Q: How can I get the most juice out of my laptop’s battery? There are tons of things you can do to get more battery power out of your laptop. The three most important things on a laptop for battery performance are the hard drive, the screen, and the wi-fi. Let’s start off with the hard drive. The first thing you want to do is make sure you’re only running critical processes and programs. The more unneeded things run on your computer, the more your battery inevitably has to work to keep them running. Additionally, if you have music or movies that you absolutely need to play while you’re running out of battery power, play them off of a usb drive. This will keep the hard drive access to a minimum. I should also note that if you’re planning on watching a movie, you’re going to be running speakers, and your display a lot harder, so playing a movie goes on the list of things not to do when you’re trying to conserve power. Lastly, if you wish, or if you simply can afford to, invest in an SSD. Load your OS onto that to keep the primary drive from draining so much power. It’s also going to decrease boot times! Secondly, screen brightness is going to wear your battery out really quickly. There are two things you can do here. The first is simply lowering your screen brightness. Nothing complicated about that. Additionally, since text and web pages are mainly black words on white backgrounds, you can invert your screen colors. This will make the majority of your screen black and only the words white. This won’t buy you too much time, but it does help in a pinch. The wireless connection on your laptop is constantly sending and receiving data even when you’re not surfing the web. If you don’t need it, turn it off. You can also shutoff your antivirus for a little while, but make sure you enable it before you connect your wifi. Lastly, there are a couple of other things you can do to help. If you keep your laptop cool and allow the exhausts and intakes adequate space, your laptop will function more efficiently. In addition there are many power saving setting in your control panel or your settings menu, so check those out to make sure your computer doesn’t think it’s in performance mode. Q: Is there any way for me to recover something I’ve deleted? Years of irresponsibly deleting pictures and homework on my own computer led me to track down a solution a while back. I’m a pretty minimalist computer user, and when I don’t need something, I can usually delete it with no remorse. However, there are times when I do need to recover those files, and there is a program that I prefer to do this. The program is called Recuva. It’s super easy to use, and it’s a total lifesaver (when/if you install this program, make sure you uncheck the yahoo toolbar install option). As previously stated, the program is really easy to use. You simply specify what type of file you wish to recover and the last location of the file (which is not the recycle bin). It will then pull up all of the pictures or word documents from that location that have been deleted. If there’s too much for you to sift through you can specify more things in the advanced search. The best part is, this software is free! There are other options out there like DiskDigger, but Recuva is my favorite. It should also be noted, that because of my haphazard recycle bin trigger finger, I have started backing up ALL my files with a server. There’s a lot of redundancy there, but the 4 TB of storage space should be able to cover it. Server setup is something we will hopefully be able to cover in a future blog post. Q: Are there any better shortcuts to do things on my computer besides just copy and paste, and things like that? Well, I’m not really sure what all you know already, but if you’re looking for a list of common Windows 7 OS shortcuts, you can find that list here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/keyboard-shortcuts Now, if you’re looking at changing shortcuts, and creating hotkeys to automate processes, then AutoHotkey is definitely the answer for you. I will preface this by saying some knowledge in scripting is required, but AutoHotkey has a great community of users that post their scripts often and give help, so most of the time it’s just a matter of searching for what you need.
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