Thursday, February 11, 2010

Computer or Pool Maintenance

Weird title huh? Not really because everyone wants to use a pool/computer, but nobody wants to clean it when it gets dirty. I understand, I do, but it's got to be done. Let's identify the state of your problem.

How frequently and what do you do with your computer/pool:
  • Rarely. If you're a light user, hardly ever install programs, surf the web once or twice a week, you won't need much maintenance. It's like having a neighbor who has a pool just to let everyone know they can have it, but never uses it. It drives you crazy, but the pool man hardly ever comes over.
  • Sometimes. Heavy use on the weekends, maybe a stray Milky Way bobbing here and there. Somebody peed in the pool! Okay, I'm out of control with the pool metaphor, but it's working for me, so buckle up!You install programs as you see fit and rip MP3's but, you use account control and have 1 antivirus and at least 2 anti spyware programs installed.
  • Heavy. Multiple users, no account control, if a leaf fell on your keyboard, you'd try to install it. If your computer was a pool, the water would  be green and brown, it would smell and nobody would want to use it. Your anti virus is out of date and you don't know or care about spyware. But, you're willing to click on a link that says you can see Jessica Simpson naked. (Jessica Simpson will never appear naked, for Gods sake! Her dad's a preacher). I will eat this blog if she ever does!
Choose the word that best describes your usage pattern from the above and lets move on.Rarely. If rarely describes your situation then you'll rarely have a problem. Scan once a week for viruses and spyware and if you rarely find anything then go to once a month. You can also check for errors and defrag your hard disk once a month but, if you rarely do anything to your computer then you'll rarely need to do this.

 Sometimes. Scan for viruses, your biggest threat, once a week or after any perceived problem(if something happens while you're using your computer that you don't understand or gives you the willys, SCAN!). If "weekend web warrior" best describes you, then Sunday night to Monday morning scan is what you should do. Use anti spyware software every week to 2 weeks depending. Use the frequency of found problems to determine the frequency of scans. More problems, more scans. Duh! Check for errors and defrag the hard disk once a month.

Heavy. You are always going to have issues, because you are an issue. But, let's try to stem the flow. Consider buying the extended warranty with your computer, because you may use it and make us all proud! Scan for spyware/malware after heavy web usage and viruses twice a week(not for viruses you say? Your anti virus is probably going off while you browse or it's no good). I'd be worried if no problems are found. Go ahead, defrag, scan for errors, whatever. Look! I see you! You probably have an external hard drive so big it needs wheels and one broke off! It broke off because of all the limewiring and bittorrenting you've been doing! So, you've got the latest bootleg movie and the collected catalog of Frankie and the Johnettes(fictitious) and every other obscure piece of crap music available! Who cares? I don't. But scan that external and realize, before the other wheel breaks off, that once it does, that data is gone!

Okay, I just had to add "rant" to my labels. It's not you, it's me. Moving on, points to ponder:
  • Size does matter. The bigger your hard drive is, the longer it takes to do the maintenance.
  • Fit these routines into your schedule. Learn how long they take and plan accordingly. Break it up, virus scan one night,  spamware the other night.
  • Learn your programs. Most anti virus programs add a option when you right click on a drive in My Computer to "scan  selected files with ...." . Use this with drives that aren't always connected.
In the end, all the things you do with your computer are personal choices. The more you click, the more you install, the more you scan. But. This information, these songs, pictures, movies the way you have tailored your computer to your needs, are stored on a mechanical device that is prone to failure. Your hard drive has a number, a statistic, attached to it called MTBF. It means "mean time between failure". It will fail. The more you use it, the more scans you do, the more programs you install, wear on it. Think about that when you decide how often to defrag and scan and download and install the various options you encounter during your computer sessions.

No comments:

Post a Comment