Which Way Does Your Paper Curl?

Do you know that just like us, paper has a good side, and a not-so-good side? And the good side is better for printing. Paper grain affects printing too, but we'll save that excitement for another day. (Yes, I grew up in a paper mill town, thanks for asking.)

How do you figure out which is the good side?

If your paper is still in its package, look at the label on the end. There should be a small arrow that points to the good side. There might even be a label near the arrow that says, "Print this side" or something similar.
If there's no label left on the package, or no arrow, you can check the curl of the paper. Hold a small stack of paper by the narrow edge, and either the sides or bottom edge should curl in a bit. That's the curl side, and you should print on the other side.

In your printer, look for the symbols that show which side the paper will be printed on.

  • Load the paper so it prints on the good side.
  • If you're printing on both sides, print on the good side first.

For even more fascinating paper facts you can read this Xerox publication (pdf), Helpful Facts About Paper.

How Bright Are You?

Like you, I spend long hours at the computer, including many late nights. Almost all the applications that I use have a white background, and staring at the bright screen all day can be pretty hard on my eyes.
I've tried changing the Windows display settings, to choose a different background colour, but haven't found anything satisfactory. Light greys and blues are easier on my eyes, but don't provide enough contrast, so I strain to read what's on the screen.
Today I discovered that I might have the brightness level too high on my monitors. My setting was about 80, but the calibration information at the Photographer USA and Display Calibration sites suggest a lower setting. I've lowered my brightness settings to about 55, and things seem better already.

How bright is your monitor? Can you lower the setting to save your eyes?

Bring Your Laptop to Work

Last month, Dick Kusleika, at Daily Dose of Excel, said, "Get the same laptop at work that you have at home. I liked my D810 so much that when I started a new job I got a virtually identical machine. Now that my personal D810 is at Dell getting fixed, I can use my work laptop by just swapping hard drives."
They're using a similar idea at Citrix, where employees can buy their own laptop and maintenance plan, then use it at work, as well as home. The company provides $2100 for the purchase, but if employees leave within three years they'll have to repay some of the money. Maintenance will be the employee's responsibility.

What's the advantage?

Why would you want to buy your own computer and use it at work?
I guess it's a nice perk if you can't afford your own computer at home, since you'd own this one after three years. Maybe the policies on what you can install are less strict than usual IT policies, so you can have games or other personal favourites on the machine.
What happens when it's broken though? Do you use a sick day to take it to the repair shop?
Given the option, I'd leave the laptop in the company's hands, assuming I could take it home when necessary. Life's complicated enough, without having to be my own IT department.

Keyboard Storage Space

If you waste time searching for pens, paper clips and other small office items, a keyboard with storage space might save you time.

These are available for purchase on-line, from the Keyboardorganizer.com web site. They come in plain white or black, with stock artwork, or your own custom design.