Stop, step away from the tools and rethink the attempted computer repair by taking a moment to read this! A broken computer is a nightmare. Whether it is for personal or business use, or perhaps the double-whammy of serving both uses, it can mean massive inconvenience or, worse, the loss of years of work and data. 

As computers are such complex things, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of things that could go wrong. From accumulation of dust, to viral infection, to a complete unknown factor, the consequences can be devastating.

What’s more, the damage can be even greater if someone with limited knowledge attempts to repair their ailing machine themselves. Below, we will look at the reasons why it is not always a good idea to try DIY when it comes to fixing a computer.

The Warranty and Beyond

Most computers will come with a warranty from their manufacturer. Most commonly, these periods reside in the one to two year range and offer protection against any faults or problems that may occur in that period. 

When someone decides to fix a machine themselves, the moment they open that computer up, the warranty becomes null and void. This is due to the fact that the manufacturer can no longer be sure about what the user has done to the insides of the machine and cannot be held responsible for it breaking. Most machines have a seal that, once broken, alleviates the manufacturer from any responsibility for their product. The computer could be a mere six months old, but it will not matter.

Some people, if they are desperate or impatient, might crack open the case and have a look to see if there are any obvious problems, or perhaps they believe they know the root of the problem. Nevertheless, they are voiding their warranty and opening themselves up to potential expense further down the road. If the user cannot locate the problem, then they have thrown away their warranty – i.e. a free repair job, purely for the sake of a few moments impatience. They will then have to take the machine to a local repair shop for assessment.

Making Things Worse

For most people, computer repair is not a skill that they are proficient in. Due to this, there is little reason to go poking around in an alien environment that we know little about. The majority of people know little about other household electronics, such as a microwave or hoover, and would not dream of attempting to repair them, so why are computers different?

The truth is that they are not. Except in one major way – nobody stores important details and data on a microwave. The likelihood, when one is attempting to fix something that one lacks knowledge about, is that the problem will probably go unfixed or, worse still, that inexperience will lead to further damage and issues.

The inside of a computer is a delicate place, which is very sensitive to dust and other contaminants, which the inexperienced user may inadvertently introduce. This is without mentioning the potential damage that the untrained hand could cause to the intricate innards. A small wire snagged here, or a little scratch there and the problem can suddenly become a whole lot worse.

Following Tutorials

A user with a broken computer may look up online tutorials to help them with their problem. It seems simple enough – follow along step by step and voila! Problem solved. However, as anyone who has ever tried to build their own sofa or bed, which is infinitely less complex than a computer, can tell you – it rarely goes well. 

The most well intentioned computer user on the planet could try to fix their computer with the help of a tutorial and soon find themselves in hot water, and the reasons for this are clear.

Online DIY tutorials for computers are, supposedly, created by experts; otherwise, they would not be fit to offer advice. Now, when it comes to the internet, there are millions of people offering advice on things that they know nothing about, and computers are no exception. No doubt there are many very well done, helpful tutorials out there but, as a layman, how is one to tell which is which? A user could be following a tutorial that is, at best, ill informed and, at worst, very erroneous.

As well as the plain wrong, there are plenty of tutorials out there that assume a certain base knowledge, using terms and skipping steps that seem rudimentary. For those with a little know how, this is no problem, but this can soon leave novices pulling out their hair. All of this will show that computer expertise is indeed the realm of someone else, and simply confirm that an expert needs to look at the problem. 

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There is never any reason to feel embarrassed about not being able to fix your computer. A car, complex as it is, needs expert appraisal when it is broken, and no one feels less adequate because of it. A computer is an important and central part of most people’s lives in the modern world and, as such, should be treated with the right care and attention when it needs it. 

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The world of technology is always moving ahead, at an ever-increasing pace. This means a constant stream of desirable gadgets and tech.

Whatever you need or desire, or even stuff you didn’t know you needed until now! We take a look at some of the latest, greatest technology.

iPro Lenses

The power of inbuilt cameras has been a fast growing and sustained element of phones and tablets, with users able to command megapixel counts and filters that can give dedicated cameras a run for their money.

iPro lenses hope to kick the power of handheld device photography up to another level.

