Easter Bunnies – GOOD, Dust Bunnies – BAD! by Jim Dickinson

Jim DickinsonSpring Cleaning Your Most Valuable Business Tool It’s that time of year again. Winter is finally over, and it’s time to open the Windows and let the fresh spring air come in. We clean the nooks and crannies, get rid of the dust, and probably even start treating for bugs and pests now that things are warming back up.

Don’t forget to take care of your most valuable business tool to a good cleaning as well – your Computer!

Your PC is truly your most valuable business tool, a vital life-line for your business. Sure, Network Marketing was done before PCs were around, but now that they are here, and in virtually every home, Network Marketers are maximizing their efforts by using technology to help them grow and maintain their businesses. You can use your PC to go to your company’s back office, website, or web store. Almost every company in business has a website with a web-based presentation you can direct prospects to. NULL You use it to chat and email your prospects, downline, upline, and company. You can use it to keep track of your prospects, organize your tasks and meetings, create or display presentations. The list goes on. You use a car to travel to business meetings, see prospects, and meet with your business partners. You change the oil regularly, keep up on the tires and brakes, and keep that vehicle running as smooth as possible, don’t you? Can you say the same for your computer? While it proves itself over and over again as your most powerful workhorse, it is often the most neglected tool you use in your business. Neglect to for too long and it will start to cause you some grief. It’s not that it gets jealous, mind you. But it will start to have problems if you don’t maintain it, and eventually stop working altogether, just like your car would if you ignored it, too.

One of the things that gets most neglected on a PC is dusting it out. Here’s a perfect story to illustrate why this is so important.

Since I run my own IT Company, I am often asked computer questions – family are no exception. My sister-in-law’s computer was running very slowly, so she called and asked how we could get it running faster. I used the company’s remote support technology to have her connect to my system so I could have a look, and after cleaning out the pests and bugs from her computer (spyware and a Trojan virus), I saw that her PC’s memory was only 128MB. I suggested upping that as high as her budget would allow. With the price of RAM for her computer pretty cheap these days, she was able to get a full Gigabyte of RAM for about $45. Naturally, she asked if I could install it. A few days later, our family stopped in to visit and I popped open her computer to remove the old RAM and put in the new. Yikes! It has most certainly been quite some time since this computer had been opened…and perhaps my visit prompted the inaugural opening of the case. Whatever the case may be, it reminded me of an Indiana Jones adventure!

Your PC Can’t Take The HEAT!

Heat is your computer’s #1 enemy. Most of the technology in your PC is what is called “solid state” technology. This means they are computer chips with no moving parts, so they don’t wear out. But they can overheat! So you have to be sure that the temperature inside your PC doesn’t get too high. If it does, your computer chips will burn up. The hottest computer chips in your computer have metal attachments on them called heat sinks. These help draw the heat up, away from the chip, and disperse the heat into the air inside your computer. Some heat sinks have fans attached to them to make sure that there is air flowing across the heat sink to draw the heat out and away. Your CPU will have a large heat sink and fan on it. Fans are one of the different kinds of mechanical items in your PC. Others are hard drives, power supplies, floppy drives, etc. Dust that gets into the bearings of a fan will cause them to start whining as it labors to spin. Eventually the fan will seize and stop spinning altogether. Fans are vital for keeping the airflow going in a computer, and to evacuate gathering heat. The flow of air goes from the front of your PC out the back.

Blocking that airflow is bad news for your computer! Putting your PC inside a poorly ventilated cabinet will stifle your PC and eventually cause it to overheat. Blocking the front or back of your PC will have the same effect.

And so will DUST! As air flows through your computer, dust particles can settle inside. They can be drawn in the front, but never make it out the back. They may gather around computer chips and expansion cards. The may clog up your heat sinks and fans. Indiana Jones and The Temple of DUST So there I was staring at a computer filled with dust! Wow! A thick layer of dust and cobwebs were trapping heat all throughout this computer. Here is a picture of it: http://i-supportdesk.com/articles/images/DustyPC_before.jpg I was curious when the last time this computer was dusted, and my sister-in-law said that she had just blown it out about a month ago. I got more details on that fact, and discovered that what she had been doing was using a can of compressed air to blow dust off the back of the computer that was accumulating there. She had never opened the case! Effectively, she was just blowing the dust that was trying to escape right back into the computer. We took the computer outside carefully like we were members of the bomb squad. We didn’t want the dust to spread throughout the house. Outside, I took a leaf blower to it. No can of compressed air could handle this job! The cloud of dust that billowed from it was nothing short of amazing! Here is what it looked like afterward: http://i-supportdesk.com/articles/images/DustyPC_after.jpg There is a dramatic difference when you see the pictures side by side! Before After

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