Wednesday, July 06, 2005

M4 Page 6

Pages: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, Pictures

The initial setup on the M4 was fairly easy; if a little slow, with only 256 Mb of RAM in the machine. I went through the whole XP setup wizard in slate mode to get used to the pen. The first thing I did (after trying out Journal, of course) was put a DVD+R in and make a recovery disk. The wizard to create the disk was fairly straightforward, but I still think they should have included such a disk from the factory.

Then I marveled (and mourned) the tons and tons of bloatware that Toshiba put into the system build coming from the factory. The system is absolutely permeated with junk. I’m especially furious that they included AOL (which I consider to be a virus) pre-installed on the system. I’ve tried to remove it as best as I can, but AOL buries itself so deeply within your system that you can never entirely be free of it. It’s taken me many hours of work to clean most of this junk off the system. It would be an understatement to say that I’m disappointed with Toshiba about this; I should not have to spend multiple hours cleaning bloatware off a brand new $3000 computer. Especially considering that they don’t include a system recovery disk, and when you make your own you do not have the ability to create a clean build, so if you have to restore it will restore all the bloatware as well as the Tablet OS. If Toshiba wanted to include this software with the M4, they should have put it on an “Optional Software” CD included with the computer, so that I could install only what I want. Be forewarned that if you get the M4 you will have to spend 3–4 hours cleaning the machine of this bloatware.

RAM Upgrade
I ordered the M4 with 256 Mb of RAM from Toshiba Direct and then immediately ordered 2 Gigs of RAM from in order to save money. I got Transcend brand memory, DDR2 533Mhz, and am very happy with it. I highly recommend this RAM. The performance difference is night and day.

Background Processes
For those of you unfamiliar with the XP Tablet operating system, there are quite a few extra background processes that have to be running for Tablet functionality to work (pen functions, screen rotation, etc). I didn’t think to look at how many were running on first boot with all that bloatware, but by the time I cleaned that stuff off and added my own things (ex. Centrino Hardware Control, which I’ll talk about later), I figure the number stayed about the same. Right now, when I have the system idle with no program windows open, I’m running ~80 processes. With as much RAM as I have, it has no impact on my system performance, but I still like to try to keep such things at a minimum.

Tablet of Contents

1. Opening comments, Introduction, Convertible v. Slate, Specifications, Packaging/Contents, and Secret Decoder Ring

2. Body and Design, Build Quality Issues, Size and Weight

3. Screen Mini-Review I: Resolution, Brightness, and Glare

4. Screen Mini-Review II: Outdoor Viewing

5. Screen Mini-Review III: Viewing Angle

6. Setup, RAM Upgrade, Background Processes

7. Toshiba Power Saver, Undervolting/Centrino Hardware Control, and Battery Life

8. Timings, Video Driver and 3DMark03 Performance, and Sound

9. Software

10. Conclusion

11. High Quality Pictures


At 5:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

is there reason behind going thru the windows setup before installing the new RAM?

what techniques do you use to clean all the junk software off the system?



Post a Comment

<< Home