Tips on Technology By: Bill Michiling

Posted on Jul 07 1999

I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful holiday weekend. I want to thank those responsible for the fireworks on Friday and Sunday they were awesome! We watched from our house in Gualo Rai, even from that distance the booms were very loud and the light display spectacular! Speaking about light, lets talk about lights that can save you money. I think just about everyone wants to save money.

The lights I am talking about are called (C)ompact (F)lourescent (L)ights or CFL for short. The type of lights that most of us are used to are called incandescent. Incandescent lights have been arround since the turn of the century, Thomas Alva Edison discovered the incandescent light in 1879. And in 1896 invented fluorescent electric lamp.

Thomas Alva Edison (1847 – 1931). Considered by many as one of the greatest inventors in history, he was born in Milan, Ohio. He obtained patents in such fields as telegraphy, phonography, electric lighting and photography. In 1882, he designed the first hydroelectric plant in Appleton, Wisconsin. As a boy, Edison had only three months of formal schooling. He was taught at home by his mother, a former teacher. He changed the lives of millions of people with such inventions as the electric light and the phonograph. In his lifetime, he patented 1,093 inventions. After the death of his first wife, he married again. He had six children, three by each wife.
He valued long, hard work. One of his famous sayings was “Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.”

Ok, so much for the history lesson. The CFL come in many sizes, shapes, and colors. Before I continue, please don’t confuse CFLs with the standard fluorescent lights. The standard lights are the ones you see that are shaped like long tubes and are fitted in special made fixtures. The CFLs that we will talk about today don’t need special fixtures. The CFLs can be used to replace the standard incandescent lights most of us are using now.

Some of you are asking yourself, why would I want to replace my incandescent lights anyway? One of the big reasons is being able to save on our electric light bill. The CFLs use much less electrical power than incandescents. They tend to generate much less heat, and to put the icing on the cake, they last much longer. They can last from 6000 hours to 10,000 hours. In normal use such as 8 hours a day this would be about 2-5 years or longer! No more monthly light replacing. Since they generate less heat, your aircon would not work so hard, and because they last so long, less maintenance!

The CFLs can be used in residential as well as commecial applications. Just think you could save up to 70% on your monthly light bill! Ok, now some of you are thinking how much do they cost and where can we get them? As to cost you can expect to pay $10 – $35 each. I know, some of you are saying to yourself, why pay this much when I can get a regular incandescent light for $1 or so? Remember, less heat, much less power, and longer lasting. So, in the long run they are really less expensive. Just think if we all changed to Compact Flourescent Lights, the impact it could make on the island power consumption! We would save thousands of kilowatts and in the end save on maintenance of our island power generation system. CUC is asking us to conserve power, well this is a way for you to “have your cake and eat it too”. Just ask CUC if it would make a difference if there was even a 40% reduction in demand, not to mention a higher percentage.

In summary, this is another way to help the island situation. If you want to see more check out: (

And now, some computer tips…………..

How about a few keyboard shortcuts for new Mac owners

Have you heard of anyone 3upgrading2 from Windows 98 to Windows 95? Yes, you read that right. But for now I will not go into detail. Just think about it for a second. Ok, second1s up.

However, since there are a number of new-to-the-Macintosh users buying new Macs, I thought we’d share some common keyboard commands.

(Cmd=Command key, Opt=Option key, Esc=Escape key, Shift=Shift key, Delete=Delete key)

Cmd-Delete moves any highlighted file in the 3finder2 to the trash.

Cmd-Opt-Esc forces an application to quit.(use this as a 3last resort!2)

Ctrl-Cmd-Power forces a Restart (Not on the iMacs with USB keyboards)

Opt-Click closes all windows when you click in any window close box.

Opt-Drag copies a file to new position instead of moving it.

“c” held down at restart will force a CD to be the start-up drive, assuming there is a valid system file on the CD.

Space Bar held at startup will force the Extension Manager or Conflict Catcher to open before all extensions are loaded.

Cmd-Opt-p-r zaps the PRAM if these keys are held down while starting.

Cmd-Opt rebuilds the desktop if these keys are held down at startup.

Cmd-Opt-Shift-Del will bypass the startup drive and look for a system on your CD or external drives. Cmd-Opt-Shift-Del-ID# will do the same, but goes to the specified SCSI ID#.

Cmd held down in OS 8.x will change the pointer to a hand while it is inside a window.

This is very useful in navigating in the window without resizing or using the scroll bars.

Ctrl-Opt-Cmd-Power causes a fast Shut down.

There are many keyboard shortcuts, not only within the Mac OS, but most applications also have their own shortcuts. If you are new to the Mac, don’t be alarmed about not understanding all of these shortcuts. It won’t take you long to master the Mac, then send me some of the secrets you discover and I’ll try to get them into a future article.

Here’s a interesting way to highlight text without dragging the cursor. Select a start or end point, hold down the shift key and click the other end you want highlighted.

How many of you are using a LaserWriter and constantly have to use the Page Setup to change the paper from US Letter Small to US Letter? You can set the default to US Letter or any other size using the Page Setup under the File menu. Select the paper size you desire for a default, hold the Opt key and hit the OK button. Notice the dialog now asks you if you want to save your setting.

You will find the “Option” key can be used for many many things…..

Students from my Mac class will remember I call it the “magic” key!!

If you have a subject you would like me to talk about in the column, please send email at: (
See you here and on the web next week.
Bill Michling is a computer professional and welcomes your suggestions and comments via email at: or or use this form. You can also go to our website at: ( You call also call us at 670-234-5424 or fax us at 670-234-5740 for more information.
For world access this Wednesday column is also on the Saipan Tribune website at: ( or at the site at: ( )

Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.