In the Forums...
Posted: June 18, 2000
Written By: Keith "Farrel" McClellan
Things to Avoid at All Cost
This is a list of things that I have either personally done or know of people who have done them. It isn't, by any means, a definitive list, and some of them may seem silly, but I assure you they have all been done. Remember, these are things you shouldn't do!
- Don't enable DMA on a 6-year-old hard drive without DMA support
- Don't delete anything without backing it up first
- Don't lose the list of locations of your backups
- Don't forget a boot disk
- Don't perform any kind of tweaking while groggy.
- Don't forget to backup all settings you change
- Don't get cocky and assume that just because you are the Tweakmeister™ that you don't need to take precautions with your system.
- Don't forget that anything with the Microsoft name on it is finicky and can die at any time.
Developing a New Tweak
There are several things you can do to begin the process of discovering a new tweak. One of the most important things you can do is read - read everything. Even things that don't directly relate to tweaking can hint at settings that might be changed for a speed increase. PC magazines, hardware and gaming web sites, as well as books can all point you towards things that you might be able to turn into a performance or usability enhancing tweak.
Usability enhancing tweak? I guess I better define tweak in the terms that I use it. A tweak is a small adjustment to how something works to make it work better. 'Working better' is a pretty broad term, but when you apply it to computers it can either be something that makes the computer itself faster, or something that enables the user to work faster. Dan very affectionately calls Tweak3D a 'hot-rod shop for PC's,' and while hot rods are generally known for their speed and looks, they are comfortable beasts as well - and it's important to remember that. Just because a tweak doesn't speed up how the computer does business doesn't mean that it doesn't speed up how you work.
Once you have an idea on what you are looking for, it's time to delve into the depths of the system to make the changes. If you were lucky and got a big hint from a source then go straight to where you think the setting is and start puttering away. If you only got a very vague hint, or perhaps just an idea, you've got your work cut out for you.
If the tweak is for a specific program, the best place to start is to look inside the program for a preferences menu. If you don't find anything there, then it is time to break into Explorer and browse to the programs subdirectory on the hard drive and look for any files that might contain configuration data (possible extensions being .ini and .cfg, among others).