Scientific American presents Tech Talker by Quick & Dirty Tips. Scientific American and Quick & Dirty Tips are both Macmillan companies.

Listener Kathy M. posted a great question on the Tech Talker Facebook wall . She wanted to know how to optimize her computer, making it run faster without adding any extra hardware. This is a great question because it’s something we’ve all encountered. We buy a computer and it’s lightning-fast. Then, after a few years, we notice that our formerly speedy machine takes forever to do everything. One of the reasons for this is us. During the life of a computer, we tend to install lots of software and other files that slow down its functioning.

Why Computers Slow Down
However, although computers do slow down after the installation of software, the main reason they get slower is because every year newer software has bigger and bigger requirements. For example: The Windows 98 operating system required 24 megabytes of memory and just 200 megabytes of hard drive space, whereas Windows 7 requires 2 gigabytes of memory and 20 gigabytes of hard drive space. As we learned in How to Back Up Your Data, a gigabyte is about a thousand megabytes so in a 10-year span the requirements for computers have increased 100 times. Who wouldn’t slow down!





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