Preston's picks for January
year, my main resolution is to keep all my resolutions. And it will be easy to
do this year, because Iíll be using downloadable software to help. Iím going to
tune up my PC, have more fun and do cooler things on the Internet.
Up Your PC
first New Year's resolution: Tune up my PC.
downloadable software, itís a snap for you to do it as well. First off, get a
copy of Sandra.
With over 50 different modules that report on your systemís performance, Sandra
will tell you anything you need to know about your PC. Youíll be able to graphically
display system statistics such as drive benchmarks, CPU speed ratings, DOS memory
and physical memory bank information, and a whole lot more.
will tell you how your PC performs, but it wonít let you do anything about
it. For that, youíll need a program like System
Mechanic. This one is a tinkererís dream. Remove duplicate files and a
variety of waste files. Repair or eliminate broken shortcuts, remove errant Registry
entries, and eliminate invalid uninstaller info. You can also see and edit which
programs are slated to load when Windows starts and monitor program installations.
You can take a system snapshot for later comparison or get a report that details
any system changes for a particular install. Thereís a whole lot more here as
change the way Windows looks and functions, get an all-time favorite, TweakUI.
This free utility from Microsoft lets you change the way just about every part
of Windows works and looks. It even includes "paranoia" settings that
will clear all evidence of what youíve done in areas such as the Run, Documents
and Find Files areas.
can use a larger hard disk. Instead of forking out the money for one, try out
It. Whenever it loads, this utility scans your PC for Internet waste files,
temp files, recent documents, Internet cache files, cookie files and any other
space-wasting files you want to monitor. Youíll then be able to delete them and
gain back precious hard disk space.
you want to make the most of your PCís memory, try out WinRamTurbo
Pro. It reports on memory usage, swap file usage, and available system
resources. It does more than that, though. Itíll optimize all those settings,
and reclaim unused RAM for you, based on what you tell it to do.
Fun Without Paying a Penny
Yearís resolution number two: Have more fun, and donít pay a penny for it.
means free games. Iím not a big fan of the shoot-and-kill variety, but I do love
card, board and similar games. And one of the more enjoyable free ones Iíve just
come across is Maize
Quest. You have to make your way through an incredibly complex maze,
gathering letters and kernels of corn along the way. You have to get the highest
score possible. Thereís dead ends galore, so youíll never run out of possibilities.