Thanksgiving tech tips



November 28th, 2008

Stuffed on turkey and doped up on tryptophan? How about some tech to clear the head!

Wanna thank you Mom for that wonderful meal? How about a little tip of tech tidy-up!

(If you're a Mom reading this, then print it out and leave it somewhere conspicuous! )

Here are a few idea.  Use a few or use them all, it's up to you!

  1. Clean out the hard disk junk!
    This will free up hundreds of megs of disk space!
    Click Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup

    Disk Cleanup - Vista
    Disk Cleanup - Vista
    Disk Cleanup - Vista
  2. Error check the drive and defragment!
    Open up Windows Explorer and right-click on the hard drive and choose Properties.  Click on the Tools tab and there you will find buttons for Error-checking and Defragmentation.

    Properties - Vista
  3. Get your Mom decent email address!
    I like Gmail and I'm certain that your Mom will too!
  4. Set up an IM program!
    Take your pick - there's plenty to choose from!  Best to try to standardize everyone onto the one platform, but if different members of the family use different IM programs then you might want to give Trillian a spin.
  5. Install a spyware scanner!
    Windows Defender and Lavasoft AdAware are both no-fuss and easy to use!  There's also a really good (and free!) anti-spyware scanner by Grisoft.
  6. Install and configure a firewall!
    I suggest Sunbelt Personal Firewall, which is easy to use and free for personal use (it switches to basic mode after 30 days)!
  7. Install Firefox 2.0, Opera 9 and Internet Explorer 7
    Update all the browsers and let your Mom  choose which one she likes best.
    Firefox | Opera | Internet Explorer
  8. Antivirus!
    A good free AV tool is AVG Free Edition from Grisoft.
  9. Windows Update/Microsoft Update!
    You know what to do but your Mom might not!  Make sure that you also check that things like QuickTime and Flash are also updated because these get real old real fast.
  10. Backup!
    How you pull this off will depend on what kind of media your Mom has (take over your external burner if you have one and she doesn't!).  A good (and free!) backup tool is Back4Win.
  11. Introduce your Mom to the wonders of RSS web feeds!
    Whatever your Mom is into, there's bound to be RSS feeds that she can subscribe to and keep abreast of what's going on!

Flashback to a bit of tech fun ...

This entry was posted on Friday, November 28th, 2008 at 01:09 and is filed under In the News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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