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Archive for the ‘Techie Tips’ Category

Have you ever wondered what you can do to prolong the longevity of your computer? Aside from the obvious keeping it out of water there are plenty of small things you may not even know about that can damage your computer. For one you should never leave your laptop sitting on a carpeted floor. A laptop needs proper circulation to keep itself cool. By setting a laptop on the floor any heat generated by the battery is trapped in the carpet beneath the laptop and is added onto the heat already being accumulated.

This can actually cause the computer to run harder and burn up a lot quicker. It is best to leave your laptop sitting on a hard surface so it can get the proper circulation. You should also make sure to keep the circulation vents on both your laptop and desktop clean as this can generate the same results. Another thing that most people don’t think about is making sure their keyboards are clean. Over time dead skin cells and other wonderful particles can fall in some keyboards.

This can cause the keys to stick and in some cases not function at all. The best thing to do is to take a sweeper that has the ability to have a hose attached and sweep it out. This can take care of little things but should the keys be so gunked up that this doesn’t work, then you should remove the keys ( something that should be done by a person with experience if you are not comfortable with it.)

We can’t forget the mouse either! Though not many people still use the good ole’ computer mice with the trackball for those who do here’s a tip on what to do if it isn’t working right. If you should find that the mouse isn’t working a good as it used to (i.e. Sticking, choppy movement, etc) chances are you need to clean the trackball. Just like the keys the trackball can collect gunk and reduce efficiency. On most models of trackball mice there is a little compartment at the bottom of the mouse that can be removed with a coin or paperclip. If you remove this cover and pull out the little ball you can take a cotton swab with a dab of rubbing alcohol and clean the ball and the innards of the compartment. This can dramatically increase your mouse’s ability to work!

Lastly, and one of my biggest pet peeves, is to make sure you keep all food and drink away from your computer and laptop. In fact try to keep it away from any electronic device. Countless people have lost their computers due to spilling something on them. When you eat and drink around your computer you are bound to drop crumbs and droplets onto it. On occasion you may even spill your entire drink on it. This isn’t as devastation to a desktop as it is a laptop. Because generally if you spill your drink on a desk top it will only reach the the keyboard not the main system.

That is depending of course on where you keep your system. But with a laptop if you spill something on it you are pretty much dead. In the event that you do spill something immediately hit hit the power button to turn it off, unplug the power source fro the computer, and turn it upside down with the lid open. This will prevent any liquid from getting further into the system. Also by unplugging it and shutting it down you reduce risk of totally frying your laptop.

After you have waited for at least 24-48 hours ( I would shoot for 48 just to be safe) you should be safe in turning it back on. In some cases you may have been lucky and the computer will be fine. However, if the computer won’t turn on don’t automatically throw it away. Try taking it to a computer specialist to see if your hard drive is still salvageable. If it is you can remove it and possibly save your data!

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Today I thought I would share a few tips that you can use on your every day electronics to help save and extend your battery life. For some people it can feel like they are constantly charging their electronic devices such as their phones, mp3 players and the like. If you feel like this is your problem chances are you may be wasting your battery life on a lot of useless things. For Cell Phones two of the biggest battery drainers can be the Bluetooth and constantly searching for a signal. Now if you happen to be in an area where there is little signal there isn’t much you can do about the former. The latter ,however, is an entirely different can of worms.

Unless you are the type of person who uses a bluetooth headset twenty-four hours a day seven days a week then there is really no reason to leave your Bluetooth on, on a consistent basis. By going into your settings ( though the exact location does depend on the phone.) You can turn off the Bluetooth and you’d be AMAZED at the battery life you can save. But there are also other devices now and days that use Bluetooth. Laptops are a big user of Bluetooth technology.

By also shutting off Bluetooth capabilities on your computer you can save plenty of battery life. Also, with laptops, they are well liked due to their portability and wifi. But if you are planning on doing something offline for an extended period of time go ahead and shut your wifi off. For one if what you are working on is extremely important then your are going to want to make sure there is no chance that you will lose your data. Second if you don’t have 3G capabilities on your computer there is really no reason to have your wifi searching which can be another battery waster.

But those aren’t the only things you can do to save your laptop battery here is a list of. Few other things you can do;

1. Lower your screen brightness- while a bright screen may be nice, lowering it could add a considerable amount of life to your battery.

2. Close down any large programs that aren’t in use- Not only do large programs take up RAM space but they can also totally kill your battery. If you aren’t using it shut it down.

3. Try to keep the video playing to a minimum- As any good techie knows playing videos takes up way more battery life than reading a document. If you need your battery to last you a long timer I advise against watching all then latest viral videos.

4. Turn down your sound- Again, eliminating unnecessary battery usage from anywhere will do wonders.

5. Stay AWAY fro carpet- Okay so maybe that one is airing on the side of impossible. But believe it or not walking along carpet (especially while wearing your socks and dragging your feet) can actually reduce your battery life and increase chances of killing your battery completely. It’s really all due to static electricity. Whether you feel it or not you’re building up static charge and releasing tiny shocks into the system ( too bad it doesn’t charge it!) over time this can actually damage your battery ( Trust me I am an EXPERT on this one) simple solution here is to try and pick your feet up around carpet.

Devices such as Apples iPad, and iPod or any MP3 player can also benefit from these tips.reduce your brightness, turn off wifi, 3G, and Bluetooth when not in use. Also if you are planning on spending any large amount of time around carpet you might wanna think of investing in anti-static protection. One last tip before I go! Try to not let the battery die completely in any device all the time. The more you let it drain completely the greater risk you run of it conking out on you.

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