Got Small SSD As A System Drive For Windows 8? Here Are Some Tips To Free Up Some Disk Space For Your SSD!

Samsung SSD 830 Series 128Gb 2,5" SATA

Samsung SSD 830 Series 128Gb 2,5″ SATA (Photo credit: Tolbxela)

If you got a small SSD as the system drive, you know how annoying it’s to see it’s being filled up quickly right?  Nonetheless, there isn’t anything you can do about it to stop Windows from eating up SSD space, especially if you’re using Windows 7 and 8.  Still, there are several things that can keep your SSD system drive sane by doing few things as followed…

Disclaimer:  I’m not going to be responsible for your actions in case your computer caught on fire or data were smashed into the oblivion.  You have been warned, and so only trying these tips out if you’re knowledgable (and able to own up to your mistakes).

  1. Use CCleaner (only download on its official website or reputable websites to avoid fake CCleaner software which could be a malware or virus) — to clean up the cache, temporary files, and other unnecessary cluttered data.  Furthermore, you can also use CCleaner to clear up erroneous registries.  This software alone is able to help you free up a lot of space in your system drive (i.e., C:\)
  2. Use Windows’s built-in Free Up Disk Space utility.  This way if CCleaner missed anything this Windows utility will help clean out the rest.  Nonetheless, I don’t think CCleaner will miss anything unless you had specified specifics data not to be cleaned by CCleaner.  So, this step is rather redundant if you ask me.  To access Windows 8’s built-in Free Up Disk Space utility, you gotta do this:
    1. Accessing the Charm bar on the rightmost side of the monitor as you’re facing it
    2. Click on search icon to access the search box
    3. Type in the search box with Free Up Disk Space
    4. Select Settings link underneath the search box
    5. Click on Free up disk space by deleting unnecessary files link/icon on the left panel
    6. Select C: drive
    7. Follow the self explanatory steps afterward.
  3. You can also save many many Gigabytes of disk space if you turn off hibernation for Windows 7 and 8.  If I’m not wrong, Windows 7 and 8 usually reserve the same amount of hard disk space to RAM size for hiberfil.sys if you had disabled pagefile feature.  Otherwise, Windows 7 and 8 usually assign some disk space to pagefile.sys and a lot of disk space to hiberfil.sys — adding these two files together would equate the RAM size.  So, let say if your system has installed 8 GB of RAM, then it’s agreeable that Windows 7 and 8 have also reserve around 8 GB of disk space to be used for hibernation through the file known as hiberfil.sys (i.e., if pagefile.sys isn’t existed).  The best way to disable hibernation and recover this 8 GB or how many GB worth of disk space that might be, you have to do this:
    1. Accessing the Charm bar on the rightmost side of the monitor as you’re facing it
    2. Click on the search icon to access the search box
    3. Type in the search box with cmd
    4. Right click on the Command Prompt icon/link
    5. Look at the bottom Charm bar and click on Run as administrator icon/link
    6. Type into the command prompt the command:  powercfg -h off
  4. Furthermore, you can also reduce the pagefile size to free up even more disk space (i.e., for SSD which acts as system drive).  It’s not recommending to do this since Windows 7 and 8 can crash if the system runs out of memory (i.e., RAM) and cannot access large enough pagefile.sys file.  Nonetheless, I myself had reduced the pagefile.sys file size to only 1% of the SSD disk space, recovering some disk space in the process.  I figured that my system got amble amount of RAM (16 GB to be exact), therefore I went ahead and reduced the pagefile.sys file size.  I don’t think my system can ever be out of memory unless I crazily run too many RAM hungry programs at one go.  Nonetheless, I did not disable pagefile.sys completely, because to have some paging is better than not having any.  Having some paging might be able to prevent system crash when the system is out of memory.  When a system goes into paging mode, the system will be very slow.  Whatever the case, here is how you reduce your Windows 8’s pagefile size:
    1. Accessing the Charm bar on the rightmost of the monitor as you’re facing it
    2. Click on the search icon/link
    3. Type inside the search box with Advance system settings
    4. Click on View advanced system settings link on the left panel
    5. Select System Protection tab
    6. Highlight C: drive
    7. Click on Configure button
    8. Slide the Max Usage slider in the appropriate manner to reduce the pagefile size
    9. Click OK button to save everything and exit this feature.

