what your computer does best

By now, you've read about repairing system errors, cleanups, defragmentation, operating system and software updates, system security, backups, and tuning.  You may wonder if we have a warped sense of humor.

After all, we told you this isn't "rocket science" and that you could have fun doing it.  What were we thinking??

If you have to constantly take care of all this stuff, when will you have time to do anything else?  Where does it all end?

It ends right here, with automation.

What it isn't

You can't automate the repair of system errors; this is a painstaking manual process.  A few problems are caused by operator error, more are caused by bad third party software.  However, most are caused by neglecting maintenance procedures.  Automate them, and those problems go away.

Some tuning can be automated, and a lot of it can't.  Generally, tuning which can't be automated involves settings which rarely need to be changed, or settings you would normally want to change only when desired.

It's your job to be creative.  The computer won't do your thinking for you.  It won't write your letters, draw your graphics, or compose your music. 

What it is

Where the computer excels is in repetition and speed.  The solution is to get the computer to do what it does best, so you can do what you do best.

You already have several built in tools - the Windows Task Scheduler, the All Users Startup Folder, the Current User Startup Folder, and the Startup and Shutdown Scripts folders.  In addition, you can use third party automation software, or even write your own event driven scripts.

Often, all that's needed is to throw a program shortcut into the appropriate folder.  Then, when the system processes that folder, it runs the program.  With Task Scheduler, you have many options to specify timing and repetition.

It's important to avoid overlapping schedules, to decide if some programs should run in a certain order, and/or to schedule some events so they don't interfere with what you are doing.  You probably don't want some weighty program starting up during movie time.

You may shy away from this crazy fun, and we'll admit that it takes a little extra effort; but with minimal guidance, we think you'll catch on quickly.  Even if you don't, once it's set up, you're free!

Oops ...

Now you have another problem.  You'll have to think up ways to look busy so you aren't caught power napping by any significant others (spouse, boss, whoever).

Next:  Mobile Scribe 

now reading: Automation
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