THE MYSTIFYING SLOWDOWN

I got a new computer. My old laptop was about six years old. Virtually a dinosaur and slow as molasses. My new computer is lightning fast. So fast I get dizzy checking my e-mail. I also upgraded my cellphone and it’s so darn smart I don’t even think I needed to spend the money on the laptop. I can pretty much do everything on my smartie-pants phone. AND… it runs even faster than my laptop. Or, at least they ran amazingly fast for about a month. Then, the mystifying slowdown.

What the heck has happened? I don’t even download much stuff. Since I’m so non-technically inclined, I am loathe to download anything at all unless absolutely necessary. And then only after I’ve “googled” several variations of the question, “Is this safe to download?” and read a couple of articles on the subject.  So why? Why? Why?

One reason could be that I have multiple applications running at the same time. The computer has to divide its attention, in other words, its operating speed, amongst all running operations and applications. Often I am only looking at a single operation or app on my screen and so I am unaware that other stuff is going on behind the scenes.

The best fix for this is to simply uninstall any program or application that you really don’t use or need. And, one pointer from the experts, a lot of these programs that claim to help your computer operate a little faster will actually slow down its performance so don’t download them no matter how tempted you are. I know. I’ve been there.

Another thing to consider is that your computer or phone’s memory may just be too crammed full of junk  in its random-access memory (RAM).  This is the brain space of the computer used for immediately “thinking” about whatever program, application or operation is currently being used. To create more brain space you either have to run fewer programs at the same time or upgrade the RAM memory of your computer.

Now, the most common thing people think is causing a computer slowdown, a virus or malware infection, could very well be the problem if too many programs running at once has been ruled out.  Free scanning tools are available online but do your homework and use a safe and reputable one. If you pop positive for infection, these online tools will guide you through solutions and clean up measures.

My old computer’s slow speed issue was actually because I blew up the poor little guy’s brain. I didn’t know what I was doing. I had an older computer  that didn’t have very much space on the hard drive. I then started getting into recording videos of myself reading children’s books for my grandchildren and e-mailing them.

I had no idea the amount of memory space involved in videography. It seems I murdered my old laptop. It collapsed under the digital weight I gorged it on.  If I had realized early enough, I might have been able to save the old girl by deleting the videos once they had been sent. Instead I saved all of them and she finally cracked under the pressure.

Now, several times I did the tried and true method that seems to fix everything. I restarted my laptop. I got a couple of strange error messages but forged on ahead with a normal restart. The third attempt did her in for good.

Now, many people use wireless networks. If everybody in the house is on the network at the same time, this can cause slowdowns. Especially if someone is gaming or watching online videos. So, in cases like this, we must simply learn to share.

Also, if you happen to love whatever new hi-tech gadget is out on the market and rush out to buy it, bring it home, install it and use it until you either burn out or find a new toy, well, that could be the reason for your slowdown as well.  Remember, every little bell and whistle is another program installed and running. When you tire of a toy, uninstall the program and free up some brain space.

And, if worse comes to worse, call a geek and see if maybe your baby needs to be defragged. And, good luck! I’ve had that done before and it turned out to be a disaster. Not only was I out the money to pay for a service that turned things from bad to worse, I then had to turn right around and fork out some more hard earned dough to just get a new computer.