May 19, 2007, Mtg.-New Computer Tuning Tools

The HCC presentation for the May 19, 2007, meeting was given by Jac Carroll on New Computer Tuning Tools..  He discussed many ways to keep your computer in good operating condition.  Some of his recommendations are listed here.

One of his most important recommendations was to remember to back up your computer files, especially those files that are critical to your job or your client’s work.  For many different types of software, one must use the task manager to schedule a time for the software to back up the files.  This doesn’t always work because task manager may require a password and no password has been entered so the back up does not occur.
Jack suggested installing Second Copy software to copy files from one file to another at a specified time during the night.  This can be done by leaving the computer on at night.  Choose the files you want to back up and where to send them.  It is good practice to put data in a separate partition or on a second hard drive for security.  Then only back up the files that have been changed during the day.

Mozilla Firefox:  In Mozilla, there are many “add ons” that you can download.  EverNote Web Clipper can be used as a scrapbook.  If you find anything of interest on the Internet, it can be saved in EverNote, with the reference.  You can have different topic logs in EverNote.  You have a better chance of finding the information in the future by searching the data saved in EverNote.

Previously, bookmarks were used to locate information on the web in the future.  Links to articles were also used.  But some newspapers and text sources change and the information could no longer be found.  One could possibly use Scrapbook that allows you to save the whole page, use sticky notes, and is searchable.  You can also have multiple scrapbooks.

Mozilla is more secure than Internet Explorer and has many useful Extensions.  You can also flip a web page to IE to print it since some pages don’t print properly in Mozilla.  The Mozilla extension files are located on the Mozilla web site under “get extensions”.  There are also blogs specializing in information of using the extensions.

Log Me In is useful for remote access backup.  A two-week free trial is available.  This program allows a 2 Gig limit for backing up files to the Internet.

Consider opening a free Google account for your email.  When you open a Google account, forward all your email from your old email ISP.  Google will filter out all the spam.

Cleaning your computer:  First get rid of all the temporary files by going to My Computer, Local “C” Drive; Documents and Settings, Local Settings, Temporary Internet Files and then deleting all temporary files in this folder.

CCCleaner software is also very useful in cleaning your computer.  It can be set to run when you start your computer.  Selected cookies can be saved from removal.  It does do some registry cleaning.  An important feature of this software is the Seek Errors Rate screen.  This software can be downloaded free.

FixIt software.  Old versions of this are sometimes found in surplus bins at computer stores.  It cleans the registry.  Be sure you back up your registry before running this software.

HiJack This.  This software scans all the start up programs and creates a log of them.  Check off what you want to delete.  There is a free website in Germany that you can send your log to and they will analyze it for which files are not needed.  The web site is www.hijackthis.de/.  Create your log file and save it with a recognizable name.  Then open your browser, go to the German web site, browse for the log file you created and then click to have it analyzed.  Later, you can delete the files that the German group indicates are not needed.

To remove software that you no longer use, go to My Computer, Local “C” Drive, System Tasks, Add or Remove Programs.  The Add or Remove Programs utility will show the last time the software was used.  Select the software you no longer want and delete.

General Meeting

At the opening of the meeting, Lon Hosford welcomed the current members and introduced Denis Alblasser who was a visitor attending the meeting.  Denis said he had attended one of the computer meeting several years ago.
John Warsinski stated that he wanted to remind the members that sometimes if you cannot turn off the computer, you should hold in the on/off button for 4 to 5 seconds and the computer will turn off.  Another method is to just unplug either end of the power cord.
Q&A

Q:  Is it possible to reformat part of a drive?

A:  John Warsinski suggested burning a recovery disk of the portion of the drive you wish to retain and then reformatting the whole thing.

Q:  Is it possible to determine how long Windows or XP has been running since the last boot?
A: It was suggested that the event log in History may have a reboot log.  Free programs are also available to provide that information.

Q:  If you have a folder you use often, how can you get to the folder easily?
A:  Make a shortcut of the folder and put it on the desktop.  Can also right click on the sidebar and add or drag the folder to the sidebar.  Or Google “customize Explorer window” for other possible solutions.
Q:  What king of laptop should I buy?
A:  A good laptop is a Lenovo, 80G HD, Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, 2G RAM.  ThinkPad by Lenovo is the Cadillac of computers.

One thought on “May 19, 2007, Mtg.-New Computer Tuning Tools”

  1. Great report Carmella!
    I had a case where the client’s firewall prevented my access to services requiring specific ports. So I installed LogMe in on my office computer and was able to have full access again.

    LogMe in is free. The trial period is when you sign up you get a trial of the Pro version which is the paid version. After the two weeks, they prod you to sign up and if you do not you are converted automatically to the free version. The free version is what I use.

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