To Customize or Not to Customize

computer-configurationI’m finicky. Often-times I experience various degrees of inability to fully concentrate, unless everything around me is just so.

All items in my immediate vicinity (desk/workstation) must be within their assigned locations — or out of sight completely — so that they do not act as distractions. I try very hard not to look at — or think about — the nearby work spaces that are out of my control (out of control?).

Similarly, I have very decided opinions about what I do and do not want on my computer’s desktop, how I organize my files, how my programs are configured, and just about every aspect of customization that ever takes place on my computer.

That is not to say I don’t ever change, because quite often I discover new methods that make my job(s) easier.

That is to say that I end up spending an accumulated total of several hours (yes, hours!) customizing a new computer by the time all is said and done.

Now, that might not sound too bad to some of you with similar habits, but when my newly installed operating system corrupts, locks me out after only 8 days of use, and I have to re-install, my first thought is not about the data that I’m losing (because that’s backed up 3 other places). Instead, my first thought is about the hours of customization that I just finished, and now have to start all over again.

You may ask: Are all those customizations worth the time spent on them? That is a question I considered this week while customizing my new computer for the second time in 8 days. My answer was an immediate “Yes!”, but I thought on it for awhile, just to be completely fair, and still ended up with the same answer.

Assuming you do not type in the fatal Linux command that wipes out your hard drive (no, I’ve never done it, but I know someone who’s done it more than once!), and assuming Windows does not randomly decide to lock you out, or get too bogged down to function properly, a computer should run for years on end without fail.

If you consider that you spend a few hours on the initial configurations, and then only make minor adjustments as needed in the years that follow… and then consider that those configurations allow you to do your job several times more efficiently… that time that you spent will end up being very worthwhile.

Now, as to what those initial configurations actually are… that’s really a matter of personal preference.

I will be sharing a number of my preferred customizations/configurations for both Windows and Linux operating systems and programs. They might not be effective for everybody, but for me, even the smallest changes have been known to increase productivity, and reduce frustration with the inanimate object fondly known as my computer.

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