remove approx 17% of the registry - Yes, that is how much garbage is really in there - as well as I remove approx 50-70mb from the system itself in terms of deleting unnecessary folders and files, uninstall unneeded Micro$oft programs (Messenger, NetMeeting, Dr. Watson - there is a winner!), of course tweaking background services and changing a few system settings for performance, deleting a few unused cursors and a few unnecessary fonts, wallpapers (Autumn or Bliss?) and screen savers (I download a few cool ones ported back from Vista, like Bubbles!), hotfix uninstall backup files, interactive training files, and uninstall the many 3rd party "trial-wares" which are mostly adware / spyware - I have achieved performance gains benchmarked by up to 40%! (versus a fresh, default OEM install) I usually spend a day and a half with a client's computer - 12-14 hours - all this for $450.00 clams - less than half the price to purchase a modern, desktop PC with 2.0+ Gigs of Memory and today's ultra-fast hard drives to run Vista correctly. Okay, I gotta run, it's almost 5:00pm here in the windy city - time for me to scoot home and see what my wife is up to and kick the dog... Enjoyable as always, gentlemen. poolsharkzz
  9. I'm running XP Home SP3 fully updated - would you like to see a screen shot of my services page? Yes, a few of the services listed (3?) are "shared" with Vista, or should "only be" for Vista, but are indeed a part of SP3. These were ported back for XP. I'm sure you will want to fix that. poolsharkzz
  10. Ladies & Germs, I agreed with most of your comments until I got to the comments "debunking" the disabling of system services. Some of you folks have a lot to learn... Ummm, can you explain how it's not possible to reduce your system memory usage and CPU cycles and not gain performance? Computers 101: Any running process on your system is consuming memory and CPU cycles -- which is that much less available to anything else running on your system at any given time. You want to reduce the overall overhead, no? Running these little leeches 24/7 comes at a price -- you don't get something for nothing in this world. System Memory and CPU Cycles are at the very heart of this matter - and his Uncle's system is quite weak in both areas - by today's standards - or yester-year's standards - or most standards - and he really cannot do anything about it - and he needed some help. It seems we have another situation of a few people post before they even read the first post of the topic. Measures such as "Tweaking" and "Slimming Down" and "Additional Security" and everything else I suggested will put him in a great starting position to either re-install the entire system or try to fix was broken without reinstalling - to reduce the overhead on the overall system, Ram, registry, etc. Of course disabling services doesn't apply to "essential" Windows services -- that's why they're called ESSENTIAL. But with respect to services that are "covertly" installed by various software packages (usually just to help them launch faster) -- there are few reasons not to eliminate them. Sure, an individual service running on today's modern, desktop PC leaves a very small footprint, but multiply that by a couple of dozen and you've potentially got a significant performance drain. Just like all the devices in your home that constantly draw low electrical current to run clocks or recharge batteries -- they eventually all add up. Do you like the size of your electric bill these days? Oh, and by the way, if you read the very first post - his Uncle doesn't have a modern, desktop PC. You've hit a nerve here, because software that "secretly" installs system services is one of my biggest computing gripes. Do you really want a rogue process by Adobe or Apple to be executing on your CPU 100% of the time when you only use darn Acrobat Reader less than 5% of the time? I don't. PLEASE tell me that his Uncle's system NEEDS any of the following services: Wireless Zero Configuration Wired AutoConfig Windows Time Windows Media Player Network Sharing Service Windows CardSpace Uninterruptible Power Supply Themes - If he doesn't use Visual Styles Terminal Services SSDP Discovery Service Smart Card Security Center - If he installs Comodo Secondary Logon Routing and Remote Access Remote Desktop Help Session Manager QoS RSVP Portable Media Serial Number Service Performance Logs and Alerts Network DDE DSDM Network DDE Network Access Protection Agent NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing Indexing Service Human Interface Device Access Health Key and Certificate Management Service Fast User Switching Compatibility Extensible Authentication Protocol Service Error Reporting Service DNS Client - Especially if he uses a Host File - then he should use OpenDNS ClipBook There are a few others, but they were uninstalled when I cleaned up my Local Area Connections / Network Components: Server, Workstation, WebClient, Remote Registry, RPC Locator Service, Messenger Service, etc. Feeling a bit silly? I have a extremely modern, desktop PC and I have less than 15 Micro$oft services running at any given time with no error codes listed in the Event Viewer. Have any of you folks heard of the setting: "Manual"? Sorry, but you lost all credibility when you tried to "debunk" disabling services... Ladies and Germs, I've been doing this since the 286, Windows 3.11, "green screens", modems that had to be wheeled in with a dolly, and first-generation dot-matrix printers. This isn't my first rodeo... It seems in this situation, all that I suggested is exactly what the Doctor ordered. Funny, some of you still cannot diagnose his Ram correctly! Rewards? I tell you something about rewards: I have a small but successful business in which I do home computer consulting & repair services for the average Joe - a kinda "poor man's" Geek Squad. Typically, the kind/type of customer who comes into my shop has problems or issues that are something along these lines: "Hi, I'm 45+ years old and I purchase this OEM computer 5-7 years ago and it's running like garbage. I cannot afford to purchase a brand-new desktop PC that will run Vista correctly because I would have to take out a second mortgage on my home or sell my children into slavery - can you help me out?" Sound a bit familiar? If it don't, I would suggest re-reading the first post. If you cannot understand the data listed in the reports of the first post - try learning. Because we are in the "back to school" time of the year - things around here for the past two weeks have been a bit slow. It will pick up in a few weeks once everyone gets settled down with their classes and they need to write their first report and their computer crashes. It was either help out Speedemon86 to the best of my ability or close shop early and go home where my olé lady can put me to work doing "something" around the house that "needs to be done"... "Rewards" are in the eye of the beholder. "Rewards" are worth "two cents" and "a bowl of -honey-nut- Cheerios"! poolsharkzz
  11. To all, Great, I understand: Build a solid foundation, make sure the code is completely stable and compatible with SP3 and all, keep "feature-creep" to a very low roar, and finish the project. I just see a much bigger picture and a larger role for XPize & Vize, that's all. We can bounce feature ideas off each other at a later date - no big deal - I can wait to share... "making Windows XP suck less" was my only goal and intentions - 1000% "less sucks", that is. Let's see what becomes of the final version, maybe I spoke a little too soon? I'm also very much looking forward to the new releases! Take care, poolsharkzz PS - Yes, indeed - Please keep me in mind for a future position - with me, it's all about the "look and feel" of the final, finished product - what the end user sees - and how it fits into the grand scheme of things.
  12. Great, enjoy some time by the pool! Not sure here but if you do not have the ability to burn CDs / DVDs for your backups with this system, I would suggest creating a free Yahoo Account and then just e-mail the photos, docs, pics, and such to that e-mail address - its temporary - after your fresh install, you can just e-mail it back to yourself using Outlook Express or simply download everything back onto the system. After cleaning up all them nasties - I would shut off System Restore, reboot, and then turn it back on to get rid of any corrupted System Restore Files - the last thing you need is a reinfection. Cool - Sweet - I have done my good deed for the day, maybe there is a place in heaven for me? LOL poolsharkzz
  13. Speedemon86, "Superantispyware has found 5 trojans" - ouch! After it has finished scanning, install and update AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition 8.0.138: http://free.avg.com/ww.download?prd=afe Then use Spybot S&D, Ad-Aware, and Spyware Terminator - it will help! You can also install Process Explorer to find out what is running and kill off services: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinte...s/bb896653.aspx poolsharkzz
