National Computer Repair

Experienced in computer repair, data recovery, and a love for all things geek.

How Often Should You Clean Your Computer

When it comes to cleaning your computer, it is more than just cleaning the keyboard. There are various parts that accumulate dirt over some time, which may cause some features to fail and even sometimes cause a fire. Other parts of a computer that are not so obvious when it comes to cleaning, but are still critical in the performance of your computer include the following

  • Heat sinks
  • Motherboard and drives
  • Video games /cards
  • Fans and filers

Depending on the type of computer you want to clean, either PC or laptop, the process may vary due to the different components of the system. One of the valuable tools you can incorporate when cleaning your computer is using a can of compressed air. When you use it correctly, the short bursts of air are able to get the dust and dirt out of the crevices that are hard to clean.

A person typing on a keyboard

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  1. Keyboard Cleaning

The computer keyboard gets dirty, lots of things end up under the keys, ultimately causing damage. Some things that can sometimes settle under the keyboard include:

  • Germs
  • Spills
  • Dust
  • Body oils
  • Crumbs and snacks

Most keyboards are difficult to clean, and therefore they require regular attention to keep them sanitary and in excellent working condition.

2. Monitor or LCD Screen

LCDs or monitors require special attention, especially when cleaning; they are delicate, and therefore, you must tend them with extra caution. Ensure that you do not use abrasive clothing that can cause damage to the screen. In addition, never use alcohol or ammonia-based solutions to clean the computer.

It’s important to turn the computer off when cleaning and wipe gently from side to side and top to bottom while avoiding circuit swirl motions. Using a microfiber cloth is the best choice for wiping the screen and removing smudges and fingerprints.

3. Cleaning the Inside of a Computer

The inside of a computer is quite complex; therefore, it requires that you take extra care. When cleaning the inside of the computer, always remember to turn it off, unplug the system and then disconnect keyboards, monitors, and other peripherals.

Next, you can use compressed air, a squeeze bulb, or a small light brush to remove dust from the most contaminated surfaces. Remember to keep the blades stationary when blowing. Repeat using compressed air for RAM, CPU, heat sinks, and the entire case interior.

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Conclusion

A clean exterior and interior is fundamental for the overall performance and lifespan of your computer. To keep your PC and computer running smoothly, you must always give it a regular cleaning. It’s advisable to observe the correct procedure of opening the computer and following the proper cleaning process every three to six months. If you have questions about computer services, talk to our team of experts at National Computer Repair.

Hard Drives 101

Along with a screen, motherboard, graphics, and RAM, computers also need a storage drive in order to function correctly. Computers will either need a solid state drive (SSD), a hard disk drive (HD or HDD), or a hybrid version of the two, and because it’s their main storage device the more it has the better. To further boost your hard drive knowledge, feel confident when shopping for one, and learn troubleshooting tips, continue reading our blog below!

Function

Hard drives are the hardware components that store all digital content on computers. This includes everything from documents, pictures, music, videos, programs, and application preferences. Hard drives are typically installed inside of computers, however they are sometimes located externally too. Oftentimes, external hard drives are purchased as a form of additional backup storage for laptops and computers.

Purchasing

Whether you’re buying a new computer or upgrading a current one, shopping for a storage drive can be a daunting and confusing experience. It’s crucial that you thoroughly research before purchasing as the right storage configuration can have a drastic impact on your day-to-day experience with loading, response times, and available storage space.

Troubleshooting

Common issues consumers encounter with their hard drives include data recovery, backup failures, data transfers, and installations. When a functioning drive fails or begins returning errors, there could be many possible causes.

If having issues but the drive is still functioning, copy and relocate any important information from it as quickly as possible as hard drives are infamous for being fine one moment and not the next. When it comes to something as vital as a hard drive, it’s always best to leave it to the experts to avoid any permanent data loss.

Final Thoughts

From hard drive installations to repairs and replacements, National Computer Repair always has you covered. Our team can remedy various issues and replace different malfunctioning components such as the motherboard, hard drive, graphics card, screen, touch pad, and keys. To learn more about our incredibly convenient and affordable services head to our website or call us any day of the week at (615) 826-7550.

Features to Look for in a Laptop Case

When purchasing a laptop most shoppers, for obvious reasons, will spend hours researching the best options for their individual needs and budget. Why spend that time and money if afterward you plan to haphazardly travel with it and leave it vulnerable to shock, moisture, and surface scratches? Knowing what features to look for in a laptop case is crucial because not every case will offer optimal convenience, style, and protection.  

Handle or Strap

The purpose of a laptop case is convenient travel and that convenience increases tenfold when it’s equipped with a small handle or a long shoulder strap. Without this feature laptop owners would have to place their case in yet another bag of some kind, or risk dropping it when carrying it by hand.

Storage

While laptops are undeniably valuable, they‘re essentially rendered useless when their charge runs out. Storage pockets in a laptop case make travelling with the power cord as well as pens, notes, and other small objects much easier and more convenient.

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Protection

By far the most important feature in a laptop case is how protective it is. A great case will have a super soft inner lining that protects the computer from chips and scratches, which should then be surrounded by a shock proof sponge. This type of sponge works to absorb the impact in the event it’s dropped or mishandled. The outermost layer of your laptop case should be water proof or water resistant for optimal and total protection at all times.

