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Not all law firms are created equal. Nowhere is this more evident than in the area of technology. However, if you're stuck using a slow computer, don't fret, there are tips that can help speed things up.
The following tidbits of advice are also easy on the wallet. So you'll be able to secure a faster workstation without having to put in an upgrade request. And with the legal market full of eager unemployed lawyers, shaking down partners for computer money probably isn't such a good idea right now.
So if your rig is slowing you down, here are five things you can do to speed it up.
New and old computers have one thing in common, they both have a lot of unnecessary programs. PC Decrapifier can help. It's a free tool that analyzes and removes junk applications from your computer. Useless programs take up storage space and eat up resources. They can bring your system to a crawl. So use this tool or, if you're savvy enough, uninstall those apps yourself.
Adding more RAM will definitely speed up a slow system. But if you don't want to buy more memory and you're on Windows 7 or Vista, try using ReadyBoost. The feature is native to these OSs. It works like RAM minus the hassle of opening up your computer. Just plug in a flash memory device, like a USB drive or SD card, into your PC and enable it for ReadyBoost.
3) Shut Off Unnecessary Start-Up Programs
Applications that run when you turn on your computer don't just increase boot-up times, they also slow down performance overall. Mac users can cut the clutter through their Terminal. Windows users can do the same using MSConfig. And if your firm's computers are somehow on a Linux-based OS, you can manage start-up services through the System menu.
4) Turn Off Visual Effects
While Windows' Aero effects and Mac's "genie" animations are cool to look at, they don't do much beyond being pretty and slowing down your system. Shut them all off. The resources necessary to run them are better spent elsewhere.
5) Lighter Software
Much like with food, loading your system with heavy resource-hogging programs can slow down your computer. One of the best tips to speed up a law firm desktop is using lighter applications. Try Foxit instead of Adobe Reader. Use Google Chrome instead of Internet Explorer or Firefox. Make VLC your primary media player. And if you don't mind fewer bells and whistles, replace Microsoft Word with Abiword.