The day you unpacked and started working with your new Mac was special; it marked the day when your Mac’s keyboard and mouse were working at their best. From that day forward, little bits of grime, dust, and dirt have been building up on these often-used peripherals. The buildup of gunk will slowly cause your mouse to feel less responsive, and may even cause your keyboard to miss a key click or two now and then.
Luckily, it’s fairly easy to restore a keyboard and mouse to like-new condition. All that’s needed is a bit of cleaning and attention.
Start by turning off your Mac and unplugging your mouse and keyboard. If your keyboard or mouse is battery powered, remove the batteries as well.
Have the following items on hand:
- Microfiber cloth
- Can of pressurized air
- Clean water (It doesn’t need to be purified, distilled, or anything else special; just clean.)
- Cotton swabs or similar cleaning products
- Toothpicks or similar items
Cleaning Your Mac’s Mouse
Wipe the mouse body with the microfiber cloth. This should be enough to remove any oils, such as fingerprints. For stubborn spots, dip the cloth in the clean water and rub the mouse gently. Don’t apply water directly to the mouse because it may drip into the mouse’s inner workings, where sensitive electronics reside.
Don’t be afraid to use a little pressure to scrub off really dirty spots on the mouse.
Just as long as your not applying pressure near any scroll wheel, cover, or tracking system.
If you have an Apple Mighty Mouse, the scroll ball also needs to be cleaned. Slightly dampen the microfiber cloth and roll the scroll ball against the cloth. You can also try using the cotton swabs to help clean the scroll ball.
Once the scroll ball is clean, use the can of pressurized air to blow out dust and dirt from inside the well the scroll ball sits in. This also serves to dry the scroll ball after you’ve cleaned it.
If you have an Apple Magic Mouse, cleaning is vastly simplified. You can clean the touch surface with a wet or dry microfiber cloth, and run the microfiber cloth along the two guide rails on the bottom of the Magic Mouse.
If your Magic Mouse seems to have tracking errors, that is, the mouse pointer stalls or jumps about, use the can of pressurized air to clean around the tracking sensor on the bottom of the Magic Mouse.
If you have a third-party mouse, follow the manufacturer’s suggested cleaning instructions, or take a look at How to Clean a Mouse by Tim Fisher, a fellow Lifewire expert who really knows his way around a PC. In general, use a microfiber cloth to clean the exterior of the mouse. If the mouse has a scroll wheel, you may find that it routinely becomes clogged with gunk. Use cotton swabs to clean the scroll wheel and the can of pressurized air to clean around the scroll wheel.
In the worst cases, you may need to open up the mouse to access the optical sensor in the scroll wheel system.
Not all mice are easily opened up, and some are very difficult to put back together once opened. I don’t recommend performing mouse surgery unless you already have a replacement mouse available, and don’t mind ending up with leftover mouse parts, or looking for that little spring that sailed across the room.
Cleaning Your Keyboard
Clean your keyboard surface using a microfiber cloth. For stubborn surfaces, dampen the cloth with clean water. Wrap a toothpick with a single layer of the microfiber cloth to clean between the keys.
Use the can of pressurized air to blow out any additional debris from around the keys.
Cleaning a Keyboard After a Spill
Spilling a beverage onto a keyboard is probably the most common cause of keyboard death. However, depending on the liquid, and how fast you react, it is possible to save a keyboard that has undergone a spillage.
Water and other clear liquids
Clear and semi-clear beverages, such as water, black coffee, and tea, are the easiest to recover from, with water offering the best chances, of course. When a spill occurs, quickly unplug the keyboard from your Mac, or quickly turn it off and remove its batteries. Don’t wait to shut down your Mac; disconnect the keyboard or remove its batteries as quickly as possible.
If the liquid was plain water, wait 24 hours to allow the water to dry before reconnecting the keyboard or replacing its batteries. With any luck, your keyboard will power back up and you’ll be ready to go.
Coffee and Tea
Coffee or tea spills are slightly more problematic, because of the acid levels in these beverages. Depending on the keyboard design, these beverages can cause very small signal wires within the keyboard to be etched over time and stop working. Many sources suggest flooding the keyboard with clean water, in the hope of diluting the acid levels, and then letting the keyboard dry out for 24 hours, to see if it still works. I’ve tried this method a few times, but it has failed more often than not. On the other hand, what have you got to lose?
Soda, Beer, and Wine
Carbonated beverages, beer, wine, and other hot or cold beverages are death sentences to most keyboards.
Of course, it depends on how much was spilled. A drop or two can usually be cleaned up quickly, with little or no lasting damage. If the spill was larger, and the liquid got inside the keyboard, well, you can always try the water submersion method, but don’t get your hopes up.
No matter what type of spill occurs, the key to possibly salvaging a keyboard is to disconnect it from any electrical source (batteries, USB) as quickly as possible and allow it to completely dry out before you try using it again.
Disasemble the keyboard
You can improve the chances of the keyboard recovering by removing the individual keys. The process is different for each keyboard model but in general, a small flat blade screwdriver can be used to pop the keys off. The larger keys such as shift, return, space bar, will sometimes have retaining clips or multiple connection points. Be especially careful when removing those keys.
