Physical degunking required configuring my vacuum cleaner and opening the PC case, among other things. Ballew and Duntemann give plenty of advice on how to do this safely, because it's an essential step in extending the life of your PC. They explain where you can use soapy water to clean (keycaps pulled one-by-one from the keyboard), disconnected cables) and why you don't spray window clear on a monitor.
My favorite "ick" moment: seeing what was trapped under the keycaps on my HP keyboard.
Next came connectivity and performance for peripherals. The authors walked me through reducing cable-spaghetti and figuring out which peripherals to put away (and which to give away). Networking peripherals and extra computers to minimize cabling was next, and I got lots of good tips on using my existing cable modem and hub. As a result, I can now look at my surge block and tell exactly which cord to unplug to power down which peripheral.
My favorite "aah" moment: realizing I would never again need to sneaker-net a disk to the computer in my spouse's office.
Backing up is something I believed I was doing well—until I asked myself: Can you locate that critical file on your backup? Following the simple steps to a rational backup system gives me even more confidence that I can recover from disaster.
My favorite "aha!" moment: finding a business card and logo file I thought was lost six years ago!
The final step in degunking is PC optimization. It includes upgrading memory and graphics; tweaking processor settings, memory usage and performance settings; and upgrading peripherals. A useful appendix details what to with the gunk devices you've removed from your system, and how to degunk a brand-new PC, so you start gunk-free.
To quote Paraglyph founder and author Jeff Duntemann, "The more you learn about degunking, the more youll realize that its more psychology than technology... our approach is a uniquely disciplined one that really gets results."
My rationalized, degunked PC workspace is result enough for me!