Is your computer making you more productive or do you feel like you want to throw it out the window and pick up a pen and paper or go back to a typewriter?
The whole purpose of a computer is to get more done in less time by having the computer off-load what we would consider remedial tasks so that we can spend more time thinking of new ideas and executing ground breaking innovations. The computer is there to do the heavy lifting, the repetitive brainless stuff that we just want to get done faster. Computers just do what they are told, nothing more and nothing less. Every line of code is executed exactly as written.
The perceived wizardry behind computers comes from the fact that people are flawed, they make mistakes. When they write code, they can’t consider every problem that will occur because of that code. They can’t consider how that code will be translated in all situations. The mystique is further driven by perception. Often we ask, why does this program act this way. A lot of the time it’s because the developer did not see a better way to implement that feature. A better question might be, would you rather it work some other way and how would that be?
Products are never finished. They just ship. That is why software developers are always coming out with new patches to fix problems as they are discovered or as they are able to address them. New patches also create new problems. The cycle is never ending but the idea is that good software companies and good developers make the overall experience better as time goes on.
A computer is just a tool and like any tool, it needs to be kept sharp, tuned and well-balanced. The computer can be maintained through consistent software updates, tune-ups, upgrades, and dust cleanings. Researching the software that you put on your computer is important. Stable, well-written and frequently updated software will keep your computer stable, fast, and happy. Buggy software can cause blue screens, browser crashes, internet issues, and overall slowness.
Computers are also like many other things in that you get what you pay for. It not enough to look at the specs and pick a computer based off memory, processor, etc. There are some very fast computers for cheap. The problem is these computers are loaded with bloatware to subsidize their cost. For example, vendors pay HP to load their music players, app downloaders, and DVD burning software on their consumer grade computers. This makes the computers run slow out of the box while creating issues through buggy software. The time then must be taken to remove this software without removing features that are useful for the computer to function properly.
Cheap computers can also break-down faster and have more problems in less time. Cheap computers are often plagued with wireless connectivity issues, noisy or broken fans, glitchy screens, or power supplies that provide dirty power that breaks down the computers circuitry over time. Well-built machines like the Dell Optiplex, Lenovo T-Series, and HP Elitebook Folio are not necessarily a whole lot more expensive than what you’ll find at the big box stores, but they will provide a better overall experience through their build quality, warranties, and overall user experience. In the short-term and the long-term they will pay for themselves in productivity and functionality.
Computers can be fickle beasts but they just spit out what is put in. So put in good code and quality parts and your overall experience will be night and day.
This is a guest post written by Barry Robbins.
Barry Robbins is the founder and owner of Colbatech Solutions, an IT consulting practice that brings fast response and high quality IT care to small businesses with 20 and fewer PCs.