Get 10 years of use from your computer
Most maintenance can be done for free.
By day, Joe Morgan works in the IT field, where co-workers routinely upgrade their personal computers every two or three years. By night, he says, he's like Scotty on "Star Trek," "always beating the odds to do the impossible with limited resources at hand . . ."
Joe comes by that claim honestly: He has coaxed two PCs to operate for an amazing 10 years each. He explains how to get more life out of your computer in a post at Saving Advice that's written in language non-geeks can understand.
We'd be less than honest if we claimed to know much about computers, so, as always, we suggest you read the full post. Meanwhile, we'll offer a simplified version of a few of his tips (and point out that most of the stuff he recommends can be done for free):
Defragment your hard drive every three months or anytime you install or uninstall a program or delete a bunch of files. He also explains how to do a better defrag. (Some of you may be smirking at how basic this sounds, but we know a number of computer users who have never defragged their PC.)
Get rid of programs you don't use, and follow up with a registry cleaner.
Defrag the registry files, and the swap or page file.
Max out your RAM. A reader named ThiNg commented, "Upgrading RAM is really easy. Don't get psyched out by the industry. Geeks (I am one) want you to think everything we do is magic."
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