My computer has been misbehaving lately. It seems to be crashing constantly and the performance has been muddy. A few days ago I downloaded Cool Beans System Info, a nice little app that displays free RAM and processor usage. I realized that even though I have 256 MB of RAM, it seems like it’s all being used, all the time! It hovers around 80% if I have Outlook and IE running, and closing one or the other only brings me back to about 60%. Obviously there’s some leakage.
First I found MemTurbo. This little guy sits in your system tray and watches your RAM usage. If it dips below a certain level, the app tries to “scrub” your RAM to free what’s being wasted. It works pretty well, even with its odd DOS-looking progress bars. It’s shareware, though, and I doubt I’ll shell out the cash to keep it after it’s run through my free month (or 20 uses or whatever).
So then I looked around at NoNags and found RAMpage. This guy works just like MemTurbo, but it has the added bonus of being freeware. I’ve been using it for a few days and highly recommend it.
I also finally grabbed Microsoft’s TweakUI. If you haven’t downloaded this one yet, go grab it now. It lets you configure a slew of OS options that will make your computer so much nicer.