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TOMROLL.COM
HOME COMPUTER support

Please call or email for a quote on your PC or Mac computer issue

Thomas A Roll
1707 Crittenden Road
Alden NY , 14004-1010 USA
716 393 1071

Please call or email for a quote on your PC or Mac computer issue.

SIX POINTS affecting computers

Often I encounter , and the customer complains that the computer is running sluggishly and slow. 
This slowness is cause by the following factors:

 
  1. The number of programs running on the computer

  2. The total number of files stored on the computer

  3. The fragmentation level of the hard drive.

  4. The number of temporary Internet Files, and other "junk" files.

  5. Available hard drives space

  6. Physical limitations of the computer, e.g. Processor speed, type, and memory.

 
I'll expound just a bit, for those interested.
 
1: The number of programs running on the computer
Windows itself is a big program, requiring lots of memory, disk space and processing power. Now add the programs. Typical programs running include Antivirus (A big hit on processing power) Internet Explorer or AOL and connection software, Microsoft Word and several messenger programs, email and perhaps iTunes or other music software. Add a game or other special application like CD/DVD burning, and you have a busy little computer. If you add spyware, viruses and tracking cookies to the equation, you can see why computers turn from fast machines to sluggish frustrations.
 
2. The total number of files stored on the computer
As the total number of files on the hard drive grows, the computer will naturally slow because there is simply more data to sift through when the computer is reading to and writing to the hard drive. It boils down to common sense. With all these programs, temporary files and all the required system files plus junk files, the hard drive is a complicated file system that most sift through all that data to be sorted, read, or ignored.
 
3. The fragmentation level of the hard drive.
This means the level of clutter or disorganization of data on your hard drive. It is not the computer user's fault, it happens as Windows strips files off the drive, loads them into memory, and puts the files back in a disorganized manner. A program called disk defragmenter re-organizes data on the hard drive. The theory behind defragmentor is to place each program together instead of scattered throughout the hard disk drive, allowing the read-write head to access the data faster on the hard disk drive.
 
4. The number of temporary Internet Files, and other "junk" files.
Each page or image that you view may be stored in a folder on your hard disk as a Temporary Internet File. This folder is also called the cache. The files are stored to speed up future browsing. The theory is that if a file is called later, perhaps when you revisit the site, that file can be accessed more quickly from cache than web server especially if you are using a slow modem link.
 
(If you view a web page and think it may not be the current page, then you can force your browser to pull down the current page by selecting Control-F5 or hold down the Ctrl key while clicking the Refresh icon.)
 
A good thing? Surely anything that speeds up the internet is a good thing? Well, yes and no. While storing files in cache can speed your access to the Internet, there are a few downsides:
 
First, how can you be sure the file hasnít been updated since your last visit?  If it has, you may not be viewing the current page.
Second, it takes time to sort through a large cache, especially on a slow system.
Third, all sorts of odd things can happen when browsing and some of them are caused by Temporary Internet files.
Finally, the cache can take up a significant proportion of your hard diskís space that would otherwise be free for programs and data.
http://www.practicalpc.co.uk/computing/comms/tempfiles.htm
 
 
5. Available hard drives space
Since the computer loves lots of free, open continuous hard drive space for writing files, a minimum of 10% of free hard drive space is required for the system to operate with any real efficiency. Most techs agree 20 percent free hard drive space is preferred. A serious shortage of hard drive space will seriously slow system performance, insufficient hard drive space can lead to system crashes.
 
6. Physical limitations of the computer, e.g. Processor speed, type, and memory.
Think of the processor and memory as a restaurant kitchen, where cooks prepare breakfast for 10 people. It is easy to have enough grill space, oven space, and work space for 10 people. But try to cook for 100 people in the same kitchen! Suddenly the oven is full, the grill is full, the counter space is full, and the place is a bit cluttered, even more perhaps, and the volume of work, food, or data slows the process. If business improves and stays so much above old business levels, an update is in order. Perhaps a larger grill, (memory) more counter space, (Larger hard drive) and a second chef (processing power) is required to handle the increased load.
 
Summary:
We ask out computers to do a lot. And they come fresh out of the box new, clean and ready to work. Now that antivirus software is absolutely necessary, consider the antivirus to be a health inspector roaming around the kitchen all the time, looking into pots and kettles, checking hands, pans, dishes and tools for germs. No new jar is opened, no pan heated without his scrutiny. And remember too those pesky pop ups, asking you to update your antivirus, update Windows, update programs. The computer is a busy place. Now throw in a few mice perhaps, we will relate these to spyware and adware. There are not just a nuisance, they can do real damage.
 
Outside the kitchen, the customer waits for his meal, as the computer user waits for whatever to appear on the screen, like email, a movie, a Word document, or a game.
 
The diners do not always consider how many people are waiting to be served, they are hungry, impatient, and eager to get what they want, unaware of the process behind the meeting of their demands. The computer user does not always consider all the other programs installed, running, and the other processes in the computer that slow the process.

COmputers are packed will all sorts of programs. Computer sellers want to give the customer programs that are useful, but there is another element and motivation in the mix. Greed. Some programs now ask, beg, and even trick the customer to change how the computer opens files, uses email or updates. Some companies pay computer manufactures to place their software in the computer, sometimes several competing companies are doing the same thing in the same computer.

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