Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Computer Survival Tip: Restart Your Computer

Restart Your Computer
A Computer Survival Tip From the Reluctant Geek

If your computer is misbehaving in some mysterious way, try simply shutting it down and starting it up again. Maybe you're having trouble connecting to the Internet or your network, or you might not be able to print a document or send an email, or your mouse might be acting erratically.

Sometimes computer problems occur because your computer has gotten confused. Computers are extremely complex, and, from a certain viewpoint, you might say that they are cobbled together rather than truly designed. So they tend to get bollixed up. This is especially true as they get older, but some computers also get crazy when they have been running too long.

So sometimes, the best fix is just to shut down and start up again. This gives the computer a chance to just forget about its problems and get a fresh start. It also gives the computer a chance to "shake hands" with the networks and other devices it's connected to. At times, a computer problem has to do with two devices not playing nicely together in the sandbox, and they just need a chance to "time-out" and start over.

Disclaimer: Some readers might complain that my tips are over-simplified or that I display an abysmal lack of technical knowledge. Well, you might be correct, although you were rude to say it. However, I write these tips for the majority of computer users, who don't understand or particularly care about the underlying technologies of the systems they are struggling with. They are just trying to accomplish their goals. So when I write these tips, I focus on how the computer is behaving in its relation to the human user, not on what's going on under the hood.

Al Bredenberg
The Reluctant Geek