Don’t be alarmed. It may never actually “blow up” – which is to say, melt down and take lots of data with it. But one day, sooner or later, it will become obsolete. And for you, that’s potentially an explosive liability.
The older hardware is, the more likely that a failure and loss of productivity will occur. In general, you can avoid big expenses by updating your computer every four years. If it waits five years, then there’s a big risk of being compelled to upgrade many components simultaneously.
What exactly needs upgrading?
Most people tend to think of their computer as a whole, which is to say hardware and software are one.
Talk to experts and you’re likely to conclude that this holistic approach to a computer is correct for most people. Hardware and software generally age at about the same rate. In other words, the machines need to be modernized at roughly the same interval as the operating system is updated, give or take a few months.
So is your PC ready for a once-over? Here are eight signs:-
- It crawls. When your computer gets slow, it’s time for some new iron. I recommend taking a look at both disk and CPU (central processing unit) usage. When you’re at about 80%, it’s time to start looking around. A slow computer, of course, means less productive usage. If you are a business user can you afford that?
- It sucks up your time. If you’re spending more time on dealing with computer problems than you are willing to commit, it’s time for an upgrade. Ask yourself: If you weren’t working on a particular computer problem, how much money could you save by doing something else?
- It’s noisy. As fan drives and hard drives age, you will notice they will become noisier. This is typically a good indicator that hardware failure is just around the corner. Computers are like cars; they have only so much mileage before they start falling apart. If you can’t spring for a complete upgrade when you hear funny noises, at least make sure everything is backed up.
- It’s out of warranty. When the only people who know enough to support your computer are retired and collecting Social Security, you know you have a problem. I’m not kidding. If the manufacturer has stopped supporting the hardware and software – which means it’s more than three years old – then there’s a good chance you need some kind of upgrade.
- Something doesn’t feel right. Maybe your hardware specifications don’t match your vendor specs. Maybe it takes longer and longer to do the same function. If you, or your IT support, have a sinking feeling about the computer, chances are it could be ready for an upgrade of some kind.
- There’s no more room. If the requirement of the software that runs on the computer exceeds the servers’ specifications, then you need a new computer. Computer users shouldn’t just try to manage a space or memory crisis in the short term, but to think about the computers long-term needs. Planning is the key. Will you be upgrading the software that runs on the computer in the near future? These are questions that you have got to ask yourself.
- Its performance is otherwise impaired. Does your computer seize up often? Does the box have problems resolving conflicts? Even if things run smoothly otherwise, these occasional hiccups may be a sign that the computer is running up against the limits of its performance. Most users have a hard time tracking these issues until it’s too late.
- The big one happens. There usually isn’t a telltale sign that your computer needs to be upgraded, in terms of hardware, until a catastrophic failure occurs. After a meltdown, there’s normally a scramble to replace operating systems and applications. Frequently, those are discontinued, or support has been discontinued, and that’s usually when the user discovers that it should have upgraded long ago. It is much calmer to upgrade in a planned manner than to scramble at the last minute to resolve a crisis.
Ready to upgrade?
If so, this may be the right time to call upon thetechangel.com.
Remember to purchase a brand-name computer, with plenty of storage capacity for the next three years and an onsite warranty for at least the first year, and then if required a return to base warranty for the next two years (often sold separately).
In fact, three years seems to be the magic number for computer upgrades. The Computing Technology Industry Association recommends an upgrade every three to four years for computers that host critical functions – as do many other computers gurus.
Paying attention to the age and health of your computer, and using a little common sense, can tell you when you need an upgrade. If your computers are mission-critical, you might also have a disaster plan in place.
If you’re prepared for the worst, updating computers is a much less risky proposition. If you aren’t prepared for the worst, Murphy’s Law will take over.
So what computer brands would be recommended?
thetechangel.com favours two brands from either the home or office environment – HP or Apple computers.
One little disclaimer: Often there may be no signs or warnings that are apparent to the users. But the time bomb is still ticking.