Taking Care of Your Computer: Electrical Aspects

Personal computers are ubiquitous throughout offices and households of the 21st century. There isn’t a part of this world that one cannot find a computer; this is how important they are to the current level of technology that we live in. They can even be found at the most environmentally hostile and tumultuous of areas, but these particular units are very likely equipped with more ruggedized chassis, but they are computers all the same.

Putting focus on the desktop and mobile personal computers, almost every  seasoned computer user knows the basics of proper operation and maintenance of these machines. We can leave the actual repair to the technicians, but the best practices for everyday use should be common knowledge among all of us.

It is a good thing to remember that at its core, a computer is an electronic device; as such, it is paramount that one should treat this machine as any electrical apparatus. Here are some important tips on how to ensure that your computer will keep running well and properly throughout its usable life.

Arrange Those Wires

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http://www.flickr.com/people/stelladauer/

While the wireless revolution is happening, one cannot fully escape (at least, not yet) the wire mess that is the back of your computer. This is expected, especially when you have all manner of peripherals and devices connected to your rig.

It’s not just the aesthetic implications of a mass of entangled wires: wires tightly wound up on each other could cause damage to one or more of them, especially the less-insulated ones. Those that carry data could also be prone to interference or crosstalk.

Here are things you can do to keep your wires in line:

  • use twist ties or a similar accessory to keep the wires tied together according to the thickness and type of wire.

  • As much as possible, do not kink the wires beyond 90 degrees when tying them together; try to bind them in a loop.

  • Label both ends of the wire. This will save you a lot of headaches. 

Power Supply and AVR/UPS: Adequate?

A steady and sufficient stream of power is something your computer always requires. Many problems arise when power needs are not met adequately. Data loss or even permanent damage to any of the components could result from badly fluctuating or insufficient power.

If you purchased a pre-assembled and configured system, you could assume that they placed an adequate power supply to meet the needs of your components, but you can never be too careful.

Use one of the online-accessible power calculators to get an idea if your currently installed PSU is adequate for the task of powering your entire rig. For AVRs and UPSes, there are also applications that help you get an idea on what VA rating you need.

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http://www.flickr.com/people/78013807@N06/

In addition, check the wall outlets you use to find out if they are also delivering the power that you need. Don’t hesitate to ask an experienced electrician if you are not handy with a digital multimeter. 

Happy computing in this promising and progressive year of 2013! 

About the Author

Stacey Thompson is a professional writer, marketer, entrepreneur, and a lover of weird little animals. She is based in San Diego, California, and is currently working on her group blog, Word Baristas.