Tips to Keep Your Computer Running Smoothly

<b>Tips to Keep Your Computer Running Smoothly</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Buying a new computer’s always a thrill — but sooner or later, your fast new machine will start to act like a clunker. Or will it?

With a few simple tips, you can keep your computer running smoothly. Sammsoft (www.sammsoft.com), a company that develops and publishes quality software products designed to secure, protect, maintain and enhance computer users’ experience, provides the following tips:

1. Clean out your computer registry. Every Windows Operating System uses a registry, or a central database that contains all of the settings for low-level operating system components, as well as any applications running on the platform. Every time you save something, run a new application or install or uninstall a program, new information is organized into your registry. But occasionally, the registry records something incorrectly. Over time, registry errors pile up and can start slowing down your computer. But running a registry cleaner, such as Advanced Registry Optimizer 2010 by Sammsoft, will fix registry errors and remove faulty files, helping your computer run quickly and smoothly.

2. Keep viruses under wraps. Run a virus checker regularly. If you have a high-speed wireless connection, don’t use the Internet without a firewall. No antivirus strategy is perfect, so stay away from suspicious-looking Web sites and don’t click on strange links in e-mails.

3. Get rid of unnecessary files. If you haven’t used a program in months or years, delete it to reclaim valuable memory. But always back-up applications in case you want to reinstall them later, and don’t delete applications that you don’t recognize, as Windows might need them to run. Never remove WINDOWS or HOT FIX applications. Also delete cookies and clear your Internet cache before you sign-off your computer.

4. Never turn off your computer before Windows has shut down. Doing so so could harm the hard drive or result in lost data or Windows files.

5. Back up Your Computer. Hardware problems occur more that you might think, and you don’t want to deal with the frustration of losing valuable data. Back up photos, Excel spreadsheets, Word documents — anything that you do not want to lose — on external hard drives or CDs.

For more information, visit www.sammsoft.com.

Slow PC Got You Down? Make Your Computer Run Like New

<b>Slow PC Got You Down? Make Your Computer Run Like New</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – You buy a new computer, and you love how quickly the applications open and Web pages load. But soon enough, you can cook and serve Thanksgiving dinner in the time it takes your computer to start. So, you trash your old computer and buy a new one — only to see your new, speedy computer soon running at a snail’s pace, as well.

Luckily, it’s more than possible to break this vicious cycle. Instead of buying a new computer when yours slows to a crawl, take some steps to make your current computer run like new.

For example, if your computer has slowed down, you might want to take a look at its registry. Every Microsoft Windows operating system has a registry, or a central database that records information about the system setting, network setting, software setting, user profiles, hardware configuration, device drivers, kernel data and third-party applications. In short, the registry tells your computer what to do and how.

Every time you install or uninstall a program, a new key is added to your registry. The problem is that, over time, the registry starts to record errors. As registry errors compile, they can slow down the entire operating system.

Unless you’re a computer expert, you shouldn’t try to fix your registry yourself — you can cause a lot of damage if you delete the wrong key. Luckily, there are registry cleaners that can eliminate registry errors and help speed up your operating system. One registry cleaner, Advanced Registry Optimizer 2010 (ARO) by Sammsoft (www.sammsoft.com), was favorably reviewed by Download.com. The easy-to-use registry cleaner can boost your PC’s performance by removing errors from the Windows Registry. ARO uses an advanced scanning engine and one-click optimization to help computers reach and maintain optimum performance.

You can also increase system performance by running antivirus software. Look for one that will get rid of viruses without using too many system resources. Extra memory will also increase speed and is easy to install.

For more information, visit www.sammsoft.com.

Couple’s Wedding Registry Makes Worldwide Difference

<b>Couple’s Wedding Registry Makes Worldwide Difference</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – For Erin Wilhelm-Hilkey, a film production manager, and Eli Tate, a C-130 pilot in the Air Force, their upcoming marriage was a chance to help others begin their lives anew as they began their own.

When the excess of a wedding and the planning it entails became overwhelming, the couple from Chapel Hill, N.C., decided to register at Heifer International to help them keep perspective. The 63-year-old organization provides livestock and agricultural training to families in communities struggling with hunger and poverty.

“Our wedding celebration was the perfect time to contribute to Heifer and to spread their message of hope,” said Wilhelm-Hilkey. “It is so rewarding to be able to help others begin a new life for themselves as we are embarking on ours.”

Through Heifer’s gift registry, a couple can create a home page displaying their photo and a statement about why they support Heifer. Gifts on the registry may include chickens, sheep, dairy cows, honeybees and other food- and income-producing animals.

“We chose Heifer because we truly believe that they are building communities that will stabilize developing regions and will change the world,” said Wilhelm-Hilkey. “My grandparents were involved in Heifer at its inception over 60 years ago, and we are proud to continue that legacy by volunteering and making contributions.”

Friends and family of the couple can read about exactly what their gift will provide. Through the registry, couples are able to see who has contributed, allowing them to easily keep track of gifts and thank people accordingly.

And although they won’t have wedding china to pass on to their grandchildren, Wilhelm-Hilkey and Tate say their hope is that, through small actions like this one, they will be able to pass on a better world to future generations.

“Instead of [us] receiving plates and stemware, there will be communities that will develop pride, education, hope, self-reliance and a strong sense of their own accomplishments,” said the bride.

For more information, visit www.heifer.org or call 800-696-1918.

