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Thread: Computer tips you use for mTurk

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    Moderator Project 2501's Avatar
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    Computer tips you use for mTurk

    I use a free PDF printing program called CutePDF Writer to save copies of a hit. I use it for hits that I want to review later or requesters that I am unsure about.


    What Mturk computer tips can you share with us?
    Last edited by Project 2501; 01-01-2012 at 02:41 PM.
    Welcome to the Mturk Machine !!

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    Dual monitors if you are not sitting on the couch. My work production improved by 50%. I do believe that all computers(excluding Ipads, etc....) have an outlet that allows users to run dual monitor capability. It saves so much time from having to toggle back and forth between Word and the site you are researching for writing. My extra monitor is nearly 2 years old and it is an Acer that cost $79.99. It has certainly paid for itself and then some. Although Acer is a lower tier brand, the monitor works perfectly (knock on wood).

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    Member wbr's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    If you do writing HITs do them outside the browser then paste them in. This is probably obvious, but even a free Word Processor is better than a text box in a browser. Libre Office Writer works great for me. If you have multiple monitors, figure out an application layout that works for you and stick with it. Word processor front and center with research off to the right is what I prefer. Also, do yourself a favor and use FireFox or Chrome, not Internet Explorer.

    ---------- Post added at 10:19 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:09 PM ----------

    Make sure your computer is secure. If you cant afford a commercial anti-virus, there are several free ones.


    It is not a good idea to run two Anti-virus applications at once though, so once you install a new one, ditch any old ones you had installed.

    In addition, make sure your Window firewall is on or install a third-party firewall like Zone-Alarm (also available free)
    Get an anti-malware package like malwarebytes.
    Also, I use a program called Secunia PSI that makes sure all my software is patched and up to date.

    Practice Safe Computing and prevent the spread of disease!

    BTW Project 2501, thanks for the thanks, but this post was your idea. I just did the legwork.
    Last edited by wbr; 01-02-2012 at 12:52 AM. Reason: dumb typos--again
    Laws of physics and mathematics are like a coordinate system that runs in only one dimension. Perhaps there is another dimension perpendicular to it, invisible to those laws of physics, describing the same things with different rules, and those rules are written in our hearts, in a deep place where we cannot go and read them except in our dreams.
    --Neal Stephenson The Diamond Age

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    Quote Originally Posted by wbr View Post
    If you do writing HITs do them outside the browser then paste them in. This is probably obvious, but even a free Word Processor is better than a text box in a browser. Libre Office Writer works great for me. If you have multiple monitors, figure out an application layout that works for you and stick with it. Word processor front and center with research off to the right is what I prefer. Also, do yourself a favor and use FireFox or Chrome, not Internet Explorer.

    ---------- Post added at 10:19 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:09 PM ----------

    Make sure your computer is secure. If you cant afford a commercial anti-virus, there are several free ones.


    It is not a good idea to run to Anti-virus applications at once though, so once you install a new one, ditch any old ones you had installed.

    In addition, make sure your Window firewall is on or install a third-party firewall like Zone-Alarm (also available free)
    Get an anti-malware package like malwarebytes.
    Also, I use a program called Secunia PSI that makes sure all my software is patched and up to date.

    Practice Safe Computing and prevent the spread of disease!
    Super-Anti Spyware is a powerful application that is free as well. They will ask if you can make a small dontation but do not require any payment. I am not a big fan of Microsoft Security Essentials, when I was running this program it missed some Trojans that infected my computer due to the Google redirect virus. Unfortunately, my hard drive was wiped out and I had to buy an entirely new system. Security Essentials missed the virus so I am hesitant to recommend the install.

    Run the Windows firewall as mentioned above along with Super-Anti Spyware and your system should be just fine. Dont run anything else, and try and remove everything else that is preloaded into the system. Remember though, it is a pain in the ass to get rid of the preloaded version of Norton.

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    WBR: Aha, Secunia's done a lot since I looked at it a couple of years back. They were marginally workable then but still dodgy (it was too often arguable whether a program was current or not). Just pulled it down to see what they'd done and it looks good now. Looks like it found all the stuff I use and need to be current ...
    Thanks for the reminder about them.
    I go commercial with ESET for n anti-virus, but do recommend AVG for those who want to go the free route. They, too, have come a long way since their early days (( and yes, I've been around awhile, Methuselah and I were the best of friends! ))
    Never did care for MSE (though that may be nothing than their first name) and Avira is also good - you make good recommendations there, friend!
    //al

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    I listed MSE first as it is typically easiest for a non techie, although the others are not difficult by far. I like AVG as I have used various version over the years and never been disappointed, plus their advanced settings lets me tinker under the hood a bit more than most other AV apps, since I am currently running on a CPU constrained machine, that is important to me.
    Windows firewall is fine for most people too, but I like that I can set Zone Alarm to ask me about every connection going out. Lets me see what is really trying to contact the net from my PC.

