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Optimizing Windows questions from readers

Do you still think Netsonic is the best browser cache program ?Is there anything better than Netsonic, to speed up web surfing ?

Is there anything better than EasyMTU/ispeed to optimize one’s modem ?

I haven’t found anything better than either. All of the MTU-type programs do essentially the same thing, the question is how much you want to pay for a utility that flips a couple of bits in the registry. EasyMTU and iSpeed do the job, and they’re free.

As for NetSonic, I haven’t found anything I like better. That program category, like fastloaders, was a great idea that never really caught on and it makes for slim pickings today. —

Subject: What new book(s) are you working on now?

Who will be your publisher, and what is your planned publication date for your upcoming book(s) ?

Is there a way to search all of your views (from #1 to #37) for a
particular topic or string ?

The new book will be from O’Reilly. The topic is Linux, from the point of view of someone familiar with Windows (something that’s desperately needed, as I adamantly disagree with the view some hold that Linux needs to look, breathe, and act just like Windows. Next thing you know someone will be wanting it to crash like Windows too. The solution isn’t 4.3 billion clicky utilities that do one thing and give people RSI from too much mousing when there’s already a time-tested three-letter command with more power than most mortals can possibly imagine to do the job sitting right there–but I digress.) It’s maybe half-finished, so I don’t know yet when it will be finished, published or released. It hasn’t been announced yet, so very little has been decided (including the title). I understand there will be a “small mammal” on the cover. Sorry to be vague; that really is just about all I know.

As for a search engine, I’ve looked into some possibilities and haven’t really liked any of them. I know I’ve been indexed by Google and possibly others, so you could search for “Farquhar” and certain strings. It’s a crude solution. I do have something better up my sleeve but it’s likely to be a few months before I get a chance to implement it, as it will require me to change providers along with a whole bunch of other work.

What are “fastloaders” programs, mentioned in you email below ?

Can you give me the names of a few, and from where can I download them, to test them out ?

I talk about them on page 71 of Optimizing Windows. One came with Norton Utilities and one with Nuts & Bolts; neither is compatible with Win98. (The Norton tool was better.) SuperFasst, from, is compatible with both Win95 and 98. These programs use various tricks to shave a few seconds off program loading times. This was a bigger deal in 1995 than today (modern disks can load Word in 3 seconds, after all–SuperFasst might cut that down to 2-2.5, which isn’t a very noticeable difference). You might find you like it. I found it didn’t make a big enough difference for me to be worth the decreased stability now that fast hard disks are common and dirt cheap.

More Windows speed-ups. I took a look today at These guys provide Superfasst, which I mentioned in Optimizing Windows. They’ve got a few new utilities to offer now, the most interesting of which creates images of CDs and then emulates a CD-ROM drive. This would be very, very useful for wringing more performance out of games that use a CD-ROM.

The downside to these guys is they want to monopolize your browser’s homepage. Change your homepage to something other than theirs, and their programs stop working. That’s a bit obnoxious. It would be nice if they’d offer a payment option. It is nice that they aren’t opting for the adware/spyware route (I think–I haven’t examined any of these tools in well over a year). I thought I’d pass along what I found though.

5 thoughts on “Optimizing Windows questions from readers”

  1. Hi Dave

    Well first off (and a little belated I know) thanks so much for your book, it’s been my Win 9x bible for a couple of years now. Your book, coupled with 98Lite is an unbeatable combination. I look forward to reading your Linux book, also are there any plans for an XP optimizing book at any stage??

    Kia Kaha


  2. Hi Phil,

    Thanks for writing. Of course this post is ancient, ancient, ancient history. The Linux book was cancelled in the summer of 2000. Everything I’ve ever learned about Linux is posted here somewhere, as is everything I’ve learned about XP (and most of what I’ve learned about 2000).

    I’m sure I’ll write another book someday, but if I’m going to write and get paid nothing or next to nothing for it, I prefer to do it on my own terms. Hence this site.

  3. G’Day Dave

    Curse these tired eyes of mine, I didn’t even notice the dates. Oh well shame about the book but it must be a lot of work. I’ll just compile my own reference from posts here i suppose 😉

    (and hopefully add some of my own eventually)

    Good luck with the new house

    Kia Ora


  4. Just to say thanks again David for Optimizing Windows -all my tech friends here in the UK use it as the core of their Windows knowledge and we look forward to the eventual Linux book – on your terms.
    I quite agree – more books on Linux must be written from the point of view of a knowledgeable windows user.
    It is deeply frustrating to read Howtos which assume you know Linux perfectly in the first place e.g the Software Raid Howto. Is there anywhere in the article that gives you all the commands at the end to check that your raid partion is the correct size etc? No – it is assumed that you already know that!

    I also like the xntp Howto that does not tell you how to or to auto start the demon on boot!

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