From the Kenosha News on 8-28-05

     Right-click to find out about your computer

     News of the new Zotob virus (aka Rbot or SDbot) has been in the media recently. As with most viruses, it cannot infect machines that have their patches up to date. For Windows XP, that means having Service Pack 2 installed. So, how can you be sure that you have SP2? Follow the instructions below to check your System Properties. The System Properties window can also tell you some often forgotten things about your hardware, such as the processor speed or the amount of RAM (memory) you have. This feature is available on all versions of Windows.

      To opens the System Properties window, right-click on the "My Computer" icon and drag to Properties. (In WinXP, if there is no My Computer icon on your desktop, you can put one there by clicking on the Start button, then right-clicking on the My Computer icon on the Start menu and selecting "Show on desktop.")

      Once you open the System Properties window, the General tab shows you the following from top to bottom:

  •      The exact version of Windows you have, including the highest Service Pack you have installed. This is where it will indicate if you have Service Pack 2.
  •      The name to which your copy of Windows was registered and its serial number.
  •      The exact processor you have, including its speed.
  •      How much RAM (memory) your computer has. It is expressed in KB (kilobytes), so divide by 1,000 to get MB (megabytes) or by 1,000,000 to get GB (gigabytes.)

     The information provided on the other tabs of the System Properties screen is generally not helpful for beginning users.

      To find out how much storage space (hard drive space) your computer has, double-click on the My Computer icon and then right-click on the C: drive icon and drag to Properties. If you have more than one hard drive, look at each one separately. The General tab shows a pie chart that indicates how much of your hard drive is used and how much is still available. The total capacity is shown in the middle of this window.

      Note that there are two check boxes in the lower section of the Local Disk Properties window that give you options to a) Compress drive to save disk space and b) Allow indexing service to index this disk for fast file searching. You may check the indexing option, but I never recommend disk compression unless your disk is nearly full and you have absolutely no other options.

      To find out what software programs you have installed, click on the Start button and then Control Panel. Double-click on the Add/Remove programs icon. You will see a list of installed programs. You can remove programs that you no longer use by clicking on it and then clicking on the Remove button. Don't remove programs that you don't know what they do. For example, if you remove Adobe Acrobat Reader, you won't be able to view PDF files on the internet any more.

By Carol Sabbar from the Kenosha News on 8-28-05