    ---------- Post added at 11:48 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:46 PM ----------
    Run the Windows firewall as mentioned above along with Super-Anti Spyware and your system should be just fine. Dont run anything else, and try and remove everything else that is preloaded into the system. Remember though, it is a pain in the ass to get rid of the preloaded version of Norton.
    I have never heard of super-anti spyware, but unless it also scans for viruses, I would not recommend running just it and Windows firewall. You should always have an up-to-date AV application on your machine (unless you are setting up a honey-pot but that is a topic for a forum other than this one.)
    Laws of physics and mathematics are like a coordinate system that runs in only one dimension. Perhaps there is another dimension perpendicular to it, invisible to those laws of physics, describing the same things with different rules, and those rules are written in our hearts, in a deep place where we cannot go and read them except in our dreams.
    --Neal Stephenson The Diamond Age

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    Lightbulb Keyboard and mouse tips

    Okay, I decided to list some shortcuts for the keyboard (and mouse) that can really speed up your typing and editing that some of you may not know.

    First the mouse hints (these apply in most text areas including text boxes and word processors):
    • Double-click a word to select the whole word.
    • Triple-clicking a word selects the entire paragraph. (Between carriage returns)


    Now some lesser (and greater) known keyboard tips:
    • Using CTRL + the left or right arrow key moves the cursor a word at a time
    • As you know SHIFT+ARROW selects a letter at a time. If you add CTRL you can select a word at a time. Much faster!
    • Use ALT+Tab or WindowKey+Tab to switch between open windows. (Add in the SHIFT key to go backwards)
    • Use CTRL+Tab to switch between browser tabs. (Add in the SHIFT key to go backwards)
    • CTRL+A typically selcts all of a document or textbox


    If you have more, share away!
    Laws of physics and mathematics are like a coordinate system that runs in only one dimension. Perhaps there is another dimension perpendicular to it, invisible to those laws of physics, describing the same things with different rules, and those rules are written in our hearts, in a deep place where we cannot go and read them except in our dreams.
    --Neal Stephenson The Diamond Age

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    Thanks for the idea about the dual monitor. I've been having trouble keeping track of my windows and I think I'll try to hook an old monitor up to my laptop.

    Tabbing in general to switch between input sections is a good one. If you hold shift, it will go backwards through entry boxes.

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    "Anti-Virus" is the number one leading cause of people letting their guard down.
    Watch your routes, sniff them there stankin' ports, keep a tight watch on your own network and know how it should look with your current topology. If you're on a Windows and aren't into doing it all yourself, then anti-virus is great to have; don't get me wrong. Still, do occasional checks yourself. "Viruses" are only a small portion of the problem anyway.

    As for dual screens "Hellz Yeah". I run dual screens in here and then pop out the other PC and run Synergy when I want a triple-screen-dual-OS for work and play at the same time.


    Edit:
    Oooh, as far as text editors go. Open Office obviously.
    And when things become too crowded, there are a few options. I like to use Dexpot, which runs multiple desktops (up to 20) on one computer. Works great with an alternate windows explorer GUI shell. Running BBLean on the outside to save RAM with four work-spaces inside Dexpot running 6 desktops on 2 monitors, gives me 12 pairs of 2 left-right "extended" displays. Keep it all in easy control with Autohotkeys and you can flip around and utilize it to the max. Hands never need to touch a mouse. Might as well throw that thing in the garbage. If you want a little more organization on top of that and don't have windows 7, you can use winsplit revolution, but you can get pretty much the same effect through some work in Dexpot. WinSplit is just easier and hogs less resources.
    Last edited by JerkItWhileYouTurkIt; 01-03-2012 at 12:08 AM.

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    Member ygnd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wbr View Post
    Okay, I decided to list some shortcuts for the keyboard (and mouse) that can really speed up your typing and editing that some of you may not know.

    First the mouse hints (these apply in most text areas including text boxes and word processors):
    • Double-click a word to select the whole word.
    • Triple-clicking a word selects the entire paragraph. (Between carriage returns)


    Now some lesser (and greater) known keyboard tips:
    • Using CTRL + the left or right arrow key moves the cursor a word at a time
    • As you know SHIFT+ARROW selects a letter at a time. If you add CTRL you can select a word at a time. Much faster!
    • Use ALT+Tab or WindowKey+Tab to switch between open windows. (Add in the SHIFT key to go backwards)
    • Use CTRL+Tab to switch between browser tabs. (Add in the SHIFT key to go backwards)
    • CTRL+A typically selcts all of a document or textbox


    If you have more, share away!
    Thank you so much for sharing this. As long as I've used the pc I never knew about most of these and switching between open tabs will be so much easier now. I have a question: Is there a shortcut to select a word/phrase to autofill? There are some hits where you have to type in an answer for example filling out addresses with the state and when doing a new hit once you type the "C" you will see it in the drop down for that input area "California, Connecticut". Is there a shortcut so once you hit that "C" and see the states you previously typed before, make it fill in the input area without having to type the whole word?
    There's a hundred-thousand streets in this city. You don't need to know the route. You give me a time and a place, I give you a five minute window. Anything happens in that five minutes and I'm yours. No matter what. Anything happens a minute either side of that and you're on your own. Do you understand?
    -Driver

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