Some computer “Best Practices”

There are certain accepted “best practices” for working on and using computers, including:

  • Preparing for the unexpected by backing up data and recording configurations.
  • Turning off and unplugging all related equipment.
  • Using the appropriate tool for the job.
  • Doing what you can to reduce the risk of electrostatic discharge (ESD).

Most CD and DVD drives come with a small hole in front, which is the emergency eject button. A paper clip can do wonders in removing a stuck disk, but in the hand of a child or someone who doesn’t know how to properly eject, it can spell disaster if the drive is active, those disk are spinning at hundreds of RPM and can easily fling into someone causing serious injury or death so be very careful.

Post-it notes are a great revolution. They make short notes small, they make bookmarks obsolete and allow color in the workplace, however Post-its do not belong on CDs or floppies. That is what the CD case and labels are for. People tend to forget or not pay attention and insert disk into their drives with the Post-its on them.

Don’t stick Post-its over the Reset or Power button on you computers case. Sticking them on the computer’s front panel is fine, just don’t stick them over the Reset button. In time, someone, maybe even you, will eventually presses the Reset button while pointing at or retrieving the Post-it.

With the floppy disk came the floppy label and it has been the curse of many people ever since. Do not layer floppy disk or CD or DVD labels. Floppy and CD/DVD drives offer a narrow space for a disk to be inserted. Do not to keep sticking new labels on top of the old ones. Multiple layers on the disk can cause it to become jammed in the drive, resulting in lost data and damaged or replaced drive.

Do not insert disks if the labels are loose. Reattach or remove those loose labels. Otherwise, they can tear off in the drive and result in a jam or an entirely new drive.

Do not leave floppies DVDs or CDs in bags or purses. Bags and purses sit in cars that are out in the sun. A heat-warped CD is a ticket to a damaged CD drive, even if it’s just a little warped.

While I am on my soapbox, do not create too many Windows nested folders. These are the folders that are in other folders that are in other folders. Some people tend to create many subfolders or nested folders in Windows. Keep nested folders at a manageable number which is definitely less than eight.

Do not place stereo speakers or your jam box near the monitor. Those purple and green “thingies” on your monitor screen is due to magnetic interference from speakers. Speakers built just for PCs should be fine so go ahead and buy the surround sound 7.1 system for your PC.

Finally, don’t plug your floor heater into your battery backup (UPS) or Surge protector, and keep it away from the computer, this is another cause for screen flicker and “random” (as when the heater kicks on) happenings on computers.

Do you have a short best practice tip? feel free to comment and let me know it.

OK, that is enough fussing for one day, until we meet again, have a virus free week!

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