Gadgets

Dust cover and electronics

Do you cover the electronic devices to protect them from dust?

I grew up in an India where offices preferred to cover everything they can. In the 1980s when Typewriters used to rule every office, you will be hard-pressed to see one naked without a dress – every typist (men and women) followed a regime of covering with pride their typewriter with a rexine cover specially made for that model, and, then remove it in the morning every single day. I have seen typists getting an earful from their bosses in private offices for not covering (I meant the typewriter, please don’t get dirty ideas) properly.

In some offices, I have seen typewriters being kept under lock and key!

When Personal Computers came into Indian offices in the 1990s, the same routine followed. With every purchase, the vendor with glee will be giving you a ‘big’ gift – it will be a set of dust covers for the workstation, monitor and keyboard. I have seen my relatives and friends insisting and negotiating the type and colour of the dust covers.

Personal Computers (Desktop) with dust covers like this one were a common site
Personal Computers (Desktop) with dust covers like this one were a common sight

Fast forward to 2000s. We have moved to Laptops and Cellphones, Desktop PCs have become smaller. Most modern offices in Indian metros have been Air-Conditioned which keeps dust away. So the dust cover had got relegated to the pages of history. We stopped using it in our offices.

Why this rant now? Last week, I replaced after many years my workhorse printer (HP OfficeJet Pro 8600) in my house with a new one (HP OfficeJet Pro 9010). Unlike the one it replaced, this came in white colour. In just a few days I found a lot of dust on top of the printer and inside the ADF (Paper Feeder).

The 'naked' HP OfficeJet Pro 9010
The ‘naked’ HP OfficeJet Pro 9010 Printer

To protect my ‘new’ purchase, I did what my mother advises, to keep valuables covered all the time. I went to a local tailor with a long white towel, gave him the dimensions of my printer and got a cloth cover stitched. Having its modesty restored, my printer is feeling happy – I hope it will remember this gesture, have gratitude to me by working flawlessly for years to come.

The dressed-up HP Printer with a cotton dust cover
The dressed-up HP Printer with a cotton dust cover

P.S.: A fire safety tip – These devices may generate heat which needs to get dispersed. So, don’t cover immediately after usage, and, don’t use flammable material for the cover – a strict NO for plastics. In this case, the printer hardly heats up for a page or two printouts or scanning, so I give a few minutes before I put the cover back. The cover is made out of cotton so it can breathe, and is stitched loosely for easy ventilation. Lastly, don’t tuck in the bottom end, leave it open.

Do you use dust covers for your electronics? Post your experience in the comments below.

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