The iPro lens range aims to provide a multitude of lenses – fisheye, macro, micro, telephoto, and more beside, that mesh with an iPad to offer professional level shots without the use of a dedicated camera.

All iPad models have been taken into account in the design of the iPro, so there should be no risk of damage to the handheld device. The iPro lenses are eminently simple to attach and detach. 

What’s more, the facility to take such stunning photographs on the iPad means that the user has the facility to take, store, touch-up, and share their photography from a single device – something photographers only ten years ago could only dream about.

Philips Norelco QT4070 Vacuum Beard Trimmer

This might seem on the face of it, a tad mundane, (see what we did there?) however this has answered the prayers of the person who has to clear up aftermath of a daily facial grooming!

Due to the rigours and, oftentimes, discomfort of shaving on a daily basis, more and more men are growing beards. Whether it is a full Grizzly Adams affair or a closer-cropped chinstrap, every beard requires maintenance to avoid straying into the unkempt sphere of beards. Unfortunately, this often means rogue clipped hairs sprayed all over the sink and bathroom. Fortunately, the Norelco QT4070 provides a much-needed solution; Philips added an in-built vacuum to this shaver.

The QT4070 sucks up the hairs whilst the shave is underway, meaning no more awkward clean-up operations around the sink and pure shaving bliss.

Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard

The K750, as the name suggest, is powered by light.

Whether it is a sun-bathed office, or the simple attentions of an overhead lamp, the K750 takes that light and turns it into power. What’s more, the solar app on Logitech’s website marries with the keyboard to show just how much energy it is using and how much it has left, as well as other indicators. 

Only 1/3 of an inch thick, it is also lightweight and massively portable. This is teamed with powerful wireless capabilities, enabling the user to be pretty much anywhere in the office or home and still connect to their computer.

As well as representing a lightweight, portable alternative to the usual keyboards, the K750 is also a great way for environmentally minded folk to reduce their carbon footprint. If even a fraction of all keyboards utilised light thusly, that would be a massive reduction in electricity usage worldwide. 

The K750 is that rare combination of a product that features great design and has a positive impact on the environment.

Lumo Lift

It can difficult to find time to dedicate to self-improvement, amongst the daily obligations that demand most of our time and attention. 

That is why devices such as the Lumo Lift, part of the ‘wearable technology’ wave of devices, are increasing in popularity.

The Lump Lift, a small square marginally bigger than a 50 pence piece, helps improve the posture of the user. Attachable to a shirt collar, bra, undershirt, and so forth, the lift vibrates gently but noticeably whenever the wearer’s posture begins to slacken.

The user, after a while, adopts correct posture as a matter of course, which can improve joint, neck, and back pains, as well as generally improving one’s confidence in their general stature.

Tao Exercise Device

Often times, it can be difficult to get to the gym or even find the time to do some exercise at home. This is where the Tao Exercise Device comes to the fore. 

Operating in conjunction with the user’s mobile device, the device emphasises isometric exercise and provides the user with valuable, varied feedback.  

For those not familiar with isometric exercise, it is essentially exercise that recognises limited space or mobility in practitioners and promotes exercises based on the body’s own resistance. For this reason, isometric exercise is great for those in an office or otherwise space-limited environments.

Small, efficient, and good for you – there is not much more that one can ask from a piece of technology.

Valve Steam Machines

The console market, for so long dominated by the big three – Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft, received a powerful new competitor in the form of Valve’s Steam Machines.

Valve, creators of such games as Counter Strike, Left 4 Dead, and Half-Life, to mention only a few, took a look at the console market and decided that there was room for them.

Valve, however, are approaching the console market in a very different way from the traditional powerhouses of the industry. Valve, instead of producing a single console fixed at a single price point, have developed a raft of different consoles, with different capabilities and very different pricings.

Valve knows that what gamers want – in terms of console power and price, varies greatly from user to user. Other console manufacturers set their price and the consumer must meet or miss out – that is a whole part of their selling strategy. Valve instead created and are marketing their machines as a hybrid point between consoles and gaming PCs – perfect for the casual or hardcore gamer, but with price points to match any user’s needs or budget. Not to mention exclusive access to the Steam Library right from the living room – which provides access to thousands of titles. 

