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AFRICABIZ VOL 2 - ISSUE: 108
April 15 - May 14, 2008
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Editor: Dr. Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum
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- Some Computing Tips To Save Your Day

Maintenance is the key to smooth computing experience. That is running a stable computer, that does not advertantly crach and hung up. Operating systems previous to XP/ Vista were more enclined to suffer from former listed troubles. Even XP/Vista, depending on the number of installed applications can also have problems.

In any case, whatever maybe your windows operating system, the only way to avoid trouble, is to practice maintenance on a regular basis. Some people do that performing regular defragmentation.

However, that is not enough, as several applications' installls followed by uninstalls leave wastes (drivers, Dynamic Link Libraries and temp files, etc.,) on the hard disk, bloating the operating system's brain (the Registry) - dispersing broken chunks of files all over the hard disk, and finally slowing down the loading of the operating system and or applications.

When you notice that the operating system loading times is "abnormal" and that applications take lengthier time to load, you know that your system needs urgent maintenance. But, why wait for that to happen before taking action, while it is better to prevent than to cure - exactly as for a human being.

To do that, one can purchase applications (such as System Mechanics) that features a centralized dashboard with a long list of maintenance tools, or simply use freeware (which has light fingerprint and very low resources consumption) that do the same job and most of the times perform faster.

- Most important maintenance operations

Before you start a maintenance session, it is recommended to backup the Registry.

There are a lot of applications that perform that task. One of our preferred being the tiny ERUNT / Emergency Recovery Utility NT.

It is also the easiest replacement for
windows system restore. ERUNT backups all the requisite registry files for a complete restore if you choose, integration into Registry during the install process.

The backups are stored in C:\WINDOWS\ERDNT\AutoBackup. But you can perform manual backup to another folder of your choice, particularly before installing a new programme or application. That would help to revert to the previous configuratiion in case of trouble. It is recommended to read ERUNT's FAQ on the site-link above listed.

1 - Clean up the system

After the intial backup above exposed, the next step is to clean up the system. That is to get rid of wastes produced by several installs and uninstalls of applications and computing (temp files, applications' downloads that had not been deleted after install, surfing leftovers) which eat several megabytes and sometimes gigabytes off the hard disk and bloat the hard disk - system and registry alike.

There are plenty of third parties applications (search for Registry Cleaner and you shall see) that do the cleaning job, not to forget Microsoft embedded application available through following sequence: START/ ACCESSORIES/ SYSTEM TOOLS/ disk cleanup.

We tested several Registry Cleaners applications, and found out that the amount of "dirt" spotted to be cleaned is different with regards which application is used. Some list more dirt than others, while others are very cautious listing the minimal to be wiped out. And you may found yourself in trouble (if you have not made initial Registry backup as advocated at the begining of this paper) after using a Registry Cleaner. That is the reason why pundits even recommend not to touch the Registry at alll to avoid problem.

Following that advice, however, one is just buying time to meet troubles halfway. XP operating system maintains the registry better than previous brands of 95/98/Me and 2000. But still, if one is a power user (12 to 14 hours daily computing for instance), the Registry becomes increasingly bloated and after maximum two months of heavy XP-computing the system slows down. The operating system takes times to loads as do applications. The bloating time is shorter (in the range of one to two weeks for previous operating systems.

Therefore, it is better to clean up the Registry from time to time. We tried several Registry Cleaners, and found out that Easy Cleaner does a perfect job balancing well waste/ dirt removal and system stability. It is a small freeware program which searches the Windows registry for entries that are pointing nowhere. EasyCleaner also lets you delete all kinds of unnecessary files such as temps and backups. You can search for duplicate files and you can view some interesting info about your disk space usage! You are also able to manage startup programs (deciding on which programms load when you start the computer), remove invalid shortcuts and reach add/remove software list. Click here to get Easy Cleaner.

Keep in mind that when you do unistalll programmes, some uninstallers may resist complete removal and keep on loading. To clean up these, you need strong unistaller. Click here for more.

- After cleaning, compact:/ shrink the Registry

Registry compacting removes gaps, wasted space from the Registry. However, most of Registry Cleaners do not perform compacting/shrinking once the cleaning session (that removed corrupted keys and keys pointing nowhere) is over.

The maker of ERUNT (briefly exposed at the beginning of this article) developped a tiny application named NTREGOPT that does the compacting/ shrinking job fast and clean. You can get NTREGOPT here. It is included also in the zip package of ERUNT. Your computer will perform better if you run NTREGOPT after running Easy Cleaner.

- Finish the maintenance session with defragmentation

Now you are ready to perform the last step of your regular maintenance session. That is to defragment [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] the hard disk. Defragmentation can also be defined as the compression of disk partitions to recover wasted space. Indeed, the cleaning up of the disk, creates "holes" that eat out disk space and further set apart chunks of files, programs and applications that need to be "reunited" again in order to load smoothly when solicited.

There are quantities of Defragmentation applications available over the net. Windows operating systems have inhouse application available through START/ACCESSORIES/SYSTEM TOOLS. However, that one and many third parties brands do the job in a tedious way. Dragging on and on for hours if the hard disk is huge in the range of several gygabytes.

There is a small freeware defragmentation application named Speed Defrrag that does the job quick and fast. You should try it and compare its speediness with the performance of the one you are using now, and the embedded windows brand. The maker of Speed Defrag removed Speed Defrag from his website and now promotes Puran Defrag which is no more a freeware. Visiting majorgeeks.com, you may grab Version 5.1 of Speed Defrag.

That is the end of the regular maintenance session. Now you have to make again a Registry backup, because your computer configuration is no more the same. So use again ERUNT as exposed at the beginning of this delivery.

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- ACTIVE IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS? GET INFORMATION FROM THE INTERNATIONAL LAW LIBRARY


In the international business one needs to have accurate information about Law practices and regulation in countries one is dealing with. Further, it is also an asset to know about ruling leaders names and governments' ministries. There is one place to visit to get all that and it is LAW & RESEARCH website that has links to an amazing string of directories: International governments by regions; International Imports & Exports; International Non-Governmental Organization; International Taxation. Etc. Click here to visit the website

Bookmark this page (link valid for Internet Explorer - for other web browsers, please Click Bookmark on the browser menu) and come back often to visit. Stay tune to Products Sourcing From China.
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