Two days ago, Lifehacker posted an article called Top 10 Simple Things Every Computer User Should Know How to Do. This seems like a great way to evaluate my computer skills (which are minimal) and see where I need to improve (probably everywhere).
10. Set Up a Dead Simple Backup System - fail
Nope. I don't know how to do this one. This is particularly outrageous because I just lost a whole bunch of data to a hard drive failure last month. So I'm taking Lifehacker's advice and downloading CrashPlan, a free online backup service.
9. Do Everything Faster with Shortcuts - pass
I'm good at this one! Shortcuts are one of my favorite parts of computer use. The shortcut for inserting a link in a Wordpress document is alt+shift+A. Starting or ending a block quote is alt+shift+Q. I got good at short cuts in a Computer Applications class in high school, in which I earned stupid amounts of free time on the internet by doing everything faster than everyone else, via shortcuts.
8. Protect Yourself From Viruses - fail
This is an area of computer use I've been putting off learning about for years, and I'm sure it's cost me a lot of time, money and data. I wouldn't be surprised if the hard drive crash I referenced earlier was virus related. I've opened all the links in section 8 on the list, and I'll be thoroughly reading them over.
7. Set Up Your Network (and Fix Wi-Fi Problems) - eh.
I did set up the Wi-Fi in my house, and I'm the one who troubleshoots it when anything goes wrong. The thing is, I've got no idea what I'm doing. The things that have gone wrong so far, I've been able to deal with by looking stuff up on the internet, or unplugging the router and waiting a minute. I could do better, so I'll be coming back to this article for more information on that.
6. Keep Your Batteries Lasting as Long as Possible - passish
I'm doing surprisingly well at this by Lifehacker's standards. I figured there'd be some tricks that I didn't know about, but apparently I picked that stuff up when I got the phone more than I thought I did. I could be doing better by toggling 3G coverage, but that appears to be a massive pain in the ass with a Verizon phone, and my battery generally lasts a day or two, so I think it's fine.
Their article on getting better battery life out of android is long and complicated, starting easy and building up to the complicated stuff. I will pick through it later but for now I'm just going to leave it.
5. Access Your Home Computer From Anywhere - fail
This article is also really long. It looks cool, but I'm in no rush to learn it.
4. Keep Your Computer in Tip Top Shape with Regular Maintenance - fail
But much of the stuff in this section is covered by stuff i'm doing because of earlier sections. I'll come back to it for comprehensive care later.
3. Instantly Share a File Between Two Computers - eh
I know some of this stuff, and can find this page again if I need to share any very large files.
2. Easily Find Your Lost or Stolen Gadgets - fail
I'll download relevant apps shortly.
1. Keep Your Personal Information Safe and Secure - fail
I'm getting better at this, but I'm still not doing awesome. This is an area in which I seriously need to improve.
Final Score: I suck at computers.
It appears I have a lot of studying to do to get better at using computers like a competent amateur. I feel even weirder now about the people in my life who think I'm good at this stuff.