The big three suddenly got a powerful new competitor. 

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The PC has long held sway in offices and homes all around the world. The boxy monitor and whirring tower a ubiquitous part of life for what seems like forever. However, things are changing – in business and personal computer use.  

Macs, once seen as the high-end, almost exclusive preserve of those with money to burn, are steadily and surely usurping the throne of the workhorse PC. For example, a recent report by IT Research Company Gartner Apple’s US PC market share has, in seven years, grown from less than 5 percent to a current 13.7 percent. At the same time, traditional PC manufacturers such as HP have seen their market shares steadily trend downwards.  

This is major shift in the desktop computer landscape and demands attention. Looking at the factors behind these changes shows why Macs are making such inroads.

Price Is Not a Factor

Macs, in comparison to other desktop machines, are not overly cheap. Many PCs can be had for a lesser price, but their sales continue to fall. As this was once the main battleground between the two platforms, that consumers no longer consider it a deal breaking point is bad news for PCs and great news for Macs.

One of the factors behind this is Apple’s brand. The Mac benefits enormously from its attachment to Apple, which is a recognisable, marquee label. Of all PC, manufacturers there are really none that can claim to have the same marketing and brand identity that Apple boasts. In the world of business, where visibility and slick marketing is everything, other brands simply cannot compete with Apple; hence, their products are simply more recognisable, well known, and, this being the killer, the most desirable. 

 

The ‘i’ Effect

As was mentioned above, Apple is an immediately recognisable brand, and one, which has become very desirable. There are a few little devices that are responsible for this.

Years ago, when Macs were still very much the underdog of the desktop world, many regarded them as something quite special, yet perhaps something more for the computer aficionado or expert than for the casual user. The iPhone, iPad, and iPod changed all of that.

The massive popularity of Apple’s I devices could not help but boost sales of Macs. For example, statistical analysis website statisticbrain sourced sales figures from Apple, AT&T, Sprint, and Verizon and found that the number of just iPhone 5 units sold is a staggering Eighty nine million units. When this number reflects just one model of one product that Apple is offering, it is easy to see why more people are moving to the Mac. 

Once people like and are comfortable with a product, they will inevitably seek out more from the parent company. Most people, who may consider themselves casual computer users and would have previously even considered a Mac, now find themselves familiar and comfortable with Apple products. This translates directly into increased Mac sales.

Why Are Businesses Turning to Macs?

It is easy to see why everyday consumers are turning to the Mac, but how does that explain the upswing in business uptake?

The simplest reason is thus – because their customers are. The more and more people turn to their iPhone or iPad for every day browsing and shopping, the more it pays for businesses to switch to a platform that matches the needs of their customers, and business can take advantage of the Apple upward trend in a few interesting ways.


The first is apps. In 2013, Apple released statistics showing the number of app downloads and active accounts and the numbers make for impressive reading. Over 2012 and 2013, forty billion apps were downloaded to iPhones, by over five hundred million active accounts. Those numbers are colossal and explain why businesses, large and small, are moving to cater for such an audience. Utilising Mac and Apple platforms means quick, connected access to a market that is fast growing into a multi-billion dollar industry.

Being a business that uses Macs means being in harmony with a fast-rising tide of users that demand synchronisation. To not adapt and ignore the numbers could be a very poor business move indeed.

Connectivity


With the explosion of iPhones, Pads, and Pods comes the desire for quick and easy exchange of information, and Apple does this better than almost anyone else.

In a business environment, the ability to exchange data from, say, a MacBook Air and a desktop Mac is highly important. Apple has this aspect locked down and offer wireless connectivity between their devices. For anyone who has suffered through a drawn out affair of plugging in a device to a PC, the PC failing to recognise it, needing to download drivers, and so forth, this is a godsend.

Apple devices make for quick, hassle-free data exchanges and most PCs simply cannot compete.

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Overall, the rise in popularity of the Mac is down to a few factors. The huge popularity of Apple’s ‘I Products’ is a major factor, both pushing corollary sales of Macs, and the desire of businesses to get in on the action.  

