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I found a great program that…

I found a great program that…

I get email all the time from readers who want me to know about freeware and shareware programs that change the status of read only files, turn off XP Messenger Service , display hard drive contents, monitor open processes, and other simple tasks. Of course, we appreciate and encourage reader feedback and recommendations, but I had a few thoughts that I’d like to pass along.

Why install a program to do what can be done manually? The answer is simple—they save time, are mostly easy to use, work with the click of a button, etc.

We want things to be easy. This is the 21st century after all—we have robot pets, genetically altered food, and cars that talk. We love our PCs, but they often cause more problems than they solve.

If we give you a great tip on how to make JPEGs smaller to send in email using a your image editing software, [1] you might decide to make it even easier by downloading a program that does it for you. That’s fine, our feelings aren’t hurt if there’s freeware that can save you time.

Here is my concern: if you download a dozen programs to do things that you can easily do yourself, then you are using up hard drive space. Think of it like this: imagine that you had a chef to cook your food, a person to get you dressed, a chauffeur to drive you around, a gardener to do your lawn, a maid to clean your house, and a mechanic to tune up your car. Sounds great. Now imagine that they all share a three bedroom house with you. Yikes! It’s getting crowded in here.

Now do you get my point? Freeware and shareware applications are good, but try not to fill up your system with stuff you don’t really need. Also, when you download, save the setup file to disk rather than letting it sit on your hard drive too. If you are running out of space on your hard drive, try removing some of the redundant toys that you downloaded.

There are great applications out there that actually DO make computing easier, I just thought I’d share these thoughts with you.

~ David