Zipper

Along with ensuring that the zipper on your laptop case is strong and durable, its specific location on the case itself can be of importance as well. If a considerable amount of your travels are via airplane, a zipper located on the short end of the case greatly boosts accessibility when taking the computer in and out of a carry-on bag at airport security.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re travelling to your local coffee shop or to study abroad, properly protecting your laptop also protects your documents, photos, and personal information too. Be sure to purchase all of your tech gadgets and accessories from a reputable retailer such as National Computer Repair in Madison, TN.  You can browse our inventory via our website or stop by our shop any day of the week for affordable tech products that won’t disappoint!

PC Gaming Equipment for Beginners

New gamers often face a steep learning curve after their initial introduction to the world of PC gaming. Taking the first steps in acquiring your own gaming equipment can be daunting and confusing, but this blog, along with our hands-on experts are here to help. Whether you’re investing in an entirely new gaming PC or plan to upgrade an existing one, follow along below as we discuss the four main components to look for when shopping around.

Central Processing Unit (CPU)

The job of a CPU is to collect, read, and process instructions provided by applications, then act accordingly. Essentially, a CPU is the brain of a PC and is responsible for carrying out all of the essential tasks that allow it to function properly.

While this component is important for general computing needs as well, it’s an especially critical component for optimal gaming. It’s important to note that replacing or upgrading the CPU later down the line will generally require you to also switch out the motherboard.

Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) or Graphics Card

What would gaming be without the graphics? A graphics card is the ruler of the visual experience because it’s what accelerates your PC’s creation and rendering of images, video, and animations. Your GPU and CPU work as a team to harmonize the graphics with basically everything else.

Random Access Memory (RAM)

RAM is a piece of hardware responsible for helping a PC run programs more efficiently. The more RAM a PC has the more information can be simultaneously accessed and translated by the CPU. Gaming PC’s require more RAM than non-gaming PC’s because these programs need more space, or memory, to operate properly and at full speed.

Storage

The amount of storage a PC has directly affects how fast or slow it will load programs and read data. PC storage typically comes in the form of a hard disk drive (HDD) or a solid-state drive (SSD), the difference being that HDDs are cheaper and come in higher capacities while SSDs are best for achieving the fastest speeds.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day as long as new gamers invest in enough system memory and storage space to meet the minimum requirements of their games, the overall performance will mostly come down to the CPU and graphics card. At National Computer Repair in Madison, TN, not only will you find high end gaming PC’s, hardware and accessories, but trusted advice from local tech and gaming experts as well. Contact us via our website or in person any day of the week!

Iconic Early Laptops

When we look back in history, it’s amazing to see how far we have advanced in terms of technology and innovation. We have gone from clunky and heavy early laptop bricks to slim and sleek laptops that you can take anywhere. We even have nearly the same capabilities in our tablets and phones. So what were the first truly portable laptops and how have they influenced us today? Continue reading to learn more about the very start of laptop innovation.

Image credit: “Osborne 1 open” by Bilby, licensed under CC BY 3.0

Osborne 1

Widely considered as the very first portable laptop, the Osborne 1 was created in 1981 by Adam Osborne. It had a 5-inch screen, 2 floppy drives, a battery pack, a modem, and a built-in keyboard. At the time, it costed around $1,795 and unfortunately, it also wasn’t very popular. It was also heavy and bulky. Although it wasn’t successful, it demonstrated the potential of carrying around your own laptop to work or for traveling.

Grid Compass 1101

Image credit: “GRiD Compass 1101” by jmdo, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Made in 1982, the Grid Compass 1101 introduced the clamshell design which allowed its screen to fold against the keyboard when closed. This design allowed a safer travel and an easier carry because it was protected. It featured a 384 kilobyte bubble memory and a 320 by 200 pixel electroluminescent display (ELD). Costing around $8,000 to $10,000, it was mainly used by the military and was also used by NASA on the space shuttle during the 1980s.

Its innovative clamshell design was one of the most influential and successful aspects of it that is still seen in many of our modern devices today. However, it wasn’t truly portable due to the lack of an internal battery and it had to be plugged into an outlet.

Compact LTE

In 1989, the Compact LTE was regarded as the first “notebook” laptop due to its smaller size similar to a notebook. It was much easier to carry around compared to the larger and bulkier laptops before its time. It had a built-in hard drive and about 20MB of storage space.

Apple Laptops: Macintosh Portable & PowerBook Series

Image credit: “Apple Musuem (Prague) Macintosh Portable” by Benoit Prieur – CC-BY-SA

Apple created their first laptop in 1989 called the Macintosh Portable and it featured a decent battery life and screen for its time. However, its size and heavy weight did not add to its popularity. Although it did pioneer in including a built in trackball.

Image credit: “Apple Macintosh PowerBook 180c” by diskdepot.co.uk, licensed under CC BY-SA

Moving forward to 1991, Apple released the PowerBook series which were extremely successful in their design and features. The keyboard was moved back so users can rest their palms and it also featured a track ball positioned towards the front. This is now equivalent to the touchpads we see now on modern laptops. Apple continued to further innovate the PowerBook series and its features set the foundation for more technological development that we are able to use today.

Conclusion

As you can see, we have definitely come a long way from our humble technological beginnings to high-speed devices that has connected the world. While we don’t do repairs on laptops from the late 1900s, we do provide expert repair services for modern laptops! National Computer Repair is your one stop tech support for virus removal, upgrades, data transfers, and much more. For more information, please visit our website or call (615) 826-7550.

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