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Cleaning computers and alternatives

Chromebooks are an alternative to Windows or Mac laptops and tablets. They are laptops that use Google’s Chrome operating system, often with a solid-state drive, decent battery life, and 11 to 14 inch screens. Having a keyboard, they don’t force you to tap-type on a screen and, of course, integrate with all of Google’s services like Gmail and Google Play. Choosing between different models and manufacturers is now easier at http://prodct.info/chromebooks/ where you can filter by screen size, minimum RAM, SD card size, touch screen, and other criteria.

Occasionally, I see hot desktop computers, not as in fantastically great but actually hot to the touch computers. Their fans are always running and they operate slowly. Various things can make this happen but one of the most common is dust, pet hair, rug and dryer lint, and smoke or tar build up from wood fires or cigarettes. To clean these out requires opening up the computer and actually finding the cooling fan that sits on top of a finned radiator. Just vacuuming it may not work, you will need to use tweezers to pull off the sticky lint and then vacuum it off. And, then vacuum out all the dust you can see, using the crevice tool is often a good way to get into corners. Don’t forget the dust that builds up on the power supply, the box inside the tower where the power cord plugs into. With laptops, look for dust in and around venting, usually parallel or circular openings.

While on cleaning, LCD screens are best cleaned with one of those dry microfiber clothes, like you get for glasses. Try it dry, if you need dampness, spray water or dilute white vinegar on the cloth, not the screen. Don’t press on the panel, just keep gently rubbing to get food gunk off. If you don’t have a microfiber cloth, a coffee filter will work. For keyboards, you can often blow out all sorts of crumbs and dust with compressed air from a can.

On the Mac side of things, for those of us who are too wordy, there is a Summary service that can help you check your wordiness. It is not perfect but it can give you an idea of wordiness, especially if you play with the slider to see how much can be summarized. To turn it on, and to learn more about Services, actions that are available across all your Mac applications, try a google search for “Mac services summary” or something similar.

It comes as no surprise, more passwords have been leaked and you might be scrambling to change them all again. The advice is still to use different passwords and to change them regularly. Password saving software, like LastPass and others, can help with that, as can a card in your wallet. You limit your exposure to logins being compromised if you always use different passwords, especially if they are truly different, not just 1234google and 1234yahoo and 1234att.

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