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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

      474344115_956abde1ae_b

        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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                  Published on November 9, 2018

                  How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                  How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                  Technology has taken the business world by storm. People and businesses are progressively reliant on technology world these days. As a result, the people with impressive knowledge and experience with a computer are in demand.

                  Considering this growing market trend, if you too wish to bag a profitable job, this article is apt for you. Here, we will dig deeper into the business and technology world to look into what are the best computer skills one should invest in and what resources to get help from.

                  So, are you ready? Here we begin.

                  6 Most-In Demand Computer Skills This Year (and Beyond)

                  When talking about computer skills, following are the 6 computer skills that can fill your mailbox with endless job opportunities (besides, having an English and Hindi typing speed of 40+ WPM):-

                  1. Spreadsheets and Databases

                  Considering the treasure trove of data companies are handling these days, Spreadsheet and Database management skill tops the list. It is considered the most wanted job skill in the market, with a salary of around $53,129/yr for an entry-level position. However, the spreadsheet skill does not confine to auditing data from cells.

                  To get hired based on this computer skill, you need to become a Spreadsheet ninja. From storing data to organizing them, applying complex mathematics formulas, and creating complex macros, you need to be an expert at all.

                  In other words, you need to have an expertise at working with:

                  • Microsoft Excel
                  • Microsoft Access
                  • Statistics
                  • Data Analytics
                  • Adobe Campaign
                  • Quickbooks
                  • XML Database management system
                  • Filemaker Pro
                  • MATLAB
                  • Hive
                  • FORTRAN
                  • RDBMS (Relational Database Management System)
                  • SAS

                  2. Social Media, Email, and Blogging

                  Though people are socially active, not everyone knows how to use the social media tools on the professional front. In such a scenario, having an expertise at writing engaging yet professional emails, writing blogs, and managing social media activities is a ticket to entry in reputed organizations.

                  Some of the skills related to social media, email and blogging that will have a leg up in the hiring process are:

                  • Content Management System (CMS)
                  • Google Analytics
                  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
                  • Email Marketing
                  • Web Page Design
                  • WordPress
                  • Digital Media
                  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
                  • Campaign Management Software

                  3. Graphic Design and Word Processing

                  A solid grasp of skills to present the gained information in the much readable form is another market need. When considering this computer skill category, you need to enhance your skills at:

                  • Adobe Photoshop
                  • Adobe InDesign
                  • Adobe Illustrator
                  • AutoCAD
                  • CorelDRAW
                  • Microsoft Visual Studio
                  • Maya
                  • Microsoft Word
                  • Microsoft Publisher
                  • Operating Digital Cameras

                  4. Software and Hardware Design and Development

                  The Software and Hardware development, in simpler language, means designing, implementing, and testing the computer software/hardware applications. It is the most profitable computer skill, with a different job opening, including Software Architect, Software Analyst, Software programmer, Hardware configuration, etc.

                  To be capable of developing and testing the software and hardware, you need to peruse your users’ needs and build an application that hits their pain points. You need to work with different web and mobile app coding languages for gaining the attention of your audience, some of which are:

                  • HTML
                  • C/C++
                  • Java
                  • Python
                  • XML
                  • UI/UX
                  • LINUX
                  • CISC and RISC architecture
                  • Embedded Processor Hardware Design
                  • Memory Management
                  • PCB Layout
                  • SQL

                  5. IT Troubleshooting

                  Working on computers is one thing and having a knack of looking into the associated issues and resolving them in real-time is another. There are various employees and graduates who work with computer systems in their daily lives, but get confused when it comes to dealing with frozen programs and performing routine maintenance.

                  So, if you are familiar with the basic anatomy of computers and machines and know the tricks to perform such tasks to streamline the working process, enter the IT support arena. The prime IT troubleshooting skills one needs to work upon are:

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                  • Backup management
                  • Diagnostics
                  • End User support
                  • Client-Server management
                  • Installation and configuration
                  • Issue tracking system (ITS)
                  • System administration
                  • Tech support

                  6. Enterprise Systems

                  Many Enterprises have their own enterprise solutions like PeopleSoft for managing their data and operations.

