Tech – for Everyone

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

TGIF Revisited + Brands Techs Love/Hate

Folks, I may not get today’s article finished and posted today.. so I am quickly re-posting an article from March 2008 (with a new reco) so that you’ll have something to read, and a pretty picture to look at. Just in case.

There’s just something about Fridays that you gotta love.

We humans simply must have some light at the end of the tunnel, or we will flag, sag, and eventually quit trying. Friday (for most of us) is that light — the end of the work week is not only in sight, it’s mere hours away!
And Friday for a lot of us (me too… when I was younger) means that we will “go out”; we will “celebrate”; we will eat, drink, and (maybe) dance with friends, co-workers, and complete strangers. We will make merry. A joyous break in the routine.

Friday means the weekend is here. Isn’t that a magical word? “Weekend”. (I smile just thinking it.)
Sure, the weekend isn’t all fun-and-games.. there’s lawns to mow, and cars to wash-and-vacuum, and a “Honey-Do list” a mile long, and grocery shopping.. there’s church, weddings to attend, children’s birthday parties, friends-who-need-help-moving-to-a-new-apartment and,.. have you cleaned out your gutters yet?
Weekends are never long enough.

So today is Friday and it feels like Spring is here.

Here, where I live, we’ve had several warm sunny days in a row. So.. the other day I gave my car its first bath of the year. Washed all the Winter grime away. Guess what? It rained hours later.
Is that cliche, or what?

I like the Spring. Springtime alleviates a sad mental condition I have. Psychologists and Psychiatrists with nothing better to do have decided to name/label a rather common human condition, and they’ve called it “SAD”– that’s short for “Seasonal Affective Disorder“. And I guess I have it. “SAD” basically says that bitter cold, long periods without sunshine (as in shorter days/lots of clouds), extended indoor confinement (as in lots of rain/snow), brings us down (“Depresses” us).

I much prefer sunshine, air the doesn’t bite you, and green leaves and flowers everywhere to gray skys, mud, and bare, skeletal branches. Those (former) things cheer me up considerably.

OK, this is a “tech” site..
Tip of the day: Springtime means Spring Cleaning (and pruning.. and planting.. and gutter-cleaning..) and so I am going to remind you that your computer needs an occasional cleaning too. (Nice transition, eh?)

1) Get rid of the dust and lint: Dust and lint can reduce your computer’s performance, cooling efficiency, and even cause fatal short-circuits.
* For desktop PCs, unplug your computer’s power cord from the wall and open your computer’s case so you can see all the neato circuitry inside. How, exactly your case opens will vary with make/model, but it is usually a side panel, and the side panel is held in place with two thumb-screws (the manufacturer’s website will have instructions, also).

Once the case is open, use the techniques I described in my recent printer maintenance article to remove the built-up dust bunnies. Pay special attention to air venting areas (and screens), such as by the power supply. (And, be careful and be gentle.)

* For notebooks, your cleaning is going to be a little different: you will want to get all the debris from out from under your keyboard keys, as I describe in this article. And you’ll want to wipe down your screen with an anti-static cloth (which may may require the slightest [just a drop or two.. in one corner..] moistening with plain water.

2) Get rid of disk clutter: Empty the trash that accumulates on your hard drive for a leaner, meaner file system. Fortunately there’s a one-button tool for that in Windows,

So let’s get busy and do some Spring Cleaning.. and don’t forget to notice the flowers.

Brands Technicians Love & Hate: Folks, Bryce over at Technibble conducted an informal survey of repair technicians of which brand names they prefer (and which they shun) – broken down by category. I was not terribly surprised to see the results turn out to be nearly identical with my own ‘drothers’. To see the winners and losers, click here.

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.

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March 11, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, tech | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment