folks it's time for you all to become more efficient with your computing time.
I have decided to put together some "Tips and Tricks" I think will help
you make better use of your time. Since 98.22% of the computers visiting
our site are running some flavor of Windows, I am just going to stick with tips
for Windows. Sorry Mac and Linux users!
Lets get started
As many of you know Windows®
gets its name from being able to have more than one window
open at any given time. For example, if you were looking at our message board
and chatting at the same time in two different windows a simple way to toggle
between the two is by holding down ALT and then pressing TAB so you are now pressing
both keys. You'll notice a new pop-up box in the center of your screen which list
all the windows you have open. While continuing to depress
ALT release and depress TAB to switch between windows. When you find the one you
want release all keys and you'll be there!
Do you have too many programs that automatically launch when you start
up your computer? Or do you see a ton
of programs down in the far bottom right of your screen by your clock that you
do not want to be running. All these unwanted programs running can really slow
your computer's performance as well as how long it takes you to start up your
computer. To terminate these nasty programs from starting automatically, you need
to run msconfig. This is a utility built-in to Windows used for many things.
To run the program:
- 1. Click Start.
- 2. Click Run.
In the "Run" box type msconfig then click ok.
- 4. In the box that
appears click on the "Start up" tab to the far right.
- 5. Uncheck
any programs you do not want to be launched a startup*.
After you hit "OK" it will ask you if you would like to restart, this
is up to you.
- 7. The next time you restart those unwanted programs should not
- Be careful which programs you uncheck. Just uncheck the ones you know you do
not need. For example: Real Player, AIM, etc...
CTRL + ENTER
For those of you using
Windows NT or 2000, you are out of luck! There are programs out there that will
let you do this on a NT system, just do a search for msconfig for Windows NT.
Do you get tired of typing
www.armerfamily.com into your Internet Explorer web browser? Why do you need to
always type the www and the .com part? Well with this
neat little trick you will no longer have to! Just type in the main part of the
address, ArmerFamily, and then hit CTRL + ENTER. Look what happens! It fills in
all the rest itself! Just imagine all the time this can save you! If you try this
and nothing happens, you need to have "Auto Complete" turned on in Internet
Have you ever clicked
on a file hoping for it to open in one program but another program takes over
and tries to open the file? One place this happens often is with .mp3 files. Let's
say you like to use Windows Media Player to play your mp3s, but every time you
click on one of your beloved mp3s Winamp launches and plays them instead. What
a pain! There is a trick to this.
- 1. Find a file of the type you want to change the association with.
- 2. Highlight the file by clicking on it just once.
- 3. Hold
down SHIFT and Right-Click the highlighted file.
- 4. A new choice will
appear "Open with". Go there and then "Choose program".
In the box that appears, highlight the program you wish.
- 6. Check the
box "Always use the selected program to open this type of file".
Clean Up Your Desktop!
Have you ever noticed your computer decrease in performance
over a period of time? This could be in part due to a fragmented
hard drive. We all know how much easier to find something your
looking for when things are arranged in some logical way. This
is what Disk Defragmenter does
for your poor computer. When programs write data to your hard
drive they really aren't too good about keeping the data in
an organized way. The program Disk Defragment comes along and
finds all the data that belongs together and groups it all nice
and neatly. This will improve performance because your hard
drive won't be jumping all over the disk surface to get the
data needed. If you have never done this it can be very time
consuming. The first time I did it on my Windows 98 system it
took over 6 hrs. Now on my Windows XP machine it only takes
20 or 30 min. The time depends on how large and fragmented your
hard drive is. The more you run this program the less time it
will take as your drive will be less broken up.
NOTE : If you try to run Disk Defragmenter and you notice
it resetting after so long, try running the program in what
is called safe mode. To learn how to boot in safe mode refer
to your computer manufactures website. Usually you have to keep
pressing F5, or one of the F keys depending on the manufacturer
of your machine, during boot up for safe mode to be an option.
The reason this is the best way and the way I did it in Windows
98/ME is that safe mode only launches the minimal amount of
background applications. These applications are what cause Disk
Defragment to fail in normal mode. Think about it if your computer
is trying to rearrange the contents of your hard drive and some
program comes along and writes new data to the drive that causes
a mess and the program restarts. Kind of like when you trying
to count to a high number and someone tries to mess you up by
shouting out random numbers to throw you off.
Clean up after yourself! Do you have a cluttered out of control
desktop? Create some folders! If you have alot of downloads just
sitting on your desktop create a folder called uumm maybe "downloads"?
Move all your downloads to that folder! If you have a ton of shortcuts
to programs my suggestion is to use the quick launch bar. It is
much easier to use as you do not have to be viewing your desktop
to launch a program. You can launch it from the quick launch bar
in the taskbar on the bottom of the screen.