                  Becoming a master at using the enterprise solutions mentioned in their ‘Requirements’ area can also lessen the barrier to get a job.

                  The Roadmap to Excel Your Computer Skills

                  Now that you know the 6 most popular computer skills in the market, the first decision, you need to take is which computer skill you want to work upon. All the skills are equally considerable for making a career ahead. So, choose one as per your interest.

                  Once done, look forward to the following resources for boosting your computer skills and getting a reputed, handsome job.

                  Depending on the computer skill you opt, here are the online courses you can turn to for elevating your career opportunities:

                  1. Become a Spreadsheet and Database Ninja

                  a. Microsoft Excel Training Online Course – Basic & Advanced

                  Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert at working with spreadsheets, this online course has something new for everyone to become excel efficient users.

                  Divided into 48 interesting lessons, the course empowers you to learn the technique of using mathematical, statistical, logical and text functions, sorting and filtering the data, creating Pivot Tables, building macros, finding a value with VLOOKUp, and much more.

                  b. Excel- Online Courses, Classes, Training, Tutorials on Lynda

                  This is another impressive course to unlock the power of Excel. Designed for people from all walks of life and familiarity with Excel tools. This course helps you gain in-depth knowledge from the experts about this data-analyzing tool and make the magic in spreadsheet creation and management process.

                  c. SQL & Database Design A-Z™: Learn MS SQL Server + PostgreSQL

                  Build a successful career in the data analytics world with this online course.

                  Revolving around the two top databases, MS SQL and PostgreSQL, this course will give you a comprehensive knowledge of the working of the databases and understanding of all the related elements, including how to create, update, organize, and safeguard the data.

                  2. Rule the Social Media World

                  a. Free Social Media Course by HubSpot

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                  Introduced by the top experienced inbound professors from Hubspot, here you will get a comprehensive knowledge of Social media marketing.

                  From understanding how to build relationships on different social media platforms to creating a perfect strategy to engage them, leveraging the benefits of social advertising, and analyzing your social media ROI, this course will bring out the best out of you.

                  b. Write Professional Emails in English by Coursera

                  This online course will be the right weapon to look into the differences and similarities between different email styles, improve your English writing skills, write effective subject lines, maintain the formality tone in emails, and more to make a powerful impact on the receivers with your email.

                  c. Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery

                  Founded by Udemy, this online course will excel your skills to build a masterpiece everytime you write.

                  Here, you will get the guidance from the editors of the top newspapers and websites, and understand what kind of words and tone to use for leaving a spellbinding impact on the readers.

                  3. Launch Your Own Software or Hardware Equipment

                  a. Hardware and Software Courses by Coursera

                  From Big Data to IoT, Sensor Circuit Design, Embedded Software and Hardware Architecture, and Motor Control Circuit, this course will give you a glimpse of all the hardware devices, equipment, and programming languages to build wonders.

                  b. Free Software and Web Development Certifications Online by Alison

                  Become the software developer market demands with Alison’s Java, C#, Python, R, PHP, or MySQL database course. From backend to frontend development and software testing.

                  The course helps you to learn how to design, develop and test software and working in a team while contributing to the team success.

                  c. Free Online Software Development and MOOCs Course by Class Central

                  The Class Central online course will make you a master of software development. Here, you will learn the basic concepts of development like Agile, Design Patterns, and Version Control with Git, along with gaining experience of working with the top programming languages.

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                  4. Live and Breathe Creativity

                  a. Udemy: Introduction to Graphic Design

                  It is a top-rated program for the new learners and designers to explore the Graphic Design world.

