I would like to add few points in addition to the excellent ones listed below:
- I see quite often students coming to us with failed drives and USB sticks and need to stress that recovery is very expensive. It is far cheaper to have multiple copies on multiple devices. We have a client who is a Sydney University professor. He carries four copies of his lectures on four different memory sticks. He has learnt from bad experiences.
- Ensure that you backup your laptop. A quality backup application and hard drive is cheaper than recovery. Hopefully you won’t drop them at the same time!
Global Newsletter August 2012
As we head into the second half of the year, students are busy studying and preparing for final year exams, whilst working on those important school assignments. Whether you’re in secondary school, higher education or are long out of school but have a student in your house, we have some tips for surviving the busiest time of the academic year.
Back Up! Back Up! Back Up!: Don’t let your computer eat your homework! A back up plan is essential for students and non-students alike. Back up regularly to an external hard drive, NAS or consider a cloud solution for your most important files. Check your back ups are working, by periodically trying to recover backed up files. It is good practice to try to recover three different types of files, eg a document, spreadsheet and a PDF. Remember to set a schedule for running your backup, and make it part of your daily routine. Alternatively, look at software options for automating your backup.
Portability: Pocket USB sticks are great for taking your data anywhere. These can be especially useful for primary and lower secondary school children, as they can take their assignments, presentations or ‘show-and-tell’ to school. They are inexpensive and light weight. Due to their small size they can be easily lost, so don’t store data of a personal nature on them. The copy on the USB stick should be that – another copy. Not the only copy.
Keep cool: Most students work on a laptop, often working on their bed. Using a laptop on a bed or cushion, can restrict air flow around your laptop and cause it to overheat. One great way to prevent overheating is to purchase a laptop stand. Not only can a stand help you ergonomically, it’s a great way to keep your laptop cool. When the midnight oil is burning, know that your laptop won’t be.
Group work: If you’re working on a group project, here’s a great way to make sure that everyone’s on the same page. Create a Dropbox for your group, which will house all of your files or main document “in the cloud”. This way, when a fellow student changes your project for the hundredth time, you’ll be able to see the newest version instantly. To start, create a Dropbox account for free. Take it a step further and install a shortcut onto your Desktop, which will allow you to instantly access your shared files without having to log onto the website.
Stay Safe: With exams coming up and assignments due, this often means more time spent on the internet researching. Make sure you protect your computer from viruses and malware, by using a robust internet security or anti-virus package. Whilst on the web, stick to reputable websites, ignore flashing ads and pop ups requesting information. Antivirus or Internet security, combined with cautious use of the web is the best protection from the nasty viruses waiting to infect your computer.
Although the above tips are designed to help students and those living with students through the stressful part of the academic year. The advice equally applies to non students. Back ups, portability and accessibility of data, internet security and protecting your hardware assets are important issues for everyone. We hope with the above five tips, you will have reduced the tech-stress, and can focus on the important tasks ahead. Best of luck to you – or to the student in your life, during this busy time.
As always, if you require help with your technology, Contact Computer Troubleshooters – Parramatta on
(02) 8208 3415.