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PDB Letters: Sisyphean Windows
By Thiravudh Khoman

Re: Tony Waltham's piece on "Taming Windows" (Post Database, 27-Sep-2000).

For those who have decided to take the bitter pill and reinstall Windows, an excellent article to read is the June 2000 issue of Maximum PC, "How to completely revamp your Windows PC for a clean start". It can be found on the internet at https://www.maximumpc.com/reprint/clean_start/. While rather technical, it's a good read nonetheless.

(Interestingly, the current Editor-in-Chief of Maximum PC, Jon Phillips was born in Thailand, a fact I discovered when I asked him to post the article - not all Maximum PC articles are automatically posted, by the way.)

For those who can't bring themselves to spending multi-hours backing up and reinstalling their PCs (and I certainly don't fault them), it's not a bad idea to use one of those all-in-one utilities such as Norton SystemWorks or Fix-It Utilities to cleanse your system rather than searching for and using individual programs. Despite their cost, these programs can run on "automatic" and therefore can you save the bother of obtaining and learning disparate programs. Also, they're sometimes more capable than their freeware brethren, Norton's defragger being a good case in point.

I also agree with Terry Straehley that much performance can be recovered by using Scandisk (or something similar) and defragmenting one's disk. Even with 128mb of RAM that people sometimes equip Windows 9x with these days (a ridiculous amount for a consumer O/S really), Windows is incredibly disk bound. Recently, while prepping my computer for a cable modem installation, I ran through an exhaustive in situ repair session using Norton Systemworks that took several hours. When finished, I was pleasantly surprised how much better Windows performed.

Of course, like Mr. Sisyphus and his boulder, I realize that Windows will keep rolling back down the mountain.

Copyright © 2000, Thiravudh Khoman