Friday, November 5, 2010

Computer Relationships ... No -- It's Not What You Are Thinking!

Is this your computer? Useful, huh?
Not talking about Online Dating, or anything like that!

I mean, what kind of relationship do you have with your computer?

Is it an invisible toaster oven, there to be used and abused,  thrown away and replaced as needed?

Do you pay actual attention to it when it bursts into flames 'cause you didn't clean out the drip tray?

THAT's the toaster oven I'm talkin' about.

But still, is that what it would take to make you to pay attention to your computer?

For a lot of people, that's the way it is. And that's the relationship they want to have with their machine(s).

And that's OK ... until ...

It comes back to bite you!

Yeah, I know, computers are just supposed to work and leave you alone, but really, what mechanical device does that ALL of the time?

And unless you are just surfing the web, and you have perfect backup and duplication systems and procedures in place, and unless you don't mind buying a new computer just because you wouldn't listen to that grinding noise from the fan, which usually just went away after a while (while your CPU fries), maybe it would be a good idea to pay a LITTLE bit of attention to it.

Think of it as cleaning the grease out of that toaster oven drip tray before you have to get out the fire extinguisher, you lazy b ... , I mean, well ... you know what I mean.

Pay Attention To The Computer!
That's my intro into The 3 Things You Should Be Paying Attention to With Your Computer as you use it on a day to day basis.

Some of the stuff I'm going to say sounds pretty silly, but you would be surprised what people will not pay attention to just because the haven't learned that lesson or the symptom comes on gradually.

Do you listen to your computer? Most computers are very quiet these days. Most people will pay attention to a suddenly noisy computer, but a machine that gradually gets louder, perhaps due to a fan problem or drive issue is trying to tell you it's sick. It's not something you want to to ignore. Replace the fan or the drive or get somebody to check it out -- don't just tell yourself that noise is just a minor problem and, hey, the computer still works fine. Computers often work fine until they don't work at all.

Do you pay attention to your computer's performance? This hits pretty close to home for most people. Who hasn't complained about waiting for the machine to finish something, or bring up a program? Beyond that, though, you know what is normal for your computer. Sudden extended latency, the computer's lack of response and seeming to freeze repeatedly for periods of time and then resuming normally (!) is not normal behavior. Nor is taking excessively long to boot, by comparison with previous behavior, or longer to do anything, for that matter. Did you just load a new application or utility? Did you mess around with system settings? If your computer is doing this stuff, fix it, or get it fixed; it will not get better by itself; it may get worse, and it could be a SIGN of something BAD.

Do you take seriously new computer behaviors? By that, I mean, beyond noise, and slowness, and beyond the obvious like Pop Up Windows demanding money to ransom your computers from Russian Hackers, stuff like a browser, say Internet Explorer, repeatedly unable to connect to the internet, perhaps a different program responding to an attempt to load Excel or Picasa, or even Error Messages, Pop Up Windows, and the like. Sometimes these are just innocuous and harmless, and sometimes not, especially when they are combined with other behaviors. Check them out or have it done.

Your computer is not Evil! Misunderstood, maybe.
You can even go a step further, if you like, and have your computer HELP you pay attention to itself!

See my previous article, Is My Computer OK?, in 3 parts, which shows you how to put a few freely available monitoring instruments up on your Screen to tell you what kind of a day it's having!


Photo Credits:

Computer Toaster c/o
Pay Attention c/o
Evil Computer c/o

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