Summer has been and gone, and all the kids and students are settled back in at school and university, potentially with a newly purchased laptop under their arm. However, this can be the most expensive part of returning to study, so it's a good idea to keep your laptop in good working order! Here are some tips to ensure that your equipment is kept in excellent working order.
Keep your cool and your laptop too
Nearly every component within a laptop will generate heat and you can tell when it’s starting to overheat, you’ll hear the fan kick in and the louder it gets – the faster it’s working – and the hotter your laptop is getting. When it starts to sound like a Boeing 747 it’s reaching a critical level. The laptop may even auto shut down, and you don’t want this to happen when you’re in the middle of something important. Show your laptop love and keep it on a flat surface and ensure the ports, fans and airholes are kept clear so cool air can circulate around it.
Don’t get into a knot and the same with your cables
Those power cords and wires that plugs into your laptop look strong and sturdy and almost indestructible, but that’s only half the story – inside those wires are extremely delicate and can break very easily. Don’t wind cables around either your laptop or the power block, after a while the cables inside can stretch and snap. Remember to wind cables carefully and keep them loose. Loving your laptop means loving the cables as well!
You have style – so should your laptop bag
We now have to pay for carrier bags here in the UK but even the 10p ones make terrible laptop bags! Make sure your bag is both waterproof (British weather means that a rainy shower is just around the corner!) and well padded. This will protect your laptop from knocks when getting off the bus and getting into the car, keeping it safe and sound. Which brings us nicely onto the next point…
It's a hard knock life! – but not for your laptop!
Always handle your laptop gently, most laptops nowadays come with an SSD (Solid State Drive) which means there’s no moving parts. A lot are still using standard hard drives which are similar to record players, where the "stylus" rides just a few microns above the drive itself. Hard knocks will bring the these two into contact and could cause the drive to break or you may corrupt your data. Always power down your laptop before moving it!
We don’t do dirty – Keep it clean!
This might seem a strange one, but always keep it clean. Keyboards, fans and ports can all so easily become clogged with dust and dirt. There’s nothing more frustrating than when you’ve typed a long letter and you realise the letter “e” is missing from every word because the contacts have become so dirty. That irritating fan noise gets louder and louder due to crusty blades. Use a can of compressed air to blow the muck away. Clean using a soft cloth and keep the bacteria away. Recent studies show laptop keyboards can dirtier than a toilet seat! Yes, we were shocked too!
Backing up your data shows real love!
Last, but definitely not least, never store data only on your laptop. That important file, document, spreadsheet that has taken 36 hours to complete mihgt not be safe just sitting on your laptop – and with the availability of cloud storage (Microsoft One Drive, Google Drive and Apple’s iCloud) it’s really easy to back everything up. Programs can be re-installed but all that hard work will have to redone if your PC suddenyly breaks or gets stolen.