Most PC users have been conditioned, over time, into conserving disk space. This is true even though most of us have tons more disk space than we really need.
We're not used to thinking in terms of conservation of memory, taking programs out of memory that aren't doing us good and, in fact, may be doing us harm. (Yes, you Mac users can go to sleep now.)
I received a lesson on this over the last week from Answers That Work. They're releasing a new version (2.53) of their The Ultimate Troubleshooter (TUT). They asked me to try it out.
I was in for a surprise. Two surprises, actually.
More after the break.
The first surprise was that, according to TUT a lot of commercial vendors ship software with their hardware that is little more than spyware, and a lot more that is essentially useless.
TUT fingered ATI in the former camp. These folks made my old video drivers, back in the Windows 98 days, and apparently a lot of their stuff was still sitting in memory each time I booted my new Windows XP box. Programs that "ease" the loading of various Windows, Apple, and messaging functions also also useless. If I need them I can just turn them on.
My new box is no slouch in the memory department. It has a full half a gig (he says, pulling his belt up and belching proudly). But with just a few standard windows open -- browser, RSS feed, e-mail -- I'm using 90% of that memory. You can see how conserving memory might be a good thing.
The second surprise involved how I upgraded. I used Eisenworld's PC Relocator when I moved off Windows 98, and just shipped everything over to my new, big, honking 100 Gig hard drive. (Again, snort, spit, chest puffs out.)
Oops. TUT has a hardware troubleshooter, and I couldn't get the thing to work. I tried everything the company suggested, and didn't get what they considered a satisfactory answer (most support calls are two-way streets) until I revealed how I'd upgraded.
"Music to my ears!" came the response from AnswersThatWork. "As you will have seen on our website, the WMI stuff (which runs the hardware analyzer) is very unreliable on Windows 98 and sometimes it is impossible to get it to work even when installing everything from scratch."
Glad I could help. But does the software work?
Well, I also have a laptop, and I was much more careful in upgrading it, because it has a much smaller hard drive capacity. I only moved files I knew I'd need to it.
TUT worked fine on it, including the hardware analyzer. It costs $35, and I recommend it highly.
King TUT. Funky TUT. He gave his life for tourism...