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Things That Go Bump!

Things That Go Bump!!
by Gary Woods

Trying to keep your laptop in one piece and functioning correctly can be tough but there are some things you can do to keep on truckin'.

First, the hard drive in your laptop is much more vulnerable to shock when it's spinning. If you can't turn it off or put it into hibernation mode before you move it, at least close the lid and wait for it to enter standby mode.

Second, be careful of where you place your computer. Avoid spots with constant vibration, and visualize what will happen if there was a sudden stop or it dropped from a precarious perch.

Third, watch your power cord. People are always tripping over their own power cords and causing their laptops to come crashing to the ground. Until all notebooks have magnetic plugs like Apple's Magsafe, tripping over a power cord will be a primary cause of serious notebook damage.

Fourth, you should get a good case. A lightly padded layer of leather or nylon may protect your computer from small bumps, but if it falls, only multiple layers of padding will help.

Finally, you should monitor the temperature of your laptop. Make sure that nothing obstructs the airflow around the device. Avoid placing it on blankets, upholstery, or other soft surfaces. Even holding it on your lap can be a problem. A good notebook cooling pad like Antec's Notebook Cooler available online for $35 could significantly reduce this problem.

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. You can hear Gary on the Radio at 1290 AM Monday 9-10 AM and he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc