MSFT Housekeeping/Linux

BBB

Experienced member
1,071 3
Hi folks - I'm losing hair over my PC.

I'm sure that my PC is getting slower and slower, despite only using about 15% of the hard disk and regularly defragmenting the disk every month.

I'm positive my machine was much faster when it was new (18 months ago), despite the fact it's relatively clear.

I think my issue could be with my video memory as the screens seem to be taking longer and longer to refresh if I switch/click on another application. Is there any way of tweaking the amount of memory on the graphics card, or other general housekeeping routines (like regularly clearing the temp files in browsers etc?) for trading? Im on XP (home).

Does anyone have experience of ditching Microsoft altogether and going for Linux?

Sorry if these basic issues have been raised before.
 

JonnyT

Senior member
2,560 22
Try using AdaWare.

Download from www.lavasoft.de

Spyware can significantly slow down your machine, I've seen machines so slow you wouldn't beleive.

JonnyT
 

Mayfly

Established member
514 28
There are plenty of utility programs about, including:

Tweak XP Pro: http://www.totalidea.com/frameset-products.htm

O&O Defrag: http://www.oo-software.com/en/index.html

I’d use Tweak XP Pro to clear out the junk among things and O&O to defrag my disks. You can trial both programs for 30 days – in fact, I’d suggest that you also trial diskeeper along side O&O - it shouldn’t take too long for you to decide which of them is the better product?

HTH

Cheers

Mayfly
 

BBB

Experienced member
1,071 3
Thanks guys, I'll look at both. Applications seem to be taking longer to load as well.

Ta.
 

BBB

Experienced member
1,071 3
Thanks Oatman- Ran PCPitstop earlier. Bit sceptical at first - thought it would just be a plug to buy a load of upgrades. Infact it offers sensible DIY advice on how to improve stuff.

Generally, my PC got a clean bill of health. It did point out a security issue that I have quickly fixed. Most surprisingly, it gave my video card and refresh capabilities the thumbs up - which was my main concern. It did advise me to load a bit more memory though - but I cant see how that will help things run as fast as I remember them.

Like Paul says, maybe I should defrag more often.

Thanks.
 

oatman

Senior member
2,879 22
Have you got Diskeeperlite? Doesn't take any resources, runs in the background. I defrag every day. Obviously everyone's usage is different. How much RAM have you got? 512 is enough for almost anything.
There are also a number of tweaks. For a start cut out unwanted XP services. Go to http://www.blackviper.com/ for Services that it's safe to disable.
 

Tun

Junior member
22 0
BBB said:

Does anyone have experience of ditching Microsoft altogether and going for Linux?

I have, well more or less. I dual-boot my machine and use Linux as much as possible.

I do it for idealogical reasons and because it's a hobby. The attractive thing about linux is that it's free, flexible, configurable, reliable and less prone to all the crap that's associated with windows, virus's, spyware, vulnerabilities etc.

The flipside is that using linux can take more of your time, at times requires patience, will put you at the bottom of a new learning curve and it might not have the software support you require.

Whether you want to do it really depends on your circumstances, the software you want to use, how much time and how you apply yourself.

From what little I know about your circumstances I'd surmise a full switch isn't on the cards at the moment, although you might want to do some more investigating.

You could download and burn a knoppix CD then boot your PC using this. It will allow you to use linux for a little without endangering your windows install.

If you have a large hard disk you could look at repartitioning some space for linux then dualbooting.

I'm no trader (yet) the reason I'm on this site is to find out as much as possible, but if I was I couldn't recommend using linux, basically because of the dearth of trading software. All of the software I've seen is windows based. One thing I'd definitely do if I was day trading would be to ensure I was connecting to the internet from behind a linux firewall, seems like there's far to much risk associated in having an XP box directly connected. Another advantage would be if your main ISP died you'd need a reboot taking a 5 maybe 10 minutes to switch (some people could lose a lot of moeny in that time), with a linux box sat inbetween your trading PC and the internet you could switch in a matter of seconds.

