If It Ain’t Broke, It Will Be

You work at home. What one thing would you say you could not live without?

No. Not your ever-faithful pet who keeps you company when you work long nights. I’m sure she’s a very close second, but I am referring to your computer, of course! Whether you’re a Right Clicka’ or an iBook Flipper, (That’s PC or Mac user for you old school folks.) you want your computer humming like a new BMW.

Just for a moment, imagine that your entire hard drive crashed, taking every single document, spreadsheet, e-mail or other file with it. Yup, that 138-page proposal you just finished? Gone.

The speech you wrote and PowerPoint slides you designed for your boss? U-n-a-v-a-i-l-a-b-l-e.

Your last five years of tax records?

“I’m sorry, Ms. Devereaux, we’ll have to garnish your wages.”

What your average high paid computer geek won’t tell you is that most performance and stability issues and yes – even crashes are preventable. Since I’m not on the payroll, allow me share a few smart and pain-free maintenance tips that may help you run an even leaner and meaner computing machine . . ‘er.

1. Cleanliness is Next to Godliness.
Dust and other debris can harm your computer’s innards if you allow it to build up around your workspace. Use a soft, dry cloth feather duster or canned air to clean your Mac or PC keyboard, mouse and monitor at least once per week.

You might also purchase (and use) a disk drive cleaning kit from your favorite office supply haven. This will prevent data loss or corrupted files by removing dust particles from your computer’s internal drives.

2. UPS. Not Just for Deliveries.
UPS is well known for brown trucks, but the one I am thinking of stands for Uninterruptable Power Supply. Buy one today. Albeit more pricey, an UPS is far more superior than a simple surge protector. It will keep your PC or Mac from crashing during virtually any power disaster and protect it from voltage irregularities. Unless you’re into that kind of thing?

3. Intruder Alert!
Macs are said to be far less likely to get a computer virus than a PC, but that does not mean it’s impossible. If you have not installed anti virus software, what were you thinking? Get some now! It doesn’t have to cost you a dime. Windows users can download AVG for FREE at free.avg.com Sophos Antivirus for Mac OSX www.sophos.com will snag the Windows virus-infected files on your Mac before you can pass them on to us poor, uninformed PC users.

4. Hope for the Best . . .
I almost resisted including a tip on backing up because I know you have been warned a GAZILLION times to regularly back-up the information you cannot afford to lose. I hope you can see me shaking my finger in your direction with my left hand on my hip as I vigorously tap my right foot. Do we need to discuss THAT again? Try an online file storage and data sharing system like IBackup www.ibackup.com , if you don’t want me breathing fire down your neck.

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