Does your computer overheat regularly? Try the following: Clean the fan grating and circuit boards using a can of compressed air to blow away dust; lubricate the fan shaft with sewing machine oil; allow 4-5 inches clearance around the machine; don’t put it on the floor or use it as a shelf. Even paper adds to heat build-up. You can download a free program at www.majorgeeks.com/download.php?mdet311. Laptops are a special category. Elevate yours on a small wire-frame rack to facilitate air flow. ©2009/THE NEW YORK TIMES
Game for a game?
Want to build a gaming machine but don’t know what operating system to choose? XP and Vista are good options, but both of them will soon be outdated. Vista, even though it has its quirks, is faster and better than XP. Our verdict? Go for Windows 7 and take your chances. But if you don’t mind upgrading within a year or so, Windows Vista isn’t a bad choice. Many of the newest video cards have been optimized for Vista, so you’ll be able to wring every bit of performance from them. ©2009/THE NEW YORK TIMES
Multitask with Digsby
Tired of managing multiple social networking accounts? Try Digsby, a Windows application that scans Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn for you. It will do the same for your email and instant message accounts too. Digsby displays your entire social life in one window that looks like a turbocharged AOL Instant Messenger. It lets you reply to tweets, conduct Facebook chats and answer emails from multiple accounts, all in one window. You can even embed a Digsby chat widget on your website. ©2009/THE NEW YORK TIMES
Shades of colour
If you want to change the screen resolution of your PC, save yourself some steps by going to Properties from the desktop and select screen display. If typing out a few commands doesn’t scare you, you can also make a desktop shortcut that automatically opens the Display Properties box. Right-click on the Windows desktop, choose New and then Shortcut. On the location line of the box that pops up, type in rundll32.exe shell32.dll, Control_RunDLL desk.cpl,,3 and click the Next button. ©2009/THE NEW YORK TIMES
‘If a cluttered desk signs a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?’ asked Einstein.
A mantra for maximizing the promise of technology could be a simple readjustment of your personal preferences. Think out of the box and look at ways in which technology can be made to deliver what you want, whether it’s something as basic as disentangling those wires or something more evolved, such as an innovative cooling solution for your home.
You cannot master technology, but you can surely master (somewhat) what it does for you.