I think it’s about time to invest in memory

My windows box still has the original WinXP installation that came with the computer when I bought it. I think it will be around 4 years now that I’m running the same OS without needing to reinstall. In the windows realm this is an accomplishment. But it became dead slow lately.

No – I don’t have processes running in the background. The CPU load is low most of the time, and Spybot, Adaware did not find anything. I also used HijackThis to run through the crap that was on my system and I didn’t find anything suspicious. I narrowed this down to low memory.

My Samurize counter on the desktop was showing me that at any given time I had mere 20-30 megs of Ram free. So I assume most applications are going into swap, and that’s why my performance is so bad. So I started trimming resident processes. First thing to go was StyleXP – screw it! I don’t care how this machine looks as long as it works.

I also uninstalled ObjectDock – as cool as it was, it did take quite a chunk out of my memory and was prone to stalling. I will miss it, but at this point I’m desperate for performance.

Next on the list – apache. Home XP is not a server OS – I’m planning to put in a new Linux box to act as a server for my home network, so this is not a big loss. It hardly ever used it anyway.

Google Desktop Search had to go too. It didn’t seem like big resource hog, but I hardly ever used it. So I figured better toss it and see if that buys me few megs to play around with.

I disabled few useless services, and actually googled every single running process that I was not familiar with. Everything was legit software that I installed, or a windows process. So the machine was more or less clean.

Right now Samurize is showing ~80 meg of free ram which is an improvement. Machine actually started running smoother. Next thing to go is Avast antivirus. I had it running for few weeks now because my McAfee was crashing horribly. But I think that issue got resolved, so Avast will be going away as soon as it finishes it’s final scan.

I guess, this performance surge is as good excuse to invest in some memory as any… Or maybe I should just start routinely booting into my Mandrake partition? Problem is – sometimes I like playing games…

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