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OpenOffice 3.0

OpenOffice

This week OpenOffice 3.0 was released and once again I found myself questioning as to why we spend good money on Microsoft Office when there is a completely free alternative available that does the job just as well.After all, it’s not as if Office 2007 is cheap; the professional version comes in at an impressive £350 and it’s not as if I even like Office 2007.

Unlike previous versions which used a standard Windows interface, I find the latest incarnation completely out of keeping with other applications which all keep to roughly the same, familiar user interface.Perhaps old age it starting to catch up with me but even after a year of usage I still find myself spending what seems like an eternity looking in vein for even the most basic of functions. Software for the Windows Operating System has always adhered to a certain menu layout so that users could quickly and easily pick up a new application, but it seems Microsoft now require us to spend weeks figuring out where they’ve moved a basic function such as ‘find’ which should be located in a drop down ‘edit’ menu.

OpenOffice does include almost everything that you could require from an office suite and fortunately the interface is laid out in a fashion becoming a Windows application so it shouldn’t take long to pick up.The applications below shouldn’t be considered cut down versions of the Microsoft equivalent; this is a powerful piece of software in its own right and most users won’t notice any difference in functionality:

Writer: The equivalent to Microsoft Word which includes all the usual features such as AutoCorrect, AutoComplete, AutoFormat, Styles and Formatting, Spellchecker, Grammar Checker and illustration tools.Unlike many other applications (including previous versions of Microsoft Word), Writer can also open and save the .docx format that is used by default in Office 2007.

Calc: Similar to Microsoft’s Excel spreadsheet application, Calc includes all the standard functions as well as more advanced features such as an Intelligent Sum button and Scenario Manager.

Impress: This is designed to replace Office’s PowerPoint presentation application to allow you to create multimedia applications using a combination of clipart, drawing tools, animation, transition effects, text tools and special effects.Work can be shared using a number of formats such as the standards .pdf, .html and Flash.

Draw: Does pretty much what it says on the tin; Draw allows to create graphics including sketches and plans quickly and easily.

Base: An advanced database application for managing raw data, forms, queries, tables and reports which also includes a number of wizards that should get newcomers up and running immediately.

It’s at this point that the penny drops and I realise that there is something missing; unfortunately an e-mail client as an alternative to Microsoft Outlook appears to be absent which for an Internet company such as Refresh is a big issue hence why we probably haven’t yet made the switch.While there are free alternatives available such as Outlook Express and Mozilla Thunderbird I personally have never found they come anywhere close to Outlook in terms of functionality.

Perhaps for the next incarnation they will consider the inclusion of an e-mail client but this omission aside, OpenOffice is a near perfect application which can be downloaded free of charge from www.openoffice.org.The 142mb file size, whilst large, shouldn’t take more than about half an hour, even on modest broadband connections.

 

About the Author - Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.

Wireless Security #2

Wireless-security

Last week we spoke about the need for Wireless Network security and we follow on this week by covering the different standards available.To set up or alter your wireless security settings you will require the manual for your router as the configuration process varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.This should have been provided in the box in either paper format or on a CD-ROM but if you don’t have either to hand then a copy should be freely available from the manufacturers website.

WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) – Introduced back in 1999, WEP is still one of the most popular encryption protocols.Despite the fact it has several serious weaknesses and can be readily cracked in minutes with freely available software, it is the default choice presented to a user when setting up security on a wireless network which probably explains its continued popularity.

The standard is so weak because it relies on a small piece of data being pre-pended to all transmissions which when matched to the key held by an authorised machine allows the data to be decrypted.With it being on almost every packet of data transmitted the cracking process just involves listening out for enough of them in order to obtain sufficient numbers to decrypt the key.

If your wireless router currently only supports WEP then do check out the manufacturers website as there is a very real possibility that a free of charge firmware update might be available to improve support for more advanced standards; WEP should only ever be used if the only alternative was no encryption whatsoever.

MAC Filtering – This will allow you to individually grant access to your wireless network for individual machines by pre-specifying their MAC addresses; these addresses are used to uniquely identify network adaptors.

Unfortunately the theory also suffers in much the same way as WEP; someone need only listen to enough network traffic to be able to obtain a list of MAC addresses.Once it has been obtained, the hacker creates a fake MAC address which caused your router to grant access by fooling it in to thinking that it’s communicating with an authorised machine.

