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Monday, September 24, 2001

Disable graphics for quick browsing
Vipul Verma

NORMALLY, PC users use the default settings of the computer and do not configure it to optimise the performance of the PC. However optimising the performance by customising it to your needs helps you deriving more from computer. This is especially true in case of the Internet, as the default setting of your modem does not allow you get the maximum from your Internet connection.

For example, the default setting in the dial-up networking has the settings for a normal PC. But if you use your computer as a stand-alone machine then by modifying the dial-up networking settings, for example, the one under the server type settings would greatly improve the performance of the Internet browsing. To put this setting into effect, click on My Computer and then double-click on dial-up networking. Now click on the icon of the ISP entry and select Properties. Now select the server type settings. Here you should keep the box adjoining Enable Software Compression in the Advanced Options box checked. Uncheck all other boxes. This would greatly improve the overall performance of the Internet connection.


Another tip is related to the online searching of contents on the Internet. Normally, we use the default setting of the browser for the Net browsing and the normal experience is that Internet browsing takes a lot of time. Though, it could be because of the lower bandwidth of the Internet service provider or disturbance in the telephone line but in the majority of the cases it is because of the wrong setting of the Internet browser that you’re using. Normally if you are browsing the text on the Internet, then you should disable the graphics in your Internet browser settings. This will prevent the graphics from loading and will thus quickly open the site for you. If you use Internet Explorer then you can change these settings by clicking on the menu tools. From the drop-down window, click on options and then select that advanced tab. Now scroll down to where it says multimedia and uncheck the box adjoining pictures and then click on OK to effect these. Now whenever you’ll open a Web site, it will show the pictures and graphics present on the site by empty boxes. This would greatly enhance your Internet browsing experience.

The use of tips and tricks may also be important in programs like Microsoft Office. In the Microsoft Office, the facility called office assistant is sometimes a nuisance and causes a lot of inconvenience to the users. However, whether you like it or not but each time you open a Microsoft Office application, this office assistant will open automatically. Some people hate it also but they are helpless, as they cannot get rid of it. If you’re also one of them and want to get rid of this office assistant then the solution is simple. All you have to do is simply re-name the folder where this office assistant resides. In order to send the office assistant in hibernation, open Windows Explorer and then click on program file. Now on the right side of the window, click on Microsoft Office and then click on office. Now right click on the folder named actors and the name it with any name having _ . Thus you may re-name it as a_ actors. Whenever you’ll open Microsoft office application like word you’ll find the office assistant pleasantly missing.

Another tip, which can boost the performance of your PC is related to the virtual memory. Normally in the default setting, the management of the virtual memory setting is left to Windows. However if you have a lot of hard disk space free, then opting for managing your virtual memory yourself will be a good idea to boost the performance of your PC.

It is worth mentioning that the virtual memory and its management are important for the efficient use of your PC. The role of virtual memory is important as it comes into picture when your actual RAM runs out. In this case, Windows uses the virtual memory for storing temporary information. Ideally, more the virtual memory the better it is for your PC. So if you have gigabytes of free hard disk space then you must opt for managing the virtual memory yourself. It is important to note here that before changing this setting you must first defrag the hard disk.

To enable the setting, double-click on My Computer and then double-click on Control Panel. Now click on the system icon and then click on the Performance Tab. Now look for the virtual memory button in the lower half of the window and select. Let me specify my own virtual memory settings. Though by default the drive selected will be where the Windows is installed but, if you have any other partition where there is a lot of free space, then you can choose that partition for allocating virtual memory.

Ideally you must set both, maximum and minimum values to at least 2.5 time of actual RAM installed in your PC. If you have 64 MB RAM then you must change the maximum and minimal value to 160. Click OK and restart your PC. Once you restart these settings will take effect and you note improved performance of your PC.

Another default setting of the Windows is about the Ultra DMA. Under the default setting Ultra DMA is not enabled. But for better performance of your PC, it is advisable to enable the ultra DMA support. However, a word of caution here. Before enabling this setting make sure that your drive supports Ultra DMA. Because if the hard disk does not support Ultra DMA, then Windows may crash.

Now in order to enable Ultra DMA simply right click on my computer icon and select properties. Click on the device manager tab and select disk drives from the options available. Now choose your hard disk from this, right click on it and select properties. Now click on the settings tab and then check the DMA checkbox. Click OK and restart your computer. When the computer restart it will enable the Ultra DMA settings on your PC. You can also enable this setting on your CD-ROM drive to improve its performance. Normally when the CD-ROM is accessing some data then the performance of the PC goes down. But by enabling Ultra DMA settings on your CD-ROM drive, more power would be added, as you’ll be able to work normally even while accessing data from your CD-ROM drive. So, the above tips and tricks show that default settings are not always the best settings that it is in your interest to explore more and more tips and tricks and improve the performance of your PC.