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March 2006

This chapter is from the book

THURSDAY: MARCH 23, 2006

THIS WEEK’S FOCUS: Computer Maintenance

MAINTAINING YOUR MOUSE

If you’re a heavy Windows user (and we all are), you probably put thousands of miles a year on your mouse. Just like a car tire, anything turning over that often needs a little tender loving care. Check out these mouse maintenance tips:

  • Periodically open up the bottom of your mouse and remove the roller ball. Wash the ball with water (or perhaps a mild detergent). Use a soft cloth to dry the ball before reinserting it.

  • While your mouse ball is removed, use compressed air or a cotton swab to clean dust and dirt from the inside of your mouse. (In extreme cases, you might need to use tweezers to pull lint and hair out of your mouse—or use a small knife to scrape packed crud from the rollers.)

  • Always use a mouse pad—they really do help keep things rolling smoothly; plus, they give you good traction. (And while you’re at it, don’t forget to clean your mouse pad with a little spray cleaner—it can get dirty, too.)

Of course, if you have an optical mouse, you can skip these steps; there aren’t any mouse balls to clean. However, you still might need to keep pieces of lint from clogging the optical sensor. Wiping off the bottom of your mouse makes sense, no matter what type of mouse you have!

ON THIS DAY: COLD FUSION CLAIMED (1989)

On this date in 1989, two Utah scientists claimed they had produced fusion at room temperature—so-called "cold fusion." Unfortunately, other scientists were never able to replicate their work, making this claim somewhat spurious.

SOFTWARE OF THE WEEK: PC CERTIFY

Generate all sorts of diagnostic tests and reports with PC Certify. This utility is based on a suite of high-level tests and utilities originally developed for Intel, and will test every piece and part of your system, from memory to joysticks. Buy the Power User version for $119 from http://www.pc-diagnostics.com.

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