Computer tip of the day on speed

Published 7:00 am Saturday, June 14, 2014

Maintaining a fast computer can be a challenge in these days of ever expanding technology.

As computer technology advances, processors become faster, smaller and consume less electricity. Computer programmers then extract every ounce of power out of their applications using the architecture available at the time.

This can create an issue if you are using a ten-year-old computer and want to install the newest version of your favorite program. What to do?

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It may be time for new hardware, but which to buy?

First you need to decide what operating system you want to use. Microsoft makes a very popular OS called Windows. While almost any program you can think of will run on the latest version of Windows, you should consider that popular operating systems are also targets for viruses looking to steal your personal information. Keep in mind, programs for Windows computers almost always cost money.

Another option is a computer running Apple’s OSX operating system, which is also vulnerable to viruses. However, the company’s small, but growing, market share means there is less of a risk.

Both systems offer virus and malware protection. The downside is that these programs eat up valuable resources, resulting in computer delays when attempting to respond to your commands.

Most people may be unaware of other options, most notably Linux. The great thing about Linux is it’s free. What’s the downside? You won’t find the latest version of Microsoft Word on store shelves for it, or many popular video games at this point. However, since the operating system is open source, which means the programmers share the source code with an active programming community, there are a number of free programs available.

Keep in mind, while all operating systems employ a graphical user interface, there is a slight learning curve to each.