Ahh…Spring the season of new beginnings, buds on the trees, flowers blooming.
Not where we live. We just had 8-10 inches of snow, on two different days in one week! But it is supposed to be in the 70s this weekend so the snow will melt and the green will return to our beloved Minnesota. And all Minnesotans know what that leads to…Spring Cleaning.
We get all excited to finally be able to open windows and get fresh air throughout; our houses, garages, offices, schools, grocery stores…you name it, if we’ve spent any length of time in that place we want to clean it. We will dust, sweep, vacuum, mop and air that place out because we finally can and because it probably really needs a good cleaning.
Your Network/IT environment is very much like this, in need of a good cleaning.
First of all your computers need a good clean supply of clean air so the fans they utilize for cooling can draw in air to cool the processor, the video card, power supply and the overall interior of your computer (both desktop & Laptop). If you haven’t looked inside of a computer lately I’ll explain why this is so important.
A computers uses electricity to do it work. As it carries out is tasks in its Central Processing Unit (its main brain) the CPU generates heat. The same is true for the Video cards we now use; its processors generate heat as it works.
This heat can damage or destroy your computer’s component parts…this is bad. So someone had the great idea to use Heat Sinks to draw heat off of the CPU/Processors. I’m not sure who was the first to place them in a computer or who invented them, but a heat sink is really just a radiator (like you car’s) and that was first brought into reality by Karl Benz (of Mercedes Benz fame). The principle is simple; heat from the processor is transferred via contact to a heat conducting metal. The heat sink has fins that give it more surface area from which to dissipate heat. The fans in the computer with draw heat off of the heat sink and out of the computer.
The mortal enemy of the heat sink and fans is dust…and you thought dust bunnies were cute. They are not, nor is dust benign in the world of computers. Here are the major issues between computers and dust. Computers (components) generate electromagnetic fields and EMFs attract dust. The dust actually adheres to the fins of the heat sink as well as the inside/outside of the fans. This cause the sink to become less and less efficient at heat dissipation, and the fans will eventually seize and stop drawing/blowing air over the heat sinks and into/out of the computer. When this happens, your computer will simply (hopefully) shut off. This is a safety feature in most computers; it protects the CPU from failure (death) and usually can be easily remedied with a good cleaning or replacement parts.
Do you know how to clean your computer? Tune in next time and we will show you how the pros (and maybe some amateurs) do it.