Sunday, September 12, 2010

Cleaning up your (non-Mac) PC

I'm rebuilding my sweet wife's computer's hard disk today. We tried all the other solutions to speed up her PC, and none of them restored it to its original speed. Two of the tools that I had put on her computer before the rebuild were CCleaner and Registry Booster, tools that do a really good (but obviously not good enough) job of cleaning all the junk that accumulates, like electronic grit, in the machinery of a Windows computer.

After the rebuild I went to the Internet to download a new copy of Registry Booster for her, and I found an interesting discussion that went something like this. Each entry is from a different player:

"Why does PC World even recommend Registry Booster? When you go to the Registry Booster website, they offer a free scan of your PC, and then they tell you that you have 354 problems with your registry but they won't correct them for you unless you buy the full version of RB. That's not fair!"

"Yeah, that's called scareware."
(No smiley.)

"What a rip-off."

"All registry cleaners are rip-offs."

"I don't know why nobody uses the free, web-based registry cleaner from Microsoft. It's at ."

"Nobody uses it because nobody knows about it, you moron. But thanks for telling us about it. Now I'm gonna start using it."

"Hey everybody, i just found out that you have to run it from IE 7 or IE 8. And it temporarily installs an Active X control on your computer, but it deletes it later."

I just tried it. It displays an EULA that you have to accept, then it downloads a couple of things to your computer, runs a bunch of tests, does the cleanup, and then the last step is "Uploading information to Microsoft." Yikes. I should have read the EULA better before I ran it. Oh, well. The Internet's collective opinion is that it works as well as Registry Booster but it doesn't cost any money. It does require you to become more dependent on Microsoft, though. If that's a price you're willing to pay, then go ahead and try it on your own computer.

Registry Booster is available from

CCleaner is available from

Once again, the Microsoft tool is available from, and it only runs under Internet Explorer 7 or 8.

These tools work for Windows XP, Vista and 7.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

One Small Indicator that the Economy is Improving

Like the first birds of spring, that arrive even before the snow has started melting, I saw an early sign yesterday that the economy is improving.

I got called by a headhunter.

When employers are engaging headhunters to find talent among the ranks of the already employed, that's a harbinger of better times ahead.