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Tuning


Performance • Reliability • Security


Basic Maintenance removes the obstacles to good performance.  In Tuning, we aim for superior performance and a custom fit to you.

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Organization

While the advertising says the computer puts everything at your fingertips and increases productivity, simple disorganization quietly gobbles up those benefits and your time.  For example:

Many applications like to drop files in their own arbitrary corners of your universe - usually somewhere on the System drive, which should be kept as clean as possible.

After a number of installations, the Start Menu and the Desktop can become a hodge podge swamp of icons ("links") for programs, help files, websites, ads, surprise installations, and suspicious "free goo", with many duplicates.

Sure ... it's all right there at your fingertips - like the elephant in your living room:

You need a certain document, but first you must go on a "fishing expedition" to find it; or you must stop and review multiple copies with the same filename to find the right one.

You want to start a program, but first you must visually recognize, and then ignore, dozens, perhaps hundreds of other program links in a massive list which seems to shift around on its own, and which can actually grow too large to be displayed on the screen.

What does this thing do, or (hmmm...) what is it doing right now?  Can I get rid of it, or will I wreck something?

This is not productive, nor is it fun.

We'll help you set up your personal folders and files on the hard drive to make it easy to find your stuff, run your programs, and simplify your backups.

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Lighten the Load

Right from the power plug, throughout your computer's hardware and software, to the resulting output in files, printed pages, e-mails, and on-screen, electrical and processing loads can make the difference between smooth operation, or slow, erratic behavior, including system crashes.

On the hardware side, we check faulty cables and adjust connections to relieve stress and overload which can lead to component failure.

Within your system, we look for "thrashing" - redundant, unnecessary work which eats up your computing power, slows communications, and may cause excessive hard drive wear.

We also adjust your cache sizes to reasonable working limits.  Your system has various caches intended to speed processing by keeping recently used data ready for reuse.  However, these caches tend to accumilate an excessive amount of old junk because they are set to large sizes by default.  Just as your time is wasted by recognizing and ignoring what you don't need, your system also wastes time sifting through excess data to find what it needs.

Out of the box, your computer is usually preconfigured for maximum audio and visual appeal.  It is presumed that if you find the computer to be highly entertaining, then you probably won't care how much these special effects drag down your horsepower.  If your computer is really fast, it may not matter; but if it's less expensive or older, we'd like to entertain you with some significant performance gains, simply by turning some of this stuff off.

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Fine Tuning

Can you clearly and easily read the information on your screen?

Does your on-screen mouse pointer move with you, or against you?

Do you find that you must change your settings, such as fonts and margins, every time you use your applications?

Have you developed workaround procedures, which you must remember to do every time, in order to get a program to work right?

Is there any end to these questions?

There is!

Your system and applications have a multitude of configuration settings to make them conform to your needs and working style.  We'll show you how.

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Hardware and Software Installation

The steps aren't too difficult:

Decide if you really need the product.  Find out if it's compatible with your system.  If it isn't, find out if it's possible and worthwhile to change your system to make it compatible.  Find out who has the best kind of this product at the best price, and buy it, along with any additional parts you might need.  Back up your system, make any required compatibility changes, and make sure those changes don't cause problems.  Read and understand the installation guide, and make sure the accessory parts are present.  Perform the installation steps, and deal with any unexpected results.  Test the product's features to make sure they work properly, and to verify that it works as well in practice as it did in theory.  Check the rest of your system and applications for any negative impact by the new product.  If everything looks good, back up your system again and change the product's settings to your liking.  If everything looks bad, uninstall the product, making sure it doesn't harm your system, your other applications, or your data; then restore your system to its previous condition before the installation, then reverse your compatibility changes, and try to get your money back.

Or contact us for complete installation support.

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Hardware and Software II

You knew this was coming ...

There are some hardware and software which we strongly recommend you install and use, if you don't already have it.  We'd love to sell it to you, but we don't get a dime for it.  Some of it is cheap; the rest is free.  For example:

If you live in the real world, you need a UPS ("Uninterruptible Power Supply") which draws from a battery to provide AC power to your desktop computer for just long enough that you can safely close your programs and shutdown cleanly, instead of crashing when the power goes out.  A good UPS also has built in protection from power surges, and AVR ("Automatic Voltage Regulation") to smooth out the power during "brownouts", when the voltage dips low enough that it can also make your computer crash.

Compared to losing hours' worth of creative work, or waiting while your system checks for hard drive faults at startup, or spending the time to scan your entire system to see if it crashed from a virus or other cause, and doing all this with every major power fluctuation, a $50 UPS is cheap.

We do go on about backups - here's more.  There are two free software products which we cannot praise highly enough.  We call them "mini-backups" because, with proper setup, they're quick, painless, and effective.

One, "SyncBack", backs up your files, exactly as you wish.  The other, "ERUNT", backs up your Registry, a critical part of your operating system.

Since we use these products regularly, we'll show you how to set them up for best results (they can even run automatically) - and how to use them to recover from emergencies.

Finally, we'll ask to put some diagnostic software on your computer, which we use to check into problems, system configuration, the status of running processes, and the like.  You can refuse it.  You can also keep any of it which has no license restrictions, because it's free.

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For those of you who know a little more about installations, we're very picky about software.  It must contain no malware, it must install cleanly without modifying operating system files, it must not compromise system security or performance, and it must uninstall completely without leaving junk scattered around.


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