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Setting Up My Laptop – Part 2

(Updated: )

Note: This blog was migrated from a previous blog.

Last week, I went through how I set up my brand new computer, installing essential applications et cetera. This week, I’ll explain some of the things I’ve done to my laptop since then.

For one, I got myself a solid state drive (the Samsung EVO 850) and installed it, along with an additional 8GB of RAM. To install the SSD, Samsung provided some helpful software to clone the HDD onto the SSD. After about 10 minutes, I got to actually installing it. Opening up the back of the laptop was rather frustrating. Not that I had to pry open the keyboard or anything. It’s just that they were so many screws that when I left two screws out which were hidden behind two flaps. Those two screws really screwed (LOL) me over as I kept trying to pry open the back plate from the keyboard. Eventually, I figured it out and it became incredibly easy from then on. Remove the brackets, disconnect the ribbon, slide SSD onto the ribbon, replace brackets, replace those stupid screws and profit.

Once I got my SSD and RAM in, I started it up and I was pleased with the really fast startup, 8 seconds as opposed to the 22 previously. While some applications didn’t have a noticeable increase in startup time, such as Spotify, Brackets, and Chrome, although more intensive applications started up noticeably faster as well as simple office files and images.

Two things that were annoying when installed it was that there were a few hard crashes that forced me to hard reboot. Other than that, as soon as I got the 7% battery warning, Windows shut down without giving me some time to save stuff. It didn’t even bother to at least hibernate oh no, it was like, good night, listen to me next time. After I did a bot of digging around, it turns out that the Samsung Magician software changed a few things in order to extend its life, like disabling indexing and disabling hibernation in an attempt to increase the SSD’s lifespan by reducing the number of reads and writes.

With that out of the way, I was ready to install VirtualBox so that I could run Linux. It was a bit anal at first telling me that I didn’t have enough space in Linux as well as a weird window issue. After a bit of trial and error, it finally got up and running and I’m really impressed at how fast it is. It would be faster if I can get hardware acceleration to help with animations, but starting up and shutting down takes just a couple of seconds.

Once I got done with all of that, I used my computer and despite a couple of crashes and the scuffs from my nimble case opening, I really enjoy using this laptop. While the trackpad isn’t the best and the fan is slightly annoying, the IPS panel, SSD, 8GB RAM, and 6th Generation Core i5 processor make it a really good laptop to use.

Ultimately, I would like a MacBook Pro 15″ so that I can develop for nearly every platform, but until then I’ll use my current laptop to improve on my current knowledge and make some awesome shit, like a Chrome Extension which I will talk about next week.

This semester, one of my classes is a seminar on the Java Programming Language. Inspired by Joe Armstrong’s article on Fun With Swift, I’ve decided to track my learning progress on a Tumblr blog called A Semester of Java – soJava for short. On my first post Week 0: Hello World, I talk a bit about myself, Java and provide the ceremonious Hello World method.