General discussion

Do you have a check list of things to do...

Is there like a checklist of things you need to do to optimize windows when buying a new computer or installing or reinstalling windows? Like what programs you might need, which one's to delete, etc. What system tweaks to make. I thought I saw one a long time ago but I tried searching google and didn't come up with anything.

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When buying a computer

you need to know how you will use it. Are you a gamer? Into digital photography? Music? Do you plan on learning new skills? Your current and future needs will determine what hardware you'll want included.

I haven't reinstalled Windows XP as of yet. My computers seem to be running fine and I don't feel the need. I stopped doing much tweaking years ago after making such a mess of a computer, I had to start over. I find when I buy a powerful computer from the start, I don't need to do much tweaking.

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My general list

For starters, I don't buy brand name systems anymore. They're a waste of money. I'd rather just buy a few parts at a time when there's a good deal and I have some need, gradually upgrading my system.

That being said, one of the first things I do, is install Mozilla Firefox. I use IE to install any security patches I might need via Windows Update, and download Firefox, then proceed to forget that IE even exists.

Once I have Firefox up and going, I download it's cousin Mozilla Thunderbird for email needs, forgetting that Outlook Express exists.

Those two things give me a good thick layer of insulation from spyware.

Once that's done, I'd go about installing any other programs I want, like WinAmp for my audio, MediaPlayer Classic and ffdshow for all my video playing needs, etc.

There's no real way to optimize Windows by and large. It's always going to be a slow bloated operating system that tries to be everything to everyone (hence the bloat). I defy someone to point out a single must-have feature of XP that wasn't in Windows 3.1, or NT 3.51. Now if you want to talk about optimizing a Linux or FreeBSD system, then there's something to talk about. Windows is a lost cause, always has been, always will be. You just have to keep throwing new and better hardware at it to tread water.

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This is what you need.

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