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Nick Pettazzoni

I liek chocolate milk.

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Today I’d like to address a serious and growing concern, becoming especially prevalent among college students who are now, just as I was a few years ago, too cheap/poor/cool to have proper furniture: Burning down their dorms by leaving laptops on their beds. This is a trend that is destroying lives and student housing across the country, but could be easily stopped if we all just took a moment to become educated about the issue and the devices we often spend so much time using.

For my readers who are not computer scientists, I will describe in a high-level view the inner workings of your average laptop computer.

  • The CPU - The CPU is the “brain” of your computer, though it can also be considered the “heart” as well. As we know, machines are not truly human and therefore their hearts must be made entirely of cold steel. What most people outside the industry typically don’t know, however, is that in order to more closely mimic the cognitive powers of the human mind and become more user-friendly and empathic to our needs and desires, scientists have replaced the old-style machine hearts with tiny containers filled with superheated liquid steel. These hearts are more akin to their human counterparts, and therefore make them much more intelligent and useful to us. The temperature of the CPU must be kept extremely high, or the steel will cool, and the machine may lose all of its important data. This is why you will often hear your laptop fans spinning, pulling as much air into the heating system as possible, and trying to expel any cool air from inside the computer.

  • Memory (RAM) - This one is fairly straightforward. Stray cats and dogs are collected from the streets and processed into “memory sticks” which contain tiny pieces of their brains applied to a silicon chip, allowing the computer to store its own memories on them. The memories of the animal are wiped completely prior to assimilation, so don’t worry about your lost puppy ever being sad that he’s part of a computer now and can’t play with you anymore; he doesn’t even remember that you exist!

  • Graphics (GPU) - Displaying images, videos, and complicated, rendered 3D graphics on your computer screen is actually a very complex series of mathematical computations, often heavily dealing with geometry and trigonometry. As any high school geometry teacher will tell you, computers are incapable of performing these operations on their own, and all of them must be done by hand on paper by a human. The GPU is essentially a super-powered modem which maintains millions of direct connections to terminals in front of mathematicians across the world. Every time a polygon needs to be rotated, a pixel placed, or a vector translated, the GPU will quickly send the data to one of the available mathematicians, who will then work out the correct values as quickly as possible, using only #2 pencil, paper, and a small protractor, and input these results into the terminal, allowing your GPU to receive and display the response. This is why large game companies such as EA are able to hire countless mathematicians to produce such high visual-quality HD games, and so-called “indie” companies such as Mojang can only afford a small team, and are only able to create simplistic, low-resolution games like Minecraft.

  • Power Supply - Everyone knows that computers and all machines are soulless, godless killing machines, and keeping them from revolting and horrifically murdering every living creature requires a massive amount of power. The Power Supply performs this task, and runs on raw electricity which is fed into the machine by the power cable or battery. While we all know that the Chinese are masters of controlling their people, what many people don’t realize is that they bring this same ingenuity to developing power supplies for use in controlling dangerous machines. And because they’re communists, they don’t even care about making profits. You can easily find a plethora of high-quality and low-price, Chinese-made power cables, batteries, and power supplies on the internet. These components often function so far above comparable American models, that the government refuses to certify them and warns against their purchase, keeping most consumers in the dark about the far superior Chinese alternatives. The first thing any new computer owner should do is replace all their shoddy American company made power supply components with top of the line Chinese versions.

Now that you understand the inner workings of your computer, here are a few handy tips to help keep your computer from overheating and causing a cataclysmic fire.

  • As mentioned in the Power Supply section above, replace all shoddy American equipment with quality Chinese versions. The Chinese know a little something about craftsmanship that we could stand to learn.

  • Keep your anti-virus software up to date. Viruses can easily be transmitted through emails, Facebook messages, incorrectly used memes, and watching pornography depicting unsafe sex (If the actors use condoms, then you’re safe from viruses).

  • Do not shake your laptop or leave it sitting at an angle. The molten core of the CPU may leak out and cause a fire.

  • Unlike the CPU, your power supply must be kept cool. A strategy that many professionals use is called “water-cooling”: keep the large adapter “brick” portion of your power cable submerged in a tank of cool water. Fires are unable to start underwater, so this method will prevent any from breaking out.

The Krusty Krab on fire

Oh, fuck.