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10 New Year’s Tech Resolutions

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

Clean your machine
Perform electronic housekeeping regularly with a PC optimization program such as CCleaner, available both as a free download and a premium tool with more advanced features. Your computer will run faster and be more secure online. Find more info and download links at

De-clutter your desktop
A clear desktop reduces distraction and improves productivity. Remove shortcuts, put files into folders organized in your Documents and delete unused icons. Then upload a new wallpaper for the desktop background.

Update your softwarecalvin-and-hobbes-New-Years-Resolution

Whether it is your Windows OS, Java, Adobe or your anti-virus program, it is critical to keep each updated. Many programs can be configured to update automatically, but some will require manual installation depending on your settings. When in doubt as to the validity of that nagging message popping up on your desktop with an update reminder, use ya search engine to find the company offering the update and check their website for update news.

Install an anti-virus
Simply stated, no computer should go online without anti-virus protection — period. There are so many options ranging from free to affordable (considering the consequences). For comparative info on the major programs available, see the article from PC magazine:

Achieve zero in-box
Stay sane with an in-box that is empty. Impossible, you say? Not so. With determination and tips from Mashable you can achieve inbox nirvana:

Delete old accounts
It’s hard to know how many online accounts and services each of us has created by now, but it’s probably somewhere in the neighborhood of “too many.” It would be great to cut the clutter by just deleting the ones you don’t use. But companies don’t make it easy, burying the account deactivation pages from view and requiring a litany of frustrating steps to get there. Check out this website for assistance:

Use a password manager
Keepass, a free password manager, can be installed locally on your computer to store passwords, generate new passwords and even easily transfer passwords via drag-n-drop. No more excuses to not use unique, strong and different passwords for each of your accounts.

Back it up
Computers don’t last forever, and we don’t realize that until our PC or laptop breaks and we lose some important data. To avoid that, make a habit out of backing up your hard drive manually, or using the many free back-up tools online:

Install tracking devices on your gadgets
How often have you lost your keys, misplaced your phone or had your laptop swiped while your back was turned? With advances in GPS, Bluetooth and other technologies, more and more devices that help you find lost or misplaced items are coming to market. For a list of some of the more popular tracker-based solutions, go to

A Swedish study reported in Forbes Magazine concluded that “Regularly using a computer late at night is associated not only with sleep disorders but also with stress and depressive symptoms in both men and women.” So make the effort to turn your devices off and read a book!


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Star Wars Snowflakes

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

star-wars-snowflake-banner_smCalling all Star Wars fans! If you decorate your Christmas tree with starships and aliens like I do, then a perfect complement to your holiday décor would be to make these cool snowflakes designed by Anthony Herrera. You can download free pdf versions of Boba Fett, Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine or my favorite – Stormtrooper!

So break out your scissors and very sharp x-acto knife for the fine details.

Hint: Watch the how-to video on the website for many helpful suggestions from the designer. Enjoy!

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