Occasionally I’ll experience a problem with my iPad or iPhone and wondered if there are any troubleshooting tips you can share. Thanks, Mr. M.As seemingly invincible as the iPad and iPhone may appear, occasional glitches are inevitable. There is, however, a universal troubleshooting technique that has been handed down within my family from generation to generation, going back to the late 1800s. This is the first time I am sharing this long-held family troubleshooting secret:First, delete all apps from the multitasking queue by double tapping the Home button. The icons that appear on the bar at the bottom of your screen are apps that are running in memory. It’s a good idea to clear this out periodically. To close these apps so they aren’t consuming memory, press and hold one of the app icons until they all begin to jiggle. (If you begin to jiggle, call 9-1-1.) Tap the little red circle in the upper left-hand corner of each icon to remove it. This does not delete any apps from your device.With all apps removed from the bar, turn off your iPad or iPhone by pressing the Lock/Power button. Wait 20 or 30 seconds to allow all the vacuum tubes, fans, pulleys and hydraulic fluids to cool down. Then turn your iPad or iPhone back on. This simple solution resolves many problems you may encounter with your device, so it’s a good troubleshooting technique to keep within your bag of troubleshooting tricks. Why do I need a surge protector for my computers and what should I look for when buying one?Surge protectors are important to keep all the little circuits inside our computers safe from voltage peaks. When these power peaks (also called surges, spikes or whattheheckwasthat?) occur, it causes electrical circuits to heat up. Although a big surge can destroy a circuit, lesser surges can nibble away at it, eventually causing it to fail.Sources of surges, in addition to a direct lightning strike, include high-powered appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners, furnaces, even hair dryers and vacuums.When shopping for a surge protector, look for one that features a phone line pass-through. Telephone wires can deliver a potent surge to your computer causing serious damage. A good, high-quality surge suppressor will cost $20-$100 and be UL (Underwriters Laboratories) approved. It should also feature an indicator light that lets you know when surge protection is no longer functioning.For most surge-protector shoppers, the easiest way to tell if you’re getting a good surge protector is to look at its Connected Equipment warranty. I prefer ones that cover connected equipment for $15,000 or more. I figure if the manufacturer is theoretically willing to risk $15K, it is probably selling a fairly decent product. If it doesn’t have a Connected Equipment warranty, I wouldn’t purchase it.
Mr. Modem publishes “Ask Mr. Modem!” each week, featuring PC tips, tricks and plain-English answers to your questions by email. For more information, visit www.Mr.Modem.com.