Whats In the Box?

Every once in a while, you will be asked one the worlds most chilling questions. No… not your REAL age.

Some lunatic will want to know what you have inside your PC (and while we can almost certainly guarantee a dust bunnie or two this isn’t the answer they are looking for). There maybe perfectly valid technical reasons for this question being thrust at you like some dagger, or it may just be prurient curiosity on the part of some geek wannabe (the old “mine’s bigger than yours”).

So what are you going to do?
Fake it?
“Ask Thatch” hmmm not a good answer that one. Severe loss of several brownie points there.

Or are you going to download say …SIW – System Information for Windows by Gabriel Topala and hand them a report, a very detailed report on just exactly “What’s In The Box”.

This little gem of a program gives detailed information about your computer properties and settings.

It gives detailed specs for CPU, motherboard, chipset, BIOS, CPU, PCI/AGP, USB and ISA/PnP devices, memory, monitor, video card, disk drives, CD/DVD devices, SCSI devices, S.M.A.R.T., ports, network cards, printers, operating system, installed programs and hotfixes, processes, services, serial numbers (CD keys), users, open files, system up-time, network, network shares, as well as real-time monitors for CPU, memory, page file usage and network traffic.

It displays currently active network connections, passwords hidden behind asterisks, installed codecs, and more (how much can be left you ask?). This is geek heaven.

Best of all it’s only a bit over a meg and its a standalone tool that does not require installation – one less installed program on your PC as well the fact that you can run the program directly from a USB flash drive.

AND really really best of all… It will shut them up.

There is also Belarc Advisor, which does need to be installed (but gives really detailed info about serial numbers and the like … great for planned re-installs) and Faronics System Profiler which doesn’t need to be installed. I use this one a lot.

In one of those way cool serendipitous moments , I just read on Lifehacker about Fresh Diagnose, it has a cool interface and gives you the inevitable avalanche of information about your system. It’s freeware but it only works for 11 days without a registration, after that you fill out a free registration with your name and email. After you register, you get access to the benchmarking tools.

All of that should help you answer the geek question. Now onto the the other one….

So how old are you?

No really.

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