Sluggish PC? You think itís badly designed, dying, needs replacing. NAHHH. Itís just cluttered inside. Rotten cookies. I know you donít eat cookies! But listen to this: Every day you are on line, you Ďcollectí ( without meaning to) a lot of 'back at ya' messages from different websites, -- cookies they call them and COPIES of FILES and IMAGES. You want to erase all this chaff every night before you leave. I find Iíve got 300 files a day to erase and I BARELY surf the web AT ALL!!! I just write and send stuff. So itís amazing the dust that's out there, the flotsam and jetsum that clogs up the PC and makes it slow moving. So you think your PC is no good. NO WAY JOSE. It's just rat city in there, INFESTED! But soooooo easy to clean!

Letís do a file clean up. Itís easy. OPEN your ztree (you have to download it first, and you can see these files in your C:\programfiles\ under the browser, for me that's netscape/users/default/cache ... that would be the path and that's what they call it, and then I can see what's in the cache. You "tree over" branch by branch through the directories until you can see how many are in cache. WITH ZTREE you tag them. CONTROL T would mean all get tagged. THEN Control DELETE and they're gone!

Some do it with explorer. I do not know jack about EXPLORER, could never figure it out as ZTREE is so easy, but I'm told that you hit STARTER. Yes! That START button at lower left? or upper tight? With the BILL GATES rainbow wave on it? Hit that. NO, don't swat it! Click on it, and your WINDOWS MENU appears. Now, go down the MENU and pick PROGRAMS. Now, find WINDOWS EXPLORER (NOT INTERNET EXPLORER!!). At this point as you can no longer read my letter here, hit the minus (- sign ) to minimize it and come back to my letter. (The windows will slide into task bar at bottom of screen, donít worry, minimizing wonít make it go away!) read my letter some more. Then hit the task bar windows that says EXPLORING. (My task bar image has a big Sherlock Holmes lens on a file folder.)

Now, again, Youíll get a picture of all your directories. And by the way at this point you get a read out on how many mgs are left on that drive. At the bottom, a gray line runs across screen in it, it will say 70 megs left or something like that. Mine today is 630 megs. READ it in MEGS. Thatís millions of bytes. If you have less than 20 million youíre running sluggish no matter what! AND YOU REALLY NEEDED this CLUTTER KLEEN-UP!

On left side, an actual PHOTOGRAPH of a map of your C driveís directory, look for THE NET or PROGRAM FILES is how it is on my machine, which contains NETSCAPE or your browser, whatever it is, and then The browser has USERS, Netscape gives me multiple mailboxes, so I have SANDSIE or DEFAULT whatever it's called. That is your EMAIL and internet connection, UNDER it is "cache". Thatís the thing that fills up the most daily. The other is the FAX sender which in my case is on D drive. But I learned to empty that daily by using the Cheyenne Fax system's own internal erase files. So now I only have to erase the C:\programfiles\netscape\users\default. WHEW!

Youíre reading this long string of directories at this point. That is how your PC is stacked. OK, run down the column with cursor and Hit the PLUS OR MINUS so it opens up. Then it will tell you the contents, your COMMUNICATOR, your USER NAME, mine is sandsie as I named my browser that. Even though my actual email is 'astrology', But get to the branch in the tree named whatever your USER name is... and you hit on the things to see whatís in them. SOMEWHERE youíll see a string of thousands of files with mís, like MA2844.gif (or jpg)  those are signs you've got GRAPHICS, images, but thousands of them. You have to erase them. First, highlight one, then use SHIFT KEY AND THE ARROW KEY. DOWNWARD ARROW and or/ right arrow, youíll see the HIGHLIGHT slide down like green jello and include all these files.

THEN HIT the delete key. BINGO. They go to your OBSOLETE file. Mine is called "RECYCLE BIN" and has a puff fish icon which I can view on my desk top. When the fish is thin, itís empty. IT BLOWS UP fat when itís full. This is literally your PCís waste paper basket. Letters, email and files you erase from WORD go in there.

For me, as I have a shortcut to the Recycle Bin on my "desk top" thatís the pretty main page with all your icons on it... I usually GO IN THERE FROM that main page or desk top, and erase everything in it nightly. Or you do it from explorer.

ERASING FROM EXPLORER: Letís go down the list of directories to where RECYCLE FOLDER is, click on it to highlight it so that the MENU of its contents is thrown up on right side of screen. HIGHLIGHT one, then SHIFT KEY AND DOWN ARROW, so green lime jello covers it all, and then hit delete key. Bye Bye clutter. Itís vaporized like Men in Black throwing space jello and hitting an alien!

