July 31, 2012

Selecting a New Hard Drive

A 2.5" laptop hard drive sitting on a 3.5...

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Selecting a New Hard Drive

When installing a new hard drive there are many things that you need be aware of. The first one is simply what type of computer are you installing this into; a desktop or a laptop. If it’s a laptop, odds are good you will be doing a replacement and not simply adding a drive. When purchasing a hard drive for a laptop ensure that you have the right kind of connection. If it is parallel drive, it will utilize a large connector with many small pins, if it is a SATA or Serial ATA, it will depend on one smaller connection with only a few pins.

The same advice applies when purchasing for a desktop. Ensure that you get a drive that’s compatible. Check your user manual or your manufacturer’s website for more information about your computer. If you are also replacing your primary drive on your desktop, like the laptop you will need to ensure you have new operating system disks, restore CDs and that all your data is backed up so you do not lose anything when the new drive is installed. If you are simply adding an additional drive this isn’t needed just ensure you have the physical space to install it in your computer.

There are many sizes of drives these days; an average size would be between 250 and 500 gigs. It can be very tempting to purchase large size drives right now, with their sub hundred dollar price point, but ensure that you take into account, that the more storage you have, the more that you will need to backup, and backing up over a terabyte of data can be a major task. It is much more data and will not fit on a CD or even a single burnable DVD disk.

Selecting a New Display Panel

Selecting a New Display Panel

Years ago your options were limited for monitors. They came in a single flavor of CRT or Cathode Ray Tube, were large, cumbersome and heavy and your option was only size. These days’ times have changed. There are hundreds of styles, brands and sizes to choose from. The first step to picking out your monitor is deciding what kind you need. How do you spend most of your time on the computer? Are you mostly using the internet? Using word? Perhaps you have a need for two monitors so that you may have multiple items visible at all times.

To start, we will not be talking about CRTs or Cathode Ray Tube monitors. Nearly all monitors sold today are the LCD type, this means thinner, flatter, lower power consumption and one of the best features is, less strain on your eyes. Most LCD panels give you a choice when it comes to backlighting. The choices are Cold Cathode illumination or LED (Light Emitting Diode) illumination. LED illumination looks very similar but has the advantage of even further power savings thanks to its low power consumption. The next thing to look at is size, anywhere from a standard 15″ LCD to a 30″ widescreen.

Then you need to decide if you would like one, two or even more. The more displays you have the more screen real-estate you have to use, but it also comes at the expense of your physical desk space and you need to ensure that you have the computer to run it. You cannot simply split one connection, so it’s important that you have more than one display outlet to utilize. When selecting a display panel, go to a local store and check them out in person or if ordering online pay close attention to user reviews.

How to Purchase and Install More Memory in Your PC

How to Purchase and Install More Memory in Your PC

For starters you need to determine just exactly what memory will work inside your PC. You can do this by first determining if your PC is a brand name or an independently built PC. If it the computer is made by company such as Dell or HP. You can take down your systems model number and by looking on their website or in your user’s manual you should be able to determine just exactly that type of memory you require. After this, you may need to unplug your pc, pull it out and remove the case side to look inside and see how many empty memory slots you have.

After you know the type of memory you need and the availability of the slots for memory in your computer you can proceed to find the best deal. Look for brands with names you may know like Kingston, Crucial, Corsair, Mushkin and OCZ. You can search your larger chain retailers as well as your local independent computer shops for prices. Another good idea is to browse the internet for deal from places like Newegg.com to see what prices they have the memory you use. After you have found the best price order or purchase your memory.

When you have your new memory simply disconnect the cables and pull your computer out. Remove the side of the case panel and look inside the computer. Note the position touch the metal interior before touching any components. Note the position of the empty memory slots, now open your new memory and insert it into the empty slot. Press both sides firmly, there may be some resistance, but it will give a little as both of the locking mechanisms on the sides flip into place. Repeat if you have additional memory, then replace the side of your case and plug everything back in and enjoy your new memory!

