Guy’s Best Practice & Litmus Tests Ezine #1 – System Icon
Everyone wants to know whether they are doing a job, any job, in the best way possible. ‘Best Practice’ pages are worth skimming through because you will always find at least one piece of useful advice.
Guy’s Litmus tests bring fun to learning. Each test asks a question about an aspect of best practice. The answer indicates whether you are operating at Professional or Amateur level. Most of my tests are based around computing. However, you can have fun extending the Litmus test idea to include everyday activities like going to hairdresser, entering a shop or buying a new car.
Contents for Ezine #1
Computing scenario: You need to configure settings in the System Icon.
Litmus test – How do you navigate to the System Icon?
Amateurs: Go the long way around via:Start Menu, Programs, Control Panel, System Icon.
Professionals: Know the key combination, Windows Key + Pause/Break (Key)
Other useful key combinations:
Windows Key + D (Shows Desktop)
Windows Key + R (Launches the Run dialog box)
Windows Key + F (Still brings up search)
Windows Key + E (Opens explorer)
Windows Key + L (Lock your workstation)
Guy Recommends: The Free IP Address Tracker (IPAT)
Calculating IP Address ranges is a black art, which many network managers solve by creating custom Excel spreadsheets. IPAT cracks this problem of allocating IP addresses in networks in two ways:
For Mr Organized there is a nifty subnet calculator, you enter the network address and the subnet mask, then IPAT works out the usable addresses and their ranges.
For Mr Lazy IPAT discovers and then displays the IP addresses of existing computers. Download the Free IP Address Tracker
The scenario: You have all your settings on a Windows 98 machine, and you want them transferred to your XP Professional or XP Home machine.
Litmus test – How would you transfer user settings to a new XP machine?
Amateurs: Copy the files to a network share, and then copy them to the new machine.
Professionals: Use the File and Transfer Settings Wizard. Pros realize it is going to be difficult to copy all the files to the right place in the Documents and Settings Folder without using the Wizard. Also the Wizard transfers settings for email servers, proxy servers and Internet Explorer. This strategy is also known as USMT (User Settings Migration Tool).
Those who like command line tools can use SCANSTATE and LOADSTATE as an alternative to the File and Transfer Settings Wizard.
The scenario: You have just installed a new device to your computer, but it does not work properly.
Litmus test – What do you if an XP machine keeps crashingafter you install a new scanner?
Amateurs: Just remove the scanner.
If it still does not work, they rebuild the machine.
Professionals: Boot into safe mode with F8 and use the Restore point to return the operating system to how it was before the scanner’s device drive was installed.
While you can create Restore Points manually through the Accessories, System Tools menu, the operating system creates them automatically before it installs new drivers.
Note: Some Virus recovery procedures require you to turn off the System Restore feature at least while you remove the infection. Remember to turn it back on once the machine is disinfected.
Every day life scenario: You are deciding which restaurant to eat at.You peek in through the dining room window, this is what you see:
Restaurant a) Half the seats are full of customers.
Restaurant b) There is only one customer.
Litmus test – Which restaurant would you choose a) or b)?
I would choose restaurant a). Plenty of customers mean other people have already checked it out and decided its good eating
Every day life scenario: How do you judge a reputable Ezine / Newsletters?
Amateur Ezines: Either have no unsubscribe link, or if they do they do not honour it.
Professional Ezines: Have an unsubscribe link at the bottom of the page. The better Ezines also have a link for you to change your preferences.
Lots of useful Windows shutdown and hibernate articles