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ACK Computing 454 South Main Street
Northfield, VT 05663

802 485 4352

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Frequently Asked Questions

At ACK Computing, we've tried our best to create a web site that anticipates and satisfies our customers' needs. With that goal in mind, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions; note that the topics found here will change from time to time. If you do not find the answer to your question, contact us at 802 485 4352 or by e-mail at ACK@ackcomputing.com..  You might also look at our Education page for specific answers.

Yes we can help with buying a computer or putting one together that’s just right for you.

How to keep your computer clean.

It is advised that you shut down your computer and unplug it from the electrical source - it will not be necessary to remove the battery when cleaning your laptop

Be gentle!! There are many different products on the market specifically made for cleaning monitors and keyboards - generally you would spray the product on a clean cloth and then carefully wipe down the computer.  Lacking a cleaning product you can get quite a bit done using just a clean cloth.

Your computer has many mechanical parts that need to be kept reasonably cool and clean.  If you look at the back of your computer you will find a vent opening which will typically be for a fan located inside the computer.  While you are back there check for an accumulation of dust bunnies and hair - you will want to clean this up.  For safety and practical purposes we strongly suggest that the user unplug the computers power cord AND telephone or internet cord before dusting, vacuuming, or generally cleaning any parts of the computer.  Static electrical shock is the biggest concern here but of course liquid and electricity don’t play well either.  Touch the metal frame or otherwise ground yourself to release any static electricity you possess BEFORE you start cleaning the inside of the computer.  The spark you generate crossing the carpet with your socks on might be all it takes to stop your computer from working properly.

For those of you who feel compelled to clean the inside of the computer, we recommend unplugging both the power source and the internet connection.  You may find it necessary to unplug all the connections from some computers. Every computer maker’s case is a bit different so it might take some effort to get the case off.  Once the case is off we recommend the use of canned air only - follow the instructions that come on the can!  A vacuum will create static electricity. If you have a specially made vacuum for cleaning computers make sure to follow their instructions.

CD’s, and DVD’s should be cleaned with warm water and if really dirty very mild soap - towel dry thoroughly before use, paper will scratch these discs.  

We are often asked, “Where do I go for help when using my computer?”  The cheapest answer is to click the “F1” key at the top left side of their keyboard and explore the “Help” window that comes up.  We offer basic training courses.

Regarding Internet usage; our first responses should be to help familiarize the client with Search Engines (click here for more information).  Beyond using the F1 key mentioned above, a search engine can be your best guide for learning how to use your computer. Before continuing please see our suggestions for Safe Surfing - click here.  From a search engine “window” the user can type in their question and receive several different answers through the internet.  While this may seem confusing at first it actually mirrors real life in that no two people will answer the same question EXACTLY alike.  Our first tip on using search engines is to type in only the information required as this will help keep the responses on topic.  Sometimes you may want to modify your search based on the first few responses to the original question.  Once you find a source for the answers to your questions you can save the web site as a Favorite and go back to it as needed.

One more tip is that your friends are mostly right.  It actually is possible to ”screw up” your computer but for the most part if you are careful about what you do and do not do, keep your virus protection and Operating System up-to-date, and only open mail from people and organizations you know - you should have a safe time in your learning experience.  Yes, you must practice!  Yes, it might be frustrating but so was learning to walk you just may not remember how frustrating and now look at all the places you can go!

Much of what we are about here at ACK is education. Your computer does not have to be a mystery!

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