Laptop overheating, a preventable problem

Here is good advice for laptop users from an article posted by the CBC regarding the tragic death of a man in Vancouver when his laptop computer caught fire after overheating when it was left on a couch.

Safety recommendations

The coroner’s office recommended anyone using a laptop take the following precautions.

  • Always operate on a hard surface that allows ventilation. Soft materials can block the airflow vents and cause it to overheat.
  • If it is not possible to avoid using a soft surface, an optional heat-sink base should be used to maintain cooling.
  • Always shut down your laptop, even for short periods of time, especially when placed in a carry bag.
  • Inspect and clean the air vents on a weekly basis. Forced-air dusters can be used to keep the vents clean and free from debris.
  • Replace any equipment or parts that do not work.
  • Using a laptop desk or cooler to allow air circulation between the laptop and the desk
  • Visit the Health Canada recall listings website to see if a laptop has been recalled.
  • Review the manufacturers’ website for additional safety tips and recommended maintenance.
  • This is good advice. A fifty dollar cooling fan unit goes a long way to keep your computer cool and prevent premature failure.

    Dean

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    Apple’s billion dollar endorsement of cloud computing

    Apple is building a huge data centre in North Carolina which will cost them one billion dollars over the next ten years. Apple has a culture of secrecy regarding their actions and this activity is no exception. Industry experts and Apple watchers speculate that this Apple data centre will provide the storage capacity required for Apple’s move into cloud computing. Service offerings will range from document storage, movies, music, pictures and Apple’s yet to be announced online application services. They are not alone in building new data centres. Microsoft and Google are also busy expanding their storage capacities to meet the expected needs of the future of cloud computing. It appears that this investment is Apple’s endorsement and show of support for cloud computing.

    data-center sign
    Flickr photo - Kathika - Creative Commons lisc.

    Dean

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    Nova Media

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    Advanced Systems

    Corporate Computer and Network Specialists

    The future of computer tech support

    In answer to this article from Bill Detwiler, “Will Society Always Need Us Geeks?”, my answer is yes! Not just on the consumer side of things but in business computing as well. As a matter of fact I expect that small and medium enterprises need IT pros more now than ever. Either in house staff or contracted support. The CBS – 60 Minutes video that Bill includes in his article is a little older now but most of it is still relevant. In the video segment they identified three types of technology users: do it yourself, can’t do it themselves and those who think they can do it themselves. Since I sell computer technology into both the consumer and small business market I get to see all three of the above on a daily basis. The consumer and the business user have some needs in common:

    • low priced computers, which is easily achieved now that computers have become commodities;
    • simplicity and ease of use, most times this is something that can be achieved – with a little help;

    After that the needs change between the consumer and the business computer owner. Business want their technology to work, they want it to work now, need it to be reliable and if it breaks – they need it fixed in a hurry. Because computers in this group are a business tool, businesses can’t afford to be without it or they lose business opportunities – AKA money! Consumers on the other hand¬† are willing to wait for technology to work for them even as painful as that wait can be.

    Here’s my sad tale of woe to illustrate my point. Two years ago I purchased a laptop computer with a one-year extended service plan from a big box store. When it failed recently (during the extended service period), I took it in for service and waited a total of thirteen weeks for it to be repaired back to working condition. It came back from service twice¬† during that three month period – and had to be sent back the next day when it was found that the original problems hadn’t been solved and on one trip discovered a new problem had developed. I still have a desktop computer so production wasn’t stopped dead. After a month of waiting for the laptop to be serviced, I bought a new one because we just couldn’t be without a working portable computer. Thirteen weeks is a long time to be without a computer. A consumer can tolerate it – barely, but a business can’t and shouldn’t.

    If you’re a small business owner, try to avoid being in the group of technology buyers and users who think they can do it themselves. On the other hand, don’t tolerate poor service from your technology support people. There are geeks who play with technology and then there are professionals who know technology and understand the value of computing that works in support of your business goals.

    Dean

    _Sponsors_________________________________________

    Nova Media

    Strategic Online Marketing

    novamedia-logo-april-2008

    _________________________________________________

    Advanced Systems

    Corporate Computer and Network Specialists