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How to better use your To-Do list

There are a thousand different productivity systems, from the simple to the needlessly complex. But every productivity system--and nearly every productive person--relies on some variation of the humble to-do list. It's a simple tool: a written list, short or long, containing all the tasks you have to do over a certain period of time.
To Do list with watch on desk
A to-do list can be the most useful tool in your box, or it can be a useless hassle. Which one you end up with is largely dependent on you. If you want to improve your to-do list, you'll need to make some changes.

Focus on Results
Some things are easier to put on a to-do list than others, because some tasks are just more difficult to break down into simple actions. Whatever it is you need to get done, a good question to ask yourself is: "What does a successful outcome look like?"

Think of cleaning a room. There are a lot of things you have to do: surfaces to dust, floors to sweep, things to be moved, mops to be rung out. But before you start fretting about all the tasks you'll have to do, ask yourself: "When I'm done, what will this room look like?"

Your goal, when cleaning a room, is to make the room a certain way. Your goal is a particular result, and if you put together your list with this in mind, you'll find that your to-do list has a stronger sense of direction.

Get Organized
A good to-do list should be easy to read and easy to reference. It doesn't matter if it's on your phone or on a piece of notebook paper, in pen or in pencil. Don't be afraid to rewrite or re-order your list, as it can help you stay organized and focused.

Break Down Difficult Tasks
If you have to buy a new car, you can put a single item on your to-do list labeled "Buy a new car." However that's not a useful to-do list item because buying a new car is a multi-step process, made up of dozens of small tasks, and could take weeks or even months to complete.

If you were to break this task down you'll find it to be much more manageable. For example, your list might say:

  • Determine what kind of car I need
  • Determine how much I can afford to spend
  • Research cars in my price range
  • Research financing options
  • Locate a seller
  • Purchase car
You'll probably have to complete 50 small tasks before you get your car, from going to the DMV to picking a color. If you tackle your problems one small step at a time, you'll be pleased at how quickly the items are ticked off your list.

Don't Forget the Small Stuff
Lists are put to best use when they include everything. Getting Things Done, the popular productivity program, suggests what is called universal capture. Essentially, if you can't do it immediately in the next five minutes then it goes on the list.

If you only put big things on your to-do list, you end up with two separate lists: one in your head, and one on the page. Streamline the process, and empty out your head, by writing everything down.

It's All On You
At the end of the day, a to-do list only reminds you about what you have to do.  It can't force you to clean; it can't drag you by the hand on errands; and it certainly can't stop you from putting it in the drawer and ignoring it.

Putting together the perfect to-do list is only part of the solution. Doing everything on it is the hard part. But you'll be fine, as long as you focus on doing what needs to be done.

Copyright © Darryl on 2017

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Is online education right for you

E-Learning with student and computerStressful work schedules. Rotating shifts. Exhaustion. Boredom. There are plenty of reasons for choosing to change careers. Even if you've been working for a number of years, maybe you've found that you just don't enjoy your job the way that you thought you would. If this is the case, it might be time to think about a career change.

Choosing your path
Unfortunately, switching careers often means that you'll need to pursue an education in the field you want to enter. This could mean you need to get a certificate or diploma or it might mean that you need a bachelor's degree in your new field. There are a number of options and choices you have to make when it comes to choosing what field you want to enter, as well as choosing how you'll get your education. Many adults choose to pursue degrees online; however, there are both positive and negative aspects to consider when it comes to this style of education.

Setting a schedule (will you get the work done!)
Pursuing a degree online requires that you be dedicated and precise when it comes to your schedule. One of the biggest benefits of attending college online is that you set your own study hours. This can also be one of the biggest disadvantages since it means that you will be responsible for making sure you study on a daily basis. While a brick-and-mortar college has set class times, online classes mean you can study before breakfast or even in the middle of the night. If you're highly dedicated and capable of creating a schedule that works, you may enjoy going to school online.

Home alone (does it fit!)
Another reason many individuals choose to pursue an online degree is that online education takes place at home. There is no travel required. If you have a physical disability that limits your ability to travel, if you don't have a car, or if you simply live too far from the nearest traditional university, an online school can be appealing. It's important to note, however, that you won't have the chance to join on-campus clubs, special events, or sporting games if you go to an online university. If you want to attend college for the social aspects, this can be disappointing. If you simply want to earn your degree, though, you may find that the simplicity works well for you.

