MY NEEDS: I'm not a gamer or a photographer. I'm a copy editor using Word to Track Changes in my clients' soon-to-be-published manuscripts, using online Webster's to double-check spelling, using the online version of The Chicago Manual of Style to double-check grammar, plus doing some fact-checking via the internet, along with accessing three email addresses to connect with my author clients. Yes, it should be just one central email hub in hindsight, but I was tracking how I got their attention.
Also I have a cloud backup program. I've found that I need to see that little icon appear in my taskbar before everything else speeds up. While that icon seems to be the last to show up, it only takes a couple minutes max. In my downtime, once I've stopped working for the day, I do watch movies on Netflix and YouTube on a second laptop while in bed.
MY SYSTEM: I'm on Windows 10, using 2010 Word, with a wireless laptop (no wired-in desktop computer).
INTERNET MODEM: My service provider is AT&T, and they are wonderful. We finally got them in my neighborhood, and (1) I was happy to switch. They are cheaper than my previous provider (who was the only game in town for years). They provide faster service. They are rarely down. In fact, they seem to run two underground lines from my house to the pole in my backyard. Like my neighbor said, if the system goes down, it's only for about five minutes, as the second line kicks in to keep me connected.
My router/modem is installed in the first bedroom that initially served as my office. However, years ago I had moved my office to the second bedroom, some one hundred feet apart, with many twists and turns and walls and doors in the way. (2) I bought an internet booster that you sync with the modem and then plug in somewhere between said modem and the computer. That helped even before I switched internet providers.
Prior to my visit to the local computer guru, I found two videos on YouTube: (3) one to double my RAM and (4) a clean batch file to clear out the temp files and the prefetch files. I run it every morning to delete the junk. After all that, I then (5) uninstalled computer programs, notably all but two browsers. [I had been checking other browsers to see if they were any faster than Google Chrome.] Google Chrome is my current default, with Microsoft Edge as my alternate, in case I need to see if Google is down.
My new friend, the local computer guru, also checked for software programs that could be deleted, suggested I check for more software that I did not need and was not using that could be deleted. NOTE: I suggest you make a list and speak to your IT tech first before deleting/uninstalling any unknown programs to you, or you could search the internet to confirm what those programs do as well before uninstalling something really important that you need. My computer guru also asked about how close my router/modem was to my computer, asked if I was wired-in or wireless (discussed above).
But his best advice was priceless: (6) Set up a second work laptop strictly for checking my three work-related email addresses. My primary work laptop was restricted to working on my clients' Word docs and doing related internet research. Luckily I have a graveyard of laptops that I had not yet recycled at my local BestBuy, as I resurrected one for my bedroom for movie-watching (nice big screen for a laptop with great audio and video), another one to serve as a second work-related laptop for my office to segregate said three email addresses via two email programs from my other business-related needs.
Once I set up that secondary work-related laptop for checking emails throughout my day, magic happened. My primary work-related laptop no longer froze up every ten minutes (or less). My computer boots up/shuts down in five minutes or less (instead of thirty minutes to an hour or even more).
Now I'm a happy camper. Granted, my system is not as fast as what is depicted on TV with hackers able to do anything in seconds. Is that even possible in real life? I'm no hacker, but I am envious of their computers. However, just doing each of the above-noted tasks has vastly improved the frustratingly slow computer problems that I had been dealing with earlier.
Hope this helps someone out there as well.
Denise Barker, Author, Blogger, Copy Editor
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