Rest, Relax, Restart

I want to offer a simple Public Service Announcement about keeping your technology working for you:

Restart your computer. Right now. And while it’s restarting, close all the apps on your phone and power it off and back on again. It’s ok, do it right now, I’ll wait…

Welcome back, and that wasn’t too hard, right? And why would I ask you to do that? Because, I kid you not, I solve 98% of tech-related issues this way (in addition to being a Producer/Creative Director, I’m also the Director of Studio and Office Technology at Made Music).

Staff members often approach me with issues like “Hey, my email isn’t working” or “my calendar isn’t syncing” and my first response is always “when’s the last time you restarted?” If you have to think about it – it’s been too long.

This is the simplest way I know to eliminate troubleshooting steps. Technology continues developing to be always-on and ubiquitous, so we rarely consider that we need to shut things off. If I may make a flawed physical analogy, how well would you function if you hadn’t slept for 2-3 months straight and you were doing multiple tasks 8-12 hours a day? You’d need a break too!

Even if you’re not having issues, restarting your computer and phone each day will help them run more efficiently (i.e., faster) and eliminate potential situations that might drain your battery. Think of it like starting the day with a refreshing shower, you’re likely to be more productive because of it.

It’s easy to build into a daily routine (I restart mine every morning when I get to the studio). Any of you who work with Pro Tools, Logic, etc. on a daily basis know how helpful this can be. We’re always restarting before any big recording session, and often several times throughout the day as the production team is opening and closing lots of different projects.

The postscript to this is that there are absolutely things that can’t be solved with restarting. Physical hardware problems like your logic board, graphics card or display failing are not going to be solved from restarting. And applications can have issues that will persist even if you do restart (corrupt files, no more disk space, etc.). If you happen to use a virtual machine on your computer (running Windows via Parallels on a Mac for example), you’re going to need to restart the virtual machine and your Mac.

In conclusion, if you can’t connect to the internet or network, an application is frozen, or your device is simply running slowly please do every tech person a favor and restart first. If the issue persists then let’s get in there and find out what’s going on!

Now I’m gonna restart, see you in a minute.

Brian Scherman is a Producer / Creative Director at Made Music Studio. After restarting, talk to him on Twitter @brianscherman.

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