Every year or so, Windows starts creaking and groaning a lot like me in the morning. Slow to hit the ground like me, Vista chugs through dozens of little programs that could give me time to head for the nearest coffee shop, read the paper and stroll back to my PC before it actually finishes booting up. In real life, I turn my PC on soon after rising for the day. By the time I'm ready for work, it sometimes is, too.

But what are those little programs that make windows so poky? A little utility called Startup SuperCharger lists them, and lets you delete them, specify when they should run, if ever, and restrict them from others who use your PC.

After the program first ran, I found that I didn't need a Windows welcome screen. It listed a photo program I never use and the remnants of a program that I deleted months ago. Some files were puzzlers, but I deleted them anyway. If they had been useful, I could have reversed the process, file by file. You pretty much have to know what's installed on your computer so you can recognize the files. If you surf the Internet, you might find a suspicious startup file that contains a virus or worse. This program allows you to disable it so that when you reboot, it won't have a chance to do its dirty work.

On the other hand, you might want to run a program that gets rid of your Internet surfing history once a day at 10 p.m. Using the scheduling feature of Startup SuperCharger, you can do just that.

The program installs in a minute or so, the interface is simple to learn, and it is the first thing you see when you boot up, giving you a chance to delete files you don't need all over again.

Windows will never boot up as fast as it should, but with Startup SuperCharger's help, you'll see your desktop way before you return with your latte.

Startup SuperCharger will run on Windows Vista and XP. To order, send $12, plus $6 for shipping, to WashingtonCD, P.O. Box 351531, Los Angeles, Calif. 90035, or online at www.washingtoncd.net.

(c) 2009, McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.