Computers, like any other piece of electronic equipment, need special care and attention in order to perform properly and safely.
There are many tasks that should be done, and caution that should be taken to ensure proper working, and safety of all components of the computer system.
In this unit, we shall concentrate on some daily do’s and don’ts and precautions that any one in a computing environment should know.
The computer laboratory Rules and Regulations
1. Computer components should be kept
dust-free. Avoid smoking and exposing computers to dust.
2. Never try to remove the cover on your computer or touch inside the system unit. There are many sensitive components. Instead, take it to a qualified technician.
3. Keep all liquids and food items away from your computer.
- Liquids and food crumbs can cause rusting and corrosion and damage electronic circuits. Also, mixing liquids and electronic components can cause serious electrical shock!
4. Never use your computer during a storm. The computer is connected to electricity and that means that lightning could be conducted on the computer.
5. Physically, be careful, avoid knocking and dropping any hardware to the ground as this could cause any of the delicate components to break or be damaged and stop working.
6. Proper shut down of computers should be followed to avoid disk and system failure (avoid abrupt switching off)
7. Be careful when using the internet. Do not accept downloads from Internet sites that you don’t know and trust.
- And never open an email attachment unless you know and trust the person who sent it.
8. Avoid making hardware connections to the motherboard when the computer is on. Eg keyboard, monitor and mouse connections.
9. Don’t bring magnetic devices to the lab. The computer has magnetic disks which can be spoilt if they come near other magnetic fields.
10. Handle delicate storage devices with care. Don’t touch the inner surface of Compact disks and Floppy disks. Safely remove Flash disks from the system.
11. Avoid excessively bright and flickering computer monitors. The brightness of the computer monitors should be adjusted to avoid eye strain.
12. Always Sit upright to avoid muscle pains and backaches caused by poor sitting posture.
Management Of Computers And Their Environments
After the establishment of the computer laboratory, a number of precautions should be observed to provide a safe conducive environment for teaching and learning as seen below:
1. Avoid direct sunlight and high Temperatures that may damage hardware components.
2. Always use surge protectors, Uninterruptible Power supply (UPS) or voltage stabilizers to ensure steady power supply to safeguard their system.
3.Protection against fires. A computer room should have fire extinguishers of carbon dioxide but not water or powder.
4.Proper cable installation and placement. Cables should be preferably along walls, avoiding the danger of exposing the user to electric shock
5. Burglar proofing avoid unauthorized access to the computer room.
Fit strong locks, doors, windows and roofing. Security should be
good around the computer room to avoid thefts.
6. Overcrowding of either machines or people should be avoided.
7. Always install lightening conductors to the computer laboratory to protect the machines and the users of the computers.
8. Ventilation should be good. Good aeration enables the computer to cool and hence avoids overheating
9. Minimize Electrical noise/interferences in the computer environment.
- ELECTRICAL NOISE refers to externally radiated signals that cause undesirable additions to the current voltage.
- Electrical noise is commonly generated by devices like Fluorescent lights of high frequency, Motors, Battery Chargers, Inverters, Radios, television, and Cell phones.
10. Dust control. When setting up the computer laboratory, consider a location away from excessive dust.
- The room should have special curtains and computers should remain covered using dust covers when not in use.
11. Dump Control: Humidity must be regulated in the computer laboratory to remain at an optimum 50%.
- Low humidity may cause static electricity to build and damage sensitive components.
- High Humidity of over 70% may cause rusting of the metallic parts of the computer system.
12. A computer room should have enough light to avoid eyestrain and headaches.
13. Radiation filter screens should be fitted to reduce the light that reaches the eye.
14.Standard furniture: The table on which a computer is placed must be strong and wide enough to bear the weight and accommodate all the peripheral devices
Maintenance of Computers In Good Working Conditions
The following measures should always be carried out to keep computers in good working conditions:
1. Regular servicing should be done for hardware and software updates to ensure proper working conditions of the computers
2. Computers require special cleaning even on the outside including hardware parts such as the mouse and keyboard to perform correctly
3. Always use optimizer utilities
that modify programs to make computers to improve performance and make them to run more quickly.
4. Always use and regularly updated antivirus software. Viruses and worms are horrible computer-unfriendly programs that can crash your system and cause damage.
5. Avoid Installation Marathons
- Sometimes, installing a new program can cause conflicts within your system.
- It is therefore advisable to use the computer long enough to see how your system responds to the installation before installing the next program.
7. Carry out Disk Defragmentation when necessary.
- A computer is a storehouse for large amounts of data and so, Having a disorganized computer slows down the processing time.
- Disk Defragmentation organizes files in a way where the computer can easily access everything.
- Disk Defragmentation is the process in which scattered pieces of individual files and free space are reorganized and stored in an adjacent manner (next to each other) on the disk.
The Ethics And Integrity In Computer Use
- Computer Ethics Computer Ethics are human values and moral conduct of computers users. OR
Computer Ethics refers to the right or wrong behaviour exercised when using computers.
- Computer Integrity refers to loyalty or faithfulness to a set of laws about computer usage.
- In 1991, the Computer Ethics Institute(CEI) held its first National Computer Ethics Conference in Washington, D.C.
- The Ten Commandments of Computer Ethics were first presented in Dr. Ramon C. Barquin’s paper prepared for the conference,
“In Pursuit of a ‘Ten Commandments’ for Computer Ethics.”
The Computer Ethics Institute published them as follows in 1992:
- Thou Shalt Not Use a Computer to Harm Other People.
- Thou Shalt Not Interfere with Other People’s Computer Work.
- Thou Shalt Not Snoop around in Other People’s Computer Files.
- Thou Shalt Not Use a Computer to Steal.
- Thou Shalt Not Use a Computer to Bear False Witness.
- Thou Shalt Not Copy or Use Proprietary Software for Which You Have Not Paid.
- Thou Shalt Not Use Other People’s Computer Resources without Authorization or Proper Compensation.
- Thou Shalt Not Appropriate Other People’s Intellectual Output.
- Thou Shalt Think about the Social Consequences of the Program You Are Writing or the System You Are Designing.
- Thou Shalt Always Use a Computer in Ways That Ensure Consideration and Respect for Your Fellow Humans.
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