Adding Hardware to Avoid at Home frustration

Many people are active computer users who have multiple programs running at the same time. The very act of toggling between open windows can be maddening and many are circumventing the problem by adding a second monitor to their computer system.
A second monitor has proven to be very beneficial for photographers, artists and programmers that need access to more open windows to compare products and line items of computer code.
Here are some steps to help you determine if your computer will accept a second monitor or hook up to a projector screen.
1.      Turn off the computer.
2.      Connect a video cable (and an adapter, if necessary) from the video output port on your computer or graphics card to the video input port on the second display. (You’ll need an adapter if your second display is a television or similar device.)
3.      Verify that the connections are solid.
4.      Turn on the computer and the second display.
5.      Once the new display is connected, you can configure it in System Preferences>Display.
6.      If your computer supports an extended desktop, click Arrangement. Follow the onscreen instructions.
7.      If you computer does not support extended desktop, click Arrangement and select Mirror Displays.
As you become more adept at using programs on your computer, it’s probably a good idea to add more USB and FireWire hardware. If you’re finding that you have to unplug one thing to hook up another it’s probably time to upgrade. By purchasing USB and hubs or cards, or FireWire cards you can leave everything plugged in.
Listen, sometimes it’s all about what works for you. If you’re looking for the best solution to some of the frustrating things that occur while you’re working on the computer it’s time to upgrade your hardware and think outside the box to maximize your working experience.

Computer Gaming Necessitates Upgraded Hardware

With more and more people using their personal computer for gaming, that tired and aged computer you have may not have the right hardware to keep up with the ever changing world that is computer gaming.

Essentially, it is best to have a computer that runs fast and smooth to avoid any kind of delay or sluggishness when you’re playing games. If you haven’t upgraded in a while it might be time and here are some of the things you need regarding hardware to have a successful computer.

•    Better processer – For gaming purposes the Intel Quad or I7 processer will give you great performance. An AMD Phenom is also highly recommended.
•    Power supply & Cables – If you’re not thinking about the proper supply for you upgraded system it’s time to rethink that position. About 1000 watts should support most graphic cards.
•    Better hard drive – If you don’t have a hard drive with lots of storage and fast transfer rates your gaming is likely suffering.
•    Video Card – In order to get the effects and performance you are looking for its imperative to have a video card with at least 1gb of video capabilities and one that has ATI Crossfire.
•    Operating System – Many users have opted to stay with an older version of their Windows operating system. If you’re looking to be heavily involved in gaming, it’s more than time to upgrade to Windows Vista.
•    Liquid cooling – Many games sit online and play games for hours. The computer system suffers as a whole if the components aren’t kept cool to optimize performance.
•    Network Card – This item is considered option but a good one allows faster online gaming.

Many home computers are replacing the fancy gaming consoles as the primary place where people are playing games. In order to keep up with this fast-paced environment it may be necessary to upgrade your hardware.

Free Ringtones and More: Cellular Customization

Mobile Phone showing multimedia options
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It is an age of communication — the world is defined to cellular words, sounds defying all distance; branding the miles easy and the continents all found. There are no limitations. There are no boundaries. There is instead only the press of a button and the beginnings of a conversation. Phones have marked the years all convenient.

But even convenience can seem irksome when forced to bland appearances and standard tunes. Cell phones — despite all of their many advantages — have often been lamented within the public. The necessity of calls isn’t reconciled with the need for creativity. The equipment is often a careful efficiency, lacking all design. This leaves users unimpressed, wondering how to make their most valued companion an extension of themselves.

It’s simpler than you think.

Phones can now be customized — made distinctive through quick choices and easy additions.

One: Free Ringtones. Sound is not meant to be controlled by manufacturers. It is instead to be chosen by the user. Ringtones can be redefined, selected to reflect tastes and moods. Each song can announce a specific caller, allowing for a more personalized experience.

