Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tips for Optimizing the Toshiba NB305

When you first turn on the NB305 netbook, you will be prompted to restore the Operating System from its recovery disk partition. Once completed, you will have a pristine copy of the software environment.

Tip #1
Before you connect to the Internet, create your Recovery DVD. If you connect to the Internet immediately, updates will be made to your software environment and you will no longer have a pristine copy.

Tip #2
Get rid of Toshiba's bloatware. This includes trialware such as Norton Internet Security, MS Office, and WildTangent. Also, get rid of MS Works -- there are better office suites available such as Google Docs and OpenOffice.org.

After you've activated your warranty online using Toshiba Bulletin Board, get rid of Bulletin Board, as well. This piece of bloatware consumes 42MB of valuable memory and, in my opinion, its functionality is not worth it.

Tip #3
Set your taskbar to 'auto-hide' -- your screen real estate is already highly constricted, thanks to the 1024x600 resolution, and there's no need to have the taskbar visible all the time.

Tip #4
In your browser, hide any unnecessary toolbars to maximize the client area (for the same reason as in Tip #3). I use Google Chrome, rather than Internet Explorer, and I hide the Bookmarks toolbar.

Tip #5
When watching 720p HD videos off the Internet, make sure you completely download the video first before playback. The NB305 is normally too slow to play HD video and you need to give it every chance. For some reason that baffles me, downloading a HD video consumes a large amount of CPU cycles.

In my experience, QuickTime HD plays best while Flash HD stutters from time to time.

Tip #6
To download and play Flash HD, I recommend making a copy of the temporary Flash video file and playing it with VLC. To make a copy of the temporary Flash video file, you need a tool such as HoboCopy.

I created a desktop shortcut to cmd.exe (to run in Administrator mode). For convenience and safety, I created a batch file in the default starting folder (Windows\System32) to change directory to my home folder, where hobocopy.exe resides. I created two more batch files:

whatflash.bat:
dir appdata\local\temp\fla*.tmp

copyflash.bat:
@echo off
if .%1 == . goto end
hobocopy appdata\local\temp desktop fla%1.tmp
:end

...where %1 is the 3 or 4-character suffix from fla*.tmp.

Whatflash.bat tells you what temporary Flash video files you have from Chrome's online access of Flash video.

Copyflash.bat copies a particular temporary file (identified from whatflash.bat) to your desktop. Subsequently, you need to rename the file as .flv for playback with VLC.

Note that the above only applies if you're using Google Chrome. For other browsers, you will have to find other workarounds. (Good luck!)

Alternatively, you can use a third-party service such as keepvid.com to convert a YouTube HD video to MP4. I don't like relying on a third-party service unless they're a big name and likely to be around for a long time (eg, Google).

1 comment:

  1. I just used a lot of these tips! Thank youuuuuuu.

    ReplyDelete