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MultiTasking is a common term you have probably heard many times. It refers to the ability of computers to work on several tasks at the same time. That isn’t an exactly accurate definition because computer can only do one thing at a time unless they have multiple processors. What they can really do is maintain several different applications open and several documents in the same application at the same time to allow for more productive work by simply toggling back and forward between applications and documents.
A Balance between improved productivity and problems.
This can definitely improve productivity but it can also create problems for older computers and even for new computers with limited resources. In a work environment many people maintain four or more applications open and often several files open within each of the applications. After a time the computer may begin to have glitches and may even lock up completely. This may be caused by all the resources being drained. This is why an adequate amount of RAM memory is so critical for workstations. I always suggest an absolute minimum of 64 megabytes of RAM and recommend 128 or more megabytes. It is also important to have plenty of hard drive space. Computers become sluggish when they are close to full capacity.
Manufacturers run too many applications in the background
Another common problem among newer computers is an excessive number of programs running in the background. Manufacturers tend to put these programs in the automatic startup mode so they will be more easily accessible to the user. The problem is that each program running in the background uses some of the computer’s resources. Enough of such programs will caused the computer to glitch up everytime you try to use any other application.
Excessive number of open applications = Glitches
As a network administrator I hear about computer glitches everyday. On more than one occasion I have checked and found that a combination of more than thirty applications and documents were open at the same time. I consider myself a very efficient worker and I could not keep up with anything close to thirty things at the same time. There is no reason for straining a computer in this excessive manner. Use multitasking to its full advantage but don’t abuse it because it will simply create problems for you.
If your computer locks up or sometimes refuses to print, or you encounter some other glitches, try closing a few files and applications and see if that helps. If it does, you don’t have sufficient resources for that level of multitasking. You will either have to upgrade your computer or limit your multitasking to preclude the glitches.