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LinkedIn is a great place to find a job, stay connected with your current and former coworkers, and also to learn about the people you're working with (or selling to).

As a premium Spotify user, I love having my music on my iphone. I even have it wired up to my Google Home which is hooked up to my home stereo so I can have great sound throughout the house.

Question: Windows seems to take forever to start up on both my computers, and some programs try to run everytime I start Windows (even though I didn't ask them to). I'm running Windows Vista Home on a fairly new laptop with 512 mb of RAM, and Windows XP on an older desktop with 1GB of RAM. What can I do to speed things up?

Answer: Those extra programs take away time and precious memory, which makes Windows take longer to start up and also makes it run slower once Windows has started.

There are a couple of things you can do right away that will speed up Windows startup and stop those unwanted programs from running.

Clean out your Startup folder

Some programs will install themselves in your Windows Startup folder, which makes them run each time your system boots up. All you have to do is delete the menu shortcut, and they'll stop loading when Windows starts up. The programs will still remain installed on your system - they just won't run until you run them (which is what you want).

1. Right-click on the Start button in your task bar (lower left corner of your screen).
2. Select Explore from the shortcut menu.
3. You'll see a folder called Startup, and you can delete all of the programs listed in this folder. You'll only be deleting the menu shortcuts, not the programs themselves.

This is a good first step that'll speed up Windows startup and free up memory on your system, but there are still a couple other things to check.

Defragment your hard drive

Over time your hard drive can become defragmented, which means that files get saved in different places on your hard drive. Windows can't just look in the same general area each time it tries to find files, which slows things down noticeably, and can directly increase startup time.

Diskeeper Home 2008Windows comes with its own disk defragmentation tool, but it doesn't work very well and you can't schedule it to automatically defrag your hard drive on an ongoing basis.

I use Diskeeper for that, which rearranges files stored on your disk to occupy contiguous storage locations. This speeds up access time because it can look in the same general area for files each time it needs them.

You can set Diskeeper to run automatically in the background so that you basically never have to worry about your hard drive slowing down due to defragmentation.

Turn off unnecessary services

Some programs create Windows services that run behind the scenes to check for updates online, or watch for system events like inserting a music CD in your CD drive. iTunes is one such program, and there are even spyware programs that can load at startup by installing themselves as a Windows service.

These services take up valuable memory, and considerably slow down Windows startup. For example, a program called Vongo was installed with my new laptop, and it tries to check for updated downloads every few minutes. This eats up processing time, takes up extra memory on my system, and poses a potential security risk to my system.

If you're fairly technically inclined, you can view the services that are installed on your system and disable unwanted programs from loading at startup. All of the Windows services that are running on your system can be viewed by opening your Control Panel and selecting "Administrative Tools" and then "Services".

But be careful, because if you turn off the wrong service you could end up rendering your system unusable.

A safer way to control the services that run at startup is to use a program like SystemSuite 8 Professional. It will show you a list of all the services that are running on your system, and will identify the ones that are safe to turn off.

SystemSuite will also show you if there are any spyware or malware programs lurking on your system, and will let you protect your system by blocking them from loading when Windows starts up.

For example, SystemSuite's built-in NetDefense Firewall recognized the Vongo program I mentioned earlier and asked me if I wanted to block it from connecting to the Internet in the future. I happily said yes to block it, and now I don't have to worry about it connecting to the Internet in the future.

I've noticed a big improvement in startup time using these approaches, and especially with System Suite. It's received some excellent reviews like this one from Laptop Magazine:

"Consistently better than any all-in-one-system-maintenance suite, Avanquest's excellent collection has all the core strengths and exciting extras." - Laptop Magazine July 2007

Let me know how it works for you.

Enter Coupon Code AFFSS8 during checkout to save 25% on SystemSuite 8.

Question: How can i transfer my Videos taken/captured on my Cell Phone Sanyo M1 and transfer them to my PC? Your input will be greatly appreciated.

Answer: The Sanyo M1 is a great phone, and you can transfer videos to your PC by using a USB Data Cable that provides a link between your phone and PC, or with Bluetooth that gives you a wireless connection.

USB Data Cable

You can transfer as many videos, photos or ring tones as you like to your cell phone for free using a USB Data Cable that connects your computer to your cell phone.

Windows XP or Windows Vista don't come with software to recognize your phone and handle the file transfer, so you'll need a copy of DataPilot, which works with all major phone types.

Fire up DataPilot, and plug one end of the usb data cable into your phone and the other end into the usb port on your computer. DataPilot will display a list of the existing photos, ring tones, and videos on your cell phone.

Choose the folder on your PC that contains the files you want to move, select the files (or folders) and click the transfer button to copy them over to your cell phone. You can also copy the other way, and use DataPilot to transfer photos or ring tones from your cell phone to your computer.

You can buy a usb data cable on the DataPilot website if you don't have one already, and their software works with all major phone types.

Question: How much do you think my computer is worth? The specs are:

384MB of RAM
1.8GHz Intel Pentium 4 Processor
52x CD-R Drive
Floppy Drive
Updated BIOS

I'm selling it because it is aged, and I recently bought a 3.4GHz system that's much faster.

Answer: That’s still not a bad system for young children to play games on or for just doing email and shopping online, but when you can buy a brand new system for only a few hundred bucks than I’d say your system is worth only about $100 (or less). One selling point that might give you an advantage is the software that’s already loaded on the system. If you have MS Office, Adobe Photoshop, or a few other expensive-but-popular programs than it can significantly add to the value of your system.

Sell it

Question: I need to send faxes but I don't have a fax machine. Is there a way for me to send and receive faxes using email?

Answer: Yes, you can send and receive faxes without owning a fax machine, just by using software that converts your email program into a fax service. It's called email faxing, and here's how it works:

You install software on your computer that links your email account with your fax number through an email faxing service. When you want to send a fax, you instead send an email and the service converts it to a fax message and delivers it immediately. Simply attach the document you'd like to fax to an email. Input the number of the fax machine to which you'd like to send the fax, and the software handles the rest. You can also send your faxes to multiple recipients online, so you don't have to repeat the procedure again and again (with a new cover letter each time).

The recent iPhone launch is being exploited by cyber-crooks for financial gain. Panda Labs (makers of Panda Internet Security 2007) has uncovered a tool that controls a botnet made up of over 7,500 zombie computers infected by the Aifone.A bot Trojan. If the user of an infected PC tries to buy an iPhone online, their confidential data might end up in the hands of cyber-criminals.

Here's how it works: When a PC is infected by the Aifone.A bot Trojan, it automatically turns into a bot of the server in question (ie. it controls your computer over the Internet). The first time you connect to the Internet, the Trojan will send several requests to the server, in order to receive some instructions that will be carried out by the Trojan in your computer.

Here are 5 alternatives to Winzip that are all compatible with Winzip's compression technology, and most of them are even free.


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