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Big fight!! Gobi versus PC

Annoyed, irritated and flummoxed.

Why, yes, I am the owner of a brand-new PC and yes, I am having trouble figuring out some of its eccentricities.

For instance …

Windows XP doesn’t give you the option to format a partition size larger than 32GB with FAT32 during OS installation. It’s not a limitation of FAT32; it’s just Microsoft’s cunning way of nudging you towards NTFS.

According to Device Manager, my hard disk drive, a 250GB S-ATA II Seagate ST3250620AS, is using the S-ATA I transfer mode. Now, S-ATA I has half the transfer speed of S-ATA II so I am naturally displeased my hard disk isn’t working at optimum speed. I checked the drive’s jumper settings and they’re fine so I suspect it has something to do with the motherboard’s SATA-IDE driver. I do have the latest BIOS and drivers for the nforce 550 chipset on the motherboard but if there’s one thing I’ve learned about PC computing it’s that the latest isn’t always the greatest.

The installer for Gas Powered Games’ Supreme Commander, the game bundled with the Gigabyte Geforce 8600GT graphics card, installed .NET Framework 2.0 on my system without so much as a by-your-leave. See, this is the problem with society. Even software installers aren’t making the effort to be polite. I later find out GPGNet, the game’s multiplayer component, cannot be uninstalled without .NET Framework. There’s no mention whatsoever whether the single-player game will run without GPGNet.

Windows Update later informs me there are critical security fixes for .NET Framework. Great. Thanks to Gas Powered Games, I now have some software, which I’m not convinced I actually need, that happens to be so insecure that someone could take control of my PC and do something nefarious like, I dunno, store high-quality pornography on my half-speed hard drive.

IrfanView now offers to install Google Desktop for users. Wha-? Why? But hey, at the very least the installer asked politely.

Ad-Aware, on its first scan, claimed adiras.exe was a dialler. What it didn’t mention, and I only discovered after looking it up, is that adiras.exe is used for ADSL USB modems. STFU, Chicken Little.

Having an AMD dual core processor means better performance. Theoretically. I’m disturbed by the amount of fixes and utilities necessary to make the most of a dual core processor. Exasperatingly, I learn some of these fixes can cause a degradation in some software while boosting the performance in others. This is one type of duality I don’t need.

Upon installing the drivers for the Realtek ALC888 audio chipset, I find something called alcmtr.exe on Windows XP’s list of processes. A check online shows that it’s unnecessary but more ominously, it’s further claimed the process is gathering data on behalf of Realtek. What sort of data? And how true is it? I disable it from running at bootup in msconfig. The audio works fine. So it is inessential after all. Pop quiz, Realtek. What phrase sounds like “Shrew Yew”?

I’m sure I’ll continue to find new things to vex me in the next few months but I’m hoping most of these will be solved with driver updates and software hotfixes.

Posted in Hardware.

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