However much you choose to spend on your computer, it’s a necessary expense that should provide you with a healthy return on your investment. Note we’ve used the word ‘should’. Being the complex piece of hardware, and software, that it is, your computer does need care and attention to ensure it enjoys a long and productive life.
Here are our pick of our favourite computer care tips.
1. KEEP YOUR COOL
Your computer that is! Believe it or not, heat is one of the major contributing factors in the performance of your computer. Too much of it can cause it to run slowly, shutdown unexpectedly or lose data. Check the vents are clear so that ventilation is maximised. Keep the vents and casing free of dust. And on really hot days, a fan directed at your computer is a simple, temporary, preventative measure.
2. MAKE IT A DRINK FREE ZONE
Drinks and computers just don’t go well together. That drink that’s sitting just that bit too close to your laptop, or sitting on your CPU is an accident waiting to happen. And they do happen, often! Just ask anyone working in computer repairs. And let’s include food in there too. There’s nothing like a pile of crumbs in your keyboard to attract household pests.
3. DUST BE GONE!
It’s not just the vents that need to be dust free, your whole computer needs a regular spruce up to maintain its healthy glow. The keyboard, monitor, mouse and peripherals all deserve attention. Watching these videos is the easiest way we could find to show you how it’s done.
4. A CLEAN KEYBOARD IS A HAPPY KEYBOARD
We know we covered this in point three, but we think it’s so important it deserves its own mention. Did you know the computer keyboard is the third dirtiest surface in most households? So give it some love, keep it clean and never ever spray disinfectant on it. Wipe yes, spray no!
5. MAGNETS AND HARD DRIVES DON’T MIX
Now we’re not saying you’re going to grab a magnet and wipe it over your computer for no reason. But as a magnet can indeed wipe out everything on your hard drive on older computers, and seriously damage newer models, it’s worth taking note. There’s conflicting information about this point, so we prefer to err on the side of caution.
6. SORT YOUR CABLE CHAOS
We often get our workstation set up nicely when we take delivery of our new computer. Over time we add printers, scanners, speakers and other peripherals. Our tidy house can soon become a confusion of wires, cables and knots! Tangles can damage ports and connections if we get caught up in them. Get yourself some twist ties, some labels and get sorted!
7. SHELTER FROM THE STORM
We’ve had our share of storms over the past months but did you realise how damaging they can be? Indirectly maybe, but not a risk worth taking when there’s a perfectly sound solution. Don’t have your plugs going directly into wall sockets. Make sure you plug into a surge protector to protect against power spikes.
With some TLC your computer will continue to function well. It’s definitely not a set and forget item. It needs to have its own time set aside on the housekeeping roster. With care and attention, your computer will pay you back and keep you connected and online for many hours to come.