Saturday, August 29, 2015

Still Watch DVD?

Windows 10 recently released to relatively positive reviews.  One big drawback for me, however, was Microsoft's decision to drop support for playing movies on DVD.  Yes, we all know the future of video is in streaming.  But I still like the ease and simplicity of watching a movie at times when I am not connected to the Internet.

There are not many free programs that will provide you with the ability to watch DVDs on your computer.  But there is one that is extremely popular: VLC Media Player.  In addition to DVD, VLC will play a range of other video formats, including various MPEG versions, DivX, mp3, and ogg.

The interface itself is relatively feature rich and has a range of options.  You can even stream video across your network.

VLC is 100% free, no trial period or paying for a pro version.  It is great, works as promised and fills a great need for video lovers everywhere.  Give it a try!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Cleaning up your computer

Over time, Windows collects lots of little files that degrade performance.  These can include temporary Windows files, temporary Internet files, temp files associated with various programs, etc.  Cumulatively these files can start to degrade performance as Windows is required to search through all of them in order to find what it needs.  From time to time, you should clean out your computer as you notice things getting slower.

You can manually go into all the various temp folders around your computer and erase the unnecessary files, but this is time consuming and difficult.  Instead of that, I recommend a great little utility called ccleaner.  This program will scan all the known crevices on your computer where these temp files are known to hide.  It is pretty good about knowing what to delete and what to leave alone, but it does give you options on what you can choose to delete as well.

The basic version is free.  There are pay versions that can do a few more things, but I find the free version adequate for my needs.  I have used the Windows version for many years.  There is also a Mac and Android version which perform similar functions. However, I have not had the need to use those.

I don't find it needs to be run that often, but every three or four months will help to keep your PC running at top performance.

The same company also has a program called Defraggler, also free, which can defragment your hard drive.  This also improves performance.  I find the defrag program that comes with Windows to do an adequate job.  But Defraggler has a few extra functions if you care to give it a try.

Ccleaner, however, is a must-have for any Windows user.  I highly recommend it.