Three Important Technology Lessons I Learned in 2010

Last Updated Dec 22, 2010 2:24 PM EST

As someone who writes about technology all day, every day, I've learned a few things. For example, say something negative about Apple or Apple products, and fanboys will come out of the woodwork to question your intelligence, sanity, and right to live.

But I've learned some practical lessons as well, a few of which I think are worth sharing.

Backups are Essential Your response might be, "Well, duh!", but ask yourself what would happen if, say, your hard drive died tomorrow. Or your laptop was stolen. Or a fire wiped out your office. Would you be sufficiently prepared? Unless you're combining full local backups with online backups of your critical data, the answer is no. If you make just one resolution for 2011, make it the creation and implementation of a foolproof backup strategy. More: Learn the Basics of PC Backups.

Expect Problems At some point, your PC will do something weird and/or infuriating. Your printer will stop printing for some reason. Your phone will fail to turn on, crash while syncing, or suddenly lose all its data. The nature of modern technology is that's imperfect -- and unpredictable. Want to save yourself a lot of grief? Don't be surprised or paralyzed by these and other problems. Instead, chalk them up to the cost of doing business, find a fix, and move on. More: The One Thing Every Computer User Should Know.

Slow PCs Can Be Revived I've lost track of how many friends and co-workers have told me they're buying a new PC because their current one "has gotten so slow." Here's a secret: even the fastest PCs start to bog down over time. Malware might be to blame, but more likely it's just Windows getting gunked up and sluggish from everyday use. The solution is to wipe your hard drive and reinstall the OS. It's a hassle, but also cheaper than buying new machines. Plan on doing this every 2-3 years. You'll be amazed by the difference. More: Reinstall Windows Without Losing Your Data.

Okay, hack fans, those are my lessons for 2010. Now let's hear yours. Share your techie words of wisdom in the comments!

Image via iStockPhoto.

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    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.