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Dust and Computing

Dust on the Heatsink

Long-term readers of this blog may remember the image shown here from July 2006, when I wrote that I had discovered dust to be the cause of problems with my laptop. Now I know where the dust builds up I clean it occasionally and the machine is still running smoothly.

Yesterday evening I was performing some maintenance work on Jane’s computer, which has been getting a bit flaky recently. The plan was to put a spare hard drive in, install Linux and then run her copy of Windows XP in a virtual machine for when she needs that operating system.

What I discovered was a similar build up of dust round the heatsink over the processor. I cleaned that up and suspect that this may well result in a better behaved computer. Of course, since I already had the machine open and the spare disk to hand, I still went ahead with Plan A and she now has a shiny new copy of Xubuntu 7.10 installed, ready for the addition of virtualisation software, but it was a reminder of the fact that an insulating blanket of dust is not part of the recipe for happy computing.

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