Most modern desktops and laptops have power to spare, but netbooks are notoriously pokey. Consequently, you should turn off any operating-system features that can make your Lilliputian PC even slower.

If your system runs Windows XP, as most netbooks do, here's an easy way to squeeze some extra speed out of it:

1. Open the Control Panel.

2. Double-click System.

3. Click the Advanced tab, followed by the Settings button in the Performance section.

4. By default, the Visual Effects tab is usually set to Let Windows choose what's best for my computer. Windows knows best?! Hardly. Change the setting to Adjust for best performance. As you'll see, this disables all XP's visual effects.

5. Click OK, then wait a few seconds while Windows readjusts itself. Click OK again to exit System Properties.

While this leaves you with a plainer, less visually exciting Windows, it also lets your netbook devote its minimal processing power to more important things, like running apps and crunching data.

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