Friday, October 15, 2010

How to be kind to your computer: Part 2

Seven more suggestions from PC magazine for taking care of your computer.

8. Limit Program Auto-Loading: Lots of programs start with Windows, but not all of them should. Use software like WinPatrol PLUS ($29.95) or Soluto (free) to ID your startup programs and see which apps are hogging resources unnecessarily.

9 Wash Windows, Carefully: The window to your Windows is your monitor. Keep in clean and fingerprint free. But don't use actual glass cleaner on an LCD screen unless you like permanent streaks. Use soft cloths like you'd use on eyeglasses for dust, and buy advanced monitor wipes to do any serious cleaning.

10. Defrag Drives: As hard disk drives get bigger and bigger, it may be more important than ever to defragment the contents. This way the computer won't spend all of its time trying to find files spread across the platters. ..

11. Remove Old Programs: We all occasionally install software we don't use regularly, if at all, in the long run. Those extra programs do more than take up space, they could cause conflicts with other programs. Get rid of what you don't need.

12. Clean the (OS) Crap: Those uninstalled programs leave stuff in the registry. Couple that with browsers cookies, OS temp files, memory dump files, and file fragments and your drive could be clogged with a whole lot of crap. Run CCleaner (guess what the extra C is for) to excise the unneeded.

13. Go to Sleep (or Hibernate): It's tempting to let PCs run 24/7, but everything needs to rest occasionally. If you don't want to go through a long startup, at least set your PC to sleep (a power-saving mode) or better yet, hibernate (it saves your work and almost powers off but comes back faster than having to perform a full boot-up).

14. Max Out the RAM: You want your computer to last a long, long time, right? When it starts to feel like its not performing up to snuff, the first thing you should do is increase the amount of RAM to the maximum allowed. It'll add years to your computing.

No notes about what the library does on this batch as a lot of it is the computer tech's problem. Every once in awhile we have to have him in to fix something and get it running smoothly again. He's done a pretty good job lately keeping things up and running (knock on wood). Blame him if things aren't working when you want to use a computer at the library...


No comments: