Fave Lifestyles

In 1983 I was terrified of computers. They were going to take over the world and blow us up. It was perfectly reasonable that I felt that way in the wake of Superman 3 where an evil computer almost destroyed us all and the only one to save us was Superman, and then in Wargames a confused computer tried to start world war three and was only narrowly thwarted by a super cute nerdy teenager. That was scary times.

The good news is that computers did not take over the world in 1983 and blow us off the face of the planet. The bad news is that they have gradually become so much a part of our lives that we cannot avoid them. The trick now is how do we live with them without going crazy.

Not everyone bonds with computers and despite being in the technological age there are plenty of people who would rather do anything else than fight with their technology. If you are one of these people, let us talk about ways you can get in, get your computer stuff done, and get out as soon as possible.

Do Basic Maintenance

You will save yourself a ton of time and frustration if you do these two simple things regularly.

  1. Reboot. Turning your computer off on occasion will allow it to install updates and resets things to how they should be. For the MAC you can get away with rebooting once every few weeks or if it feels wonky. With the PC it is a good idea to shut it down at night and boot it up again in the morning.
  2. Clear the cookies and cache in your browser. As you navigate the internet you will collect little bits of data that is supposed to make browsing the internet faster and easier. This information is sorted in a space (cache) designated for this sort of thing. When your cache gets full things just don’t work right.
  3. Make sure you are up to date with your updates. On both the PC and the MAC this can be set up to happen automatically when you reboot. It is a good idea to confirm that this is the case from time to time.
  4. Check your security programs. Anti-virus and Malware protection to make sure they are doing their thing. I recommend malwarebytes.com for this.
  5. Confirm your backups. Cloud drives provide some protection against losing all your stuff if something happened to your computer. My favorite back up program is Carbonite.com

There are a few other things you can do to keep your computer healthy and happy, but these are the main ones.

Get Good at Troubleshooting

I get asked a lot why the computer did a thing. Why did that get installed in the first place. Why did it just shut down? Why am I getting so much spam? The answer is “You did A,B,C”, or “they did A,B,C”, or “I don’t know” or “It’s Thursday and there was rain this morning”.

The why does not matter.

What matters is how to fix it. Good troubleshooting usually consists of going back to the beginning, slowing down and paying attention. Jumping through the hoops.

Here are some simple troubleshooting steps to take before you call in the professionals.

  1. Take a moment to slow down and identify or articulate what you are trying to do. It helps to start over and really watch what is happening. To many times we go so fast that we don’t realized that something important has changed.
  2. Break it down into steps and notice where it is “going” wrong. Can you go around it? Is there a different way to do it?
  3. Refresh your screen or program. Often this is enough to “jiggle it loose”
  4. Clear your cache – this is a standard “go to” troubleshooting step.
  5. Reboot. Turn it off and turn it back on again. Either the tab, the program, or the whole computer. No matter what you are doing, if you ask a professional to help you, they will most likely want you to reboot.

These processes solve many problems. If you still have trouble, try it again and watch your steps. Take notes if you can. Notice where it went wrong. Try it again and do it in a slightly different way. Going through these steps can uncover clues about where the problem may lie. Is it you? Your computer? The program?

Sometimes you will magically get past the problem only to have it happen again. Each time you encounter a tricky computer thing you will get closer and closer to uncovering the root cause and conquering it. For this reality, I recommend creating a Glitch Station.

Is it You, or is it your computer?
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Set up a Glitch Station

There will always be things that do not go quite right as you interact with your computer. The more questions you ask and the more data you collect, the greater the chance that you will discover the cause of a thing and be able to fix it.

Having a document dedicated to capturing your notes about the weird thing your computer does is an excellent way to prove that your computer really is crazy and you are no.

Take a moment and set it up right now. Create a document (Word, Google Docs, Pages) and call it “My Glitch Station”. Save it to your desktop or someplace you can find it easily. Any time your computer does a weird thing you can log it in your Glitch Station.

Here is how I organize mine. I have these notes pasted into my Glitch Station document so I can remember what information I need to capture.

[Title/short description of problem]
{Detailed description of the problem.}

{Ideas and things I tried to solve the problem.}

Sometimes just documenting the problem will uncover the solution. If not, then you have useful data to share with your tech professional to help you solve the problem.

Slow down and just jump through the hoops

The last thing I will share to help you avoid unnecessary technology frustrations is to tell you to just slow down. As with anything we do, rushing it will often make it worse.

Take a breath,

shake it off,

and do not let the computer get to you. It is not smarter than you. There is usually a clear or semi-clear thing you can do to move the issue further.
Think of it like a game and jump through the hoops.

Become at peace with the fact that things will change, you cannot know everything, and this is ok.

Nicole Lux-Ritchie

Nicole Lux-Ritchie


Nicole Lux-Ritchie


It all began when my grandmother asked me to help her learn how to use the computer. She was 80 at the time and it is because of her (In a variety of ways) that I am doing what I can to help anyone, no matter their technological skill, get control of their technology situation. She encouraged me to share my ability to take complex topics and break them down into simple steps and normal language.

My mission now is to help professionals gain the technical skills they need to grow their business and focus on their vision. Luxcentric is dedicated to training, using practical strategies, in the area of the core technologies. Email - Files - Calendars - Contacts

Don’t let your Technology Bully You!

Please check out the great conversations I have been having in the Fave Lifestyles group. Fave Lifestyles Posts with Nicole 


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