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Overloading a computer's desktop?

 
 
JTT
 
Reply Sun 12 Oct, 2008 11:33 am
I was once told that when you start new programs directly on the desktop by right clicking and picking a new program you cause your computer to have to cycle thru these programs every time you perform an action, which slows down the processing speed. Is this correct?

To prevent this "overloading", I was also told that one should start all new programs, etc thru the Local Disk, C: file. Is this correct?

Further, if you receive emails and download PDF, JPEGs, etc directly to the desktop are you contributing to "overload"?

If this is true, what can one do about the programs that already exist in various folders?

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Type: Question • Score: 0 • Views: 5,474 • Replies: 9
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Oct, 2008 12:21 pm
@JTT,
Interesting inquiry about a topic that's been in the back of my mind for years. However, I find the cleaning my computer on a regular basis and running programs to look for spams and virus' seems to clean it out pretty well, and the speed of my computer runs pretty good. I have an old HP that's been pretty reliable, but I also have Norton's 360 running on Mozilla Firefox that I think helps keep my computer clean from spam and virus.

I also delete programs I haven't used for a long time.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Oct, 2008 12:53 pm
@cicerone imposter,
The cleaning part is the one I'm mostly thinking of, CI. I have an up to date virus protection program.

I've been downloading a lot of pictures from my Kodak digital camera thru the Kodak software program, plus various business files. I've saved the pics to a certain folder and within that folder I put them in sub-folders. Some are shortcut folders that I had started in C: drive, other folders were started right within the existing folder.

Downloads from email, PDFs and other files, FireFox has put right onto my desktop, which seemed and seems convenient, but is it causing/will it cause a problem?

My computer seems to be slower than before and I'm wondering if I've reached a tipping point.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Oct, 2008 01:01 pm
@JTT,
I have tons of pictures on my computer, and keep loading more with every trip. That doesn't seem to be my problem with slow-downs.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Oct, 2008 01:08 pm
@cicerone imposter,
Maybe you've uploaded them in the correct fashion, CI. If this thing I've heard and raised has any merit.
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Oct, 2008 01:10 pm
@JTT,
The only thing that seems to tangle up my computer are updates of HP. Why they insist on doing it during daytime hours is a mystery. I can't even access anything when they take over my computer for those updates.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Oct, 2008 01:47 pm
@JTT,
JTT wrote:
I was once told that when you start new programs directly on the desktop by right clicking and picking a new program you cause your computer to have to cycle thru these programs every time you perform an action, which slows down the processing speed. Is this correct?


I'm not completely clear on what you are describing, but it doesn't sound correct.

Quote:
To prevent this "overloading", I was also told that one should start all new programs, etc thru the Local Disk, C: file. Is this correct?


Where you start the programs doesn't make much of a difference. I think you might have heard that having a cluttered desktop can slow things down, and that all those icons make the computer slower and that's theoretically true but doesn't tend to make a big difference in practice.

Quote:
Further, if you receive emails and download PDF, JPEGs, etc directly to the desktop are you contributing to "overload"?


The theory goes that you use more RAM if you have a cluttered desktop with lots of icons and a heavy wallpaper image and all.

In practice this makes very little difference, but I always use a plain color background because of it as well.

However I've never seen a case of a user-perceptible difference because of this and it's really more of a visual thing than anything else. I have a "desktop" folder that I put a shortcut to on my real desktop. When my desktop is too cluttered I drag all the files into it to clean it up quickly without having to go through and delete them.

Windows has a feature that does something similar "cleaning up unused desktop icons" but this is all really more about clutter than computer performance.
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Oct, 2008 04:49 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:

Where you start the programs doesn't make much of a difference. I think you might have heard that having a cluttered desktop can slow things down, and that all those icons make the computer slower and that's theoretically true but doesn't tend to make a big difference in practice.


No, it had nothing to do with a cluttered desktop, Robert. Two different times, two fairly respectable computer whizzes told me that when files/folders are NOT started thru the C: drive that when you do any computer process the processor goes thru the files/folders on the desktop.

They suggested that by starting the files/folders from the C: drive and only putting shortcuts on the desktop, the processor doesn't have to go thru the long cycle.

You say this isn't a concern as far as processing speed is concerned and I must admit from what I've seen around here and from reading your postings on the A2K changeover, you're no slouch when it comes to 'puters.

My C: drive shows that I have 69% free disk space left, so it's not like it's loaded down with files/folders. What else could it be that makes it slow?

I have noticed that McAfee can make it run really slow when it's downloading virus protection or whatnot.

Quote:
I have a "desktop" folder that I put a shortcut to on my real desktop. When my desktop is too cluttered I drag all the files into it to clean it up quickly without having to go through and delete them.


I too have an "All desktop" folder that I keep everything in just to reduce visual clutter.
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Oct, 2008 05:04 pm
@JTT,
JTT wrote:
No, it had nothing to do with a cluttered desktop, Robert. Two different times, two fairly respectable computer whizzes told me that when files/folders are NOT started thru the C: drive that when you do any computer process the processor goes thru the files/folders on the desktop.

They suggested that by starting the files/folders from the C: drive and only putting shortcuts on the desktop, the processor doesn't have to go thru the long cycle.


Well something must be lost in translation then. The "C: drive" is just the default windows drive letter for the primary hard drive. While things could be slower if, say, run from an optical drive that is slower than a hard drive the desktop itself is also stored on the same drive by default.
Quote:

My C: drive shows that I have 69% free disk space left, so it's not like it's loaded down with files/folders. What else could it be that makes it slow?


"Slow" can mean a lot of things. So you'd have to be more specific and investigate further.

Typically, what causes performance issues on a computer are bottlenecks in CPU or RAM (in most modern computers the bottleneck is RAM). If you right click your task bar and select "task manager" you will be able to see what is using those system resources (on the processes tab sort by memory and cpu to see what is hogging each).

You may find a program using too much memory (right now my browser is hogging memory for example, and restarting it would make my computer run faster if the RAM were at its limit) or you may find too many background processes are running.

Now the next most common performance issue is an I/O bottleneck on the drive and the most common end-user scenario for that is that your files are fragmented and the disk needs to look in thousands of locations for a single file at times.

You can check/fix this by going to:

All programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter

There are many other problems that could be causing this, ranging from configurations that can be tweaked to make things faster but you'd have to be more specific about the slowness you see and rule out those basic problems for me to help you remotely.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Tue 7 Jul, 2009 06:47 am
i prefer to keep my desktop clear simply for aesthetic reasons, i like to be able to see the whatever wall paper i'm currently using
0 Replies
 
 

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