Use Dropbox to Turn Microsoft’s Autorecover Feature into an Autosave Feature to Avoid Losing Work

old computer lab by flickr user Wesley FryerWay back in the 90s when I was an undergraduate, I worked as a lab assistant in a campus computer lab. Primarily my work there consisted of scanning lab users’ 3.5-inch floppy disks for viruses, assisting with file conversions between Mac and PC file types, showing users how to map their computer to the campus servers to retrieve their fancy new electronic mail, and a whole host of other, now entirely obsolete, tasks.

Unfortunately for all of us, one unpleasant duty of the lab assistant remains a part of all our lives today, dealing with lost work. Short of having to tell local vagrants that if they weren’t students they could not sleep in the 24-hour computer lab, consoling those who’d lost work due to viruses, file corruptions, computer shutdowns, or save errors was definitely the most difficult part of that job.

And somehow, despite all our technological advances over the last decade-and-a-half, we are still losing work. A colleague told me just the other day that he’d lost six hours of work in Powerpoint. His tale of woe prompted me to look into the advice I might give here at DiYiT beyond the old computer lab assistant standby of “save early and save often.”

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Save Your Eyes and Maybe Even Sleep Better with f.lux

f.lux is a simple program that alters the color temperature your computer’s monitor according to the time of day. During the day, your screen keeps the typical bright white look that you are used to. Once the sun sets, however, f.lux lowers the color temperature so that warmer reddish tones replace some of the bright whites and blues. The application’s developers suggest that this change may help you sleep by toning down the color temperatures you are exposed to before bed. Upon setup you simply let f.lux know your zip code so that it knows when the sun rises and sets in your area. You also let it know the type of lights you use in your room at night so that it can match the ambient color temperature of the room. I have it set so that the color change happens gradually over the course of an hour and I hardly ever notice it happening. If you prefer an abrupt change, you can set the software to make an instant switch.

f.lux settings

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