Personally in a few months when I've learnt a lot more I think I'm going to be able to do my trading on linux. But I only need a web-browser for bigcharts, broker software etc.

Back to the XP probs. If I were you, try all the other posters suggestions to make it faster. If that still hasn't worked backup all your data and reinstall XP. Then if it's still slow you may want to troubleshoot your hardware. Once your back to normal and have time look into the use of XP.

Careful on the regular diskdefragging, it's only necessary once in a while and it's benefits are debatable. I'd be a bit reticent about running it too often due to the wear and tear on the drive, that's not a definite rule, just a guess as from the evidence, I've never heard of anybody defragging so often.

I could go on for days, hope you've found the above useful and I've not rambled too much :) I've gleaned enough trading info off these boards so it's time to give a little back.
 

Rognvald

Established member
916 15
Tun
The issue of Linux is not going away and I think it would be exremely helpful to build some Linux Knowledge on this site (from a trading perspective).

I have considered adopting Lx on a dual boot but feel it isn't sufficiently user friendly yet and there is v little trading software available. I think this may well change over time.

It would be good if you would post on progress or any developments you come across from time to time
 

awoodj

Active member
142 0
Virtual PC or VMware

If you want to try out Linux without screwing up your PC try one of the above. Allows you to run a virtual machine inside your windows enviroment. You can "switch" it on and off when you like, then if you decide it is for you then go ahead and put Linux as your native os, but until then play and learn with far less risk.

PS VMware offer a trial version as far as i remember.
 

Tun

Junior member
22 0
Re: Virtual PC or VMware

Rognvald said:
Tun
The issue of Linux is not going away and I think it would be exremely helpful to build some Linux Knowledge on this site (from a trading perspective).

I have considered adopting Lx on a dual boot but feel it isn't sufficiently user friendly yet and there is v little trading software available. I think this may well change over time.

It would be good if you would post on progress or any developments you come across from time to time

I for one hope it doesn't go away and will get stronger. As the linux user base increases (or as the current user base becomes more interested in trading) we should see some more applications appear.

You're right to have concerns about the user friendliness of it, but I think you might also be pleasantly suprised at how far it's come. Take a look at these Gnome Desktop (Linux) screenshots or more artistic screenshots and prepare to be amazed ;)

Two of the more popular easy to use distributions are fedora and debian. The anaconda installer for redhat is very user friendly

I'll try and post more information as and when I find it. If there's anything else linux related required for the forums I'll try and do my bit.

awoodj said:
If you want to try out Linux without screwing up your PC try one of the above. Allows you to run a virtual machine inside your windows enviroment. You can "switch" it on and off when you like, then if you decide it is for you then go ahead and put Linux as your native os, but until then play and learn with far less risk.

PS VMware offer a trial version as far as i remember.

Now why didn't I think about that :) Very good idea for a what should be a troublefree and seamless install. It mightn't be a long term solution, but it's definitely a way to test the water.
 

Tun

Junior member
22 0
Sorry about that, my comment seems to have lost something in the brain to screen transition :) My post was getting a lot longer than I intended and I rushed to finish it. That one has slipped through the net (pun intended).

It's definitely not pointless, I've seen huge speed gains in a Windows (98) system which has been defragged after 6 months. If a system is slowing signs of slowdown a defragment is one of the first things I'll do.

The thing I wanted to draw attention to was that how often you defrag needs thinking about. A big factor in determining how often you run a defrag is how often you write and delete large files (and how much free space you have left on the disk). For most people it's going to take in the region of weeks/months rather than days before a defrag will show any benefits. If you're defragging more frequently than you need to you're forcing more wear and tear on the disk than necessary and wasting time too. If you find a frequent defrag necessary (days rather than weeks) then it might be symptomatic of another issue.

It's just a personal opinion, a point for discussion rather than a definite rule to be abided by.
I find it hard to find any official opinions on it. HD manufacturers tend to keep quite about their shoddy disks that die far too soon. Microsoft keeps quiet about how slow their OS can become. I find the best way to determine what to do is discussion in forums like these.

I think the first question is a pretty good take on it.

Hope that clears up my opinion
 
 
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