Computer Maintenance

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Computer Maintenance

Urgent XP update

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Now what has happened that is interesting, Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP five years ago when Tony Abbott was Prime Minister, but occasionally if it is super urgent they will release a patch. So this supercritical patch is available here for Windows XP. Anyone running something later than Windows 7 or later does not need to worry about it as 

This patch is considered very important by Microsoft. If you want to read the technical reasons for this patch, it is here.

What everyone wondering is what is going on as Microsoft like everyone else, including us, uses automatic updates. No-one runs updates manually for 20 years, yet this update is manual. 

Our advice to those who are running Windows XP on a computer is to run it without access to the internet and to be extremely careful what they put on it.  We think its best that they put nothing on it because it is incredibly vulnerable to viruses.

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Speed and antivirus software

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Anti virus software

Antivirus software does slow down your point of sale system, fortunately, there are a few things you can do.

The problem

Antivirus software are made to work all the time in the background where they do take up processing power, so slowing you down. Sometimes they slow down a system so much that the computer is unusable and there is no pattern to it, on some computers some software runs fast and on others it runs slow.

Firstly we do not recommend any antivirus software that is not reviewed on these two sites av-comparatives and av-test we would recommend that you only use these antivirus software packages. As there is a lot there, it is hardly much of a limitation.  

The first point to do is to test whether it is the antivirus software that is slowing you down as there are many other causes for slow speed. Try turning off the antivirus software for a while and see what speeds you are getting. Just be careful while the antivirus software is not running.

If you are sure its the antivirus software, you may want to try this 

) Try a different antivirus software, in my experience, this is the quickest and easiest, as a rule, Avast and Microsoft Defender are generally the fastest on slow machines. If you are running XP, please do not use Microsoft Defender. You will find large variations in speed on different computers so you will need to find the software you are comfortable with, that runs fast.

) Do not run more than one antivirus software at any time.  

) Try and limit as much as possible running your antivirus software at night when you are not using it.

) Most antivirus software have settings that are worth going through, you may need to go through these settings.  Okay, you may reduce your security a little but at least you can work on your computer. Unfortunately, they are all different so we cannot go through them here in detail.

) If all fails, ask the antivirus company, most have forums where the public can ask questions and they all have a support team.

 

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Today is "Clean Out Your Computer Day"

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It is a fun holiday but it has a real and necessary purpose.

Like much else mechanical, dirt, smoke, dust and pet hair can damage your computer. In a computer generally, the problem is two-fold

1) These products settle on your computer components and as they are an insulator act as a blanket and making the computer run hotter then it is designed to run. What this does is reduce its life expectancy and cause parts of your computer like the memory, the processor and the power supply to misbehaviour or stop working. I have seen several short circuits of delicate electrical components caused by dust too generally in the CD and DVDs. 

As a rule, try to put a computer in a clean location, near a fireplace, where your dog sits on, dusty place, etc is not suggested.

In an effort to overcome the heat what the computer does is push the fan to run faster which can cause the fan to break from overuse which brings us to the second problem

2) The computer has several moving parts and vents mainly in the ventilation system. The dust, hair etc can reduce the ventilation system efficiency. If enough cold air cannot come in then the computer is going to run hot. If they jam the fan they can break it too.

As a rule, try to put a computer in a spot where its air vent has access to cold airflow. Next to heating vent is not suggested.

Now, what can you do about the dust already in the computer?

If you have seen the movie Zoolander and this is you on the computer mechanics, now stop reading and ask someone else to help out.

Here is a video that I do suggest the person cleaning your computer views first and remember there is a good reason why this holiday was set up on a Monday if something goes wrong on a weekday you can get professional help if something goes really wrong.

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Importance of cleaning your keyboard

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Cleaning a keyboard

The keyboard of a point of sale system in a shop is generally in a dirty environment and shared with many people. People will often work the keyboard while eating and some may have used it after blowing their noses. As food build up inside the keyboard, it makes an excellent environment for germs to spread.  So the odds are that it is incredibly dirty and full of bugs. So regularly I suggest that you give it a clean.

This is how I do it.

Before I start to clean the keyboard, I turn off the computer. I find this quicker then disconnecting the keyboard. 

On the keyboard, I find a sticky note is great for running down the tracks to pick up the loose debris that collects there as it sticks to the glue. So keyboards need a few sticky notes. Sometimes a toothpick is handy here for bigger stuff. Then I use a cotton swab into some rubbing alcohol to get into these tracks too. Now I may need another sticky note to run through again.

Now I use a cloth with only a touch of the rubbing alcohol and wipe the surface. If a spot does not go away, the toothpick is useful to remove the spot too.

Now wipe with a dry cloth. Do not leave the keyboard moist. 

Cleaning a computer keyboard is not just about looking good but also about good personal hygiene 

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Pos equipment : Cashdraw

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Most cash drawer work through the receipt printer so firstly check your printer is working correctly. 90% of the time, we find the receipt printer has run out of paper.

If the receipt printer is working fine, then check if it's a loose cable. Check its in securely, push it in order to make sure. If that does not help take the cables out and put them back in.

If this does not ďes not fix the problem, consider asking for help, as a rule I would expect that there is a problem it is in your receipt printer not in the cashdraw.