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© St. Petersburg Times, published April 10, 2000

Too many temporary Internet files?

Q. I clicked on the Temporary Internet Files folder and found what looked like thousands of files. Can I delete them? Do I save any of them? Which ones?

A. The Temporary Internet Files folder is the location on your hard disk where Web pages and files (such as graphics) are stored as you view them through your browser. This speeds up the display of pages you previously have visited because Internet Explorer can open them from your hard disk instead of downloading them again from the Web. The maximum size this folder will grow is controlled through the Internet Explorer menu bar at: Tools, Internet Options, Temporary Internet Files, Settings button. This also is where you can delete them. However, unless disk space is a problem, leave it alone.

Upgrading from Win3.11

Q. I have a computer with a 486 DX2 processor operating at 66 megazhertz with the Windows 3.11 operating system. I have upgraded to 64 megabytes of random access memory, a 3.5-gigabyte hard drive and a 56K modem. The downside is that not many applications on the market will work with Windows 3.11. What performance can I expect if I install Windows 98?

A. The most important hardware factor when upgrading to Windows 98 is memory. Windows 3.11 took about 2 MB of RAM while Windows 98 will take 18 to 20 MB when loaded. You will notice a small decrease in speed. However, your 64 MB of RAM will be sufficient to keep you running at an acceptable level.

Big time display

Q. I am running Windows 98 on my computer. Is it possible to display the operating clock as a screen saver or can I at least enlarge it on my desktop.

A. Choose the 3-D Text (Open GL) screen saver. Click the Settings button and select the Time option.

Deleting old Favorites

Q. How do you delete favorites from the Favorites folder?

A. You can delete Favorites from the Internet Explorer menu bar by clicking Favorites, then Organize Favorites.

System slowdown

Q. I use Windows 95 and during the day the performance of my computer slows down. When I check My Computer and right-click properties, I find the system resources are only 78 percent free. If I restart the computer, it returns to 85 percent free and I get faster performance. How can I avoid having to restart the computer to maintain peak performance?

A. A system resource percentage of 78 is not unusual and I don't suspect that this is the cause of your system's gradual slowdown. Make sure that you have sufficient RAM (at least 64 MB) and at least 200 MB of free hard drive space, and that you defragment your hard drive regularly.

Low system resources

Q. Please explain system resources. I have been told that if resources drop to 52 percent it can mean a chip is going bad. My new computer is never above 62 percent. Is this a problem? Also, what is the difference between Windows Updates online and the Windows Updates that are offered on Microsoft's Web site?

A. System resources, at least in the context of what you see when you right-click Properties on My Computer, is a fixed area of memory Windows, as well as applications and device drivers, uses to control aspects of its operation. A system that is never above 62 percent sounds as if it has many applications loading at startup. (It has nothing to do with a chip going bad.) You can see what programs are loaded at any time by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del. This opens the Close Program window and shows a list of programs running on your computer. Everything except Systray and Explorer are programs initiated either from your Startup folder or the registry.

Windows 98 makes it easy to disable any of these programs: Run the System Information tool (Start, Programs, Accessories, System Tools, System Information or Start, Run, type MSINFO32 and press enter). Select Tools, System Configuration Utility. From here you can selectively turn off the different areas within Windows from which programs run at startup. You'll see a tab for each area: Config.sys, Autoexec.Bat, System.ini, Win.ini (expand the Windows option and check the Load and Run lines) and Startup (this contains the programs that start from within the registry).

As far as your Windows Update question, if I understand you correctly, they are the same.

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