Sometimes even simplicity beats Rocket Science – Part 2

Carrying on from last week, here’s my next set of tips towards having a happier computer in your life.notebook, and two persons on white background

4. Windows Vista – I’m going to keep this one short, as everyone who knows me is well aware that I’m nowhere near being Microsoft’s fan of the decade – not even close. The truth is, if you’re comfortable and happy using Windows, stick with it. No OS is perfect and you will always have gripes with Microsoft about their products in the same way I do (albeit less often) with Apple. That said, Windows Vista was the bastard offspring that no parent ever wanted to acknowledge, let alone accept responsibility for – yes, even Microsoft. For a company to be offering “free upgrades” back to the previous incarnation says it all really. As with Internet Explorer 6, get rid of it, get it out of your life and off the face of this planet as quickly as possible. Windows XP and 7 are perfectly fine… Even Windows 8 – especially if you can get your head around the mind bender of having no start menu any longer!

5. Follow the 10% rule – the previous example I gave last week with the iTunes folder had less than 500MB space left and was complaining that it didn’t have enough memory to perform simple tasks. This is because computers require a certain amount of operational space on hard drives to run different programmes, particularly for example if you are opening large files (videos, images etc). As a general rule of thumb (at minimum) you need to leave 10% of your hard drive space free for operational use (I.e. 60GB hard drive → 6GB operational space). Ideally it should really be double this, but if you start to reach the 10% threshold you’ll notice this affecting your computer’s performance.

6. Consider secondary/external hard drive storage – This is becoming less of an issue these days with most users having laptops, but for those that do use desktop devices or switch between multiple machines it is sometimes practical to store user files (documents, pictures, movies, music etc) on an external hard drive. I do this so that I have something handy to take with me on the go, but can leave hooked up to my desktop machine when at home to access over the network. This leaves my primary drive to store only the programmes that I need, and helps to minimise issues as per point 5.

Final slightly more technical tips are next week… I’m easing you in gently.


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