OT computers

Page 9 of 12  
On Sat, 05 Apr 2014 17:52:42 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

I should have said "A" windows directory.
They will be gone if you do a clean install, that was my point.
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On Sun, 6 Apr 2014 09:08:57 -0700 (PDT), trader_4

That is something that happened after XP. I know they sent me a disk that had W/XP at SP2 on it and that is probably the disk I am going to use to reload my new W/7 Lenovo tonight or tomorrow. I spent a couple hours trying to fall in love with W/7 last night but it ain't happening. I am going to pull that drive and put it away for another day.
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On Sun, 6 Apr 2014 11:13:52 -0700 (PDT), Bob_Villa

That sounds right and I also got a disc full of utilities, the most useful was the Cyberlink set (Disk burning DVD authoring etc) Evidently that was the original package with the product code I used. all for the $10
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On Sunday, April 6, 2014 2:35:17 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Ordering and postage are free from that site.
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On Sun, 6 Apr 2014 13:22:36 -0700 (PDT), Bob_Villa

Maybe the $10 was for the same sort of thing from HP. I have both.
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software-wise. Home computers usually come loaded to the hilt with crapware and trialware.
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| PC for 3+ years now. It came free with the HP system and I extended | the license for 2 more years for $30. That was a good deal
It's a good deal compared to what it used to cost. Not so long ago it was $70 just for the System Works software. But now there are several well-regarded AV programs that cost nothing. (I don't know how or why that makes sense for those companies, but they are free.) Given the history of Symantec I think there's no question that they would charge you a lot more if they could get away with it.
If you don't know anything about Symantec's history then you have no reason to avoid supporting their business. But you still paid $30 for two years worth of a product that's easily available for free. I think that fits with my characterization of "unwitting". I don't mean to be insulting. I just hate to see people taken in by sleazy companies.
There are a number of products that one just has no reason to pay for, yet companies get away with selling those products at a high price simply because the general public doesn't know the facts. One can often find such products on the shelves of software stores. Among them are AV, ZIP programs, CD/DVD writer software, FTP programs, audio editing programs, music player software, image viewers and hex editors. In all cases those programs are available free, and the free versions are among the best.
A truly bogus category is "cleaners" that claim to power up your PC by removing bad Registry entries and unused junk files. But lots of people buy that stuff. Those programs are 99% useless. (They're 100% useless if you check and clean your TEMP folder occasionally.) The typical Registry "cleaning" procedure, removing hundreds of "faulty" entries, is roughly equivalent to removing an old ballpoint pen from your packed garage. The pen might truly be rubbish, but disposing of it doesn't make your garage any more useful or any easier to navigate.
If you don't think that's true then I invite you to look into what Registry entries are removed and what their function is. You'll find that the entries generally fall into 2 categories:
* Settings for software that's been removed. Those settings are harmless and might be useful if the software is ever re-installed. They take up less room than the ballpoint pen.
* HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\* These would be settings for components that have been removed, probably when software was uninstalled. Again, those settings are harmless. If some software wants to use the specified component you'll get an error whether the setting is left there or not, because the component is gone.
But isn't it inefficient for this extra stuff to be left in the Registry? No. There are several MB of data in the Registry. Those unused settings might take up 1-10 KB. If you run a Registry monitor while starting up Internet Explorer you'll see that IE accesses the Registry *thousands* of times in about 1 second when it loads. That's stunningly efficient. To improve that speed by some fraction of a microsecond would be trying to improve on the speed of instant. You wouldn't buy a tool that promises to make your garage door open faster by removing a ballpoint pen from a shelf in the back of the garage. That's basically what Registry cleaners claim to do.
All of that kind of thing could be broadly regarded as crapware. It's not necessarily all bad software, but it's all stuff you don't need and definitely shouldn't pay for.
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On Thursday, April 10, 2014 10:04:02 AM UTC-4, Mayayana wrote:

It's still probably $70 for Norton Internet Security if you go buy it retail. You can find it online, eg Ebay for $25 for a 3 PC license.

That's exactly what a business is supposed to do. Maximize profits. What do you expect? If you had a house to sell, what would you do?

