Here are ten rules of thumb to use to make sure the critical work you do on the computer comes out the way you want it to without danger of disaster, interruption, or flying cats.
Here are my ten tips to worry free computing.
If you are frustrated that the thing you did on the computer just won't work right, like a Windows or browser screen malfunctioning, locking up or an important file disappearing without a trace, arrgh, then there could be many reasons the computer system acted the way that it did, leaving you frustrated and helpless. Normally, this is something you may have learned to live with and not pull all of your hair out everytime or throw the cat against the wall. In fact the last time this happened to me, the neighbors heard the screaming and cries for help and thought someone was being murdered. The cops came out busted down the door and came in with guns drawn just in time to see me with a big bloody hammer about to bash the PC. They never did figure out the cat shaped mark on the wall when the luminal, err...I mean Luminol, was applied. Heeheehee...I hated that cat! Luminal is the phenobarbitol I took, after the cat bit me while I was strangling it and it magically took flight and made those great cartoon sound against the wall as it hit, MEOW & SPLAT!!!
SPLAT is actually a physics term I coined for certain known events in quantum physics, and you can read about them in my humorous and crazy little story, Black Holes, John Wheeler and Ultimate Reality, found on my Den, but I surely and shamelessly digress!
So if you don't want any blood shed, busted computer screens, felinacides or SPLAT, (trust me all of this PC misbehavin' really has to do with quantum physics and that stupid cat), on your premises, I suggest you try to restrain those urges, and meditate or pray for inner-peace or something. Unless of course its your girlfriend's or wife's cat or computer and in that case who cares anyway!
Even after all universal remedies are applied these things still happen occasionally. There are times, however, when you absolutely cannot allow this situation to occur, or for you the world may end.
This might be when you have an important assignment at home, school or work that MUST be done without fail to stave off world-wide panic, Armageddon or something equally catastrophic in your life. The year 2012 and the Mayan calendar not withstanding, individual scenarios may vary, but you get the basic idea. It could even be something you have just spent hours doing, like scanning and saving precious family photos, an important task that took hours of your life that you won't get back again, ever. Now the darn program or computer is irrevocably locked up and can't be easily fixed. Worse yet, all of your work is now completely gone. This mysteriously happened even though the program you used when you clicked on that innocent little disk icon supposedly saved it!
Whatever it is that has you spitting mad and contemplating drastic measures, like making a boat anchor out of your computing machine, boss, or your significant other, stop right there and take a deep breath before committing a felony. There is a better way, (darn it), that I have found when I am doing a mission critical computer application. The idea I found works best is to dedicate the computer to do that single task. The important, failure is not an option task, and that task only, if I am doing that which I absolutely do NOT want to fail or have to do over. In addition to help you to achieve the Utopian goal of worry-free computing, then consider the following calm and orderly steps:
1. Do a normal shutdown if possible of the program and machine in question. Let the computer rest for at least 20 seconds to completely reach a quiescent power state. This means that computer must be completely powered off for that long, and merely not just a "warm" boot or restart performed on it.
2. Power-up to your OS, either LINUX or Windows, typically if it is a PC. If it is Mac you are on your on and all of this unneccesary if you believe APPLE's hype, since it is implied that MACs don't fail!
3.Once all hard-drive activity, and Windows hour glass or whatever you use to indicate "wait" completely cease, look at your status bar and system tray. Disable (temporarily) any anti-virus and other unnecessary programs running at THAT time while your critical application is running, until you are completely through with your task at hand.
4. Do not even attempt to go online or do anything else on the PC until you are absolutely finished and can verify that the work you just did is completely saved and is really there. Do this by saving and opening up another copy of your file elsewhere using another filename before exiting the original file, leaving it hovering in the background temporarily to be safe. This can be used as your temporary backup, until you can take stronger measures. Avoid at all costs the temptation to Facebook or check your email at this time. If not you will be sorry!
5. This is worth repeating, as I said before, especially do not go online till you are completely through with your task at hand, as this is very resource intensive sometimes and complex to the computer. This can add all sorts of demands for memory and CPU time that may not behave very well and can scuttle the entire project you are working on so hard.
6. Even if you do all of this correctly, the computer and operating system represent a complex beast and can still miss a heartbeat, causing amnesia, coma or cardiac arrest for your whole darn session. If that happens consider doing regular preventative PC maintenance routines such as DEFRAG, etc., that at a minimum, you should be doing anyway.
You change the oil in your car don't you? Well, the PC gets gunked up too and needs a good "oil" change and tune-up after several thousand miles of rough driving or teenage usage, which ever comes first. Don't wait until disaster strikes. The costs to your time and integrity is just too great.
A good overall PC maintenance application like from Norton's is usually a safe bet. Consider scheduling Windows to do regular background maintenance from time to time, although sometimes the automatic Windows update feature does more harm than good and should be disabled.
7. These are some good tips that have helped me to stave off unexpected shutdowns that used to plague me and cost me hours and once years of my precious time.
8. Be sure you have plenty of memory installed, as Windows is a memory hog, and the more you have the better it likes it. Your programs will load and run faster, and there will be less crying and gnashing of teeth. The result will be more satisfying and trouble-free computing sessions. This is after all the ultimate goal you had in mind when you sat down here wasn't it? Try it for yourself and see if these simple techniques don't work for you.
9. Finally, my two most important rules of computing are contained in #9 and #10 here in my list.
Rule number one is... Back up your stuff.
10. Even when you have done all of this to the best of your ability, things still happen, so the last and most absolutely critical bit of sage advice I offer you is contained in rule number two, which says (tadah)...See rule number one!
****Whatever you do, don't forget to turn on your brain. Be safe online and happy computing!****