New Years Resolutions

It’s that time of year that we start making a list of resolutions for the coming year and as such I’d like to be bold enough to suggest a couple of things that you may like to adopt in to your computing lives of 2008.As these are mainly bullet points I’ve included links to previous articles that can be used to obtain further reading material.

To make things more interesting I have decided to separate my readership in to two extremes – one designed for regular computer users, and one for the hardcore.This may prove more beneficial than reading off ‘one size fits all’ list and we’ll start with the ‘regular’ users.

Backup your hard drive – Why not start with the most obvious point which is also the one that’s most likely to be ignored.We all know we should backup but yet none of us do, myself included.Head to for a review of some software to make the process less painful however don’t say I didn’t warn you if you choose to ignore this advice.

Keep your Windows installation clean – It’s amazing how much of a difference a trim and tidy version of Windows can make to the speed of your computer.In the past I’ve highlighted software that can assist you with this, and several reviews are archived at the range of software available, one of the most effective ways is simply going to Add/Remove programs and taking out any applications you don’t need.This point has been included as a gentle dig towards my girlfriends’ mother who had me cleaning up her bloated, slow Windows installation until ten o’clock this evening, when she knew I had an article to write!

Stay healthy while using your machine – Don’t underestimate the effects of RSI; it is a serious condition.Simple precautions can easily help you avoid any conditions or discomforts associated with using a computer.Check out for further reading.

Keep up to date – Although this is a task that can easily be put off, it is worth making an effort to ensure that your Windows, anti-virus and any other important software is up to date.By doing so you’ll be minimising the chance of experiencing any security issues along with potentially increasing the speed and reliability of your machine.

The hardcore computer users (otherwise often known as ‘geeks’) will probably appreciate all of the above however there is an equally important set of skills involving moderation which may need to be learnt.This section is intended to be taken very tongue in cheek; we do however have some truly geeky friends in our friendship group so for the sake of sanity some of these points must be learnt.

Extend your conversational skills beyond computers and mobile communications – Whilst I do appreciate technology myself there is something unsettling a person whose range of conversation doesn’t extend past this one subject.Yes, I know that if you turn your mobile phone to 90 degrees that the screen automatically rotates itself, however this doesn’t necessary make for good conversation every time we’re in the pub.

Enjoy the outdoors – Some studies suggest that we only spend, on average, approximately three quarters of an hour every day (3%) outside.I would imagine that for some IT guys this figure is much lower so try to make an effort to experience the real world once in a while; in many ways it is superior to the virtual one.

Eat healthy and exercise – Hardcore computer users either tend to be very skinny, due to lack of exercise or very large, due to a poor diet.Sitting in front of a computer for five hours eating pizza and drinking Coke can’t possibly be good for you.

Turn it off every now and again – Force yourself to do other things; read, socialise, try to do some cooking.I can’t think of a better New Years resolution than to commit to rediscovering the real world.It is an old parody on the game Second Life I do know but www.getafirstlife.comis an extremely poignant site.



About the Author – Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.