4 for ’14: Tech Resolutions for the New Year
You make New Year’s Resolutions to improve your life, right? This year resolve to improve your digital life as well!
1. Clean your PC: And I don’t mean defragging or emptying the recycle bin. I mean getting in there with some canned air and blowing the gunk out of all those cracks and crevices. It’s amazing how much dust can build up inside your case. That dust can lead to problems though, especially with cooling. If your components aren’t cooling properly, they’ll overheat and break down faster. Get some canned air from any office supply or big-box store and gently blow out the dust from the fans, CPU cooler and RAM, as well as between any expansion cards.
2. Upgrade strategically: If your computer is more than two years old and you’ve noticed it running slower, consider upgrading your hardware. But do so strategically. Just because it’s slow doesn’t mean a new processor will make a huge difference. If you can upgrade your CPU, a simple jump up to a higher clock speed (such as moving from a 2.4Ghz to a 3Ghz CPU) won’t make a significant difference. Adding more RAM is usually a better and more cost effective option. Adding a new hard drive will help ease space issues, but you’ll need to be comfortable with installing it. Have a consultant review your system specs to see what upgrades are possible first.
3. Get educated: Learning about your computer and its software packages will make a huge difference in your overall satisfaction with it. I find it quite surprising how little companies offer in the way of education about their products, though. To get started, you can read computer related blogs (like this one!) or major sites like CNet, Maximum PC or PCWorld. There are plenty of books and magazines out there offering tips and hints for Windows 7, Windows 8. Finally consider taking a class at your local library on computer related topics like using Excel and Word. You’ll be amazed what you can do with these programs once you know their secrets.
4: De-clutter the drive: By this I mean getting rid of old programs that you don’t use, deleting or archiving old files, cleaning the inbox out, and so on. Temporary files can hide on your system and take up a lot of space, so use a program like CCleaner to find and delete unnecessary files. Remember to empty your recycle bin every so often as well.