Disabling SSID Broadcast – The SSID (Service Set IDentifier) has to be identical on both the router and client machine in order for them to communicate.In order to ease setup, the SSID broadcast reveals the location of your network to all computers within range so they can easily connect if required.The broadcast can be disabled which would then mean rather than searching for your local network you would be required to memorise the SSID.Unfortunately, as before, this can be easily circumvented by simply listening to network traffic with freely available software.

WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) – In the home market WPA usually relies on a pre-shared key which consists of a passphrase used to access the network.This passphrase can be from 8 to 63 characters long however in the interests of security I would suggest choosing at least 13 completely random characters. WPA succeeds where WEP failed as the encryption key pre-pended to the transmissions is changed frequently so that a hacker is unable to obtain sufficient data in order to decrypt the key.

In summary, I would recommend that all users with a wireless network ensure that firstly they are actually employing some form of wireless security and secondly that it is set to the secure WPA standard; whilst it is not unbreakable it is considered extremely secure and certainly the best that we have for now.

 

About the Author - Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.

Wireless Security

Wireless-Network

This week I was in a moral dilemma; we have just moved in to the new house and haven’t yet got a phone line or broadband connection.Writing and sending my Click article does require a certain amount of Internet access and so resigned myself to travelling back to the office at ten o’clock on this Tuesday evening unless someone out there was kind enough to be broadcasting a wireless signal that I could hitch on to.

Whilst I theoretically know how to crack a wireless network with minimal encryption, I decided that this could be considered a little un-neighbourly and so drew a line by saying I would only make a connection in the unlikely event that there was someone broadcasting with absolutely no security installed whatsoever.It turns out that what I assumed would be an unlikely possibility was actually surprisingly obtainable; as I sat in my conservatory I quickly picked up a dozen wireless Internet connections with three of them being completely unprotected.

Instantly I knew what I would be writing my article on this week; if you consider that within a very tight radius of my conservatory there were three unprotected connections I dread to think how many thousands exist in Torbay.Whilst I was able to send this article as a result of their oversight, the situation could have been a lot more serious if I’d have had malicious intentions in mind.

Wireless technology is currently treading a fine line; the technology inherently needs to be secure since the signal is usually broadcast well beyond the four walls of the property that the network is designed to serve, however they are also designed to be used by computer users with only a very basic working knowledge.Since security and usability don’t go hand in hand, the former is usually discarded in favour of the latter.It is reasoned by the manufacturers that whilst Joe Public probably doesn’t have anything they particularly care to hide from the world, they would be rather irate if they couldn’t get their wireless network set up without assistance within 10 minutes of removing the router from the box.

The reality is that whether or not you have something to hide from the world, you don’t want anyone with a wireless card in a 100 metre radius having access to your network.If we put aside the most serious possibility of someone obtaining confidential information from your compromised network there is also the fact they may simply abuse your Internet connection.Every couple of weeks I speak to a new person who wants a wireless network card so they can access their neighbours’ Internet connection for free; even if they only use it for simple tasks it will affect the speed of their network as well as counting towards any usage limit if on a metered connection.There is also the real possibility that if they use your connection for less savoury activities then it will have the IP address associated with your Internet account stamped all over it.

Fortunately securing your network is a simple process that shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.There are several methods of securing your network from the popular WEP (Wireless Encryption Protocol) and MAC filtering to the more recent and secure WPA standard.It is important to choose the right one as there are some serious security flaws in some of the standards so we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages to both next week.

 

About the Author - Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.

iPhone

iphone

Whilst I dedicated an article to the iPhone when it was first announced I haven’t touched on the subject since.This was until my Sony handset broke a few weeks back and for what seems like an eternity whilst I wait for it to be repaired, I’ve been left using a four year old girly pink clamshell Samsung phone borrowed off my girlfriends sister.

The fact I’m now using a handset which I’m afraid to use in public for fear of ridicule has somehow made me appreciate how much of a statement your mobile phone makes about you; similar to the watch on your wrist or the shoes on your feet.Whilst I have never considered such things particularly important and would never advocate living your life by third party perspective, I doubt I would ever go out wearing a watch won from an arcade grab machine or a pair of plastic sandals on my feet.

