Double Click
by Leslie Lassitor

Before I worked for one of America's great bosses who issued me a hot laptop I used a retail-brand-name PC that served well and still does. An old version operating system is fast and smooth because it lacks bloated code to give it options I will never use. Think of it as a pleasure computer. Like a fun car that you would never drive to work, you tinker with it on Saturdays. Maybe you take a drive around the neighborhood.

While tinkering last Saturday I brought up a DOS prompt. If you want to try this use the DOS prompt outside Windows. In Windows95, shut down the computer and restart in DOS. In Windows 3.1 click yes at "exit Windows session". At the c: prompt type "chkdsk" and press Enter. (In another column there will be a detailed discussion of DOS. It's fun once you get the hang of it.) From the chkdsk command you will receive details about hard drive capacity, file structure and the memory of your computer. (Type "win" at any c:> to return to Windows.) I found 3,177 files residing on this old drive that I use twice monthly. Obviously these files are not pertinent or mandatory to the maintenance of my current lifestyle. Some of them should go.

Here is my point. Collecting files on the hard drive is the absolute easiest part of using a computer. The opportunity to save bobbles and gems of our own and others creation with the click of a mouse makes pack rats of us all. May I offer an affirmation to PC users everywhere: "Find a file and delete it!". A packed hard drive is a slow hard drive. Everytime you begin the shutdown process ask yourself what you have deleted today. Consider it toothbrushing in the cyber dimension. Hard drive crash like tooth decay is a devolutionary process. We notice only when the pain starts.

From the Start button in Windows95 or the Program Manager File menu in Windows 3.1, click Run, type "defrag" and press Enter occasionally just to keep the hard drive in shape. (You can do this from within Windows.) The goal is a fast hard drive that serves useful applications for a long time.

1997 LLassitor

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