One of the rituals that I’ve followed for years is a form of spring cleaning for technology. Once we start to see a few consecutive days of double-digit temperatures, I begin the process of cleaning up my systems. Generally, I start by checking out my hardware, things like how much disk space am I using. On traditional hard disks, you should try to stay under 75% capacity to keep your dive speed fairly quick. With an SSD or solid-state drive, it really doesn’t matter. Next I archive older files like spreadsheets, correspondence and on, so that I’m really dealing with only current information. Given the really low cost of storage these days, you could archive on a removable or USB drive, so you can easily locate that data later if you need it. One habit I developed years ago was to add additional internal drives for storage, again it just makes life easier, and you never have to worry about where you stored the external drive.
Another thing I do is evaluate the software I use. Sometimes you can fall into the habit of just using the packages without ever things about updates, revisions, or even other packages that may deliver more functionality, making your life easier. Usually, you can try the software out for free during an evaluation period, but remember, if you decide not to switch packages, to delete the package from your computer.
Although most of the things I’ve talked about today are more applicable to desktops and laptops, it can also apply to your smartphone or tablet. I’m constantly amazed at many consumers to forget to copy their pictures off of their phones, and then one day when they lose or break their device, they’ve lost all the pictures.
I suppose the message for you today is to make sure that you back up things that are really important to you.
Reporting for Computer Insider, I’m Bob Pritchard