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January 5th, 2010

2010 is upon us, and it’s likely you are considering yet another list of New Year’s Resolutions. These usually concern losing weight or changing careers, but smart computer users should resolve to keep their computers in good working order.

Technology New Year's Resolution - ComputerRentalsOne step before basic

This may seem silly to you, but it really isn’t. You need to check your power cords, USB/FireWire cables and so forth. It’s possible for cables to “go bad,” particularly when they are bent into 90-degree angles or squished under heavy printers. With LCD monitor rentals, for example, you get the  cable in good shape and ready to work.

It is important to keep sufficient airflow around your high-tech equipment, so check out your “office ergonomics” to ensure enough room between devices. Layers of dust can build up on internal PC components, too, sometimes causing overheating, so have some canned air handy for a quick “spray” every month or so.

Backing up

You simply must back up your files. This means the system files, work files, everything. Your primary drive is likely internal, but if you save files to external or online storage, back those up, too. Windows Backup in Windows Vista and Windows 7 is a good tool. You can also clone your drives and make “disc images” with ImageX (free from Microsoft) and other applications.

Macintosh users also need to back up everything. The Mac OS boasts Time Machine, which automates the process in a lot of customizable ways. Naturally, when you use a Mac Pro rental you should save all your work to an external drive, which means that you should back it up to an online service, another hard drive or to DVDs.

Security

Always “okay” the Windows and Mac automated system updates. This will ensure you have the latest security fixes for your OS as well as updates for installed programs. On the Mac, Software Update can also be started from the Apple menu. The Windows Update application in Vista or Windows 7 can even recommend settings for folks short on time, expertise or both.

In addition to using your firewall, get a good anti-malware and anti-virus utility  – or two or three, since not all programs can defeat all types of malicious code. Since e-mail continues to be a primary method for spreading Trojan horses, viruses and other destructive malware, check that your antivirus program will scan your e-mail. Also use anti-spam software like MailWasher or a mail-checking service.

Other tips

Consult a more thorough article on maintenance if you need to, then create a schedule for taking care of things regularly. Actually, if you are doing a comprehensive backup for the first time, it may be a real time- and money-saver to rent a computer to act as “command central” for copying, duplicating, deleting and moving files around your network.

CRE employees know their way around technology, so we’re the ones to call when you need help. Send an e-mail, fill out the Quick Rental Quote form or use the phone. Whatever your business goals for the New Year, we’re here to help you achieve them. That’s our resolution, each and every year.

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