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If your computer is slow at startup, the reason for that may be because there are too many programs that start up while the operating system is loading. Most of the times when you download programs from the Internet, they are set up to load automatically when the computer is started. This normally results in slowing down the startup process of the computer, especially in Windows based systems.

Sometimes, you might also have spyware, viruses or trojan horses that install themselves into the startup folders whilst you’re browsing the net. It is always safe to keep track of which programs and processes are running at all times, and to terminate those that are not required. By doing this, you’ll also be saving some system resources, which otherwise would be held up by unidentifiable and/or unwanted programs.

To end running processes and programs, you can hit Ctrl+Alt+Del. This launches the Task Manager. From the Processes tab, you can terminate the programs you’re not using. However, this does not eliminate the unwanted programs from the startup list completely because when you restart the computer, there they are again, silently running in the background and wasting your RAM.

The best ways to clean up the list of startup programs is as follows: First navigate to this folder: Start/Programs/Startup and remove the shortcuts to the programs that you’d rather not have launched at startup. Secondly, visit the MSCONFIG utility and change the startup options from there.

You do this by clicking on Start > Run, then typing in ‘msconfig’ and hitting the Enter key. This brings up a dialog box. Click on the ‘Startup’ tab and uncheck all the programs that you don’t wish to launch when the computer is started. You’ll notice many programs that run in the background but are not really required.

Finally, the last thing you can do is change program options or settings from the program itself, for instance MSN messenger, Yahoo Messenger and Skype all have a tools/options or options/preferences menu from where you can choose not to have the program started when Windows is started.

This is a very useful tip and you’ll notice that your computer’s booting process also becomes faster since these unwanted programs no longer occupy the memory resources unnecessarily. Do leave comments on any other ways you can clean out your system and make it more efficient.

–      Millie

Who said you have to download the IM software to be able to chat with your friends?   Whether it is Skype, MSN, Yahoo, AIM, Google Talk, MySpace or AOL, you no longer need to download any software on your computer. You can just use web Instant Messengers, which are so easy and user-friendly…absolutely the best solution for IM addicts!

There are many websites which offer free IM – all you have to do is navigate to the site and log into your MSN, Yahoo or GTalk account. The most popular Web IMs are meebo, ILoveIM, IMO and Yahoo’s WebMessenger. For your mobiles, the best IM solutions available are Mig33 and Nimbuzz.

Have a look at these screen shots for meebo, Yahoo WebMessenger and ILoveIM. I reckon they all have a good GUI and are really easy to use.

Have you tried any other web IM’s? Are they any good? Let me know what you think of these ones too…hope this post was helpful, especially to those who have limitations of downloading software!!

– Millie


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