Ira Wilsker's archive

It should be no surprise that smart computing devices are outselling traditional desktop and laptop computers. There is an intensive battle for market share of operating systems for these smart devices, which includes smart phones, tablets and related devices. The primary combatants are Google with its Android operating system, Apple with its iOS, and Microsoft with its newly released Windows 8 version for smart devices.

shadow

I am fully cognizant of the level of frustration and anger when a hard drive or other mass storage device fails. While I am personally careful to keep contemporary backups of all of the critical data on all of my computers, all too often I receive calls of despair from individuals whose computer “crashed” and they are convinced that they have lost all of their important information. In some cases the alleged “crash” is not really a catastrophic hard drive failure, but a recoverable error or problem due to either hardware or software issues.

shadow

One of the popular categories of PC software is the type that can perform comprehensive system analysis and repair, probably leading to improved system performance. There are quite a few of these utilities available, both as freeware and as paid commercial products. Many of these utilities have previously been reviewed in this column with comments from readers indicating a general high level of satisfaction with most of them.

shadow

An old tradition on Thanksgiving morning in my extended family has been to gather around a fat newspaper loaded with Black Friday ads and plot and conspire about where and when to go to get the bargains. It is only relatively recent history that stores started Black Friday at a minute after midnight or at four in the morning; prior to these insane opening times, most major stores opened at seven or eight a.m., a more civilized time to commence the fray.

shadow

There are several excellent “all in one” Windows system cleaners available. These system cleaners might be able to improve system performance by cleaning the hard drive, managing the startup, tweaking internal Windows settings, cleaning and optimizing the registry, improving Internet speeds, and performing a host of other system maintenance functions.

shadow