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Love Hack: How to Show Your Gadgets Some Valentine’s Day Love

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Love Hack: How to Show Your Gadgets Some Valentine’s Day Love

    You know, just because our laptops, desktops, tablets, and phones are inanimate objects, doesn’t mean we can’t show them some love this Valentine’s Day. Rather than do too much for your human beloved, spend some quality time with the gadgets that you hold dear.

    Maintenance

    Devices now-a-days are pretty darn robust. Even ones that use Windows (holds for laughter). Regardless, you can show your devices and OS’s some love by doing some maintenance to them.

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    For desktops/laptops check to see if the items that are running at startup are needed as too many of them could potentially slow you down.

    • For Windows click Start > type msconfig and hit enter > click on the Startup tab > uncheck stuff you don’t want and restart.
    • For Mac click on System Preferences > click Users and Groups > under your user profile click Login Items > adjust them there.

    You can also defragment your hard drive with tools like Defraggler (the same company that makes the awesome cleanup app CCleaner) for Windows and iDefrag for Mac. You don’t really need to defragment a Mac as Apple has created routines in the background of OS X to take care of this, but every so often won’t hurt.

    Phones and tablets don’t require as much maintenance, but it can’t hurt to offload some pictures and videos, remove unneeded and unwanted apps, restart your OS every few days, and even give a good cleaning to those nasty touch screens.

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    Treat yourself – I mean, your gadgets – to some new apps

    After you have deleted some of those apps from you device, how about get some more that you really like? I mean, you love your device enough don’t you? We talk a lot about tools around here and there are some great ones for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and others. Here are some of the best that work on almost all platforms:

    Organize and tidy up

    There is nothing worse than a device that is lacking organization of files and programs. Of course, there are a host of new ways to not have to worry about organizing your devices files because of smarter and faster search utilities (like LaunchBar for Mac or SkyLight for Windows), but it’s always good to have some method to your madness.

    One good role of thumb is to have a folder in your ‘Documents’ folder for each Area of Focus in your life. One for personal, professional, side projects and businesses, your blog, etc. Inside of these folders you can take the focus even deeper, like finances, receipts (for bills and such), articles, TPS reports, etc.

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    Also, try to treat your desktop like a real desktop. Keep things that you are actively working on or need reminded of on your desktop and use efficient folder hierarchies and search for everything else.

    When it comes to your tablet and phone types of devices you are somewhat limited to the organization of files and placement of things on the desktop (that is of course if you are not on Android). Try to organize your apps in a natural way that you use them, like all of the important ones “docked” to the bottom of the screen (Android and iOS both support this). Then you could even organize your apps in folders like Entertainment, Games, Productivity, Photography, etc. Just remember to try to give everything its own place.

    Accessorize

    I’m a bit of a “all natural” kind of guy, not having too much excess added to my devices like cases and contraptions. But, there are some great additions that can be added to your beloved like new bluetooth keyboards, a pair of quality headphones (I can’t recommend Sennheiser HD 280 Pros or Klipsch Image S4 enough), or even a nice new bag for your laptop and gear.

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    A cheap way to show your devices some love is to purchase chargers for home, the car, and, your bag, and the office so you don’t get close to running out of juice throughout the day.

    Conclusion

    It isn’t hard to show your lovely gadgets true love this Valentine’s Day. But, keep in mind; you should follow our other Love Hacks before treating your gadget better than your significant others.

    (Photo credit: Smartphone and love hearts via Shutterstock)

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    More by this author

    CM Smith

    A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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    Last Updated on November 25, 2021

    How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

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    How to Make Private Browsing on Safari Truly Private

    There comes a time when we may be searching online and don’t want the browser to remember our footsteps. The reasons don’t always have to be what we obviously think of as the main reason; for example, sometimes, you may not want Safari to remember your passwords or prompt you to enter your password when surfing the web.

    Whatever the reason, we may think that we are totally in the clear with Private Browsing on Safari and the other browsers on a Mac. However, a quick Terminal command can bring up every website you’ve visited. How do you do this? Also, how do you clear your tracks for good? We will provide both answers and more today.

      What Does Private Browsing Do?

      When activated, Private Browsing on Safari prevents your browsing history from being kept in the history tab of the application. Along with this, it doesn’t autofill information that you have saved in the browser. In this mode, you essentially become incognito and any references of previous use is essentially hidden when you are in private mode.

      For example: if you are on Facebook or filling out a form and some information or your login is already filled in in the spaces provided, this is called autofill. It’s activated by simply clicking Safari next to the Apple symbol in the menubar and selecting Private Browsing, then clicking “OK” to the prompt.

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      The reasons behind private mode differ for each individual. While we won’t go into all of those reasons, one thing that is  important to remember is that private browsing doesn’t forget the websites you visit. As we will see later on, Macs keep a second copy of the websites you visit in either mode. If you are in frantic mode looking for a solution to this, look no further.

      The Terminal Archive

      While Safari does a good job of keeping your search history out of prying eyes in the history tab, there is a less-than-obvious way to view a full list of visited websites on Mac. This is done in Terminal; the command-line emulator that allows you to make changes to your Mac.

      Terminal is located in the Utilities folder on your Mac. Once activated, simply add the command:

      dscacheutil -cachedump -entries Host

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      Once you hit “enter”, a list of the visited sites appear. Showing only the domains, the sites appear in a format of:

      Key: h_name :(website domain)ipv4 :1

      However, there’s no need to fear—there is a way you can clear this information from Terminal with a command that’s just as simple.

      Clearing Your Tracks

      Just as simply as you were able to enter the command to view the websites, you can clear the cache that Terminal showed you with the comamnd:

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      dscacheutil -flushcache

      As the command denotes, this literally “flushes” the domains from Terminal. This does not prevent the record from continuing to be recorded for future sites, however, so if that’s an issue for you, repeat this process regularly.

      Other Browsers and Private Browsing

      Other browsers have this form of privacy mode for their service. They promise many of the same things as Safari, but they do not have the same Terminal issue due to how this command only presents websites visited on Safari (the browser Macs come shipped with).

      If you use Firefox, you’ll notice that its private mode is also known as Private Browsing. Chrome calls private mode Incognito, while Internet Explorer refers to it as InPrivate Browsing. Opera is the newest to the scene, denoting it as Private Tab. Safari is the oldest well-known browser with this feature.

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      As you can see, despite Private Browsing not being 100% private, Terminal allows for your browser to be. In what ways has Terminal helped your life or allowed you to become more productive? Let us know in the comments below.

      Featured photo credit: Benjamin Dada via unsplash.com

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