Love is in the air; and for us techies, there is no love greater than our love for technology. That being said, no matter how many new and sleek gadgets enter the market, one machine that will always have a soft corner in our hearts, is the personal computer. Personal computers are an essential to our lives. Most of us can’t even imagine a life without them. But, like most things that are created to make your lives easier, computers also have their share of nuisances. So this month, I’m going to play therapist, and try and make this human- machine relationship a little less bumpy.
Since it is all about loving your computer, I feel no embarrassment in referring to it as your partner. If you love your computer, flaunt it right? Both of you have to cooperate with each other. Love your computer, and it will love your back. Be nice to it, and it will help you perform your tasks efficiently. Be kind to it, and it will never disappoint you. On the contrary, being inconsiderate will only result in unhappy endings. Now you might think this is useless preaching, but it isn’t. Remember, love plays a great part in maintaining a healthy relationship with your computer. Otherwise it will keep annoying you, and you will keep venting out at it. So here are some handy tips to maintain a fine relation with your digital partner.
First things first, your computer should be free of all viruses and malware. To ensure that, you need to install a good antivirus. Choosing a particular antivirus is a matter of personal preference really, so I’m not going to get into which one you should use. You just need to make sure that you are using an antivirus… and a good one at that. Because when your computer is infected with a virus, it no longer belongs to you; it no longer works for you, and its loyalty is compromised. So, as a precaution, you should try and keep your computer virus-free; and if it does get infected, get rid of the virus as soon as possible. Several problems may occur if the infection is not dealt with in time, so always stay on the lookout and act immediately when something goes wrong. When your partner doesn’t cooperate with, it just means you have a broken relationship, and we surely don’t want that. Microsoft users can also install activex to help protect when dealing downloading, watching videos, and dealing with PDFs, as well as boost internet performance.
Another common yet disturbing phenomenon is a slow computer. There’s really nothing more annoying. When you get a new computer, it performs in its full glory and impresses you with blazing fast speeds. It takes your breath away with everything it can do, and you’re game – it’s love at first sight. But over time, it starts to falter, and doesn’t remain as efficient as it used to be. But remember, it isn’t fed up of you, and neither should you be. There are two approaches to fix your lazy partner – hardware-based and software-based. Ideally, a new computer should have the requisite specs for properly running an OS. If the computer was slow from the beginning, it probably means that it never met the system requirements, and you should consider an upgrade.
Generally, the RAM and processor are the two bottlenecks that determine a computer’s performance, so find out what can be done to improve it and get that upgrade. If you have the appropriate hardware and your computer is still slow, you may consider doing an in-depth analysis of the problem. Mostly, it’s the overload caused by useless programs, excessive start-up programs, or even a virus. As mentioned earlier, you should try your best to fix an infected computer as soon as possible; this way it should be as good as new in no time. As far as speeding up a slow computer is concerned, try removing programs that you don’t use (or rarely use), and disabling excessive start-up programs and services, and see how your computer speeds up and becomes efficient once again.
Apart from the ‘mental health’ of your partner, it also depends on you to take care of its physical health. Clean your computer from the inside every month. The innards of a computer are very intricate and a dust-magnets. If you happen to be a pet owner or a smoker, all that residue and leftovers – like fur and ash – may not go down well with your partner. In such cases, be sure to clean it regularly because constant accumulation of dust and dirt in the mechanical parts can cause heating-up issues, and in severe cases, your partner might pass out due to ‘choking’. So to avoid such horrific incidents, be sure to take precautionary measures. Proper maintenance is vital for the well-being of your partner, which results in a smoother and more stress-free relationship.
Upgrades and new stuff
Do you know the feeling you get when you loved one buys you a gift? That’s how your computer feels when you install a new mouse, a new keyboard, or even a new display. In case your partner is a desktop, you can periodically change (upgrade) the peripherals attached to it. In case the keyboard needs replacement, or the mouse is acting up, go ahead and get a newer, better one. It’s a sweet gesture. I you’re a gamer, you might need a good quality mouse and keyboard, so investing in better peripherals for your computer is a good idea, since it improves the way you interact with it (hence, the way it interacts with you).
Matters of the ‘Heart’
If the CPU is the brain of the computer, the hard drive can undoubtedly be called the ‘heart’. And you have to take care of your partner’s heart. For that, you need to ensure that you backup your data on a regular basis. Accept it; hard drives do fail (mine did). Before that happens, you have to ensure that your data is safe and saved in another location as well. But hard drive failure might not happen if you’re cautious and do a few things to prolong its life. De-fragment your hard drive every once in a while. This ensures smooth running of the hard drive and also speeds up your computer. Keep your hard drive free of useless clutter, unnecessary programs, temporary files etc, by using a good cleaner (like CCleaner). Finally, it’s a good idea to have sufficient free space on your operating system drive (or the partition on which the OS is installed). This is because this drive is often used for automatically-generated local files and programs, and for caching, page-filling etc. Keep it at least 30% free. Also, you should not store your date on it, because often a hard drive failure takes away the root partition and all other partitions/drives remain unharmed. In a nutshell, take care of the heart, it’s a delicate thing!
So I hope this guide gave you an insight on how to treat your computer well, and how to solve any problems that may arise time after time. Just remember, don’t panic; all matters can be solved with a little patience, understanding and of course, investment.