Computer Cleaning for the New Year
And here we are to start the year off with our latest newsletter. The new year can mean resolutions and promises for a “new you.” One way to start this year feeling more in control is to clean up your computer. Follow these simple steps!

Tackle the inbox - We do a lot of shopping at the end of the year. Whether you shop online or in stores, you’re asked to provide your email address when you buy, which multiplies the number of mailing lists you’re on. Don’t start the new year deluged by unwanted newsletters and advertising emails.
The extra messages in your inbox distract you from the messages that matter. Instead of deleting every new unread message from “Let’s Make Cookies,” click on one and unsubscribe. Usually, there’s a link that lets you do this at the bottom of the email. If you’re a Gmail user, start your effort to cut down on unwanted mail in your Promotions tab. Google’s algorithm sends sales pitches here, so cut messages from this section first.

Clear bookmarks - The internet is built for browsing. We’ve all lost hours to clicking and linking in this vortex of information. “Wait. How did I end up here looking at kittens eating cupcakes?!” To make things easier, we’ll bookmark sites we visit often or put a page we want to return to on a reading list.

By the end of the year, we have marked many sites that we don’t even remember favoriting in the first place. “When was I interested in this?” Getting rid of any bookmarks for passing interests can help you navigate the Web better this year.

In Google Chrome, click on the three dots in the upper-right of your browser window (to the left of your profile icon). The drop-down menu will have a Bookmarks option. Click on this to see another drop-down menu with Bookmark Manager on it. On the next screen every one of your bookmarks will have three dots beside it. Click on this to select the delete option and get rid of the ones you don’t need any longer.

Safari users can click on Bookmarks on the top menu or the sidebar icon on the tool bar (to the right of the arrows on the left). Then edit your bookmarks by clicking on sites you no longer want and hitting your delete button.

Sort through downloads - We also download a lot of stuff in a year. Sometimes, because we’re impatient or don’t realize we’ve already hit download, we get multiple copies of the same file! A full download folder takes up storage space on your computer and can slow your computer down.
On a Mac, go to the Finder and click on Downloads on the “Go” drop-down menu. You’ll find a folder filled with .pdfs, .docs, and .jpegs you long forgot about. Click on those you don’t need any more and drag them to your trash can.

On Windows, you can usually go to the “This PC” icon and then the “Downloads” Folder. Right-click on the files you don’t want, and choose “Delete.”

Empty trash/recycling bins - Items you put in the trash or recycling bins at home take up space until you take those bins to the curb or the dump, and the same is true of your computer trash or recycling. Empty these bins by selecting “empty trash” on your Mac Finder menu, or “empty recycle bin” after clicking on the bin icon in Windows 10.

Remove unused programs/apps - If you’re not using a program or app, don’t give it computer space. On a Mac, you can click on the icon for that program and drag it to the Trash. With Windows, you’ll open the Start menu, click on Settings, then System, then Apps and Features from the left pane to select what you want to uninstall. Click the uninstall button, and you’ve cleaned up your computer that little bit more for the new year.
If you need help with any of these streamlining measures, let us know. We can help!  Call 940-282-0290.
Is Your Printer an Ink-Sucking Monster?
“Manufacturers are cutting production costs to keep the price down. These printers are not built with longevity in mind.”
How long have you had your home printer? Maybe you have a printer that came as a package deal with your desktop or free with your laptop purchase. Look in many home offices and you’ll probably see a less-expensive inkjet printer sitting beside even the swankiest monitor. Here’s why it’s time for an upgrade.

You should know that printers are often sold at cost or even as a loss leader (below cost to get your business). After all, once you get that cheap/free inkjet printer, you’ll pay for ink cartridges for the life of the printer. To make sure they get your money, manufacturers often sell new printers with half-empty ink cartridges from the start!

You’ve heard “you get what you paid for,” right? Well, that’s definitely true for low-cost printers. Manufacturers are cutting production costs to keep the price down. These printers are not built with longevity in mind. Printer owners encounter all kinds of problems:
·         multiple sheets pulled from the paper tray at once;
·         paper jams;
·         slow printer response;
·         drop off in print quality;
·         ink smearing.

Frustrated customers soon discover they’ll pay more to fix their printer than they would to buy a new one.

Upgrading to an office-grade printer

Our solution? High-performance commercial printers. Office-grade printers are designed as work horses. These robust printers are built to withstand heavy use with speed and reliably. Yes, they cost more, but they are also less prone to problems and more likely to be a long-term valuable addition to your home office.

You’ll have many printer profiles to choose from. You might select a printer based on its pages-per-minute printing speed. Or maybe you want a larger paper tray capacity and bigger ink cartridges. Depending on your needs, you might want a printer that allows for simultaneous operation. That would let one person print while another is able to scan or copy. Built-in Wi-Fi could also be useful in small home offices if you’re tired of tripping over so many unsightly cords.

While you’re in the market for a new printer, know that we recommend laser printers over inkjet. Laser printers use a dry toner rather than wet ink. The toner cartridges are more expensive, but they print more sheets per cartridge than inkjets, plus, toner doesn’t dry up like ink. And you don’t have to worry about the printer heads getting blocked.

Lasers print faster, and you’ll have fewer problems, which means these printers are typically less expensive to operate long-term.

Inkjet printers typically have a minimum life span of three years, whereas you can expect a laser printer to last five years, although this will depend on frequency of use, of course.

When looking at laser printers, give serious thought to whether you need a color printer. How many times do you actually use color? Does it merit the added expense of that option? People who are printing photos at home only occasionally could probably get their images printed professionally for less overall cost.

Prioritize your printer

Even in our increasingly digital world, there are still times when we want to print. Whether it’s a family photo, school report, resume, or slide deck, you want to count on your printer for high quality and reliable performance.

There are many, many office-grade printers to choose from, and it can become overwhelming. What and how much you print should factor into your decision.
Find the printer for your budget that will last long-term with help from our experts. Call 940-282-0290.
Brian W. Norby
 
(Owner of both BWN Computer
AND That Computer Man)


1-940-282-0290