Keep your PC running optimally

Because of the high demands of a growing number of applications and utilities on computers it is always a good idea to keep your computer running at its full speed to avoid slowdowns, sluggish responses and even a crash.There are many ways that you can keep your computer running its best. Just follow these simple steps:

* Regularly update your operating system. This ensures that your OS has the latest security patches that makes it harder to penetrate your system by Trojans and other malicious code.

* Make sure that you have an anti virus program installed in your PC and always update it the engine as well as the database files regularly – even daily if it is possible. These updates have the latest information and cures for the viruses that crop up on the internet on an almost daily basis. You should also actively use your spyware detection applications by periodically scanning your PC for any malicious software

* Familiarize yourself with the applications and processes that are running on your PC so that you can more easily identify what is wrong with your PC if something happes. You can use the Windows Task Manager – opened through ctrl+alt+del – in order for you to more easily recognize what items are currently running on your system. You ca also use the MSConfig tool in order to find out what programs are loading during startup. You can remove the items that you think are not that important to free up ram space and also hasten the boot time.

* Remove unnecessary programs on the tool bar so that you won’t have to run any unimportant applications that can slow down your PC and also slow down the startup time

* Regularly defragment your Hard Drives so that they will run and access files more efficiently.

Fix a scratch on the LCD Screen

lcd monitor.jpg

Every few years, the standards that are associated with computer peripherals change. For example, the previous CD-Rom standards were upgraded to CD writers, then it became DVD drives and the now, the accepted standard are DVD writers.LCD monitors are the new standard in computer displays. Though they have not yet replaced CRT (cathode ray tube) monitors completely, LCD monitors are fast rising in popularity because of their extremely sleek looks, lower power consumption and more convenient footprint on a desk.

LCD monitors at this point are still quite expensive though and thus, extra care should be given to the unit so that it will maintain its pristine condition.

Probably the most important part that should be taken care of in an LCD monitor is the screen itself. The screen is not as tough as the glass tube of a CRT. If you have an LCD screen you will notice that only a clear, thick plastic separates your fingers from the actual components of the LCD. It is imperative that you take care of your LCD screen as much as possible and prevent it from being scratched.

There is a way though of repairing a scratched LCD screen though that is inexpensive and very easy. All you need is Vaseline petroleum jelly to fill the scratch on the LCD screen. This very simple remedy works because the optical density of Vaseline more closely matches the LCD face compared to air.

All you need to do is to clean the surface of the screen and then take some Vaseline and fill the scratch with it. Gently wipe off the excess Vaseline taking care not to wipe too forcefully so that you leave some inside the scratch.

Desktop dress-up: Widgets


One of the newest ways in which you can really dress up your desktop is by using little interactive applications called Widgets. The good thing about these widgets is that they are actually not just eye candy. They actually have a definite and distinctive use that can really enhance the experience of using your computer. These little floating applications on your desktop really add a dash of life on an otherwise static screen and you get a lot out of it in terms of functionality. For example, the Yahoo Widgets Engine, which was formerly known as the Konfabulator, contains about 20 streamlined and highly customizable widgets that are quite useful in telling time, giving forecasts on the weather, as well as checking email and RSS feeds. If the default functions of the widgets engine are not enough the hidden control panel actually connects you to a gallery of over 3000 various widgets that have been developed either by Yahoo or the various user communities online.Of equal versatility and usability are the Google gadgets that you can also download. Google Desktop will allow you to install the little gadgets like the Google Calendar, Weather Globe, and Digg’s Top Stories. A number of other Google gadgets can also be downloaded online as well as other Google gadgets that have been developed by various users all over the world.

For those who need to know if they have a new email as soon as it is received, the Gmail Notifier is a big help. It runs separate from Google Desktop, which is a compulsory engine that is needed to run the other Google Gadgets.

Desktop Dress-up: Icons and Cursors


If you look at your desktop after you have minimized or closed all of the application windows – the thing that pops out at you after the wallpaper are the various icons on the desktop and the mouse cursor. If there is one thing that you absolutely cannot do with WindowBlinds as well as other skinning programs is actually set the icon preferences. Skins and themes can actually change the look of an icon but more often than not when you apply your wallpaper this sets your icon labels and makes it look dark and clunky. If you want to regain the sleek look of your icons you can use a small application called Iconoid. The notable features of this customization program is its ability to make the caption fields of the icons transparent as well as the ability to hide icons when the computer is idle.When the icons themselves are beginning to be a bore and is actually clashing with both your sense of style and the style that you have acquired for your desktop you can try to download the various icons and programs that can help you build customized icons for your own personal use. Imagine using icons that follow your Simpsons, Star Wars or X-Men theme! If you are a person who loves to design stuff you can download Microangelo, an application that allows a person to fully create icons.

Even cursors can be customized if you are already quite bored with the plain white arrow that comes as the default cursor of your operating system. Even though the cursor has options for you to change it, these tend to be small with very poor resolution. Third party programs like CursorXP is a great way of getting wonderful looking cursors that will surely catch your eye.

Desktop dress-up: Wallpapers

Probably the most dominant and most noticeable part of your desktop customization project is the wallpaper. This is simply because it occupies the most real estate – the whole screen. And whenever you minimize any application in your desktop it is your wallpaper that is immediately seen.Wallpapers are also the most common item that is customized in a computer simply because it is easiest to change. Any person who has a passing knowledge of the operating system that they use will know how to change the wallpaper. It is for these reasons why customizing the wallpaper becomes quite an obsession for some people.

One good way of putting some much needed glitz to your monitor screen is by using a personal picture or a photo that you have downloaded online as your wallpaper. You can also decide to get an application called Wallpaper Master Pro to organize your photos into a rotating gallery. Another application that is also worth considering is Webshots Desktop which allow you to wallpaper your desktop with the photos in your Webshots album as well as with the Webshots albums of other people. Another option that you can take in order to put a slick and goodlooking wallpaper on your desktop is another application called Desktop Earth. This awesome piece of software is a wallpaper generator that runs whenever you are online and logged on. The software posts an accurate depiction of the earth as seen from outerspace at that precise moment. This is the kind of wallpaper that is not only visually arresting it also serves as a good conversation piece.