Wish Windows could clean my whole house this way! Spray and the clutter just disappears! Century 21, thatís whatíll exist. Spray vaporizer. Wish we could do it to our intestines and hips as easily. All cookies, even VIRTUAL cookies stay so damn stuck to the butt. But NOT TO THE ole BILL GATES SPECIAL. YASSIR. Letís hear it for BILLY BOY! Heís mah man! Stuff cleans up fast!

NOW, IMPORTANT NOTE: If Iím going to surf the net after I clean up, say that night, I donít erase the fat.db file. If you erase it, you canít get back online. You can do everything else. But you'd have to REBOOT to get back online. Reboot the whole damn machine. But if you want to delete it as itís too enormous, youíll erase it, THEN REBOOT to be able to surf after the reboot. A fat.db is well named. IT grows fat if you donít erase it from time to time. But do it when you quit at night, and when you turn machine off, what you donít see is that Elves inside rebuild the FAT.db every time you go to sleep so that next time you boot up, itís there by magic, a thinner one, but it's there.

Now, my D drive has FAX software on it. GETS FULL OF MY FAXES REAL FAST.

I hit the main directory and hit the minus or plus sign so it opens up. Then I go down to the collection of NEW FAXES. I TAG EACH ONE. The good thing about ZTREE which is my file manager, of preference is that I can just RUN DOWN them and tag Ďem all, and do CONTROL D for delete and whammy. Ask me for my file on ZTREE. When you erase on a fax software directory, Make sure you get the right directory. Thereís a danger that youíll erase your FAX software, the exe files so check the dates. It has to be the dates of the last faxes you sent. Obviously something dated l997 is probably the original programming. But the 2000 stuff thatís new has to go. Thatís ONE way you can tell the difference. Another is to read your fax software manual but who does that? (HEY, I just did and I learned how to erase the faxes inside the software, so ignore this whole paragraph).

THE MAIN reason to erase all these things is clutter which makes a slow moving PC, because you LOSE space. But thereís a great second reason. Just imagine some night, Your sweetie boots up your PC and heís without thinking, seeing all this clutter, and BOOM in a second, heís checking your clutter? That sounds rank to me. Like maybe heís going thru every letter you ever wrote and seeing what you SAID about him. Or, maybe itís the other way around. Say he surfs at night. And next day, you can see every damn website he went to!!! YIKES! Then picture THE IRS confiscating your entire PC and checking? The CIA coming in at night? COming in window, copying all files? There are all kinds of scenarios that suggest regular ERASING is a great idea.

SO, after all the chaff is GONE, there is one more thing to do. DEFRAG THE THING. Yes, stack all the files neatly. They are waaaay out of order. You cannot do that to a machine if it hasn't been checked for glitches first. So first SCAN.

We SCAN AND DEFRAG so when the CIA comes in, they can't even see where that seditious letter USED TO BE! As there will be new files on top of it.  Or if the IRS comes, it can't see your earnings on that cottage industry last month, cuz it's already on a floppy at your aunt's house.

But we cannot defrag unless we get glitches out. So SCAN is a process where the farmer checks the henhouse for pieces of crap and old rotten eggs. The NORTONS software scans the whole C DRIVE (or D also, if you use one). You get to tell it which DRIVE to SCAN. Remember SCAN is to see if there are GLITCHES. GLITCHES are corrupted data! If the FARMER finds a glitch, guess what? He fixes it. WHY? Because you tell it to in the menu! HE ASKS AND YOU TELL.

WANT TO SEE THE SCAN menu? Hit START BUTTON, up where Gates Wave is, OK PICK " SCAN. "  See the menu? PICK ' DO A THOROUGH SCAN and FIX'
Now, for scan to work you have to TURN OFF anything 'running' like get off the internet, (DUH) turn off the FIREWALLS, (don't worry, they come back on when you reboot,) or got A SCHEDULER, a DAY RUNNER? PAUSE IT. To see what you have on, check the task bar. Get rid of them. Turn them off.  NOW do a scan.

Let machine sit scanning itself for the ten minutes that it takes. When it's fiished, it tells you. FINISHED MOMMA, now what? EXIT SCAN. Now hit the DEFRAG which is also under start menu. You can watch the details as it sorts, reorganizes the files. What it is doing is stacking them neatly. No more non-contiguous files!

Now here's a horror story. Man who sold me my PC told me nothing. When it got too full, one day I phoned him, saying it was running badly. He could have told me to do this. He had me carry it over, physically to west L.A. To his posh home. He did scan/defrag and charged me l00$ I had four kids and forty cats all under fed, he got his l00 bucks but he also got AMLS, Lou Gehrig's disease, he began to go numb, no part of his body worked again. He couldn't do scan and defrag on himself and poor Donald Barcus my first PC pal ever, froze up and died.