I fear that having to carry around a pink handset which even a twelve year old schoolgirl would be ashamed of may have actually turned me insane and now owning an Apple iPhone now seems like quite an appealing proposition; even if nothing else, at least the newly sparked rumours surrounding my sexuality would be quashed.

A few mates have recently invested in the second generation of the iPhone and whilst there is no excusing the smug look that darts across their face whenever given the excuse to get the phone out in public, there is no denying that it would appear to be a desirable piece of kit.If by any chance you haven’t ever seen one, the iPhone is a mobile phone handset which instead of having the conventional screen and key combination, it simply has one large touch screen and you navigate your way around by pointing, tapping and dragging your fingers across the intuitive menu system.

Whilst the first was very much groundbreaking the 3G version released a couple of months back does add a number of improvements to the original.Whilst just as beautiful and slim, the new model features:

-3G support which provides the mobile with significantly faster data transfer speeds if in a 3G covered area

-Updated software providing a number of bug fixes and new third party applications

-Revised headphone socket; a huge problem for users of the original iPhone is that many standard headphones wouldn’t fit in the recessed headphone socket; this presented a huge problem since the phone is targeted primarily towards users that appreciate a convergence of a traditional mobile phone and an iPod audio player

-An integrated GPS receiver so you can easily see your current position and surrounding area on screen as well as obtaining directions to a desired location without any additional hardware or software.

There are dozens of other little tweaks and fixes that Apple have integrated in to this handset which whilst not providing reason enough for those with an original iPhone to immediately upgrade, does make the idea more appealing to those that currently don’t own one.Unfortunately it is still exclusively on O2 and whilst it will still cost a small fortune on pay as you go, the 8GB version is free of several of their contracts.I could never warrant recommending that a pay as you go customer spend £350 on this handset but if you’re on a contract anyway and can get the unit either discounted or free then you will get a lot of technology for your money.

I’m approaching my 27thbirthday and so far have gone my entire life without ever having purchased an Apple product so personally I think I’m going to wait to see what the recently announced Nokia Tube and Google G1 touch screen handsets have to offer.

 

About the Author - Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.

Mahalo

Mahalo

I came across an interesting search engine the other day which appears to be heading in a completely different direction to practically anything else available at present.As you probably know, search engines function by using crawlers that search the Internet endlessly picking up new and revised content and then cataloguing the whole lot neatly in a central database.When a user types in a phrase, the search engine refers to this database and, by using a number of algorithms, returns the sites that it feels most appropriate.

The relatively new search engine Mahalo (Hawaiian for ‘Thank-You’) puts a spin on proceedings by pitching itself as a human powered search engine.Of course this doesn’t mean that whenever you perform a search that humans immediately start searching the net for relevant material, but rather that contributors create their own results pages which are then returned when a specific search is performed.The idea verges on the ridiculous but does certainly hold some merit.

The obvious downside is that humans simply can’t keep up with the speed of the crawlers that the likes of Google use; the computers running these crawlers are online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can sift through entire websites in seconds, noting every last detail as they go.A human based search engine is always going to be comparatively out of date and limited in terms the amount of material that can be catalogued.

As I said, there are advantages but these can only really be appreciated by using it.Head to www.mahalo.com and type in a phrase that interests you - I remained topical and typed in ‘Gordon Brown’ since he appears to be hitting the headlines a fair bit at the moment.Mahalo immediately returned to me a quick overview on the man, a photo, twelve fast facts and a large number of vetted websites with useful information which have been split in to a number of useful categories such as ‘recent news’, ‘Brown Blair Changeover’ and ‘Controversies’.In contrast, if you type the same in to Google it immediately returns 13,000,000 results for pages which mention the words Gordon or Brown; of course the most relevant sites are at the top but it still is a little more cumbersome to navigate.

It is also fairly safe to say that humans are better equipped to work out what other humans will find interesting and as such you won’t find links to any pages that contain adult content, hate speech, spam, intrusive advertising, malicious material and even sites written with a poor grasp of the English language.

