For killer speed improvement move to a solid state drive. I just finished upgrading from a regular hard drive to a solid state drive (SSD) and I feel that my computer is faster than when I bought it over two years ago. The usual advice for upgrading computers before having to buy a new one had been to add more RAM, now I think upgrading to a SSD should be your next upgrade, once you have 4 GB of RAM in your PC or Mac. Think of a SSD as really fast camera card memory or the type of memory in your smartphone. They are much cheaper than even last year but not as cheap as a regular spinning hard drive. I replaced my existing 500 GB hard drive for about $225, a regular hard drive of the same capacity would be a quarter the cost. Yet, it feels at least 2-3 times faster in opening applications. So, it was really worth the cost and I will be using this laptop for much longer than I might otherwise have.
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Work rules at home that I find very helpful include: fixing a quitting time and sticking to it; ensuring that others respect the work space and have a signal for when I am working or playing; making sure that family members understand I can say not now; and getting out and about to talk with others doing what I do.
Windows 8, what a refreshing way to reinstall it. With Windows 8 “refresh” you can do a fresh Windows installation without deleting any of your personal files. It’s like re-installing Windows, but you don’t have to back up and restore your files manually. Desktop applications, like Office or Quickbooks, will be uninstalled, but your “modern” apps will be preserved. Helpfully, a list of removed programs will be saved to your desktop so you can re-install the ones you want back on your system.