Wow, John. I can give you some tips on "boosting" the speed of your PC even if you have 256MB of RAM.

Problem is that too many programs running, I've seen 60 processes on a 512Mb processor, it can put a strain on the OS thus you'll experience slowdowns.

Do you know how to use "msconfig" (startup manager)?
This way you can disable programs (unneeded) from starting up. On my simple OS, I keep a strict 6 entries. So it boots up in a flash.

PCWorld? Not the store I mean. But the representative who told you about the RAM. Hm. On my cousin's custom built PC I saw how the RAM chips were placed. Basically he took out the covering (one side, not the whole shell) and I saw the components. The RAM chips are to be placed into the SLOTS. John, so it would be more like LEGO. Just stick it in. However, you have to push really hard. Like use force, because it takes some effort to get the chips in. A PC with no RAM cannot boot.

I'm not sure about your computer, but all I know is about the custom built ones.

Best of luck.