Does online suit your field of study
Finally, consider the field you want to enter and whether learning online will be the best way to pursue a career in that field. For example, if you want to attend medical school at some point, earning your bachelor's degree online might not be beneficial since you will need to have hands-on experience in biology and chemistry classes. If you want to become a real estate agent, though, an online degree might be just what you're looking for. Make sure you thoroughly examine all of your personal goals before you make the choice about where and how to attend college.

Copyright © Gotter on 2017

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How to choose memory for your computer

Almost all computer vendors and manufacturers warn customers not to attempt to change their computer’s memory on their own. Their reasons vary from shorting out the motherboard to purchasing incompatible memory chips/modules. For most computer users, these are perfectly legitimate reasons. All it takes is one tiny jolt of static electricity to damage the memory, and then you’re out the cost of the memory or having to purchase a new motherboard. Well, with a little planning and keeping a few things in mind, anyone can find and install the proper memory for their computer.
Computer memory circuits
Before you even contemplate changing your computer’s memory, it is important for you to have the right information.

For Brand name computers
For pre-manufactured systems from companies like Dell, Toshiba and HP you will probably only need the computer’s model number. A quick search at websites like or will usually allow you to see which memory types and sizes are compatible with your system. (There are other sites which can do the same function, and just require searching through search engine results to find.) You will only run into a snag of you upgraded the motherboard by custom configuring your system. In this case, you will need to consult the manufacturer’s website or the motherboard documentation.

For custom computers
For custom built systems you will have to have the motherboard model and serial number. If you have the manual which usually comes with motherboards, simply consult it. If not, you will have to open up the side of your computer to physically look at the motherboard. In the case of generic motherboards, you will have to search the manufacturer’s website.

Some other considerations
Next you will have to find out if the memory supported by your motherboard is even, odd, or no parity. (The standard on PC’s is odd parity.) Some would-be experts will argue that there is no real difference. There is, and it could mean the difference between a slow system which reads only half the memory and a fully functional computer. There are even motherboards which only support a single memory module. Double and triple-check your motherboard documentation to find out if your motherboard has to have two memory modules in order to function. If it does, you need to buy two of the same size and type. It is possible to put in two different sized chips, but the motherboard will usually only recognize the smaller of the two.

How much memory is enough
While you’re gathering all this information you’ll also have to decide how much memory you want to add, and that your decision will be affected by how much memory the motherboard can support. Buying two 4 gigabyte DDR2 (double data-rate) chips will do you no good if your motherboard only supports up to 4 gigabytes of DDR2 memory in total. Another factor is what you want the computer to do. For example: A high performance gaming system will need at least 8 gigabytes of memory, although 16 or more would be better. If you’re only going to use the computer for office applications with very little in the way of high end graphics then 1 to 2 gigabytes will suffice in most cases but 4 gigabytes or more would be better if you typically open many applications at once.

Different types of memory
Another item to consider is the type of memory you’ll need, and that your computer will support. Older computers use SIMMS (single inline memory modules) and DIMMS (dual inline memory modules). These really aren’t worth upgrading. If you absolutely have to buy new ones, it’s probably better to just buy the same size and type. There is also a difference between DDR, DDR2 and DDR3. Those differences are enough to mean the difference between your motherboard recognizing the memory or not.

Time to buy
Now, it’s time for you to actually buy the memory. If you’ve been patient and gathered all the necessary information, you should only have to shop around for the best price. Buying online is the best route to go. Local retailers usually charge at least 100% over online stores. If you’re still unsure at this point, you probably should buy locally. The convenience of buying local is that you can ask the customer service representatives in the store. If you do buy locally go to a store which has a computer repair department and ask that department. The average employee in the electronics department cannot usually answer your questions about compatibility. One last thing to remember is that you get what you pay for.

Copyright © Darryl on 2017

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How to overcome writer's block

Writer's block is a difficult thing. While much has been writtenA writer sitting at computer and desk (Lego style) on writer's block, the truth is that nearly all writers will, at some point, feel uninspired. There will come a point in any writer's career where he feels frustrated, at a loss for words, and generally stuck at a point in the story. It's important for writers to take control of the situation when writer's block arises. Whether you're a creative writer coming up with a short story for a writing competition or you're a full time author penning novels for a publisher, overcoming writer's block is essential to continuing your writing career.

