Computer Frustrations

computerComputers.  They are our friends and they can be our enemies.  Our relationship with our computer can be a perilous thing, they can be helpful one minute and then totally uncooperative the next.  They can give us an identity online, and they can be used to steal identities of others.  They are so amazing.

I just spent the past 2 days working on a brand new laptop.  By working I actually mean rebuilding the laptop so that it will be functional rather than a pain.  This laptop is brand new, just out of the box.  I spent a total of 17 hours stripping it of all the crap laptop companies load up on new computers.  I removed no less that 20 totally crappy shareware games from this machine.  There was at least 20 other programs with 2 month trials also installed.  Honestly this computer came with so much junk pre-installed on it I am not even sure why it worked.

The stupid laptop took over an hour to load up to working order.  An hour before the laptop was even considered usable, I long for the old days were a computer just worked when you started it up.  I am beginning to wonder if there is some type of conspiracy in the works trying to annoy us into purchasing even more junk for our computers.  If I could find a way to get by with just an abacus I may even try it some day.

What is the point of this whole rant?  Well mostly a warning, make sure you read the box closely before purchasing.  Computers come with a bunch of stuff now, but most of it is just bloatware.  Even Microsoft Office is usually only a 60 day trial version.

The first thing I do when I get a new computer is to uninstall everything I don’t recognize.  Chances are if you don’t recognize it that its just junk.  Most people use computers every single day so if you don’t use a program all the time it is likely useless.  Uninstalling all that bloatware will surprisingly make your computer run faster.  The biggest speed benefit is to remove the 2 biggest bloatware viruses of them all Norton Anti-Virus or MacAfee Anti-Virus.  These programs are easily replaced by free virus scanners and removing them will give you on average between 200% and 10000% speed boosts.  Yes, you read that right Norton and MacAfee are the reason your computer is slow.

Once you have your computer stripped of the bloat, then you can install the essentials.  Once done installing you should ideally leave it that way and just use the computer.  The less you install/uninstall after the initial push the better your computer will run for longer.  Heck that simple piece of advice will usually extend the speed life of your computer by at least 50%.

Have fun and happy computering.

Photo Credit: Martin Kingsley

2 thoughts on “Computer Frustrations”

  1. I always remove some of the questionable programs but I never considered taking rebuilding a brand new computer. While I’m not sure the abacus would be quite as effective, I like your other suggestions. Any recommendations for free anti-virus programs?

    1. I find I commonly use AVG Free. It has all the power of an Anti-Virus program with none of the costs. I also find that with people who are technically capable of not purposely ruining their computer you can actually turn off most of the on access scanning in Vista.

      The only reason Vista can have the on access turned off is the UAC prohibits anything a virus can do to hook itself into the system. So in essence you have to deliberately OK a virus. Anyone who isn’t so techy I am ok with the speed afforded by AVG, it is one of the tops in the business for speed and ability.

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