New programs to play with

Odd PC issues here, today. Last night I was noticing a major lag in speed. I thought it was my connection but when everything locked up I knew better. I ran SpyBot’s Search and Destroy, which rids the system and immunizes against spyware. Its a great piece of freeware, a definite must have on your system. After removing the spyware and temp files I still noticed somewhat of a pause in the sytem. I had two programs running, Firebird and iTunes for the PC. The system was locking up and iTunes kept “not responding”. I closed the programs, ran a disk cleanup, then set the disk to defrag and went to bed. I got up this morning and went about life as normal. I was running the same programs and the shit started happening again. It seems they don’t want to play nice. I’ll be damned if I am getting rid of Firebird. So, I scrapped iTunes. I was a little sad but I have plenty of other music players. I will probably grab another copy of WinAmp and be more patient with it this time. After ridding the system of iTunes I was checking my CPU usage via the Task Manager. I was seeing huge spikes. 2…4…7..11…67. Damn! So, I remembered reading in PC World about a program that lets you manage what processes start when you boot your PC and what is currently running. I fished around on their site and found it. It’s called Code Stuff’s Starter.

“… Starter lets you view and manage all the programs that start automatically whenever your operating system is loading. You can disable or permanently delete selected registry entries, edit existing ones, and create new ones. The software also lets you monitor and terminate running processes…”

You can also check within the program each process’s RAM usage and how vital it is to the system. You can check out Starter’s ad-suported Lycos page for more info and to download. Starter is also freeware.

In searching around PC World’s site I came across another great freeware program. It’s a RAM manager. It shows how much free RAM you have and it will attempt to free more RAM at a scheduled interval. It minimizes to the system tray where you can watch an icon with a running number of the free RAM your system has. It’s called FreeRAM XP Pro and it can be grabbed here.

“…When ill-mannered programs don’t release your computer’s RAM after you run them, FreeRAM can do the job. FreeRAM XP Pro is a freeware application that frees and defragments your computer’s random access memory. As you use your computer, open applications, surf the Internet, and navigate Windows, your system’s memory usually decreases. FreeRAM XP Pro frees up this memory, thereby increasing system response time, stability, speed, and efficiency…”

Starter and FreeRAM work perfectly together. If your RAM is low, open Starter and check what’s running. If it’s an unnecessary program, cut its lifeline and watch your RAM take a big boost. Then, run FreeRAMs “Auto Free” function to round up miscellaneous lost RAM.

My PC seems to be back to normal. I can’t believe iTunes fucked me like that. Aaaah well. All of the PC problems prompted pretty promising programs.