In this article:
=>Watch Out For This Resource Hog Tool from Google
=> A Better and Faster Alternative to Windows Explorer Search
=> Bad News for Amazon Associates!
1. Watch Out For This Resource Hog Tool from Google
Is a certain free tool from Google hogging your CPU like crazy?
I am hinting at the Google Desktop tool:
It is a great tool no doubt, and free at that, but of what use if it slows my computer to a snail's speed! I have 2 GB of RAM, and if it slows MY PC, I can only imagine how it would affect those with much less RAM! The CNET editor who reviewed the product conveniently passed on this very important issue, but then again, could anyone on WWW dare to speak ill of the all-mighty Google! ;-) (Ha-ha! Just kidding!)
I won't have even known about the culprit behind the freezing of my PC, had I not downloaded Process Explorer! For the uninitiated, it is a much better alternative to the Windows Task Manager, in that it shows you a lot more information about the processes running on your computer than task manager does! In fact, it is so good that I have replaced task manager with process explorer, and I suggest you do the same!
You can download Process Explorer from here:
It is extremely portable and easy to setup and use! There is no installation required; you simply unzip the file, double click on the executable file with an icon similar to the Windows-logo, and process explorer starts!
If you wish to replace task manager with process explorer, just click on "Options=>Replace Task Manager" from the top menu. If at any time you wish to restore task manger, just click on "Options=>Restore Task Manager" from the same menu!
Okay, so back to the original point. When I discovered that GD (short for Google Desktop) was hogging most of my RAM, I thought it was time to get rid of it. GD, just like Norton Anti Virus (another resource hog of which I got rid of later), is not easy to uninstall, for both products keep their remains on your PC even after you have uninstalled them using the default uninstallers.
Such remains may take the form of invalid registry entries, shortcuts, dll files, and others useless data which clutter your hard drive and slow down your computer. So, I used Revo Uninstaller to uninstall GD:
One good thing about Revo is that it offers you so much for free; I mean, forget about uninstalling programs, if you are interested in merely keeping your computer clean from junk, you NEED this tool!
Revo would let the default uninstaller of the respective program do its job first before it starts removing the remaining parts of that program from your PC!
WARNING: At the final stage of program uninstallation, Revo would ask you whether you wish to delete certain invalid registry keys associated with the uninstalled program. SKIP this step! DO NOT use Revo to modify or delete your registry keys; I use a better (and free) program called CCleaner for that job:
You might be wondering why I am asking you to use CCleaner instead of Revo to clean invalid registry keys. I have a good reason behind it. When I first used Revo, I trusted it a bit too much and let it delete the invalid registry keys of an uninstalled program (but not before taking a backup of the whole registry).
Just after reboot, I saw that my Desktop icons are arranged in an odd fashion! No matter how many times I fix it, it would rearrange the icons again and again in its own haphazard fashion. I was quite dumfounded and not sure what to do. At last, I thought of restoring my registry keys from the backup. Things started working fine again!
After that, I used CCleaner to delete the invalid registry keys and nothing bad happened! There are so many programs out there, free and paid, which claim to keep your registry clean from junk, but CCleaner is the only program I trust for that department: not because it doesn't cost me a dime, but because it knows its job only too well! CCleaner does a lot more than just cleaning your registry; apart from Revo, this is another must-have program for every PC user! ;)
2. A Better and Faster Alternative to Windows Explorer Search
I guess I talk too much, he he. ;) Anyway, after I got rid of Google Desktop, I began to search for an alternative, a good one that won't hog my CPU like GD. One of the reviewers who reviewed Google Desktop at download.com recommended two good alternatives in his review: File Locator Pro and XYplorer (both are paid programs with a 30-day free trial version available for each).
File locator pro can be downloaded here:
XYplorer can be downloaded here:
I downloaded both and decided to give XYplorer a try at first. Honestly, I am so happy with it that I haven't yet bothered to try out the other product. Unlike GD, it doesn't index your hard drives for days on end; rather, it is a live searcher much like Windows explorer search tool, except that it beats the explorer search hands down by its terrific speed! It can search a file within a huge hard drive (about 200 GB) in less than 15 minutes; now could anything be faster than that!