Spice it up
If you feel bored with your writing, the first thing you can do is spice things up. No, this doesn't mean that you have to add a zombie invasion to your story in order to make it interesting. What spicing it up means is simply writing something differently than you would before. Does your work mostly center on dialogue? Why not write a few scenes using only descriptions? If you're a writer who focuses more on the location of a piece, consider trying to add more dialogue between characters in order to change up the chapter. You may find that simply adding a conversation or trying something new is enough to inspire you to continue the story.

Change Location
For writers who work primarily from home, growing bored with your current surroundings is a huge issue. Why don't you take your work with you for a day? Take your laptop or iPad and head to your local coffee shop for an afternoon of mochas and writing. You could also head to a park and do some people watching while you write. Sometimes just overhearing snippets of conversation can be inspiring in and of itself. Another option would be to go on a walk, head to the mall, or even have dinner at a restaurant with the single goal of finding inspiration in the things other people say. You might hear something small, such as someone ordering her food by saying, "Um, yeah, I want...." Then you can go home and apply the dialogue to your story.

Use Writing Prompts
Finally, consider trying out some writing exercises. Pick up a book of writing prompts and try a few. Another option would be to set a timer and force yourself to write about anything for 10 minutes. You can write a lot in ten minutes, especially if you use a writing prompt, too. Chances are that you'll come up with something you can use. Some writers find that simply forcing themselves to type words on a computer is enough to get them back into the swing of things with their story.

Don't Give Up
No matter how experienced of a writer you are, there may come a point when you feel uninspired, frustrated, or bored with your characters. Instead of giving up or telling yourself that the idea was rotten, be proactive in beating writer's block. Frustration with your story doesn't have to mean that the story is finished. In fact, how you handle your frustration can make your story stronger than ever. Remember that all writers experience writer's block at some point. The important thing is to keep pushing forward and to keep writing. Eventually things will all come together.

Copyright © Gotter on 2017

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How to Choose a Computer Mouse

Beginning with the advent of the GUI interface in the mid 1980s, the computer mouse has become an extension of ourselves and clicking as natural as typing. These simple devices, attached to virtually every computer are now an indispensable way to navigate the software we fill our days with. What this means, of course, is that sooner or later, it will fail. You are then left with a myriad of replacement choices.

First, make sure that the mouse is indeed the problem;

  • Take one from another computer or borrow one from a friend and plug it in.
  • You may need to reboot the computer.
  • It is a rare but possible occurrence that the problem is with the computer or the operating system rather than the mouse itself. See common mouse problems.Computer mouse on desk
Once you establish that you need a new mouse, hit the local electronics store or price comparison website to get a new one. You will be faced with dozens of choices ranging in price from ten to over a hundred dollars. That’s right – you can pay as much as $150 for a mouse! So how do you choose the right one? Take a look at some of the options offered and make the best choice for you.

If you have had your old mouse for a long time, it probably had a little ball on the bottom which rolled and created the motion for the cursor on the screen. These are all but history, and even if you can find one, it’s not a good idea. The ball gets dirty and being a moving part, wears out.

The main technology used today is an optical mouse which uses a small LED light on the bottom to track motion across the mouse pad or surface. Besides eliminating a moving part, you don’t actually need a mouse pad except to protect the surface of your desk.

Check the connection type
Another thing to look at is the connection to your computer . Almost all mice available today hook up to the computer via a USB port. Check your computer. If you have an older computer without a USB port, or one that is available, you will want to try and find an older mouse with what was called a PS2 connector. Otherwise you will need an adapter.

Wired or Wireless?
The next main choice is wired or wireless . Depending on how your desk is organized and the distance between the keyboard and the computer, you will need to decide if having a wireless mouse is an advantage. In general, you will pay at least an extra $10 to lose the wire. If the cable hasn’t been a problem in the past, you may decide it’s not worth the extra money. If you decide you want a wireless mouse, in most cases it will come with a small transmitter that plugs into your USB port. On many modern computers bluetooth wireless connection is also becoming an option. Keep in mind that a wireless mouse runs off batteries which will need periodic replacement. Keep spares on hand.

Make sure its comfortable
The next big factor is ergonomics. Mice come in many shapes and button configurations. You can either choose to find one that matches what you are used to, or try out some of the new fancier shapes to see if of one of them fits your hand better. Think carefully and try before you buy – you will be spending a lot of time with that little rodent.

