Laptops and Static Electricity: How do I avoid it?

At home, I have a laptop. I often spend hours lying on the couch, laptop on my chest, doing such things as quantum research and modeling new cures for cancer. On occasion, I also surf the web and play video games, but trust me, most of my time is spent in the higher pursuits.

It being winter and Colorado, it’s very, very dry in my house. Often such things such as shifting my legs will cause static electricity to bounce out of my finger tips onto the laptop. If I’m wearing socks or slippers, touching the floor with my feet is guaranteed to shock the computer.

It’s occurred to me that this is probably bad for my computer. I haven’t run into any problems yet - at least, I don’t think I have. My modem died mysteriously last year, but I don’t recall if I had shocked the computer when it happened. Regardless, I’m thinking there’s probably some way to periodically get rid of the static electricity, or anti-static socks I could buy, or an anti-static couch, or I could just move somewhere where it isn’t so prevalent. Anyone have any ideas? I’d hate to think that I’d have to sit upright at a desk or something to play Zeus: Master of Olympus… errr, I mean, research cures for AIDS.

I suppose you could wear one of those anti-static bracelets,with a wire lead attatched to a solid ground on your computer. Those who open up and upgrade the hardware on their PCs use them all the time, and they’re available quite inexpensively at any computer store.

Get some anti-static spray and hose down the couch. Also your carpet, and maybe your socks and slacks, too. You might also want to invest in a humidifier to keep the total amount of static down.



Easy and cheap, dilute some liquid fabric softener and spray it around the area. My boss and I used to do that in our office when I worked for Big O Tires. We had a nice corporate office with very nice carpet. We’d spray it in the traffic pattern once a day and it seemed to help a lot. One added benefit is your house smells nice!
Also, get a humidifier hun, believe me (living just south of you) it will make your skin feel better too.

On my laptop, I have a security screw that is grounded to the chassis. Whenever I touch the laptop in a staticy environment, I always touch the security screw first, often sending a small shock to it.