This Tips is designed to help you be more efficient and provide greater security to the computer, and your account (netID). Following these suggestions should help minimize the number of viruses and defects that infect your machine.

Desktop
The computer Desktop is actually a file that grows and decreases in size, depending on your activities on the computer. Storing files and folders on the Desktop is a dangerous practice. If actual files and folders are stored on the Desktop, and the Desktop file fails, then you stand the chance of losing anything that was stored on the Desktop. Through the use of diagnostic and repair utilities, these items on the Desktop can sometime be recovered and repaired. But, in some cases, the files are lost forever. Therefore, it is important to store actual files and folders within the hard drive (C:/). If you have files and/or folders that you access frequently, you can make Aliases (Mac) or Shortcuts (PC) of the items and place the Aliases/Shortcuts on the Desktop, instead of the actual items. Aliases/Shortcuts are small files (about 15k) that point to the actual item and open it. More »

A few months ago, my PC took over 10 minutes to start up. Now it just takes about a minute. Want to know how I did it? Here’s how:

1. Upgrade Your RAM

Yeah, the most obvious tip but people hardly upgrade it. RAM these days is very cheap, especially if you buy it through Amazon or eBay. When I checked Amazon, the price of 1 GB RAM was around $20-$30.

2. Get Rid of Unneeded Software

Most PCs come shipped with unneeded software. Uninstall all of them. I’m sure there are better alternatives to those software. For example, my PC came shipped from hp with lots of bloatware such as HP Image Zone, Norton AntiVirus 2004, Record Now! CD & DVD Burning software etc. I uninstalled all of them and replaced them with better software like Picasa and Nero.

3. Keep Only One Browser

This is part of the getting rid of unneeded applications but I decided to separate it because so many people have 3, or even 4 browsers installed on their computer. I used to do this; I used to have Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, and Safari. Now I only have Mozilla Firefox. Yes, I even removed Internet Explorer! More »

I used to rely on Norton’s Speed Disk, then, eventually Perfect Disc and Diskeeper to optimize my HDD. Defragmenting is the idea- an antiquated process of reorganizing bytes on spinning platter so that each file is grouped into contiguous locations on the disk. Many still believe that defragmenting hard disk drives on a regular basis keeps PCs operating at peak performance. But that idea is behind the times.

Defragmenting served its purpose back when folks chugged along on 486DX4 PCs powered by 5400rpm drives. Now those where slooooow drives and extra spindle movements arising from defragmentation truly hobbled the system. But that’s no longer the case. Today, 7200-RPM hard-disk drives with monster seek and latency times are the bare minimum; most brag a 16-MB cache buffer. Couple that with Windows XP’s high speed NTFS and you’ll quickly discover that defragmenting no longer makes much improvement, if any, to system performance. I say this after thorough experimentation on my QuadCore running on a 10,000RPM Western Digital Raptor. More »