Once again I've spent part of a day working on a Windows PC. The general complaint is that it's slow. I've decided not to wipe it and re-install the software yet, but I probably will if it still seems slow. This time around I'm applying updates for all of the software that is installed. Yes ALL of the software.
Part of the problem is that this computer connects to the Internet via dial up. You can't update the computer with dial up. You can tell windows to download updates. It will do it in the background, but on dial this is slow. So, I brought the machine home and doing the updates from here.
First thing this morning I told it to update and first thing it installed SP3. Yes, I could have taken that with me (I had already downloaded it) but why bother. After updating SP3, it wanted to update 3 other things for Windows which took another 248MB of download. I believe that it was some .Net update.
In addition to the Windows update, I'm updating FireFox, AVG Free, Java, Spy Bot, Flash, Acrobat (you really need to update Acrobat), and OpenOffice. After that I'll run spy bot and defragment the hard drive over night. Hopefully this will help.
There are efforts being made to get some type of broad band connection into the area where this computer lives. It's a small rural farming area that has one dial up provider. Once it's installed I think that I'm going to set up the machine for dual boot and see if I can the users to run Ubuntu.
I can't do that now since the modems they buy are WinModems. There are no drivers for them under Linux. I'd have them buy more expensive modems, but they usually get one per year fried due to surges in the phone line. (Yes a surge protector helps.)
I need to do the same thing for my parents. I've put off putting linux on their computer even though do have high speed. The reason for that is that they've got some programs that only run under windows. I think that I'm going to try it anyway.