I upgraded my computer system in January – and initially, I was upset because the laptop I wanted only came with Vista. I heard the horror stories and was not looking forward to using Vista, but I did it, anyway!
After playing around with it for a couple of months, I have found some tweaks that make it a lot better operating system, even if it means I lose some of those pretty visualizations Vista is known for.
First things first, disable the sidebar. The sidebar slows down my system’s startup by almost 8 seconds. This feels like a lifetime when I just want to quickly get on my laptop and get back off. Most of the functions in the sidebar are in many of our preexisting programs or online services – including weather, a clock and a notepad.
Disable startup programs that you don’t absolutely need. This will speed up your computer’s bootup time as well as free up RAM. For example, do you really need to start your chat program when you turn your system on? If not, just disable it and run it when you need it. Same goes for automatically starting your browser, printer software or Microsoft Office.
One of the major gripes with Vista is how “slow” it is – Vista is a memory intensive program, so if you do not have a good amount of RAM (2GB or more), you will feel some sluggishness when you try to run Vista. So, buy more RAM! If you can’t afford more RAM or your system cannot upgrade, try disabling the Vista Aero theme, which is RAM intensive and can slow you down quite a bit.
Also use slimmer, more efficient programs, such as Open Office instead of Microsoft Office; Firefox instead of Internet Explorer or Pidgin (download) instead of 3 or 4 individual chat programs. Also try Foxit Reader instead of Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Using Vista does not have to be a pain, and if you follow these tips, you will be well on your way to a lean, mean, Vista running machine!
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