Many people or businesses rely upon their computers for a great deal. Whether it is communication, organisation, or running a full business, they are massively important.

It is important, then, that they be kept in optimal condition and routinely serviced. They are machines of myriad moving and delicate parts, which are under almost constant stressors. However, many businesses and individuals simply do not consider proactive maintenance when it comes to their computer infrastructure. Just as you would not leave a car without checking oil, water levels, and tire treads for months at a time, the approach should be the same with computers.

Below, we will look at why proactive maintenance is a good idea, and how best to go about it.

Have a Schedule

Desktop computers, notebooks, and other sophisticated technologies will malfunction at some point. That is an unpleasant fact. When a device harbours so many advanced parts and must perform so many tasks, it is almost unavoidable. What is avoidable, however, is the severity and frequency of these breakdowns. When important matters – such a business and personal use, suffer because of these breakdowns, the results can be disastrous. That is why it pays to create and maintain a regular maintenance schedule.

If dealing with a large network of computers, which all require software updates, hardware maintenance, and just general cleaning, the task can become Herculean in scope. Computer repair and maintenance servicers can help. The inside of a PC, for example, can be an alien world to most users. They may be utterly proficient at using the system itself, but are none too savvy when it comes to internal maintenance.

Experienced computer service technicians can help a business or individual to come up with a workable schedule that will eliminate potential breakdowns down the road – an MOT for the computer or network, if you will.

Potential Problems

Anyone who has used a computer knows that the scope of things that could go wrong is very large. The problem is that small problems, if left to fester, can become infinitely more damaging and expensive in the long run. That is why it is always best to be aware of the potential dangers and the benefits of regular, scheduled maintenance.

Dust

Dust, for example, is one of the main reasons for PC and laptop malfunction. This simple, seemingly innocuous cause is actually very serious. If opening up a computer that has not seen maintenance in a couple of years, the scale of the problem becomes readily apparent. Drawn in through fans and other openings, dust can cling to vital components, causing them to short and, in extreme cases, catch fire. As such, it is imperative that a PC undergoes thorough physical maintenance, as well as the updating of softwares and hardware.

Tools and expertise are required for such a job, as the nonprofessional might touch, scratch, or break something that makes the problem ten times worse. For example, many hoovers will discharge static electricity that could be severely damaging to a PC, laptop’s or printer’s internal mechanisms. This is something that might not even occur to the everyday user.  

Backup Backup Backup

Avoid the all too familiar song of the people who have poorly pcs  “oh no all my documents and pictures” –  back up your data, if the worst should happen you’re looking at a data retrieval bill for the sake of an external drive or cloud storage routine backup.

Viruses

As well as physical causes such as dust, maintenance is required on the everyday components of the computer. The computer who’s spyware and virus definitions, for example, are not regularly updated runs a great risk of becoming infected with viruses, Trojans, and even more extreme problems. For the business or personal user, this could mean the theft of highly sensitive data. This could be bank details, internal memos, or any number of other things. For the business that suffers such problems, client confidence can plummet. Why would a customer want to work with a business who cannot keep their data safe? This, in the long-term, could cost the business dearly.

Defragmentation

Aside from security, hard drives are another potential source of problems. Data quickly stacks up on a hard drive, often without the user noticing. This can lead to an infuriatingly slow, choppy computer, which takes minutes to complete even the simplest of tasks. By the point that a PC or laptop is behaving in this way, the only recourse is a long defragmentation of the hard drive which could, potentially, take hours. For most businesses, this is a long time for a workstation to be offline. Instead, it is much better to regularly defragment the hard drive and put everything back into order. Instead of taking hours, it will take minutes, and will ensure that everything is running at top speed. It’s worth mentioning that some laptops and pcs have solid state drives which are not recommended for defragmentation despite some vendors producing software for just this purpose, so if you’re not sure, it’s time for a trip to the PC repair shop.

Get Proactive Today

As seen above, there are many potential problems that a PC, laptop, or other technology can suffer from. Luckily, there is one solution to all of them – proactive maintenance. Once a schedule is established and adhered to, there is little, aside from unprecedented failures, than can strike. It only takes the willingness to combat problems before they happen, rather than reacting once they happen, which is already far too late.