Couples Can Offer Hope Through Charity’s Gift Registry

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – When Helen and Ron Russell’s daughter Tara was born, they were filled with the hope that she would one day make a difference in the world.

When the Russells’ daughter announced her engagement to Dale Ethridge, the young couple was living and teaching in China; the Russells were retired in the Southwest; and the wedding was to be near Seattle. The task of planning for their only daughter’s wedding suddenly seemed like a hike up Mount Everest.

How would months of planning, showers and registering for fine china ever happen?

But the young couple had made a fast and clear decision: This wedding was not going to be a day for collecting “stuff.” It was to be a day of celebrating their love for one another with family and close friends.

They decided that gifts in honor of their special day would instead be donations to Heifer International, a nonprofit organization that gives farm animals to struggling families, who in turn pass on the gift of the animals’ offspring to other families.

Suddenly, planning for the wedding from distant corners of the Earth became very simple. Along with their wedding invitation, they included their wishes regarding gifts and gave out Heifer’s “Passing on the Gift” DVD to guests at the reception. Guests were able to make donations of cows, goats, chicks, sheep and llamas on Heifer International’s online giving registry.

People can set up a registry through Heifer International’s Web site for milestones such as weddings and anniversaries, and for just about any reason that they would like to ask someone to join them in supporting the organization’s work.

Heifer’s registry functions like popular retail gift registries, but instead of china and kitchen appliances, the selections include chickens, cows water buffaloes and other farm animals.

The symbolic gifts, while honoring registrants, go to support Heifer’s efforts in the U.S. and around the world to help struggling families become self-reliant.

The Heifer Giving Registry lets you customize your own gift page, select honor cards and track donations. Visit www.heifer.org to learn more.

Unique Gift Registry Helps Impoverished Families

<b>Unique Gift Registry Helps Impoverished Families</b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – When they got married in 2002, Elizabeth Spees and Michael Robinson chose something different to put on their wedding gift wish list: farm animals.

The couple asked their guests to contribute to an “ark” through Heifer International, a nonprofit organization that provides livestock and agricultural training to impoverished families all over the world. Creating an ark means collecting $5,000, which goes toward education and sustainable development of Heifer projects in any one of 50 countries, including the U.S.

Their guests met that goal and more, which the Robinsons said was a joy because they wanted to help others rather than collect more stuff they did not need.

Heifer International’s new online “Giving Registry” at www.heifer.org allows people to set up wish lists for milestones such as weddings, anniversaries, Bar Mitzvahs and birthdays; school and church fundraisers; or memorials for loved ones.

The Giving Registry is part of Heifer International’s popular online gift catalog. Registrants select gifts they would like to receive, just as they would through a department-store gift registry. But instead of toaster ovens and china, Heifer’s registry selections include everything from chickens to cows to water buffaloes. The livestock enables families to obtain milk, eggs, wool and other income-producing benefits to feed, clothe and educate their children.

Registrants can customize their own gift page, select honor cards and track donations.

For more information, visit www.heifer.org.

Wedding Gift Registries: Couples’ Most Common Questions

<b>Wedding Gift Registries: Couples’ Most Common Questions </b>“></td>
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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – The bakery agreed to make your almond-flavored multi-tiered cake. You found a bridesmaid’s dress in just the right shade of robin’s-egg blue. Finally, the wedding plans are falling into place. What about your wedding gift registry?

Today, the options for wedding gift registries are endless. To help cut through the clutter, Demetra Bernard of Springmaid home fashions answers these common questions about wedding gift registries.

Q: Where should brides and grooms look for registries?

A: Virtually every retail outlet offers a registry, making it easy to find everything you need, from pillows to power saws. There is no rule that says all of your registered items need to come from one place. For example, you can choose Egyptian cotton sheets from Wal-Mart, tools from Lowe’s and a retro telephone from Pottery Barn.

Q: Is it better to register in the store or online?

A: How you register is a personal preference. The benefit to registering in the store is the “touch factor.” You can feel the softness of a towel or see if the ecru-colored blender matches your other appliances. On the other hand, registering online means that you don’t have to adjust your schedule around store hours. Online registries also are easier for gift-givers, especially far-flung family and friends who might not live near the store.

Most brick-and-mortar stores now have their registries accessible both in the store and online so you can decide which method works best for you.

Q: What do most people forget to put on their registries?

A: One of the most forgotten items are blankets. For some, it’s a utilitarian item that’s easy to overlook. For others, it’s just too confusing to decide on a fabric. Choosing between cotton, thermal, flannel, acrylic, down-filled, knit, woven or herringbone can make your head spin. But although it may take a few minutes to get educated on the best blanket for you, having one on your bed or in your linen closet is a must, especially when your new spouse turns down the thermostat!

Q: Should couples register for the “really good stuff”?

A: The tradition of wedding gift-giving started as a way for family and friends to help newlyweds – who were moving out of their parents’ homes and into an empty house – set up their new home. Today’s brides and grooms are marrying later in life and likely have lived on their own (at college or in an apartment) and have already accumulated some of the basics. So a registry can be the couple’s chance to indulge in the really good stuff.

They shouldn’t feel guilty, as the good stuff isn’t all that expensive anymore. Springmaid, for example, offers high-quality linens – 300-thread count and 100 percent cotton – for about $50.

As people continue to seek out luxury offerings for their own homes, it’s likely they will be willing to spend a little bit more to assure their families and friends get a taste of luxury, too.