Lean, clean… old laptop revamped (& opinion for today)

(incidentally this will count as my opinion for today, because, well, I say so, and I have no time to wrtie a proper one :p)

What was until two days ago merely a rickety and slow DVD player slash typewriter…

… now feels like brand new again! (That is, if you can ignore the still crazy slow start-up time of both Windows XP and several programs). It’s so up-to-date with new programs it’s almost like an off-the-shelf netbook (well except it weighs like 2.5 kilos, has only 512MB of RAM and a 25GB HDD – but APART from that… boy :p!)

Behold, world! My laptop 2.0, old but improved!

(I like simplicity, so after first settling for all-white I changed to all-black – saves energy (of the screen, on battery ;-) ) and is easier on the eye.


On the small 14″ screen I find there is little use for program icons on the desktop; they’re mostly hidden in either the start menu and/or in the quick launch menu. The taskbar itself takes up too much space, I find, too; so that’s always on auto-hide, and it’s two rows high to reduce clutter.

Currently only a bare minimum of programs are on it (and still I have only 11GB remaining… :O!):

  • Microsoft Office 2003 (with only 512MB of RAM I need Office, it uses way less memory than…:)
  • OpenOffice 3.2 (but I do have this in case I need the compatibility with newer file formats)
  • VLC media player – free all-in-one solution for video files
  • Avast anti-virus, which also does firewall duties – free
  • Lavasoft ad-Aware – to stop spyware, remove cookies &c., also free
  • ChessBase Light – a small chess database program, it’s not in the way of anything
  • Adobe Reader 8 – essential
  • 7Zip – free all-in-one file compressing software
  • DropBox – free online storage software, easier to use than SkyDrive, but with ony 2 GB of free storage instead of 25
  • Internet Explorer – as a backup if Chrome can’t handle a page or something

And finally a modern, small but fast browser, and really low on RAM use:

…with the fitting Late Night theme.

If I get a chance I’ll kick off some more remaining Microsoft hogware that I never use but that takes up diskspace, and more importantly menuspace, like Messenger, WMP (to be replaced by a free, small all-in-one audio player), MovieMaker, the amazingly slow, clumsy, useless and hang-prone Windows Media Experience…

And then all I need to add is photo viewing software (will start with Google Picaza) and, if I can find it, basic photo editing software. Maybe I’ll add some of the free HTML/website software I downloaded recently too, if I feel adventurous.

Feels like I got a new laptop – for free :D!

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