Clutter-Free Living Applies To Computers, Too

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The holidays have come and gone, and now it’s time to get back to “normal” life. Part of the process of moving forward into 2010 is to clean up the clutter left behind from the holidays. The traditional festivities may have left your home looking like a battle zone or a crowded antique shop. We must find places for the decorations, gifts, place settings, temporary guest beds, and many other holiday-specific items that were used in the past months.

Just like our homes during the holidays, our computers can tend to get a bit cluttered — inside and out. A few steps can alleviate the clutter and make our computer experience clean, quick and stress-free.

Outside

Computer cables serve a purpose: to bring power and connectivity to your devices. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to complete many of the tasks that now seem so simple, such as printing or navigating with a mouse. Without them, you also wouldn’t have that rat’s nest of wires under (or perhaps on top of) your desk. The more peripherals you have, the more unsightly the conglomeration of wires can become.

One remedy is to neatly bundle the necessary cords together using cable ties or plastic tubing. If you can make it so that all of the cords are running the same direction, you can eliminate the tangles and twists that cause the unsightly problem.

While you are at it, take a few extra moments to label each power cable where it enters the power strip or surge protector. This will help you avoid unplugging every device if a problem arises.

Another option for un-cluttering your computer station is to go wireless. Your keyboard, mouse, speakers, printer, and more can be run through wireless technology. Set up a network of wireless peripherals to see instant results.

Inside

Inside your computer, things can get messy in a hurry. Each time you visit a Web site, write an e-mail, install a new program, or perform any other application, the computer records certain information. This collection of information is stored in the registry. The registry is a blueprint that helps the computer find pertinent information, and it can contain hundreds of thousands of entries. It’s easy to see how it can get cluttered.

When the registry is full of information that is outdated, it becomes more difficult for the computer to find what it needs to run an application. Think it of as your teenager searching for a lost sock in a messy bedroom. This clutter results in slower processing speeds and increased “error” messages.

Computer Problem Specialists will run a free scan of your computer to see if there is any registry cleaning that could help the performance of your machine. Call us at (928) 468-0000 to speak with a trained technician. As for the external clutter, we can help you set up a wireless network or recommend peripherals that would work with your system.

Start off the new year with a clean slate — and a clean computer. You may never find a place for that extra large platter you received from Aunt Maggie, but at least your computer will run smoothly when you send her a thank you e-mail.

Daniel Taft is the senior network administrator and member/owner of Computer Problem Specialists, LLC with a degree in applied computer science. His career spans more than 20 years.

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