The amount of content is incredibly underwhelming; a search for Paignton yielded nothing and then more worrying even the entire county, Devon, came back with no results.In its defence, the site is only a year old and there is a lot of information to be catalogued so it will certainly take some time however even at this early stage such lack of scope is worrying.I fear that unless there is a serious amount of manpower that any existing results could also soon become stale and irrelevant.

Mahalo will never be able to compete with the likes of Google in terms of the sheer scope and depth of results but to compare the two against each other would be missing the point.Mahalo isn’t trying to be Google; it is a humanly edited search engine which is being built to provide relevant, human picked material for popular subjects.Google on the other hand is a vast machine driven database of over 100,000,000 websites which is added to every second of every day.They both have their purpose, and as such would hope that there is room for them both to peacefully co-exist.

 

About the Author - Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.

Microsoft Photosynth

Microsoft-Photosynth

I do like innovative new ideas, especially if they come from an unlikely source such as Microsoft; despite being one of the largest and most successful companies on the planet, they do have a reputation for sticking to a tried and tested formula rather than risking money on groundbreaking new ideas.

It is especially pleasing therefore when Microsoft create something a little fresh and exciting so this week we will be looking at Microsoft Photosynth; although currently in its infancy I believe the technology could become quite special if it is allowed to mature.

To get started you should download a small file from https://www.bing.com/photosynth/ which will install both the environment creation software as well as a browser plug in that will allow you to view both your work and that of others online.The idea is that if you provide the application with a number of photos taken from different angles and zoom levels then the technology will be able to stitch them all together to create a kind of abstract 3D environment.

To give Photosynth a test spin, try taking a number of pictures of the same area; as an example try taking a few dozen snaps around your room, zooming in to areas of specific interest.These images are then loaded in to the software and uploaded to the Microsoft server which will then begin to look for similarities so it can establish which image should make up which section of your 3D environment.

Once the server has finished working on your images you will be able to use the mouse to move around your newly created model from within either Firefox or Internet Explorer.It is worth pointing out at this point that as all the processing and storage is done online, until a private option becomes available, other users will be able to view the ‘synths’ that you create.

Personally I’m more interested in the potential of the idea than the current technology; in its current state of development I found the finished results looked more like a number of 2D photos that had been stitched together than an actual three dimensional world.There are plenty of reviewers that were shocked by the lifelike worlds that it created so do check it out for yourself rather than letting my opinion put you off.

I think it is important to look to where this could move to over the next couple of years.The software itself doesn’t care when the photo was taken or who was behind the camera – it simply looks for similarities and overlap points so that it can create a 3D environment.As everything is stored online I believe this technology will come in to its own when it begins combining photos from multiple users and eventually crawling the Internet on its own accord for further pictorial reference material.

Imagine being able to type in the name of any photographed destination and not only seeing a 3D rendition of it but also being able to move around the environment.The collective photo libraries of thousands of people who have photographed the same place will be bought together so that you would be provided with a level of detail usually unobtainable.It sounds ambitious but the technology being Photosynth isn’t too far away from making it a reality.

 

About the Author - Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.

Google Chrome

google-chrome

I’m considering giving up my reviews of Internet browsers in the future; things are changing far too quickly to keep abreast of developments and it seems once I’ve got on top of things the entire playing field changes dramatically and I have to start again from scratch.Some might argue that I spend too much time on the subject of web browsers but due to the huge differences between them, along with the large amount of time the average user spends using one, I would have to disagree.

It was always surprising that given Googles’ prominence in the Search Engine market, they hadn’t created a browser of their own but rather chosen to focus their software on themes un-associated with their core business activity; Earth, Picasa and Sketchup to name just a few.At the beginning of last week however, completely out of the blue, they announced Google Chrome (www.google.com/chrome) and then released it days later.

This is an interesting shake up of the browser market which is currently dominated by Internet Explorer and Firefox (and to a lesser extent Opera).Remember that although a new entrant, Google have some fantastic developers and bucket loads of cash to throw at this project.

Whilst still in beta (testing) stage I thought it might be worth compiling a list of why you will possibly find yourself switching in the not too distant future:

It’s stable – Due to the fact that all tabs are run independently from one another, one unstable page won’t bring down the whole browser along with any other currently open pages.Although still in beta I am yet to crash Chrome.

