Clean Up Your Act
Copyright © 2001
by Mike Smith E.S.M.
Mike Smith is the owner of CM/YMTC, and author of the Free "Easy Guide" Series. He has extensive experience with computers and the Internet.
Managing a business on the internet involves a LOT of work. Marketing, site maintenance, customer service - the list is actually endless. But you mustn't neglect some of the basic "housecleaning" necessary to keep your computer in tip-top condition, and make those tasks as efficient as possible.
You MUST find the time to clean up your act once in awhile. It will save valuable time in the long run!!
One of the biggest problems I hear from folks about their Puters is the desktop is full of icons and they are very distracting. One of our readers just sent me this very question:
"I have a lot of E-Books and files downloaded on my Puter and they are all on my desktop. My desktop is jammed packed. Is there a way I can transfer them to a floppy?"
Besides being very distracting and cluttering up your Desktop, every icon uses up precious memory. When Windows starts it allocates as much as 35k of memory to an icon.
You could rack up a lot of memory usage that could be put to better use.
Depending on the size of the files will determine where you can save them. Standard floppy's hold 1.44 (actually 1.37) mb of files. Our E-Books range from 750kb to 2mb in size. Obviously the larger ones won't fit. Unless you have a Zip disk or a CDRW.
I would keep them on your Puter. The only reason you should transfer files to a removable media is if you are short of space on your hard drive.
However. here is a quick solution to cleaning up your desktop. It will get rid of a lot of clutter and help you find things easier. Bonus, it will also free up memory and make your Puter run better. I do this for a lot of my desktop icons.
Right click anywhere in a blank area on your desktop. This will bring up a menu.
then from that drop down list -- "FOLDER".
You will have the opportunity to name the new folder that just appeared on your desktop. Name it "E-Books".
Now using your mouse, point to an E-Book on your desktop, hold down the left mouse button and drag it until it is on top of your E-Book Folder.
Release your mouse and it will move into the folder automatically.
Continue until all of your E-Books are in this folder.
You have just cleaned up a bunch of icons and all you need to do is double click on the E-Book Folder to open it -- then select the E-Book you want to read just like you would on your desktop.
Now that you know this little trick, you can move other like programs into Folders.
Warning: Don't try to move these icons though:
|My Computer, My Documents, Recycle Bin, Internet Explorer, Outlook Express and Network Neighborhood or anything related to your Printer.|
These programs will not work
Here is another little trick.
Have a program icon that you use frequently? Left click and drag it to the lower left and just to the right of your "Start" button. You will see a vertical line appear. Release your mouse button and the icon will be moved there. There are already some icons in place.
Now you can drag the icons to where you want them and when you click once the program is launched.
This is called the "One Click Toolbar".
Can't see all the icons? Click on the two little >> and a bar will pop up with everything you have there. Presto! More icons off the desktop!
Ever see the warning, "You are running low on resources"?
Look at all the little icons in the lower right hand corner by the clock! Yup, that is where a lot of your resources have went.
Every icon there tells you there is a program that is running resident whether you ever use them or not. They are taking up even more of your valuable memory and slowing your Puter down.
If you have 7 or more icons there, you need to stop the waste of resources.
Microsoft doesn't think it is important that you know these things though. When your resource levels drop, Microsoft would rather make you feel like you did something wrong.
Here are a few things that should be there. You may or may not have them on your particular machine but don't remove them if they are there. Volume Control, Anti-virus Program, Firewall, CDRW (if you have one), Mouse control, and your instant messenger program.
OK, OK, I will give you Gator. I run it too.
"So -- how do I fix it?" you might ask.
Not going to tell you. Ha-ha.
Click on your "Start" button.
Choose "Run" and click on it.
Now type in msconfig
and click the "OK" button.
This opens the configuration manager.
I am going to recommend caution here.
The only place you want to change anything is in the "Startup" tab.
That is the far right one.
Click on it and you will see a window with check boxes and descriptions. I suggest that the first time around you write down what is checked. This way if something you like to use quits, you can go back and recheck it.
Go down the list and uncheck any programs you recognize that you absolutely don't have to have running. If in doubt leave it IN.
You can always go back later and work on a one-on-one basis. Not everything here is in the taskbar and still using memory.
If you are not sure if you want to take it out, you are cordially invited to send me a list of what is there and I will tell you what you can safely uncheck.
When you are finished,
click the "Apply" button
then the "OK" button.
You will be told that you have to restart. Just click on "YES".
You now have a nice, "tidy" computer, and all those other tasks will fall into place much more efficiently!
Mike Smith , owner of CM/YMTC, and author of the Free "Easy Guide" Series, has extensive experience with computers and the Internet, and is always willing to answer any questions about computers, software or anything related to E-Business.
You may e-mail him- mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. He will send you a personal reply, and may use your info request in his Ezines.
Visit his sites at:
No advice on this site should be used
without first contacting a professional in that field.
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