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Big Turn Off?

How often should you turn off your computer? Every night? Never? Only when you have to?

The current thinking should make everyone happy, no matter what your habit: do what works for you.

There are some advantages to turning your computer off every night and some advantages to leaving it on, but they really have more to do with how you use the machine, rather that what is better for it.

For example, if you use the computer once a day for a short time, turn it off after you are done. You will save all those hours of electricity. However, if you use your computer throughout the day, let it go to sleep when you walk away so that you can pick up where you left off when you return.

Some other things to consider:

  • If your computer is on (sleeping), it can update, download, scan for viruses, etc. during the night, but it will use electricity, make some noise (fan, restart), and give off light (monitor screen saver).
  • Your computer is no less at risk of damage from a power surge if the computer is off; only unplugging your machine guarantees it is not at risk.
  • Your computer is no more vulnerable to viruses if it is on (sleeping) all night; viruses can get into your computer though emails you open, websites you visit, and downloads you agree to, all of which happen when you are using your computer.

Volumes have been written about this subject; here is one good article that breaks down the issues:

Should you turn off your computer every night?

(Note that the article is from 2012, which is a computer eternity ago, but the ideas — if not the prices of electricity — are still relevant.)

I’ve Fallen…

My neighbor is one resourceful lady!

As she recovers from back surgery, she walks with a walker and sometimes uses a wheelchair around the house. Last week, in an unfortunate moment transitioning from walker to wheelchair, she fell.

She was the “I’ve fallen and can’t get up” lady.

Her land line phones and smart phone were out of reach.

What she could reach, however, was her car’s remote keyless entry fob on her key ring. She pushed the button that set off the car alarm, and in the garage her car started to wail — and wail and wail and wail.

I was home having lunch when I heard an alarm, so I followed it down the street and found my neighbor lying on her kitchen floor. Once I helped her up, she insisted she felt fine but so “stupid.” Stupid? I think not.

My technology message: check your car alarm button to see that it works and change the batteries when necessary. You never know when you’ll need it.

Finders Key-pers

Do you ever lose your keys? Your wallet, purse, car, smartphone?

A Tile — along with the accompanying Tile app — is the coolest way to find all of these things.

Here’s how it works:

  • Purchase one or more tiles (available from the Tile website and Amazon)*
  • Download the free Tile app from the Apple Store (iPhone and iPad) or the Google Play Store (Android)
  • Create an account
  • Follow the few easy steps to give each tile a unique name (“keys,” “purse,” “bicycle,” “car,” “dog collar,” etc.)
  • Place a tile in/on your stuff

If you misplace the tiled item, use your phone app to make the tile beep. Or, if you need to find your car in a parking lot, for example, use your phone to locate the tile/item on a map.

It works the other way too: if you misplace your phone, you can squeeze any of your tiles to make your phone beep. Pretty great!

To learn more about Tile, click here: www.thetileapp.com.

You’ll probably want more than one.

* Be sure to purchase the second generation tiles (Gen 2) as they are newer/better than the first releases.

iPad Homepage?

I am often asked the same question about iPad use: “Can I designate a specific page to open every time I open my web browser the way I can on my computer?”

Yes.

Your computer’s web browser (Internet Explorer, Edge, Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc) opens to the page you designated as your home page, while your iPad opens your browser to the last webpage you viewed.

If you’d prefer your iPad browser to open to a specific webpage, follow these steps:

  • Locate the page that you want to make your home page.
  • Tap the “Action” button on the tool bar on the upper right portion of the screen. (The Action button is a square with an upwards-pointing arrow).
  • Tap the “Add to Home Screen” icon.
  • Accept or change the name of the page.
  • Click “Add.”
  • Locate the new icon on your home screen.

Once you have this icon on the home screen, tap on it — rather than on the “Safari” icon — to open to the page you chose.

If you prefer to open your browser to a familiar page, this tip will make using your iPad more enjoyable.