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Maximizing my computers

By kitrulsdawrld
Apr 21, 2009
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  1. Okay, so in a few months I will be going off to college, and over the summer I want to get my computer setup all in working order. Here's some background info:

    What I currently have:

    Dell Dimension 5100 running XP MCE 05. I just upgraded the RAM a bit and its running like new all over again. I've been using MS Outlook for emails, tasks, calendar, etc. because it syncs directly with my Palm Pilot. I've noticed i've been relying on both of these systems very much recently. I've got two monitors setup at the moment and will be running a third off of this machine by the end of the summer. Makes things soo much easier to navigate and use.

    My 'other' PC is an oooooooooooold HP that is still running Millenium Edtion. Currently the hard drive is connected to my dell and the rest of this one is sitting in the corner collecting dust.

    Sometime over the summer I will be getting a Dell Studio 17 (most likely) with most of the bells and whisles. It will be my mobile work horse for college and what not.

    Here is my plan that I was hoping some of you could share some insight on. I know computer basics, but nothing really too in depth. I know enough that I upgraded the RAM (yes i know, not too complicated) and can do some other stuff. I'm willing to explore into my PCs to make them work the best that they can for me so some direction with the stuff I don't understand and i can most likely figure it out.

    I want my dell desktop to be the 'base station' you could say. Its got the TV tuner, which for the last four years or so has just been sitting there, but come summer I will actually be able to utilze it! What I would really like is to be able to access my email (outlook) and other fun stuff from my laptop remotely. i dont know if this is possible, but would be a huge help when out on the road.

    I was hoping to also try to turn my old HP into a server of some kind. host files and what-not on it to be accessed remotely or something along those lines. i dont know much about servers i guess though.

    Wow. when i was thinking about it i guess it seemed like there was more too it. i guess im just looking to use my computers as best I can. I know this one (the dell) has a lot of potential, but i just don't really know how to put it to good use. when I get the laptop ill have even more, I take a lot of pictures with my new DSLR which i love, so space and managing all that is a biggie too. so let me know on any ideas of what you think i should be doing with these computers/how i should set them up!

    Oh and I have to try to keep anything I add cheap. Thats what i'm trying to work with what I have. I'll be a poor college student here soon. the laptop is gonna be a grad. gift from the family. so low cost is a must when it comes to adding stuff.
     
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,343   +622

    Adding memory is ALWAYS good :)
    Go to the System->Properties->Advanced->Settings->Performance->Advanced
    and change the VM size to 2x the installed RAM. Make Min=Max

    Then find, download and run PageDefrag after any memory addition.

    The other axiom is Less is More!.

    By that I mean, prune as much as possible from
    • your Startups, and eleminate
    • Services which you don't need.
    • delete all p2p programs (Limewire and *Torrents)
    Run Disk Cleanup under all user logins (including the Admin)
     
  3. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    this is covered extensively in the guides section. look under how to speed up windows for free. There are some other guides as well.
     
  4. kitrulsdawrld

    kitrulsdawrld TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Cool! Thanks guys!

    Now is it possible to access my outlook program remotely. I want to keep using outlook like I do now for emails and stuff on my desktop but I want to be able to get to all of it remotely if i'm somewhere else on my laptop. is that possible to do without spending any, or very little, money? I tried doing some searches and stuff but couldn't really find much. I probably don't know what i should be searching exactly though.
     
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 9,343   +622

    That's called Remote Desktop -- but there are better (ie safer) choices.

    RD requires port forwarding on your router and a hole in your firewall -- not very clean.

    Most ISPs offer a web-based interface to their email postoffice, meaning you use your
    browser to access email instead of Outlook.

    A laptop user frequently has this problem too as described here
     
  6. kitrulsdawrld

    kitrulsdawrld TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I have comcast and can use their website to access my new emails like you said above. It's the old emails already downloaded on my system that I was hoping to get access to. 20,000 or so emails are currently stored on there so I was hoping there was a way. If not, its fine...i'll just have to live with it like I have been! haha.
     

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