Computer Tips

Time for a Tune Up

The holiday season tends to be a little slow for some of us in an office; it’s the perfect time to tune up our technology and back up our systems. So, around New Year I like to remind folks of some of my favorite tools for keeping your computer running smoothly.

PCPitstop
PCPitstop is a web site that will run a diagnostics tests on your computer for free. It takes a few minutes but PCPitstop will look atthe following:

  • System
  • Memory
  • Disk
  • Video
  • Internet
  • Windows
  • Security

It will compare your systems to others like it and give you advice to improve your rating. My favorite thing is that the advice is not too techie. It’s like a cook book for non-chefs – if you can follow directions and you’re a computer user you can probably fix many problems yourself.

Back up your system
I generally back up my systems by simply burning all of my files to CD. The only potentially tricky aspect of backing up to a CD is backing up email files. Microsoft has a good article on how to do that if you use Outlook.

Don’t have a CD burner?
If you don’t have a CD burner another option is to find or rent server space online to back up your system. All the Space is a good list of cheap and free storage space on the Internet.

Share files with friends
I decided to check out Yahoo Briefcase for free storage space. It’s a little pokey because you have to upload individual files. But – and several of you have asked about a tool that can do this – with Yahoo Briefcase you can share files with friends. (Well, you can choose to share with everyone or share with specific other Yahoo Users – but for those of you looking to share PowerPoint presentations and other “public” documents this could be a good, no-cost fix.)

2 thoughts on “Time for a Tune Up

  1. Where can I obtain non-technical terms to learn how to operate a computer and also on Microsoft Excel, please?

  2. Philip,

    Thanks for your question. The best resource I can think of is your public library. Many of them offer one-on-one computer intros or host regular training. You could try there.

    Otherwise here are some online resources that might be helpful:

    Computer Intros – http://www.pls-net.org/Tools/tutorial.htm This seems to link to a few tutorials that might be helpful

    Sask Schools http://www.saskschools.ca/~ehs/HeiseIntra/excel.html – this looks like good intro material

    Free Tutorials http://www.baycongroup.com/el0.htm – this looks like another good resource

    Excel Tips http://www.exceltip.com/ – I didn’t see a lot of good intro material, but it looks as if it would be good for specific questions.

    Good luck! Ann

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