Clean Your Computer – Literally

Click To Enlarge

Most people know its important to do maintenance on their computers, but many are not sure when to perform what services. When do I run an anti-virus scan? When do I run an anti-malware scan? How often should I clean my computer keyboard? When should I clean my computer monitor?

Some of these can be easier to figure out than others, and some more difficult. For now let’s talk about something that happened to me as an example to get you interested in finding out how often you should perform maintenance on your computer … different manufacturers will have different recommendations about what to use to clean your computer of potential viruses, worms, malware, dust, dirt and grime. But some things make themselves known when they need care.

Take for example starting your computer and you see an announcement that so-and-so virus has taken control and is deleting files. Or maybe your video monitor is all smudgy and needs cleaning. In my case it was none of the above, and fortunately signaled time to do some simple cleaning.

GT4023E Is Hard to Power Up

I’d noticed my Gateway GT4023E required a firmer push of the power button to start, then later it needed more and more pushes of the power button to turn on. I mentally decided that the button would eventually stop working altogether due to some sort of mechanical failure …. I was close.

As I was working it occurred to me I should take the front case cover off and inspect the power button to see what was going on, maybe a loose wire. Following the manufacturer’s instructions to remove the front cover of the case I found it was super dusty. Sure, I’d removed the side cover and used my trusty air can and blown the dust out of the main case where the motherboard, RAM and all of the “guts” were, but it had not occurred to me to clean this front part.

Click To Enlarge

Careful dusting with my trusty can of air along with some vacuuming got this front area clean and in working order. Followed by replacing the front case cover, and plugging the computer back in I was rewarded with a very easy startup as I pushed GT4023E’s my power button it started as well as you could expect a 7+ year old computer to start.

Maybe your computer could use a good cleaning – be sure to follow your PC manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning the surfaces of your computer so your cleaning efforts don’t damage your computer! Always refer to the computer maker to be safe and keep your computer’s warranty in-tact. Even if its past your warranty, no one knows better how to clean your computer than its manufacturer (except maybe some high-speed IT pros – which is to say not me).

What do you think? Do you have any computer clean-up stories? Speak up below in comments!

IBMWatson Speaks

IBMWatson.com is a really interesting Artificial Intelligence program designed to by IBM Research, funded the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to answer questions posed in natural language, and developed as part of the DeepQA research project.

IBM and the Jeopardy Challenge
YouTube Preview Image

Watson takes advantage of “The Age of Analytics” by monitoring babies in a neonatal units in hospital in Toronto for things like onset of sepsis dozens of hours before a trained nurse could; and in Vermont analyzing power usage by making better decisions about how equipment is used.

A computer that can understand and respond to human language that will change the way we interact with machines. Watch the video to find out how Watson, the IBM computer system designed to play Jeopardy!, represents a breakthrough in language processing and analytics.

A computer using the english language is not as easy a feat as it may seem. Watch the video below to understand how daunting it is to make a computer that can speak human language, and why.

The Next Grand Challenge
YouTube Preview Image