  14. Speedemon86, Great, seems like you have everything in order... Before I do a clean install, I completely disconnect everything from the case and then open it up. Being that your computer is soooooo old, there is a really good chance that you will find a whole bunch of built-up crap: dust, cat hair, dog hair, dust-bunnies, food crumbs, spider webs, dead flys, (LOL) and the like inside the case - I usually take it to the garage and GENTLY blow it out with my air-compressor at it's lowest setting - or you can use a household vacum or shop-vac to suck the crap out but be very carefull - try your hardest to make sure you respect your components inside that box - and wear a pair of goggles and painter's mask! LOL What happens is that when the fan draws in air to keep the CPU cool, it also brings in all that dust and crap, - just about everything that can fit into those little holes on the side of your case - (I found a old postage stamp once inside a client's case). This builds up over time into a "layer" that becomes like a insulating "blanket" keeping your CPU running at a much hotter temp than it should be - there by slowing down it's performance - I do this with my case once per year - it can't hurt, it takes 15 minutes. Also, very gently wipe off any build-up from the fan's blades with a soft, damp cloth. Once you have cleaned it out and correctly replaced the cover back on the case, make sure that you give 3-5 inches of space for proper air flow for them holes that are on the sides of your case as well as for the back for the fan to exhaust properly - You don't know how many times I have seen people shove their case way in the back against a wall and then have the case pinned up next to a desk, there-by blocking and restricting the air flow! If you can't find XP SP3 Pro - try eBay, Amazon, or Google. If you are going to put a fresh install of XP SP3 Pro over the OEM version - I would suggest running Eraser 5.86a first - but first research this program!!!!! http://majorgeeks.com/Eraser_d4221.html This very powerful program has the ability to completely wipe everything from your hard drive - permanently - forever - starting you off with a fresh, clean slate. If used incorrectly, it could lead you to a whole mess of problems! If you have to use the OEM "Restore CD" install - download and use the free version of the PC Decrapifier - it will force uninstall the many "trial-wares" that come with most older OEMs - e-machines PCs are the worst when it comes to crap-ware! After using the PC Decrapifier, I would then hit first Windows Update (of course). If you are going to spend any money on that system, I would suggest getting a new keyboard, lazer mouse, and a 19 inch flat panel monitor - your family will thank you in more ways than one! (and, you are now half way towards a new system $$$$$-wise) I would also research into updating the bios - check HP's website - they should still have some resources there for your system. Update the drivers for your chipset - check Intel's website, there should be quite a few published updates - look for the Intel Application Accelerator and the Intel Graphics Media Accelerator Driver if available for your system. Looking over your HijackThis log again, a few things pop out at me: Quicktime Player - qttask.exe Use CCleaner to delete the start-up run entry - remove shortcut from the startup folder and then after rebooting go to: C:\Program Files\QuickTime folder and then delete qttask.exe - this program "calls out" at each and every start-up looking for updates - not necessary if you remember to check for updates once in a while. I would also make sure you have the latest updated version, 7.5 - there were quite a few critical security issues with the older versions. Uninstall the Apple Software Updater if you have it installed - the updater is now built into the QuickTime Player itself - too many security problems with it. Use the Control Panel Applet to change the default settings of the auto-update feature (turn it off completely) and to "fix" any file associations that are almost always "misterously" changed by installing Quicktime. Windows Media Player 11 should be your default player and have most of the music and video files associated with it - check all the others as well. Adobe PDF Reader - If you are going to uninstall and install Foxit Reader - good move If not - after updating to the latest version (Adobe Reader 9) you can install the Adobe Reader Speed-Up v 1.36 from: http://majorgeeks.com/Adobe_Reader_SpeedUp_d4139.html * It automates the process of speeding up Adobe Reader's launch time by disabling the majority of plugins and features that are completely useless for most users. Uninstall Adobe Air and whatever else comes with it now-a-days. Check Lexmark's website or HP's website for any printer driver updates. For Norton, you may have to download and run the lastest version of the Norton Removal Tool (SymNRT) which you can find here: http://majorgeeks.com/Norton_Removal_Tool_SymNRT_d4749.html Make sure it is for your anti-virus version! If you do not use Messenger - uninstall it - too many security problems. Shut off and disable the Indexing Service - for performance reasons. Back up and Recovery: 1.) Always set a Restore Point before making any changes to your computer. 2.) Single Click System Restore Point - download from: http://www.dougknox.com/ * Create a shortcut and place it in your startup folder, and then everytime you boot-up, an "auto-restore point" will be created - each and every time you startup. 3.) Download and install ERUNT and NTREGOPT from: http://www.larshederer.homepage.t-online.de/erunt/ ERUNT and NTREGOPT are XP's Registry Backup and Restore & Registry Optimizer. Please Read: http://www.larshederer.homepage.t-online.de/erunt/erunt.txt * Create a shortcut for ERUNT and place it in your startup folder, and then everytime you boot-up, a backup copy of the registry will be created for that date, one per day. 4.) Download and install the free "Private Edition" of DriveImage XML - http://www.runtime.org/driveimage-xml.htm Online Tutorial: It's what I use - there are many others out there, need to research. Finally, if you feel a bit "froggy" and would like to explore in much greater detail the fine art of "Slimming Down" your new install of Win XP - Bold Fortune is "da man" - http://www.graphixanstuff.com/Forum/index.php?showforum=89 He is the online resident expert when it comes to "Slimming Down Windows XP" He has a step-by-step guide - please read it very carefully - I just use it for the basics. Okay - you got it all now - sorry if you are swamped - Write back when you are completely finish with this project - there are a few more things you can do with the system's settings and there are quite a few registry settings we can dabble into that will increase overall performance. Then we could get into "eye-candy" - customization and visual styles! LOL Just think: you will have a new computer when this is over with! Take care and have fun! poolsharkzz
  15. Viewpoint Manager Service - is there a way he can get around it? I do not have AOL - never did - I would suggest running all the security programs I mentioned to clean out any garbage associated with it and then research via google. Oh, one last thing - After reviewing the "Windows Tips 'n' Tweaks" section of this forum, you will learn how to help speed up your shut down - if it still lags - especially after installing Comodo Firewall - try downloading the User Profile Hive Cleanup Service: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details...;displaylang=en It helps, I assure you! ctfmon.exe: go to this website and download the removal program: http://www.askvg.com/ctfmon-remover-remove...e-from-windows/ Java: You are 2 versions behind - not a real biggy - but you should keep you system as updated as you can for security reasons. Flash? What version are you at? You should be at the latest version: http://www.adobe.com/ DirectX - Go to Microsft's website and download the latest web installer (August) Update you Java with the latest version: http://www.java.com/en/ Then go to Control Panel / Java and uncheck the option to auto-update / just remember do it manually once per month or so The PC Decrapifier is free for personal use - commercial use pays. I used it many times before but only on brand new OEM installs - never on a already installed OS. Check your Event Viewer via Control Panel / Administrative Tools for Error Codes - then google them if any does show up - to correct problems that may arise. GMail - Google's e-mail - Instead of using the Toolbar - which slows down your internet speed and spys on your surfing activities - create a shortcut to the log in page on your desktop. Okay, that is it - I have no more in my bag of tricks and he has his hand full. Speedemon86, send us an e-mail after reviewing, I'd like to know how things turned out. I am going to get a slice of pizza and a cold beer! Free Porn is ALWAYS GOOD! Nice working with you Th3_uN1Qu3 and MaggotSpawn! poolsharkzz
