“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success.“ ~ Albert Schweitzer
The average life span of a laptop computer is 2-3 years. If you are really gentle and never take it anywhere, it might live to the old age of 5. The average life span of a desktop computer is 4-5 years, and it is not unusual for them to live much longer. A gentleman told me just yesterday, that his computer was 20 years old!
A major contributing factor to the demise of a computer is heat. This is kind of a gross example, but have you found the really old pair of underwear or the forgotten swim suit/trunks in the back of your dresser? And when you pick it up, the elastic is brittle and just touching it, rips holes in the spandex? (I know, I know, I need to be more consistent with cleaning out my dresser!) Those forgotten clothing items are victims of heat (from the dryer) and time.
Computers can also become victim to heat and time. Because of their compact size, laptops don’t have room for extra cooling fans whereas the desktop computers do have space for cooling fans. More cooling fans means less brittle and a longer life.
Computers become victim to obsolete technology. Every month, Microsoft releases patches for it’s operating system. The patches are primarily focused on improving security. You want to install the patches. They keep you safe. But those patches also make the core operating system larger, and requires more hard drive to store them. Because the core operating system is larger, it takes a little bit more RAM and processor resources to function.
The manufacturers of computer components and software spend bunches of money improving the speed and features of their products. It is generally accepted that computer speeds will double every 18-24 months. https://webtribunal.net/blog/how-fast-is-technology-growing/ This means the software you purchased (Windows 10, Microsoft Office, Adobe Suite…) will be patched and upgraded and features will be enhanced to take advantage of the latest and greatest hardware. Eventually, your old computer just won’t be able to keep up with the “New & Improved”.
This “Planned Obsolescence” can be problematic to individuals on fixed incomes or businesses struggling from the fallout of a pandemic ravaged economy. So here are some tips to help keep your computer running faster and longer.
Click the Start Button to find the Settings Cog.
File-sharing for Updates will allow you to get updates from private computers and in turn, other computers can get updates from you. This feature is turned on by default, but you can turn it off by going to Settings > Update & security > Advanced options > Delivery optimization and toggling off Allow downloads from other PCs.
Background Apps: By default, many apps run in the background, even when you aren’t using them. They receive information, send notifications, download and install updates and suck up your bandwidth and your battery. To turn this off, go to Settings > Privacy > Background apps and either toggle off Let apps run in the background or toggle off each app individually.
Additional hints and tips can be found at: https://www.cnet.com/tech/services-and-software/irritating-windows-10-defaults-you-dont-have-to-live-with/
Hopefully, these tips will keep you running smoothly for a little while longer. And when you are ready for a new computer, please come see us. Our computers are affordable, dependable and not preloaded with gunk you didn’t ask for and will never need.
Until next month,
Happy Mother’s Day!