Jul 162019

In this bad economy where every dollar is even more precious, you might want to hang on to your computer just a slow-pclittle while longer. I go out on a lot of calls where people’s computers have slowed down and I am asked to diagnose the problem. Here’s what I look for:

Disk Space

It’s a good idea to have at least 20% of your disk be free space, so here’s how to check available space:
My Computer –>(right mouse click) Local Disk (C:) –> Properties
If you do not have sufficient free space it is time to think about either adding an additional disk drive, and moving data over to it or cleaning up your existing files.

Disk File Defragment

This used to be a much bigger fix twenty years or so ago, but is less so now. However, it is easy to do and may have some effect. Start it when you are not using computer for a long time like just before going to the bed or going out. Always analyze before defragmenting, and only defragment if it is recommended after the analysis:
Start –> All Programs –> Accessories –> System Tools –> Disk Defragmenter

Cleaning the Registry

The registry is a very important part of the Windows operating system. Almost every process run in your system relies on information in the registry. Unfortunately, when you delete an application, it does not always do the necessary housecleaning in the registry and so it may be full of a lot of unnecessary information that can slow your computer down.
My favorite free registry cleaner is CCleaner. It has advanced features to remove unused and old entries, including File Extensions, ActiveX Controls, ClassIDs, ProgIDs, Uninstallers, Shared DLLs, and much more. It also allows you to backup the registry before you make changes, so that you can roll back to the original configuration in case of a problem.

Use Alternative Software

Always look for alternative software which occupies less memory.

  • Swap out Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is a complete resource hog, for the free Foxit Reader. Foxit Reader has all the functionality of Acrobat Reader and uses far less memory.
  • Replace Internet Explorer (another resource hog) with Mozilla Firefox, a free full functional browser that I personally prefer and endorse.

Clean Up the Start-up Files

Practically every program you have ever installed on your computer configures itself to start automatically every time you turn on the computer and then runs constantly in the background. This not only makes the time it takes for you computer to get to a point where you can start using it, it is also a complete resource hog. Look over at the bottom right-hand part of your monitor — do you see a lot of icons there? Those are some of the applications that load automatically during start-up and run in the background.

You will then see this

Select the Startup Tab: you will now see all the applications that are loaded during startup:

Unclick them all (every important application will be started in the Services folder) –> Select OK –> Let the computer reboot.  Voila ! A much faster startup !

Still not so great.  Consider a memory upgrade.

Live in Oakland or the immediate environs?  Would you like for me to take care of this for you?  Use my contact form

Nov 212016

The Wayback MachineThe Wayback Machine

Remember Peabody and his pet boy, Sherman, who used to time travel to historical events? I found a really cool site which allows users to look at web pages that are no longer online. There are literally billions of web pages, archived from 1996 to just a few months ago. Check out the historical archives of your old web site, or take a look to see how sites have evolved.
The best places to see how Internet design has changed are college sites. Check out your own alma mater and your school’s big rival. Found a good site that has undergone real changes? Drop me a line.

Public Domain Images

The Bureau of Land Management, butterflyunder the Department of the Interior has a searchable database of images from all across the United States. Beautiful landscapes, wild mustangs  running in the open, eagles flying high in the sky — all these images and more can be found at this site. There are a couple of caveats about the use of these images, but mostly the BLM asks that the images be credited. There are also links to other governmental photograph databases: Department of the Interior, US Fish and Wildlife, US Bureau of Reclamation, US Geological Survey, and National Park Service

Markup & Accessiblity Validation Tools (on one page)

I had a number of bookmarks to validate my pages, checkmarkbut then I found this page, which included:


  • CSE HTML Validator
  • W3C HTML/XHTML Validator by URL and file upload
  • W3C CSS Validator
  • Web Content Accessibility Validation

I tossed my old bookmarks and now just go to this site and validate there.

Spamblock Your Email Address (email mung)

If you have post your email address on a web page, you will probably find that spam robots harvest the address and the spam flood begins. MUNG means “Mash Until No Good.” To mung your email means to conceal or obfuscate from these spambots.  Here are a few places to get mung help:

Icons Icons Icons

If you are like me you have spent countless hours looking through various sites for that particular icon image.  Here are a couple of links I use regularly:

The World is a Carousel of Colors


My favorite color help sites: