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Some Common Mobile Electronic Devices Usage and Maintenance Unraveled

The Cellphone

      A cellular phone is basically composed of solid-state electronics. It can suffer less damage when dropped compared to a laptop under operation assuming they both experience the same amount of force when they hit the ground. It also gets damaged when soaked with water (specially saltwater, being conductive) wherein shorts can occur. Ionized water can also harm electronic components in your cellphone sensitive to static charge. I've heard of water-resistant phones, yet its still safe to take extra measures because you'll never know if there is a fault in the insulation. Its life expectancy greatly decreases when operated at higher temperatures, so exposing the mobile unit to high temperatures is a no-no. When the LCD breaks, the phone is as good as scrap unless you solder a new one on. As for viruses, the smarter the phone, the more vulnerable. Why? Because smarter phones acquire data in more ways, and the more the ways available - the higher are the chances of a virus to slip through. When the phone gets infected, time slows down, and the only effective solution is to reformat it. I haven't heard anyone actually get protected by a mobile antivirus yet but I think its worth a try.

The Laptop

      Laptops are just desktops with limited abilities. Yes, you can just add USB ports to connect peripherals that you desire, but there is still a limit. As far as I can remember, USB only offers 7 Tiers of connections. The most sensitive part of the laptop (or any device in this case) is the mechanical one, in particular the fan and the hard drive. The fan is easy to replace, but the hard drive is a bit more expensive and delicate (since it will contain all your non-volatile stored files and documents). If you are using a hard drive and it is exposed to excessive shock while operating, chances are the head will come in contact with the platter (hence you'll hear a soft hissing sound). If excessive shock isn't avoidable, perhaps solid-state drives are the best alternatives, of course at the right price. Avoid running the operating system on a flash drive because you risk exhausting the R/W cycles, rendering the flash drive useless. I've heard of Slitaz, a linux based lightweight operating system that functions solely on RAM. The complete package offers PDF viewing, ASCII writing, Chess and Sudoku, and a custom environment for less than 10 MB. When unplugging the charger, unplug the socket connected to the main supply first before disconnecting the laptop-adapter interface. The adapter stores charge so it is good to let the stored charge be released first. It is a rule of thumb not to let wires remain ionized specially with an un-terminated load. Do not touch the interior of the laptop without an ESD (electrostatic discharge) wristband since a lot of components are sensitive to static charge. A laptops battery life can also be conserved by turning off the wireless adapter when not in use. Always turn off a laptop properly or else an illogical value in one of the logic gates used will be stored. If chances permit that that gate be used while the unit is powering up, you will have a boot error and the laptop will not boot anymore (though the probability of this happening is infinitesimal, it becomes substantial when put to habit). When trying to connect to a wi-fi hotspot, avoid microwave ovens, or anything transmitting or operating at microwave frequency. Wi-fi also operates on microwave frequency so interference will be a problem.


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