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Feeling Bloated??

Feeling Bloated??
by Gary Woods

After the holidays a lot of us felt bloated. But what I'm talking about is all the stuff that comes on a new computer. Companies call the programs they stick on your new computer "value added software." Most of us techies just call it "bloatware."

In June '07 Dell started shipping a third party software removal utility with its Dimension and Inspiron PCs. But they really buried it down in there. It's at Start/All Programs/Dell/Dell Software & Utilities/Product Documentation. The funny part is it still doesn't get rid of Dell "Bloatware."

One of the first things I do when I set up somebody's computer is go through all the programs pre-installed on it and ask if they will ever use some of the programs that are there. By the time I get those programs off their machine and de-frag the hard drive all of a sudden the computer starts moving a whole lot faster.

If you don't want to remove "value added software" you can at least go to "msconfig" (in XP Start/Run and type msconfig) and take a look at all the stuff that's loading. When you do this have your browser open with Google up and just type in the programs you see listed. This will give you a pretty good idea if you can get along without it. The cool part about "msconfig" is that if you find out you do need something you just go back and re-place the check mark.

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc