Find Your System’s Performance Bottlenecks

Posted by admin on Jan 25, 2008
Taken from PCWorld February 2008 Edition

Is you PC as slow as molasses on a winter morning in Manitoba?  With a little detective work, you can track down the cause of your system’s sluggishness, and get it running at full speed again.

The Windows Task Manager offers a quick and easy way to check the load on your CPU.  Top open it, press <Ctrl>-<Alt>-<Del> (in Vista you must then click “Start Task Manager”).  Click the “Performance” tab to see graphs showing CPU usage (see the image at right).  If your processor consistently runs at more than 50 percent of capacity, you may have a problem. To distinguish between your system’s CPU usage for Windows and its CPU usage for any applications, select “View”, “Show Kernel Times”.  Windows breaks the CPU usage graph into a red line for Windows and a green bar for applications.

Read the rest of this entry »

Internet Security 2.0

Posted by admin on Jan 20, 2008

(Taken from MaximumPC February 2008 Edition.

Whether you know it or not, you’re constantly under attack by nefarious netizens.  Why? Because your computer contains a gold mine of goodies just waiting to be exploited by wrongdoers.

Everything from your banking information and credit card numbers to your processor cycles and Internet connection are valuable commodities sought after by online theives.  We’re talking about denail of service (DoS) attacks, threats to your finances, and all-out identity theft.  And if that weren’t enough, the culprits are continually developing new and increasingly complex techniques to take over your system for their personal gain, spurring an arms race between the digital crooks and the PC security vendors cashing in on the mayhem.  But just how much protection do you really need?

Read the rest of this entry »