Is there any software that will really tune up a computer? I’ve been seeing offers advertised on TV that sound almost too good to be true, so I’m skeptical.Your skepticism is well-advised. There are all kinds of products that claim to fix whatever ails your computer, but there are none that I would inflict on any of my systems. As Warren Buffett advised me years ago when we were roomies at Wharton, “The more aggressive the advertising, the greater the cause for suspicion.” On second thought, maybe I read that in a fortune cookie. Whatever the source, it’s good advice.When it comes to programs of this type, think of it this way: If there truly was one magical program that fine-tuned computers so they ran problem-free and at optimal performance, that miracle program would have been acquired by Microsoft or Apple in a heartbeat, and integrated within every operating system thereafter. Further, who would be in a better position to develop such a program, a third-party, TV-based, snake-oil huckster that also sells Chia Pets and Stretch Genies (“Buy today and we’ll double your order!”), or companies that own and thus have exclusive access to the operating system code itself?As I have previously shared in my weekly newsletter (MrModem.com), 80-plus percent of the computer problems I’m presented with on a daily basis are caused by users themselves. They read an article, they see an advertisement, they buy a product and it’s downhill from there. If a computer is having a problem, then it needs to be addressed, absolutely, but most typical computer problems can be resolved without having to purchase additional software.It all boils down to the same old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” If you feel the urge to tweak your computer because you think you’re going to make it run better than it is — assuming it’s running well — get up and walk away from the computer and don’t return to it until that feeling passes. You are not likely to make anything better, and there is every chance in the world that you are going make things worse. Can you explain what Pinterest is and how it works?Pinterest.com allows you to create online pinboards (bulletin boards) to which you affix items you like and that you want to share with others. You can also browse pinboards created by others. Any image pinned to a board links back to its site of origin.If you are interested in becoming a Pinhead (it’s a term of endearment within the context of Pinterest), go to Pinterest’s FAQ at http://pinterest.com/about/help, which explains how to get started.
Mr. Modem publishes “Ask Mr. Modem!” each week, featuring PC tips, tricks and plain-English answers to your questions by email. For more information, visit www.Mr.Modem.com.