I was flabbergasted yesterday by a statement I read in one of my mailing lists that put opening a CPU on a level with opening a pen when we were kids. I don’t know what kind of pens my colleague used, but mine were Bic and went straight to the waste basket when they didn’t work.
Opening a CPU is not difficult, but you need some knowledgeable help in the beginning because a CPU is basically a box with a board where everything is connected, and everything must be connected in a certain way… Here you are an ASUS motherboard (my favorite for their design). Check it out; all slots you need are there, the ones you need for processors, graphic/sound cards, RAM memory… everything. That’s where you connect even additional fans you install in your CPU.
I have said ASUS boards are my favorite because of their design. It is obvious I have seen a few boards and know how they work.
So I don’t think it is a shame to take your CPU for technical service to extend memory, for example. If you have a friend who is into computers and knows how to do this, ask him to call you whenever he is ready to do something. This way you’ll learn the basic facts for hardware maintenance.
But software is another thing altogether. As translators, we work with software every day and we should know how to use it, to update it, to do maintenance, and to extricate ourselves from some of the messes it can cause. This includes getting rid of viruses we may have caught for any reason.
First golden rule: you need to be a little bit smart to avoid viruses. You need to ACTIVATE EXTENSIONS first. Boy, you don’t know what extensions are… They are the three letters or numbers that appear after the period in file names, like .avi, .doc, .mp3, .txt, .xls, .pdf, etc. They are important: they actually tell the computer what program to use to open a specific file. It’s easy to activate them: click My PC, for example, and choose Tools > Folder Options > View. In Advanced Settings, uncheck the option Hide extensions for known file types and check the option Hide protected operating system files. Click Apply to All Folders and then OK to exit the dialog.
This serves two purposes:
1. If you don’t see system files, you’ll be less likely to erase one.
2. If you see extensions, you’ll be less likely to open a virus (safe in the knowledge that Windows default configuration is hiding extensions, many hackers name their files XXX.txt.exe, for example, and you just see XXX.txt and think it is a text file).
More tips another day.