The Telegraph
Monday , January 28 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
CIMA Gallary
MAIL manager

According to Calvin and Hobbes, if you cannot control your peanut butter you cannot control your life. According to me, if you cannot exercise control over your computer, you cannot control your life. Only when you discipline and control your computer will it lead to hassle-free enlightenment and wisdom.

First things first. Is your inbox so overwhelmingly full that you lose important mails? How do you organise your emails? Most emails fall into two categories. Ones that you need to respond to and others that you need for reference. Create two folders where you can immediately drop your emails according to these categories. As for the rest, delete any email that comes with a link even if it is from a trusted friend. If it is an advertisement or from an online magazine that you don’t read, delete it. Turn off all notifications, especially from social media.

You can categorise the emails that you have to respond to in different sub folders such as school, office, clubs or any organisation you belong to. You can also have sub folders for your reference work according to topics. Use the ‘search’ tool to get to your important mails. Most vendors nowadays offer various features to organise your mail. You can use email templates for standard and everyday responses. Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo, iCloud, and Thunderbird all have their own messaging template.

My second tip is for those among you who are creative and often look with longing at those oh-so-expensive creative software from Adobe such as Illustrator or Premiere Pro or even InDesign but cannot afford them. Adobe is terminating the activation servers for CS2. For those licensed users of CS2 who need to reinstall their software, copies of CS2 that don’t require activation but do require valid serial numbers are available for download. And here’s the good news. Special serial numbers are provided on the page for each product download. Grab it from www.

It may not be as professional as CS6 but it is something to get started on. And who knows, after tasting blood you may want to actually invest money in Adobe suites. It is also a great way of introducing new customers to their products.

The most ominous words for those using computers is: “Daddy, what does ‘Now formatting Drive C mean’?” Going by Murphy’s Law, the hard drive on your computer will only crash when it contains vital information that has not been backed up. This truism brings me to my third tip, that of backing up your computer.

The easiest way of doing this is to copy your precious photos, videos, emails, messages and other important files on CDs and DVDs, or external hard drives or even to online cloud storage. You can make copies of only your important files or you can choose to back up your whole PC hard drive. This uses up more space but makes it easier to retrieve your data. Go to Windows Control Panel—Backup and Restore. Next select Create a System Image from the left panel. Now choose where you want to save the backup file.

If you choose to burn a CD or DVD make sure it is not a cheap variety and don’t use rewritable ones. It is better to use the “write once” option and burn a whole disc even if it is not full. Label and store them carefully. You can also back up your whole PC hard drive to an external hard drive. Usually copying is done through a USB cable.

Remember that having a backup means having at least two copies of everything. Even external hard drives can fail. Apple’s Time Capsule is a handy all-in-one WiFi router and networked hard drive. Primarily built to work with Apple computers, it works just as easily with Windows. Your files are backed up wirelessly at specific intervals.

Another way of backing up selected files is to take a ‘snapshot’ of the whole hard drive. You can do this with the help of Acronis True Image, which is not free but is effective. Free programs are Drivelmage XML for personal use, EaseUS todo Backup and Paragon Backup and Recovery.

Send in your computer- related problems to with bits&bytes in the subject line