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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC ITS tells you how to care for your computer

DTH file.

Staff writer Kayli Watson spoke with Peter Bolish, manager of the UNC Computer Care Center, Carlos Brandon, team lead at the UNC Walk-in Service Desk and Kate Hash, manager of ITS Communications & Digital Services at UNC, about computer care at the University. 

The Daily Tar Heel: What can you do you to make your computer last longer?

Peter Bolish: Just be cognizant of where you’re using your computer. We’re (students) throwing it in our backpacks and then, you know, just kind of forgetting that it’s in the backpack. We may throw the backpack around a little bit. So we would also recommend bringing it into the service desk or the computer repair center to give it a once-over every once in awhile, just like a little preventive maintenance.

DTH: How often should you bring it to the ITS desk?

PB: Ultimately, if I could have my way, I would say once every six months. Kind of like you were going to the dentist. Realistically, let’s shoot for maybe once a year. Obviously, you know, if you can’t bring it in more, we don’t want to inconvenience you. If you could do it once a quarter, I would love that. That would be ideal. Once every three months. But you know, once every six months or so, even if you’re not having any problems. Now obviously if you’re having any kind of issues whatsoever, please don’t hesitate to bring it to the service desk and the computer repair center to assist if there’s any hardware issue.

DTH: When should you generally think of backing up your computer, and how do you do it?

Carlos Brandon: We have some documentation on as far as backing up data to the UNC OneDrive. There are other backup options. Any cloud services that are available outside of what UNC offers, you have external hard drives, you have flash drives. I would say backup data 24/7. Whenever you are working on a document, back it up period. Save it periodically to a safe place because anything can happen with a laptop.

PB: Amen to that Carlos. All the time backup your data. All the time.

DTH: How often would you recommend you replace your computer?

CB: Anyone who buys from the CCI program, those machines come with four year warranty coverage or AppleCare coverage and four-year insurance coverage. So, I would say for CCI models four years, and outside of that I think it’ll come down to the actual computer.

PB: Drive it till the wheels come off! With a little bit of preventative maintenance that Carlos and I have suggested, you can get a really good lifespan out of your computer. Technically, I believe that, it may have increased a little bit, but believe it or not the lifespan of a mobile computer is really only about a year and a half. That’s just what the experts have said that it is going to survive because of all the stresses and all the extra mobility that we put on it. But if you take care of your computer, it can last you a really long time.

CB: And I will add that students can actually come to the service desk if they need to physically clean their computer. It is not something we do for them, but we do provide compressed cans of air and things of that nature so that people can actually take care of their computers.

Kate Hash: And I’ll add that ResNET does these little tech fairs I think once a week or twice a week on North and South Campus residence halls where you can actually take your computer in, and they’ll clean it out and help you out with that physical maintenance of your computer.


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