Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Monday, Monday, Monday

I suppose I should start today’s by telling you that I will not be holding a software license giveaway this week.

Okay. Okay, okay – settle down (and please put down that rotten tomato). I understand your disappointment.

But the fact remains: both of the products I had lined up proved to be in need of some refinement before I will recommend them here. I do try to look out for you guys. So..

I know that many of my readers like my giveaways, so, instead, let me mention that my friend, and fellow tech blogger, Rick Robinette has found a “limited time” giveaway of a fine PC tune up (optimization) program that retails for $50. Not a contest or drawing, but a straight-up giveaway! Don’t delay. I checked just now and it was still up, but I don’t know how long this offer will last. To get yours see, Get WinUtilities Pro for FREE (while it lasts).


Mondays are great, aren’t they? Great things happen on Mondays. So, I can’t offer a contest today. I will “get over it”. Yesterday was my kind of day. It was 100° in the shade. Occasional light breezes. Almost no humidity. The kind of day that makes one think of swimming pools.

And when I think of swimming pools, I am reminded of a story.. which I posted here. It goes…

How To Rescue A Drowned Devicecellphone2

From time to time I do something stupid — like  stub my toe or knock over my coffee mug or blurt out a blaspheme in the general vicinity of women and small children.
On my better days, I sometimes do all three at once.

This Saturday I went swimming, and I had my cell phone in the pocket of my shorts. Like I said, stupid. To my credit, I noticed that sad fact quite quickly. But the damage had been done. The phone had suffered not just a spill, but total immersion–submersion–and it was wet. In my defense, it was over a hundred degrees. In the shade.

It is a simple and a natural fact that electronic devices and water don’t ‘play well together’. It would not in the least be unreasonable to assume that total immersion of an electronic device (such as my phone) would render it – to use a technical term – kaput.

Quick action on my part, good fortune, and the fact that I wasn’t using the phone underwater (it was “off”) combined, in this particular case, for a much happier result, and my phone seems to be no worse for its adventure. (The fact that my make and model phone is very low end probably, to my way of thinking, helped a bit too. It has always struck me that the more costly to replace something is, the more delicate and fragile it is. A cosmic law, perhaps?)

Tip of the day: Rescue your drowned device with quick action.
Should you be suddenly struck with a case of bad luck and/or fumble-fingers, and you spill your drink right onto your keyboard, or you find some other creative way to get liquid onto your digital device, all may not be lost. The quicker, and more effectively you do the following, the better your chances of saving your device from the recycler’s heap.

1) The first and most important thing is to turn it off and remove any power source. Shut it down, yank the cord, remove the battery, isolate the dilithium crystals! And do it fast. Some devices, such as those connected to your PC by USB cables, and keyboards, get some voltage through their connecting cable, so also remove any attached cords or cables. Turning it off is not enough. You need to open the cover and remove any batteries. Remember, it is not the moisture which will ruin your device, it’s “short circuits”, and those are an electrical phenomenon.

2) Get as much of the moisture out as quickly as possible. Pick it up and let gravity drain it as much as possible. You should have the battery cover off already, now open up the device as much as possible. If we’re talking about a laptop, remove any PCMCIA cards (PC cards), release and remove the optical drive, and turn it upside down and with a screwdriver remove any access panels — such as the one covering your RAM chips. If your model allows, release the spring-latches and remove the keypad.

If we’re talking about a cell phone or PDA or MP3 player, try “popping” its case with a flat-head screwdriver or large coin. If the Web is available on another nearby machine, go online and look at the manufacturer’s instructions for opening the device’s case. Now that it is opened as much as possible, gently blot with a paper towel, or whatever absorbent material is handy.

[Note: If the liquid you spilled is the kind that dries sticky, such as a soda, you have more work to do. If it’s available, use rubbing alcohol (the “purer” the better) and cotton swabs to clean it up as much as you can. If rubbing alcohol is not handy, use water. Yes, water. Distilled if possible.]

Removing the moisture is key: drain and blot what liquid you can see. When that’s done, rest assured that there is still more liquid lurking in your device. Now is when absorption and evaporation become our friend. Since it was a hundred degrees outside, I simply left my phone in the sun for several hours. If sunshine is not an option, you can try using a hairdryer set to low (this will take a while), or if you’re brave (and ready to stand by, and keep a close eye), place it in a conventional oven set no higher than 150 degrees (°C), for an hour. In the case of a PDA or phone, you can also carry it, wrapped in tissue or a hanky, close to your body in a pocket. Another trick is to place the device in a sealed plastic bag with a handful of uncooked rice. Replace the rice every couple of hours or so.

3) Regardless of the method used, I strongly advise you to not reassemble and power up your device until the following day. Give evaporation and/or absorption every chance.

