Windows 7 comes with a lot of eye candy in the Aero interface. That beautiful interface was turned on when I got this system and I really didn't think much about it.
Even on this newer dual-core computer some programs were taking a while to load up this morning and it dawned on me that that bling--that eye candy--takes processor power away from doing things that are more important to me--like loading my programs.
I went into the Personalization settings and turned it all off, opting for the Standard Windows interface. You know, the one that looks like Windows 98.
Clicked on Internet Explorer and the program loaded in a flash.
Sometimes simplicity in appearance can increase your performance, and practicing minimalism in your computing life can make your computer (and you) more productive.
After a few tweaks it no longer looks like I have a fancy Windows 7 operating system but there is a significant performance increase. Who cares what the interface looks like if the computer has got it where it counts?
To mark the occasion I placed Steve Job's minimalist 80's picture as my desktop to represent my newer, more minimal computing environment. Not sure who would have the bigger fit between Bill or Steve but somehow the image just fits. :)