You might not be conscious of it, but your computer is a packrat!
From the minute it enters into service, your devoted assistant will preserve every document that you ever produced or received.
The keeper of all your secrets works silently, diligently, efficiently… and never complains or rebels. Its motto is simple: “ask and I shall deliver.” A perfect civil servant.
But one day, after years of irreproachable service, you will start noticing that your collaborator is slacking off. It does not respond the way it used to do. It is taking its time… and you will have to wait to have your requests acknowledged.
Truth be told, the poor thing is not healthy anymore. It is bloated, and its arteries are clogged. It is now incapable to keep up with you.
Don’t look any further… your computer is simply growing old and unable to promptly respond when you call. It might need a physical, go on a strict diet, or (shudder) put out to pasture.
On average, a person that relies daily on a computer keeps the same device for about 5 years. After that time, he needs to send his assistant to a rehab center for a thorough cleanup or purchase a new one.
Most people don’t realize that, after a while, a lot of “undesirables” are entering and squatting on their computers. These uninvited guests try to be discreet, but they significantly affect the smooth running of your machine.
A computer is a packrat, no questions about it. It stores everything that you receive or create, and if you don’t do a thorough Spring cleaning every year, you are headed for trouble.
If you get a new computer, you naturally want to transfer all the data from the old machine to the new one… and this can be troublesome. Because when you do this, you will also include the illegal (and sometimes dangerous) residents of your former device.
So, yes, I got a new iMac, and I used Apple’s Migration Assistant to transfer all the stuff from my “old” machine to the new one. But unlike “La Migra”, this assistant showed great understanding and asked no embarrassing questions.
A while later though, I discovered that this “understanding” also allowed over 4500 old Gmail messages… and a multitude of space grabbing attachments to move into my new machine.
I had to perform a tedious manual cleaning operation to get rid of it.
Moral of the story: your computer is a packrat! You have to regularly scrub it to dispose of unwanted energy-sucking varmints to keep it running smoothly.