Steps to Take BEFORE Getting Rid of a Computer

BNET featured some great tips recently, advising “Do These 4 Critical Steps Before Disposing of an Old Computer.”

Here’s the rundown:

Back up your data. Even if you choose not to make a complete backup of the entire drive, though, you’ll want to be sure to keep a copy of your personal files (on Windows Vista and Windows 7, that’s everything in the User folder).

Serial numbers and registration keys. To reinstall your programs on the new computer, you’ll need all your various software keys. Hopefully you saved that information with the original discs, but it’s also possible to use a utility to recover that from your old hard drive.

Securely wipe your old drive. Before you recycle, give away, or donate your old PC, make sure your personal and business data is completely erased. There are ways to do this, but personally, I always remove the hard drive and give the PC away without it. I later physically destroy the drive.

Keep anything that’s useful. Pull out the monitor, memory… anything you think you might be able to use on a different PC.

My source: BNET’S “Do These 4 Critical Steps Before Disposing of an Old Computer
Their source: MakeUseOf

Things Today’s Kids Will Never Experience

“Each August since 1998, Beloit College has released the Beloit College Mindset List. It provides a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college this fall.” And I’ve seen this list everywhere in the last week or so.

As I watch my niece and nephews, I take stock of the things that were real for me that just don’t apply to them. The ones in these lists are just a few.

Time Magazine listed the “Top 10 Things Today’s Kids Will Never Experience” in a recent article:

From the MomHouston blog post about the same list (which is pretty impressive):

  1. Few in the class know how to write in cursive.
  2. E-mail is just too slow, and they seldom if ever use snail mail.
  3. “Caramel macchiato” and “venti half-caf vanilla latte” have always been street corner lingo.
  4. With increasing numbers of ramps, Braille signs, and handicapped parking spaces, the world has always been trying harder to accommodate people with disabilities.
  5. A quarter of the class has at least one immigrant parent, and the immigration debate is not a big priority…unless it involves “real” aliens from another planet.
  6. John McEnroe has never played professional tennis.
  7. Doctor Kevorkian has never been licensed to practice medicine.
  8. Fergie is a pop singer, not a princess.
  9. They never twisted the coiled handset wire aimlessly around their wrists while chatting on the phone.
  10. DNA fingerprinting and maps of the human genome have always existed.
  11. Cross-burning has always been deemed protected speech.
  12. Leasing has always allowed the folks to upgrade their tastes in cars.
  13. Unless they found one in their grandparents’ closet, they have never seen a carousel of Kodachrome slides.
  14. Computers have never lacked a CD-ROM disk drive.
  15. They’ve never recognized that pointing to their wrists was a request for the time of day.
  16. “Viewer Discretion” has always been an available warning on TV shows.
  17. Czechoslovakia has never existed.
  18. Second-hand smoke has always been an official carcinogen.
  19. Once they got through security, going to the airport has always resembled going to the mall.
  20. Pizza jockeys from Domino’s have never killed themselves to get your pizza there in under 30 minutes.
  21. Nirvana is on the classic oldies station.
  22. Toothpaste tubes have always stood up on their caps.
  23. There have always been women priests in the Anglican Church.
  24. They may have assumed that parents’ complaints about Black Monday had to do with punk rockers from L.A., not Wall Street.
  25. Beethoven has always been a dog.
  26. Having hundreds of cable channels but nothing to watch has always been routine.

Of course, if you want the full list, go to the Beloit College site.

Nine Houston companies make Inc. 500 list, reports HBJ

The 29th annual Inc. 500 list was recently released, with nine Houston-based companies making the list. Congratulations!

From the Houston Business Journal story, here are the Houston-area winners:

Read the entire list at Inc.

Must-Have WordPress Plugins

WordPressWant to add some functionality to your WordPress blog? or just want to spruce it up? Matthew Wettergreen presented a workshop on the “must have” plugins at the recent Houston WordCamp. Here’s his list of WordPress plugins:

Below is a list of three types of plugins and specific examples we’ll be covering. This is by no means an exhaustive or complete list and any suggestions are welcome and encouraged:

Definitely a place to start. I know I will be looking into a few of these as a place to start.