Electronic devices aren’t living breathing entities so keeping them alive is hardly common sense to most of us non-techie humans. But you don’t want to ruin a perfectly good iPod out of ignorance, do you? Bone up:
Dropping your electonics
At some point, you’ve probably dropped your computer/iPod/phone, gasped, quickly picked it up, and breathed a sigh of relief that it still works just fine. Thing is, electronic devices can get repetitive stress just like human joints; the more you drop it, the closer it gets to breaking down. There are two things you can do about this:
1) Stop dropping expensive and potentially fragile stuff. It may be coated in plastic, but there are little spinning disks and all kinds of tiny gizmos inside just waiting to be permanently jolted out of place. Of course you don’t mean to drop it, but you did mean to carry your laptop and charger and a coffee and a pastry across ice to your car, and that was just dumb.
2) Invest in a case. I used to carry my laptop around in my backpack without a case because I was too cheap to buy one. Guess how long my hard drive lasted? And guess how much more a replacement hard drive costs, when compared to a computer case? Sure, your iPhone looks super sleek, all bare and shiny, but I bet you’ve seen how un-sleek an iPhone looks when its screen is completely cracked.
Dropping electronics into the toilet
I read somewhere that toilets are the number one reason that people have to replace their cell phones. Why am I bothering to list this, you ask? It’s such an obvious no-no! …And yet, hundreds of thousands of you continue to drop your cell phones into the toilet. If I were to indulge in another harrowing anecdote, I might warn you against sticking your phone into your tights because your dress doesn’t have pockets, and then forgetting it’s there when you go to pee. Back pockets of pants should be off-limits, too, at least for the ladies. Make it a habit to leave your phone at your desk when you go to the bathroom—you could probably use the time apart as it is.
Exposing electronics to extreme temperatures
Extreme hot or extreme cold can both damage your electronics. Heat can ruin internal parts of a phone, for example, whereas cold may create condensation AKA liquid AKA an electronic gadget’s worst enemy. (If your phone is completely dead after sitting in a cold car, though, don’t panic. Letting the battery warm up often rejuvenates it.) One time, I ran too many programs on my computer during a summer in Thailand with no air conditioner and, well, not only did my hard drive completely die (again), but I’m starting to get concerned about how much personal experience I have with ways to kill your electronics.
Don’t overcharge your electronics
So, batteries. They’re so mysterious. Most cell phones will tell you when they’re done charging; you should unplug them at that point. It’s good for many computers to have the battery run all the way out—sometimes. Check with your carrier or whomever about how to prolong the battery of your gadget.
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