Letting Windows XP do its own maintenance.

I don't know about you .. but i am out of here.

Computer maintenance can be a tedious task, and somehow Windows Pc's can't get enough of it. Wether I open up a computer magazine or listen to a podcast about Windows its always spyware this and scandisk that etc. Now as for spyware and such , I completely understand , there is a lot of crap out there, but standard maintenance tasks on your computer are not something you should worry about. One of the images that shoots to mind is this guy sitting in front of his computer WAITING for the de-fragmentation to complete that he started about an hour ago. Meanwhile he is just sitting there , like its some kind of laundry machine and he has to get his socks back. Not for me No-oh! If I tell my pc to clean up his room ? He better do it all by himself. Here are a few tricks that you can use to have your pc do 'his on thang” on “his own time”.

Step One ! Pick a free spot in your calendar.

Don't do computer maintenance at the peak of your day or while you have five little brothers and sisters waiting in line to play World of Warcraft. Do it at night . And don't stay up for it , let the computer do it. So choose a time when you don't need your computer and dive into the BIOS ( Press delete or F2 when the computer is starting up.) Most BIOS's (is that plural ?) these days have an “automatic power up” option that you can set. This means you can let your computer power up automatically at a certain time without you having to get up and press the button. Set the auto power up to a certain time and day of your choice.

Step Two ! Log in automatically.

tweakuiIts not the best way of doing things securely , but if your computer is just parked in your room you can enable auto-login. One of the programs you can use for this is TWEAK-UI   it will not only give you the option to auto-log-on as a certain user , but also lots of other cool tweaks.Are you afraid somebody is gonna try to access your computer while its unguarded ? No worries , just set the screen-saver to 1 minute and password protect it.

Step three ! Let the games begin.

Once your computer is securely logged in you can let him do its daily chores.Open a text-file and start typing.

at 01:00 /every:M,F defrag c:

The AT command lets you schedule certain tasks at certain times. In the example above it will run the command DEFRAG C: (de-fragment your hard-drive) every monday and friday.

at 02:00 /every:M,F defrag d:

Identical stuff , this time for the D drive, an hour later.

TIP : if you want to save yourself a lot of pain in the but , make a separate partition on your hard-drive where you set your windows swap file. This will greatly increase your de-fragmentation times and speed up your pc.

Next up you might wanna do a little cleaning up of your hard-drive. Its never bad to do a anticipative scandisk before your favorite telletubie pictures get lost on that runt hard-drive cluster.  Now you can't do a scandisk (or check-disk ) on a drive thats currently in use , just like you can't vacuum the rug you are standing on. But again , that is not a problem. When you run the CHKDSK command in Windows and point to a busy drive , Windows will do the operation next time the drive is free ( that is the next time the computer boots up). So once again , take the AT command and type up these little lines of code.

at 01:30 /every:F chkdsk c: /f /r

This means : every friday clean up my drive , repair the data on broken clusters and move on. 

And last but not least , you have to shut the machine down. You don't have to get up to do that , just use the shutdown command as follows.

at 01:45 shutdown -s -f

ShutdownThis means : at a quarter to two , shutdown the computer. (and force close all open programs)A nice tip you might want to remember is that you can enter the shutdown command in the RUN box in your start menu, for example, your computer is burning a cd, its still gonna be an hour before its done. But you wanna go out and grab a burger and don't want your computer running in vain all night. Just type shutdown -t 3600 and hit enter. Here 3600 stands for the number of seconds  the computer waits before shutdown.
And thats it. Just type all the commands in a txt file, save it as maintenance.bat and either drag it to your startup folder so it runs automatically every day , or click on it to run everything manually. You can find more  examples of the AT command  here . Now go outside and play … and let technology work for you !

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Macbook where are thou ?

deliveryThere is nothing as annoying as having to wait. Wait for your girlfriend on the first date, wait for Santa Clause to come at night, wait for the person in front of you on the public restroom when you have to make a mega dump. Or .. Wait for the delivery of your Macbook. Yep, I now curse myself for not being an earlier adopter of the mean machine and waiting until last thursday to order it. Delivery would take from three to seven days the apple store said. With previous orders that mostly meant ' Three to seven days, but in two days you'll have your goodies”. Unfortunately THIS time (of all times) Three to seven days does mean .. to seven days. So as I sit behind the front door like some hungry puppy waiting for the doorbell to ring. But no Macbook yett. A lot of it has to do with this freaking bank holiday we are having. Not only does this means I have four days off (which could have been spent in utter bliss with my new macbook) it also means the transportation and courier industry is a little fucked up and .. guess what , delivery's have been delayed.

But with the use of the tracking number at the apple store and some surfing we can see where our macbook is at this very moment. Lets track the shipping shall we ?

So we take the tracking number of the apple store and hop over to the website of the courier company. There we can see a step-by-step history of where it is.

  • May 18, 2006 om 07:05 PM GMT Order placed.

    Yes indeed , After a little doubt and a lot of research I placed the order , exactly one week before that blasted bank holiday. I could have done it about a week earlier but I decided NOT to be an early adopter.

  • May 22nd 2006 05:22 Suzhou Consignment Received At Transit Point

    So at the early eastern dawn my Macbook arrived FROM the factory at my couriers pickup point. A quick Google lets me see where the town of Suzhou actually is , a tad east of Shanghai.  

  • May 23rd 2006 00:41 Suzhou Shipped From Originating Depot

    Okay, It took my little Macbook a few hours to grab a cappuccino, some croissants and be on its merry way.

  • May 26, 2006 15:50 Arnhem Hub Consignment Passed Through Transit Point

    Probably by boat or by plane (i guess by plane) it arrived at Arnhem in The Netherlands. Pretty late and with no hope of arriving at its destination here that very same day. As I was on the road myself that day I encountered what traffic must have been like for the couriers : Rainy, overcrowded highways and a lot of people on the road that had a day off. Mixing proffesional travelers with leisure travelers and bad weather = Chaos.

  • May 27 th 2006 04:49 Brussels Hub Consignment Received At Transit Point.

    Ah ! Joy to the world, my little Macbook has jumped across the border and has arrived in our nations capital of Belgium. As it is Saturday morning, the 27th of May, 9 AM : The one million dollar question is : Is TNT running errands today ? If so : My Macbook could only be minutes away, If not … its gonna be freaking MONDAY until it arrives.

I'll hope for the former but fear the latter. No matter no matter …..

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