This guide I will concentrate on optimizing the Windows 7 Touch and Performance experiences that I was able to gather from the other Dell Duo users and from the internet.
I will try to break it down and in detail why the tweak is as useful. Please forgive me if the guide can not be complete in such a a short time. I work full time and goes to school part-time.
Please look forward to the guide. Thanks for your patient.
Dell Duo from the factory: Removing the extra and what version of OS.
1) It is known quite well that a machine coming from the factory will always have the extras software that are not needed or slow down the system is consider a blob (bloatware).
2) First thing first, either strip / uninstall those extras or reinstall a fresh copy of the OS.
3) For me, I would goes with a fresh install, to have a clean OS.
4) My OS of choice is x86 32Bit Windows 7 Professional SP1. Any 32bit Windows 7 will occupy the same amount of storage space, regardless of version.
5) Why not x64 version? The Dell Duo is restrict by memory constraint with only 2GB of ram. X64 version have extra local services and .dll, which take up ram, to support the WOW64 parts of Windows.
6) I will be addressing memory consumption allot in this guide. My ratio for OS/start-up apps and available ram is one to one. One GB for OS and one GB available ram (for appz and caching).
7) For device drivers, best to goes with the one from Dell, unless mention other wise.
8) Intel had release RST v10 that is not list on Dell website. Benchmark show to have increase performance. Found in xtremesystem.com in the hardware, and storage section.
9) With all the device drivers installed, the memory consume should be 500-600MB.
Focusing on the Touch experiences:
1) For those times that I want to use the Duo as a tablet, I want the most touch experiences as much as possible, without relying on the keyboard or mouse pad. Ease of use and easy access.
2) My complaint: The minimize, maximize, and exit buttons are too small for my finger. I cannot read that small text in the pop up windows. Also the OK and Cancel menu buttons too tiny. "Yep these are my first annoyance."
a) Solution: Download the Vista Origami Experiences 2.0. By selecting the optimizing setting, it make the top right three buttons bigger, as well as scrolls bigger and Start menu too. There are other optimization in the setting, I just select it all. I also increase the DPI to 125%, which makes the Desktop icons, texts in popup, and the OK/Cancel buttons allot easier to use. These solutions are from a Dell Duo user and from Tom guide.
3) Windows 7 Soft Keyboard Setting: I just check the option to have the Tablet PC Input Panel icon shown in the task bar and to have it dock on the lower half of the screen. Found this out from Dell Duo user and from Tom guide.
4) Flick gestures that make easy navigation. These functions are already built into Windows and can be use in the Windows Explorer, IE, Firefox, and etc. There are 8 gesture defaulted (Back, Forward, Drag Up, Drag Down, Copy, Paste, Undo, and Delete) can be activate in "Control Panel", then in "Hardware & Sound", then in "Pen & Touch", and Flick tab section.
a) My thought on this feature was silly at first; however, numerous guides and research on the web point out that flick gesture is part of the touch experiences. It was hard to break away from the right click and copy/paste mode. After getting use to the flick gesture, I no longer have open the lid and flip the screen on the Duo for a simple task as copy & paste. Can be found in Tom guide.
5) Wintile 1.2 Windowed Auto Sizing. This is a small program but make a big different in my normal day to day use. Like the title said, it auto resize any new open window or current windows, great for those large 32" wide screen monitor. If you open one new window, the window will become full screen. Open another window, both windows will be resize to half and half (side by side). Open a third windows, you get two half on top and one full at the buttom. A fourth, you get 4 quadrants. This program is very customizable. It does in reverse when you close one or more windows.
6) WinFX 4 from Stardock. This little program provide addition functions and special effects. I use this program mostly for its function feature, especially the flicks windowed and other minor ones. For instant, I can flicks more than one windows down to the screen; they will get minimize. If I flick a window up, it will become screen. If a window is full screen, I can move it and flick it down to minimize. There are other features still testing out.
7) Wintiles plus WinFX 4. This was was unexpected feature using this combination. I accidentally flick an open window to the right and it auto resize to that part of the screen. It take up exactly half of the right side and give me a working left workspace. It does the same if I flick a window left.
8) Fencing from Stardock. This little program is an auto icons organizer for the desktop. You can create spaces (fences) where different icons can be sorted automatically. Programs, picture, shortcuts, and etc. icons get sorted as they are created. Also, you can flick or icons to the right space or fence manually. That a big fun factor. Also you can scroll through a group of icons in a space to select the one you want.
9) Objectbar from Stardock. This program is use to create a themed custom Start menu or right click menu. My reason to use it, I can create a size up right click menu and custom pick the actions that I want to include in the menu. Memory consumption should be in the 600MB - 700MB range with all the start up programs.
