The PC Tech Guy's Blog

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Program Review - Soluto

I used to use a program called Startup Delayer, that which... well, delayed startup programs. I used it to help lessen the boot-up time of my computer, but still have all those programs ready and waiting. For example, I use some of the Logitech hotkeys, but not usually right when my computer starts up. It was okay, although I had to search up a lot of the things that startup automatically to see if they were essential or not.

I could go into the pros and cons of that (one of them being that I had to set a delay time for each one I wanted), but I then heard of a program called Soluto. Although still in beta, it has been featured in an awards contest (that I'm too lazy to find out myself), and can only do one thing right now. But, it does that one thing very well.

Soluto first needs to analyze what boots up the next time you restart your computer after installing it. This way, it doesn't rely on scanning common registry entries or the 'startup' folder on your hard drive. It then displays them in 3 categories: those that should be delayed, or better yet, 'paused' (disabled) from startup, those that can be delayed or paused, but only if you know what you're doing, and those that it yet cannot disable or delay. They are displayed with those that take longer to startup being wider than those that don't. And, when you mouse over them, you can see the whole list. It's very intuitive, although those who like using the keyboard to navigate may have some trouble...

Along with the categorization, you can see the details of what the program runs, a description of it (or if there is none, you can submit your own), and the recommendations for it. You also get a pie chart of those who pause, delay, or keep the program in the boot sequence, as well as the percentage of those who actually have the program in the first place. You'll rarely have to Google another random program name to see what it does anymore!

It also has a one-click reporting tool, accessible via right-clicking the taskbar icon. For intance, you can report it when "your PC frustrated you!" It displays and sends a report of the possible applications that could have caused this "frustration." It also allows you to launch the apps you have 'paused' or 'delayed' (if they have not yet been launched.) Since it collects anonymous data on its own periodically (for instance, what choices you made for your startup items), you can easily disable its data collection, as well as having it exit right after boot.

Its history tab shows a chart of how your computer boot-up times were, and when you installed or uninstalled certain updates and programs. This, however, isn't just Soluto's monitoring - Windows logs these events as well, and it is viewable in Windows 7 (via the "Reliablity" tool, if I remember correctly). You can see the full picture, or quickly zoom into a specific time period. This may be useful for finding out why your computer has suddenly slowed down - it could've been due to a new program you installed.

Since Soluto is made for those who aren't so computer literate as well, I highly recommend this, even if your computer runs OK. I tested it out a bit before putting it on my computer - its service, which runs in the background, occasionally eats up some CPU time, but it's brief, and hopefully this will be tuned down when future updates to this (beta) program come out. I especially recommend this, however, if you have an old computer, like me, as you'll probably see an extra 2 minutes shaved off of your computer's boot-up time.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ideas - website design, Live content?

I have talked a little about having Live podcasts using TalkShoe. And I've been thinking - do I really need to do a live podcast? Is it really worth it? Well, I know it isn't right now, which is why I don't have any live podcasts. I do use it, however, to host my podcasts.

Besides live content, what ideas do you have for my website? I'm now in the midst of redesigning my website (again), but I'm going to need some ideas. Would you like the navigation bar on the left, top, or right? Should I have a forum? Would you like to create and edit some documents via a wiki? Since this website isn't for myself, I need your input on how'd you like to see things.
Monday, April 25, 2011


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Several weeks ago, I was talking to another website author and giving him feedback on his website. He had some blog-like "community," which, when he explained it to me, didn't make much sense. I found out that he does know what a forum is, but I decided to post my email anyways, just for those who don't know (and you can link them to this post ;)

A forum is a online discussion place, but the word dates back to Roman times, as a "forum" in Rome would be a place where people would get together and talk. Naturally, people get together and talk in an online form.
A Forum can somewhat be related to a blog, but not quite. First, you have Categories. For instance, on my website, you can see the Support category, Questions category, and Stories category. Within each are threads, or topics. You can start a new thread by clicking Add Topic, New Thread, Ask a Question, or such a similar button. To relate to a blog, this would be the blog post. For example, let's say a person is having a problem getting Internet Explorer 8 installed. He adds a new topic, describing his problem. He gives it a title, something like "Cannot install IE 8: not supported service pack." Later, other people can give him comments, suggestions, or ask other questions by "replying" to his topic. The relation to a blog is that the "replies" are "comments" to a blog post. For our example, I may ask what Operating System and service pack he has, if he had not provided that in his "Topic starter" (first post).
He eventually replies, then I can reply with a set of solutions for him to try, in which he would reply back. Of course, other people can help out too, giving their suggestions, and asking other questions. This can also be related to "open" email, or as a "message board."
Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter - What happened?

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Oh no, why have I been inactive for... a few months, it seems? Well, one thing could be that I was busier than I thought I would be. Another is that in the breaks of the busy-ness (business just wouldn't fit...) I've either forgot about my blog, or I was doing something else. Also, I've got this jarring back pain, I have no idea where I got it from...

But I still have something for you guys, but I'm going to post it tomorrow. (For sure!) As for today, enjoy your Easter celebration of the Lord's Resurrection!

<MPO> And as a side note: who would rename an Easter egg hunt to "Spring spheres?" I'm sorry, but that sounds... really... um, awful. But of course, that's the government we have now... </MPO>