You are probably quite familiar with pop up windows. Some are built in as part of the operating system and others are just there to annoy you. Unfortunately now a days, more and more 'bad' pop ups are looking like the real thing 'windows' pop ups and as a result you typically do the wrong thing as that is what the intention of the pop up was all about.
I am bringing this point up because with most of the software you currently use to 'surf the web' is constantly being tested for bugs, and security problems. There are many people that love to find problems with software and report on it. Most software companies will have forums where they look forward to user input. This is why when you purchase software, you will notice a version number. This is important because there are always updates and patches being made available for your software. Some of this is done automatically, depending on how you installed the software (whether or not you had the option to choose custom installation and decide on what features would be installed), you will probably end up with an update feature that either runs from your 'start up' folder, or has been given a registry 'okay' when the install was done, to sit on your system tray upon you restarting your computer. This should reflect back to the original OPTIMIZING TIP if you haven't already read that, at this point you should.
So things like Adobe Acrobat Reader for a good example, now that version 8.0 has just been released, will have you visiting their website, clicking on the install feature and it takes you to a new page that, if you do nothing but click on it, you will also end up with the Google toolbar, as well as other such items whether you wanted it or not. This is why it is important to not always do what is 'recommended' to you since you have to remember who is doing the recommendation (the software companies installation program or you?) So once you have managed to NOT allow such other items like the Google toolbar install and you do manage to get the adobe acrobat reader installed, you will notice that it installs the 'adobe download manager' first. After this you will also find that at least one more new task has been added to your start up folder which I suggest removing. Finally, maybe a week or even a month later, you will see that there is an update available, thanks to this newly installed adobe download manager. So as this example I suggest doing what I do, and that is to go to the add/remove programs after you have the adobe acrobat reader installed, and choose to remove the download manager. Clean out the start up folder for anything you do not want in there (personally erunt and spyware guard are the only programs I have in my start up). Of course any time you want to check to see if there is an update you can always do this by clicking on the HELP from wthin the program and choosing the CHECK FOR UPDATES. Or simply visit the website and you will see for yourself. Again, this is a personal opinion with something like the adobe acrobat reader, but I use it to read manuals, ebooks, etc and really don't care if it is using an older version, so long as it functions correctly. If there is an update due to some security problem they sure, I would like to make sure I am up to date, however this in my opinion is a very low security risk. Of course any program that you use a lot it makes sense to always have it using the latest technology and updates. This may be one of those areas where 'if it ain't broke then don't fix it' applies. When it does come time to get the latest updates, of course the adobe download manager will automatically be reinstalled so no problem.
I would have to say on an average day for me, if I am working on, say 6 computers, that I will have wasted an entire hour in un-installing 'crap' that simply got installed due to the initial program being brought up to date. Since I try to keep most 'tweaker and cleaner' programs up to date, you should always be able to get this for download directly from my SOFTWARE/SUPPORT page.