Is Your Laptop Having A HotFlash?

BlogHer Original Post

Among the many problems that my computer was suffering from last week, turns out it was having serial hotflashes-- a condition I was totally unaware laptops experienced. Fortunately there is a treatment available--unfortunately most people aren't aware of it.

Although I don't particularly enjoy paying the fee for a home visit from The Geek Squad, I know that my conversation with the agent in charge of the repair will always be interesting and fodder for a blog post.

Friday's visit was no exception. It had been a tough week.Spontaneous shutdowns. Moving at a snail's pace. Freezing in mid sentence.It was exhausting.

While I had suspicions that my laptop had been invaded by a spy-- my first clue:the nefarious ABOUT:BLANK screen popped up ever so quickly on the screen--(yes, I have multiple moats protecting my computer--the spy still invaded it),I had no idea that the spy was the least of my problems. Agent Ethan quickly identified the spy and executed it.

The real problem, according to Agent Ethan, is that my computer is failing to cool down. Evidently, this is a fatal condition. Too many hot flashes and the motherboard fries.

Agent Ethan was consoling but directive: I should start looking for another laptop.

I am not in the market for a new laptop. I just bought my son one a couple of months ago. I need to buy my daughter one before she goes to college in the fall. According to my life plan, my HP Pavilion dv1000 needs to be my constant companion until sometime in 2008.

It's funny what you learn when you ask a simple question like "What causes a laptop to overheat?"

Turns out my morning (and evening) rituals of working in bed with my laptop posed comfy cozy on top of my duvet-covered down comforter is absolutely the worst thing you can do to a laptop. As agent Ethan said, " Never put a laptop on cloth."

Okay.I won't do that again. But shouldn't that be in the instruction booklet? Shouldn't this be common knowledge even to someone who is not technology advanced? Considering that I've worked with laptops for 15 years, you'd think I would know this little bit of data.

I didn't. I asked if most people knew this. Agent Ethan shook his head.

"So, can I reverse the damage I've done?" At this point my voice was reflecting the near panic I was experiencing at the thought my down comforter might have killed my computer.

Agent Ethan just shook his head again.

"Well, should I start putting ice under the computer to cool it off?"

"No!!! You don't want to do that." I won't describe the look he gave me for this suggestion.

At this point I said, "You'd think if this were such a common problem that someone would have created a product to keep laptops from having a hotflash"

That's when Agent Ethan shared there was such a product. It's called The ChillHub
Judy's Book ran a review of the ChillHub sometimes called Chill Pad or Chill Mat.

Get a Targus Chill Pad. It's the size of a laptop (length and width) but less than an inch thick. It's USB powered and sits between your laptop and your lap or between the laptop and you desk.

Using 2 - 1500rpm fans it will move 28 cubic feet of air per minute keeping your thighs and laptop cool.

With the exaggerated processing power of laptops these days, it's impossible to keep them running as cool as necessary for both the machine and your legs. Additionally, batteries run hotter to be able to last as long as we'd like.

It's almost impossible to sit with the laptop touching your skin for too long anymore, but with the Chill Pad, that hot air is circulated out and keeps cool air flowing in.

If your laptop is hotflashing and you don't think the cause is duvet induced, Technology Past IT Solution Provider ofers up five tips for eliminating laptop hotflashes including avoiding the kitchen.

You might well be thinking what madness is this, but I've found that a lot of people use their laptops in the kitchen. Plainly put, this is not good. Not only might there be heat from various appliances, there's also going to be steam. Have you looked at the top of your kitchen cupboards lately? Yes, well, you don't want that in your laptop. But even if you work in a home office, consider turning the radiator off, or at least down.

Despite the fact that Agent Ethan left at the height of rush hour, I immediately headed over to the nearest Best Buy and picked up my very own $49.99 Chill Pad.

No more hot flashes. My computer is happy. My duvet is happy. I am happy. In fact I'm downright optimistic that thanks to the chillpad my laptop just may make it to 2008.

Agent Ethan indicated that most laptop owners are not aware of the need for a chillpad. So do your good deed today. Save a motherboard. Avoid a hotflash.

Allow your computer to chill.

Image Credit: Flickr member erlin1

Elana writes about business culture at FunnyBusiness

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