Advanced System Care 3, a freeware Windows system management program, is working a small wonder on my computer. My machine isn't working at warp speed, but there is a noticeable difference in the start-up speed and overall performance. If you're looking for something simple, cheap, and (thus far for me at any rate) reliable for your computer, I'd recommend giving the program a try.
I think it was Catherine, over at The Poisoned Apple, who mentioned in her blog about a freeware word processor called WriteMonkey. The appeal of it to me was reading how it worked in full screen mode, and is customizable enough and simple enough to work with a simple black screen (or whatever color background you want), and whatever font size, style, and color you want. I installed it this weekend and set it up with a black background and a white 12-point Trebuchet font. It's fantastic and just what I need to focus on my monitor screen and type, type, t-y-p-e without so much as a Windows task bar to tempt me away from my writing.
Another neat bit of software I found was called HD Search and Stats. It lets you perform a search for any textual file on your computer, plus perform searches within those files for certain words. That's a godsend for me. I have innumerable blog archives downloaded on my USB drive, but try putting a gun to my head to see if I can find a specific blog entry I want to re-read. Now, I just point to a folder, tell the program what words I'm looking for and it gives me a list with the files that received the biggest hits. No more searching blindly for an entry on writing, or a book review, or some witty anecdote. I'll just let the software search for me. Me likey.