Simonastick - Before you download

Getting download ready only takes a little time.
Getting download ready only takes a little time.

Consider doing this first

So you'd like to run a virtual world on your personal computer? Kewl Beans! But there's some things I recommend you do first. These recommendations are not mandatory, but are good even for the big bad boyz of home desktops. Here they are, and its really rather simple. Clean it up before you start downloading.

Why? Because it will run faster, smoother, and you'll have few interruptions if your system isn't suddenly going into fits of virtual hiccups while you're in the middle of doing something you really don't want to lose. And its a good idea to clean and configure your computer for the type of high load uses you put it to anyway, as a general rule of thumb. It makes for a happier machine. If your machine is happy, your time spent is more efficient and your aspirin bottle will be less frequented, not to mention hubby won't have to listen and wonder about the muffled screams, banging, or crashing coming from your home office space, whatever that may be. Been there, done that. It really is sound advice.


Using Windows XP Disk Cleanup

The process I used and recommend

Here is my caveat emptor: the process for this recommendation is for older PCs running Windows XP specifically. You will need to adapt the instructions to your PC or other type of computer. This is the process I used on my machine. Because it worked so well, this is what I suggest to others to look at doing for their own machines.

Now, here's how you get this cleaning done. Start with malware removal. Unless you're a clean freak, you probably have at least some malware on your machine. Even some of the best malware protection programs miss things on occasion. That's what malware does, it spends its time looking for way's around the guardsman at your gate. He's got something to sell you so he's got lots of incentive to find that way around the guardsman. So here is what you're going to do unless you're a techno whiz and have this base already covered.

A. Go to TWEAK HOUND (this guy is going to be your best buddy for the next day or two http://tweakhound.com/xp/xptweaks/supertweaks1.htm ). Begin the following instructions from his site:

  1. startup in Safe Mode (F8 button press it while booting your machine)

  2. Press the “Windows” key (bottom of your keyboard) and “R” Key at the same time.

  3. Type “cleanmgr /sageset:50” (make sure you include that space between “r” & “/”)

  4. click OK

  5. @ disk cleanup settings check items you would like Disk Cleanup to automatically clean

  6. let it do its thing; reboot when finished.

B. Go to malwaretips.com/blogs/interyield-virus-removal/ and follow the instructions for malware removal which includes downloading and running stuff like ADWCleaner (Anti-PUP/Adware cleaning freeware), the classic Junkware Removal Tool Utility (I suggest getting this through majorgeeks.com since the link at this site seems dead), and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware free to use first 30 days. You will also check for “ware” infection afterwards with “HitmanPro”.

C. You will, if you have not already done so, go to your browser's extension area and choose to remove any extension responsible for pop-up or links to ads. If this does not finish eliminating those, reset your browser to default settings.

D. Next if you have not already done so, go to your Control Panel (Windows XP) and choose Add or Remove Programs. Follow TWEAK HOUND's instructions for removing unused non-essential programs.

These are the big ones. Make sure you do at least these. I recommend you continue to follow TWEAKHOUNDs recommendations to setting up your computer (especially if it is an older habitually slow one) as a gamer would.

TweakHound
TweakHound

Bells and whistles - do you need them?

Windows comes with all kinds of bells and whistles that if you need to run faster and smoother, can be turned off and you can live on a more reserved digital diet. You don't have to do this. Yet, it is still good to learn what those tweaks are and how you can benefit from them even if you choose not to use them. Every tool in your proverbial tool box increases your mental evolutionary value, resources, and reach.

The goal is to enhance your Simonastick performance by having your machine in its peak performance. Old machines, like my own tend to generate digital dust bunnies in their deep file structures. This requires a little time investment on your part to find and remove them. Top quality PC mechanics swear everything you need to do it can really be found on the net for free. There's no need to fret about cost. Just read before you leap. Think carefully about what does or does not apply to you and your machine and how you use it.

Running a virtual world on your machine or on a stick through your machine carries a load not altogether different from running complex games. So the more handicapped your machine the more you will want to streamline and configure like a gamer would.

Cleaning Windows Registry

One last suggestion. If you do not already use one, grab one of those nice hardbound ninety-nine cent composition notebooks from the office supply section of the local store in town.

Keep notes.

You will come to realize this is as smart a thing to do as backing up your computer every so often, just in case old Murphy's Law comes visiting.

I like to keep in my notebook things like login names and passwords (because I have a memory likes swiss cheese). The “can't live without” type links (such as TWEAK HOUND's site) also go into the page content along with my personal websites (not the ones I visit but the ones I own), and note modules like the one above on cleaning my computer (I run and maintain four computers in my household and each is slightly different hence the very real need to keep notes for settings variations).

Additionally other notes about things like adjusting my visual effects, which can very well be different depending on what I'm up to, get logged there. Then there's also notes for special projects, like how to make a virtual book inside a virtual prim (something you might find fascinating if you've never done it before) all in a virtual world. Essentially you will compile your own personal bible of the virtual world, configured just for you and whatever your personal eccentricities and needs might be.

Doing all this is not a mandatory course to being download ready. But if you don't already do something akin to it regularly, you will find it turns your old PC jalopy into a classic roadster fit to do the job and do it well.

Next article in this series: Getting Started With Simonastick

Simonastick Tour - Enclave Harbor on SoaS

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