When we moved to central Ohio from Northern Virginia, our life was bound to change. I did not think that the physical feature of out domicile would have such an impact on our day-to-day lives. In Virginia, we lived in a modest (costs two and a half times of our future mortgage payment) apartment, that was all one floor. We had two TV’s, one in our bedroom and one in the living room. We had two computers, a desktop for our daily doings, and a ridiculously old laptop, to keep me from getting bored when I traveled. Everything was very centralized, and we could see everything in the apartment, no matter where in the apartment we were located. Life was good.
When we moved to Ohio, we needed a bigger place. Tony had spent the first couple of months of his life sleeping in our room, and that needed to change; this was both for out sanity, and his sleeping habits. Our first place, and soon to be second place, in Ohio has three floors, with the bedrooms on the top floor, the living room and kitchen on the ground floor, and a finished basement that corrals most of the boysâ€™ toys. For RJ and Tony, and their short attention spans, this means that they will be on any one floor of the house for usually less that an hour before they decide they need to move somewhere else.
This was the deciding factor in our decision to purchase a new laptop. The old laptop, which was in decent shape for its age, was no comparison to the desktop that has been constantly upgraded every couple of months. For out sanity, we needed something that could keep up with our needs, and they boys pace.
This is the first laptop that I have owned that I depend on regularly. The old dinosaur of a laptop was broken many, many, many, many times, both intentionally and unintentionally. On our desktop, this was easy. I scheduled of the regular maintenance tasks, from defrag to Spybot SD to disk cleanup. (Norton comes this way, so no need to tinker with that.) It all happened in the middle of the night, and the computer restarted itself when it completed, and we were never the wiser. Conversely, what was I to do on a computer that was not always on? Crap. I would have to do it manually.
Saturday has become the ritual computer-cleaning day. (We still do not have a day for this for the apartment. Does this make us lazy or just geeks?) I begin the day by checking my email and reading my feeds. By the time I am close to being done with this, the boys are completely awake, and I must begin their day. This is when I begin my cleaning ritual.
I begin this ritual by updating and running Norton, Ad-Aware, Spybot SD and MS Anti-Spyware, in that order. This usually only takes a couple of hours, and is done by noon. After I make sure that there are no stow away programs on board, I go about cleaning the hard drive by using disk cleanup and CCleaner. I use Eraser for my day-to-day deleting. Now it is time to clean the registry, to make sure those stow away programs that get on board did not leave anything behind. There was a great article on Information Week about different registry cleaning software. I use EasyCleaner, RegScrub XP and RegClean.
Once all of this is completed, I defrag and reboot. This seems to do the trick for me, and I can really notice the difference if I do not get around to it one week.