"hear some feedback from donationcoder readers."
IMHO, some of the stuff on/in the Lifehacker blog were right, some wrong, & some depends...
It does do a really great job though of pointing out just how distrusting I've become, along with just why I've had to become so distrusting.
Memory optimizers shouldn't improve anything, so there I agree, but I've also read countless reports from people who say one or another has helped them tremendously. Maybe it helps minimize the problems from badly behaving software, or maybe it's totally placebo effect, but either way it's providing a benefit to the user that I just don't feel a need to take away from them.
On services, I disagree wholeheartedly. Many 3rd party services are too often the result of the same mindset that adds entries to autostart with Windows, &/or clutters the tray, needlessly for my purposes. Many of them conflict, &/or are generally a PITA. MS services are *usually* cool, BUT, they can get it wrong, as with SSDP Discovery in XP - they target the average, not my PC - they include services I don't want, like remote registry - and they can conflict with running apps &/or other processes, though that may be the apps' fault. There are & have been documented speed increases, but then you get to what's behind my distrust: is that data honest & reliable, & do I have any reason to believe the author at Lifehacker would even consider changing their opinion if presented with that data?
On the registry I couldn't disagree more strongly!
Several big name apps have screwed the pooch so-to-speak, as has MS, as have several hardware brands. *If* you never changed anything, there's no reason to touch the registry. Once you do, odds are entries have been left behind, or entered wrong or unnecessarily. I've seen all of the above, regularly. It's sadly a very imperfect world, and, even if you don't have problems directly because of bad reg entries, your Windows install has to deal with any increased size. And even if you discount any delays in Windows, you can't deny the bigger it is, the longer it takes to search. That doesn't mean any reg cleaners, even the impressive CCleaner are perfect. since all they can do is look at references, nor does it mean everyone should use them. But taking the view that the registry should be untouchable is with all due respect lunacy.
Comments on System Restore are a mixed bag... Haven't seen a lot of recommendations to disable it, it often should be disabled for data only drives & non-current system discs on a multi-boot system, it's not fool-proof, the auto checkpoints are often useless, Vista's shadow copies go away outside of Vista, in XP it doesn't preserve an exact copy of anything, and it's footprint on disc is adjustable. Any of that & I would have thought that section of the blog useful, though I do give them a half star for including the mention of disc cleanup - then take away 1/4 of a star because they didn't say where it's buried, and if you don't know that it clears all but the latest restore point, you probably don't know where it is.