Options To Boost Your PC

If you are upset at the current performance of your computer there is a lot you can do to fix this. If you haven’t tried any troubleshooting or maintenance yet, then you’re in luck. You can probably get at least 50% performance out of your present computer before you necessarily need to purchase a brand new one. Save money and reduce waste by trying to get more from your current electronics before immediately jumping to something new. This is really the way it should be – the constant waste of the computer industry is staggering in its scope. However if you’re not a computer geek it can be difficult to know what exactly to do first in an attempt to boost a slower computer.

Thankfully the niche for these types of people is filled with software hoping to bridge the gap. However, some of these software tools can be much better than others. It really just depends on what you want to do. In our experience many people can get a lot of benefit from something simple and feature rich. This review of Advanced System Repair Pro is great at explaining what and where this software can be used. It’s powerful enough for superusers yet simple enough for people who have no idea what they’re doing.

If you’re one of those people that has no idea what’s going on, we definitely suggest that you do a backup of your pc first, or at least complete a system restore point so that you can roll back any unintended consequences of cleaning your system. These programs are usually safe but every once in a while it might falsely flag a driver for deletion that you actually need. This can obviously cause some issues.

We also don’t really recommend cleaning the registry anymore unless you’re having serious issues with crashing or other errors. Computers these days are too powerful to really get bogged down by registry clutter. It may have been a thing in past times but it’s really no longer an issue with modern computers. Cleaning the registry was always slightly risky, so you really don’t need to do it anymore. Sometimes it can be helpful for certain errors and other issues but make a backup first.

Another thing that people can do is to ensure that all Windows updates have been installed and that all their drivers are up to date. This can sometimes be a huge game changer in terms of performance and stability. Drivers are often overlooked by people because they literally don’t even know they are there. Drivers are small bits of software that connect your hardware to your operating system. Hardware manufacturers are often updating drivers to improve performance or fix bugs.

If you are running a system where you can add more system RAM (memory) then that is another way to truly upgrade the performance of your system. More RAM means that your Windows computer can perform more operations at once. This is great for people who often just have “too many tabs open” and then complain that their computer is slow.

Cloud Backups Are Best

I have to say, I was a bit skeptical when I started using cloud backup services on my two computers.  I wasn’t quite sure they were all they were cracked up to be, and I was concerned about uploading files over the internet.  Well, I underestimated my internet connection speed.  It’s super easy these days to get a high speed internet connection, and using services like Backblaze and MyPCBackup you won’t even notice the uploads in the background as you can throttle them to whatever you want.

I was especially surprised with Backblaze – I used that service on my desktop PC where I do a lot of video editing.  My video files are priceless and can’t be replaced if lost – and so I do two stages of backups.  I back everything up on an external hard drive, and I also let it upload to the cloud.  Now, I won’t lie – I have gigabytes worth of video files.  And it took a long time for it to all get up on the cloud server.  But now it’s there – and I can rest easy knowing that they are backed up in two places, including one off-site.  Off site backups are important – what if something happens to your house or apartment, like robbery or a fire?  Then you’re SOL my friend.  You’re never getting that data back.

I also like the cloud approach because I can access those files anytime, anywhere.  It takes a bit of getting used to, and sometimes I don’t remember that I can do that, but it’s a great resource.

I also use MyPCBackup on my work computer.  MyPCBackup has a bit more flexibility when it comes to accessing those files that I need from a mobile device.  This makes it easy to get to them when I need them.  It’s just as fast although it doesn’t have an unlimited backup feature like Backblaze does.  It’s a bit more nickel and dime, but I like it for a few different reasons.

After using both, I would definitely recommend either one.  If you’re not that tech savvy I’d say use Backblaze.  If you like flexibility then I suggest checking out MyPCBackup.

Cleaning Up A Computer

Computer slowdowns are the absolute worst.  There’s nothing more annoying than a lagging, slow and sluggish computer.  Computers are supposed to be fast right?

