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This is the second in the series of articles on computer slowness and what to do to speed it up. In case you missed the first, you can find it here.
Bloatware is another cause for computer slowness. There are two definitions of bloatware – both apply in the
context of this article.
The first one is software (programs, applications) that come pre-installed in your computer when newly bought, mostly
consisting of trials, that you didn’t necessarily asked for or will use. Nothing wrong with them except they tend to use
computer resources and to that degree, they will slow it down.
Why? Contrary to common belief, a computer’s Central Processing Unit (its “brain”) cannot run multiple applications at
the same time. It cannot execute more than one program at a time. In fact, it cannot run more than one instruction
(command) of a program at a time. This is true of even the recent computers that come with “dual cores” that you might
have heard about. Each CPU can only execute one instruction per time unit. How does the computer create the illusion
of running multiple applications simultaneously?
Akin to a versed juggler, a computer can keep several balls in the air at the same time, so to speak. With several
applications opened, it divides its capacity to execute programs by alternating among them. The priority of the
programs running can be established so the computer executes more or less relative commands of one before it goes
to the next program. So it goes something like this: Application A: execute one command, jump to Application B, run
one command, jump to Application C, run two commands, and so on. The trick is that a computer can execute
commands and alternate between applications so fast that it gives the illusion of simultaneity.
What does all this have to do with bloatware or computer slowness? obviously the more applications installed and
running in a computer, the less each individual application will have the computer’s “attention” and so too many
programs running “at the same time” will slow down the execution of each program. So what can be done about it? I’ll
circle back to that in a moment.
The second definition of bloatware is related to the “inside” of the programs (applications, software) themselves.
Modern applications tend to heavily use computer resources and have features that are not needed, partially because
programmers rely on modern computers being faster and being able to deal with sloppy programming as described
So what can you do about all this? On the first definition, uninstalling the bloatware is the obvious answer. Careful
though if you’re going to try that yourself – make sure you are certain which programs are bloatware and which are
essential programs your computer needs to run properly.
Computer savvy users will go as far as re-installing the computer’s operating system from scratch (a clean install) to
get rid of all the bloatware that comes with an average new computer. This is one of the reasons why (but not the only
one) reinstalling a computer’s operating system from scratch will always deliver a faster computer.
On the second definition, not much you can do about it, other than maybe pray. Seriously though, just be aware of the
concept and try to choose applications that run lean on computer resources. Ask an expert as needed.
Getting rid of bloatware is another step towards operating a fast computer. Contact me if you need help doing it.
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