  16. I am behind Th3_uN1Qu3 a bit... Security - with the ones I mentioned, I would also download SpywareBlaster, SafeXP, and the latest free version of Advanced WindowsCare V2 Personal. For performance I would download the Defraggler, SpeedXP, and review the "Windows Tips 'n' Tweaks" section of this forum. You can find all the programs I mentioned and much more at Major Geeks: http://www.majorgeeks.com/ To help with start-up I would find and download DriverHeaven TuneXP 1.5 * There is also a section in CCleaner that will help you with start-up run entries. Hosts File: http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/hosts.htm HostsMan / HostsServer: http://www.abelhadigital.com/ To help optimize your Internet connection - I would download Speed Guide's TCP Optimizer: http://www.speedguide.net/downloads.php Finally, I would spend some time here: at Axcel216 MDGX website: http://www.mdgx.com/ at Vishal Gupta's webite: http://www.askvg.com They both has a whole section devoted to XP and all kinds of tips, tricks, and tweaks. But, we have to start at the beginning - did you uninstall Norton, Google Toolbar, Viewpoint Manager and download CCleaner as yet? Th3_uN1Qu3 - What do you think about him running the PC Decrapifier? http://www.pcdecrapifier.com/ Sorry so slow, I have a few things going on here and I am juggling all of them at one time. poolsharkzz
  17. Yeah, your right about the Ram, he might want to update the CPU and motherboard as well. Time for a new computer? LOL With Ram, I have always downloaded and ran a really cool program called: CrucialScan http://www.crucial.com/ It breaks it all down for you and tells you what you need or what you can upgrade to, etc. Never was much on researching Ram do to this nifty little tool - try it. Viewpoint Manager Service - you need to UNINSTALL ASAP - Castle Cops says that it is Adware - Lavasoft Forums agrees - and that's good enough for me! Avira is good to - with AVG I was thinking Adware / Spyware as well. Spybot S&D, Ad-Aware, Spyware Terminator, and COMODO Firewall Pro was my final thoughts. poolsharkzz
  18. Th3_uN1Qu3 Did I say under 2 minutes? Duha!!! It feels that way sometimes. After reading your post, I shut down and timed my start-up from a cold-boot - 42 seconds flat. @ topic: Yes - I agree - uninstall Norton and load up AVG 8.0 - easier on resources. Uninstall the Google Toolbar - it doesn't help nothing - If you updated to IE 7 you can have Google search right there at your fingertips. After uninstalling Norton Antivirus and the Google Toolbar go to: http://www.ccleaner.com and download the latest version of CCleaner - After you install, we can go over how to set up the progam and use it safely. Don't worry about security programs, pop-up blockers and such for the moment - that is coming up down the line - there are a bunch of freeware programs out there that will do sooooooo much better than Norton! When is the last time you ran Windows Update? You should be at SP3 by now with many additional updates since (some critical) - I would check it out. Services: The best resource I know is Black Viper's website: http://www.blackviper.com/ or another resouce that I have had great luck with is The Elder Geeks's website: http://www.theeldergeek.com/services_guide.htm There is alot more - but this is great for starters. Th3_uN1Qu3 - your turn... poolsharkzz
  19. Speedemon86, Wow - talk about a challange! From what I see, your "issues" will become a project and a half. I can help - but it will take time - I normally get paid well for this kind of project (I hope I didn't break any forum rules by mentioning that - sorry if I did) How familiar are you with your system - the registry - services - and the like? Yes - you can do a whole bunch of things to your system to gain performance and speed up things alot, chop down your start up time and log off time (mine is less that 2 minutes from cold boot to desktop) and much more. An upgrade in hardware would be a very good start - who/where did you purchase your system from? I would start with upgrading your Ram if possible. How old is your system? When is the last time you did a complete reinstall of your operating system? Up North? Where?
