How To: Use A Computer More Efficiently
Some people use computers to type research papers for their
Microbiology class. Others use them to
try to find information about their ancestors.
Some even use them to read articles about how they can use them
better. No matter the reason why people
use computers, nearly all of them have one thing in common: They take far too
long to accomplish their goal…and they don’t even realize it.
Think about your grandfather using one of these things,
diligently hunting the “y” key so he can check his stocks on Yahoo. Bless his heart for trying, but grandpa just
isn’t getting the job done. He’s what we
call a Relic of Computing. Infants born
today are more technologically savvy than grandpa, but, since he started the
family, we’ll let it slide.
Next, we have your parents.
They’ve probably had to ingest large amounts of technology in the past ten or so years to keep their jobs. Of
course, they’ve never liked doing it and, in many cases, it’s left them with a
skeleton of skills, just enough to blindly feel their way through the Internet
with a final goal of reading an email or even checking the score of last
night’s game. For barely being on the
right side of worthless, they’ve earned the title of The Fat Kid of Computing. Sure, they get some stuff done, but it takes
while and it isn’t very pretty.
Right after your parents come you. Having computers for a bulk to your
existence, you’ve become quite proficient.
You type like the wind and can have Google Images showing you midget
porn before you can even unzip your pants.
Because you’ve been cringing at parental computing atrocities since
adolescents, you’re quite happy with your relatively sharp set of skills. I’m sorry to say it, but chances are good
that you’re a Dull Knife of Computing and you don’t even realize it.
Sitting atop the Computing Efficiency Pyramid are the people
that harness the computer with the control and grace of a third arm. Watching them perform simple tasks in the
blink of an eye makes you say things like, “How’d you do that?” and “Christ.” Ladies and Gentleman, what I’m describing are
the Grandmaster Wizard-Pirates of Computing, and following are four tips that
can start your journey of a thousand miles to their land.
Shortcuts, do you use ‘em?
The absolute best way to shave time off of your mundane
computing is to employ the use of keyboard shortcuts. In general, the more you use the keyboard to
get wherever the hell you’re going, the quicker you’re going to get there. Despite a few exceptions, treat the mouse
like is has chlamydia. We’re looking to
use that thing as little as possible.
To gracefully sever your relationship with the mouse, you’re
going to have to slowly become more and more dependent on a list of hundreds of
basic keyboard shortcuts. Like any ended
relationship, the process will be painful at first, but, as you start getting
the hang of the keyboard, you’ll start to wonder what you ever saw in the mouse
in the first place.
I’m sure many of you are familiar with the basic shortcuts
from using Word or whatever. Some of
these include Ctrl + C copies, Ctrl + V pastes, etc. Though these are very helpful, they have a
long list of company which, when used together, can start making you feel like
you actually know what you’re doing.
Following are a few of the lesser-known yet especially useful keyboard
Ctrl + Z = Undo. Even
if the program you’re working in doesn’t have an Edit => Undo option, this
will still sometimes work to save your ass from accidentally deleted hours of
Alt + Tab = Change Window.
While holding Alt, keep tapping tab to go to a different window.
Alt + F4 = Close program.
Especially useful when said program has frozen your mouse.
Shift + Delete = Permanently delete something. Don’t worry about emptying the Recycle Bin.
Windows Key (Bottom Row, 2nd key from the left) =
Open Start Menu.
Windows Key + M = Minimize all windows. Great for hiding porn from your boss.
Windows Key + R = Run dialog. We’ll get to the value of this later.
Windows Key + E = Open “My Computer”.
…and so on. You can
find an exhaustive list of Windows keyboard shortcuts here.
Looking for shortcuts within other program is as easy as
navigating the file menu. Most items
have a keyboard shortcut listing beside each valuable action. Clicking “File” in Internet Explorer, for
instance, shows that Ctrl + N creates a new windows while Ctrl + O takes us to
the “Open” dialog.
Knowing all of this, we can now open an Internet Explorer
window, highlight any web address, and, while it’s highlighted, hold the Ctrl
key and press C, followed by N, followed by O, followed by V, and then press
enter. That would Copy the internet
address highlighted (Ctrl + C), open a new Internet Explorer windows (Ctrl +
N), take us to the Open dialog (Ctrl + O), paste the copied internet address
(Ctrl + V), and then take us to that internet address (Enter). That’s what I call a Four Combo Shortcut, and
it’s worth 1,000 points.
