CTRL, ALT, DELETE YOUR CLUTTER TIPS FOR NATIONAL CLEAN UP YOUR COMPUTER MONTH
For thousands of years, humans have dedicated part of their year to starting anew — though not always on Jan. 1. As early as 4,000 years ago, ancient Babylonians celebrated the new year following the vernal equinox in late March. It was a day of great religious and political significance for the Babylonians when they celebrated the mythical victory of their god Marduk over an evil sea goddess named Tiamat. It was also around this time that they crowned a new king or confirmed the current king’s divine right to rule. New Year’s celebrations didn’t happen on Jan. 1 until 46 BC in the Roman Empire. After Julius Caesar instituted the Julian Calendar to replace a calendar based on lunar cycles, he decreed that Jan. 1 would be the first day of a new year. This was because January was named after Janus, the Roman god of new beginnings. Romans typically celebrated this day with gift exchanges, parties, and decorating their homes with laurel branches. Celebrating the new year fell out of practice in medieval Europe. Christian leaders at the time temporarily called for new year celebrations to coincide with holidays that held more religious significance, such as Dec. 25 or March 25 (the Feast of the NEW YEAR’S CELEBRATIONS THROUGHOUT THE AGES From Ancient Babylon to the Rest of the World Everyone relies on technology. Computers, laptops, tablets, and phones are staples of modern life. However, it’s easy for these devices to become cluttered with old photos, files, and general disorganization. Luckily, January is National Clean Up Your Computer Month and an excellent time to get your technology in order. START BY DUSTING Over time, computer towers can become clogged with dust, which creates additional, unwanted heat within your computer. Regular cleanings will increase the lifespan of your computer and protect its essential components. Compressed air is great for removing most of the dust and other particulates. If the fans or filters are too dirty, you can remove them from the tower to clean them better. If you use water or liquid cleaning products on them, be sure they are completely dry before placing them back into your computer. ORGANIZE YOUR FILES Naming and arranging the files on your computer in such a way that they’re easy for you to find can end up saving you a lot of time.
Declutter your workspace by creating one file for pictures, one for Word documents, one for spreadsheets, and one for programs to eliminate the hassle of frantically searching for the files you need. BACK UP YOUR COMPUTER Be sure to back up your computer before you start deleting things. This acts as a safety net in case you delete something you didn’t mean to. Additionally, consider installing a second hard drive. The extra space can help with storing important files without having to worry about how much room is left. CLEAN UP SPACE Any files you’ll never use again should be deleted. Likewise, any programs you haven’t used in a while should be uninstalled. Check your hard drive for files that might be taking up unintended space on your computer. And remember to empty the recycling bin — it’s easy to forget just how much goes in there.
Annunciation). Then, in 1582, Pope Gregory XIII reestablished Jan. 1 as the first day of the new year as a part of creating the Gregorian Calendar, which corrected some minor inaccuracies in the Julian Calendar. Today, many countries have different traditions for celebrating the new year. Because pigs symbolize progress and prosperity in many parts of
the world, eating pork is a big part of New Year’s celebrations for some. Others eat ring-shaped pastries
to symbolize how the year has come full circle. Fireworks and parties are a nearly ubiquitous part of any New Year’s celebration. However it’s celebrated, though, New Year’s Eve continues to give people everywhere an opportunity to start fresh and breathe a little easier.
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