Steps You Can Take Today to Improve Your Computing Experience (Part I)

 

It takes work to maintain the positive and productive relationships with the technology in our lives. It sometimes feels as though we fluctuate between moments of infatuation with the capabilities of our gadgets, and moments of frustration when our devices are working too slowly, being unintuitive, or simply not doing what we'd like them to do. Here are 3 quick steps you can take today to help ensure your technological moments of joy outweigh those of frustration.


 

1. RUN A SYSTEM UPDATE ON YOUR MACHINES

 

Why:

All operating systems require periodic software updates to ensure that they are performing at top speeds and with a high level of security. In general, it is always good practice to install software updates, especially when they are related to your main operating system (e.g. Windows 7, Mac OS X, iOS 6, Android 4.2). 

 

How:

Typically, your computer or mobile computing device will alert you when there are updates ready for your system. You can also manually check for operating system updates by going through your device's software update check. 

 

Here's where to find it on a machine running a recent version of Windows:

 

Click "Start" button. Search for "Check for updates".

 

 

Here's where to find it on a machine running a recent version of Mac OS X:

 

Click Apple icon. Select "Software Updates".

 

Still can't find how to update the software on your device? See number 2 below.

 

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2. USE THE POWER OF SEARCH ENGINES TO YOUR ADVANTAGE

 

Why:

The Web is a massive landscape of digital information. Even with all that information out there to access, it would be close to impossible to find what we are looking for without the help of a trusty navigator. Thankfully, search engines like Google and Bing are more than up to the task. When you have a question, any question, search engines will reliably present you with pages to help you find your answer. Because anyone can post information on the Web, it is always best practice to confirm the information you find on one page by cross checking other sources.

 

How:

Simply go to the website of your favorite search engine (google.com and bing.com are the two most popular search engines) and type some keywords or a question into the search field. Here are some tips and tricks from the folks at Google on how to make your searches even more accurate: http://www.google.com/insidesearch/tipstricks/basics.html

 

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3. ORGANIZE YOUR DESKTOP

 

Why:

Most people work better in an organized environment. Like old socks and t-shirts strewn about a bedroom, the stacked and scattered files on our desktops leave our workspace overcrowded with files that should've been filed away long ago.

 

How:

Right click on your desktop screen and choose "New Folder".

 

Right click on desktop. Select "New Folder".

 

 

Rename the folder with a general label that will help you get started sorting your various desktop files into their proper places. Drag and drop your files into the new folders you've created and enjoy the spacious new look of your digital workspace. As you increase the number of folders, consider creating folders for your folders. For instance, you may have two folders labeled "Pictures of Spot" and "Pictures of Lucky". You could place both of those folders in a single folder labeled "Pictures of My Adorable Pets".

 

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If you're not already using them, these simple steps are sure to make your computing experience even more enjoyable. Feel free to add questions or comments below. Let us know if there are any tips or tricks you would add to the list!

 
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Ben Leveillee

Technology Instructor Ben Leveillee brings the tools and culture of the Web into the lab for users to gain knowledge and skills on topics including social media, website editing, media streaming services, e-commerce, and online educational resources. His blog posts provide useful information and insight on these topics and more.


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