My First Experience with “Dust-Off”

I have a generic can of air near my computer that I use from time to time to keep the dust away from important computer parts. When I use it, I don’t think much of it, but in the 1980s, when I first encountered “Dust-Off”, I thought this stuff was magic in a can.

A computer store had opened in our town and my friends and I tried to hang out in there as often as possible and quickly became sort of like mascots for the people who worked there. One guy in particular was really active in trying to get us computer time and showing us anything new that came in (he would eventually go on to become a teacher). Usually the stuff he showed us was new hardware or a new game, but one day he brought out a strange-looking can. When I asked him what it was for, he told me it was to help keep the computers clean. To me that meant it was some sort of spray cleaner and I didn’t think much of it. Then he sprayed it into one of the machines nearby and that powerful hiss of air caught my attention.

I could do nothing else for the next hour, but watch him blast away dust from machines. He even let me shoot it once or twice, which was awfully decent of him since I know I was completely overzealous in my use of the stuff. Blasting dust with air suddenly became an event and I tried to time my visits to the times when computers were getting cleaned, which was always first thing in the morning. If they would have been able to trust me with the stuff (which they shouldn’t have), they could have gotten hours of free labor out of me because I found it super satisfying (I still do), to blast away those tiny particles of grime.

So if you got some air near you desk, why not pick it up and give you computer a quick cleaning and try to remember the first time you experienced the stuff? Hopefully your first time was as memorable an experience as mine was.

dust-off

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