Monday, October 08, 2007

Efficiency and Happiness

The advent of hi-tech computers has hijacked our modern world and as much as they have improved our society in some ways, they have created many problems and a lot of time wasted everyday in other ways. However, there is hope for personal computers. You can configure your computer with "shortcut keys" to initiate many repetitve computer tasks/actions. For example, you can setup a google deskbar ( which allow you to type in keywords and automatically open the relevant program or website. For example, lets say you often use to search for information. Instead of using your mouse and clicking on Internet Explorer and then typing in and then typing in your search string, you can simply activate the google deskbar, type in your search string and press the relevant customized key and the wikipedia article will show up right away!

Ok perhaps you're not convinced. But lets do a little math to figure out how much time you could save over a human lifetime using this system. The mouse-and-click non-efficient method to look up something in wikipedia will take you approximately 6-7 seconds to complete (1 second to click on IE, 1-2 second for homepage to load, 1-2 seconds to type in, and 1 second to type in your search string). The efficient method will take you approximately 2 seconds (1 second to activate the google deskbar, 1 second to type in your search string). Lets say you search something in Wikipedia about 5 times per day. If your adult life is about 50 years, that would mean that you could save about 125 hours using the more efficient method. And this is just for the Wikipedia task. If you consider that you can streamline many other computer actions similar to this one, you could be saving months and months worth of time!!! Who in their right mind would want to spend months of their lives sitting at their computer fumbling with the mouse and typing in the same text strings (e.g., or over and over???? Efficiency can allow for more happiness. Think about it!

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