Now that we’re in to 2013, it’s safe to say that the impact of the personal computer, the laptop and the tablet has hit just about every demographic there is available. There was a time when the personal computer was seen as something used exclusively by working professionals and nerdy teenagers who used it for coding and gaming. While this section of the population still contributes significantly to the PC market there is now considerable growth in purchases from the very young right up to the very old. While this is a good thing – as it allows a complete generation of human beings to become more open to innovative technology and enjoy the new potential for communication, we must also remember that those who are newly exposed to the technology aren’t often familiar with the correct maintenance, repairs and upgrades required to keep your machine in top working condition. The two short introductory points below seek to offer some insight to beginners into the wide spectrum of caring for your personal computer and will result in you saving money in the long run on by not having to buy a new machine for many years to come.
Maintain your machine physically.
Your PC will be housed in a case known as a ‘tower’ – this casing holds fans in place to create a flow of air through your machine that helps to cool the components and prevent over heating, this is very important as it reduces hardware failures and prolongs the life of your machine. Due to the air flow created you will find that a lot of household dust gets pulled through your machine and deposits itself all over the inside. If left unchecked this layer of dust can ‘cake’ itself on to your motherboard and other components which will result in the cool air from the fan not being able to correctly cool down your PC components and will result in reduced performance and eventually permanent damage to your machine. To prevent this it is best practice to learn how to open the side of your case, manually inspect the interior for dust and obstructions and to gently and carefully clean the dust away with special wipes that will attract dust but not damage your PC components. PS – Do not clean your PC while it is on! Turn everything off and let it cool down first.
Disc cleanup and disc defragmentation.
These are internal processes that you can instruct your computer to run automatically at regular intervals (personally I run these processes every Sunday evening.) They are often quite memory intensive and your machine will be slow to use during this time so it is a good idea to leave your PC in peace to complete these processes before returning to use it once they are complete. To put it simply these processes clear space on, and rearrange the files on your hard disc. The hard disc stores all your information and is essentially like a PC version of a brain. As new information is gathered quickly it is not always stored automatically in an ideal location (doing this takes a long time and the hard disc tries to run as quickly as possible for you.) But by prescribing some specific time for your computer’s processor to restructure these files in the hard disc’s preferred format you will find that your PC will actually run quicker and recall files saved on your disc faster than before as everything is now ‘where it should be’.