I spent some time at the Diwali weekend trying to fix a few things in my digital life. While I did manage to some things, there were also some mix-ups that gave me valuable lessons. So here is my festive gift to you, in the form of a few tips that might help you lead better lives, so that you won’t make the mistakes I did.
1. Keep the accessories safe: I misplaced the USB jack for an MP3 player and needed to charge it as well as load some more music from the computer. Given the tiny wires that help us handle so many things, it is important for us to keep them where they are handy, safe and easily identifiable.
2. Invest in a toolkit: Though I lost my USB jack, the problem was resolved because someone had gifted me a toolkit that has a set of pins, USB wires and plugs of various types. I managed to fix two of them that were compatible with my MP3 player. If you are not lucky, I would suggest you buy a toolkit that is handy. This is very useful, given the confusing range of plugs and pins that go with various devices these days.
3. Study the accessories: The good news is that I charged my MP3 player, but the bad news is that the same USB jack did not work when I tried to load more music from the computer. I am still figuring that out. It is desirable to familiarise yourself with different pins and jacks.
4. Save the manuals, study them carefully: After fixing my USB, I spent time synchronising my handphone (Nokia E71) with my laptop. I don’t know what happened but I could reload some contact details that had disappeared mysteriously off my phone memory but in the process, I lost some of the recent ones I had added. I suspect I did something in a wrong sequence. I should have studied the details carefully. Intuitive software navigation has its pitfalls.
5. Understand file formats better: File formats are a pain when you use one device based on one platform with a device based on another. You can get Microsoft docx files these days that may not be compatible with your old MS Office software. Similarly, using open-source software or using smartphones that use different platforms (such as Windows, Symbian or Bada) means a shift from the days when most computers used either Windows or Mac platforms. File formats and applications have huge compatibility issues.