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Eight Ways to Make Your Computer Last Longer

Eight Ways to Make Your Computer Last Longer

Computers are big investments. Like any expense, it makes sense to get the most use out of your computer. Keeping your hardware humming for a few more years will mean good things for your finances and your sanity. Here are eight ideas to help your computer stay healthy and last longer.

1. Keep it Covered and Clean

clean computer

    Dust and dirt are your worst nightmare. One of the best ways to keep your computer running over the long term is to keep it clean. Dust and pet hair can gum up the gears and cause issues in functioning. Remember to clean your computer and keep it covered when not in use to prevent dust and dirt from getting into the inner components. Use canned air to remove debris, especially from fans. If fans get clogged with too much dirt, they can slow down and not remove the heat from the computer, causing a melt down much earlier. Clean your screen with screen cleaner, never window cleaner, as the ammonia will dull the screen. Also, don’t eat food or place drinks next to your computer for the same reasons. One accident can have serious consequences.

    2. Keep it Cool

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    cool computer

      Heat also causes many issues. Your CPU and graphics card can get so hot, they can cook. The computer generates heat when it’s running. When you combine that with ambient room temperature, your computer works harder and slows down. Try to put your computer in a clean room that stays cool and out of the sun. Provide proper air flow and don’t place anything in front of the fans on your PC. Again, clean your CPU fans to ensure they run smoothly and move heat out of the computer. You can also add extra fans to your PC or use a cooling stand for your laptop.

      3. Keep it Current

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        While those updates may seem like a pain when you’re trying to get work done, they are necessary maintenance for your system. If you have an Apple computer, the updates will not only update your computer, but also defrag the system. If you have a PC, you will need to do defrag and disk clean up manually (at least once per month). You can set it to run during the night so it doesn’t interfere with your work. Also, if you have a PC, keep your antivirus software updated.

        4. Don’t Jostle It

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        break computer

          While the computer is running, it’s a good idea not to move it. If you have a laptop, remember not to jostle or move it more than needed. Be gentle. Too much movement can damage the moving pieces and cause issue later. Also, if you have a laptop, hold it at it’s base, never by the screen, and use both hands. When traveling with a laptop, invest in a padded case.

          5. Surge Protector

          protector

            Make sure your protect your computer with a surge protector to prevent frying your hard drive. Also, during storms, unplug the computer as an additional precaution. It just takes one hot surge shot, and you’re going computer shopping again.

            6. Make Sure You Have Enough RAM and Hard Drive Space

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            ram

              Your RAM (random access memory used for active programs) and your hard drive (used for things you store like videos, documents, and pictures) should be at the right levels to meet your needs. If you got a good deal on a computer, it’s likely they gave you the bare minimum of memory and hard drive space. You can upgrade memory fairly easily, and your computer will run faster and last longer.

              7. Solid State Drives Are an Affordable Upgrade to Increase Longevity

              ssd

                One of the best ways to refresh a computer and lengthen its life is to replace the hard drive with a solid state drive. The new solid state drives are becoming more affordable now. They have no moving parts and run much cooler than standard disk drives. They also will increase your start-up speed, and you will notice a must faster response in your computer overall.

                8. Don’t Treat Your Computer Like a Light Switch

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                light switch

                  Unless you have to keep your computer running all the time, you may want to turn your computer off when not in use to save on power costs. Turning it off once per day (like at night) is fine. However, continually powering it on and off multiple times per day stresses the components as you are changing the temperature inside the system, causing the hardware to contract and expand. Try to limit this stress. Your system will last longer.

                  Just like a car, when you perform routine maintenance and treat your computer with care, you will most likely squeeze a few extra years out of the system. When you consider the cost of computers, it makes sense to invest in a few additional efforts to stretch your money farther and gain additional quality and quantity from your system.

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                  Sarah Hansen

                  A corporate-sales professional turned entrepreneur

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                  Last Updated on September 11, 2019

                  8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

                  8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

                  Computers and cell phones have become an integrated tool in our professional and personal lives that the original methods of using pen and paper may not be so common anymore.

                  Although our old-school methods of note taking may not have entirely left us, technology is advancing with no intention of slowing down; iPads are moving into service industries, video calls are taking the place of in-person interviews, and store receipts are making its way into our email inbox – all of which requires the skill of typing.

                  Learning a new skill doesn’t have to be boring and never had to be. Thankfully, there are effective games and apps that can help you learn to type fast with swift precision and accuracy.

                  Why Typing Fast Matters?

                  Learning how to type fast is a game changer. In fact, you can save 21 days per year by typing fast!

                  Although shaving several minutes from curating a long email or texting paragraphs in a text message may not seem to be of great significance, the minutes soon do eventually add up and the long list of tasks then evolve into frustration. By the end of the day, time is being wasted, and the work pile is stacked high over your head.

                  Why not alleviate some of those frustrations through practice and dedicating your spare time to build muscle memory?

                  Learning a simple skillset like speed typing can drastically improve other essential areas in life including time-management and prioritization. Not only does it help you efficiently complete tasks at work and in your personal life, but it also boosts your productivity.

                  8 Most Effective Typing Games and Apps

                  Everyone learns at different speeds and uses various methods. While some work better under pressure and tight deadlines, others thrive when given ample amounts of time to learn and soak in the knowledge that is being provided. Despite the number of resources that are available in the hollow corners of the internet, it’s all about finding one source that helps you learn at your fullest potential.

