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Unread 11-02-2007, 06:36 PM
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Computer good practices

hey guys,

I decided that a thread about computer good practices should be started here on CD. I am no expert on computers and thought it would be helpful to everyone if we listed tips that would make computer use safer and increase productivity. List tips that should be practiced:

-when using a flash drive (jump drive, usb drive, etc.) always click that little safely remove hardware icon next to the time in the bottom righthand corner of the screen and safely uninstall it.

-when using firefox and IE 7: keep the number of tabs to a minimum. Usually: you have too many tabs if that little arrow that scrolls left to right pops up on the task bar.

-vivek
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Unread 11-02-2007, 06:50 PM
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Re: Computer good practices

heres a few more

- make sure you have a firewall and antivirus software and that its up to date
(avast and avg are bot very good)

- make sure that your computer has been updated to the latest updates (automatic updates on windows)

- if you have any wireless networks at your house make sure they are secured. (WEP can be cracked in about 10-15 min if you know what your doing, WPA and WPA2 are much more secure)

ill ad more as i think of them
...Forest
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Unread 11-02-2007, 07:07 PM
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Re: Computer good practices

Save your work in Microsoft's Office applications (word, excell etc.) every few minutes and every time you finish a paragraph. You don't want to write a 1000 idea of yours just to get it wasted for nothing because you accidently pressed at the final moment "No".

also, make a few copies of you files. Sometiems you forget what you wrote as a name for a file, and start a new file with the same name and accidently overwrite that old file. which happened to me once...

always take off your speakers and screen power off. Save energy and be green. Yes, it might be a little bit of electricity, but it's still something, right?
Same thing goes for light in your room.

I think that's enough for now, hope it counts.
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Unread 11-02-2007, 07:21 PM
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Re: Computer good practices

Try to always keep a backup of your files on an external portable, or if they are smaller files, a flash drive.

Make sure you have AdAware SE as well as CCleaner and that you run both frequently.

Don't crowd your desktop with icons, it only decreases productivity. For files, simply stick them in folders within your My Documents and for programs, if you use them a lot, put them in your quick launch section on your startbar.

If your computer is running slow, don't put up with it, run AdAware, CCleaner, and run a virus scan using a reliable security program (I recommend AVG).

As far as hardware goes, try and open up your computer once every couple of months and clean out all the fans and vents with a can of compressed air.
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Unread 11-02-2007, 07:22 PM
chris31 chris31 is offline
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Re: Computer good practices

Quote:
Originally Posted by fimmel View Post
- if you have any wireless networks at your house make sure they are secured. (WEP can be cracked in about 10-15 min if you know what your doing, WPA and WPA2 are much more secure)
Very important. Make sure its a good password to. Not like "apple" as that will be easy to crack with a dictionary attack.
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Unread 11-02-2007, 07:52 PM
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Re: Computer good practices

If you share a computer with a bunch of other people, ALWAYS log off when you are done if you have individual accounts. It makes life easier on the next person, who otherwise would have to log you off and log themselves on. If it isn't obvious that you will be back soon, leave a note giving an estimate of when you will return. (The above are things I wish some of the people at college would do more often in one particular computer lab... )
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Unread 11-02-2007, 09:28 PM
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Re: Computer good practices

When using Gmail, go to https://gmail.google.com instead of the default http://gmail.google.com to open a secure session.

In many cases, Norton and McAfee antivirus will actually slow down your computer.

Use a browser such as Firefox or Opera to increase security as well as capability while browsing the internet.

Adobe Reader too slow? Try Foxit PDF reader. http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/rd_intro.php

If you're looking for more control over your computer, and don't mind a bit of extra work, try linux. You can dual-boot it with Windows so you don't have to give anything up.
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Unread 11-02-2007, 10:32 PM
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Re: Computer good practices

-Make sure you have the latest drivers and updates for all hardware so that devices are secured and function properly.

-Make sure all computer devices are plugged into a surge protector. (actually, anything should use a surge protector)
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Unread 11-02-2007, 11:12 PM
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Re: Computer good practices

Hibernate....especially with laptops. I've had trouble reconnecting to network drives while resuming from hibernate from domain computers, so if we're talking about computers on a domain with users that cant deal with problems very well, this might be a bad idea.(Trust me, I'm a systems administrator for a grade school.)

Keep the install files of utilities that you install in a specific directory(Team 910 usually makes it C:\Original Software and then have a subdirectory for categories of utilities, like backup software, task managers, etc.

Don't use Internet Explorer unless something won't work in Firefox(or whatever browser you use).

NEVER use Adobe Reader. I agree that foxit is far superior for reading pdfs.

Use the quicklaunch bar. Be sure to have show the desktop, your non-IE browser and any programs you find yourself using very often(usually Word, whatever media player you use, Email client, etc) showing on the task bar with any programs you use less frequently, but that are still important on the part that isn't showing.

Keep a file called notes.txt on the root of C:\ to use for any miscellaneous things to remember. Don't try to really organize it at all. Use Ctrl-F to find things. Keep a shortcut to this on the quicklaunch bar and remember that if you go to start>Run> C:\notes.txt, this will open it too.

Don't close things until you are sure you are done with them(this will save you a lot of time).

Use keyboard shortcuts, the mouse is a pain. Its much faster to save using ctrl-s than file>save. It really helps with copy and paste.

regarding too many tabs: I think as long as you can find what you need, and the browser isn't slowing down, you can never have to many tabs. Just close them when you are done, or bookmark something you want to come back to(Ctrl-d, enter)

Keep your bookmarks organized(unlike me)

Use the bookmarks toolbar.

