RESOLUTIONS FOR YOUR COMPUTER
Lisa L. Hayes
January is a time of new beginnings, fresh starts, and goal setting.
Just as you set resolutions for yourselves and start the year anew,
remember also to take this time to treat your computer to its own “fresh
computer is much like a car. Cars need regular maintenance, care, and
servicing in order to operate at efficient and safe levels. Computers
need the same attention in order to function at maximum potential.
January is a superb time to give your computer some tender loving care
and make a resolution to be more diligent with your computer
maintenance. (All procedures listed below can be found by clicking the
“Help” button; either on your Windows start menu or within Netscape and
Your computer collects and juggles thousands of files and bits of data.
Every picture, web address, email and letter is acknowledged and
imported into its “brain.” Some files are trivial but are kept to
facilitate loading time of web pages, and some files are temporary
files, created during a process or procedure, never to be used again.
These files are not kept in any specific order, but are placed in a
location most accessible at the time.
Cache of your computer remembers graphics, photos, and web addresses and
holds “cookies” that are transferred over the Internet. These files are
usually temporary and can slow your Internet connection. I have often
met Internet browsers who complain they started with a fairly speedy
Internet connection, but over time have lost all speed. These are
usually the same people who have never emptied their “cache” or cleared
their browsing histories. You should empty your computer cache at least
once a month.
Your Email Box
Some people never throw anything away. They keep copies of all the
Email they have sent, received, forwarded and trashed. All fine and
well if you wish, but don’t keep them all in your computer system!
Email files can be larger than web pages. Make a habit of printing the
Email you cannot part with, and file it in the file cabinet. Be sure to
empty your “Sent” and “Trash” folders regularly. Also, on some settings,
deleted Trash may go to the Recycle Bin and is not really deleted from
the system. Empty your Recycle Bin regularly as well.
The Disk Defragmenter
that you have removed all those excess files, you can rearrange and
compress the data in your system so it will be more organized and
processed more easily. Turn off all programs running in the background
(including screen savers) before starting the “defrag” procedure. Other
running programs will create new data for the Defragmenter to recognize
and will keep restarting the defrag. For computer “health reasons”, you
should defrag your system at least four times a year.
Once you have removed excess files and “defragged” your system, your
computer will be operating at a higher efficiency level. This is a
fantastic time to back up your files, either by writing them to CD Rom,
or copying them to floppy disks. While you’re at it, you may want to
perform the following tasks as well:
Clean your laptop screen with a soft cotton cloth (no paper towels or
Air spray your keyboard and clean the inside “wheels” around the mouse
Replace your surge protector and check all wiring and connections.