Benchmark Tests: Business Solutions

Click for more. ARE DAILY REBOOTS NECESSARY?

We don't talk presidential politics around the office much. Nobody agrees on any of the candidates. And nobody sees much hope in changing anyone else's mind. Trouble is, we get tired of debating what to have for lunch. So we turn to tech topics.

We don't have to turn far. Right in front of each us -- and you -- is a device deceptively controversial. Loaded with right vs. wrong. What is it? Your computer. Don't believe me? Let's talk basic PC maintenance. I think you'll be surprised.

SHOULD YOU TURN OFF YOUR PC AT NIGHT?
Absolutely not, according to ZDNet Tech Director Jon DeKeles, who says turning it back on causes a power supply spike that could introduce damaging high voltage into your system. But news ace Liz Enbysk points to the growing number of home PC users who typically have little if any security -- and are fast becoming the No. 1 target of online vandals. Vandals can't get in if your PC is powered off. Click for more.

ARE DAILY REBOOTS NECESSARY?
We featured a shutdown/reboot utility in our downloads section a couple of months ago, prompting the obvious retort: Who needs to shut down Windows once a day when it crashes at least that often? Rebooting, however, is a slightly different beast and we follow the ounce-of-prevention path here at AnchorDesk with reboots every morning. (Okay, most mornings.)

DO SCREENSAVERS MAKE SENSE?
Screensavers were originally developed to help prevent ghosting on your display screen. That's not a major problem with modern displays, so today screensavers are mostly a fun adornment. (I won't even try to describe the screensaver Managing Editor Nicci Noteboom uses!) But screensavers -- especially elaborate ones with animation and photos -- suck up system resources and put wear and tear on your hard drive. Click for more.

IS DEFRAGGING FRIEND OR FOE?
Defragmenting your hard disk to reorganize data on your file system is generally regarded as routine PC maintenance that should be performed at regular intervals. But Jon points out that you run the risk of fragging yourself by defragging.

DOES UPGRADING AN OLD PC MAKE SENSE?
Rule of thumb used to be you should upgrade a PC every three years. It's closer to every two years now. If at all. It simply may not make sense any more to take an older PC and spend $700 or $800 to upgrade memory, your hard disk and monitor when you can get a brand new, fully functional system with a full warranty for not a lot more. Click for more.

So what do you think? Is that PC in front of you more controversial than you imagined? And what other PC issues keep you and your buddies in a snit? Use the TalkBack button to tell us.

Just don't send me political pitches. Until the other Jesse runs for president, I'm not interested.

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