It’s fast – This is possibly an understatement; the program opens in seconds and renders pages extremely quickly.Due to the multi-process architecture mentioned above, one slow tab won’t affect the speed of any other opened pages.

Clean Interface – Rather than consuming large amounts of screen space, Chrome is incredibly compact.It does take a little getting used to but eventually you almost forget that you are actually using a browser.

Intelligent Address Bar – Much like the fantastic address bar in Firefox, Chrome allows you to start typing a phrase and will immediately attempt to find a match from all your previously visited websites and bookmarks.If no matches are found, hit return and Google will do a web search to attempt to find other suitable matches.

Dynamic Home Page – As you use Chrome it will remember the sites that you visit most often, your preferred choice of search engine, tabs that you have recently closed and recent bookmarks and display it on your home page unless you specify otherwise.

Of course, there are still some drawbacks to the application; we haven’t adopted it at work just yet due to the fact the option to print preview and print backgrounds are completely absent; these are both critical for our web based invoice run.The application also doesn’t yet support add-ins which are a technology that have been a huge factor in the success of Firefox.Possibly most importantly, the browser is still in Beta stage so many would consider it unproven and prone to problems, including potential security risks.

Whilst I am excited about the shake up this could bring to the browser industry, I am worried that rather than harming Internet Explorer (which, despite being inferior, is still the most popular browser as a result of being bundled with Windows), Chrome will just draw experienced users away from other quality browsers such as Firefox and Opera.

 

About the Author - Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.

Money Saving

money-saving

I hate the phrase ‘credit crunch’ and actually take offense whenever anyone around me uses it.As a society we appear to be able to talk the country in to and out of financial difficulty particularly easily and without fail, whenever we hear a little bit of bad news the entire nation takes steps to make it rapidly worse.I’m going to have to be careful not to get on my soapbox here but I remember the problems with Northern Rock some months ago when after a leakage of bad financial news customers queued around the block to draw there money out which resulted in the group being bought to their knees in literally days.

We can certainly give the economy the strongest chance of bouncing back by trying to stick to existing spending patterns as much as possible rather than putting our lives on hold or changing our lifestyles whenever the media suggests that it would be prudent to do so.I’m not denying that some belts may need to be tightened but fortunately a lot of this can be done without changing your existing lifestyle.

Let’s start with the obvious; electricity and gas.These utilities have been making the papers recently and if the headlines are to be believed then massive increases are unavoidable, however in reality these increases are predominately confined to the basic tariffs the energy companies offer.The truth is that the majority of customers are shouldn’t be on these tariffs anyway as they are unlikely to be the most cost effective.Despite the fact that locating the cheapest supplier and tariff then making the change would be unlikely to take more than an hour and could save hundreds, very few have bothered making the effort.

There are a vast majority of price comparisons on the market but my favourite at the moment (purely down to the fact it has consistently given me the best prices) is moneysupermarket.com.

This site is split in to sub-categories which will allow you to search for the cheapest deals on the following:

Money – Credit cards, loans, mortgages, current and savings accounts.

Insurance – All the obvious including home, car, life, pet, medical and breakdown.

Travel – Flights, holidays, car hire and hotels

Gas and Electricity – Fairly self explanatory

Communication – Phone, Broadband and Mobile

Only by comparing the market will you know whether you are paying too much.Even a few hours spent to establish that you are indeed using the most suitable suppliers then it would be time well spent, however I’m confident that practically every reader could still make savings in some areas.Bearing in mind that in the case of mortgages, loans and credit cards then a few hours spent checking could easily result in savings running in to the thousands.

It would be apt now to mention the old ‘a penny saved is a penny earned’ maxim however I for one have always found this particular nugget of wisdom to be inaccurate. The hypothetical penny spent would have originally been a greater figure before tax was deducted.Those working within a 22% tax band can consider their penny saved to be the equivalent of 1.22p earned.

 

About the Author - Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.

Googleplex

googleplex

I like to think that working at Refresh can be an enjoyable experience however after reading through an article featuring the Google campus at work this morning; I feel our employee benefits package may be woefully inadequate.The article focused on the Googleplex complex which is situated a few miles from San Francisco bay and forms the headquarters for one of the most powerful companies in the technology industry.

