small business and home computer networking and support for Macs and PCs – firstname.lastname@example.org – (828) 628-2354 – Asheville, Buncombe Co. and surrounding areas
byBill ScobieonDecember 20, 2010
Learn a programming language, it sounds scary or unneeded but it can be fun. http://scratch.mit.edu/ or http://sketchup.google.com/ might get you going. Scratch is fun as you are dragging around actions element to make a “story” but what you are really doing is called Object Oriented Programming, a common programming “style.”
Work on better ergonomics, keyboard and mouse, move every 15 min
consider a trackball, Logitech and Microsoft make some, consider that you will have to use it for a few days and don’t be afraid to return it and try a different type.
Stop computer use right before bed, late night use of active light sources, things like a computer screen or even an iPad, upsets the body’s ability to go to sleep.
Decrease email interruptions, turn off alert sound, switch to 30 min check
Most of us can not help seeing what just came in when we hear the new message chime but checking email frequently is a great way to avoid being productive. Turn off the chime, change the checking interval or even close the email program to keep focused.
Change passwords, use easy remember system or encrypted keychain
Since web site do seem to get hacked and people don’t like to use different passwords, it would make sense to use different passwords on different sites. Since we don’t like to do that, then changing them all on a regular basis might be good. Or use a password storing program to keep track of the different ones so that you don’t fall prey to the “One Ring to rule them all” scenario.
See “Passwords, where to keep them”
Use less paper and ink, light printing, fonts with less ink
Find out how to use the draft mode and black ink only on your color printer. And, if you are really trying to cut down ink, take a look at Ecofont http://www.ecofont.com/en/products/green/font/download-the-ink-saving-font.html
or the study by University of Wisconsin-Green Bay that convinced them to change to Century Gothic
Check UPS function, replace if tripped and make sure correctly set up
UPSes, uninterruptible power supplies, a.k.a. battery back ups, do wear out as they get used or triggered. Also, make sure you don’t use them as an easy plug in place for a space heater, the battery will die almost faster than you can turn the heater back off. Most all UPSes have a surge-protect only side and a batter+surge-protect side, use the battery+ side only for your computer and monitor, use the other side for printers and such. And, try not to plug extension cords into a UPS and avoid plugging the UPS into an extension.
Verify backups actually have what you want
Before you need to rely on your backup, take a little time to see if you can find something you did last week. If you can’t figure out how to recover your data, try learning it before you need it in a panic.
Neaten up cords and “boxes” with Velcro, zip-ties, staple gun, boxes, ikea hacks
Get the heavy duty Velcro and you can stick all of those extra “boxes” and power cords to the side, back, or underside of whatever you use as your computer desk. Use zip ties and a staple gun to make loose loops to corral all of the cables, tacking them to the back or underside of the desk. If you like Ikea, take a look at some Ikea hacks at
Recycle and dispose of computer, other electronics
In this area, Charlotte Street Computers will accept old computers and such to recycle. They are not supposed to be put in the trash.