Emancipate Your PC
by Neighborhood Computer Hero, Staff Writer
www.noturmommasnews.com Archive page - October 5, 2008 edition.

Well folks I was asked to write a few words for Just Sayin’ and I personally don’t know what to write, but here’s my tip. Keep reading Just Sayin’ your online news room that tells it like it is from across the web and beyond. Sounds a little corny doesn’t it? Well it is, but so am I and a little geeky too.
But really, I think that sometimes I do have somethin’ to say and not just to have to say somethin for the sake of saying. You all know that with knowledge comes power and with power great responsibility. And as for black folks knowledge has been a tool for us to break the chains of oppression and slavery and to lift ourselves out of the mire of poverty. But knowledge is a universal; it can be used by any race, creed or color to achieve the same things, however it also can be used to enslave and to oppress.

You all heard about the “Emancipation Proclamation” and when it was issued on September 22nd, 1862 and signed by President Lincoln, January 1st, 1863, but did you know that in TX the black population didn’t know about it until June 19th, 1863. While to many of you, this tidbit of information may seem trivial, but to me it speaks volumes about how information can change a life, a family, a generation, a nation and a world.

Man, as a species, has gone through many ages and the dominate race was the one who could best utilize the technology of that age; we now find ourselves in what’s called the Information Age and the same holds true for it. The most dominate race or races are those that can best utilize the technology of the age. Several years ago I read an article called the “Digital Divide”, it described how and who was lagging behind in the use of computers and the WWW. That divide still exists today, and how we catch up is solely up to us. We can buy into the current school of thought that dictates that what’s mine is mine and I’m not sharing it with no one outside of my circle, my family. Or we can say what’s mine is ours and I’m going to share it with those outside my circle to empower them to prosper as I have.

Your computer is your life line to the digital divide; it puts you in position to capitalize on the knowledge that the Information Age has to offer. But, if you’re like many of us, sometimes can’t afford to go get new tires for your car every other year or every sixty to one hundred thousand miles and you have to make due until you get some extra money. It’s the same way with your PC or Laptop; some of our machines are over 3 yrs old and are starting to move slowly and may be a cesspool of viruses and worms and other malware. What was once our pride and joy, are now used every now and then because they are just to slow, what used to keep us up all night, only gets a cursory glance. Are you able to chuck it and go buy a new one? More power to you if you can, but to those of us that are counting our penny’s and need a way to bring that machine back to life without sacrificing the rest of our household budgets. Here’s my tip to you:

Clean: A clean computer runs more efficiently, go out and buy a 5$ (readily purchased at Wal-Mart and in some grocery stores) can of compressed air and blow out your computer. Unplug it take it outside remove one side and go to blowing, make sure that you clean the vents and any and all dust balls that’s inside. Just like your refrigerator, air conditioner, DVD player and TV when too much dust is inside, your computer suffers from the heat that’s generated. If put off to long it could lead to costly physical repairs or even worse a dead computer. This is a recommend must do monthly.

Disinfect: A computer that once ran smoothly can now be victim to a wide range of viruses, worms or other malware. This can cause all types of problems to your computer preventing you from doing even the simplest of tasks and making your online experience a nightmare. Find and use a good anti-virus/ anti-spyware/ anti-malware application and install it on your machine. There are several on the market ranging in price from free to expensive, it depends on what your needs as to what to get, but get one and use it.

Disinfecting a computer after it’s got the flu is not an easy task, especially if you already had an anti-virus app on your machine. It shows how well, today’s viruses have been constructed and how adaptable they are, but they can be cornered and eliminated. One of the first steps is to get a better mouse trap. The one you had been using is just not going to work so go online and download a new anti-virus app (Avast, AVG, and Malwarebyte) are all good app’s and they can be free depending on your needs. Then, after you’ve downloaded them go offline before you install, this would prevent those nasty’s that need a connection, from preventing you from installing the new anti-virus. Then scan your computer, allow the new A/V to delete or quarantine any and all threats, after its finished boot up your machine normally and update your new A/V and run it again. As an added measure go to an online anti-virus scanner and allow it to scan your PC, this may reveal other things that are hiding on your machine that your first two scans missed.

Vaccinate: Once you are sure that your PC/Laptop is clean you have to ensure that what happened in the first place never happens again. You do this with a two prong attack. First get and use good Anti-V/M/S ’ware and keep it updated, you can’t prevent the flu if you medicine is old and outdated nor can it help you if you keep it locked up in a cabinet. Second, change your habits; stop downloading, visiting or just hanging around places that those nasty’s like to be. Using applications like uTorrent or Limewire are infections just waiting to happen.

Optimize: This is just a tune-up for your computer, get rid of old and unused applications and files, defragment your hard drive, clean and defragment your registry. This allows your computer to run leaner and meaner; you know how it is after that Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. You just don’t want to do nothing but sit around and shoot the jive with your friends and family. When your computer is bloated that’s all it wants to do and while it’s doing it, it wants you to sit around till it gets ready, so put it on an exercise program. Exercise its mind.

Don’t let your computer be your Juneteenth, keep it a lean, mean, fighting machine by following those simple steps above. Don’t be prevented from sharing in the empowerment that knowledge provides by a slow machine, keep it running smoothly with just a few simple tips.