The new year is here, and it's time to make some resolutions! I've got plenty of habits that need some reworking, so here's what I've resolved to do in 2010:
- Back up my important files regularly. I've always sucked at doing this, and it's time to change that. With so many good online options (like Mozy, Backblaze, and Carbonite) and external hard drives being so cheap, there's really no excuse for operating without a good set up backups.
- Keep my operating system, applications, and plugins updated. I'm good with keeping my OS up to date - Windows does that for me. Antivirus programs? They take care of themselves, too.
Other applications are another story - if a program doesn't auto-update like (Firefox, Google Chrome, or uTorrent, for example) I often forget to check to see if there are newer versions available.
I'm also guilty of clicking away alerts from plugins like Java and Adobe Flash player, and that has to stop. Installing their updates is a big part of keeping a system secure, and it takes very little time.
A program like the File Hippo Update Checker or Update Notifier can be a big help.
- Perform regular system maintenance. I've got it installed, and I'm going to make sure I start using CCleaner on a regular basis. Setting up a scheduled file cleanup and registry de-cluttering is easy - just set the scheduled task up in Windows and add some command line parameters.
I'm also going to keep my drives defragmented. Windows has a built-in tool, of course, but I like what I've seen from Auslogics Disk Defrag. I'm even going to make sure that I create System Restore points on a regular basis. Don't laugh, it's actually a pretty useful tool!
- Stop malware from getting near my PCs. I'm going to switch my router to a DNS service like Google Public DNS or Open DNS to help all the systems in my house steer clear of malicious links and sites. Both services blacklist the bad guys, making it a little safer to surf.
I'm also making sure my systems all have WOT (Web of Trust) installed - even my 5-year-old son understands that links with the red circle next to them are dangerous.
- Better utilize time-saving features that are built-in. Windows 7 has loads of great features that I'm really under-utilizing. I should be setting up hotkeys to launch common shortcuts that I don't want to pin to my taskbar. I should set up more Libraries to make accessing files on all my systems easier and more logical. I should customize search to index places I need indexed and ignore ones I don't.
I also need to work on my keyboard kung-fu. A mouse is a pretty inefficient way to do things, especially when many programs offer keystroke combinations to execute common actions.
What about you? What computer-related resolutions have you made for the new year? Let's hear 'em!