Installing Ubuntu 20.04 LTS on an old Asus X551CA laptop from 2013

Welcome to Ubuntu screen

One of the items that I inherited after Mum died was her old laptop, an Asus X551CA that I bought her for Christmas 2013. This month I replaced the battery, upgraded the hard drive and installed Linux.

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Helping my sleep pattern with F.lux

It’s now late October, the clocks have gone back an hour to GMT. In Scotland the nights are fair drawin’ in—it is getting dark earlier. All the more important then to make sure I look after my sleep hygiene.

For the last 14 years I have been working mostly sitting in front of a PC. I’m also a bit of a geek so I find myself sitting in front of a PC even when I’m not being paid to do so.

For years I found it hard to get to sleep at night. It turns out that staring at computer monitor for hours is not great for your sleep. The blue light emitted by a screen affects our attention, reaction times and mood (Source) and, crucially, our sleep.

In 2009, I discovered an application called F.lux that detects where you are in the world and automatically adjusts the screen colour temperature to gradually remove the blue as the sun is setting.

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Inclusivity settings in Microsoft Word

Screenshot of Inclusiveness settings in Word
Inclusiveness settings in Word for Microsoft 365

Here’s an interesting little something that I learned on Twitter a few weeks ago: within the grammar checker settings in Microsoft Word (both native Windows application and online version) there is a section on inclusiveness that checks your writing for

  • Ethnic slurs
  • Gender bias
  • Gender-specific language

The Windows application also checks for

  • Age bias
  • Cultural bias
  • Racial bias
  • Sexual orientation bias

Why are these not switched on by default? Here’s how to switch these on.

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PowerToys for Windows 10

Back when I was using Windows 98 and then XP, I installed Microsoft PowerToys—utilities that added new features to maximise power users’ productivity or add more customization.

The good news is that PowerToys for Windows 10 is now available and it offers some great little utilities:

  1. FancyZones
  2. File Explorer preview
  3. Image resizer
  4. Keyboard manager
  5. PowerRename
  6. PowerToys Run
  7. Shortcut guide
Continue reading PowerToys for Windows 10