Here’s a few suggestions for things you can do to “Get Your Tech in Check” for 2013. It’s not an exhaustive list, but its enough to put you on the right track for all the techy things you’ll be doing in the upcoming year.
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1. Unclutter Your Email.
Junk mail (Spam) and undeleted trash folders often are neglected because we’re not in there very much. Also, get rid of any emails you haven’t read – or simply mark them as read. Store emails in folders, and create filters if necessary to keep your inbox clean.
2. Fix Your Files.
Organize your unorganized files into folders with easy to remember names that will help you remember what’s where.
3. Uninstall Stuff!
That’s right. Rid your computers, tablets and phones of programs and apps you don’t need, don’t use, or don’t want. No sense keeping them around using system resources. Time to let go.
4. Clean Your Keyboard, Mouse, and Monitor.
If it’s been a while since you cleaned your workspace, you might want to run, not walk, to the nearest place where you can buy a can of compressed air and some disinfecting wipes. Spray the compressed air in between each of the keys of your keyboard, and remember to keep your face about 8-10 inches away so the dust won’t blow into your eyes. Don’t forget to change the batteries in your wireless items.
On Laptops: Be careful not to jam the compressed air nozzle in between the keys, so they don’t pop off or break.
5. Dust Inside Your Desktop
Inside the case of your desktop computer, there’s a little fan that blows to keep everything from overheating. Unfortunately, that little fan also collects dust which can slow down your computer or clog your power supply. Open up your case, and clean out the dust. You may be tempted to use a vacuum cleaner or a hand vac – don’t. Just use either compressed air or a microfiber cloth.
6. Run Windows “Defrag” and “Disk Cleanup”
Both tools are located under START -> PROGRAMS -> ACCESSORIES -> SYSTEM TOOLS
Fragmentation happens when files stored on your hard drive are stored in data pockets that are not directly next to one another. Over time, empty pockets cause your computer to slow down, and may even cause data loss. To proactively help keep your files in tact, run the Disk Defragmenter utility on your Windows Computer. The Disk Cleanup utility organizes your hard drive data so that you have maxiumum space available. Aside from removing unnecessary files, you’ll have the option of compressing files that have not been accessed in a while.
8. Get a Cloud
Most of these, like Dropbox, Google Cloud, Miscrosoft Skydrive and Apple iCloud, offer free storage so that you can keep information in a centralized location, and off your main devices. For those new to cloud storage, it’s like having a virtual hard drive that allows you to store and access files from home, work, or via your phone or tablet. Since the storage is virtual, it doesn’t use the storage space on your computer, phone or tablet.
For more tips like these and in-depth discussions about the Internet and Computing World, listen to Chris Curtis on “Tech Tuesday”, Tuesdays at 7:30pm – 9:00 EST.