Top 10 things you should Never do to your Mac
Author: Cheryl Jencks, SMUG News, September 1993
Date: September, 1993
Keywords: tips and tricks maintenance care safety macintosh
Text: While the Macintosh is an extremely forgiving beast, some things cause trouble. You might think, ''I would never do that!'' or ''What's the problem with that?'' Know that someone did each one and came to grief. 1. Never Just turn your computer off. Always use Shut Down or Restart under the Special menu. This lets the Mac close windows and files, check for problems, and prepare to be switched on again. You know your system has crashed when your cursor won't move, or your screen freezes and doesn't react when you click on things, you hear weird buzzing and the screen goes crazy. Do turn off your Mac, the sooner the better. When you turn it on after a crash, your Mac takes longer to start up because it is checking all of its components for damage, to be sure everything is in working order. 2. Never Connect or disconnect anything on your Mac unless the Mac is turned off. Your computer must be the last thing turned on and the first thing turned off. If you turn a SCSI device on or off, if you connect or disconnect it while it is attached to a powered up Mac, you can cause power surges that can kill your Mac dead. The same rule applies to ADB devices such as the keyboard, mouse, digitizing pad, or trackball. Maybe you've done this and had nothing happen -- you were lucky that time. 3. Never Alter a document in the finder while the document is open. You are typing in WORD, then you are distracted and switch to another program. When you return, you go to the Finder and dig through folders for your working document. When you find the document, you change its name or put it in another folder. When you return to the open document you'll find that WORD doesn't know what happened. If you're lucky, it will save the document under a new name using Save As. If you're unlucky -- let's just say I hope you had been saving regularly. Be aware of what you are doing. 4.Never Let foreign matter get inside your computer. This includes dust, beverages, food, crumbs, cat hair, and cigarette smoke. Use a small vacuum to clean out air vents, and the keyboard. Open up the bottom of your mouse and check the rubber ball itself, and the inside of the case. Check the little rollers that tell the cursor where to move -- you'll be surprised how much gunk gets built up on them and their axles. You may need tweezers and fingernails to get out all the dust and hair. Don't use alcohol to clean the rubber ball as it hardens the rubber. Commercial kits can clean mice, also. Do some vacuuming inside your printer, too. (Turn everything off first. - Ed.) 5. NEVER FILL YOUR HARD DISK TO THE LIMIT. It's tempting to cram every last kilobyte that you can onto your hard disk. You need to give yourself breathing room. When you open a document, the Mac leaves the original where it is and lets you work on a copy. You must have more than the same room additionally, i.e. if your document is 100K , you need 200K free just to type. If you do a Save As, another 100K at least, will be required for your two versions plus your onscreen display. Besides that, the more you fill the hard drive, the more fragmented the document becomes, taking longer to find and gather the scattered portions. 6. NEVER PLUG YOUR COMPUTER DIRECTLY INTO A WALL SOCKET. Sometimes your power supply is ''dirty.'' This means there can be power surges, power dips, power spikes and power outages. Buy your faithful Macintosh the best surge protector you can afford (and plug the phone line into it, too- Ed.) If lightning strikes, the power surge can travel from your phone lines through your modem into your computer -- and fry it. If you are paranoid about power dangers, get an ''uninteruptible power supply.'' 7. NEVER TRUST A FOREIGN DISK. Practice safe computing. Check every new disk that gets near your computer with a virus detection program. DISINFECTANT is free of charge from User Groups and online electronic bulletin board services, such as AOL and Compuserve. One mishap with a Trojan horse (virus) is one too many. 8. NEVER STICK A DAMAGED FLOPPY DISK INTO YOUR DISK DRIVE. If your floppy has a shutter missing (the metal part that slides), or one that is loose or bent, don't use it. It could destroy your disk drive. Don't ever try to force a disk into a drive. For that matter, don't force any of the connecting cable plugs, either. The tiny pins could be bent and your connector ruined. 9. NEVER EXPOSE MONITORS OR DISKS TO POWERFUL MAGNETS. Hard disks, floppy disks, and removable cartridges are all magnetic. You could erase or change them by exposing them to magnets. Monitors are also sensitive to magnets. (A study showed the magnets in most telephones and stereo speakers are not strong enough to do any harm, but it is better to be safe. Remember, magnets are found in places you forget about -- such as paper clip holders and copy holders. 10. NEVER SWEAR AT YOUR MACINTOSH. Mac's have feelings, too. Seriously, your Mac will tend to reflect your general attitude toward it. If you're nice to it, it will work better for you. Excerpted from article of same name by Cheryl Jencks in Club Mac of Monterey Journal for May 1993. - Ed.
Copyright © september, 1993 by Cheryl Jencks, SMUG News, September 1993