computer on--computer off???


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Dec 11, 2001
Knoxville TN
Bought recently one of Gateway's larger units. Just recently upgraded to Comcast's high speed internet. so here's the question: I'm on the computer couple hours daily, buying/selling stuff and just noodlin' around.

Should Ileave the computer on constantly or turn it off after eachuse?

I know with my tubed highfi equipment I leave everything in "standby' mode but tht's only because cold tubes take so long to get thoroughly heated.

So-computer on, computer off, or doesn't it matter?
I am a Computer Consumer. That means I can use most of the stuff, but am not very good at fiddlin' with it. For instance, I have no idea how to remove the cookies in Windows XP. Knew how to do it in Windows 98, but the friend who showed me how to do it died, so here I am, bereft... but I digress.
I leave my computer on. I have dial-up which is also my phone line, so I can't leave that part connected. I notice after a few days, things get a little strange. Things come on that I didn't request, and I get some programs that don't work right. So I shut it down, let it sulk overnight and when I turn it back on, all is sunshine happy in computerland. So I guess the answer for me is "both".
Michael, don't expect a consensus on this, but I leave my computers on, both at home and at the shop, unless I'm going to be gone for a few days.

I've read good arguments for both ideas, so I opted for convenience.
We leave three here at home on 24/7 and two at the shop are also on all the time. It's healthier for the hard drive to spin than to be on and off frequently. (just like a car engine)

It's really a matter of preference though...

Computers throw off a lot of heat and that may be a consideration in the summer.


PS: Ellen, cookies are fairly harmless. no need to erase em. They hold your preferences when you visit web pages that will "remember" you. (ex: to store your sign in name to get web email or online shopping, etc)

In XP/Internet Explorer: Tools -> Internet Options -> Delete Cookies.

If you want to clean something off that really makes a difference, try removing adware and spamware. A program called AD-AWARE will identify the culprits and remove them safely from your computer for free. You can grab this at

[ 06-28-2003, 08:01 AM: Message edited by: Mike-L@GTP ]
Ellen, I have XP also. To delete cookies, click on "start" menu, click on "control panel", then double click "internet options". From this screen you can delete cookies, clear temporary files, and clear history.
Originally posted by tnframer408:
Bought recently one of Gateway's larger units.
I'll pray for you, Michael. Ours STILL doesn't work, after re-formatting the HD, per Gateway's tech support people. The 12 guage, at close range, is looking more and more attractive.
My next step is to have a computer genius friend of mine transform everything Gateway into just a normal computer.
Bless your heart.....
Seriously, at the Fone Co, we never turned ANYTHING off. There is always a surge when power is turned on OR off. Tubes didn't mind it so badly, 'cause they are, after all, made BIG and designed for heat and will withstand surges.
Solid state devices, ie: transistors, capacitors, etc, aren't as tolerant of these little power surges. And they ARE inevetible. It's the nature of power supplies.
Good luck!
Charles: I got three of them, one big for home, one medium size for the store and a notebook.

To date--knock on wood--no probs with any of them. did research on this before the buy and heard as much horror stories about Dell as I did Gteway. Bought Gateway 'cause their store is about two blocks from the shop. So far, the only help I need is from my own stupidity, not the computer.
Thanks. Will try the ON for awhile. Now that I'm on modem, probably won't have Ellen's troubles of accumulating extraneous junk, but we'll see.
O and ROn: those big 300E tubes get HOT HOT HOT. OK in the winter, they can warm a room. Butsummer's another story.
Ellen, On AOL8 you can choose what cookies you want and it will get rid of the rest.

Go to Internet Options (Control Panel, click Internet Options), choose Privacy tab. Choose Advanced and put your dots in prompt and prompt.
You will be asked everywhere you go, on the Internet, if you want their cookie. You choose, "Remember my answer and No"
Eventually, everything is blocked you don't want and you don't have to worry about them

[ 06-28-2003, 08:25 AM: Message edited by: Susan N ]
Should Ileave the computer on constantly or turn it off after eachuse?
Even the experts disagree.

A woman I know who works for Apple believes that putting your computer to "sleep" allows much less wear and tear on the components especially on your hard drive.

