Become a Power User


To take advantage of the advanced features of ObjectBaseX™ and improve usability and productivity you should seriously consider the following: Labor is one of the largest expenses a company has to deal with.  If you can increase the productivity of existing personnel, that translates to a big savings in labor costs.  If you have a staff of ten employees, and you increase productivity as little as five or ten percent, that translates into big bucks.  Now, if those savings can be realized by spending an insignificant amount of money...... Well, that's a no-brainer.

That's exactly what we're talking about here.  Through a minimal expenditure on better monitors and a few good mice, you could recoup the cost in as little as a few months.  Here's how:

  • Let's talk monitors for a minute.   You wouldn't expect to be productive if your desk were too small, and if everyone in you office had a desk that was too small, the productivity loss would be enormous.  Well now you are taking your documents and putting them on a computer screen.  The same problem arises.  If you don't have enough viewing area, you loose productivity.

  • Not everyone needs a big monitor.  The occasional user should do fine with what they have, but the user who will be viewing images regularly during the day needs more viewing area.  This is called desktop real-estate.

    Now let's look at the design and terminology of a monitor.  Monitors size is specified in inches as measured vertically, just like a television screen.  Almost all monitors are designed to be 96 dpi (dots per inch)  When you setup your monitor on your computer you are usually asked to set the screen resolution.  The typical resolutions are 640 x 480, 800 x 600, 1024 x 768, 1280 x 1024, and 1600 x 1200.  There are more, but these are the most common.  So what does all of this mean?  It's really quite simple.  If you have a 14" monitor, your resolution should be set to 640 x 480.  If you have a 15" monitor, 800 x 600; 17" 1024 x 768, 19" 1280 x 1024 and so on.  The combination of the screen size and the screen resolution is designed to do one simple thing; keep everything the same size.  An icon on a 14" monitor will be the same size as the same icon on A 15" monitor, a 17", 19" and so on.  What this all means is that the bigger the screen, the more you can see!  Simple?

    So, if you want more productivity, get more desktop real-estate (a bigger monitor).  This will allow you to view more data at the same time without flipping back and forth between applications.  If you get a large enough monitor, you can view documents side-by-side. 

    Now that we have covered big-is-better, let's talk about the different types of monitors available.  The price of flat panel monitors have dropped substantially in the past few years making them very affordable.  Besides the obvious savings in space, they don't generate nearly as much heat as their picture-tube based predecessors.  To some people that may not mean much, but in an office with ten computers the amount of heat generated by those old monitors is noticeable.  Especially in the summertime.  And, it costs money to air-condition the office.  But the one overwhelming advantage of flat panel monitors is that the displays are crisper and sharper than picture-tube based monitors.  Over time, tubes get fuzzy resulting in eye fatigue.  Flat panel monitors stay crisp.

    Don't confuse flat-screen monitors with flat-panel monitors.  A flat-screen monitor is a picture-tube based monitor that just has a flat surface.  An improvement, and cheap, but still not enough of an improvement to warrant any attention.

    What you want is a BIG flat-panel display.  For the casual user, a 17" monitor that supports a native screen resolution of 1024 x 768 will do nicely,  and, they're cheap.  But, for those users who will be viewing documents and images all day long, go for a 19" monitor with a resolution of 1280 x 1024.

    What about cost?  A 17" monitor will cost about $279 and a 19" anywhere from $379 on up.

    Now for an tidbit of information we have gained from experience;  On more than one occasion customers installed large monitors and failed to set the screen resolution properly.  As an example, a company went from 15" monitors to 19" monitors.  The resolution was still set the same as for the 15" monitor.  The result?  Everything looked huge!  When we set the resolution to the proper setting of 1280 x 1024, everything went back to it's normal size.  Icons and characters were EXACTLY the same size as they were on the 15" monitor.  But, the users had gotten used to the much larger fonts and type and complained that they could not read anything on the new screens because it was too small.  This was obviously untrue, but as a warning, set the resolution immediately after installing a new monitor.

    Next tidbit, many users need glasses or a new prescription.  We have had so many complaints about things on  computer screens being to small or too hard to read.  It is perception, not reality.

  • Now, about that mouse.... The typical mouse that comes with your computer costs about $7.  Get rid of it!  What you need is a good Optical Wheel Mouse.  Why?  You are going to be scrolling up and down images, zooming in and out to see images better, the average mouse is based on a ball in a box.  The ball gets dirty, and the mouse sticks and jumps around.  It's bothersome and reduces productivity.  An Optical Mouse does not use a ball.  It uses a beam of light.  Nothing to get dirty, no sticking.  Simple!

  • Why a wheel mouse?  Newer windows applications including ObjectBaseX make use of the wheel to scroll up and down and zoom in and out of images.  It's much easier than moving the mouse to the scroll bar on the side of the screen and dragging.  It's also much faster.  The total cost to upgrade to a good wheel mouse?  About $35.

    From our experience,  when you choose an Optical Wheel Mouse, don't get a Wireless mouse.  Why?  First, they get lost!  Often!  That cord keeps them from running away.  Second, they run on batteries.  When the battery gets low or dies, the mouse stops working.

    Track balls?  For the casual user they work fine, but not for a power user.  Track balls generally use the thumb to control the ball.  The ball gets dirty and sticks.  The users thumb will get tired and sore very quickly.  Again, lost productivity.

    So, to sum up the mouse thing, for $35 you can make a big difference.  Buy an Optical Wheel Mouse!

  • Adobe Acrobat is a good product, and now you will be using it more than ever, so let's make your life much easier.  Change the Adobe Acrobat Reader's default settings.