Nothing says "I love you" like free software.
In honor of Valentine's Day, IObit is offering Advanced SystemCare 5 Pro (Win) free of charge. It normally sells for $19.95.
Update: IObit is currently returning a "server overloaded" message when you enter your e-mail address. Hopefully they'll work out the kinks and deliver the promised license to everyone who requests it.
Take note, however: this offer is good today and today only. After the clock strikes midnight, you'll either have to pony up $20 or settle for Advanced SystemCare 5 Free (which is pretty good in its own right).
So, just what is Advanced SystemCare (ASC for short) and why would you want it, free or otherwise? It's a system-optimization tool designed to improve performance, root out problems, and even add an extra layer of security.
There are any number of similar tools out there (some free, some not), but I will profess to liking ASC. I recently ran it on a year-old Windows 7 system, and it not only found and fixed a bunch of Registry errors and the like, but also uncovered a bit of spyware that Microsoft Security Essentials had missed.
ASC can optimize Windows startup, defrag your hard drive, fix broken shortcuts, delete junk files and browser histories, and so on. Its ActiveBoost function manages system resources in real time, promising to improve overall system performance. Then there's TurboBoost, which promises extra speed for work or gaming, depending on which mode you choose.
Wisely, the program sets restore points before making any changes. If you run into trouble, the Rescue Center should get you back in business.
I'm not saying ASC will solve all your system problems, or even that it'll make any noticeable difference. But I do think it's worth a try, especially if your system is more than a year or two old. The longer Windows runs, the more detritus it accumulates, and that leads to slow, unstable performance. ASC might just help.
If not, well, at least you didn't spend $20 on it.
Advanced SystemCare 5 Pro is compatible with Windows XP and later (including Windows 8). To get the giveaway, enter your e-mail address on the IObit landing page, then watch for an e-mail with instructions.