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Mac system prefs to explore, touch screens equal battery drain, multiple browsers, reverse lookup phone numbers

Mac System Preferences you should explore include: set Notifications to Do Not Disturb during certain hours to focus on work; setting up Hot Corners under Mission Control to trigger nearly anything, like putting your screen to sleep; program certain “abbreviations” to expand into full text using Keyboard’s Text tab; and explore what your Trackpad is capable of under each of its three tabs, unchecking actions you don’t find useful.

As more and more laptops come with touch screens, it is important to know that touch screens drain your battery more quickly. Disabling the touch screen does not work, according to research done by laptopmag.com. So, before buying a touch screen laptop, spend some time at the store “playing” to see if repeatedly raising your hand to the screen actually works for you, instead of using a small old fashion mouse.

Don’t forget to have and use at least two web browsers. If you find a website not working in Chrome, for example, try the same site in Firefox, or Safari if you are on a Mac.

Verify the phone number of a caller by looking it up with google. If you are called by “Microsoft” reverse lookup their Caller ID number, 800-123-4567 (or whatever). Legitimate numbers will link to a real page at Microsoft or whatever company claims to be calling you. And, when you end up at a tech support site, look in the address bar to make sure you are at the real company.

Windows 10 upgrades can be “reserved” now for when it is officially released July29th. I would wait until a few months later to actually install it, unless you are not having enough fun in your life. If you have been hoping that it will be different from Windows 8, it will, but it does not go back to Windows 7. If you want that Windows 7 look and feel again, install Classic Shell from classicshell.net.

Signs you do need a new computer: you can’t install the latest operating system or the latest version of your software; you can’t connect your latest gadgets because you don’t have the right ports; it is way more noisy than it used to be indicating fans and motors going out of balance or failing; or you are spending time fixing and replacing hardware on a regular basis, apart from getting malicious software removed. Bottom line, computers are not like cars, older computers just won’t keep up on the Information Highway (apologies for resurrecting an old phrase.)

There is an interesting collection of hard drive sounds, hard drives failing, at datacent.com. Click on the Sounds menu tab and see if you can find the ones that even sound musical.