Saturday 25 October 2014

Attention Span, Concentration and Age

Traditionally older people were the ones we fingered as the forgetful or "slow" among us. I have found this to be a generalization though, because I have worked with people in their fifties and sixties who had impeccable memory. Yes, natural aging and reduced brain cell count are inevitable as time passes, but their adverse effects are overrated and I firmly believe our modern lifestyle featuring information overload and multitasking is far more detrimental than any natural process like aging.

Wednesday 2 May 2012

How to make your PC startup faster

So you've run disk defragmenter, deleted programs and run disk cleanup too, yet still you only see a minor improvement in your machine's boot-up time.

As time goes you accumulate updates and install new software.  Many of these programs/updates take the liberty to plonk themselves on your list of startup programs, meaning that your PC runs these programs every time you switch it on, whether you use them or not.  I found the HTC Sync software for my phone doing this for instance.  Even worse was that it never opened up in a window, so I had no idea it was taking up system resources - it was just quietly running in the background after I installed it.

That wasn't the only thing. I found that Adobe Acrobat, CS5 and Google updates (see below) were all running on start up.  Unfortunately many programs you install run on startup by default until you deactivate them.  Periodically then you need to manually toggle which programs you want to run at startup.

[Disclaimer: Tech buffs or programmers may find this obvious, but this is for the remaining 99.9% of PC users who don't have degrees in computer science.]

Step #1: 
Click the Start button.  In the input box where it says Search programs and files, type in msconfig.exe
A shortcut for msconfig.exe should appear at the top of the start menu as you type (highlighted in blue). Click this shortcut.

Note: For Windows XP and older simply click Start, then click Run.  In the dialog box type in msconfig.exe and click Run.

Sunday 15 April 2012

A 9 year old shows what perseverance and passion are about

Here is a kid who makes arcade games from the cardboard boxes left over in his dad's auto spares shop.  He receives little to no customers in spite of devoting days worth of his sweat and time, but he doesn't care.  All he cares about is making his arcade the best it can be.  He continues to make games even though nobody is playing the ones he has already built.

A detail in this video that can easily be missed is the method nine year old Caine Monroy uses to verify his fun passes.  Personally I don't think I could have devised such a method even when I was 12.  This lad is both industrious and brilliant.

Everything is manual: he physically goes behind each arcade game to push tickets/coupons to any patron that's playing, for instance.  In this video you will also see how he modified one of his games after he received feedback that it was too easy.  Caine displays the raw old fashioned resilience and passion that is the driving force behind any successful endeavour.  Adults for the most part lose this single point focus and start getting anxious at the first sign of difficulty.

Keep building, keep shipping, and soon enough the people will come. Of course, Caine doesn't give that sentiment too much thought - he's too busy mastering his art.