If you received a new computer for the holidays, have you taken steps to keep your new computer properly maintained? A computer doesn’t need oil changes like your car but it does require periodic attention. There are a few issues to consider before you power up your new computer.
The first issue to consider is a surge protector.
The electricity delivered to your house is occasionally affected by lightning, accidents, and equipment failure. You can find a good surge protector at the hardware store or computer retailer. Generic or non-labeled surge protectors offer little to no protection. Always choose a name brand surge protector with a real guarantee. Does the manufacturer warranty equipment plugged into the surge protector?
All computers require a good virus scanner. A virus scanner will not protect you from all computer threats. You need to exercise common sense during your travels on the Internet. Would you seriously consider an investment opportunity from a stranger on the street? It is very easy to create a fancy website and fake identity on the Internet. Use your street sense.
Think about a good location for your computer. A computer in the main thorough fare in your house is an accident waiting to happen. Someone will bump into it or spill something on it. “Out of sight, out of mind…” Some impolite house guest may also decide that your computer needs a special program that will “improve” your computer’s performance. Who knows what this program will really do to your computer? Uncle Elmer, the computer genius is frequently the cause of a computer failure.
During a visit to a potential business client, I was amazed to find the most important business computer located next to a sink. The potential client didn’t like my objection to the location of the computer. She also didn’t appreciate my insistence that they hire an electrician immediately to install a ground fault circuit breaker to prevent possible injury to personnel. I didn’t get the job but there are some business relationships that definitely aren’t going to work!
Do you have an Internet Service Provider (ISP)? AOL dial up is definitely not the preferred method to connect your computer to the Internet. A DSL connection is not much better. Make sure that you have the proper expectations for how you connect to the Internet. A complaint that the computer is “slow” is usually the result of a slow Internet connection.
Properly installing your computer is not just a plug it in and away you go operation. Do some research and consider issues that you should address. Knowing what you don’t know is common sense and a good start to solving any computer problem.