You can prefix your command with pasuspender to temporarily disable pulseaudio. This is usually what I do. It's kind of inconvenient and half the time I forget to do it, so sometimes I just write a little launcher script that includes it.
To get true understanding of what you're working with you need to be able to trash the configuration of your gear at will. I learned a lot buying up some big old Cisco Catalysts and EMC Clariion SAN boxes back when I was doing data center work. Later on though, when I was in charge of buying new stuff I'd rack the stuff up first and go crazy with it before it was in production. Either way works. I don't miss having those fans running in my house though.
The really nice thing about labs these days is how much you can do virtually. Before I changed jobs, I had 2 NetApp filers doing replication, two EMC Clariion CX arrays, and two complete VMware datacenters doing DR failover, vMotion, and DRS. All on two PC servers in a downstairs closet.
There just needs to be some UX work here indicating the document status. Just like typing a chat message. "blahblah has entered text"-style. Evernote did this early on in their Windows application, we did it with Ubernote - it rocks. Everything should be autosaved+versioned.
This is one of the reasons I stopped messing around trying to find the perfect text editor. I focused on getting better with a stock VIM install.
I think the spirit of this post is that you should at least give the defaults a chance before you go crazy trying to make everything "better". However, I would add that you shouldn't totally ignore that voice that says "is this setting getting in my way?".
Citing a single data point doesn't refute the quoted assertion. It is basically the same as me trying to refute that air travel is safer than automobile travel per passenger mile by mentioning a single notable crash.
I'm not trying to downplay the plight of those affected, but it's worth separating these concerns when evaluating the true risks involved with any technology that can potentially have great benefits for the bulk of humanity, the rare catastrophe notwithstanding.
Deaths per journey is a silly statistic. People don't fly to the neighborhood supermarket to buy their groceries. All the inconsequential car trips at mostly sub-lethal speeds would significantly deflate an automotive death-per-journey statistic.
It takes a lot of discipline to run a shared power setup like you describe. Most of those servers that have two power supplies operate in a shared power mode, rather than active/failover. This means that if one of your sides (LH/RH) is over 50% and you fail over, you are going to have a cascading failure as the other side goes >100%. It used to surprise me how often I saw things like this, although I'm talking about server rooms in the low 100s of servers, not huge data centers.
I wrote something like this as a user script that works in FF(w/Greasemonkey)/Chrome/Opera a while ago . The idea is to remove individual stories or add filters rather than removing everything like the OP. My script is based on VI-style shortcut keys though so that may influence how useful you find it.