I’ve got a 5 year old Lenovo s10e netbook that has been just impossible for me to give up. Lenovo makes the greatest keyboards in the world and besides, that little 10″ machine just keeps on ticking.

Just after I bought it I upgraded the RAM to the max – 2 GB (sigh). It has an early generation Intel Atom processor running at 1.60 GHz. So between the processor and the limited RAM it only stands to reason that my only real nag is that it has been impossibly slow.

Yes, it is my backup machine so it doesn’t see any day to day use but every time I fire it up – like to do updates or add data – the slowness kills me.

This tiny machine now has a 1TB drive in it and as such contains all my meaningful data including all my other machine images as well as copies of all the virtual machines that I run on my hand-built, quad-core, multi-drive, USB 3.0, app/boot SSD workstation running the best OS on the planet: Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit. And oh, yeah. It might be almost 4 years old but it still has major tech-stiffness my friend.

So anyway when Microsoft abandoned XP in April of this year I lovingly upgraded this old Lenovo machine to Win 7 Pro 32 bit. Sadly, I am one of those people that can’t bin something that works. I have always done my homework and then purchase only the best [value proposition] technology available. And then I stick with it as long as possible.

For example, I am still using my 5 year old Google Nexus One smartphone. I replaced the battery last year. It still makes calls and surfs the web so why replace it just yet? And besides I bought the latest Google tablet – the Nexus 7 – stuffed with all the latest technology, so portably speaking, I’m good.

But back to the netbook. So my only gripe with the thing has always been its slowness. But today I found a solution. Oh yes, a solution and a cheap one at that ($5.00).

It turns out that Microsoft  – way back in the Vista days – created an application called ReadyBoost. And ReadyBoost allows you to configure a USB or SD memory card as a cache device. This is pretty damn cool and it actually works. My machine is now way faster.

Here’s what I did. I bought an 8 GB SD card and stuck it in the 4 in 1 Memory Card Reader slot. After the netbook’s OS recognized the device it turned on Autoplay which asked me if I wanted to speed up my machine and configure the device as a ReadyBoost device. I answered, yes. It was as simple as that.

To test it, at Start – type in ‘perf’ then click on ‘performance monitor’ at the top. This launches performance monitor. Click on ‘performance monitor’ on the left to expand it. Then click on the green ‘plus’ sign at the top to add. Then on the left, click on the ReadyBoost ‘down arrow’. Click on ‘add’ at the bottom, then click on ‘Ok’.

Fire up some applications and watch as the graphically displayed caching functions change; meaning the device is working. But better yet, just sit back and enjoy your old machine act like a new one.

PS – A 32 bit machine like this one can only address 4 GB of space (2^32). I purchased the 8 GB card because it only cost $0.80 more which would have higher recycle opportunities if the ReadyBoost application hadn’t worked out.

 

Advertisements