Tweaking my HP Pavilion and Virtualbox

As would be expected, my dv6375us came with Vista Home Premium, and a bunch of bloat-ware, not the least of which was the Norton Symantec anti-virus. This anti-virus is reputed to be hard to remove from the hard disk, and I had to play around with my registry quite a bit to get rid of it completely. That was one year ago.

Now I began realizing that it’s time for a major system overhaul, and I tweaked my computer as follows:

  • disabled automatic indexing for search that Vista performs – improves performance manifold
  • uninstalled HP Customer Experience Enhancement, and HP Connections
  • owing to the fact that the HP Total Care Adviser was unable to perform an update and showed that my computer’s health was “poor”, I googled for relevant information and ended up reinstalling the Total Care Adviser itself (because this seems to be a common problem). After this, the TCA showed that my computer was in perfect health; so I restarted the system, and before I knew it the TCA wouldn’t run any more. I ended up uninstalling the damn thing. It was causing slow boot-up anyway. I still have the automatic updates from Windows as well as HP enabled, though
  • performing a system health check (Control Panel -> System -> Performance Information -> Advanced Tools -> System Performance Report), I realized that the HP Quickplay was causing an abnormal service, so I uninstalled Quickplay. I hardly use it anyway; I much rather prefer Windows Media Center. My only concern was that my in-built Webcam won’t work anymore with Messenger, but luckily it still does
  • so, as Quickplay also served as a tool to take pictures and videos using my Webcam, I needed another software for this purpose. I found a simple Java-based program called Yet Another Webcam (yawcam), and it works like a charm so far
  • I had a trial version of MS SQL Server 2008 which I also got rid of at this opportunity
  • The interface for my Bluetooth application was way too convoluted on Vista for my tastes, and I hardly use any of the features provided – I only use Bluetooth to transfer pictures from my Motorola phone to my computer. So I removed the software; my Bluetooth adapter works seamlessly with the generic drivers in Ubuntu and is good enough for simple file transfer
  • The beautiful QuickLaunch buttons with blue LED’s on my notebook weren’t working before (apart from the mute and volume keys), and now that Quickplay is gone I wouldn’t be needing them anyway
  • Finally, I installed VirtualBox, and I am at a loss of words about its virtues 😉 Free, sleek and trim, and creating virtual machines has never been this easy. I already created virtual machines for Arch Linux and OpenSolaris, and also FreeDOS, wanting to expand my knowledge beyond the Unix-like realm. FreeDOS is like MS-DOS, but free… it’s still not so different from what I’ve seen before, but now that VirtualBox is working fine I am going to go ahead and create virtual machines for a lot more, intricate and paradigm-wise different operating systems
  • In conclusion, my notebook is not 100%, but honestly, what is?
  • I next had a good mind of doing a sort of an exhaustive and critical study of all the operating systems of times past and present, but looking at the Wikipedia articles I figured I can’t even comprehensively study the entire Unix and Unix-like family of systems, with years of history behind it and various branches sprawling from it, nay, I can’t even allocate enough time to do a complete evaluation of the X-window system (and gnome, kde and xfce), and am therefore content at the moment with the cursory knowledge I have about these matters. Time will dictate whether I actually pursue this, but as I have lately come to realize, there’s way too much information in the world, and one doesn’t need to know everything. It’s the job of machines to keep everything archived 😉
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