Many people think of brute force with they think of the U.S. military, but technology has been a driving force behind our success. We revolutionized warfare from the air, developed sophisticated radar detection and now have drones doing raids where itâ€™s difficult for military personnel to go.
Few people realize that computers were also first developed for the Armed Forces. The worldâ€™s first electronic computer was the ENIAC (electronic numerical integrator and computer), which was funded by the U.S. Army. But the militaryâ€™s computing endeavors donâ€™t stop there. The military was quick to adopt early flip-form laptops in 1982. They also helped to develop â€œruggedâ€ devices out of necessity for field use.
Generally speaking, consumer products are far less durable than the devices used by the military. But the rugged devices used by todayâ€™s soldiers are now finding a market with consumers. Citizens are tired of screens that break with one drop, components that canâ€™t handle different environments, and having to use a gentle touch with a device thatâ€™s used daily.
If youâ€™ve experienced any of the issues below it may be time to consider upgrading to a more rugged device.
Common Problems and Fixes for Consumer Computers
Computers are fairly complex machines with many moving pieces, which is why rugged design is beginning to gain traction. Many things can go wrong and affect the functionality of consumer computers. Below is a rundown of the most common computer problems and their fixes.
Data Transfer and Recovery
Malware, hardware glitches and human error can all lead to lost files and information. Even if data is nowhere to be found, usually itâ€™s still accessible if you have the right tools and know where to look. If youâ€™ve looked through all of your computer programs and the recycling bin with no success you may need professional help to tap into the hard drive.
The cost of data recovery is usually less expensive than people think, but you do have to be careful of companies that quote a price then jack it up after youâ€™ve already committed. Look for a company thatâ€™s transparent on how they evaluate the recovery process and provides a narrow price range.
Slow Internet Connection
According to the 2015 Computer Repair Report, Internet connection problems are by far and away the most common annoyance for users. Nearly 28% of people say itâ€™s an issue. It could be a problem on your Internet service providerâ€™s end or an issue with your equipment.
Youâ€™ll need to test out your computer to find out whatâ€™s to blame. First, check to see if all devices are having the same problem or just one computer. If itâ€™s just one device the problem is probably related to how itâ€™s connecting to the router and how the operating system is set up. You may also need to replace the router and/or modem as well as the cables connecting them.
The computers used by the military have top-notch security to protect sensitive information. Consumer computers are much easier to hack into and disrupt. The RESCUECOM Computer Repair Report released last year noted that viruses were the second biggest problem behind Internet connection issues.
Usually, preventative measures in the form of antivirus software programs are the best solution. However, problems can occur if you try to install a second program when antivirus software is already in use.
Out in the field soldiers often need to get things done immediately. At home slow processing is an annoyance, but for the military it can have dire consequences. The fix here is figuring out whether your computer is underpowered or overloaded.
An underpowered computer will need to be supped up with RAM, an upgraded CPU or SSD in place of the hard drive. If itâ€™s overloaded youâ€™ll need to find out what software is slowing things down and remove it if possible.
Protecting Data on Old Computers
One of the biggest issues with consumer computers is all of the old machines that are functional but unused. These computers may no longer be your go-to device, but thereâ€™s a good chance data is stored within the system. That can make it risky to have old computers just sitting around. Itâ€™s better to save the data on a portable device, transfer the files to your new computer and completely wipe the old one clean.
Getting Data Off Your Old Computer
After youâ€™ve successfully transferred your data youâ€™ll need to ensure the sensitive files are completely wiped off of your old computer. Even after deleting files, bits of data can remain on the hard drive. Until theyâ€™re overwritten, the data will remain on the drive.
Several software programs can overwrite space on the hard drive where files once existed. Some programs can scrub the data immediately while others will require that you first delete the files and empty them out of the recycling bin.
Usually, a single overwrite is enough to get rid of data completely. However, making a second pass provides extra reassurance that no sensitive information will be accessible.