I’ve had my Toshiba M400 for nearly six months now and in that time I’ve fallen out of love with the Tablet. I love the concept, but if having the extra functionality means having all of the extra bloatware then it’s not for me.
I have re-imaged it from Toshiba’s image several times but the sheer number of bits and pieces added in by Toshiba have alway annoyed me. The hardware is great – but the software to support that hardware is awful. Over the last week it’s been like woring through thick sludge trying to get basic tasks accomplished. Having a gigabyte of memory is useless if it’s swallowed up by seemingly redundant drivers and processes. I like to be in charged of what I run on my computer. They don’t call it a PC for nothing.
So this week I bit the bullet. After a search around the interweb I discovered a way to cleanly install XP Tablet Edition. I used nLite to create my own Toshiba flavoured version of the Tablet PC OS. Using Media Centre Edition as the base OS, I slipstreamed in the Toshiba Raid drivers. Then after tweaking it a bit for my own particular preferences, I made an ISO. I used Nero to burn the ISO to CD and voila – one Tablet Edition disk.
Last night I started the XP install process. I used the key that Toshiba used to install Windows even though it’s different to the one printed on the sticker on the notebook. I’m not totally certain about how kosher that is? It worked though!
After getting XP loaded, installing my anti-virus and testing the pen (to make doubly sure that I had done it right), I put in my Toshiba drivers disk – the one one that I made from the factory install. I loaded the wireless drivers and then headed straight out to Windows update. After that I headed to Toshiba’s support site and got the latest basic driver set. After making sure I had got all the drivers I started to load the additional stuff to run the stuff that I wanted to run.
I have loaded the hard drive protection utility but not the accelerometer (who in their right mind would want to shake a computer to start a programme?). I loaded the raid driver but not the additional systems because I don’t think that I’ll be using an extra hard drive.
I haven’t loaded the Toshiba Power Saving stuff because I’m hoping that Notebook Hardware Control on top of the default Windows setup will take care of my power saving needs. I haven’t loaded ConfigFree because, much as I like the idea of being able to change the network and proxy server information on the fly, it’s just too resource hungry.
At the moment I have a basic installation with all of the basic programmes that I use on a day to day basis. Firefox (and all my extensions – gotta love FEBE) is looking after my browsing and FeedDemon is taking care of my RSS. Office is installed and I’ve got Nero and WinDVD loaded. I’ve put VideoLan in for my media needs but I still need to load Quicktime Alternative and Real Alternative to manage the extra codecs.
At the moment I am back in love with this little computer. It’s whizzing along beautifully with none of the lags or stuttering that have blighted things previously. For sure I have yet to put in PaintShopPro, Inspiration, KidPix or some of the other programmes that I use regularly. So far so good. Now I really need to find that Ghost disk!