Task Manager is not a To Do List

Polly is one of my favorite clients. Whenever I go to her house or office she serves the tastiest gourmet coffee and chocolates. And she is appreciative, worrying aloud that I’ll be snapped up by an offer I can’t refuse, as her last computer tech was, and no longer be available to fix her computers. No computer dummy herself, she’s a whiz at databases and spreadsheets. She made a spreadsheet that tells how many days until her nieces’, nephews’ and friends’ birthdays. Her gardening database lists all her favorite seeds, where to buy them, and when and where in her yard to plant them.

This week I showed her the Task Manager and she became excited. Pleased at her interest, I showed her how to hold down the ctrl-alt-del keys simultaneously and after Task Manager came up what was available on each tab. “On the applications tab,” I told her, “all the software programs that are running, such as Word or Internet Explorer are listed. On the Processes tab, the processes running in the background are displayed.”

Polly sniffed. “I was hoping for a program that makes a to do list,” she said.

“This is better than a to do list,” I said. “If your Word program freezes you can force Word to quit, so you don’t have to turn off the whole computer. You just press ctrl-alt- del and select the program and voila, Word quits.”

Polly raised an eyebrow. She went into the kitchen and came back with the coffee pot. She poured more into my cup. “That’s why I hire you,” she said. “You really like the stupid, boring stuff that makes computers work.”

The next week when I went to her office to install a new computer, she showed me her new To Do List spreadsheet she’d made. But when her old computer froze she pressed ctrl-alt-del and forced quit Internet Explorer. “I do learn from you,” she said. “But all that stuff still bores me silly.”

As far as spyware is concerned, sometimes you have to go into Task Manager processes and stop a few of the bad processes to allow the anti-spyware and anti-virus software to work effectively. To learn what processes are legitimate and what are caused by spyware, go to this website. Or else restart the computer and go into Safe Mode and run the anti-spyware from there.

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1 thought on Task Manager is not a To Do List

  1. The best part here is that you’ve educated another person in how to correctly use a computer. She will learn more about what processes are running and maybe avert having her personal data stolen.
    Great job.

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