Mount Sutro: An Electronic Periodical

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Sigmund Freud would love me

by Archived Article (2001–2014) Help
Although I profess to be a generally sane person, I have been known to be somewhat obsessive-compulsive about certain things. For example, upon being seated in a restaurant and presented with a silverware roll, I immediately unroll it, flatten the napkin, fold it in half the long way, place the open end toward me and then arrange the silver in order of fork, knife then spoon. Yeah, I know. Here is another one for you; I loathe tables in restaurants. I will wait for a booth rather than be seated at a table. Now, there are a few exceptions to this or any rule, but for the most part, a happy meal begins with a nice cosy booth.

My computer is also a focus for my pseudo-psychoneurotic behaviour. While many people just install programmes and use them, I have a very specific set of configurations that must be met. Every aspect of my system is scrutinised for customability, efficiency and stability. Even though it only one month (to the day) since my last format, my system's recent abhorrent operation necessitated another wipe. I decided to try something a little bit different this time, further tailoring my careful installation and configuration process.

I have to say that sometimes neuroticism is a good thing. My system has never run better under Windows XP Professional. It would be nice if all the little things I do were somehow a default setting, but thanks to Microsoft's world domination technique, this will sadly never be the case. And as much as using disk ghosting software seems like an excellent solution, that is a rather timely procedure for someone who makes modifications as often as I.

Now I do not want to get off on a rant here, but partly for my own amusement and the delectation of fellow techsperts who may be reading, here is a brief synopsis of some of the things I do to make things nice and happy.

One of the first things I do is disable Windows File Protection and remove all the unnecessary programmes, files, folders and registry keys Windows installs by default. This includes MSN Messenger, Outlook Express, Pinball and a list of other delightfully useless and disk-consuming items. Next, I go through all Services, disabling most and setting others to manual. This particular step was perfected for this format, contributing to the increase in performance. After installing my firewall, I configure it to block not only the bad things floating around, but also entries from my ever-growing list of advert-spewing IP addresses (mostly from places like doubleclick and the like). Whenever installing a programme, I install the bare minimums. Afterwards, icons are resorted according to category (communications, entertainment, multimedia, productivity and security) and unnecessary files are removed. During the normal course of operations, I routinely scan for spyware, scan, clean and repair my registry, submit all spam messages to SpamCop.

Okay, that is enough for you to get the idea. It may over the top but it all pays off when I can still use a system that is approaching four years old as my primary computer. This, of course, coming from the person who was bet he could not install Windows 95 on an Intel 386, 25 megahertz with 4 megabytes of RAM. Needless to say, I won the bet and when I was finished it that system was as stable as any Windows 95 machine.

Now before I end this geeky madness, I was in a conversation the other day during which I was asked for a screen capture of my desktop. After rolling my eyes, I obliged and now share the result with you as well (image reduced from 1024x768 to nothing). Out of date.

Addendum: Wow, for the exception of that first paragraph this is pretty dry stuff. Oh, well. Not a very exciting week, I suppose.

Two Comment Bubbles four Comments

  • Tyler_Durden

    wow, now that's a naked desktop

  • bastard

    Hey, someone who's more... errrr... ummmm... meticulous than I am!

    Here's a crappy screenshot of my empty desktop:

    http://mad-bastard.us/misc/desk8x6.jpg

    Win2K w/LiteStep OTS

  • FSUpaintball

    I actually cleaned mine up a bit... but I still have some crap on there.

    This is how it normally looks

    This is how it looks right now

  • Thorin

    You and that MAC esque trash icon, for shame.

    My desktop is a dirty as my room, I'd give a picture but I'm lazy and if you know me you get the idea.

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