Do you feel the need for speed?

Broadband - think of it as a fast car. Once you taste speed, you can never go back.

Even with broadband, the Internet can be hard to crack. Your browser is the hammer, but it’s a memory hog requiring constant watching. Poor browser maintenance can make the fastest Net connection look like a 1990s modem.

Your browser creates a lot of contradictions. By far, it’s the most processor and memory-intensive piece of software we run. Think of your browser as a massive file-management system, keeping track of everything you’ve seen on the Web and neatly filing away the data for future use.

The problem is the more files it manages, the slower it can run. All browsers show this. As of yet, not one of them runs without slowing down your high-speed Net connection. We need faster, more efficient browsers.

The file system is the browser cache, and it’s problem central. Access a Web site. Go to another Web site. When you hit the back button, the previous site pops up quickly.

Your browser cache saves everything you’ve seen. When you go back to it, your browser loads the data off your hard drive, not off the Web. This saves bandwidth and takes pressure off file servers. It saves you time (your hard drive is faster than any network). However, if your cache has hundreds or thousands of files in it, this can slow down your surfing. Your browser must check each saved file.

This happens fairly fast with always-on broadband connections. A lot of folks keep their browsers active 24-by-7. This is convenient, but it cancels an important function. When your browser shuts down, it deletes many of the Internet temporary files it has collected. This makes room for new ones next session.

If you never exit, you can wind up with hundreds of megabytes of files in your browser’s temporary folder.

So, click on Tools, Internet Options in your browser’s top- menu. Then click on Delete Files and Delete Cookies to periodically clear your browser’s cache.

Your browser saves everything, including programming scripts. Sometimes, these scripts are corrupted or simply weren’t written properly. When the cache starts searching its files, it will choke on a bad script. It won’t guess, it will just lock up. Deleting is the only way around this.

Another bad-file clue comes when you access a news site that changes daily but you get a page that is a day or more late. Don’t e-mail the Webmaster and complain. The fault is your cache, where a bad file is blocking acceptance of an updated page. Deleting is the fix here, too. If you’ve had a long session on the Net, you may suddenly see your browser halt and hear your hard drive thrashing. You’ve reached the maximum number of files your cache will support. The browser now is deleting them automatically.

The more full your hard drive, the fewer files will store on it. If you only have a few megabytes left, your surfing will be a lot slower. When you reach that, buy a second hard drive (external USB ones are really cheap). Transfer your data files to it to free up space.

Daniel Island Publishing

225 Seven Farms Drive
Unit 108
Daniel Island, SC 29492 

Office Number: 843-856-1999
Fax Number: 843-856-8555


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