As computers age:
Here are some tips which will help all computers, (including your own personal computers) run faster, make them more reliable and help maintain a longer life cycle for computers, which in return for you helps to ensure that the documents you create and save will not be lost in cyberspace for eternity.
1. Do not leave headsets, books or anything else lying on the keyboards.
2. When you and/or your students are done using a program like AM, AR, SM, SR, Fast ForWord, Headsprout or Mathfacts in a Flash, (basically all of the server based programs we use), be sure to log out of the program.
3. Do not pile papers, books, cardboard signs, posters, cloths or anything else on or around the computer. Most computers will pull air in from the front to help keep them running cool while blowing the warm air out the back. Even lying items along the back restricts the continuous air flow by keeping the warm air trapped inside of the computer which then creates an oven like effect which slows the computer down and shortens it life cycle dramatically.
4. Do not pile anything on the monitor (especially the older bigger monitors), blue/white switches, Wireless Access Points, power adapters or surge protectors. Doing so creates a lot of heat which leads to a lot of network issues and is also a severe fire hazard as well.
5. NOTE: Placing a cover over the monitors and computers to keep them from getting dusty over night, weekend or holiday breaks is great as long as you shut the computer down first and are not directly covering up the blue/white switches, Wireless Access Points, power adapters or surge protectors. (if you need clarification on this, please just ask)
6. Be sure to back up your documents to a USB device of some type. (There are many names for these such as: Thumbdrive, Flashdrive, Memory Stick, Jumpdrive, etc…) A small portable hard drive is really nice too. Do this on at least a regular weekly basis especialy if the computer is in a room without a controlled cool environment. The main part that goes bad in the computers from heat and time are the hard drives. The hard drive is where all of your documents are saved/stored and when the hard drive goes bad, then your documents are gone forever.
7. Keep anything magnetic such as business cards and holders away from the computers and the monitors.
8. Make sure you save your documents, close all running programs and shut down the computers when you leave for the day.