Monthly Archives: October 2013

How to make your PC More effective – Part 3.

Brent Roberts

File structures affect PC operation

Poorly organised file structures have a negative impact on efficient PC operation.

The complete file structure configuration should be defined during the planning stage. Adding a prefix to a file name can be used to help group files together. This information should be included in the documentation as well.

Because the name of the folder, containing the file, becomes part of the file name, planning of how the whole file structure is organised, is needed.


The file contains information related to monthly account receivables for January.

The top folder would be ACTS

The next folder would be REC

the next folder would be MTH

The file name would be Jan.txt

When viewed on the system, the file would appear as C:\ACTS\REC\MTH\Jan.txt

This creates a meaningful file name, clearly defining the contents of the file without being overly long.

If the Accounting department deals with more than one type of Accounts receivable then an extended tag could be used.



Some utility programs will not process file names with blanks in them. When creating files use an underscore ‘_’ character in place of the blank to overcome this problem. As a general rule, file structure should not involve more than four levels of folders. Exceeding this limit causes the file name to become too long, making it hard to work with. Names of the file folders and the file itself should be kept as short as possible without compromising identification of data in the file. Creating a list of predefined abbreviations to identify the contents of the file is worth considering.

Web sites containing additional information about file structures.



Tuesday 22 October – MAIN Meeting – 5:30pm for 5:45pm – 8:30pm

Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Windows 8.1 has launched at last, with October 2013 a busy month in the world of tech. A new iPad and iPad Mini is expected to launch in the early morning hours after the night of our main meeting, with October also seeing the local Australian introduction of the Leap Motion touch-free controller.

So, upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 8.1 (and seeing how to upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1) will be our tutorial this month, alongside a demonstration of some of the new features within Windows 8.1 including the return of the “Start button” and the reworking of the Start screen to make it far more personal, while giving quick access to all your apps as needed – alongside installing a traditional Start Menu replacement if desired and using both Start environments seamlessly and easily.

Our main presentation will be a demonstration of the new touch-free Leap Motion controller that works with any PC or Mac with a Core i3 or better processor, and how it all works to control what’s on-screen in a touch-screen manner. We’ll go from installation to the demonstration of a wide range of apps, both free and paid, that you can download from the Leap Motion app store, and explore how well or otherwise Leap Motion works as a brand new version 1.0 product.

There will also be a demonstration of the brand new iPad Mirrorcase, which I have purchased from a KickStarter campaign, and which lets me record videos of any event and take photos without holding up a giant iPad screen in front of my face to do so. It’s a quick but compelling demo for a device that, if you’re an iPad owner, you might want to buy for yourself!

I had hoped Microsoft would be available to demonstrate Windows 8.1 this month, but they are now coming to our January 2014 meeting, with Dell now likely to be our guests for the November 2013 main meeting, and will be set to demo their latest Windows 8.1 computers and tablets.

As there are no official presenters this month there are no official prizes of Windows 8.1 or a Leap Motion device, sadly. My stock of spare stuff is pretty depleted; I will have a look through what I have to see what I donate as prizes. I’m sure I’ll find something and will see if I can get some copies of Internet Security software or anything to have some raffle prizes on the night.

We’ll also have our usual segments, of general business, interesting news, consumer reports, sites worth visiting and software worth checking out, Q&A, the door prize and more, so see you at the Tuesday 22 October SPCUG Main Meeting!

Cheers, Alex

How to make your PC More effective – Part 2.

Tips non Computer Geeks can use to increase PC output.


No special PC skills are needed to implement some procedures that make a PC more productive.

The PC Desktop mirrors your physical desktop in some ways. If too many items are piled up on the desktop, time will be lost searching for the item needed. Time wasted searching for items needed can be frustrating as well.

Configuring the desktop to user needs can save a lot of time. The main PC Desktop screen should only have 3 columns of icons on it. Most of these should be folders that contain items related to a particular system such as Accounting, Warehousing, Sales or some other system. This way the desktop only displays procedures related to the task being processed. This saves time by reducing the number of items the operator has to search through. This also reduces stress on the operator.

Create extra desktop sub-screens, using file folder icons. Assign a name to each sub-screen related to the content contained on that sub-screen. Accounting related files could be grouped on a sub-screen called “ACT”. The “WH” sub-screen could contain programs and data files related to warehousing processes. Manufacturing material would be grouped in the “MAN” sub-screen.