Speed up computers

Discussions around the setup, operation, replacement, and disposal of clerk computers, not to include using MLS
EDDIEDOW
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Speed up computers

Postby EDDIEDOW » Mon Aug 17, 2009 6:36 pm

Thanks for all the info.
I'm a frustrated Stake Tech. Spec. with very little computer knowledge. It does seem that everytime MLS is upgraded, the computers, old as they are, slows down even more.
I appreciate the info available here, even though I don't really understand much of it. I hope I can use it to help get our old machines running faster for the clerks.
What can I get rid of, software, etc., on our machines to help them speed up? Where do I find the "Intray" and the "OpenOffice icon?

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:03 pm

E&LDow wrote:What can I get rid of, software, etc., on our machines to help them speed up? Where do I find the "Intray" and the "OpenOffice icon?


The System Tray (I haven't heard the term "Intray", either) is where you might find the OpenOffice icon. The System Tray is the set of icons in the lower right corner of the screen (assuming the task bar is in the standard position at the bottom of the screen). The OpenOffice QuickStarter may be there -- just slowly move your mouse over each icon in the tray to see what it is.

If the OpenOffice QuickStarter is present, you can right click on it and you'll see an option checked for something like "Load OpenOffice on startup" (I can't remember the exact text). You can then click on that to remove the check mark, and the next time you start the computer, OpenOffice won't load.

That will mean that OpenOffice will start somewhat more slowly the first time you run it (if you run it), but in my experience, Church computers are used mostly just for MLS, so you'll save a bit of startup time each time you reboot the computer.

jpjones~ogr
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Postby jpjones~ogr » Mon Oct 12, 2009 9:37 pm

Add more RAM. I scrounged some out of PC's being recycled, and it boosted our Ward's unit from really slow to somewhat slow. You may need to get funds from the Stake or Wards to pay for RAM chips.

My other idea is to lobby for permission to replace Symantec/Norton anti-virus software. I did hear a wild rumor, from a Stake Tech., that the Church may be considering a much faster and more effective A-V software.

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Mikerowaved
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Postby Mikerowaved » Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:21 pm

jpjonesxyz wrote:...it boosted our Ward's unit from really slow to somewhat slow.

Great description. :p

jpjonesxyz wrote:My other idea is to lobby for permission to replace Symantec/Norton anti-virus software. I did hear a wild rumor, from a Stake Tech., that the Church may be considering a much faster and more effective A-V software.

'Tis true. Hopefully before too long it will be released for the admin PC's.

Another thing that really helped speed up printing to our HP LJ1100 was to install a 300dpi driver, such as one for the HP LJ III. I have that driver labeled "Faster Printing" and the original 600dpi LJ1100 driver labeled "Higher Quality", with "Faster Printing" being the default.

For regular text, such as printing checks, you can't see any difference, but the speed improvement is VERY noticeable. The only time I use "Higher Quality" is when printing final copies of reports that have alternating shaded lines. The 300dpi gets a bit blotchy in the shaded areas, whereas the 600dpi is much smoother.
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russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:20 am

I'd also suggest defraging the hard drive. Even if it doesn't seem to be heavily fragmented. If the MLS files are fragmented, it will slow MLS down.
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jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:22 am

jpjonesxyz wrote:My other idea is to lobby for permission to replace Symantec/Norton anti-virus software. I did hear a wild rumor, from a Stake Tech., that the Church may be considering a much faster and more effective A-V software.
It is not a wild rumor. The Church is migrating to Sophos. So far Church headquarters, administrative offices, and family history centers have converted. It is on the horizon for unit administrative computers but the time line has not been released.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

techgy
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Postby techgy » Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:30 am

As has been stated previously in this thread - Add More RAM.
From personal experience the addition of RAM bringing the system up to a minimum of 1 Gig will have the greatest impact on the performance of the MLS software.

We had 3 computers in our stake that were creepers in regards to MLS performance. Following the installation of an additional memory chip, which increased the total RAM to 1 Gig, MLS performance was significantly increased. It was well worth the cost of the chips.
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rrketcheson
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Don't forget your 5-year upgrade

Postby rrketcheson » Tue Oct 20, 2009 5:58 pm

I was looking through the Policies and Guidelines For Computers Used by Clerks for Church Record Keeping (August 2009)

Scheduled Replacement of Computers and Printers
Each record-keeping computer’s central processing unit (CPU) is normally replaced on a five-year cycle. The stake physical facilities representative works with the FM group during the fourth year of the computer’s life so that funds from the annual plan can be requested in order to replace the CPU during the fifth year.

It is also important to remember to include your Stake Technology Specialist on any hardware or software issues.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Tue Oct 20, 2009 6:27 pm

rketcheson wrote:Each record-keeping computer’s central processing unit (CPU) is normally replaced on a five-year cycle.


It's a good reminder, but note that the key word there is "normally." As you can read in the (rather long) Administrative Computer and Printer Replacements thread, the 5-year cycle has been extended in most areas (in some cases indefinitely). So it's good to communicate with your FM group and see what they can do for replacements, but don't have any expectation that the 5-year replacement policy is automatic.

EDDIEDOW
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Postby EDDIEDOW » Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:36 am

Thanks again for the help. Our stake purchased 1 Gig. RAM sticks for each computer and they're installed now. The machines run much faster.


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