Monday, February 15, 2010

Keeping It All Under Your Thumb

This one is for all of you PC users out there.  If your system is running slow and this little things like running Scandisk and Windows Cleanup don't seem to improve performance of the computer, consider re-imaging the hard drive and start with a fresh installation.

It is time consuming to do this, but even more time consuming and frustrating to be stuck with a sluggish computer. 

Here's a tip to ease a little of the pain. Store many of the installation packages for the programs you use frequently on a thumb drive or CD-ROM.  With the cost of these drives being less than $20 for 4 to 8GB of storage, you have room to store many programs and drivers as well as your critical files.  You can also set this drive up as an emergency boot disk.

On my thumb drive I store my downloaded packages for my virus protection (I currently am using AVG Anti-Virus), anti-spyware packages (Spybot and Ad-Aware), the printer drivers for the 3 printers I use most often, OpenOffice installer, and various utilities such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, decompression software, iTunes, and a couple of other shareware utilities that I commonly use.  Granted they are not always the latest version of the program, but once you have the program reinstalled, most packages ask if you'd like to update them anyway.

This gets all of those packages that you were going to reinstall anyway all in one place to make it a little bit faster to get your system back up and online.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Losing Things

I am always losing things.  Not just little things like the car keys for a few minutes or a favorite book that I lent to a friend and forgot about... We're talking about big things. Important things. Favorite things. Things that will cost me money if I don't find them soon.

Here are a few of them:
  • Car/House keys -- Attached to my blue bottle opener keychain with the logo of the company I worked for before the current one bought it.  Maddening. The only keyring where I have all of my important keys in one place. I also have about 4 copies of our garage key floating somewhere out in the house somewhere.
  • 2 Library books -- I am having a record year having broken 2 CDs from different books on CD and now I have 2 other books missing. I have no idea where they are, but I keep renewing them online in the hopes that I find them.  I think it is to the point now for one of them that I need to 'fess up and pay for it.
  • RoboGrip adjustable wrench -- I use it a lot, but forgot where it is for now.
  • Switch plates for the kitchen outlets -- We took them off when painting the kitchen over a year ago, but I forgot where I put them. Serves me right for procrastinating.
  • The New HDTV remote -- We bought the TV in an insane "Black Friday" sale.  The remote has been lost for about half of the time that we've owned it.
  • My planner/datebook -- Strange since the point of having one is so you don't forget what you have to do...
This list is an ongoing revolving door that never seems to end.  And it constantly drives me crazy that I can't find these things that should never have gotten lost in the first place. I'm almost ready to start believing in Gremlins at this point.  Or House Elves... a ghost?  

I almost see the advantages of RFID tagging everything.  Although it would be an invasion of privacy in some ways, a little too Big Brother-like for me, it would be nice to look up where all of your lost objects with a couple clicks of a mouse.  Imagine how this would change the way we deal with mismatched socks, unidentified keys that we cannot part with, the REMOTE CONTROLS... Hmmmm.