I've used Symantec products for years. There is nothing that I've seen that I would characterize as "sleazy". It's just that you like a different product or a free product. Use what you want, but don't characterize others that make other choices as "unwitting".

Maybe so. And maybe for $30 for two years of current software for 3 PCs, it isn't worth my time trying to figure out which free antivirus alternative is a good one and which isn't. Nor is it worth it to screw around with what is working. Antivirus is one of the programs that people have the most trouble with from a compatibility standpoint with other apps, etc. If it's not broke, I don't have a compelling need to fix it to save $15 a year.

The cleaner thing, while I haven't looked into it at great length, I tend to agree with what you're saying. On the other hand, there is no question that PCs do tend to slow down over a few years, eventually start misbehaning, due to specifically what, I'm not sure it's easy to figure out. And I doubt that the cleaner utilities are going to solve it. In my experience, at some point, if the performance has declined, it's behaving erratically and you can't figure out something that is obvious as the cause, then it's time to re-install the OS and software, which fixes everything for sure.

I define crapware as pre-installed software on a PC that is totally unnecessary, useless to most people, and/or intrusive, eg it starts showing pop-up adds.
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On Thu, 10 Apr 2014 10:04:02 -0400, "Mayayana"

registry cleaners are. Yes, there are many "scareware" cleaners out there that tell you you have 13,001 errors in your registry and your computer is ready to die or go in reverse. They are generally either spammed or advertised on late night TV. A GOOD registry cleaner program can very often restore a slow computer to optimum performance - something that just removing the temp files cannot do.
I use a professional registry cleaner tool on almost a daily basis in my work as an IT professional. In 10 minutes it can do what would take me several hours to accomplish on a good day - and it has been YEARS since I've had to do a "fresh install" of Windows to get a slow computer back into shape. Solves a lot of BSOD problems as well (and crashes)
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| A GOOD registry cleaner program can very often restore a slow computer | to optimum performance
| I use a professional registry cleaner tool on almost a daily basis in | my work as an IT professional. In 10 minutes it can do what would take | me several hours to accomplish on a good day - and it has been YEARS | since I've had to do a "fresh install" of Windows to get a slow | computer back into shape. Solves a lot of BSOD problems as well (and | crashes)
Can you give me an example or two of settings your Registry cleaner removes that make the difference? I don't know of any.
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On Thu, 10 Apr 2014 18:38:01 -0400, "Mayayana"

make a difference.
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| > Can you give me an example or two of settings | >your Registry cleaner removes that make the | >difference? I don't know of any. | > | I don't bother checking what particular files they are, but they DO | make a difference.
You don't have to take my word for it. Look at the settings that your cleaner suggest deleting. Then look into what they are. I think you'll find most or all are in one of the two categories I listed: Program settings for uninstalled software and COM registration settings for missing COM libraries. (For example, ActiveX controls for software that wasn't uninstalled properly.) Both types of settings will be entirely ignored except by the relevant software, so all they do is take up a tiny bit of space.
Next, go to sysinternals.com and download regmon or procmon. Run it and then start up IE. On my XP box with IE6 I see about 8,000 Registry access calls by IE in the 1-2 seconds it takes to start up. (It might be even less than 1 second. It takes some time to load all those lines in the monitor window.)
So you have orphan settings, which will likely never be written to or read again, in a database that can handle something like 5,000 to 10,000 accesses per second. That's why I used the analogy of a ballpoint pen in a packed garage. If you look at it logically it's clear that removing those settings couldn't possibly affect the efficiency of Windows. Companies sell those products because they appeal to our desire to "run a tight ship". We feel like we're taking care of business when we see all those Registry "problems" being "fixed".
There are things that will speed up Windows:
* Stop all unnecessary startup programs. (Use autoruns from sysinternals.) As part of that, if you must use AV then try to adjust it so that it's not scanning every file you touch every time you touch it.
* Stop unnecessary updating and "pre-loading" by bloated, overproduced software.
* Disable all unnecessary services.
* Delete the IE cache and then set the limit to a low number, like 5-10 MB. (IE is tied to Explorer and a very large cache can slow Explorer to a crawl.)
* Remove any unnecessary browser plugins for IE.
* Clean up TEMP files. (On XP+ they can be in several different folders.)
The usefulness of each step will usually be in roughly descending order. In other words, trimming the startup programs will have the most effect. Though a giant IE cache can, by itself, make Windows unusable. (I haven't tested that in Vista/7, but I know it's true in XP and earlier.) Cleaning the Registry will be unlikely to ever have any effect. Sysinternals has a program to defrag the Registry, which is not a bad idea, but I'm afraid your professional cleaner was just a waste of money.... and like I said above, you don't have to take my word for it. You can work it out for yourself.
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On Thursday, April 10, 2014 9:23:25 PM UTC-5, Mayayana wrote:

You seem to have a better understanding of PC's than I do...but I have heard what you are saying many times in different forums. Even CCleaner will do a reg. clean-up!
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| You seem to have a better understanding of PC's than I do...but I have heard what you are saying many times in different forums. Even CCleaner will do a reg. clean-up! |
There are so many things I don't know about. (This morning we were trying to figure out how to keep woodchucks out of the garden without a fence. Darned if I know. :) But home repair and computers happen to be my specialties. I've made most of my income as a contractor since 1985. (Carpentry, renovation, cabinetwork, etc.) But around '99 I also got intrigued by computers (or rather addicted) and ended up teaching myself programming and web design. (It actually reminds me a lot of carpentry. The handyman/ troubleshooting quality is similar. The fondness for detail is also similar, at least for me. And all of those endeavors -- programming, web design and carpentry -- turn out better if one has an eye for layout, color, grpahics, etc.)
I made some money writing shareware during the PC craze. I make almost no money from it now, but I still enjoy it. I build my own computers and also do it for friends. And I still get about 300 visitors/day for my free software, utilities, components, sample code and information. (Much of which was originally written for my own purposes.)
www.jsware.net
A big part of how I learned about the inner workings of Windows was simply my own impatience. I like to understand how things work, and I like them to work properly. And not much works properly with computers if one doesn't understand a lot about them. Example: An hour ago I was watching my ladyfriend read a webpage about woodchucks while some sort of inane Flash cartoon ad jumped around on the right border of the page. I don't know how people can stand that when they're trying to read. I last about 10 seconds before I get fed up and decide to figure out 1) how the animation works and 2) how I can arrange to never see it again.
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On Friday, April 11, 2014 7:43:01 AM UTC-5, Mayayana wrote:

Can I email you at the "jkp" prefix? (or you could email yours' to mine) Thnx
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| Can I email you at the "jkp" prefix?
Yes. I check that one. The address on the website is fine, too, but I filter that for webmail. It auto-deletes gmail, yahoo, hotmail, etc. So if you use one of those services then jkp is better.
(Weird doings this morning. Eternal September seems to be down, so I'm using aioe. I see your post but not my own.)
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On Fri, 11 Apr 2014 09:25:10 -0400, "Mayayana"

last couple of weeks.
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Jerry wrote:

Moe and Jerry (especially Moe),
Good suggestion. I am in a similar situation as Jerry and I want to get 2 desktop computers to replace 2 Windows XP Pro SP3 computers that we have now. This is actually for a small nonprofit that I am associated with. We don't want Windows 8, but we do want Windows 7.
I will definitely be checking out Microcenter and especially the companies that sell refurbished second hand PC's. I think there is a Microcenter not too far from me -- I'll check.
And, with the end of Windows XP support, it looks like we better do some quick shopping because my hunch is that a lot of other people will also want existing new or used Windows 7 computers right now before they are all sold out.
Thanks.
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Jerry wrote:

I just saw this thread, and I have not read all of the many posts that are in it.
But, I am like you -- I have two Windows XP computers, and I want to replace them. I don't want Windows 8. I do want Windows 7. I found a post further down in the thread from "Moe" and, as I replied, I think his suggestions of how to find new or used Windows 7 computers are good ones. I am going to start looking right away.
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Tom...now you're starting to repeat yourself! Try not to ramble...*L*
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