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Gadgets How To Guides Technology

Looking after your gadgets

Gamers, office workers and tech fans who lead a busy lifestyle might not rate tidying up their technology as their highest priority. However, there comes a point where all the wires and cables become so intertwined that they become almost impossible to prise apart. This is where keeping all your tech in check could prove useful.

It doesn’t have to involve hour after hour of moving your devices around or untangling cables. With a combination of hi-tech and low-tech solutions, you can make your tech at home or in the office look a lot cleaner and easy to find, use and transport when you need to access it.

Cable management

Messy cablesFor gamers in particular, this is essential. The problem of cables becoming tangled is common for many console owners. The best thing to do to avoid this problem is to use a series of cable ties. They’re cheap, easy to use and help to keep numerous cables bound together behind the back of your TV screen.

At the same time, you’ll want to make sure that all your gadgets are well-ventilated. Keeping the holes in your computer, consoles, TV and other devices clear from obstructions like wires or cables will ensure that they’re less likely to overheat. This should extend their life and help keep them running fast.

All-in-one charging

Many of us own quite a few gadgets, many of which have mains chargers. In some cases, e-readers, smartphones and tablets can be powered up using the same charger, but to save space and energy when two or more of them need recharging, a multiple docking station could be helpful.

They’re relatively good, but they’re not too expensive, plus they can work well in the office as well as at home. If you own a range of Apple products, you’ll surely want one in order to reduce the stress of trying to find the right charger for each device. It could also become an important addition to any office desk, especially if you need access to all your gadgets at all times.

Smart labelling

Labelling your technology is a simple but effective idea, especially in the workplace. If, for example, you work in a large office, you’ll want to be able to find your computer/laptop straight away. Putting a label on it could save you time in trying to find it, especially if you feel like you’ve mislaid it somewhere after a meeting.

Asset labelling is useful too. It can be used to track your tech if it goes missing or gets stolen. As seareach.plc.uk point out, it’s useful for devices other than computers as well. It could be used to keep track of printers, scanners, tablet PCs, photocopiers, monitors or even items of furniture such as tables, chairs and sofas.

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Computers How To Guides

How to identify prevent and fix laptop overheating

For the last few years, the sale of laptops has increased by 25% whereas the sale of desktop machines has reduced. Along with increasing demand for laptops and a change in times, technology has been upgraded.

Day by day laptops are getting thinner, more compact, lighter, and better in terms of performance. Because of this, laptops are now being put into smaller and smaller casing, which increases the threat of overheating, as there is less room for air to circulate.

If your laptop overheats, it can cause permanent hardware damage or failure. In this article, I will try to teach you about how to identify, prevent and fix laptop overheating.

An overheating laptop

Symptoms of Laptop Overheating

Below are the three points which can help out to identify if your laptop is overheating.

  • Sudden shut-down, done by the operating system to prevent hardware damage
  • The fan speed increases – you should be able to here this
  • A reduction in the laptops performance – things load slower, the CPU is busy more often etc.

The Root Cause of Laptop Overheating

Laptop overheating occurs due to insufficient cooling. This usually happens because either your laptop is clogged up with dust, blocking ventilation, or because a thermal grease compound is getting stocked between your CPU and the heat sink – the big metal cooler that is usually linked to the fan.

Steps to prevent or fix Laptop Overheating

Option 1 – External cooler

You could purchase an external cooler. This is a cooling pad you place your laptop on, and it keeps cool air circulating around the laptop. Before you but a cooling pad, it is important to understand the flow of air in and out of your laptop.

Cooling pads are more useful/effective when used on laptops with air vents on the base of the device. Cooling pad connect via USB, and consumes some of the laptops power – not a problem if you are plugged in. Usually these pads cost around £5-20 GBP.

Option 2 – Get a strong and level base

Most laptops have their ventilation grills on the bottom of the device. Therefore if you keep them on an uneven surface, such as a bed, lap or pillow, disturbance is caused to the airflow. Keeping your laptop on a hard surface, like a table or a strong hard tray is likely to get you good air flow..

Option 3 – Internal cleaning

The above two methods were external methods, however this method will require taking your laptop apart and putting it back together again – so only do it if you are confident you know what you are doing!

This step is about removing your laptops casing to clean out any dust or dirt that might be restricting the airflow. Most laptops have downloadable user manuals, which can tell you all about the internals of your laptop, and how to take it apart, in order to clean it. This can void your warranty, so be careful and do your research! If you are not confident, you could of course take it to your local computer repair shop, and ask them to clean it.

If you are doing it yourself, once you have opened your laptop, you will need to clean the fans which provide cooling to graphics card and CPU. Before you do this, make sure that it is shut down and the battery is removed – don’t electrocute yourself! For thermal grease you may need to use a cotton swab, dipped in stain remover to remover.

For full, comprehensive instructions, research it yourself, and do not start opening your laptop up until you know what you are doing!