With the keys removed, you may notice stains, puddled liquids, or other indications of specific areas on the keyboard that need attention. Use a slightly damp cloth to clean any stains and to soak up any standing liquids still present. You can also try using the can of pressurized air to dry areas where evidence indicates the liquid has gotten into the key mechanism.
Don’t forget to make a map of where each key goes to allow you to replace all of the keys. You may think you know where each key belongs, but when it comes time to reassemble the keyboard, a map may be just the guide you need.?
I can’t tell you how many keyboards we have around our office that work just fine, except for one or two keys, all of which were killed by spillage.
On a brighter note, I’ve never heard of a keyboard spillage causing damage beyond the keyboard itself.
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1. Charge the battery! Consider keeping it plugged in for 12 hours before you unplug.
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What’s the Difference Between These In-ear Audio Devices?
Although companies like to stretch these definitions to fit their marketing needs, the difference between earphones and earbuds essentially boils down to this: earphones (also called in-ear headphones or in-ears) are inserted into the ear canal, while earbuds rest outside the ear canal.
Earbuds usually do not have cushions, although they can. They are meant to be held in place by the concha ridge at the center of your outer ear, rather than sitting inside the ear canal.
They are often one-size-fits-all, which may not be comfortable to wear. Depending on the shape of your ear ridges, they may not fit securely and may fall out frequently. That is annoying, especially if you are wearing them for sports and exercise. Some have wings or loops to tuck under the ridges of the ear to help keep them in place.
Earbuds allow in ambient noise so you can hear what is going on around you. You don’t feel sealed off from your environment. That provides a small measure of safety for outdoor exercise such as running or walking while wearing earbuds.
Earbuds have generally not had the same performance as high-end headphones, often lacking bass and sounding tinny. If you’re buying ear buds, the good news is they are often less expensive than earphones and in-ear headphones. If you want something for the gym that you don’t care if you step on them on the treadmill, or if you need the thirty-umpth pair for your teenager, ear buds are your friends.
Earphones – In-ears – In-ear Headphones
In-ears often feature different sizes and types of ear cushions to achieve the most comfortable fit possible. Examples of cushions include memory foam, rubber, and silicone. Some are shaped to lock into the concha and have a protrusion that extends further into the ear canal.
As with earbuds, you may find that they fall out if the fit is not snug enough, and they may not be comfortable if the fit is too tight. The kind that is designed to lock into your concha may be more secure, but you may also be trading off some comfort. Some high-end earphones are custom fitted to your ear with an ear mold done by an audiologist.
The wires may extend straight down, or they may be designed to go up and over the ear, or swivel for either configuration.
Don’t let their small sizes fool you — earphones can get into the extremely high end of the price and performance spectrum.
Wireless Earbuds and Earphones
Wireless versions of earbuds and in-ears often have a larger earpiece to accommodate the Bluetooth mechanism and controls, or have them on a thicker behind-the-neck cord. This adds additional bulk and weight. Another factor with wireless audio devices is that they are powered and need to be recharged after a few hours of use. With the iPhone 7 eliminating the audio jack port, many more designs will enter the marketplace for wireless earbuds and in-ears.
No matter how well you treat your laptop’s battery, it will eventually die. If you’re lucky, it will be time to replace your laptop by the time its battery dies. If you’re not, you’ll need to replace the battery.
Battery death can seem sudden, but it doesn’t have to. Windows will warn you when your battery reaches extremely low capacity levels, but you can also keep your own tabs on its capacity.
Windows Will Warn You
Windows doesn’t normally keep you up-to-date with your battery’s capacity level. As you use it and it weakens, you’ll just notice that your laptop doesn’t seem to last as long on battery.
Eventually, when your battery reaches a low enough capacity level, Windows will warn you. You’ll see a red X appear on the standard battery icon in your system tray and, when you click it, Windows will inform you that you should “consider replacing your battery.” Windows also says that your computer might shut down suddenly because there’s a problem with your battery — in other words, your battery can’t hold enough of a charge to power your laptop for long when it’s not connected to an outlet.
Note that this warning was added in Windows 7, so you won’t see it if you’re using Windows Vista or XP.
How to Check Your Laptop’s Battery Capacity
If you’re curious just how far your laptop’s battery capacity has declined, you can use a third-party tool to view it. NirSoft’s free BatteryInfoView does this well, displaying the battery’s approximate wear level, the capacity it was designed to have, and the capacity it currently has.
Calibrating Your Battery
The information above may not be completely accurate if your battery requires calibration. For example, we had a battery that reported it was almost dead. Windows warned us that it was time to replace the battery and the battery appeared to be at 27.7% wear level according to its reported capacity.
After we calibrated the battery, Windows stopped warning us and the battery’s reported capacity went back up to 70.8%. The battery didn’t actually gain any additional charge, but the calibration helped the battery’s sensor actually detect how much capacity was in the battery. If Windows says it’s time to replace your battery, be sure to calibrate it first before checking its actual wear level. If you don’t, you may replace a battery that’s still in good enough shape. That would just be a waste of money.
