Poppy Payne IS The Sexy Techie!

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Psst. Wanna Know A Secret?

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Arthur C. ClarkeArthur C. Clarke, one of my favourite authors, is well known throughout literary and cinemagraphic circles. While Isaac Asimov is well known for his Three Laws Of Robotics, Clarke wrote his very three laws; not of robotics, but of scientific prediction. His three laws are:

  1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
  2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
  3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

I defy anyone to argue with or find fault with these three laws. The one that I’m invoking today is Law #3 as it pertains to the mystical universe of computers.

Most PC owners are not computer savvy technical people. They lawyers, doctors, small business owners, writers, actors, porn stars. They come from all walks of life. By this time, you’re probably thinking “Get to the fucking point!” so here goes.

Naked girl flips the birdWe’ve all experienced those times when our PCs started to behave erratically; slowing down, taking longer than usual to complete a simple command, waiting a long time for an app to open… Right away, if you check on the forums or boards, you’ll get the Infection Army screaming at you “VIRUS!!! MALWARE!!! ZOMBIE!!!” and so on. Like you did it on purpose.

TechnicianYou may have called a computer service company who will readily wipe your hard drive and re-install the operating system for a substantial fee. Here’s Part 1 of the secret: most times it isn’t necessary. How’s that?

Poorly written applications, especially those written for an earlier version of the Operating System, do not use the system efficiently and can leave parts of themselves around after you think you closed them, eating up memory, disk space and CPU cycles. This is particularly true of some of the freebie apps you found while surfing the web, although there are commercially sold applications that are just as guilty.

Naked TechGo through your installed applications with a critical eye. Uninstall those you don’t use on regular basis. If you haven’t opened an application for the better part of a year, chances are you don’t need it there. I’m also willing to wager that when it was installed, it configured itself to preload pieces of itself every time you start the PC. When cleaning up your system, keep in mind an industry standard rule about never, never, ever use more than 75% of your disc’s capacity. If you’re approaching this point, buy an additional drive (internal or an external USB drive) to store documents, movies, photos, etc.

Dirty PCNow for the second part of our dirty little secret. If a PC is left running for many days, it is not that unusual for it to develop behavioural issues. I find this particularly true if I have used any of the Adobe Creative Suite applications. Real memory hogs, they are. After checking for dodgy applications on problem PCs and checking that the inside of the case isn’t full of dust, the very next thing techs will do is to power down the PC, wait a few minutes and then power it back up. A vast majority of the time, the result is Mission Accomplished! Problem Solved! We then advise the person tha they should reboot their PC after using intense graphics applications or advanced numerical analysis applications. Even if you don’t use apps like these, it is good practice to restart your PC after 4 or 5 days of constant use.

HP Desktop ComputerSo there you have it. The old canard of rebooting has a basis in reality. The first thing HP tech trainees learn is after checking the system logs and the like for hardware failure, reboot the device to see if the problem goes away. If it’s good enough for HP, it’s good enough for you and me!

Till next time, have a Happy New Year!

Poppy xoxoxo

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