|Keep RSS feeds, bookmarks, email addresses and blogs in one place with Netvibes.com
Over the past week I have gathered many snippets of information that I will share with you. This will enhance your computing experience. I will also let you into a cell phone secret.
Lets start with Windows Vista. Every time you switch on your computer a logon screen stares at you. You can easily bypass this by typing netplwiz into the Start menu search box. Uncheck Users must enter a username and password from the Advanced User Accounts Control that pops up.
Check for potential problems: In Vista you can check the health of your PC fairly easily. Go to Control Panel—System and Maintenance—Performance Information and Tools. In the Tasks list on the left click Advanced Tools. Look for Generate a System Health Report.
Save your battery power: On your laptop running Vista go to Control Panel—Power options—Advanced Settings—Display. Set the brightness to 50 per cent. This will give you at least 30 minutes more on your battery time. Another way to save battery on your laptop is to watch movies out of a USB pen drive. This saves power because neither your hard disk nor your DVD drive is spinning.
Turn off warnings: What I hate about Vista are the annoying prompts that keep popping up warning you about malware and seeking your permission to continue. Turn this off by deactivating User Account Control in the User Accounts Control Panel.
Vista woes: Prepare yourself because many of your programs may not run on Vista. Run the Application Compatibility Toolkit located at the Download Centre on www.microsoft.com. You will be pointed to any upgrades you may require.
Digital discipline: Using a computer and the Internet means that you should keep all your digital stuff in an organised manner. Otherwise things can quickly get out off control. Keep all your RSS feeds, bookmarks, email addresses, social networks and blogs all in one place. The best place to do this is NetVibes (www.netvibes.com). Other such sites are iGoogle (www.google.com/ig) or My Yahoo. The benefit of doing this is that you can manage all your browsing from just one page. This saves a lot of time.
Be on top of your email: Read your email everyday. Just like letters from the post office, email needs to be filed, acted on or deleted. Dont ever let your inbox keep piling up with unread mail. Spend at least 15 minutes every day managing your email.
Search: How do you find stuff you are looking for quickly on your computer. Windows — XP or Vista — is notoriously slow in finding things when you are in a hurry. Get hold of Google Desktop Search (desktop.google.com). You will be surprised how fast you can find your music, files and even email with Googles Desktop Search. Those on a Mac need not worry about finding things fast. Spotlight does this in a second.
Wet cell phones: I know a person who had dropped his cell phone into the pot. (He insists hed flushed just before it fell!) His phone has even fallen under an open tap. Both the times his expensive cell phones came out unscathed. Here is the trick. Take out the battery immediately. Put the whole thing in a bowl and cover it with uncooked rice. Rice sucks the water out of the phone really well.
Ear damage: Most of us listen to music on iPods or some MP3 player using earplugs. You like to hear it loud. But be careful. If you hear — even if once in a while — a high-pitched noise or ringing when your are not listening to your MP3 player, take it as a warning. You are harming your eardrums. From then on never listen to music loud with earplugs. Once you lose your hearing there is no cure for it.
Mac to College: I have kept the best snippet for the last. This one is for students or faculty of colleges on the lookout for a MacBook or a MacBook Pro at a discount. This offer, with an attractive 12 per cent discount, runs till August 30. Students need a photo identity card or a letter from the institute that they have enrolled this year. The offer is open to faculty and staff of institutions approved by Apple. For a list colleges eligible for this offer visit http://www.systematixmedia.com/Systematix_Media_Sept07/Edu_Discount.html.
Click on the link for List of Institutions.
Send in your computer-related problems to firstname.lastname@example.org. The solutions will appear soon.