The ole lap box has been taking longer and longer to fire up, which means too many programs are cranking up when I hit the start button. Yep, one of the solutions is to not to select the auto startup when installing the program, but often programs are not well mannered and don't give that choice so you have to track down the problem.
If your running Windows, click Start>>Run. Type in "msconfig" (without the quotes). Click OK. This launches the System Configuration Utility. Select the Startup tab. Uncheck boxes for programs you don't need to have running (RealTray, Winamp or other audio utilities are good candidates). You're not deleting the program, just preventing it from automatically launching. But be careful, as there are a few programs that should be running (including SystemTray and your firewall, anti-spyware and anti-virus software). If you are trying to figure out what something does in your startup, you can find a list of entries and explanations here: http://www.sysinfo.org/startuplist.php