Less is More with Computer Software

Just this past week, I spent the day rebuilding the computer my kids use for homework & entertainment. I was constantly barraged with complaints about it running slowly & occasionally crashing. Giving in to the family pressure, I initially tried to remove the various unnecessary programs they had downloaded over the years. This sped it up, but resulted in certain programs they did want to use (like itunes) not working properly.

In total frustration, & with much ill grace, I decided it was easier to reset the computer to its original state from the recovery disk, & then reinstall only the programs they actually required. A few hours later the computer works much faster & is more stable.

Many of us are caught by the allure of trialling new software, thinking that if we don’t continue using it, there’s no harm. However, what you install is never entirely removed from the computer. Those traces, particularly in the registry, are always part of the computers routine. An analogy I used to explain this to my kids is that whenever you install a new program, it’s like adding a new book to your schoolbag. The trouble is, you have to carry it around everyday from then on. Uninstalling the software helps, but usually traces remain that slow down the system. In my experience, it’s better to be very choosey about what you add to your system. A lean computer is a fast computer!