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50% solutions

  1. Programs acting buggy all of a sudden? Remember that old stand by, reboot the computer. First close and reopen the wonky program and if things don’t get better, then reboot. It may work 50% of the time.
  2. If some part of the computer, like the printer, speakers, mouse, is not working, check all cables. Fully unplug, undock, un-whatever each cable and carefully plug it back in. Power cables often work loose as you move a monitor around.
  3. Internet down? Try restarting the cable modem, dsl modem, and/or router. Often these don’t have on/off switches, you just pull out the power cable from the back of the unit, wait 10 or so seconds, and plug it back in.
  4. Check for software updates, the software vendor actually fixes some things. And, make sure you have the latest updates for your operating system at this time.
  5. Can someone else make the same problem happen on your computer? Extra dragging fingers on a laptop touchpad makes things look broken.
  6. Disable add-ons, those extra helpers that creep into web browsers like Firefox and Internet Explorer. Add-ons can slow down opening your web browser.
  7. Lithium-ion laptop batteries last longest if they are run down at least 50% once a month. See batteryuniversity.com for more information.
  8. Remember Safe Mode as a way to test how broken things are. When you start up a PC, tap the F8 key a few seconds after turning on the power. Pick the Safe Mode choice. On a Mac, you hold down either Shift key as you start it up. Some devices, especially USB, may not work in Safe Mode.
  9. Clean a gummy looking LCD panel with a 50/50 mix of distilled water and vinegar. Use a microfiber cloth, spray the cloth and wipe gently.

And, finally, when in doubt, RFTM, Read The Fine Manual. Consult your favorite search engine, if you don’t have someone to call.