The Tech Commandments

June 9, 2019
a sideways picture of a render depicting a Windows phone made in MS Paint
I've had some issues and missteps when it comes to troubleshooting my products, which are increasingly showing their age. I put together a list of yea's and nay's pertaining to personal device maintenance. I'm extremely proud of how long my stuff has lasted, but that means I must be extremely careful in how I address issues with them. Talk is cheap, but repairs are expensive.
Always create a restore point before and after making changes to your computer.
If disk encryption (Bitlocker, LUKS) is enabled, consider how it will affect your ability to update your computer.
I you love your third-party antivirus, know when to fold it during important upgrades. I know I do. Consider the same for invasive system programs.
Know when a tech add-on is not compatible with your current setup and put it aside for a future arrangement. Never force it on a setup that cannot support it. Upgrades deprecate features, so plan on implementing them differently beforehand.
If it can't be secured, it shouldn't be kept. But if it must be kept, it should be seldom used. If it wasn't meant for the world, then it should not be open to it. Access Control is your friend.
Never relent to an Ad-blocker whitelist request. Support them with money instead or leave their site. Some of them are right here on my site. DNS blackholes are not just good for email, they're great for your web experience.
If you plan to wipe your computer, make copies of the Driver File Repository, the AppData Local folder, and any installation files you'll need to re-run when you reinstall Windows.
If you're reinstalling Linux, keeping the home directory in a separate location will make things easier. When you use GParted, you can opt for whatever location you want.
If the app supports it, always back up your settings or tweaks to XML files once per week. Maintain a separate locale for settings and libraries. Use partition tools to keep it in its own logical drive.
If it doesn't seem right, assume it as fraud until the real McCoy reaches out to you. If they are not using their own domain, THEY HAVE NO CONTROL over the data you submit and CANNOT MAKE ASSURANCES to its safety.
Always seek background information about something you never thought of purchasing for your laptop. It might save you a headache.
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