Wescolite (Dillon, Mont) 1949-2009, November 03, 2004, Image 3

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The Wescolite Student Newspaper Tech Help November 3, 2004 Work Smarter, Not Harder By Mark Rogstad Anyone who uses a computer has no doubt experienced frustration with the process for one reason or another. Floppy disks go bad, hard disks crash, programs quit, and a thousand other annoyances seem to be waiting for us like big potholes on the information highway. But there are steps that computer users can take to make their work go more smoothly. Do these things and get your work done more efficiently. Make a decision to work smarter. As simplistic as it sounds, it works. If you set a goal for yourself to do what you can to learn to get your work done faster and more efficiently, you’ll do it. I did this some years ago when I learned to use the keyboard for commands I was using all the time. I trained myself to do ctrl-c, ctrl-x, ctrl-v, and ctrl-s rather than go to the pulldown menus all the time. These shortcuts alone have probably saved me many hours over the years. If you can save a few seconds on a task, but do that task hundreds, even thousands of times over the years, it will save hours of your time. Backup. This is the single most important act that a user can do to pro­ tect him/her self from data disasters. There are all kinds of programs made especially for backing up such as Retrospect (www.dantz.com). You may choose to simply drag files from your local hard disk to another hard drive, CD-R or RW, or even DVD writer if available, the key is to put your data on another media. To be even safer, you should move the media “off site” meaning somewhere else other than your dorm room, house or apartment. This could be a friend’s house, school locker, or even a safety deposit box. If there is a disaster or something where your computer is, then a backup in the same location gets de­ Downtown Dillon at 30 E. Bannack St. 683-9202 Special orders usually take less than 3 days , no extra cost Show your Dawg card for $1 o ff every CD you buy ♦ 4,000 CDs in stock ♦ We’ll order any CD you want ♦ Best & cheapest body jewelry around ♦ incense, posters, sunglasses, etc stroyed, too. More businesses in the World Trade Center failed because of this fact than any other. Backup regularly, such as every week, or at worst, every month. Think about how much data you are willing to lose. The hard drive in my 3-year old Mac PowerBook died this summer, but all I lost was a few e-mails because I had backed up just a few days before. What could have been a disaster was just an annoyance for me. Backup. Did you read the above? Well, I mention it again because it is so vitally important! Never keep your only copy of a file on a floppy disk. Floppy disks are notoriously unreliable these days. They go bad in batches. They go bad when you have a critical paper or presenta­ tion due. It’s all right to put data on a floppy to transport it, but make sure it exists on a hard drive or CD some­ where else. Putting information on a floppy disk only is like walking a tight­ rope in gusty winds without a net. Give descriptive names to your files. How many of the readers have files named untitled, untitled 1, untitled2, etc. all over their drive? If you’re savvy enough to remember what untitled226 is, you are a genius! Win­ dows lets you give long names to your files. Use them! This will save lots of time searching for that paper you did last year that can be used again to study for a test or support another paper. Backup. Have I made myself clear? Learn to use your software more efficiently. Most students spend lots of time withWord and PowerPoint, yet only use a mere fraction of the power of the software. The first and easiest thing to learn is the keyboard equivalents for popular commands. Did you know that ctrl-c is “copy” in almost all programs? Ctrl-x is cut and ctrl-v is paste. Ctrl-s is usually save. Key­ board equivalents speed up your work a bunch. You don’t have to take your hands off the keyboard and go mous­ ing around the screen. There are nu­ merous other shortcuts and tips for the software that you use as well. Surf the web for these sites. Organize your folders. Comput­ ers use folders to organize files. You can create, name and arrange folders to suit your needs as well. A well organized disk will make searching for documents much easier and much less stressful. Between naming files de­ scriptively and organizing them into folders, you’ll have your virtual house in order so well that you’ll never lose anything. Imagine that! For more tips and articles surf on over to http://sebt.umwestern.edu/ techtips Questions? Suggestions? Com­ ments? umwtechtips@mac.com \Where did my term paper go!?\ Follow this advice or this could be you come finals.

Wescolite (Dillon, Mont), 03 Nov. 2004, located at <http://montananewspapers.org/lccn/Wescolite/2004-11-03/ed-1/seq-3/>, image provided by MONTANA NEWSPAPERS, Montana Historical Society, Helena, Montana.