There are a few tips that you can follow that will ensure that your computer gets back on board and running like the day that you got it:

  • Get more RAM.  RAM is the biggest measure of how fast a computer is and how much it can do at one time.  It’s easy to replace.  All you have to do is go to the website of Crucial or a similar memory brand, and run their scan to determine what and how much RAM you can have.
  • Clean out your computer.  One of the biggest reasons that computers tend to slow down is because of the fact that computers just tend to accumulate junk and then they get bogged down.  Your hard drive should never be full, for example.  And the thing is, hard drives can really get filled after a while because of the constant influx of videos and photos these days.  You can use a system cleaning tool such as SpeedyPC Pro in order to clean out your computer quickly.  This SpeedyPC Pro review should point you in the right direction.
  • I also suggest that you back up your computer on a regular basis.  There are several programs that can help you out with this, but one of the best is Acronis.  I also think that for cloud backups you should use MyPCBackup.

Microsoft Outlook – PST Problems

PST errors are an annoying thing that tends to crop up from time to time for Microsoft Outlook users.  This refers to a problem with the .pst file, which is the way that Outlook stores all of the data for a particular user.  It’s actually short for “personal storage table” and it’s a file just like any other.  Unfortunately all your eggs are in one basket for this.  When clients come in with this kind of problem I tend to reach for a third party software tool as it’s the easiest way to fix the issues.  One of the ones that I use is Stellar Outlook PST repair.  This program can definitely help restore parts of the file that got messed up.  There is the option of using scanpst.exe, the inbox repair tool that comes with Outlook, but this tool just clips away parts of the file that are messed up.  It doesn’t do much to help with restoring the files.

If you’re looking for more information on fixing PST files that become corrupt, check out www.pstrepair101.com.  This website has a bunch of articles, tips on using scanpst.exe, and more.  It also covers reasons that PST files might become corrupted in the first place.

As always we definitely recommend that you look into backing up your files on a regular basis.  If you had a backup to return to you wouldn’t need to worry about this.

A Look Back At What Computers Used To Be

It wasn’t that long ago that computers were incredibly slow and just not very good.  But at the time, they were amazing.  It’s incredibly to see just how far we’ve come.

Macintosh’s bang is changing too. It took a year, but an adequate library of software has finally accumulated, and it’s accelerating. One after another, bottlenecks in the hardware are being solved. You can get a second disk drive ($500 list; $435 street), and 512K memory (upgrade from 128K, $700 list), and good on-board hard-disk storage with a Hyperdrive (for 512K Mac, $2200 list; for 128K Mac, $2800 list), and a good trac-ball (Assimilation, $129 list) for mouse-haters. The maddening slowness of disk access can be solved on a 512K Mac with Assimilation’s RAM disk ($29 list) — with it MACWRITE, for example, loads in 3 seconds instead of 27 seconds. Other accelerators coming from Apple are an improved Finder to keep up with the hard disk and a “switcher” designed by Andy Hertzfeld that shifts in a blink between applications.

The hardware environment around the Macintosh is also being enriched. Most dramatic is Apple’s $7,000 laser printer, which enables flat-out self-publishing. The Thunderscanner is a cheap ($299 list) and dazzling digitizer of images, opening up new graphic vistas. The “Mac Office” linking of computers by wire adds to Mac’s corporate credibility. And the formidable old Lisa has been rejiggered (and renamed “Macintosh XL,” sigh, $3995 list) to fully accomodate the Mac software library — I wonder if it might become the serious business or writing machine that Mac never quite settles down to.

IBM’s MS-DOS machines are refining too, though more evolutionary than revolutionary. The major advance, the IBM PC-AT ($5800 list; $5400 street), with vastly more memory and storage and good design than the PC, is stumbling onto the market with technical and compatibility and supply prblems that are taking the usual months to work through. It’ll take a year for software to catch up fully with its capabilities, just as when the PC first came out. But it is a rich new computing environment; early owners are reveling as well as bitching.

The question is, at what point does maturing design and the lowering cost of memory and storage give the image-intensive 32-bit Macintosh and Mac-alikes the edge over 16-bit character-intensive MS-DOS computers for ordinary use? If “Jackintosh” jacks the price of Macintosh down, I’d say later this year.

~Brand, Stewart, Richard Dalton, and Louis Jaffe. “Bright new boxes: watch and wait before pouncing.” Whole Earth Review (1985): 81+.

It will be curious to see how the next 25 years will treat the computer industry.  I think Star Wars type holograms are just around the corner.