  20. Hello to all, I hope this note finds you well. I would like to introduce myself and to make all concerned aware of my interest of contributing to the XPize & Vize Rebirth Project. Qualifications: By trade, I have over 20 years experience in the Advertising and Marketing Industries, working for some of the largest Ad Agencies here in the Chicago-land area, holding various positions such as Art Director, Creative Director, User Experience Director, and most recently, Vice President. Basically, I am an "ideas man" - this means I am the guy who usually brain-storms and comes up with the idea, design, or concept and then I hand it over to my group of designers, artists, programmers, and developers and let them perform their magic! Also, for the past 5 years, I've created a successful home-based business, in which I do technology consulting for the Average Joe, a poor-man's "Geek Squad" - just less expensive. Mostly hardware or software upgrades, security enhancements, Virus or Spyware infections, crashes and recovery, slow computers, parental controls, enhancing internet connection speed, tune-ups and the like. As a side note, one of my most recent projects was dealing with a client that has a "porn addiction". Using a combination of Open DNS, Content Filtering, Domain Blocking, Adult Site Blocking, Internet Explorer 7's Restricted Zone, HostsMan / HostsServer, and a well-rounded Hosts File - the client could not access his favorite sites - or any "bad" sites for that matter - nor could he figure out how I did it nor could he figure out how to "fix" it - the client's family was very pleased, to be sure! For the record, I cannot read or write a lick of code to save my life - in any programming language. My experience with Micro$oft Windows goes as far back as Windows 3.11, "green screens" and first generation dot-matrix printers. Remember them good ole days? So, you ask yourself, what can this guy offer to the XPize & Vize Rebirth Project? Project Management, coordination, organization, overall time-line management and a whole bunch of really kick-a** ideas to take this project over the top! Some of my ideas: Idea #1 - Visual Styles XPize & Vize are utility programs designed to replace the icons and images that Micro$oft missed. I think that we have a much larger opportunity here to not only "make-over" a few rooms as such, but to effectively "make-over" most of or the entire house! Armed with the knowledge that Windows 7 will have the built-in ability to add a custom theme gallery, icons, and custom theme packs: WinMatrix: http://www.winmatrix.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=19437 I Started Something: http://www.istartedsomething.com/20080806/.../#comment-63202 My thoughts were to add something similar: to add to XPize & Vize additional features that would allow the user "create" their own "custom" visual style from a list of pre-made options by simply either ticking or unticking a check-box. I understand that there are a few themes and visual styles out there already, such as Black Luna Royale and DarkSide, to name a few? In my opinion we should go in another direction.... Running the risk of upsetting someone, (not purposely) I have to say there is much better work out there in terms of visual styles that will fit into the XPize & Vize Rebirth Project. I mean, spend some time at browsing at deviantART, WinMatrix, Neowin, CrystalXP, WinCustomize, and the many other "higher-end" customization sites, you will see what I am talking about! Moving forward, I propose that we ask Vishal Gupta (Microsoft MVP) for permission to use modified versions of his custom visual styles and icons to make this idea more of a reality: His Gallery: http://vishal-gupta.deviantart.com/gallery/ His Latest Visual Style: http://vishal-gupta.deviantart.com/art/Vis...for-XP-89727046 His Website: www.AskVG.com Over the years, I have seen many, many different themes, custom icon creations, and visual styles, but his creations are indeed in the top ten! I was thinking of adding the features to allow the end user to chose only 1 of 5 visual styles, and the have the ability to chose which start menu to use, what kind of start button, size - width (S, M, L, or default) of Title Bar and Task Bar, to have the choice of XP's or Vista's max/min/close buttons in the upper right-hand corner of screen, shellstyle, change explorer toolbar background, choice of icons, etc. We also have additional options to think of, such as updating changes to the Progress Dialog Box, System Properties, Control Panel, Control Panel Icons and Administrative Tools Icons, Boot Screen, Welcome Screen, Log On / Shutting Down Screen, and the Shutdown/Log Off Dialog Box: http://www.askvg.com/transform-your-window...omization-pack/ http://masterhero84.deviantart.com/art/Blu...-XPSP2-93874376 Idea #2 - Performance Enhancements and Tweaks This forum and other main-stream forums list a wealth of information in terms of tips, tricks, registry tweaks, trade secrets, and the like to improve and enhance the performance of XP and Vista. Why not incorporate the top 100, well defined "tweaks" into the XPize & Vize Rebirth Project? It could be set up like something similar to Theorica Software's Safe XP: http://www.theorica.net/ or something like Source Forge's Security & Privacy Complete: http://sourceforge.net/projects/cmia/ or like the "System Optimization" options in IObit's Advanced WindowsCare V2 Personal: http://www.iobit.com/advancedwindowscarepe...ml?Str=download Okay, that's good for starters, you get the idea. Sorry for the length. I hope that further discussion will take place concerning these ideas. Thank you for your time, Poolsharkzz
  21. CuriousME ===> poolsharkzz Thanks in advance!

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