With following the tips I just shared, you might be able to recover a lot of disk space from your SSD.  I was able to recover around 40 GB worth of disk space from my SSD (i.e., which acts as system drive).  In the process I was able to shrink my C: drive to allow me to add an additional partition for dual booting Windows 8 and Ubuntu 13.04.  Awesome isn’t it?  Of course, the extra partition on SSD isn’t capable of holding Ubuntu system’s home directory and various other directories (i.e., in long term use), but I got lucky as I also had an extra hard drive to spare.  Nonetheless, you only need 5 GB worth of disk space for installing Ubuntu 13.04.  In my case I have 5.7 GB worth of disk space of doing this, and so I assigned 700 MB for swap drive, the rest was for root directory.  The extra hard drive would be for /home and /var directories for the Ubuntu system.  Why only 5.7 GB worth of disk space to spare on SSD C: drive when I claimed that I recovered around 40 GB worth of disk space?  Well, Windows 8 didn’t allow me to shrink SSD C: drive to the point that I could use all the 40 GB data free disk space, because some of the original data might not be moveable and had sprinkled to certain supposedly data free regions of the SSD, consequently the surrounding data free regions of the SSD were not available for partitioning.  In the end, I could only partition SSD C: drive with an extra 5.7 GB partition.

I’m A Noob In The Hardware Department, Anyone Else?

Telling you what, I’m a noob (i.e., a newbie) in hardware!  Sure, I know all the basics such as certain graphic card that I must need for my system specifically, power supply and its wattage potentials, must have cpu (i.e., type and performance), and other unimportant components (i.e., not something as a motherboard) — but in reality I only had experience in replacing graphic card and RAM (Random Access Memory).  Fortunately, I was bold yesterday and went ahead with the upgrade of my computer’s power supply and graphic card.  It was really a challenge since hardware to me would always be difficult.  I guess I was more of a software person.  Anyhow, in any case, power supply should be the easiest to remove and install right?  Wrong, because power supply came in many shapes and sizes and wattages.  Getting the wrong one will get you nowhere and a lot headaches since you might have to reconnect bunch of connectors such as SATA connectors.  Also, you might not be able to fit the power supply into your case correctly if you’re getting one that is too big for your case (i.e., mid range case or smaller).  Getting the wrong one might not give you enough power to support the many hardware that you intend to rig for your computer system (i.e., enough power to power many hardware at the same time).  Getting the wrong one will not allow you to have the right connectors so you won’t be able to power your mother board or CPU — I’m looking at you Dell (i.e., Dell sometimes has rigged/wired their computers differently then the standard blueprints that most computer manufacturers/brands would follow closely).  This is why sometimes I think it’s best for you to build your case from start, but how can one do that if one has very little experience in hardware?  Me, me, anyone else?

Anyhow, Dell XPS 8100 is what I got for Windows 7 computer/Desktop.  I upgraded Dell XPS 8100’s 350w stock power supply to OCZ ZT series 550w.  I figured I needed a better graphic card, and 350w would never allow me to use a better graphic card.  The stock graphic card that came with my Dell XPS 8100 was ATI HD Radeon 5770.  Sure, the ATI HD Radeon 5770 was plentiful, powerful for most games and whatever else that needed the graphic power.  Unfortunately, it was not powerful enough for the games that I wanted to play.  Witcher 2 and Star Wars The Old Republic had ATI HD Radeon 5570 ran hot.  Anyhow, I might have been too extravagant in upgrading graphic card for naught (i.e., gaming isn’t glamorous in practicality of all things).  Nonetheless, I wanted to upgrade the power supply since I used it to power so many external hard drives and internal hard drives (that I had installed) to a point which the power supply’s fan got extremely loud and annoying.  The new power supply is super quiet and has a bigger fan which cools my system down (CPUs) tremendously.  Of course, with modular power supply, cable management is way more fun and somewhat providing better airflow, consequently somewhat cooling down the graphic card in the process.  Newer graphic cards tend to run quieter and using power ever more efficient even though one might use them to play extreme graphic taxing games.  I find this to be true with my new graphic card.

