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28 pieces of computing advice that stand the test of time

Mark Sullivan | Oct. 4, 2012
Technology never stops moving foward. Hardware gets faster, and operating systems gain new features and (we hope) finesse. This is natural computing law.

Technology never stops moving foward. Hardware gets faster, and operating systems gain new features and (we hope) finesse. This is natural computing law.

But just because computers are one big exercise in evolutionary progress, that doesn't mean certain computing maxims ever go out of style. Take, for example, the nuggets of wisdom in the following list. All of these things are as true today as they were 2, 5, and in some cases even 10 or 20 years ago.

Below, we give you the best pieces of computing advice we've ever heard. Have we left anything out? Share your suggestions in the comments section of this article.

When in doubt, punch out

If something isnt working on your PC, dont wring your hands and yell at the screen. Just restart the system. That simple act alone will fix many of the problems you may be experiencing. When your PC restarts, it clears out all the temporary files in the RAM and relaunches the operating system. This wipes away any files that may have been giving your PC fitsand the operating system starts fresh and unfettered by whatever was affecting it. If you want to do these things without restarting, click Start, then Run, and type %temp% into the command line.

Expect your battery to let you down

It's simply Murphy's Law: Your laptop or tablet will poop out the moment you need it most. That is life. Always bring your power cables with you on the road, and if possible invest in backup and secondary battery options.

Crowdsource your troubleshooting

Chances are, the help resources at your device manufacturers website wont address your exact headache, but if you type an error message or problem you're having into Google, you'll inevitably find helpful information from poor souls who have encountered the very same issue.

Back everything up

Never get caught with just one copy of anything that you want to keep. Always back up your data, and then back up your backups. Consider backing up both to an external drive and to a cloud storage service. Its a good idea to keep separate system and data partitionsback up your data partition daily, and back up your system partition (Windows as well as your installed programs) at least quarterly.

Remember that thumb drives are your friends

Its very easy to lose track of the recovery discs that come with a new PC, so keep a USB drive with recovery software on it in case something goes wrong. Store it away in a safe, easy-to-remember place. And in that same safe place, keep both electronic and print copies of all your software keys.

 

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