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The annoyance of a slow computer

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 in Technical Articles (Views: 6087)
People say to me all the time, "My computer is slow".

Now, of course, slow is a relative term. Is that slow compared to something new, or slow compared to when you bought it 6 months (or 6 years) ago?

The truth is, computers over time will slow down. Not only are they made of moving parts, but many users add additional components and software to their systems, often with little regard for its performance. Here are my tips for how to keep Windows running as good as you possibly can during the life of its existance on your computer:

1. Don't load just anything on your system.

Many people think that just because they have disk space means they have more room to load their system down. This is about as insane as thinking you should still have available money if you still have checks. Do keep in mind the more you have on your system, data or programs, the more your computer has to work to keep things in order.

2. Watch what you load on your system

Some programs may be useful, and even not cost anything. But make sure that the program in question doesn't load additional tools such as Internet Explorer toolbars, which seem interesting, but won't help you.

3. Be organized

This is critical, because it allows you to turn off indexing software that really slows you down, such as the Windows Search in Vista/XP, and Google Desktop, among others. Turning this indexing off will really speed up your performance, since many indexing technologies don't care what you have going on at the time, they just take up CPU and disk time. If you know where everything is, indexing won't help much. If you lose something, programs like Microsoft Word, Outlook, or even Windows can find a document for you, it may be slower without indexing. This, to me, is a great trade. It will also extend the life of your hard drive.

4. Keep your computer maintained

Clean out your temp files, your Internet Explorer temp files, and defragment your disk on a regular basis. This will keep your disk organized, and not needing to work so hard.

5. Remove programs you don't need or use

Remember, less is more, and the less you have on your system, the less it will have to process. Essentially, this is the theme of all the above points.
This is just my quick overview on keeping your system relatively tidy and running at its best. It's amazing how taking care of a few little things can make a huge difference. Indexing, in my world, being the biggest resource hog.

 

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