Students and remote workers are facing a computer shortage

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) — Schools across the state and country are preparing and adjusting to the new normal for classes.

Some students are taking hybrid or opting for the all-online approach for the school year. And because computers and laptops are required for classes — the U.S. is facing a laptop shortage.

“Well because of the pandemic that is happening because of COVID-19, there has been an insurgence of people that are wanting to get laptops and tablets for each individual of the house instead of just having one or two per household, ” said John Potter, a computer technician . “You’re looking at four or five per household because each child is having to get on to do hybrid classes or having to do completely online, you are looking at five to six hours per day per child.”

Because laptops are in high demand, Potter said computers are being pushed to the limit.

“Laptops are built to last three to five years minimum, and now we are seeing some that might not even last six months because of some having to use them 8, 10, or even 12 hours a day,” said Potter.

To maintain your computer, Potter recommends to blow it out with canned or compressed air to keep the fan clean and put them on a hard surface to get the correct amount of airflow.

“Making sure they aren’t moving them around too much when they are turned on because if it gets bumped significantly, it can actually make the hard drive go bad,” said Potter. “And making sure that they don’t have any liquid around them because if you spill something on them, obviously it’s going to take it out.”

Demand is higher than supply – and Potter believes this won’t be ending soon.

“Since we still don’t know a whole lot about the COVID virus, it could go on for several more months, it could actually last for years,” said Potter. “Because just like the stuff we’ve seen going into Walmart and buying your groceries, we’ve seen big shortages and stuff like that so it could last a long time.”

Some advice from Potter, you do not want to use a vacuum cleaner on your computer because it could cause dust particles in the computer to create a charge and fry the motherboard.

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