Advice about Computers

Sep 27, 2008 at 2:28 PM
1. Ignore Kim Komando. I've never downloaded a software from her that wasn't later discovered to be a slight risk to my system somehow or cause something to crash or freak out.

2. Use "Karen's Tools" instead - zero problems, no spyware, no crashes. All good so far in my lengthy history of using her products. If Karen were at war with Kim Komando, I would be secretly funneling supplies to Karen through the resistance network.

3. Backup religiously. (Seriously, with incantations and burning incense and sacrificial chicken and everything else - whatever will make SURE it goes off smoothly.) Backup every hard drive all the way. Karen has a good tool for this that's free - as compared with others that are not (upwards of $600.00 and slower). It's called Karen's Replicator.

4. If you have a program on your machine that you don't know what it does, but your anti-virus or anti-spyware programs don't make a fuss, don't delete it, just leave it alone. It might be something important.

5. Make sure you have more than twice as much RAM as you ever think you'll need. (Because in three years it won't be enough to run even the OS and browser at the same time, at the rate things are going.)

6. Make sure every part of your system is robust - because your system is only as strong as it's weakest component. (So, unless you want to waste the moolah you spent on the best components, upgrade the worst first.)

7. Always have a UPS and use it. Even with a laptop, and even while traveling. (My travel-UPS is so small it qualifies as adorable and makes people say "Awwwww".)

8. Make sure you save copies of important information on external drives or storage media (flashdrives, gigasticks, DVDs, CDs, whatever).

9. Regularly buy canned air and be obsessive about dusting the inside of your machine. Be a regular Martha Stewart about the inside of the box, and it'll last you years longer.

10. Don't ever leave an important machine in direct sunlight. Just like vampires, your computer will self-destruct if sunlight hits it. It's just way slower and less dramatic looking.

11. Don't let your computer get too warm. Keep it in a cool, dry place. Like canned food, canned information also needs to be kept from spoiling.

12. That UPS? Put your monitors and other detritus on it, too. Hard to do an emergency shut-down when you can't see what your doing.

13. Have a clean office desk. Being messy near a computer makes it crash. They vindictively look forward to causing you the most damage by crashing when your paper system is too far behind to keep up with the workload.

14. Don't use the telephone at the same time unless you want the computer to slow way down in protest. (Computers are jealous of telephones.)

15. Don't put magnets on a computer - ever. And never go back to a computer repair shop that gives you a magnetic business card: obviously they're trying to create business by making your machine wipe.

16. Don't leave a coffee cup within 10 feet of a keyboard, they are drawn to one another in truly depraved ways.


  1. Kat Says:


    Some of this I didn't understand.

    Most of it makes me nervous and I need to get my act together.

    #13, 14 & 16 I can personally vouch for.

  2. desi Says:

    Whatcha need explained? Call me and I will define it or find my goof.

  3. desi Says:

    17. Use a trusted spyware, malware, adware and antivirus program and scan at least once a week.

    18. Don't use more than one antivirus program at a time, so pick wisely.

    19. Run defrag regularly.

    20. Never ever ever shut your computer down in the middle of a system-maintenance action.

  4. Kat Says:

    You would be proud of me.

    I opened up my machine and damn was it dirty. Sprayed that baby out and she's purring like a kitten.

    Hooked up my new Seagate external HD and backed that baby up, scheduled it.

    Now if I could just get my CD tray to open, I would back up my entire writing folder and Quickbooks on disk. But I can't get it to open. Hmm, just looked again and it doesn't seem to think it exists. How sad.

    How 'bout a #21. Its not very high tech, but I've found that when my husband royally screws something up and is mad at a computer or printer, etc, I make him leave the room, and then I pet it and tell it that its very nice and helpful. Usually, it works.

    I'll ask you about the other stuff when we finally talk on the phone one day. I need a Desi fix.

  5. desi Says:

    Better hurry on the phone call - I take off on Friday and won't be callable for 6 weeks or so...

    And number 21 is SOOOO freaking accurate. Absolutely.