Productivity 222: Tweaking The Settings

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Productivity 221: Very Useful Websites, Programs, Plugins & Extensions

PC & Mac

  • The settings vary wildly by operating system, so it is better to learn via experience or from a book than to accept any overarching ideas between systems
  • Macs
    • One of Apple’s philosophies when designing their software is that the end user (you) is not allowed to change any settings that can potentially break the system
    • Therefore, it is completely safe to play with anything in the system
  • Windows
    • After you learn the verbiage for various computer hardware it becomes simple to navigate the menus
    • Most of the later operating systems are built to keep you from accidentally changing anything that can be permanently damaging, but if you are uncertain it is best to perform a web search on what you’re looking at
    • Create a new folder and name it “Control Panel Shortcuts.{ed7ba470-8e54-465e-825c-99712043e01c}” to access any detailed control settings in the folder
  • Linux
    • The operating systems for all Linux systems are fully modular, and therefore all of them can be customized to whatever you feel like adding or removing
    • When doing anything unfamiliar, it is usually best to keep a second computer or internet-connected phone available to permit web searches if you accidentally causes errors
    • The system will involve keying in many commands to change settings, so it is a good operating system if you are looking for a career with computers

Mobile Devices

  • Most of the time, interfacing with a smaller device will be more tedious, but the system is built to be much harder to modify to the point of breaking it
  • Since mobile devices have more hardware pre-built into them, their operating systems are more closely integrated for seamless communication with each other, and there are many tricks to take advantage of this
    • Unsend text messages by quickly switching the phone into Airplane Mode
  • The device has so many components that it can be a large drain on the battery, so here’s how to maximize battery life
    • Switch the phone to Airplane Mode whenever possible
    • Turn off GPS and location data collection in the settings
    • Turn off the flash on the camera to save battery even when you’re not using it
    • Turn off vibration
    • Using the phone while charging can damage the battery, which is why phone chargers are typically so short
  • There are many ways to improve the device as a phone and tool
    • Block phone numbers from calling you
    • If a tablet has a slot to fit a phone’s SIM card, it can be used as a phone
    • To play games without advertisements, set the phone to Airplane Mode
    • Take vertical panoramas with the camera by turning the device sideways
    • When listening to a voice mail, press a key to skip the instructions
    • Double-tap the space bar on the keyboard to automatically end the sentence with a period and start a new sentence
    • When the device shows a “storage almost full” error, there are usually junk files that have cluttered up the phone and can be removed easily
  • If it somehow has no mobile data signal when there should be, put it in Airplane Mode and back to have it register and find all the towers in the vicinity
  • iPhones and iPads have a few extra tricks
    • Create a longer passcode by turning off Simple Passcode
    • Turn on LED Flash for Alerts to have the phone flash a light instead of vibrating or ringing at an incoming call or text
    • Under the Accessibility settings, turn on the Speak Selection feature to hear texts read aloud
    • Add a shortcut in the Keyboard settings with a word or phrase that you use a lot with a shortened version of it, it will pop up every time you type the shortcut
    • Change the vibration pattern for notifications to make it more recognizable what the notification is
    • Turn off Background App Refresh to save the battery

There are many more settings to play with, and a whole world to explore in what a computer can do!

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