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In February 2002 newsletter

WinTasks 2000

By Terry Currier

If youíve used Windows (95/98/NT/2000/ME) you probably familiar with the three finger salute. When Windows locks up you press CTRL ALT DEL to bring up the task manager. You then select the program that is not responding and tell Windows to end the task. The other time you may use CTRL ALT DEL is when you notice the computer is acting very slow. You check the Windows resources through various methods and find they are low. WinTasks 2000 is a enhancement on the Windows task manager.

The Windows task manager merely shows you what programs you have running. From that you can choose to end the task or shut down Windows itself. WinTasks 2000, on the other hand shows you what you have running and where they started from. Where they are started from is the most important. So you know what the program is for. Better than guessing which program to  unload to speed up the computer.

Bringing up WinTasks it shows you how many processes (programs) you have running, how much memory is in use, and CPU usage. Programs that are running on your computer are not truly all running at the same time. The CPU and Windows allocates the amount of time and memory each process gets. Windows System needed files are circled in red so you know which programs not to play with. Programs critical for Windows of course get the highest priority. Others get just normal priority. You can get a much more detailed description of the processes by going to the WinTasks authorís web site.

So what can you really do with it? Well for one thing experiment. If your computer is running slow try lowering the priority of a program your not using, or even stopping the program. You can see immediately on the bar any improvement for memory or CPU usage. Here are a couple of things you can find it useful for. When you do a Defrag or Scandisk the more programs you can demote or stopped the faster it will finish without the " drive's content changed: restartingÖ" message. It can also help with CD burning. It you donít have one of the new burn proof CD writers you will be familiar with error due to buffer under runs. This is where the writer could not keep up with the CPU. Many people have problems with gaps and jumps in their audio-CDs. With WinTasks you can stop interfering programs and raise the priority of your burning-program in order to minimize the risk of errors. You can stop several processes at a time. By giving you information on the most important system processes, it helps you to decide which processes to stop, and which ones are better left alone.

Notice here I lowered the priority of the Spider game and raised it for the Defrag utility.

WinTasks 2000 is $17, they have a Professional version for $55. It lets you add and remove Autostarted programs, monitor CPU and Memory usage, and some printing options. All together  a very handy program. If you would like to try it out you can download a 30 day trial version from Download.com (not the Professional version.)  http://www.liutilities.com  or call (800) 903-4152 


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