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Valentine’s Day is a holiday reserved for that special someone in your life. However, for a lot of people that “special someone” may not be a person at all! For those of you who’s first love is your laptop, Mashable and Geek Sugar have some tips to help you keep it running smoothly and efficiently all year long.

 

Clean it up!

Cleanliness is next to godliness, and the same goes for your computer. Be sure to make a routine of backing up your files, organize your desktop, empty trash cans, and uninstall unused files and programs. This will help you free up space and increase productivity.

Shut it down right!

Laptops are great for their portability; however people still tend to overheat while en route. Be sure to close programs and put your computer to sleep instead of just closing the laptop lid. This will help your computer stay cool in transit. If your laptop got a little chilly in your car, be sure to let it reach room temperature before booting it back up. Condensation is a killer.

Protect it!

If you travel around with your laptop, make sure it’s in a protective case. This may seem like overkill to some, but when I throw down my book bag I often forget that my laptop is in there. Laptop cases are an inexpensive way to protect your investment form the elements – and yourself.

Keep it dry!

It should go without saying: Water + Computer = Bad. In a perfect world, we would keep all liquids away from any electronic devices. Unfortunately, and fortunately, no one is perfect. Have you ever dropped your wet phone into a bag of rice and had it work as good as new? This ancient method of technology drying, passed down from the Mayans*, really does work. If your laptop gets wet, try removing the battery and sticking the whole kit and caboodle into a bag of rice. Place it in the sun and hope it works!

Warm it up!

Please don’t keep laptop in your trunk. The elements are cruel to technology.  When you accidently leave a laptop in your car – and who hasn’t – the hard drive expands, battery life dwindles, and internal components get damaged. This should be filed under “duh”, but people still think their computers can survive anything they throw at it.

Clean it right!

You can barely see your computer screen through all the finger prints, smudges, and dust. Might as well grab some Windex and a paper towel, right? Wrong! Every all-purpose cleaner on the market at least has one of the following screen killers - acetone, ammonia, or alcohol. The three A’s are detrimental to your LCD screen’s health and should never be used on your computer again. Instead, try using a soft microfiber cloth. If that doesn’t do the trick, try using distilled water or a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and distilled water.

Recycle it!

Break-ups are hard - we understand - but breaking up with your old computer shouldn’t be. So your current computer may not be living up to your standards and it’s time to upgrade to a newer model.  What do you do with the old one? Well, there are plenty of places that will take your old laptop off your hands; you just have to know where to look. Stores like Best Buy have recycling programs and websites like gazelle offer to buy old laptops from you. Whichever you go with, be sure you clear your hard drive of any and all personal information and do a factory reset.

Stay focused!

While any flat surface may meet your requirements for a laptop station, your productivity will always take a hit.  There are plenty of cheap desks out there, grab one! Heck, most thrift stores sell furniture now – pick up an old one and make it your own. Designate a work station and both you and your laptop will be focused, organized, and dynamic.

 

 

 

 

 

*Upon further research, I found that it was the Aztecs who invented the “dry-in-rice” method… my apologies to the ancient civilization.