A computer repair technician with whom I have dealt (sadly) says quite the opposite: He believes that the heat generated even in stand-by mode will shorten the life of your computer significantly.

What to do? At the store, CLYDE (my trusty Mac) is booted first thing when I get in in the morning and is left on all day. When I leave the store, I do a complete shut down (not just sleep mode).

Remember, although C3PO implored Luke Skywalker, "Please, don't deactivate me!", that robot was a git!
I'll tell you one reason I rarely turn my computer off. Last January, I was in the middle of preparing my taxes when I shut down the computer for some reason. When I tried to start it up again, it acted like it had no idea what I wanted it to do. It wouldn't even try to read a startup disk or CD. It wasn't dead, it wasn't sleeping, but it was in a very deep coma.

Eventually, in desperation, I removed the cover (which usually require s accessing the on-line manual) and reseated all the chips and boards and other paraphernalia. I also blew out about 20 pounds of dust that had accumulated in there.

After a few more tries, it reluctantly booted up.

I'll probably never shut it down again.
folks please don't scare me with the gateway and dell stuff. i got a dell about four or five months ago to keep my fiancee' talking to me. so it is good. i actually got a refurbished one from dell, they give the same warranties as a new one.
it is not paid off and i can not afford to put any money into it. then again i have not even used half of the programs, or even know how to use half of them. good for a two month old out of college. it is my fault i can not stand these deathboxes!!!
If you intend to leave your computer on unmonitored then I highly suggest you buy the very best surge protector/battery backup/spike-dip regulator you can afford.

A little over five years ago we installed six PC's with identical specs, including extra fans and all the hooplah you're supposed to have for running them for long periods. Of these, three needed to be on all the time, the others were turned on/off each day.
The PC's which were turned on 24/7 have all died and the others coninue to run to this day. Two dropped hard-drives (8gb Seagate) within months of each-other and they all toasted the mother-board eventually. (one of them also had two montiors catch fire, though this was probably unrelated it was loads of fun!!!)
One other PC which also runs continuously is now about three(?maybe four?) years old and has had two new hard drives in this time. (Three others bought at the same time as home PC's are yet to give problems)
If I leave my computer on continuously, it has to be shut down and turned back on in order to work right. It just gets whacky. I also tried hybernating at one time and that didn't work either.
Thanks everyone for the Cookie Destruction Info... I find that if I clean out my Cookie Jar every once in a while, the spam isn't q-u-i-t-e as omnipresent. I will be upgrading to AOL8.0 really really soon now. No doubt it will solve all my computer problems....
Originally posted by Bill Henry:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr /> Should Ileave the computer on constantly or turn it off after eachuse?
Even the experts disagree...

At the store, CLYDE (my trusty Mac) is booted first thing when I get in in the morning and is left on all day. When I leave the store, I do a complete shut down (not just sleep mode).
</font>[/QUOTE]The first computer we ever got was through a friend who was in the business and who also owned a lot of high (HIGH!!) end audio equipment. His philosophy was that turning equipment on and off was much more damaging than leaving them on 24/7. So, we left our first computer on 24/7. Mistake...

Without going into the whole boring story, I agree completely with Bill. We, too, turn our computers on in the morning, leave them running all day, and shut them down completely in the evening.

I'd also heed Jason warning: "If you intend to leave your computer on unmonitored then I highly suggest you buy the very best surge protector/battery backup/spike-dip regulator you can afford." Jason.

On the other hand, what do I know?
Wanna hear a strange one?

One of my clients has 3 IBM Model 30 machines in a computer room that have been running 24/7 since 1986 for a specific security task. They also have a 4.77 original 1982 IBM PC 5150 that has been running since 1982, for a door access system. (Maybe they just don't make em like they used to?
Over 20 years!

Ours are left on 24/7 mainly because we use a program called pcAnywhere to jump from the house to the office pc, or the other way. (The machines have to be on for this to work). This is how we do a weekly remote backup of the POS.