The reality was that it took me way too long just to install the power supply and the graphic card.  What was worse was that I thought I had destroyed my whole computer system right after I powered up the power supply and the computer.  How come?  The power supply did power up the motherboard as an amber light was lighted up inside the motherboard, but nothing else had happened — no graphic on monitor and no spinning fans at all (e.g., power supply fan, case fans, cpu fans).  It was a noob mistake, and I was a noob in hardware so it was not a surprise.  It turned out my motherboard required only 4 pins connector to power the CPU, but I did not use the right cable with the right pin to power the CPU.  The funny thing was that the PCI-e connector was able to fit onto the 4 pin power controller for CPU on the motherboard.  Even more funny was that the right cable had labeled PSU/CPU, but as always when it came to hardware I just went on without looking into details.  Luckily, nothing was shorted or broken, and I figured it out in time to have the CPU powered, consequently allowing the computer to work correctly.  Luckily I wasn’t crazy and stupid enough to think brand new power supply was broken, because I could have thought so since I had to actually and tightly snuck the darn power supply with some force so it would reluctantly melted with my Dell XPS 8100 case.  Obviously, this case wasn’t built for having great power supply, because you would know what I meant if you actually had to install something much bigger and more powerful than 350w power supply inside a Dell XPS 8100 case.  If I had thought the power supply was damaged from beginning, I definitely would have wasted even more money to buy another power supply which might just turn out to be not too great either.  In the end, the power supply fitted nicely with the case as if it was made to be married to the case, although a forceful one.

Nothing to be worried really, I was able to get power supply and graphic card installed without blocking the airflow of the case even though the power supply was a little bigger than the original one.  Gotta thanked the four screws that held the back of the power supply to the case!  Anyhow, so I thought everything would be smooth sailing from here.  Indeed it was somewhat until I saw ATI’s drivers complained how my system didn’t run the correct drivers.  Of course, software is my turf and so I went on to simply uninstall ATI’s Catalyst Control Center (CCC).  Unfortunately, ATI drivers were too tightly embedded into my system, therefore removing ATI’s CCC was a futile effort for removing ATI’s drivers altogether.  The same annoying warning (how ATI’s CCC would not support the current graphic driver) came up after rebooting the system.  A quick look into the Windows Task Manager, I saw annoyed ATI’s processors of all types appeared.  Some of them refused to end even though I had killed these processors.  The simplest solution I had was of course went into C drive, typed name of the ATI’s processor into the search box, did a right click on one of the result and executed open file of location, deleted the file — lather, rinse, and repeat!  Unfortunately, it turned out some of these files that belonged to ATI’s drivers were protected with permissions.  So I had to take ownership of these files and changed the permission of these files to full control for everyone, and then I was succeeded in deleting these files.  Finally, I was tired of deleting each file at a time, and so I deleted the whole directory of AMD/ATI’s drivers — of course one had to be sure all files within such directories were belonged only to AMD/ATI’s drivers or else one might delete important system files.  At the end, I used CCleaner to clear up the registry as uninstalling and deleting AMD/ATI’s drivers might leave unused registry behind.

The whole experience told me that I have got a lot to learn in hardware department.  Obviously, each time I decided to upgrade something, I had learnt something new.  The whole upgrade process for whatever components had always been fun and scary at times.  Soon, I’m thinking of upgrading the stock CPU’s fan and perhaps the CPU itself.  Obviously, this has got to be within the limits of the motherboard that I got, because the ultimate upgrade has got to be building one’s own computer which obviously points to the whole idea of getting a brand new motherboard.  I think I won’t be able to build my own ultimate computer for whatever purpose just yet, because I have got a lot to learn on the hardware department.  Perhaps, I might build a physical NAS box next which will use FreeNAS as the OS.  This project might be a lot easier than building a brand new computer since it requires less research!  After all, it’s not so hard in using a spare computer that can support more than three hard drives that come in size of 2 terabytes.  Software RAID anyone?  Until then, I think I’m just going to dream about me getting all work up again about upgrading something or building something that is computer related.  Until then, I be mucking around with more software and writing.  Until then, I keep on being a noob on the hardware department…

My Take On Why I Don’t Need iPad 3 Yet Or If Ever!

