Thursday, December 23, 2010

Running Win 7 on a EEE PC

I wondered if an EEEPC can run Windows 7 smoothly so after upgrading the HDD and the RAM I tried it out. Well, it does.

The first thing I had to disable was that damn Window indexing service (called Window Search under Win 7) via services.msc in order to make the computer run faster. As the computer is running from a SSD disk the next thing to disable was the scheduled defrag tasks. 

The Windows Experience Index rating is:
  • CPU - 2.3
  • RAM -  4.5
  • Video card -3
  • Drive - 6.8

  • CPU loading while idle is: 1%
  • Memory utilization (immediately after Win start up): 450MB
  • Boot time: 10 sec

I also disconnected the battery while using the laptop on AC in order to prevent its unnecessary aging.

Upgrading EEEPC 1000 to 2GB RAM, 250 GB SSD and Win 7

I just upgraded  my EEE PC 1000HE to 2GB of RAM (800MHz). It also received a 250GB SSD A-DATA hard drive. The last touch was a brand new and shiny Windows 7 32 bits. Here is how to install Win 7 without a DVD-Rom unit.

How to install Windows 7 - Step by step graphical guide

Place the DVD/Flash stick Into Your Computer & Restart The Computer. Make Sure Your Bios Boot Settings Are Set To Boot From DVD ROM Drive or Flash stick. Once you boot from your DVD you will see this screen:

At this point the Win 7 Setup is running. It will guide you through the process:



Install Windows 7 without a DVD (easy way)

1. Download and install "Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool" from Microsoft's web site.  The program has only 2MB. 
Hint: instead of the above mentioned tool you can also use this one.

2.  Get the Windows 7 ISO file

3. Start "Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool". It will ask you where is the ISO file. Show it and let it write it on your USB stick. The stick needs to be at least 2.5 GB. All files on it will be deleted. It will take about 3-5 minutes to copy the ISO file on your stick. When done, just take the stick and put it in the computer where Win7 needs to be installed..

4. Boot from your USB stick and start installing Win7. 
Hint: To boot from your USB Flash, usually you need to restart the computer and press the Escape, Delete, Home or F2 (F2 works with Assus EEEPC) key immediately after restart. If it doesn't work, do a Google search to see how you can change boot order for your computer (brand). 

5. Install Windows 7 


There are other ways to write the Win 7 ISO to a stick without using "Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool" tool, but it is more complicated:

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Memory management under Window OS

The 4GB limit

In the default Windows configuration, 2 GB of this virtual address space is designated for private use of every process, and the other 2 GB is shared between all processes and the operating system. Typically, applications such as Notepad, Microsoft Office Word, and Adobe Acrobat Reader use only a fraction of the 2 GB of private address space. 

The only way to increase the size of the virtual address space for a process beyond 4 GB is to use 64 bit hardware with a 64 bit version of the operating system and application built for the 64 bit instruction set.
The nub of it is, that no matter how much physical RAM is in the computer, the amount of memory available in the process’ private part of the virtual address space in 32 bit Windows implementations is limited to:

  • 2 GB - without the /3GB switch - this is the normal, default maximum private virtual address space
  • any physical RAM not used by the OS and other applications by designing the application to use the AWE (Address Windowing Extensions) API. 

How to enable the 3GB support in an application:

“No APIs are required to support application memory tuning. However, it would be ineffective to automatically provide every application with a 3-GB address space. Executables that can use the 3-GB address space are required to have the bit IMAGE_FILE_LARGE_ADDRESS_AWARE set in their image header. If you are the developer of the executable, you can specify a linker flag (/LARGEADDRESSAWARE).
To set this bit, you must use Microsoft Visual Studio Version 6.0 or later and the Editbin.exe utility, which has the ability to modify the image header (/LARGEADDRESSAWARE) flag. For more information on setting this flag, see the Microsoft Visual Studio documentation.”

Memory, Committed Bytes:

This is a measure of the demand for virtual memory. It shows how many bytes have been allocated by processes and to which the operating system has committed a RAM page frame or a page slot in the pagefile (or both).

Process, Working Set, _Total:

The amount of virtual memory in "active" use. It shows how much RAM is required so that the actively used virtual memory for all processes is in RAM.

Paging File, %pagefile in use:

How much of the pagefile is actually being used. This is the counter you should use to determine whether the pagefile is an appropriate size. If this counter reaches 100, the pagefile is completely full and operations stop working. Set the pagefile large enough so that no more than 50 to 75 percent of it is used. If a large part of the pagefile is in use, having more than one pagefile on different physical disks may improve performance. 

Memory, Pages Output/Sec:

This shows how many virtual memory pages were written to the pagefile to free RAM page frames for other purposes each second. This is the best counter to monitor if you suspect that paging is your performance bottleneck. Even if the Committed Bytes value is greater than the installed RAM, a Pages Output/sec value that is low or zero most of the time indicates that there is not a significant performance problem that is caused by not enough RAM.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Rent A Coder renamed to VWorker (but still untrustworthy as before)

Even if lots of people complains about Rent A Coder (, today I wanted to try it to have some tasks done easily and quickly. So I posted a very high price for a task that can be done in few hours in order to attract many bidders (also called workers). I have also asked for minimum 25% guaranty in order to get only high quality bidders.
The job was very easy so I got many bids for an estimated time of 1 to 5 hours to finish the job.  People were complaining about the workers in poor Arabic counties and India. So, I hired a guy called “RZ Software and Design” to do the job.  Fancy name… right? Later it proved to be just another kid somewhere in the Bangladesh jungle. Also I choose "RZ Software and Design" because he had good reputation - or seemed to have good reputation at that time. He guaranteed to finish the project by the next day. I decided for him also because I wanted to give the worker a realistic time in order to have the job done properly (together with the motivation coming from the high budget offered).

So the day passed and nothing was posted online. No work, no messages, nothing. The worker was completely silent. Finally I decided to contact him over YM. To my great surprise he said that he has some kind of 3 days middle-of-the-week religious holiday and he intend to do the job in 4-5 days. He had no intention to let me know that he was going to delay that long! Instead of giving me the final project he gave me the finger.

Now, I understand why people complained about RAC. I got screwed right from my first project. The main fault here is RentACoder. The rating assigned to each worker is so unrealistic. And there is nothing you can do when one of its coders screw you so bad. RAC allow them to withdraw without giving them a bad grade/review. So the workers receive points when they to a good job but not then they cancel a job. Obviously this is why they ratings are always so high and their behavior so bad. The 20% guaranty I have asked for was also useless in my case.
I hope there is another way to find trusted workers on Rent A Coder web site. Otherwise, I will have to agree with what other are saying about RAC: untrustworthy.

Probably Rent A Coder renamed itself to in order to wash some of the bad reputation it generated, but obviously changing the name is not enough.