Your computer needs a nap

by 2nd Lt. Kyle Massey
86th Communications Squadron

Your computer is your friend, confidant, procrastination enabler and productivity partner. It can be moody at times, but the trait we usually notice most about our digital partner is its speed.

Like us, computers tend to slow down after working for long periods of time. Ever wonder why?

Applications or programs on your computer require memory to do their work. So let’s think of programs or apps as toddlers, a computer as a day care worker and memory as toys.

At the start of the day, the day care worker passes out toys to the toddlers. The toddlers play and have fun, but they want more toys. The day care worker provides toys to children as soon as they arrive, but the day care worker is starting to run out of toys.

The day care worker is struggling to find more toys for the children who recently arrived, but the toddlers from earlier do not want to share. The day care worker is taking longer to complete or even start other duties, because time is being spent finding extra toys to please the other children.

If only there was some way to get the toys back and share them among all the children and toddlers. The day care worker decides it is nap time for everyone.

When all the toddlers and children who arrived fall asleep for a nap, the day care worker collects the toys. Then, the toys are handed out again among all the children when they wake up with no trouble from the toddlers who had them earlier. After the nap, all the toddlers and children who arrived later are happy and sharing a toy.

Programs, apps and computers need breaks or naps to get things back in order sometimes. The way we do that is through a restart or by logging off the computer at the end of the day.

This allows the computer to grab all the toys or memory lent to the un-sharing toddlers or programs, so after the break it can share everything equally and get back to working properly.

There you have it. Your computer needs a restart once in a while to share memory fairly to your programs and apps. It is essential to keeping your computer speedy.