I’d be the Master of the Obvious to call attention to the fact that computers are becoming more and more complex with each passing day. Manufacturers are striving constantly to add new features and new functionalities to the machines they deliver to the marketplace.
But what hasn’t changed is that computers are still, at their essence, still machines. They have moving parts and can be damaged by misuse or abuse. The problem is that many aren’t aware of what constitutes misuse or abuse. So, here are a few tips on what to do, and what not to do, with the machine you simply call “the laptop”:
Plug it in CAREFULLY — One of the most delicate pieces of your machine — one that is most susceptible to breakage — is the plug for your laptop battery’s charger. It’s a simple piece, really, and we take it for granted. But it’s also very easy to screw it up, and once screwed up, can cause the need for an expensive repair or just outright replacement of the machine. The plug itself consists of a round metal cylinder that encases a small pin. That pin is what connects your laptop to the energy that powers it. If it should get bent, skewed, dirty or otherwise, it could prevent your battery from charging and make your laptop a great paperweight. When you plug it in, do it CAREFULLY, gingerly and gently. Make sure that the area on your desk near the plug is clear of hazards or impediments and don’t transport it in your laptop bag with the plug still connected. Take the charger cord out of the laptop and store it neatly in a separate compartment. If you take care of the plug, you’ll prevent a huge headache and avoid a pitfall that makes computer users very angry and repair shops very rich.
Drink Up, Just Not Near The Laptop — One of the most common accidents that happens with laptops is the big spill. We are so used to taking our laptops out to the coffee shop with us and enjoying the free wi-fi, we forget that the arch enemy of computers is liquid. Once you spill a cup of coffee, soda or even plain old life-giving water on it, it’s done. Toast. Finito. Outta here puppy. So, when you do need a refreshing beverage while you use your laptop, position your drink far away from the machine. If you’re at home, get a $10 set of small stack tables, and stick one by your chair to store all your beverages as you work. If you spill it from there, all you’ll have to do is clean the carpet.
Keep it Cool, Man — When I go to the gym to use the treadmill, I’ll sometimes get overheated. By working my body at a higher than normal rate, I’ll cause an increase in my body temperature. The same principle goes for your computer. The CPU runs on electrical impulses and the harder and longer you work it, the hotter it will get. So, in order to allow your computer to keep cool, don’t use it on surfaces like a bed or a couch, because the cushions will serve to cover the vents that feed the inside of your laptop cooling air. Always place it on flat surfaces that will allow air to travel through the unit. Even better, buy a cooling pad that not only increases the air flow, but also helps to maintain lower temperatures. This will help decrease the chances of spontaneous crashes or the dreaded blue screen of death.
If you follow these tips, your laptop will live a lot longer, and you’ll be less stressed, so you will, too.