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April 3rd, 2012

Today’s computers are a far cry from those of just seven or eight years ago. The average desktop computer rental has more RAM, a bigger hard drive and better graphics performance than the high-end models of 2005. Improved case design and modular components also make it easier for non-nerds to add memory, install additional hard drives and otherwise personalize their computers.

PC Computer MaintenanceIt is also easier to maintain computers today, which extends their lifespans. In addition to utilities that come with every new computer, there are low- and no-cost ones for both Macs and PCs to aid with preventive maintenance, routine “cleanup” and the occasional repair. Whether it’s your office iMac or your home PC, doing your own maintenance, upgrades and repairs is a big money-saver.

The regular stuff for computers

Regular maintenance helps keep the OS (Operating System) and the hard drive in shape, reduces clutter (seen and unseen) and protects your PC from attack. The Windows OS wants you to “clean the registry,” Mac OS X requests that you “repair disk permissions” – but both want you to defragment your drive (and leave 10% free space). Whether you have an office full of workstations or rent laptops for a conference, you may need to do some or all of these tasks.

While some utilities scour your hard drive and list files that (they think) are expendable, you could lose something important. For example, controlling recording gear and certain audio visual equipment rentals with your PC requires special plug-ins that often have cryptic names. Review any such list to ensure you don’t toss something you need. Your spyware/malware protection is likely automated, but if not, run a scan regularly (at least weekly).

Updates and patches

Windows Update sends patches, updates and “service packs” to your computer’s OS and Internet Explorer, with automatic installation if you choose. On the Mac it’s called “Software Update” and accomplishes the same thing. Having a clean, well-oiled machine (figuratively speaking, of course, so put down that oil can!) means you will get the best plug-and-play performance from your computer, even when using such high-end peripherals as render farms or RAID arrays.

Open source boosters would tell you to install Linux on your computer and be done with drive fragmentation, start-up applications running in the background and viruses. But using Linux brings you back into nerd territory, and if you’re not up to it, stay put with your Mac or PC and get whatever help you need to whip it into shape. There are plenty of help sites out there. You are not alone. You can do this!

Use our Quick Rental Quote form if you know what you need, but if you want advice on equipment, conference strategies or post-production solutions, a single call or e-mail will connect you with an expert Account Executive. We don’t charge a cent for brainstorming solutions and strategies with you. Call now!

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