Another thing I like about it is that it is extremely small in size and portable too; you can put it on a Flash drive and take it wherever you like! It doesn't add any extra junk to your PC, apart from the usual Start Menu shortcuts. I am sure you would love it.
If you value your CPU, get rid of that resource hog Google Desktop and try out the demo version of XYplorer instead! I know GD is free while XYplorer is a paid program but I value my PC's health much more than the cost of XYplorer. Moreover, GD doesn't re-index a file if you move it to another location; this won't happen with XYplorer. I am sure you would have a pleasant experience with it. I am neither an affiliate nor employee of the company, just a happy customer! :)
XYplorer has a few cons though. Firstly, unlike GD, you cannot use it to search for a file straight from the taskbar; every time you want to search for something, you would have to launch the program (which is light anyway). I have found a good solution to this. I have added the program to startup (just copy the program's shortcut from "Start Menu" folder to "Startup" folder).
This way, each time Windows starts, the program loads too, and it nicely sits on my system tray (I have set it to minimize to tray). Now each time I need to search for a file, I just click on the tray icon and start searching! :D
A second disadvantage of this program is that it doesn't offer (or maybe I just cannot find it) the option of searching by "file type". Now let's say that a certain filename is a shared by several types of files (say, text files, MS Word files, PDF files, etc), and you only need the text file of that name. However, (unless I am wrong) you cannot narrow down the search to only "text" files"; rather, Xyplorer would show you all the files sharing that name (EDIT: read serendipity's comment below on how to do it). But its search speed is such that it doesn't matter much to me!
Oh, and did I mention that it is portable too! You can put it on a flash drive and take it along with you to wherever you want! It doesn't leave any "footprint" on the host computer's registry! :D
3. Bad News for Amazon Associates!
For those of you who are affiliates of Amazon.com and use PPC (Pay Per Click) to promote Amazon products, here is one bad news. This bad news doesn't however affect me because:
a) I am a fan of free, organic traffic
b) I have left the Amazon affiliate program long ago!
Anyways, yesterday I received this email from Amazon. For your convenience, I have copied the email here, word-for-word. If you use PPC to promote Amazon products, you may want to read it, as Amazon would no longer credit affiliates using PPC traffic to sell Amazon products (not applicable to Non-US Associates programs of Amazon):
"Dear Amazon Associate:
We're writing to let you know about a change to the Amazon Associates Program. After careful review of how we are investing our advertising resources, we have made the decision to no longer pay referral fees to Associates who send users to www.amazon.com, www.amazon.ca, or www.endless.com through keyword bidding and other paid search on Google, Yahoo, MSN, and other search engines, and their extended search networks. If you're not sure if this change affects you, please visit this page for FAQs.
As of May 1, 2009, Associates will not be paid referral fees for paid search traffic. Also, in connection with this change, as of May 1, 2009, Amazon will no longer make data feeds available to Associates for the purpose of sending users to the Amazon websites in the US or Canada via paid search.
This change applies only to the Associates programs in North America. If you are conducting paid search activities in connection with one of Amazon's Associates Programs outside of the US and Canada, please refer to the applicable country's Associates Program Operating Agreement for relevant terms and conditions."
If you ask me, I have already found a much better alternative to Amazon associates program long ago-eBay partner program. I am not saying it is perfect, but it is paying me straight for two years without any hitch, doesn't have a horrible payout system like Amazon (with EBay, you would be paid as long as you have earned at least $5 or more in any month), and so far, I am yet to face any problem with it.
This is all that matters to me so far as an affiliate program is concerned. If you are interested, here is the link to join EPN (not available to Hong Kong):
And if you want an easy way to put auto-updating EBay affiliate ads on your website, I have a cool tool for that (I myself use this tool):
So what do you think of today's article? Did I really offer you any value or did I simply waste your time? Feel free to post your comments on my blog! :D