Shoppers brandishing their newly purchased iPa...

Image via Wikipedia

Although Apple simply names the newest iPad yet as the new iPad, I prefer to refer to the new iPad as iPad 3!  Why?  It’s simply making more sense to call the third version of the iPad as iPad 3 than calling iPad 3 as the new iPad.  This is my personal take anyway!

Should I buy iPad 3 even though I already have iPad 2?  This question must be running through any iPad 2 owner’s mind lately.  Of course, the answer to this question cannot be generalized since everyone is different in regarding to how one wishes to use iPad 2 or 3.  Personally, I think I stick with my iPad 2 for the obvious reasons.

  1. My iPad 2 looks shiny and new as the day I first unboxed it!
  2. Although my iPad 2 is 3G capable, I don’t use it with 3G but with WiFi only — so iPad 3’s 4G LTE will not be useful to me!
  3. iPad 2 has a camera which I rarely use, and so iPad 3’s better camera might be just as useless.  A camera on iPad might be only useful for FaceTime, but taking photos with it would be rather cumbersome since it’s not easily to be handled as a smartphone or a real camera.
  4. It turns out the speed of iPad 3’s processor is not much improved over iPad 2’s processor (i.e., hardly noticing).  This website has a post on the comparison of the speeds of the processors of the iPad 2 and 3.
  5. It’s well known iPad 3’s graphic is hugely improved over iPad 2, but come to think of iPad 2 graphic, it’s not bad.  Plus, if I really want to see something gorgeous digitally, I would use my big flat screen TV anyway.  Also, my Windows Desktop has a very nice 25″ monitor which works beautifully in term of displaying gorgeous images.  I think iPad 2 is perfectly OK as displaying things on the go as it is.  Perhaps, iPad 6 or 7 comes out, then I’ll upgrade just for the heck of it to have a how many more times gorgeous display on the go (i.e., how many more times better graphic than iPad 3).
  6. iPad 3 has more RAM than iPad 2.  Even though iPad 2 has half of the RAM of iPad 3, I don’t see myself doing anything that is so RAM expensive on a tablet that I have to go for iPad 3.  Come to think of it, iPad 3’s 1 GB of RAM isn’t so much more than iPad 2’s 512 MB RAM, because anything RAM heavy in traditional sense might have to be 2 GB of RAM or more.  Well, that’s my take anyway on RAM spec for iPads.
  7. iPad 2 is thinner and lighter and has the similar battery lifespan as iPad 3, I think I’ll stick with iPad 2 for now!
  8. iPad 3’s design isn’t so different or better than iPad 2, therefore I don’t see iPad 2 is out of fashion in term of trend.
  9. Perhaps, when I buy iPad 9, I can brag I still have iPad 2 all along — and it looks shiny as the day I first bought it!

The reasons above are my take on why I should not buy an iPad 3!  Of course, the people who never have had an iPad ever, they should not follow my reasoning on why I should not buy an iPad 3, because they don’t even have an iPad yet!  Plus, I think the first generation iPad owners should consider an upgrade to iPad 3, because the specs for iPad 3 are vastly improved over their first generation iPad.  It’s just that I think iPad 2 owners might need to think twice before they decide to upgrade their iPad 2 to iPad 3, because it’s just too expensive and too early to do so (i.e., the improvements of iPad 3 over iPad 2 aren’t vast).  To end this post, I have to say the day I see myself upgrading from iPad 2 to whatever iPad newest version yet is the day that I have to use an app that is too powerful for iPad 2 to handle!

How To Install Minecraft Server Onto Ubuntu 11.10?

