In the early days, an error in Windows meant you were stuck unless you knew how to fix it. After Google indexed the entire internet, crowdsourcing a solution became a viable option. However, while Google may still be the “best computer diagnostic tool”, it is hardly an ideal solution.
At the moment, Soluto is most effective as a “boot manager”: it analyses your boot time and application and provides ways of shortening it by disabling unnecessary applications. As the application develops and builds up its “PCGenome”, Soluto aims to be a one-stop solution for fixing computer errors.
After installing the application, you will be prompted to reboot your PC. This is to enable Soluto to analyse your boot time and see which applications are launching during start-up.
Once the computer restarts you will see a graphic on the bottom left of your screen.
There is a timer that shows you how long your boot is taking. You can also see which applications are launching.
Once all the applications have loaded you will see your boot time and from here you are given the option to view the applications being launched.
Click on the blue “Click here to see why” button to launch Soluto’s analysis application.
Once launched, you will see a number of different options on the main application dashboard.
Along the top, you can see how long the boot takes (“Your boot takes 1:07 min.”). Below that you can see the number of applications that launch during the boot (“76 applications run in your boot.”).
The green, orange and grey bars are the main elements of the application. Inside each bar are the individual applications and services that are launching during boot.
Green bar (“No brainer”): the applications listed here are the least essential and can all be removed from boot.
Orange bar (“Potentially removable”): the applications listed here can be removed, however it is best left to an advanced user to determine whether the applications ought to be removed.
Grey bar (“Required”): the applications listed in this bar cannot be removed and are generally essential services.
It is best to simply go through the green and orange bars and remove all the applications that you do not frequently use.
To remove an application select the appropriate bar, hover over the application and wait for the drop-down menu to appear.
The drop-down menu gives you details of the application itself, the recommended action (i.e. “Pause”, “Delay” or “In Boot”), a small chart showing which action other users chose and the actions themselves. These tools are great for novice users who may not know what the application is for. Finally, you can also see the amount of time this application takes up during the boot process.
The actions are as follows:
You can “Pause” the application, which means that the application will not launch immediately after boot. When you scroll over the “Pause” button a small tool-tip appears showing you the implications of pausing that application during boot. This is tailored for each application and is a great way to figure out whether stopping the action could be harmful.
You can “Delay” the application, which is a good way to ensure a fast boot-up but not have to wait too long for the application to launch. Again you can see the implications of delaying the applications launch.
Finally, you can simply leave the application “In Boot“.
If you want to see more details about this particular application click on “Advanced”.
Once you have decided on which action you would like to take, click on either “Pause”, “Delay” or “In Boot”. This will apply the changes.
You can see all the applications you have removed in a blue panel on the bottom right of the application.
You can also see the amount of time saved on the top of the screen.
Lastly, if you are uncomfortable about the changes made, you can always “Undo All”.
Soluto’s most unique feature is that it attempts to crowdsource the solutions to your computers ailments.
The first step in this ambitious goal is to build up a complete repository of application descriptions. Indeed it is possible to edit any description of an application through Soluto’s Wikipedia style editing function.
Select an application (from either the Green, Orange or Grey bars) and wait for it to drop down.
Once it launches, click on the blue pencil. This will launch the “Wiki Editing Mode”, allowing the user to edit any of the descriptions of the selected application.
One of the problems with most “fix-it” applications is that the descriptions of the applications are usually incomplete. Soluto solves this headache by allowing all its users to customise the application descriptions and change them as the applications evolve.
There were two other unique features to Soluto.
The “History” setting shows you how long your boot time has taken since you installed the application. Click on the “History” button to launch this setting.
Unfortunately, I had not been using Soluto long enough for this setting to actually work. But, presumably it would show me the increase and decrease in boot time depending on what applications I installed and uninstalled.
The final option is available in the context menu of the notification area icon.
Right-click on the Soluto logo and from the context menu that pops up click on “My PC Just Frustrated Me”.
This will open a postcard like window from where you can send feedback to Soluto about the “frustration” you just faced.
This is the second limb of Soluto’s PCGenome. What happens is that the currently running applications and the possible errors are relayed back to Soluto. Soluto then compares these with errors other people may have faced and tries to find a solution to this common problem. Often these solutions emanate from the users and so Soluto also looks at what a user has done to fix their error and this is relayed back to the remaining Soluto users.
Obviously, Soluto is a relatively new application so the PCGenome is still in its infancy. Hence, the assistance it provides at this point will be very limited. However, Soluto has the potential to be the de facto PC “Mr. Fix-It” if its PCGenome really takes off.
This application looks to be immensely useful and, in the opinion of this author, should be a de facto install on every Windows PC.
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