NOTE: ScanDisk SOMETIMES does not work right when windows boots normally
because processes are *always* running in the background...even opening up a
new window while the program is running will make it start over.

The best thing for you to do is to reset your computer and right after the
computer goes through it's primary tests (memory, hard drives, etc) is to
press F8 repeatedly until you see a menu which goes something like this...

1. Normal
2. SafeMode
3. User Selected (or something like this)

Select 2 for SafeMode. This will load windows with the absolute *bare*
minimum of drivers and is most recommended for scan disk.

When windows boots up, run scandisk, defrag, and any other harddrive tweaker
you like secure in knowledge that no nasty program hidden in the background
will mess it up.

An *EXCELLENT* program that spiffs up your defrag, by the way, is a program
called POWER DEFRAG, it piggybacks onto your microsft defrag program and
puts it into TURBO mode. This little gem is also FREE!

Part the second:
Zone Alarm is an OK Firewall, but there is a far better one that I've found
and have used for the last year or more (and hapilly trashed ZA) called TINY
PERSONAL FIREWALL, which catches a heck of alot more than ZA ever could. The
Personal Firewall is also an integral part of the Tiny Software Centrally
Managed Desktop Security (CMDS) system selected by the US Air Force for its
approximately 500,000 desktop computers. Best of all, this program is also
FREE! :)

The download page is here

Part the third: As far as ad's and cookies and other such beasties:

I heartily recommend several things. #1, get the program AdAware, it's up to
version 5.7 I believe and you can get it here:

MAJOR GEEKS COM has a  program reputed to be the BEST in
finding any spyware you have in your system and best of all, it is *FREE*
There is a professional version out but it only adds a cookie killer and
other utilities you can get through other programs for free as well...More
on this later. Running it right now, it found 14 spy keys in my registry and
7 files! And I thought I was clean...:P

Window Washer is an *excellent* program to clean out your internet history
and delete any trace of where you've been...*HIGHLY* recommended...I've
attached a file to this message that will remove the time limit off the demo
version ;)

(If you *really* want to be protected, I highly advise getting evidence
eliminator.. It works. It costs around a hundred bucks, if you don't have a
problem 'borrowing' software, I can send you a keygen that will generate a
registration key to unlock the full version from the trial.)

If you are afraid of catching a virus, another FREE utility that has so far
outshined programs that you normally pay 50 dollars or more is AVG
anti-virus, you can download it here:

Hope this helps you out, if you use all these programs in conjunction with
one another, you can rest assured you will be fairly armed and protected
against info-gathering and spying.

QUESTION: MY D DRIVE has a problem.
AFTER a SCANDISK which went well, I tried and
failed to be able to defrag. I tried three times. Defragging
will freeze on the 13th sector in, the 13th about 8% and
freeze completely, mouse doesn't work. Must hard exit. Reboot, go into
windows, try again. I can acess info on D. I used Ztree to look at d:
and got no further. There was a 24 million something or other as a temp
file. I erased the thing completely, gone, down the drain. 24 million
bytes of SOMETHING. Tried again to scan /defrag. Got a freeze up crash
and had to hard exit. I went into DOS, got NORTONS disc doctor booted up
OUT OF THE WINDOWS environ, on the c drive, to check the D. Naturally it
balked at finding so many html files (too long a file ending, and too
many files with over 8 characters. Started going thru a thousand files,
one by one, to rename them, with ztree. Got to the F's and said F THIS!
Any other ways to deal?

ANSWER: Try installing a 32-bit windows version of Norton Utilities.
These versions will not have problems with long filenames, etc. Plus,
Norton Utilities is a much better product than the utilities
(scandisk/defrag) built into windows. Norton's equivalent of scandisk is
Disk Doctor and the equiv of defrag is Speed Disk.

Also, whenever you are running any utility program such as these, it is
a good idea to close down and/or disable any and all programs that you
can, including things like the MS Office Toolbar, any firewall, any
'calendar' that tells you to do things (even if you don't use it and
haven't programmed it), any programs you might have open, plus disabling
your virus scan program! and closing anything running in your system
tray that you don't need.

Any program running in the background can frequently cause these utility
programs to freeze up and/or restart themselves. For example, if you are
trying to defrag the disk and some other program is making changes to
the disk, defrag will restart every time it detects that a change has
been made to the disk. Always a good idea to have Windows running at
bare minimum before running utility programs.

You do know how to scan and defrag, don't you? OKAY. (sigh) Hit the Start button