It’s a particle called a tachyon, and it travels faster than the speed of light at more than 186,282.397 miles per second.
The fastest wind speed ever recorded was 318 mph, during tornadoes that ravaged Oklahoma in 1999. The peregrine falcon flies at speeds of up to 200 mph. And the cheetah and sailfish run and swim, respectively, at up to 70 mph.
One of the fastest computers is China’s Tianhe-2 supercomputer, capable of nearly 55 quadrillion calculations per second. And a quantum computer being developed by Google will easily eclipse that speed. Your computer limps along by comparison, despite executing approximately 100 million instructions per second.
But there are three things you can do to increase your computer’s speed and reduce your frustration at its less than optimal operating pace.
Update and delete
There are many reasons to update your operating system and programs.
Security is one — updates fix vulnerabilities that leave you open to attack. And newer operating systems support the latest programs and browsers, enhancing processing speed.
Removing outdated or unnecessary programs also increases speed because it can free up hard drive space or memory.
You’ll find a list of programs on your computer under your control panel. Simply go through it and delete what you no longer need.
Avoid the urge to download that app
That coupon or weather application you want to install may end up being more trouble than it’s worth.
Many applications function as browser plugins, which load when you log on to your computer. That process slows down your system because the plugins are telling your browser to constantly search for updates, monopolizing processing speed.
And another reason to skip the app? Many load plugins into your browser that track what you’re searching, monitoring your history at a level you may not want.
Clean it up
Hard drives are spinning discs, and as files are added, they are spread across that disc. Over time, files are broken up, making the most use of open spaces, but also making it difficult for the drive to access the files.
Defragging can help because it makes changes to the hard drive — putting pieces of files together, reordering them — to clean it up. The drive is then easier to read, adding operating speed. It’s a maintenance process that’s easily accomplished by going to your system tools and clicking on disk defragment.
Defragging can’t be done on all devices, however. Tablets, iPads, Macs and some notebooks have solid-state hard drives that can’t be defragged. Similarly, systems using image-based backups should not be defragged because the backups are made in sectors. Each change made by defragging is also backed up incrementally, slowing the backup.
Even if you can’t defrag, you can implement the other strategies. Any combination of them will help you experience more of the computer speed you want and need.
– Tita Parham is marketing and communications specialist at InfiNET Technologies.