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January 19, 2014

Stop bashing, overtaxing your computer’s hard drive

NORMAN — First off, please let me apologize for the incorrect class date that was in last Sunday’s column. I was not able to contact The Transcript in time to correct what turned out to be a second change of date for you to be involved in the free, one-night-only class I teach called “Fight the Internet Bad Guys and Win.”

Here’s the final scoop, engraved in stone: at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 12, come to the Norman Public Library, downtown location, and I will teach you how to stay out of trouble on the Internet.

Everyone who uses a computer, tablet or smart phone should take this class. The Internet is like a bonfire, which can either warm and enrich your life or burn you badly. In my class, you will learn all about hackers, viruses, email safety, passwords, updates, security questions, browsers, online shopping, wireless networking, how to detect fake websites and scammers and much more.

Call the library at 701-2697 to reserve your place.

After you have learned how to stay safe on the Internet, you will still need to tend to more mundane, computer-related chores, like caring for your computer’s hard drive.

All computers — from iPhones to desktop PC towers — have storage drives. The solid-state storage memory in portable devices like phones is different from that used by full-on computers. The reasons are related to storage capacity, reliability and price.

Storage memory in portable devices is cheap and can endure more physical abuse, but there is not a tremendous amount of room for storing millions of songs, videos and spreadsheets.

In contrast, storage memory on larger computing devices is usually in the form of hard drives, which can store huge amounts of information but are more expensive and do not like being physically bashed around.

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