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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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                  Published on September 20, 2018

                  11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                  11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                  In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

                  Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

                  In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

                  Minimizing Tabs

                  Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

                  Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

                  Incognito Mode

                  Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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                  1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
                  2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
                  3. Download extension New Incognito Window

                  This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

                  Save Webpages as PDF Files

                  Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

                  Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

                  Open Recently-closed Tabs

                  Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

                  One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

                  The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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                  Solve Mathematical Problems

                  Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

                  For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

                  Play Media Files

                  Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

                  In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

                  Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

                  With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

                  Stay Focus(e)d

                  Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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                  Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

                  With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

                  This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

                  Grammarly for Editing

                  Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

                  You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

                  Loom

                  There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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                  There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

                  With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

                  Chrome Calendar Extension

                  No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

                  Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

                  Final Thoughts

                  Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

                  Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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