Have chief delphi on the bookmarks toolbar.

For Vista users: since Bill Gates decided to make things more "user friendly" he took a few things out that I think are kind of important, but you can work around them. First, add printers back to the start menu. Next, add a shortcut to network connections somewhere accessible. Mine is the desktop, but trust me, you'll probably wish it was there(especially if you have a laptop.)

Make control panel display as a menu on the start menu.

NEVER EVER use Adobe Reader.

usually Freeware > not Freeware

If you're not the most computer savvy person, remain calm when you have problems. Especially if it is with a computer that isnt yours, i.e. one at work or school. There arent many things IT guys hate more than a user screaming that its their fault the computer isnt working. Bribing IT guys with food is usually a good idea.

The more monitors you have, the better. Most people usually use one or two. This is easiest with laptops, but can be done with desktops.

Wide aspect ratio is not always better than standard. If you are going to be watching movies, wide is better, but if you are reading web pages all day, you may be wasting pixelage(yes, i made that word up), especially if you like to have things maximized.

I'm sure I'll think of more.....
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Unread 11-02-2007, 11:26 PM
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Re: Computer good practices

These are all really good points that are being made but there is one thing that is missing... LINUX!! I started out just as a Linux enthusiast just last year. At first I was turned away because its true that you do have to be more technically oriented and there's more editing of text files to get certain items set up rather than GUI wizards but all I had to do was snoop around some forums to figure out how to set up my hardware and now its working great. I'm still not at the level of one of those guys who puts MPLAB into wine and program their robot on Linux. I keep windows dual booted on my machine for MPLAB, Inventor, and other programs including our team's software (scouting programs, etc). I use Linux just for day to day use. Browsing, homework, talking to friends, etc. And I don't have to worry so much about getting a virus that could cripple my pc or turn it into a zombie that sends out spam. If your interested, I strongly recommend Ubuntu. I can just about only say good things about their latest release. You don't even have to install, it can run from a CD if you want to try it( but it will be incredibly slow. ).
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Unread 11-03-2007, 12:03 AM
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Re: Computer good practices

Keep your start up processes to a minimum.. you should only have around 35 when you start up.. over 40 and you should be looking to cut some out

sysinternals.com
look for autoruns
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Unread 11-03-2007, 12:53 AM
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Re: Computer good practices

Quote:
Originally Posted by klrswift View Post
Hibernate....especially with laptops. I've had trouble reconnecting to network drives while resuming from hibernate from domain computers, so if we're talking about computers on a domain with users that cant deal with problems very well, this might be a bad idea.(Trust me, I'm a systems administrator for a grade school.)
When I got my college laptop, they told us all NOT to use hibernate. I can't remember why, but this sounds like the reason they gave. I don't even have it enabled. (I prefer to use standby if I need to turn the computer off and have it return to where I left it.)

On that note: If you are using a school/business computer, follow any directions given (usually when you get the computer) and follow all rules/guidelines. It may make your life a lot easier. Around here, failure to follow the rules can result in severe penalties. (For example, there is a program that can de-activate all or part of your school-issued computer if you are not in class. Going around this program by any means may result in expulsion from the school. No, I'm not kidding.)
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Unread 11-03-2007, 01:13 AM
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Re: Computer good practices

- When using office 2007, set your default save type as the 1997-2003 compatible versions since at many locations the 2007 viewer does not correctly install. Only save in the .doc/pptX file type IF you are using something that is not downwards compatible. This will help you a lot.
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Unread 11-03-2007, 02:00 AM
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Re: Computer good practices

I agree with Don on the Linux thing. But if not, here's one thing to remember for Microsoft operating systems:

- ALWAYS wait until at least the first service pack before buying it.
- Try to legally buy any programs, no matter how enticing the alternatives are. Not only is it illegal, but if you don't know what you're doing it can ruin your machine
- Don't buy HP. Pure crap.
- When upgrading, don't skimp. That 1GB of RAM may have sounded like a great deal, but you're trying to play high-end games or edit videos. Might as well get at least 2, since most programs get more resource-intensive. Same with CPUs.


I also agree with the following statements from above:

- Don't use Internet Explorer unless something won't work in Firefox(or whatever browser you use).
- When using Gmail, go to https://gmail.google.com instead of the default [Also works when your school blocks the default]
- If you have any wireless networks at your house make sure they are secured. (WEP can be cracked in about 10-15 min if you know what your doing, WPA and WPA2 are much more secure)
- Make sure all computer devices are plugged into a surge protector. (actually, anything should use a surge protector)
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Last edited by synth3tk : 11-03-2007 at 02:07 AM.
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Unread 11-10-2007, 04:10 PM
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Re: Computer good practices

I understand a lot of these, but a lot are also just personal preference. For example:

- Use Linux IF you think it will increase your productivity, or if you are concerned about viruses.
- Don't choose a free anti-virus just because it's free. Eset and Kaspersky are easily two of the best anti-virus programs I have used, costing only $30-40 a year.

As far as "good practice" is concerned, there is something that hasn't been mentioned yet:

- Change your passwords, especially after discovering any viruses, Trojans, etc.
- Don't keep your passwords in an unencrypted text file on your computer, or any unencrypted file for that matter. If you must keep them on your computer, encrypt. Otherwise, either keep them in your head or on paper in a safe place.
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