Home sweet home - in minecraft

Home sweet home - in minecraft (Photo credit: Larry and Laura)

I didn’t know anything about Minecraft, and I still don’t.  Nonetheless, someone has asked me how to install Minecraft server onto Ubuntu, and so I showed him how to do so.  Since now I knew how to install Minecraft server onto Ubuntu 11.10, I thought it would be a good idea to write about it.  It is simple to install Minecraft server onto Ubuntu 11.10 really!

You can either follow the instruction from minecraftwiki.net/wiki/Tutorials/Setting_up_a_server or you can follow mine here, because I actually had to use Minecraftwiki as the source of knowledge on how to install Minecraft server onto Ubuntu 11.10.

Steps:

  1. Are you running Ubuntu 11.10?  Make sure you are, and then follow the step number 2.
  2. Opening up a terminal and becoming root by executing this command [sudo -i], but do not use the square brackets as part of your command line — square brackets are there to only clarify the command line.
  3. Inside terminal as root, type in this command [add-apt-repository ppa:ferramroberto/java].  This command is to add a ppa repository which contains sun-java6-jre software.  Using this ppa repository, you can now install sun-java6-jre easily through apt-get or aptitude.  I guess Minecraft server requires sun-java6-jre to be installed before you can launch Minecraft server.
  4. Since we have added a new ppa repository.  Now we should just update our aptitude database by doing this command as root [aptitude update].
  5. Now aptitude’s database is up to date, we should now be able to go ahead and install sun-java6-jre.  Let do this command as root [aptitude install sun-java6-jre].
  6. Now, we need to tell Ubuntu system to insert sun-java6-jre into user’s home path by doing this command as root [update-alternatives –config java].  You need to choose the selection that emphasizes sun-java6-jre specifically.
  7. Since we now have sun-java6-jre installed, we can now go to Minecraft official website and download Minecraft server software.  Make sure you are downloading the Minecraft server version that is to be used with Linux operating system, OK?
  8. Hopefully, you remember where you have downloaded minecraft.jar file to.  You need to change into the directory that you have downloaded the minecraft.jar file.  Now, execute this command [java -Xms1G -Xmx1G -jar minecraft.jar nogui] as the user who has the privilege to run server on your system.  Usually, preferable users are nobody (i.e., user apache is for running web server) and normal user.  Don’t run Minecraft server as root, because Minecraft server might have exploitable codes and allow hackers to escalate to root privilege by exploiting the faulty codes of Minecraft server — with root privilege, hackers will be able to do anything to the entire Ubuntu system.

Note:  If your server isn’t having enough RAM, then you should read the instruction at minecraftwiki.net/wiki/Tutorials/Setting_up_a_server to know how to solve the RAM and SWAP problem OK?  The command [java -Xms1G -Xmx1G -jar minecraft.jar nogui] has two parameters (-Xms and -Xmx) and by adding the free/available RAM amount of a system to these parameters, this action might allow a Minecraft server administrator to control how much RAM a Minecraft server would hog (i.e., use).  So, in a sense, you can manipulate this command line’s parameters to make Minecraft runs smoothly — depending on how much RAM your Ubuntu 11.10 system has.

Source:  http://www.minecraftwiki.net/wiki/Tutorials/Setting_up_a_server

Samsung Will Let You Project Up To 50 Inches Of Moving Images With Galaxy Beam Smartphone

samsung galaxy beam

samsung galaxy beam (Photo credit: bhautikjoshi)

I imagine you might have to wear headphones just to hear the sounds of the moving images from a Samsung’s Galaxy Beam smartphone, but the distractions from friends’ own projections might be even more annoying since they too can beam up their own moving images from their Galaxy Beam smartphones next to you.  Maybe, you incline to glance at their projections and slowly ignore the one you’ve been projecting.  Does this sound like a Galaxy Beam projection party?  With few open cans of beer, maybe this sorta party might get even groovier.  Hit the source link for in-depth detail on Samsung’s announcement of its new Galaxy Beam smartphone which will allow you to beam your own projection images up to 50 inches (source:  http://techcrunch.com/2012/02/26/samsung-announces-galaxy-note-10-1-and-projector-smartphone/)