Consider if you need extra features
Finally consider the extra features you may want. Most but not all new mice have a scroll wheel. This is a small wheel, usually between the buttons that allows you to quickly scroll through long documents and websites. Some people swear by them and some never use them. It’s a personal choice.

Then consider if you need extra buttons. Some mice have extra buttons that can be assigned keyboard functions. These are primarily used for gaming, however since you can assign many different functions to them, they can also be useful for other purposes.

Regardless of which specific pointing device you choose, this innocuous little rodent will be a major part of your computing life for months or years to come. It is worth your while to spend a bit of time in the store test driving before you walk out with your new mouse.

Copyright © Darryl on 2017

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How to become a Writer

Many people dream of someday publishing a book, creating an amazing story, or even just getting paid to write. Actually accomplishing that goal can be difficult, however. Many individuals who want to learn how to write aren't sure how to actually move from the desire to try something to actually doing it. Fortunately, there are a number of ways that anyone can become a writer. Whether you have years of experience in a particular field or you're jumping feet first into the world of writing, there are a number of ways you can enter the world of writing

1. Just write and write
First off, write! It doesn't matter if you don't feel like you're good at writing or you don't know how to tell a story properly. The very first step in becoming a writer is to simply write something. You can write journal entries and talk about your daily experiences. You could write poems that describe how you feel about the world around you. You could even write short stories that take place in fantasy worlds you imagine. What you write about doesn't matter. What matters is that you actually write and that you do so on a consistent basis.

2. Improve your skills
Once you've started the writing process, you'll need to hone your craft. Even the most creative thinkers can occasionally use a little help. You might choose to enroll in a writing class at your local college or community center. Many libraries also offer writing classes. If you're more interested in having your work critiqued by other writers rather than by a teacher, you might want to check out a local writing group. In general, writing groups focus on sharing your work with other writers and getting quality feedback on ways you can improve.

3. Rewrite It
When you've written something, you'll need to rewrite it. Then, you'll need to rewrite it again. One of the most important parts of creating something fantastic is to understand that writing isn't perfect on the first try. Most writers go through several drafts before they are completely satisfied with a piece. It's a good idea to write something and then take a break. Wait a few days before you look at the work again. This will give you some time to clear your head and look at the article or story with fresh eyes.

4. Take the plunge Submit it
Finally, it will be time to submit your work for publication. Some writers choose never to publish their work. This is perfectly fine! If you want to write simply as a hobby and a way to express yourself, you may find that publishing doesn't appeal to you. If you do want to see your work in print, however, you'll need to eventually start querying newspapers, magazines, and editors. Make sure your work is as perfect as it can be before you submit something. Take a deep breath and hit that "submit" button. Most writers feel incredibly nervous when they first try to get something published, but rest assured that the worst thing an editor can say is, "No thanks. This piece wasn't for me."

If you are serious about wanting to become a writer, you'll find that your work doesn't always get accepted right away. Chances are, though, that with hard work and dedication, you will eventually get to see your work in print. Remember to keep writing, keep practicing, and keep discussing your work with other people. Eventually you'll find that you're not only growing as a writer, but also as a person.

Copyright © Gotter on 2017

Tags: career, writing

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How can you be a nice person

Two friends togetherWell firstly you can take a test to see if your already a nice person or not by using the following link:-

If you find that you are not already a nice person then a few answers exist on the web. I have found the following articles;

To sum these answers up, it would seem the common threads here are;

1. To respect other people and to empathize with their situation.
2. To treat other people the way you would like to be treated yourself.
3. To become a good listener, and regardless of whether you agree with the other person to really try to see the other persons point of view.
4. To help out where you can, but only where it is reasonable to do so.
5. To behave in a mature and confident manner and not condescending, impatient or rude to others.
6. To have a positive outlook and to share your happiness with other people.
7. To really believe in yourself that you are a nice person and considerate of others.

Now this is only my summary so you might want to actually read the articles linked above, as they contain much more information than the above list. If you know of other useful articles please feel free to add links to them in a comment, or if you have first hand knowledge of how to be a nice person, please feel free to add your own comments.

Also if you find that you have problems implementing or even relating to any of the recommendations from the linked articles, it may indicate that you have other issues that need to be resolved first. Such issues could include a whole range of things including but not limited to anger issues, self esteem issues, shyness, paranoia, narcissism, envy, impatience, unhappiness, loneliness, and so on. If you don't know how best to deal with these other issues, look for the coming articles on

Copyright © 2017

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What are some free animation software available

I'm looking for some free animation software that I can try out and was wondering what I should try. It can be either 2D or 3D animation programs I don't mind, if you guys could provide some links to the them that would be great.

