Start off the School Year Right with These Tech Tips


Janani Ravikumar
Staff Writer

The new school year has begun, and with new classes and work comes the stress we’ve all become so familiar with. It can be hard to get your footing within the first couple of weeks, and something as small as forgetting to charge your computer can set you back. On days like this, little “life hacks” can be incredibly useful. Here are three easy-to-implement suggestions to help you get through those stressful days.

1) Do you find yourself having to leave your laptop with the charger perpetually plugged in? Does your laptop run out of battery way too quickly? When your charger isn’t plugged in, turn your brightness down to the lowest it can possibly go (where you can still see what’s on the screen, of course). The power drain should slow down significantly. To save even more battery, turn off the backlight on your keyboard – I know it looks cool, but you’re not going to be typing in the dark for the most part, so you don’t need it. Additionally, emergency chargers can be made pretty easily on the fly, if you can get your hands on a USB charging cable, a car charger adapter, and a 9-volt battery. Place the end of the car adapter on one node of the battery and use a coin to bridge the gap to the other. Voilà.

2) Do your cards no longer swipe because too many scratches have marred the mag line? has a simple solution. Oftentimes, cashiers wrap plastic bags over cards and then swipe them, which usually works. In a similar vein, paint over the mag line with clear nail polish. Your borderline unusable card will now work like a brand new card – even in an ATM.

3) There is an art to napping, according to the Wall Street Journal. Sara Mednick, an assistant psychology professor at University of California Riverside, says that the most useful naps depend on what each individual napper needs. If you find it impossible to focus sometime in the middle of the day and all you want is to get a few minutes of shut-eye, then a 10 to 20 minute power nap should do it for you. But if you want a little extra push in remembering and memorizing things, your nap should be about an hour long. Avoid naps that are longer than 90 minutes, since you might as well just call it a day and go to bed early.

Have a safe, stress-free school year!