Rules for Computing Happiness


  • Use at least two partitions (or hard drives)
  • Keep the operating system, and programs on the main partition
  • Store documents, media, and everything else that should survive an O/S reinstall on a separate partition
  • Automate a backup process for the O/S partition. Ideally this should be on another physical drive, but for software-only crashes it’s still sufficient to store on a separate partition of the same disk.
  • Automate a backup procedure for the documents folder, and any other important media
  • Backup the documents folder to multiple locations (2nd hard drive, dedicated thumb drive, ftp site, dropbox)
  • Backups can never be too redundant
  • Keep the operating system as lean and efficient as possible
  • Use portable versions of software as much as possible. Keep them in an “Apps” directory in the dropbox folder.
  • Use a password manager, and use a unique and difficult password for all sites


  • Buy the best monitor, keyboard, mouse, desk, and chair you can afford.
  • Buy the best processor you can afford
  • Purchase everything else with bang-for-the-buck in mind. Then upgrade over time, as needed.
  • Don’t spend more on a graphics card than the cost of a modern video game console
  • Use an external hard drive for backups and media storage
  • Use a battery backup
  • Stability and reliability are

File Formats:

  • Use Rich Text Format (.rtf) for word documents
  • DRM Free MP3, AVI
  • 7z
  • PDF
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