The Fragility of Computers

By: Richard n Williams
Computers, it could be said, are a marvel of the twenty-first century. The number of tasks a PC can achieve quicker and more efficiently than a human seems endless. In fact computers are now doing hundreds of thousands of jobs that a few decades ago employers would have had to have hired workers for.

It could be argued that because of this, computers have changed the way society now lives and works yet, although computers may never call in sick, they can be even more vulnerable than human employees.

PCs are incredibly sensitive to all sorts of environmental conditions which can cause permanent damage to any computer. Even the most expensive and rugged PCs are only designed to run in the most favourable conditions and excessive heat, dust or dampness could instantly shut down a PC for good.

As most computers are designed to work in offices and homes, conditions in other environments, such as industry or manufacturing, can shorten a PCs life drastically.

One of the most common causes for PC malfunction is dust which can block filters causing a processor to overheat and it can also clog up moving parts such as the hard drive and even cause a short circuit.

Water and computers obviously don't mix well either. Even slight spray or splashing can cause terminal problems with a computer, especially if fluid finds its way into the electronics.

Excessive temperatures are also a problem for computers. Computer processors are usually cooled by internal fans, if they get too hot they can burn out as can most of the electronics inside a PC. However, excessive dust, dirt or grime can also cause an overheat, as will computers kept near a heat source such as a radiator or oven. Excessive cold can effect a computers operation also, if any condensation inside a computer freezes, it will expand, potentially damaging the components.

Shocks, vibrations, knocks and bangs can also finish off a computer for good. Even just moving a PC from one location to another can play havoc, dislodging PCI cards or unsettling wiring. A large enough of a jolt and it can cause irreparable damage. Computers have protective enclosures of course but these are only made from thin sheets of metal (normally aluminium) and offer little protection.

For computers having to operate in hostile conditions such as dusty warehouse or production line then the best protection comes in the shape of an industrial PC enclosure.

These computer enclosures allow a standard PC all the protection of the most expensive and rugged industrial machine, shielding the sensitive components from dust, water, dirt, vibration, banging, knocks, heat and cold.

By protecting a PC from these types of hostilities a PC's life span can be dramatically lengthened.

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