                  From the history of communication to the design principles, the course will help the students to learn everything specifically and implement in the real world.

                  b. Canva Design School

                  From a beginner to advanced level, this course will provide you with an elaborated and comprehensive knowledge of graphic design. In the form of 4 modules, this course will help the interested graphic designers to try out their skills at Graphics, ranging from fonts to colors, backgrounds, images, shapes, and layouts.

                  c. Microsoft Word – Basic & Advanced

                  62 personalized lessons, premium video tutorials, and unlimited tests and quizzes – this certified course has everything that will make your entry to the business world easier.

                  d. Microsoft Office: Word, Excel and Access Productivity Bundle

                  The course will make you productive in Word, Excel, and Access through video lectures, articles, and various other supplemental resources.

                  Besides, it will offer you exclusive tips and tricks to enhance your skills at using Microsoft office.

                  5. Raise Your Reflexes to IT Troubleshooting

                  a. IT Troubleshooting Skill Training by Udemy

                  IT Troubleshooting Skill Training will upgrade your logical concepts over technical components to find and repair faults.

                  It will provide you with a methodological approach to learn the basics of troubleshooting, practice them via exercises and drills, and enhance your IT troubleshooting intelligence.

                  b. IT Help Desk Online Course on Lynda

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                  The Lynda’s IT troubleshooting online course will train you how to respond to the issues related to Windows 10, Office 365, JIRA software, and more, from a local as well as a remote location.

                  Mobile Apps and Websites to Enhance Computer Skills

                  The aforementioned online courses will undoubtedly train you for a successful career ahead. But, in case you want a long-term support, turn towards the following websites and mobile apps:

                  • Duolingo – Duolingo app will improve your spoken and written communication skills in different languages. With the magic of gamification added to the study, the app will make learning a fun and addictive task.
                  • Hemingway – Hemingway app defines the length, complexity, and common errors associated with the sentences. In this way, it helps you to write effectively and go ahead in the career.
                  • Udemy – The Udemy, with its 2000+ courses, is a great platform to master new skills, advance your career and explore the newer technologies and programming languages. Enrol a course as per your budget and make a brighter future.
                  • eDX – eDX is yet another commendable platform you can look forward to. The platform offers you the best of the tutorials prepared by the business professionals and technology experts, ensuring a great boost in your computer skills.
                  • Excel Easy – Excel Easy, as the name depicts, will make working with Excel easier for you via their detailed tutorials and 300+ real-life examples.
                  • GCF LearnFree.org – It is a one-stop platform for accelerating your future in the computer world. From graphic design to Microsoft Office, resume writing, enhancing adaptability, and much more, the top experts will guide you with everything on this platform.
                  • QuarkXPress – The QuarkXPress will aid you to add soul to your design with its unparalleled collection of font style, size, and typography. The best part is that it is avails all the options in different languages, including English, Spanish, German, French, and Italian to name a few.

                  Bonus: Tips to Accelerate Your Approach For a Better Career Ahead

                  Though these resources will make you stand out from the crowd and get hired at once, you need to focus on various other things, such as:

                  1. Practice, Practice, Practice

                  It is common to forget what we learn. To ensure that you do not miss any opportunity just because you forgot, keep practising.

                  Make it your routine. Polish your computer skills and you will surely end up getting an offer letter from a recognized firm.

                  2. Work on Your Efficiency

                  Remembering what you learned is not enough; practice to enhance those skills to do better.

                  For example, if you take around 50 minutes to create a design, target for 40 minutes.

                  3. Look for Shortcuts

                  Smart work rules over hard work more often. So, look forward to learning shortcuts to do any task. This will increase your chances to crack an interview and get selected.

                  4. Apply for an Internship

                  Last but not the least, apply for an internship to see what’s trending in the market and how much you are ready for it. While doing an internship, pay attention to your weak points and work on them. This will ensure a success when you apply for your dream job.

                  By the late, it’s never too late to be an intern or grab whatever opportunity to learn something new! Here’s how:

                  How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                  The Bottom Line

                  Seeing the current market scenario, it is evident that having computer skills is a boon for a better career ahead.

                  So, rather than struggling with thousands of other things and trying to crack interviews, focus on the computer skills mentioned in this article. Utilize the resources and experts’ tips shared and look forward to having a successful and prosperous future.

                  Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

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