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.


May 1, 2011 at 9:07 AM

Awesome program been using it for one year, I love it.

June 13, 2011 at 8:09 PM

Used the initial Soluto beta program and it crashed my laptop big time. Since that episode I've steered away from this software but I've been reading positive reviews of late. I use Process Lasso, which has made significant improvement to my l/t. So am I one of few that have had trouble with this program? And are the newer versions safer to run? As they say, "once bitten, twice shy."

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