10) Firefox 3.6.15 My Browser /w addon: This add values, cool features, and security
a) Make Firefox icon bigger - Choose icon with text will make the icon bigger and allot easier to use.
b) Foxtab - This must have pluggin add an icon left of the address bar. When selected, Firefox will show all the open tabs in a big windows making it easier to go back to any open webpage.
c) Speeddial - Similiar to Foxtab, this add-on shows pre-selected websites in big rows of windows at start up or when opening new tab.
d) Theming Firefox to looks like IE8 - I chose the Vista-aero as my theme, as it arrange all the icons and looks to Microsoft IE. Funny, none of my family would not even touch Firefox til the browser looks like IE.
e) Persona with Vista-aero. Vista-aero came with it own persona plugin where the user can choose the background layout and still keep the IE theme. If the user choose the Persona plugin from the add-on manager, the user can loose the theme capability.
f) Coolris - Google TV in your Browser
. This add-on actually add cool factors X10. Must try!!!!
Other Addon worth mentioning -
g) Adblock Plus, LastPass, FasterFox Lite, Download Statusbar, Search Preview, CyberSearch, FireFox Sync, and Fission Now for the performance guide: Recommend to have a backup / image of Windows 7.
1) Norton Internet Security 2011 - To me this is the best full internet security package without slowing down your Dell Duo. It have the best over all protection, least impact on system performance, and only take up any where from 100MB - 150MB of ram. My Duo with NIS 2011, installed, take up 800MB - 850MB memory.
for better over all system performance: Allot of benefits.
Instant file access (0.1 access time), big transfer bandwidth ( 200+MB/s), speedy small read and write (4K files) and battery life..............etc. Trust me, the Duo can not fully use all the benefits due to the slow processor and low memory bandwidth.
3) Hard Drive - If SSD
is not your option due to price and space, I would goes with the fastest laptop HD. I am currently using Seagate Momentus XT and could be have for $100. It have a build in SLC 4GB flash (SSD
) and 500GB storage capacity.......minus the battery life.
4) Disable those extra local services: The 2 times benefits. Reduce memory consumption and increase performance. I recommend going to Black Viper website and read about local service description. This tweak is not for beginner and can make Windows unstable / unusable
. Black Viper have a "safe script" that will disable local services that is SAFE for normal user. Using the safe script, I was able to get back more than 50MB in ram
If you are using SSD hard drive
, these two final tweaks does not pertain to you. It make a big different for me and my HD.
5) Readyboost. This feature is built into Windows 7 and is an extension of Superfetch and Readyboot. It make a world of different when the Dell Duo is limit to 2GB of memory. 4GB of ram would be the ideal amount for Windows 7 and Superfetch will use all the extra memory for caching. Since the Duo is limit to 2GB, Readyboost will fetch two more GB of data for caching. It only pre-cache small files that superfetch could not cache. Consider readyboost as extra memory cache, only for small files not for your program. The page file is use for that. Each time the user reboot the PC, readyboost have to precache those files. For best practice, let Windows 7 goes to sleep. It retain the cache data every time you wake up it up. It also worked for hibernation too.
What USB Drive should I get for Readyboost? Go get the Patroit Xporter Rage Quad Channel USB Drive. It have one of the best read / write using 4 memory channels.
6) Fancycache 0.6 beta - This little software is a fancy cache utility that worked at the block level. User should be aware that using any caching utility, as it may corrupt the system files if misuse or having an unstable system. Currently this software is still in beta, but very stable from my stand point. How I view this software? If you have a hardware raid controller with cache memory, consider Fancycache as a software controller with the ability to define the amount of cache memory. I recommend allocating 256MB to Fancycache with the default 10sec lazy-write (defer write). How does it make my Dell Duo faster? It will retain the most mostly used data in the memory. Windows have the tendency to push older data out of memory when using large program and when using more than one programs due to the limit amount of ram on the Dell Duo. As soon as the push out data is needed again, Windows would have to read from the hard drive again, which is a slow process. This is where Fancycache and Readyboost come into play. Either the old data is in Fancycache or Readyboost, that data is read from memory or the usb drive.
Lazy Write (defer write): Data that needs to be written to the hard drive can be delay to a pre-define time. These write can be combine into one large sequential write. The hard drive are good at large write but bad at small writes.
Anyway, the longer the data can stay in memory (cache) the faster and more responsive the system get when accessing those frequently use data. Memory consumption 1.05GB for OS/Fancycache/all start-up programs. Available ram is one GB for Apps and Windows caching. This is the one to one ram ratio I was talking about.
I hope you all find the guide useful. I will fix the grammar and punctuation later.
This guide is complete. 03-15-2011