Saturday, September 19, 2009

Public Computer Maintenance (from 1996)

This is from our computer maintenance handbook from around 1996. I just think it's an interesting bit of history. The first public computer I ever worked with was from a donation that didn't even have a menu to launch programs.

Does anyone remember using Lynx for browsing the Internet? (or reading, since there wasn't much to "look" at with a text browser.)


1. The computer should be turned on in the morning to make sure that it is operating properly. The "progman.ini" warning box should appear and then you should press enter to clear it.
The computer may then be turned off if no users are scheduled within the hour. Exit Windows prior to turning off the computer.

2. When a person is using the computer, the door should be closed. The thermostat next to the small meeting room controls the temperature and the gray plastic key is at the reference desk. Check on the person to make sure they appear to be using the system properly and appropriately. They should not be exiting from Windows to the "C:\" prompt.

3. Sometimes the screen saver will freeze up and not operate, so if the computer has been left on with no one using it, check to see if the screen saver is working. If the screen is blank, move the mouse to reset the screen saver.

4. As more and more people use the computer, the room may become dirty. It may be necessary to open that room at closing for the cleaning people to get in.

5. Keep track of who borrows software manuals and documentation.


1. Perform a virus sweep using the virus detection in "PC Tools." This process takes about 5 minutes.

2. Turn in disk money to Sandra. Check disks and order more if needed.

3. Check all programs to make sure files aren't being saved by the users. Check WordPerfect, Ami Pro, and the financial programs and delete (or note to be deleted later) any files which do not belong. People should use a floppy and not save their work on the hard disk.

4. Note the number of users which may be used for monthly counts.

5. As use increases, a file may need to be created to store the filled sign-up sheets: discard old sheets after gathering statistics.