I completely agree about the importance of a good ups. (APC, down the street from here, is a great company for these!) Heat and power surges are what will kill your pc. Electrical storms are pretty intense too, even if the computer is off. The surge often hits the pc through the dialup modem's phone line.
Am using APC products, have firewalls, virus protection and all that. Plus, the cable modem isn't plugged into a dialup but is instead "always on" like always plugged in and active.

that said, though, think I'll turn thebad boy off when I'm done.

Thanks y'all, for all the tipz
Originally posted by CharlesL:
I'll pray for you, Michael. Ours STILL doesn't work, after re-formatting the HD, per Gateway's tech support people. The 12 guage, at close range, is looking more and more attractive.
Personally, I'd suggest a slightly longer range. At close range, a 12 guage will only make a 1-2" hole, and might well completely miss the part that works. An alternative and probably more effective solution might be to just give it to an 11 year old - they'll almost certainly either kill it or cure it ;)
We have our computers on while we are in the store, but they are turned off when we leave. The reason is easy... our building was hit by lightning about a year ago, and our neighbor's computer was fried. Ours was fine, as it was turned off at the time. (We did loose part of our alarm system, our credit card machine, and one phone though.)

Get good battery back ups, and turn the computer off if you won't be around in case of a storm.
Sue May, I found that just turning them off didn't save me from electrical storm damage. I frizzled two modems because the phone line became a really good conduit for the surges. It also damaged something inside the computer itself. Luckily, Dell replaced it all under warranty. (I think they knew what happened but didn't question it, since such damage is not covered. Thanx, Big Company.)

I turn both my computers on in the morning, off at night. And just to be sure, I use the little-green-eyeshade-method of protecting them: unplug and unphone-line them.
If you are going to leave your machine on 24/7 make sure you have good air movement around your machine. Also being in a frame shop where there is alot of dust is not good for your machine. Every three or four months take the cover off and blow the dust out. You would be amazed at how much dust you will find in there.
I noticed this thread is exactly a year old....but it makes me wonder where Michael LeCompte is. Where did you go Michael?
enjoying semiretirement, drawing on my 401K, living parttime in the mountains of NC--Lake Hiwassee outside Murphy ex-home of Olympic Park bomber--and reading but not often posting on G. Also looking at other business ventures like investing in four or so restaurants with a partner and at buying a commercial office building in downtown Knoxville that is fully rented with two floors above suitable for loft type condos that all the GenXers are demanding

Aren't you sorry you asked??? ;)
I passed through that area going from Murphy to Hayesville a few years ago. I don't know the name of the lake I passed but along the 2 lane mountain road to Hayesville, there was a river where I was told the whitewater kayaking competition of the '00 Summer Olympics were held.

Is that anywhere close to where you are "hanging out"?


P.S. Why would anyone want to go to Hayesville?? Well, my ex- lives there and I was moving some stuff of my son's down for her to store for him. Beautiful area for hiding from the law!!!
Fmerguy: the Olympic whitewater was held on the Ocoee and they built the world's best whitewter competition facility there. We volunteered there for the week of the competition--this is actually our second house on the lake there. We're on Lake Hiwassee; there's also Santeetlah which borders the Smoky Mountains. Forget where Hayesville is, altho I should know We've had second houses here for quite a few years.

Actually, Olympic Bomber Eric Rudolph was caught at the Piggly Wiggly in Murphy where we do most of our shopping. The flea market in Murphy had a complete set of his china complete with FBI fingerprint dust. But that's another story.

O I remember: Hayesville is on a lake in N. Georgia. You were close to us about 30 miles since our home is in the mountains about 20 miles outside Murphy.

enough of the geography lesson.

It seems like Hayesville was just a short trip NE of Murphy (still in NC) up a narrow windy mountain road that bordered that wild run of whitewater river I mentioned earlier. That stretch of whitewater just made me want to bail in and start paddling!! Of course it would have been easier with a kayak under me! It looked to be a mixture of class 2 and 3 when I was there but some guy standing around told me that they open the dam (somewhere upstream) and it becomes a class 3 and 4 torrent in no time for competition runs.

I miss that wild stuff sometimes but I am learning that, as my mind still wants to participate, my body says "Hain't NO way!!"