ZDNet article on what to leave alone in Windows 10 - our take and comments
by Andy Flagg, Publication Date: Monday, January 13, 2020
View Count: 442, Keywords: Windows 10, what to fix, what to leave alone, Hashtags: #Windows10 #whattofix #whattoleavealone
Before I begin, one wants to be kind instead of right yet in this case, I try to be both for Mr. Bott, yet... Ed Bott on ZDNet writes and I hope he revises his article and suggestions:
His article is lengthy and could be cut down quite a bit to bullets.
Here is my take:
1. Ed gets close to making good points but misses a few and we make note here of the corrections and below: (a) registries needing cleaning, just like the corners of the rooms in your house, (b) swap files can be correct sometimes and need forced modification other times (do not trust Microsoft swap file algorithms for calculating and computing), (c) hard drive defragging is required and I learned this the hard way from a hard drive design engineer who showed me the light, and more.
2. Ed is a journalist and his education says that, and his life in technology journalism yet it is not the same as working at a Fortune 100 or 500 company as a computing technologist or being a computer systems engineer, software engineer and the critical analysis research and testing that engineers are expected to deliver and report on as wisdom and advice based on applied research.
3. Ed is great author and published writer, editor and more, even on Playboy. see his LinkedIn profile for more. I am impressed. Keep up the great work Ed just get better sources for your articles and make sure they go through better technical review(s).
His LinkedIn bio is rather interesting and does not give him full credence or authority on anything regarding software engineering, computer engineering or technology as a whole. https://www.linkedin.com/in/edbott/
I wanted to be kind and not right here, but Ed has made a career and lot of money in his writing and made a life of it. Congrats and hats off to him; sort of like my friend Walt Mossberg and his compatriot Kim Komando. Its sort of fun to know we need and have journalists in technology that have never earned a technology degree education other than watching the street and reporting on it. Its okay. We need that box in the org chart filled and someone has to be the one regardless of qualifications. I remember Microsoft Press and writing and beta testing their tests and accreditation solutions for them back in the 1990s. It was funny, bad, and awkward.
With that being said, my take away is:
1. Registry cleaners like CCleaner is good to clean the registry. yes, you need to use it properly. No dust bunnies in the corners of your hard drive and registry please. Do you not vacuum or clean the corners of your home, ever? The question in this case is how much do you use the registry cleaner? if you overuse it like Bott suggests it can destabilize things in the operating system and applications, just like brushing your teeth too much can cause your gums to start to hurt and maybe bleed. So, if you add and subtract (install and uninstall) alot of applications and utilities, then you might run into the situation where the registry cleaner is needed to be run once against the file system and once or twice against the registry, reboot and run one more time after the cleanup is basically done.
2. The paging file can and cannot be tweaked. if you do, know what you are doing. The factoring is: paging file should be 1.5x min and 2.5x max of installed RAM. Look at the paging file in use, recommended and see if there is a mixup. We have seen it and though we wrote the book on paging and swap files back in the day, it still gets calculated wrong and behaves weird sometimes. Bug or not? It makes a difference.
3. Updating firmware is not for the faint of heart. Do it with caution. CPU flashing guidance: AMD yes. Intel maybe. Not because AMD is bad or needs updating but because they are improving faster than Intel and Flash updates can really make a positive difference. We do it on the most interesting of systems when necessary and when prudent. Its funny, just getting to max ram can require a BIOS / Firmware flash yet that is odd. Also, we don't like flashing a standalone desktop where spectre and meltdown worries are not a concern and still it throttles the cpu by 20-50%. big mistake. to flash or not to flash, that is the question.
4. Defragging should be done, except not on SSD drives. More to come on that as we study SSD fragmention. a lengthy conversation I had with a hard drive engineer a decade ago still supports defragging and letting the system do it by itself generically is a weak statement. See defraggler or auslogics defrag.
5. Telemetry is a mess. Ed does not know what he is talking about but that is okay. There should be no telemetry at all going back to Microsoft. sharing my activity should be an opt-in option not a figure it out opt-out option and then never 100%. That is what beta and preview testers are for.
I like his article that raised good questions yet he misses the mark on what should be done.
I am confused by his bio and what her purports in the article as valid. Here is his bio on zenet: "Ed Bott is an award-winning technology writer with more than two decades' experience writing for mainstream media outlets and online publications. He has served as editor of the U.S. edition of PC Computing and managing editor of PC World; both publications had monthly paid circulation in excess of 1 million during his tenure. He is the author of more than 25 books on Microsoft Windows and Office, including Windows 7 Inside Out (2009) and Office 2013 Inside Out (2013)."
I am concerned with the last part of his bio, windows 7 inside out(2009) and Office 2013 (2013). both of these products he released a book on before these products really matured in the market. How can one write about a product as it is released? As a guide or tutorial maybe, but not as advice and wisdom.
If you want a quick guide on what to do or not to do on Windows 10 for performance, ask a Windows computer systems engineer or applications performance developer like what we do.
We can share some of the secrets yet not all of them. We just apply them on a daily basis and use our GGPCTU to get there, almost there... 98%... the rest we have to do manually.
For us at Mountain Computers, we give people the red pill and know the truth.
We are just like: the Ferrari engineer who created a great automobile until marketing got a hold of the vehicle on the show room. It required the engineer to go back to the vehicle on the show room and rip off all the marketing stuff to make the car run like designed and the car will speak for itself; no need for fuzzy dice and bumper stickers - if you know what I mean. It was designed to run fast and pretty without the bloat and marketing sales overhead. We just say, give us back that car and let us put it back the way it belongs... stop messing with perfection... sales and marketing... you did your job, and got it sold, now let's put the GROWL and POWER back into the computer and car like where it belonged in the first place.... ..
Windows 7 and 10 need the same. Just like servers and virtualization; they need to be tuned and auto-installation configuration is not perfect because engineers did not write the install script when in fact they should have... some non-engineers wrote the documentation and install script. NOTE: this is where technical reviewer(s) come in a validate the accuracy of the statements.
Most authors, writers, and journalists are great in english and grammar, and communications yet when it comes to technology companies and technical articles, these kinds of articles go from author to editor to technical editor and back to editor and if all approved back to author to be congratulated and credited, and then released to the general public.
More to come...
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