[Paleopsych] NYT: Programs That Start When XP Does
checker at panix.com
Thu May 5 16:27:39 UTC 2005
Programs That Start When XP Does
New York Times, 5.5.5
[This is very valuable to anyone who has a computer that has slowed to a crawl.
I'll be working on eliminating programs that hog RAM and do nothing for me.]
By J.D. BIERSDORFER
Programs That Start When XP Does
Q. My Windows XP machine takes forever to start up. How can I tell
what programs are loading during the start-up process?
A. One way to sneak a peek at what programs start up when you turn on
your computer is to use the System Configuration Utility that comes
with Windows XP. To get to it, go to the Start menu and select Run. In
the Run box, type "msconfig" (without the quotation marks) to start
Click the Startup tab in the System Configuration box to see the list
of programs that open when Windows starts up, along with check boxes
to turn each program off or on during the next start-up.
If you aren't sure what some of the listed programs actually do for
your PC, you can look them up at the Windows Startup Online Search
page (www.windowsstartup.com/wso/search.php) before deciding if you
want a program to start up automatically.
Microsoft has a page of information about using the System
Configuration Utility to troubleshoot start-up problems with your PC
Other Web pages offering help for using the utility to sort out your
start-up woes include www.netsquirrel.com/msconfig and
A File by Any Name May Not Copy
Q. My wife gave me a small U.S.B. flash drive a while back to
transport files between my Mac at home and my office computer. The
U.S.B. drive seems to be pretty finicky, though, and won't let me use
file names with certain characters like slashes. Why is this?
A. To make them compatible with both Windows computers and Macintosh
systems, just about every U.S.B. flash drive sold these days is
formatted with the FAT32 file system. FAT32 is one of the file systems
Windows uses to keep track of data stored on a drive, but Macs can
also understand it and will display the stored folders and documents
when you plug in the drive.
Apple's iPod Shuffle music player, which can also function as a
U.S.B. drive for toting large files, also comes formatted right out of
the box in the FAT32 system.
Using certain typographical characters in file names, however, is one
thing you can do on a Mac but not on Windows. You can't name files
with slashes, brackets, colons, semicolons, asterisks, periods, commas
and a few other characters on the FAT32 system.
You may get error messages if you try to copy files with such
characters in the names from your Mac to the U.S.B. drive - or if you
do successfully copy them, the file names may be changed on the U.S.B.
If you're using the U.S.B. drive to transfer files between Macs, you
can get around finicky FAT32 by rounding up the files you want to
transfer from the Mac and creating an archive file with them. In Mac
OS X 10.3, click on each file to select it, then go to the File menu
and select Create Archive.
Give the archived file a simple name like Files and let the Mac create
it. Then copy the Files.zip archive to the U.S.B. drive. You can also
use utility programs like Stuffit to create archive files on older Mac
Useful Add-Ons For Firefox
Q. Where can I find extension programs for the Firefox Web browser
that do things like display the current weather in the browser window?
A. Firefox, a free Web browser that comes in versions for Windows,
Macintosh and Linux systems, can be easily customized with small
extension programs that do things like add dictionary search tools to
the browser window or provide controls for your computer's
digital-audio software so you can control your music while you surf.
The Forecastfox extension, which displays the current weather in the
corner of the Firefox window, can be found at
The latest version of Firefox itself can be downloaded at
www.mozilla.org/products/firefox, where there's also a link to more
Circuits invites questions about computer-based technology, by e-mail
to QandA at nytimes.com. This column will answer questions of general
interest, but letters cannot be answered individually.
More information about the paleopsych