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Craplets & Bloatware
What is causing your PC to feel bloated?
WHAT'S NEW AT PC PITSTOP, FEBRUARY 2004
Your Source for Free Online PC Tests & Diagnostics
IN THIS ISSUE
TEST YOUR COMPUTER ON PC PITSTOP'S NEW SERVERS
As PC Pitstop grew in popularity, the site was showing the
strain and getting slower. Everyone hates to wait, so in
January we completed the transition to new high-speed servers
that can handle much higher levels of traffic. Did you get
a new PC recently? Come back to the site and run it through
our Full Tests to make sure it's up to snuff. The testing
process is faster than ever!
OUR GATOR CENTER REVEALS THE TRUTH
You may have heard that we were sued by the "adware" folks
at The Gator Corporation, who recently changed their name
to Claria Corporation. It hasn't changed what we think about
their products, though, and we tried to make those thoughts
clear with our new Gator Information Center. It has original
research about how Gator gets onto computers, our first-hand
experience--not pretty--plus instructions on dumping Gator
products and replacing them with something less intrusive.
Read about Gator now or regret it later!
A REAL BIG WARNING ABOUT UNREAL SITES!
By now you probably have gotten a few (hundred) messages that
pretend to be from places like eBay, PayPal, or Microsoft,
trying to trick you into revealing personal account data or
install a virus. Well, a researcher has found a security hole
in Internet Explorer that makes it even easier for bad guys
to have their site look real. If a link has certain special
characters in it, the browser will show one site name even
though it is actually at another site! If you visit the
Windows Update site you can download the patch to prevent
this problem. Do it now!
TIP: CURB SYSTEM RESTORE'S DISK APPETITE
The Windows XP System Restore feature can be a lifesaver, but in its default setup it's a disk hog. To change the amount of disk it uses, right-click My Computer and click the System Restore tab. Select the drive you want to change--the C drive is usually the most important to change--and click Settings. Move the slider to the left to reduce disk use. On one system we tested, the default was 4.5 GB! Changing that to 1 GB still provided more than a month's worth of previous restore points. To find out how many restore points you currently have, click Start | Help and Support | and click "Undo changes to your computer with System Restore." You'll see a calendar with the restore point dates shown in bold text.
DAVE METHVIN GETS A NEW WRITING GIG
Dave Methvin, Chief Technology Officer here at PC Pitstop,
writes: In the shameless self-promotion department, I want to
tell folks I've hooked up with PC Today, a new print-and-web
magazine from Sand Hills Publishing. I will be writing articles
about tuning and tweaking PCs, plus taking a look at upcoming
versions of Windows. Several other authors from the Windows
Magazine days are writing for PC Today, including Scot Finnie.
Pick up an issue or better yet get a subscription; the first
issue of a subscription is free so you've got nothing to lose!
TIP: ANOTHER LINE OF SPYWARE DEFENSE
Spyware, scumware, adware, there's a good chance that it's
accumulating on your system unless you have a multi-layer
approach to keeping it out. Our full tests can detect many
types of spyware, and we've partnered with Pest Patrol to
offer users one of the best spyware scanners you can buy.
Another great tool we've discovered is Spyware Blaster.
This free download blocks many types of spyware by putting
them on a blacklist that IE checks before it installs
software. Even if you accidentally say Yes, it won't load!
Spyware Blaster doesn't replace a spyware or virus scanner
but it's a great addition to the arsenal.
FREE COMPUTER HELP AT THE PIT
Our tests try to automatically detect all the problems that
can afflict your PC, but sometimes there's no substitute for
the human touch. Stop by the PC Pitstop Forums, also known as
The Pit, for help with your computer problems, answers to
questions about your PC Pitstop results, or just to say hello.
ABOUT PC PITSTOP
PC Pitstop, LLC (https://www.pcpitstop.com) was formed in February 2000, and offers users a unique way to make sure their PCs are running fast, stable and secure--all through a free, Web-based interface.
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