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Many of us search for ways to speed up our computers without having to purchase anything. New RAM may sound very enticing. But let’s leave that for our aunts and uncles to buy for our Christmas gift this year. Want to learn a FREE and simple way?
Here are the first three simple steps :
1. Run the Disk Cleanup Utility (Start–>Programs–>Accessories–>SystemTools)
2. Run the Defragmenter Tool (Start–>Programs–>Accessories–>SystemTools)
3. Scan the main disks for errors (My Computer–>;Right-click on C drive–>Properties–>Tools Tab–>”Check Now” button under Error Checking)
The Disk Cleanup Utility should be obvious in nature. Use it to remove annoying files that live in your seldom-to-never accessed portions of your hard drive. These files cause system overhead when performing searches or loading program data. The Defragmenter tool is actually quite old, dating back to the days of DOS when most of the “geeky” stuff was done using that unforgiving command line most home users have come to dread. Defragmenter sort of rearranges the files on your drive to remove gaps that occur naturally over time. Applications may seem to live in one spot conceptually. However the reality of it is that the OS takes portions of unused disk space that actually break up the continuity of the program. Even though the OS knows where to find both parts of the program’s code to make run without errors, it takes more time to read the instructions from all of the different regions. Finally, use the Disc Scanner/Error checker to find possible flaws in the hard drive that slow down the physical movement.
The next step required software to detect for spyware. After a long, difficult search I came to find that three anti-spyware programs seemed to work above all. The first is a program known as Spyware Killer, or by its retail product name, Stopzilla. The programs costs about $20 (with rebate) and was the most comprehensive of all programs I used. Stopzilla found programs running in the background that I would have never spotted myself. The second program is called Spy Doctor. The initial scans are free, however I found that I had to purchase the whole program to make it as effective as Stopzilla, and the price was about $30 instead of $20. The final program I used was the Windows Anti-spyware suite (beta edition). The Windows program ran well, but the beta edition expires and there is no immediate renewal in sight.
The last step I needed to take was to run a Registry Cleaner utility. The registry is a large database used by the Windows operating system to hold information about how your machine should look, behave, and operate. Since my mother-in-law’s computer was almost 10 years old, countless program installations left the registry bloated, and resource-consuming. We found that “Registry Mechanic”, made by the same people who created the Spy Doctor program mentioned above, was the most popular application for the job. The program was simple to follow and the free trial edition was more than enough to smooth out the registry wrinkles. In the end, we were able to almost triple the performance of her PC for little more than $20.
Lots of people buy a computer, only to find that it doesn’t really fit anywhere…at all. They can be big, awkwardly-shaped things, with a whole collection of wires and gadgets that all need somewhere to stand.
The solution is to get a computer desk. They don’t cost much, and they’re specially designed to hold all the peripherals a computer needs. There’s space for the monitor, speakers and mouse on the top, a shelf for the keyboard, and then compartments at the bottom for the system box itself and even for a printer or scanner. A good computer desk will also have holes and routes for all the various cables that are needed to tie it all together and make it work. All you need is a comfortable office chair, and you’re set.
With the rise of wireless networking, it is even possible to have computer desks in places you wouldn’t otherwise have thought of, as long as you have an electrical outlet at hand. All you need to do is add a wireless card to the computer and plug the connection into a router, and then you can use the Internet without having to run network cables all over the place. This works especially well in offices, where lots of computer may be networked together, or, worse, networked to one printer or server.
In larger computing environments, it is possible to get big computer desks that are set up for multiple computers, making it easier for a team to work together on them. Some desks even come with computers integrated, meaning that the working parts of the computer can be hidden much better, a bit like a kitchen with built-in appliances. However, the downside of too much integration between the computers and the desks is that it can make the computers much more difficult to repair if they happen to break.