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Tech News 101: My 10 Golden Rules On Computing

computer computing laptop

(Definition of computing is an act of operating & using a computer and I guess soon the word “act” maybe need to replaced with the word “art”.Glasbergen’s cartoon says it all. Cartoon source:

A number of my relatives & friends asked me a lot of things on computers – perhaps because I work in an IT industry or because they are just not sure on how it works and what is needed to use it effectively. Quite a number are just afraid to use it (one example is my Dad).

This is my 10 rules on computing based on what I have encountered so far:-

1. The home computer is for games, games, games and games. Ya, sometimes you can use it for internet surfing, listen to music or doing a monthly home budget (rarely) but never, never for office work. Why? This is because you will end up playing solitaire instead of doing the office work. Trust me; it has happened to me like 1,000 times now

2. Surfing the hardcore porn site in the office is extremely prohibited but surfing it at home is excusable (especially for the first-timers). When I first hooked the internet to my home PC and told my friends about it (years ago), the first thing I got from them was a list of the “best” porn sites.

3. Computers are not like a “good bottle of wine”, getting better as it gets older – upgrading of hardware & software is part and parcel of computing. These days, the technology is moving so fast that a brand new PC can be obsolete in the very next week.

4. Don’t stare at the computer screen the whole day (even if you are staring at Aishwarya Rai’s picture on the desktop). It is not good for the eyes. Take a short walk often – to be away from the computer but not to extend of going for a long break to have “teh-tarik” downstairs.

5. Two background applications must be running in your PC all the time when you are surfing the net – anti-virus & firewall. I am surprised to know that there are people actually surfing without even a basic firewall – their excuse: “I only check my email mah”. I am currently using avast for home anti virus and zone alarm firewall – all is free & legal to use too

6. Hard-disc is not like our stomach that “grows” while we eat more & more. When the hard-disc is full, it is full. Period! So, always do house-keeping – uninstall unused applications, burn critical data into a CD and clean-up the “ever-growing” music library. My target has always been to maintain at least 50% of free space in my hard-discs

7. Have you heard about this word – “Backup”? Ya, most of us will be aware of it only after our hard-disc has given up on us when we need it at the most critical hour. For sure at that time, one of our colleagues will pop in and ask “Never backup ah?” I keep a small folder of my personal files in the house PC and also on my pen-drive.

8. Try buying PC magazines once in a while to catch up with the latest trend, tips and news on computers. It only cost about RM10.00 per month and comes with a free CD bundled with trial software. Alternatively, surf PC related websites such as PC Magazine or PC World for similar knowledge. Once you have done that, you can now show off your knowledge at the office or at a relative’s house and be called a “PC expert” in return.

9. Prolong the life of your PC by switching off the PC when it is not in use. This is evident when using the office PCs – most us take for granted that it is “not our PC” to take care and leave the office PC switched on. Only once I saw smoke coming out from one ex-colleague’s PC which was left on for almost a week (my friend took long leave and conveniently left the PC on with all applications running!)

10. When you hit a problem with the computer, don’t be quick to call the Helpdesk. Try to diagnose the problem first and try out several options (shutdown and restart the PC will be a good start). Sometimes, the solution can so simple that someone from Helpdesk will be cursing you when he had found out where the problem lies

This had happened to me once; I got a call from my ex-boss saying that her monitor went dead and asked me to check it. After checking the PC for a minute or two (and after I walked down 5 floors to her office), I found the cause – she forgot to switch on the electricity for the monitor.

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