                  Whether you’re a keyboard ninja or not, here are some effective typing games and apps that allow you to test your speed, accuracy, and maybe shoot some spaceships along the way.

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                  For Beginners

                  1. Speed Typing Online

                    What’s more fun than to type to the story of Alice in Wonderland or the lyrics to “Hey Jude”? Speed Typing Online is an online typing game that allows you to dive into the creative and familiar world of famous books, fables, songs, and even hone your skills in data entry.

                    The bright blue frame holds the text, which then turns green after punching in the accurate keystrokes. After the end of the personal timer, a statistics page appears to show you your typed words per minute, accuracy, correct and incorrect entries, and error rate.

                    2. Typing Trainer

                      Typing Trainer

                      is another online platform suited for beginner typists looking for step-by-step lessons. Learning the keys on a keyboard can confusing especially for those who aren’t as familiar or getting adjusted to typing on a computer keyboard.

                      Typing Trainer has a collection of step-by-step tutorials that covers everything from sentence drills, introduction to new keys as the lessons progress, and skills test. The Typing Trainer specifically highlights unique features in each lesson including a warm-up section where the user begin to build muscle memory and learn to type without looking at the keyboard.

                      The website is also programed to identify difficulties the user is facing when typing specific words or sentences.

                      3. TapTyping – Typing Trainer

                        There is the feeling of physically typing on a keyboard and then there’s the feeling of typing on a touch screen mobile device.

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                        Since the use of cell phones has become closely integrated into our everyday lives, learning to type on a mobile is much of a skillset as it is to type on a computer. The mobile typing app, TapTyping – Typing Trainer, allows users to practice while on-the-go making it perfect for commuters who want to practice typing during their down time.

                        The app allows you to challenge other typists around the world with TapTyping’s global leaderboard and test your skills by taking advanced lessons. There’s always room for improvement and with the app, you’ll be able to find your mistakes by watching a heat map of your finger strokes.

                        For professional writers and programmers

                        4. The Most Dangerous Writing App

                          Suitable for writers facing a creative block or on a tight-deadline, the Most Dangerous Writing App is a website that forces your fingers to type as quickly as your ideas.

                          If you stop longer than 5 seconds, everything you had written will slowly disappear from the screen.

                          Sessions are timed from 3 minutes to 20 minutes, or can go from 75 to 1667 words. This online app is perfect to brain dump ideas, write a chapter of a manuscript you’ve been stuck on, or help with procrastination.

                          If you’re up to the challenge, try the hardcore mode – an alternative option where a single letter appears on the screen at a time. This level prevents you from seeing the entire word, sentences, or even correct any spelling or grammatical mistakes until the timer is complete.

                          If you’re wondering, copying and pasting is not an option until each the end of each session.

                          5. The Typing Cat

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                            Looking to upgrade your typing skills? Also working as a personal tutor, the Typing Cat has a list of regular typing courses with the option to try other lessons with more complexity such as HTML. Learning to type code is a another valulable skillset worth adding.

                            Even with disregarded interest in the coding world, using the code course enhances your typing skills and allows your fingers to familiarize itself with uncommon word combinations and placement of punctuations on a keyboard.

                            The coding course can be difficult even for typing whizzes, but it’s all a part of muscle memory. According Psychology Today,[1] only a handful of people actually learn how to type by looking at an actual keyboard, while a majority of the population locate specific keys intuitively through muscle memory.

                            Available courses include EcmaScript 6, HTML 5, and CSS 3.

                            Fun typing games

                            6. ZType — Space Invaders Meet Webster

                              Remember playing the iconic 70’s game that allowed you to shoot tiny purple and green aliens from one end of the screen to the other with a two-bullet laser? It’s hard to believe that Space Invaders just turned 40 , but you can still get the same adrenaline rush with ZType, a typing game with the same shooting concept.

                              Ztype works in waves – stages that must be cleared but instead of aliens, you must type out the words before the missiles destroy your ship at the bottom of the screen. Every so often, longer and mor complex words would appear and if the words are not typed in the allotted time, a series of letters will disperse like missles.

                              The game is quick on the fingers and will still have your heart pumping until the very end.

                              7. Epistory – Typing Chronicles

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                                Although this game does cost money to purchase, it is worth the investment if you’re looking for a refreshing and alternative mode to learning how to type fast.

                                Epistory – Typing Chronicles is a role-playing action and adventure game of a young girl riding a fox in a magical and fictional realm; together they combat enemies in the shapes and forms of words.

                                Once you’re starterted, you almost forget you’re playing a typing game. The paper craft art aesthetics of the game has you captivated by the vibrant colors and character’s storyline, while having you build your typing skills.

                                8. Daily Quote Typing

                                  Need some inspiration? Say no more.

                                  Daily Quote Typing is one of many gammes available on Wordgames.com – a website that offers a variety of typing games ranging from different levels based on your experience.

                                  With Daily Quote Typing, users are able to type out inspirational quotes by famous leaders, inventors, and innovators such as Mark Twain and Albert Einstein.

                                  Bottom Line

                                  At the end of the day, discipline and patience is what teaches to type faster. It comes down to making that commitment to improving not only your typing abilities, but in a lifelong skill that benefits other areas in life.

                                  By practicing daily and using effective games and apps, it’s only a matter of time before keystrokes will become second nature and your brain will adapt to learning other skills faster.

                                  Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                                  Reference

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