blackwidow wrote: get rid of the ickies on my computer and make it run smoother
First thing I'd do is see what programs/processes are running, which in Windows you can do with Task Manager (invoked with Ctrl-Alt-Delete). You should be able to see from the process list what's soaking up cycles. If your system is not running smoothly, something is. You should acquaint yourself with that list, and try to understand what each item is. (You ought to be able to Google each one, to get an idea.)
I would start with the ones (on Processes tab) where User Name is you...not System. But it's possible the bad is running as System.
Task Manager also allows you to kill processes. If you terminate one, and see that your computer is working better...that may be your problem.
As for controlling what starts
Start - RUN - MSCONFIG
That will start the System Configuration Utility
and look at the Startup and Services tabs. You can prevent something from starting (next computer boot) by unchecking its box.