Thursday, March 15, 2012

IT Public Service Announcement

We've just passed the start of Daylight Saving Time. Usually this is when you see public service announcements about changing batteries in your smoke detectors or, if you live in Indiana, irate letters to the editor complaining about getting up in the dark. Here's another reminder: clean your computer!

Computers need air to keep cool and cleaning out fans regularly insures you don't suffer computer meltdown. If you feel competent enough, open the case and clean internal fans with canned air, using a finger to hold fan blades still while you do to avoid over-spinning (yes it makes a cool noise, but it can burn the bearings). Remember to ground yourself on something metal before touching things inside your computer! If you don't feel comfortable opening your case, find someone you trust who can help. It's really not hard though; my Mom does it.

Laptops are a different story. Opening them up can be a challenge. Unfortunately they're also more prone to heat issues and should be cleaned more often. Luckily most have fewer fans and can be cleaned effectively without opening the case.

When cleaning computers, I always take the machine outside on a porch or patio. That way the dust bunnies are free to roam instead of accumulating in my office.

Once you have things cleaned and put back together, review your anti-virus and security software and your backups -- you do backups right? Clean computer + reliable anti-virus + backups = happy computer user.

Everyone wants to be a happy computer user.

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