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10 Handy Computer Tips Everyone Should Know
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Welcome to the July edition of the 'Computer & Printer Tips'
This month, we've got a great feature article covering some
handy and useful computer tips and good practices that everyone
We hope your summer is going well so far. Things have been a
little smokey out here in California.
We just went through a pretty nasty series of wildfires. I
heard that at one point, there was over 1400 different fires
going on. Of course a bunch of those were spot fires that were
broken off of a larger one, but for about 3 weeks -- the air has
been really bad.
My best description is to think of how the sky colors look with
a really cool sunset (orange glow), but it's been like that all
day, every day for about 3 weeks.
It's been pretty crazy. I've never seen anything like it.
But, things are looking up now and the last couple of days have
With that said, on with our feature article...
FEATURE ARTICLE: 10 Handy Computer Tips Everyone Should Know
1. Cleaning your LCD monitor
With so many people now having LCD computer monitors, I
thinking it's high time we shared how you should clean them.
LCD screens are usually not glass and are much softer than old
CRT screens, so they required extra care. Do NOT use household
cleaners like Windex or anything else that may contain ammonia,
which can damage your display's panel. Use a moist (with only
water), lint-free cloth. Napkins or paper towels can leave
streaks so fair warning! There is also a special LCD panel
cleaner available if you have something tough to get off your
2. Defrag Your Hard Disk
Disk Defragmenter helps Windows arrange your computer files on
your Hard Disk more efficiently so they are easier and faster to
locate by your computer.
From the Start menu, click on Programs > Accessories >
SystemTools > Disk Defragmenter
Defragmenting can take just a few minutes to many hours but you
will need 15% or more of free space on the hard disk.
To start the defragmentation process, click the volume that you
want to defragment, and then click Defragment.
3. Set a news alert on Google
Are you waiting for the latest information available on
something? Did you know that you can receive automatic email
updates from Google on any given topic? It's pretty nifty, just
go to google.com, and then click on the "news" tab and then
"news alerts" in the left-hand column.
After you enter your email address and "Search term", Google
will send you relevant news, videos, blogs and more, as it
happens or just once a week.
4. Turn your computer monitor into a photo slide show
If you use Windows, you can easily create a slide show screen
saver with the photos from your computer in seconds.
Just go to "settings" then "control panel". Next you would
click on either "appearance or themes" or "display"
Then, click on "Screen saver" and select "my pictures
slideshow" then click "apply".
There are some settings you can play with on this screen but
that is basically how you can ooh and ah friends and family as
they walk past your idle computer.
5. Changing Text Size on your web browser
If you're like me and have not had laser correction surgery on
your eyes that enables you to see a flea at 50 feet
(exaggeration), I find increasing the size of text on web sites
to be very helpful.
To do this, simply go to your internet browser menu by clicking
on "view" then "Text Size", and select a larger size of the
text. This tip will help you at many sites but not all.
To change the size of text temporarily, simply hold down the
"CTRL" key while you roll the mouse wheel. You can quickly and
easily change the font size of what you are reading.
6. Create shortcuts to favorite sites
While working in Internet Explorer, you may want to create a
shortcut to a website. To do this, just right-click on the mouse
while on the website. Then, click "create shortcut". A shortcut
to the website will be created on your desktop.
7. Save as you go
One of the hardest lessons I've learned is the sting of not
saving your work in progress. I was once working for hours on
a spreadsheet when Excel unexpectedly crashed, which just about
never happens. All of the information was lost because I had
not saved the progress I had made throughout the day. That's
one thing I will never do again.
Get into the habit of clicking the save button every 15 to 20
minutes and you will never have to experience the heartache of
lost hours of work.
8. Create custom wallpaper for your computer
Did you know you could have virtually any wallpaper (background
on your monitor) on your computer screen?
It's easy, just go to "settings" then "control panel". Next
you would click on either "appearance or themes" or "display".
Next, select a background from the ones provided or "browse" to
any saved image or photo and click "Apply". There are some
other features you can toggle with on the page but that's
9. Password protect folders in Windows XP
If you share a computer with other users and would like some
extra security for your folders, you can create a password to
protect it if you use Windows XP.
This is how to do it.
Right-click the folder you wish to protect, then click
"Properties". Go to the "Sharing" tab and check the "Make this
folder private" box, then click "apply".
10. Back Up your important files regularly
Although computers are more reliable than they used to be, a
virus or hardware failure can be a horrible ordeal. Be diligent
in saving important documents onto a separate hard drive or
flash drive. Family photos are not something to gamble with on
a single hard drive. Always have a back up, ideally in a
separate location or online.
One of the best ways to keep your photos safe is to have an
account with an online company like shutterfly (rated #1 on the
net). Then you won't have to worry about your computer failing,
getting stolen or catching on fire since your photos are stored
in a different location and it's free.
You simply create an account (for free), then upload your
photos to your online account.
If anything happens to your computer (breaks down, burns up, or
gets stolen), your pictures are still stored safely online.
A great way to archive your photos for free. We recommend you
try it out right now.
If you click on this special link, you'll get 50 free 4x6
prints and an 11x14 Collage Poster when you join.
About The Author
Bob Stephens writes for ASAP Inkjets. ASAP Inkjets offers
ink cartridges & toner at up to 80% off. Signup for
their free newsletter for tips & discount coupons at:
http://www.asapinkjets.com/ or email: email@example.com
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Ok, that's all we've got for our July edition.
Feel free to pass on this email to friends if you think they
can benefit from the computer tips. We don't mind.
Until next time...
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