Archive for November, 2008
Speed is a wonderful thing. In this new web 2.0 age of ours, we have gotten quite used to having everything we need to know in a matter of a few point and click seconds. But, when some mysterious computer ailment ends up pulling the rug out from under us, knocking us back to the time of Pentium II processors and dial up, we pull out our hair in frustration and lament on our bad fortune. I guess once you get used to blazing fast internet speeds, live streaming videos, and running multiple apps, it is hard to take a step back and actually have a little patience.
Ironically, as computer processing speeds increase, so do our expectations as to what we want our computers to do. Many computers that are just a year or two old end end up bogging down as we try to utlize the applications of tomorrow with the technology of yesterday. Do you remeber when you were happy just to send some e-mail and maybe look up a recipe for banana bread? Now you want to IM your face book friend while watching a live streaming video from the Food Network. It seems that no matter how fast we make these machines of ours, we are going to expect them to do more. My suggestion to you people who constantly want to be on the cutting edge is to purchase a brand spanking new computer every six months. I am sure you have money tree somewhere in which you can just pluck off some cashin order to do this.
However, if you do not happen to have one of these trees,and are stuck with having the same old computer for three or four years, there are several things you can do keep your pc running like it just came out of the box such as installing regular software updates, having a good firewall, scheduling regular hard drive cleanings, perfoming a routine registry check, and making sure nothing has been accidently unplugged by your child or pet.
Its whats on inside
While we all could use a little more DDR Ram in our lives at times, sometimes the solution to making our computers chug along a little faster lies within the programming itself. Certain applicatons that we download could end up hogging all the memory usage and make everything else run slow. I like to open the Task Manager up periodically and see what unwanted apps I have running and how much memory they like to take up. Sometimes doing this is akin to actually looking at the calorie chart at McDonalds. While it is tempting to close down everything but the basics, doing this may cause your operating system to shut down. Shut down the things you know you are not using and then perhaps go into the control panel and remove the ones that you know you are not going to use.
Clash of the Browsers
Sometimes a slow computer is caused by having too many programs wanting to do the same thing. Recently, I had my computer running at snail pace because of the Browser I had ended up downloading from my new ISP. The friendly guy wanted to do everything for me and just could not stand it if I used someone else. It would pop open on start up and like a hyperactive urchin it would not leave me alone until I paid attention to it. This got old real fast and I was finally forced to remove it. I have also had the same problem with virus protection programs, which seem to live by the code of the Highlander (there can be only one). These clashing programs can end up slowing your computer down to a crawl as they fight each other for processing and memory usage.
Some programs you delete, never seem to go away. Even if you go through all the steps and properly uninstall them via your control panel, entrenched pieces of them remain refusing to leave. This is where having a good registry cleaner can come in handy. These programs are usually good at rooting out these little pieces of code and untangling from the programming mass.
Hare become Tortoise…
Has checking your e-mail become an hour long ordeal? Do you fall asleep waiting for your computer to finish booting up? Do you have a dozen apps that you do not even use popping up every time you touch your mouse, making even the simplest computer task a chore from hell?
Well, do not worry my friend. You are not alone. Even in this day and age of dual core processors, multi-gigabyte ram and terabyte hard drives, a slow computer is a very common ailment. No matter how fast you make these machines, our brave new world of information overload, spyware, malware, and registry problems are going to slow your computer down. Sure, it would be nice to be able to buy a brand spanking new computer every year, with all the newest upgrades to keep up with the times, but lets face it, most of us are stuck with machines that are a few years, if not a full decade behind in the times. Even those of us who have the cash to buy new machines end up getting frustrated as we watch are blazing new beauties transform into slow moving nags in a matter months. So, short of tossing out our computer every couple of months, there must be a way to restore our computer back to its original speed and keep us from feeling like we are stuck in the late nineties. Well, my friend, I have some good news. There is.
Upgrade your DDR RAM
If you have an older computer with less than one gigabyte of RAM (random access memory), you might want to look into upgrading your RAM cards. RAM is what allows you to multitask on your computer. If you have an inadequate amount RAM, you might find it hard to keep more than one application going at once, meaning that you might have to completely shut down your Itunes before you can run your Word program. Installing new RAM cards is a relatively easy task that does not require you to have a masters degree in computer engineering. It pretty much just pops nicely into its required slot. Soon you will be able to “Rock the Casbah” as you type up your annual report.
Invest in AntiVirus and AntiSpyware software
Sure, shareware is fun, and those free downloads always seem like a good idea. Unfortunately, the cost of these free online goodies usually ends up being viruses and spyware. Computer viruses are found everywhere and anywhere from e-mails to mp3 files, and once they get into your system, they can reek havoc and make the most ordinary task almost impossible. Spyware is another thing that can foul up your computer and enable people to not only figure out your browsing habits, but also obtain crucial personal and financial information that you may have stored on your PC. Once infected, ridding your computer of this memory sapping Malware is a task of Sisyphus like proportions. Investing in a good Antivirus program is the best step you can take. Some good recommendations are Norton, or AVG. For those of you who do not like to spend money on such things, I recommend downloading the free one month trial of AVG anti viral protection along with Spybot, which is a free antispyware download that works great.
Clean up your Hard Drive
Lets face it, the more junk your computer has on it, the longer it takes to do stuff. One of the simplest things to do is to clean out your hard drive. If you have Windows, just click on the Start menu, go to the systems tab and click on Clean Disk and rid yourself of all your temporary and unused files. Your computer likes to store all of the sites you visited in a cache for quick reference later, but this can end up slowing you down instead of making surfing faster, so get rid of them. You can also delete programs that you never use and get rid of stuff you thought you already have gotten rid of, but really just placed in the garbage bin. Another thing you can do is run the Defragmentation program which will organize all your files, instead of having all the bits of information scattered about on your hard drive.
Fix your Registry
Your computer’s registry is what makes your computer go, and many things out there can end up messing it up. Malware, programs that were never full deleted, spyware, viruses, and program bugs can all foul up your registry leading to slower response from your computer and a multitude of other problems, such as applications that refuse to open and even hardware problems such as speakers that refuse to work. Getting a good registry fixing program is one of the best ways to make your computer faster.
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