Why Your Laptop’s Battery Capacity Declines
Laptop batteries decline due to a number of factors. Heat, usage, age — all of these things are bad for batteries. Batteries will slowly die no matter what — even if you put your battery in a closet and never touched it, it would slowly lose capacity due to age. However, if you never use your battery — say you use your laptop at your desk most of the time and it gets rather hot, which is bad for the battery — removing the battery can certainly help prolong its life.
Replacing Your Battery
If your laptop has a user-serviceable battery — that is, one you can remove on your own — you can replace your battery fairly easily. If your laptop doesn’t have a user-serviceable battery, you’ll need to contact the laptop’s manufacturer so they can crack your laptop open and change its battery for you.
Assuming you have a user-serviceable battery, you can order a replacement battery for your laptop model online. Don’t just head to eBay and buy the cheapest third-party batteries available — buy official batteries from a reputable company. Aftermarket batteries are often built on the cheap, with cut corners and insufficient testing. They can be dangerous — a cheap, counterfeit, and improperly designed battery could literally go up in flames.
Whether you’ve got a Tesco Hudl or a Nexus 7, a few simple tweaks can help you eke more life out of your Android tablet’s battery.
Step 1: Check what’s sapping your tablet’s power
Android provides a quick and easy way to see what’s draining most of your tablet’s power. Go to Settings > Battery. This will show you a bar graph of the different hardware, apps and processes that are putting the most drain on your battery.
The greatest drain is almost always the screen, as powering the backlight for your tablet’s large display uses a lot of energy.
Step 2: Turn the screen brightness level down
Adjusting the brightness level of your tablet’s screen can save a lot of battery power. To do this, open Settings > Display > Brightness. A pop-up window will display a slider which you can use to change the brightness level. If the slider isn’t visible untick the box marked Automatic Brightness. Reduce the brightness to a level that’s less intense but still comfortable for you to read text on your screen without straining your eyes.
Step 3: Reduce the screen time out
Reducing the amount of time your screen stays lit after you’ve stopped interacting with your tablet is another good way of slowing battery drain. Return to the Settings > Display menu and select Sleep. Reducing this setting tells your tablet to turn off the screen after a set period of inactivity. The shorter the time you select, the less power your display will use. Try changing it to a setting of two minutes.
Step 4: Turn off unwanted connections
Wireless network technologies such as wi-fi and Bluetooth also consume quite a bit of power, so if you’re not using them it’s best to turn them off. This is especially true of Bluetooth, which many people never use on their tablet yet still leave turned on.
Go to Settings and select Bluetooth under the Wireless & Networks heading. Flick the switch to Off to disable Bluetooth.
If you’re using your tablet on a long bus or train journey – or anywhere there’s no wi-fi reception, you should also turn off wi-fi to save power. Open Settings and switch the wi-fi toggle switch to Off.
Step 5: Avoid using live wallpapers and widgets
Android’s Live Wallpapers and Widgets require processing and graphics power to run so put extra drain on your battery. It’s a relatively minor amount, but if you do want to absolutely maximise your tablet’s battery life you may want to get rid of them.
Delete widgets from your homescreen by tapping and holding on them before swiping them up to the Remove icon. To change your wallpaper, tap and hold on an empty part of your homescreen and choose Wallpaper from the pop-up menu.
Step 6: Fully discharge the battery
The lithium ion batteries used in almost all Android tablets don’t suffer the over-charging problems of older Ni-Cad batteries, so they don’t always need to be run down completely to stay at their best. However, to keep the battery’s power meter correctly calibrated it’s still a good idea to let your tablet run out of battery power after every 30 or so charges.
Step 7: Turn off Auto-sync
There are various apps and services on your tablet that automatically sync data with online servers, for storing contact information, providing Facebook alerts and sending email to your tablet. These syncing processes can drain power, especially if they’re pulling in a lot of information.
You can see which accounts are set up to auto-sync by opening Settings and choosing Accounts and Sync. If there are any you don’t want or need to sync in the background just tap on their name and untick the Sync option.
Battery life is a perennial problem for phone users. While our handsets have become faster and more powerful over the years, phone batteries often last less than a day under heavy use, or even moderate use after a few months. Most people complain that their phone’s battery doesn’t last long before it dies. This is due to improper usage of the battery after it is bought. On this post I will be showing you how to use your battery in a way that increases its life span.
Most batteries have a guaranteed life span. To ensure longer life span of your battery use the following methods:
- Make sure or phone charges to 100%
- After that use it till the battery gets exhausted before charging again.
- Do not make use of your phone while it is charging, so as to enable it charge properly.
- Do not use your phone till it heats up. When it does, close whatever app that’s making it to heat up and allow it to cool down before using it again.
Using the steps above, you give your battery a longer life span. The upgrades we’ve got in phones are major reflections of this growth. They’re getting bigger,
slimmer, light and eventually more smarter. But, the heart of this device is always a concern……
So take care of your batteries!
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