If you want to be really hardcore, you can even set up
shortcut keys for any program that you’d like.
Simply create a Shortcut Icon for the program, right click it, and look
at the properties. There you’ll find a
field for “Shortcut key.” Once you
create a combination for it, that program can be easily accessed from your
keyboard anytime you please. Simple.
The “Run” Dialog
The run dialog is a little known tool that can save you a
decent amount of time. To get to the run
dialog, either click “Start” and then “Run,” or, as stated above, hit Windows
Key + R.
Once you’re in the run dialog, you can do whatever the hell
you please. Well, not really, but you do
have quite a few options.
The most basic thing to do is open a folder on your
computer. This can be done by simply
entering the location you’d like to view.
Now, instead of navigating through My Computer and all of those folders
to find your hidden porn, you can just enter, “C:program filessystem
stuffhidden system stuffhidden stuff you shouldn’t mess withtreasure”. Does it get any easier than that?
Along with folders on your computer, you can use this dialog
to open internet addresses. Go ahead and
try it. Enter any URL and the box will
open that URL in your default browsing program.
Finally, the most useful quality of the box is its ability
to open programs on your computer. This
can be done by either entering the full system path of the program, like "C:Program
FilesInternet Exploreriexplore.exe,” or, much more handily, simply entering
the name of the program, like “iexplore.”
Though it won’t work with absolutely every program, it is more than
worth it for those that it will. Try
typing in things like “Calc,” “mplayer2,” “Sol,” “Winword,” or even “Firefox”
(if you’re one of those people).
One Letter Favorites
Because you visit the same ten websites 95% of the time
you’re surfing the internet, it’s probably a good idea to add these websites to
your Favorites list. While making a list
of your favorite internet sites will certainly cut down on the time it takes to
get to those sites, it’s not going to help us out on the #1 rule of efficient
computing: Eliminating the mouse. To the
85% of you using Internet Explorer, there’s a little trick that you can use.
In Internet Explorer, if you have a site in your favorites
titled “The foot fetish site mark showed me,” you have two ways of actually
getting to that website via your favorites.
The way that you’re probably using now is to click “Favorites” (or hit
Ctrl + I to bring up the list…aren’t Shortcuts fun?), and then clicking on the
title of the site. The other way to get
to the site would be to either type into your address bar (or the Ctrl + O Open
dialog), “The foot fetish site mark showed me.”
Doing this will make Internet Explorer say, “Hey, that’s one of the
Favorites. Maybe I should just go
there,” and then it will go to the URL associated with that favorite. Neat, nice, nifty.
To take complete advantage of this feature, simply rename
all of your favorites to one (or two if you must) letters that distinguish it
from the others. For example, instead of
having “Google” as a favorite, rename it go “g”. Now, to get to Google, you can simply type
“g” into your address bar (or, again, the open dialog). Isn’t that nice?
Taking it a step further, you can combine this with the
shortcut keys. Since Ctrl + O shows the
open dialog, and entering “g” into the open dialog takes us to Google’s
webpage, now you can get to Google anytime you want by simply hitting “Ctrl +
O,” “g,” and Enter from inside any Internet Explorer window. Damn, that was quick.
Now that you’re at Google…
Getting To Know
The final step in improving your computing efficiency is to
master all of the internet. Don’t worry,
this is a lot easier than it sounds.
With the help of Google, the information superhighway is yours for the
taking. Getting the absolute most out of
Google, though, is a topic that has been tackled by many books. Forget the books, here’s a paragraph:
The first step to making Google your bitch is understanding
that it should be your first stop on the internet when you’re dealing with
unfamiliar topics. After this, you just
need to figure out what aspect of Google can help you at any given point of
time. Should you be browsing in Google
Search, or maybe Images, or should it be Maps, or Local, or even Froogle!? Not only can Google take care of the internet
for you, it can take care of itself.
What better way is there of getting to know someone than to read their
autobiography? Go ahead and check out Google’s.
Now that you have all of the tools of the trade, you just
have to find a way of convincing yourself that the “Oh shit, this new stuff
doesn’t feel right” feeling will go away and that, when it does, your new tools
will leave you a happier person. I can
personally guarantee that, once you start using these four computing principles
to their fullest, not only will you have a bigger eCock, you’ll have much more
free time to waste.