Although comparatively dwarfed by Microsofts Redmond complex, Googleplex currently houses two million square feet of office space with an additional one million feet planned for upcoming expansion.It is home to approximately 8,000 workers and due to the typically young age of its workforce it has been likened to a college campus.

Looking purely at the physical characteristics, the Google complex includes:

-A number of free cafes that will serve food at any time of the day; these cafes between them serve over 200 different recipes a day.It has been estimated by several sources that the cost of running these must amount to approximately 72 million dollars yearly.

-Additionally, there are free snack rooms in most buildings in case the nearest cafe is just too far.

-If the free snacking has made you pile on the pounds, Googleplex houses a gym, swim in place swimming pools (small pools where a current keeps you in place whilst you swim against it), volleyball courts and organised rollerblading tournaments.

-A free barber is available along with subsidised on site massage

-Those with children can benefit from the day care centre

-To let off a little steam employees can partake in a quick game of ping pong, billiards, pool or foosball.

The decoration of the building is also quite unique; it is not unusual to stumble across the odd grand piano, employee created artwork, an inspiration wall or a series of lava lamps.Most of the walls and dividers are made of glass so that rather becoming a labyrinth of cubicles the buildings remain open and light is easily filtered through.A large projector displays real time information of searches currently being performed using the Google search engine along with traffic patterns for the entire Internet which is laid out of a three dimensional globe.

Whilst the size of the campus is physically impressive, I am particularly fascinated surrounding the attitudes towards those that that work for Google.Rather than having a simple hierarchical structure, employees are encouraged to take on several rolls and never to limit themselves to their given job description - rather than being told precisely what to do for the next eight hours they are encouraged to think outside the box and designate themselves work.Google actively encourages their employees to use up to 20 percent of their working week of projects outside of their normal workload - over the years these pet projects have developed in to many of the products I have recommended in Click.

From what I have seen, working at Google would appear to be a way of life and not a simple nine to five - encouraging free thinking and teamwork has resulted in a group of people that have a genuine passion for what they do.Rather than requiring a constant whip from a condescending manager, the personal development, mutual respect and encouragement these people enjoy has resulted in a huge degree of self motivation which in turn has created one of the most successful companies of our generation.

 

About the Author - Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.

Defragmentation

defragmentation

One of the easiest ways to gain a little extra speed from your computer is to defragment the hard drive every now and again.As your computer uses files it has a habit of splitting them up in to different clusters of data on your hard drive which results in something called fragmentation - rather than storing everything in a neat sequential order your data gets dotted around the place.The result of this is that when your computer comes to use a file that has become fragmented it has to access from several places on the disk which results in slower loading times.

A disk defragmenter is designed to organise your hard disk back in to some kind of order so that your computer has to do less work and hence becomes more responsive.I have in the past talked about this subject but made the mistake of suggested the defrag utility supplied with Windows; whilst it does do a good enough job, it is undeniably slow.I am instead this week recommending the Defragger application that can be downloaded free of charge from www.defraggler.com.

Once installed, just select the drive that you wish to defragment and you will be presented with a pie chart depicting the used and free space on the drive - to get the most efficiency from the application try to ensure that you have at least 15% free space available.Now click the analyse button and the application will return a map of your hard drive showing the scale of the fragmentation on your drive so that you can be sure that defragging is actually needed.Providing you are satisfied, just click on the defrag button and the application will work away in the background to restore your hard drive to some kind of order.Whilst working it will provide you with an evolving map and status bar so that you can check on its progress.

The entire process will take typically around an hour or so depending on the size of hard disk, degree of fragmentation and speed of computer.You are welcome to carry on using your machine whilst your data is sorted and there is even the option to select a ‘background’ mode which will result in the whole process taking longer but your machine will suffer less slowdown.The application can also be selected to defragment individual files or folders therefore saving time if you only want to correct the most severely affected files.

I am eager to stress that defragmenting is something that you should do only occasionally.I’ve known people who run a utility such as this on a daily basis and with this degree of usage any time saved in loading operations is more than offset but the time taken actually running the utility.You will always have fragmentation on your hard drive so the trick is to ensure that it doesn’t get to the stage where it is adversely affecting your machine and blasting this utility through every couple of months should do the trick.

 

About the Author - Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.

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