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How often should I backup my computer

Many computer errorsBacking up a computer is an essential part of computing in the event of a computer crash or other data loss due to malware or faulty media, etc. If losing any of your computers normal functionality or stored data would cause you problems, then you should consider backing up your computer now!
So when should you do something to offset the possibility of data loss or even a complete computer crash? Well my solution involves two separate types of backup;
Firstly the most important data on your computer is all of the working data like documents, photos, etc. Backups on this data should be done regularly. The regularity of these backups will depend upon how much the loss of a certain amount of critical data would affect you. Just think about how much information you could afford to lose, an hour of data, a days data, a weeks worth of data, etc and this will give you some idea of the important times to backup for you. Most of your important data files will be located in your "My Documents" directory in Windows and the "Home" directory in Linux. However do not forget some applications may store data files in other locations. Take note of the locations that your applications are storing user files, you can then use this information when backing up selected data.
The next type of backup is a total backup of all partitions on the computer, this type of backup gives you the ability to restore everything, and is very useful in the event of a major computer crash or malware problem. On the downside a total backup is usually time consuming, so its frequency depends upon how important it is to restore everything including your computer applications, your settings, etc. You may find that it only needs to be done occasionally, but once again this depends upon your situation, and the importance of being able to restore everything back to the way it was, before any problems have occurred.
Please don't make the mistake of assuming that data loss, or worse, a computer crash will never happen to you, because at some time or times it will, so act now! If you don't know how to best backup your data, look for the coming articles on .

Copyright © 2017

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What are all of the different types of operating systems

Girl with binary codeI am trying to find information about all of the different types of operating systems available for standard computers. In particular I am most interested in those operating systems that are usable on current computer hardware, rather than those OS's that are abandoned or outdated.

Some of the best web sites I have currently found for information include;

From these I can currently summarize the following list;

1. Microsoft Windows including all its current versions;

  • Windows 10
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Vista (not well liked at first, but became better on revisions)
  • Windows XP (no longer supported but viable)
2. Linux OS which includes more versions/types than you can poke a stick, so I'll only mention the most common ones; There are so many more, but I gotta rest, apologies If I didn't mention your favorite one. For more Linux variants try distrowatch

3. Andriod which is based on the Linux OS. The official version is used on mobile devices, however an unofficial version is available for standard computers.
  • Android-x86 is an unofficial initiative to port the Andriod mobile OS to run on devices powered byAMD and Intel X86 processors, rather than RISC-based ARM chips
4. Chrome OS which is based on the Linux OS. The official version is only available with new hardware, however an unofficial version is available for for standard computers 5. BSD includes a number of different versions; 6. ReactOS   This OS looks like Windows and nowadays is able to run many Windows applications

7. Haiku   Inspired by the BeOS, Haiku OS is fast, simple to use

8. MenuetOS   Menuet isn't based on other operating system nor has it roots within UNIX or the POSIX standards

9. KolibriOS   This OS is fork of MenuetOS.  It is a tiny and fast operating system

10. eComStation   This is a paid operating system and is based on IBM's OS/2. You can download a free demo CD to check it out.

11. Syllable Desktop   Based on the AtheOS operating system

12. Minix   Linus Torvalds used Minix as a platform, guide, and inspiration to develop a Minix clone, named Linux

13. DOS   It's fairly basic, but still around - use it to run old dos applications, games, etc
Please note, the Mac OS is not included here because there is no legal way in which the Mac OS can be used on a non-Macintosh computer and therefore it does not match the questions criteria.

So does anyone know of any additional OS's that match the criteria?

Copyright © Maurice on 2017

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How can a guest ask a question or add a web link?

Guests can ask questions or add a web link on by adding a comment to this blog (See below).

If you add a comment as a question we will add the question for you to the front page, provided it meets our validation criteria. So ask away but just remember we only accept questions in the English language (any links must also be to English language web sites).

You can also recommend a link or links to be added to our Web Links section as a comment. You do not need to be the owner of the website to add a link or links, but the web link/s must meet our validation criteria .

Please consider becoming a member (see Frequently Asked Questions) for more information, as this makes it even easier to ask and answer questions or to add web links.

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What is and how do I use it?

For information on refer to our Frequently Asked Questions section.

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