It was a dark and stormy night. The lightning pulsed outside my rain pummeled window, but I was safe and sound inside my study. The comfort of my surroundings lulled me into a sense of warm, contented security.
I tapped away on my keyboard and graphics pad; the project I was working on seemed almost too easy to do. I was elated. But without warning, the computer screen started to flicker several times as though it were in electronic cardiac arrest.
I watched in horror as the realization hit me that my computer was dying right in front of my eyes. And the saddest part about this tragedy became as bright as the light of day to me. I didn’t back up my files.
I could hear the howling wolves in the distant night air.
Were they laughing at me?
My computer literally fried during a big storm, and I did lose virtually all of the files I was working on. From that day onward, I vowed never to fail to back up my work.
Along the way of my graphic design education, I started to collect a few computer programs that were not only highly useful but were also free of charge. These freebies do various tasks to make your computing life easier, and some will literally save your computer from harm.
But what does this have to do with graphic arts, photography or illustration? Everything. We all use our PCs extensively when we do our projects, graphics, photography, or media. It makes sense to keep our computers, (and ourselves) happy by using a few of these programs. Using our computers effectively is all part of our graphic design education.
Oh, did I mention that they were free? So here we go. My favorites:
The program has its database constantly upgraded, so you have protection from the newest viruses out there. AVG rivals, if not surpasses, anti-virus programs that are sold for lots of $$$.
Check it out at http://free.avg.com/
Advanced System Care - Ever notice that your computer doesn’t seem to be as fast as it used to be?
One reason could be related to your computer’s registry–a place where information about programs and data is stored away.
As this data piles up, some of the unnecessary records slow down your computer. Advanced System Care corrects and tunes up your computer by scanning for spyware, deleting old registry data, getting rid of junk files and a host of other things to keep your computer running great.
Check it out here: http://www.iobit.com/advancedwindowscareper.html
Dema Virtual Notes - We’re all familiar with Post It notes–they’re the ubiquitous little sticky papers that everyone uses to remind themselves of things to do or things they need to remember.
Dema Notes is the virtual representation of the sticky notes. The program is simple to use and places colored notes on your computer screen.
It is entirely configurable and gives you the option to change the note paper’s color and size, and even has an alarm feature.
The only downside is that there are no instructions on how to use it. But a few minutes of tinkering should get you familiar with the program in no time.
And as they say in the movies, to be continued…
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