If you are lucky, your device will power up and function just fine — good luck and how quickly you removed the power being the key contributors to your success. If, however, you power up and your device functions strangely, or not at all, you may be able to isolate and replace the malfunctioning component (if you’re an experienced troubleshooter type). Or you may want to take it in to your friendly neighborhood repair shop and have them do it.  Sometimes it is more cost-effective to simply replace the device — your particular situation will vary.

jaws movie poster[note: I re-post this article each year, and someone will inevitably write in a comment about the ocean and salt-water; informing me that salt-water is very conductive and this practically guarantees a ruined device. To them I say, “Ocean? Didn’t you see Jaws ?”]

Today’s free download: Super Mario Bros 3 : Mario Forever 4.4
Hearkening back to the heyday of Nintendo, this game faithfully reproduces the classic Super Mario Bros. Although Mario Forever’s graphics and sound aren’t identical to those of the original, they’re so close most users familiar with the game won’t be able to differentiate.

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.


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June 28, 2010 - Posted by | computers | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

7 Comments »

  1. Hello TechPaul!

    I am using Glarys Utility Pro on my system,is Win Utilities Pro any better than Glarys?

    How does Windows 7 manager and Ace Utilities hold on PC optimization?

    Personally I am not sure of any Tune Up applications.

    Like

    Comment by kingpin | June 28, 2010 | Reply

    • kingpin,
      WinUtilities Pro is on a par with Glary Utilities and Advanced Windows Care (more resembling the latter), both of which I use and have recommended here – for those folks who wish to try speeding up their slowed-down PC’s with “optimization”. These programs offer “one-click” ‘tune ups’.

      Regular readers will be familiar with my general attitude towards Registry cleaners/etc. as at least once a month I post my “Tech Paul’s Guidelines” (type “optimize” [or, “speed up”] in my search widget). Or, just read this, What Is The Optimum Computer Setup?*, and a few of the links it contains.

      … let me put it this way: there is a whole .. um, market aimed at the “novice” (read “clueless”). The programs that claim to “make your PC run like new”, or quadruple your Internet speed? Well… draw your own conclusions.
      The programs I have mentioned (above) are safe, and free, and do what they claim – empty your temp files, find Registry ‘errors’, find missing shortcuts, etc., and generally keep your PC ‘healthy’. They don’t claim to perform miracles.

      .. I think you can see why I don’t spend time comparing/contrasting the various flavors of “tune up” utilities. Short version: if you have Glary you don’t need WinUtilities, or any other brand. And visa versa.

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | June 28, 2010 | Reply

  2. TechPaul,

    Thanks for the help on WinUtilities… Noticeable increase in hits today (as a result).

    Also, that cell phone in the toilet pic was probably mine. I’ve been down that road (as they say) LOL…

    Rick

    Like

    Comment by Ramblinrick | June 28, 2010 | Reply

    • Rick,
      Yes it is. Remember? I asked permission to use that simply great pic, and you very generously and graciously said “yes”. (Of course.. it was probably a year ago, as I post this every summer..) I do hope that you have broken yourself from that habit…

      I am glad a few more folks got a chance to visit your wonderful Whats On My PC...

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | June 28, 2010 | Reply

  3. Hello TechPaul!

    Thanks you for the clarification on Tune Up Utilities.

    I will stick to Glary Utility Pro since it is valid for a lifetime.
    Lastly how does Advanced System Optimizer fare on Tune Up?
    I have ASO’s license but I think it is valid only for a year unlike Glary.

    Like

    Comment by kingpin | June 29, 2010 | Reply

    • kingpin,
      Advanced Windows Care has recently changed its name to Advanced System Care. I was still calling it the former. I am unfamiliar with a “Advanced System Optimizer”, if you are referring to something else.

      There are dozens and dozens (and dozens) of these programs. All they really do is ‘automate’ (or, ‘make convenient’) steps that can be done manually. I basically only use them after a malware cleanup job. When trying to use these types of tools to solve problems, on Windows machines I like to use Microsoft products. (See, Fix It Center and/or One Care Online.)

      Here is my list of “Paul Approved” titles (I am sure there are others… I just haven’t bothered with them yet.):
      Registry Mechanic, Tune Up Utilities, Glary Utilities, Advanced Windows Care (now Advanced System Care), Norton System Works, Avenquest System Suite, and Iolo System Mechanic.
      And just to repeat: they all do basically the same thing; and that isn’t preforming miracles. It’s more like taking out the trash.

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | June 29, 2010 | Reply

  4. […] Tech-for Everyone Monday, Monday, Monday […]

    Like

    Pingback by Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#66) « What's On My PC | June 30, 2010 | Reply


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