|This month we look at:
Help your computer keep its cool
Even though the temperatures are dropping as the UK gets closer to winter, your PC is still heating up your room. The problem is that when it gets too hot, it will either get slower and slower or turn the computer off in order to save itself.
The computer you bought is designed to run at a safe temperature. But computers are a bit like vacuum cleaners – they suck air in all the time along with dust and dirt.
Let's look at desktop PCs. They sit on the floor, close to dust, fibres and so on. Over time (and if you have hard floors it's not all that much time), you'll find a layer of dust over your computer when you open it up by taking the left-hand panel off.
The computer is fairly robust, so use a one-inch paintbrush to get rid of whatever dust you can find, especially on the heatsink over the processor – that's a cube with a fan on top. But overcome any urge to take the heatsink off as you need specialist gunge to put it back on properly. If you need to, blow hard through a straw to dislodge dust you can't get to.
You can tell if your laptop is struggling by checking the outlet vent somewhere on the side. Is the fan on all the time? Is the air coming out uncomfortably hot and a bit of a trickle?
If you have a laptop – look at the underside – are there ventilation slots? There usually are and they are important. The trouble is that we put the laptop down on duvets, tablecloths, carpets and all sorts of soft materials that tend to block these vents. So the computer gets hotter. Try to put your laptop down on a hard surface:i f you need to, use a tray.
A laptop is much harder to get inside,so so I recommend you keep it in one piece beyond any obvious panels that will come off. With the computer switched off, you might try putting a vacuum nozzle by any vents that you can see.
Now your computer should run cooler and a bit faster.
Be ready in case your computer goes bang
However hard you try, one day your computer will go off in a sulk and refuse to do anything. Usually, just when you are finalising the presentation for the biggest customer of your life.
So we need to have a plan to keep your business going. And what's that?
In essence it's having another computer that you can turn to. This might be one at home or the one you had before you got this one – you don't need to buy one specially.
Then we load copies of all the programs that you need to keep going.
Now, we've been backing up data to another disc, the internet or whatever. Personally I have all my data on a network drive (and back that up)
So you connect the backup computer to the data source and carry on while we fix your main computer.
Simple. Well it is, if you have got it all in place before you need it. So find another computer and get it ready.
A little while ago in this blog, we discussed co-ordinating calendars and diaries.
Well, we can end up with the same problem with voice messages: maybe some on the machine at the office, some on 1571 and others on your mobile. Why can't we have them all in one place?
Well you can forward busy or unanswered landline calls to your mobile. Yet this can just add to the caller's frustration by going through the time involved in a whole new ring cycle. And maybe you don't want every call forwarding to your mobile when you are abroad.
So another option is to use a third party voicemail system, like Hullomail. Each phone goes to the system independently, while the better of these systems let you get to your messages via the internet and some even email the message to you.
So now all your messages are in one place and accessible through a number of routes
Years ago, in order to share data between computers we needed big expensive servers. Then Microsoft made sharing data between computers easy with peer-to-peer networking in Windows. Computer A can look at files on computer B.
Great, but computer B needs to be on and there is a performance impact.
With the advent of broadband, nearly everyone has a router. With a router, you can plug a disc drive into the network and every computer can get at it. These drives are called Network Attached Storage (NAS) and are basically very simple computers. To the computer they just look like a normal disc drive.
The main benefit is that they are very low power devices and can be left on all the time.
Any drawbacks? Well, all your data is in one place, but most NAS have an automated backup system so that you do those backups you should be doing.....
So my view is to wait and see.
People that I'm working with
I've recently met up with John Prince of Cartridge UK. John provides refilled inkjet cartridges and re-manufactured toner cartridges, saving you an average of 50% on new prices, from his shop on the Broadway in Didcot. Email didcot@cartridgeUK.com or call him on 01235 810200
New Franchise Partner
I'm pleased to announce that Mike Jones has joined the Flying Doctor to focus on providing our high levels of service and value to customers in the Reading area. Contact Mike on 0118 907 1305 or email mike.jones@the flyingdoctor.biz
Mike brings many years of business experience and computer knowledge to work with our expanding customer base. He is also an enthusiastic canoeist and cyclist.
The flying doctor is looking for even more enthusiastic individuals who enjoy working with computers. You can help them run their own business and turn their passion into profit!
Think of the people you know who would like this opportunity then get them to:
call the flying doctor on 01865 748197
visit the website
to start on their success.