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Dump the junk



Wield the dust busters. - K. ANANTHAN

So, you have bought a brand new computer. The dealer has told you it has the best configuration on earth but within a few months you feel the computer isn't as fast as it was when it first came home. A few more months pass. You realise the new thing is now only as fast as the old one you chucked out.

As the computer gets set to celebrate the first birthday, it becomes so slow that you start wondering whether the computer dealer has cheated you. As a last resort, you call an engineer. He tells you something you didn't expect will happen with a computer - that it is clogged with junk... and fragmented files. He takes half-a-day to clean up the system and charges you a hefty fee. You realise it is the largest `cleaning charge' you have ever paid.

You can avoid all this if you do a few simple things every week or every ten days. The first is to use the disc clean-up utility that comes installed in all Windows computers.

The next step is to defrag. Whenever you open or close the file or install new software, they don't get stored in one place. They get divided into smaller chunks and get stored in different `slots' in your drive.

Every time you open the file or program, the computer has to get the file from the different places it has stored the file components and give them back to you as a single unit. The more you open and close files and programs, the more fragmented they become.

You should make it a point to use the disk defragmenter that comes pre-installed in Windows. If you still want to have a better job done, there are several third party defrag programs available. There are also the cache from the browsing you do. You have to use the temporary files and cache from the Options menu.

One more clean-up software that is a must is CCleaner. Use it at least once in a few days. It will delete all the temporary files and cache from the system. A regular clean-up of the system will ensure you don't have to shell out anything just for cleaning up the system... and keep your computer running as new.

R. DINAKARAN

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