Bits & P.C.s: Computer clean-up and

Bits & P.C.s: Computer clean-up and

By Richard Heller

This week, let’s look at some tips to help your computer run a little smoother.

The first thing that we will do is control the temporary file use on your system. By default, Windows saves all the temporary files that are created when a program is run in a special folder. If you start Windows Explorer and navigate to the WindowsTemp directory, you will find a bunch of files. If everything is running correctly, these files should be deleted when you quit the program that created them; their sole purpose is to store temporary data while the program is running.

Once you have the temp directory highlighted, you can click on “edit” then ”select all.” If you then hit the “delete” key on the keyboard the files will be sent to the “Recycle Bin.” You should be able to answer yes to any questions that may appear; if you delete a file that you need you may restore it from the Recycle Bin. When finished, close the Windows Explorer.

Next, start Internet Explorer but do not go online. Click on “Tools” at the top, then select “Internet Options.” On the “General Tab” select ”Delete Files” under the “Temporary Internet Files” heading and answer OK. Next, change the days to keep in history to one or two days then click on ”Clear History.”

Another thing that you can do is click on the “Advanced” tab. Under ”Browsing” should be an entry for “Automatically check for Internet Explorer updates.” Unless you are using a high-speed Internet connection, you should deselect this setting. An Internet Explorer update may take anywhere from an hour to eight hours to complete on a dial-up connection.

After you have made the changes, click on OK and exit Internet Explorer. By doing these minor changes, you will find that Web pages should load faster and your anti-virus program should also scan faster.

One of the problems in Rockford and the surrounding communities is finding a high-speed Internet provider. DSL is not available in all areas of the city. Cable Internet is usually available but can be expensive for a small business.

A new company,, Inc., has just started up in thenorthern Illinois area. They are offering a wireless Internet service at a very reasonable rate, and they are going into areas where there may be little or no choice for broadband service.

One of these areas is the southeast Rockford area in the Sundstrand neighborhood. SBC does not offer DSL service, and Insight wants a minimum of $100 a month to place their service into a business. Mark Helmer at is offering his service starting at less than $50 per month. Depending on the package you sign up for, you may not even have to pay for the installation.

Their current coverage area is limited, but they are looking to expand into some of the communities north of Rockford in the near future. You can find out more information at

Richard Heller is an independent computer specialist who specializes in repairs, installation, upgrades, technical support, Internet sharing, data recovery and diagnostics. If you have any computer or service-related questions, please send them to The Rock River Times or e-mail

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