One has to be enterprising for entertainment in Virginia Beach, Va., where I visted Mama Bonk in mid-December for the Mass of our Lord Jesus Christ. Sometimes, when you’re a divorce family, you have to improvise on holidays and pretend that it’s The Day at mid-month. So one of our sightseeing stops took us to a place I’d not heard of before called “Ollies Bargain Outlet.” It is exactly what it sounds like, Big Lots on steroids. But it is there that I found a book that everyone must own.
I have surfed at Lifehacker, but not intensely enough. The book I found, Lifehacker: 88 Tech Tricks to Turbocharge Your Day is based on the site, and having these tips in print in front of you nose instead of up on the backlit screen is utterly useful; it allows you to mark the very useful tips and to go back to study them over and over again before implementation. There are tips on cleaning up your compyooter, on using shortcuts, on working from the command line, on directory structure; and most of these hacks can be useful to someone without a whole lot of compyooter savvy. Mama Bonk is reasonably savvy but does not do this sort of thing for a living, as does her son; but she flipped through the book and returned to Ollies the next day to purchase a copy. After all, at $6.99 in the cutting bin, it is, indeed, a bargain.
Hell, it’s actually worth at least a few hundred to me already. I believe it has helped me to fix a vexing problem with my elderly beige box. For a long time, I have had trouble with Windows Explorer freezing up on me; just freezing me out if I left it open for a time. I’ve known for some time that I was pushing it on disk space (this drive only has 40G; I have an external that extends that nicely, but 40G seemed like a lot in 2001 but can be carried around in your pocket these days), but I had no reasonable way to efficiently clean that up. Enter Hack 86: Free up Hard Drive Space on page 270. It suggest a program called “WinDirStat,” which offers an instantly understandable analysis of a hard drive and shows you specifically what folders in your tree are the real drive space hogs. Thanks to this program, I have been able to free up 21 percent of my hard drive so far (by deleting about six files that were huge), and, as a result, my Windows Explorer seems to have stopped freezing (knock wood).
Ollies. Good stuff cheap.
“Barnaby, Hardly Working,” Yo La Tengo, Fakebook
“Jackass,” The Vandals, Look At What I Almost Stepped In
“Tetris,” Califfo De Luxe, Un anno in un giorno
“America Loves The Little Children (And So Does God),” The 241ers, Murderers
“I Found Sunshine,” Pama International, Float Like A Butterfly
“Public Access Girls,” Truly, Love and Rebellion
“Toka Toka,” Black Dice, Load Blown
“Punch Me Harder,” Superchunk, No Pocky For Kitty
“Magic Spells,” Crystal Castles, Crystal Castles
“Black River Song,” Angels of Light, We Are Him
“Republic Of Rough And Ready,” Hella, Hold Your Horse Is
“Rotten Banana Legs,” Skankin’ Pickle, Sing Along With Skankin’ Pickle