Make sure the problem is not in your chair

Source: Kate Murphy, The New York Times

If you use your laptop on your lap, or leave it plugged in all the time, you may well be cruising for what some experts call Picnic (Problem in Chair Not in Computer) or ID-10t (idiot) errors — computer problems caused by clueless users. Technical support professionals say these errors are responsible for at least half of all computer repairs. “You’d be surprised how many people unknowingly damage their computers,” said Derek Meister, a technician for the Geek Squad, Best Buy’s repair and on-line support service. A classic mistake, Mr. Meister said, is using a laptop on your lap. Despite the name, a laptop should be operated on a flat and firm surface so that it rests on the four little nubs usually found on the base. A lap desk or even a large enough book will suffice. The point is to allow air to circulate around the machine.

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