Two: Wallpapers. The days of dull screens and empty corners are gone. Individuals can instead select the wanted backgrounds and photographs for their phones. These replace the wasted space and provide easy entertainment.

Three: Applications. None could confuse cell phones as mere methods of communication. They are instead the gateways to all information; and applications (more commonly called apps) therefore become essential. These endless softwares allow users to create an experience that is purely their own. Infuse a phone with new capabilities and amusements, gaining access to all virtual thrills.

No individuals are identical. No needs are the same. It is impossible therefore to demand that users maintain the factory standards of their phones. They must instead change the technology and make it a more personal ideal.

Picking a New Power Supply

ATX computer power supply with connectors for ...
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If you are building your own computer or simply trying to update the capabilities of your current rig, one of the considerations that you may choose to make is installing a newer, better power supply. If you are thinking about adding a new power supply to your current computer, then there are specific considerations that you are going to want to make. Consider that your future hardware upgrade plans are going to play a vital role in determining which power supply unit to buy. Your budget, your power requirements, your connectors, your current hardware and the cables that you currently have are all also going to play a role in making this decision.

What are your future needs or plans for hardware upgrades? If you plan on adding additional hardware to your computer setup in the future, then you are going to want to keep this in mind when choosing your current power supply. What kind of connectors and power requirements does your current hardware require? This will help you determine what type of power supply is going to meet your needs in the most effective manner right now, but you should also be forward-thinking when choosing an appropriate power supply.

What is your budget? Your budget is going to play a truly important role in determining which power supply you purchase. Your computer needs are definitely important, but your budget literally determines how much of a power supply that you can reasonably afford, and as such, you should keep your budget in mind from beginning to end during this process.

How long of cables do you need? This may depend on your cable routing plans or the size of your case. Airflow is important so excess cable isn’t helpful and if it is in the budget a modular power supply might be helpful.

Keeping Up with Technology News

NBC News Washington
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Technology seems to change from day-to-day, so much so that you can feel as though it’s very hard to keep up with what is going on. There are ways you can accomplish this, however, without having to devote a huge amount of time to it. The first step is to find a technology news source that provides accurate information. Even the most current news is going to be no good if it isn’t right. So make sure your technology news source does its homework.

The second step is to realize that you really don’t need to check your technology news source every day. Once or twice a week should be enough, unless you hear about something (from a reliable source, of course) that appears as though it is going to be happening very quickly, and the information applies to you or your business. Then you might want to make more frequent checks. Again, make sure all the information you’re reviewing is accurate.

The third step is deciding whether or not any new technology is really going to make that much of a difference. For example, if the latest technology news involves new “apps” becoming available for cell phones, you want to make sure that it’s one that you and your employees actually need. If you participate in affiliate programs, and a new “app” provides faster access to information on the top affiliate programs, then you definitely want that.

You know what needs you and your company have, and by keeping up with technology news, you probably know ahead of time whether or not the latest happenings are going to have an immediate effect on you, or if you can wait a while before taking advantage of the latest things. When you have chosen a good source, you will have the information you need to make informed decisions.

Computer Hardware and Cell Phones

Cut-away cell phone
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Technology advances at an exponential rate and perhaps nowhere is that more apparent with computer hardware than in the field of mobile phones. Today a handheld device you use to make a phone call has the computational power that required a room full of computers back in the 60s. And making a phone call is almost a mere byproduct of what some of these devices are capable of now.

The first cell phones looked like bricks with an antenna and were marginally better at getting you connected. Connectivity, battery life, overall weight in general, there were many factors that needed to be worked on and improved if this technology was going to stay.

Attention was paid and mobile phones have become one of the most rapidly evolving technologies available to the consumer. It is rare to find today a cellphone device that is only designed to make a call. No, they have evolved, as have their users, into devices that can keep you in touch with the world.

Mobile phones have capabilities once unheard of. You can make a call to almost any part of the world on a cell phone today. The list of features you would find included are likely more than you would ever end up using on a daily basis. Digital cameras are built into many phones, ranging anywhere in power from two to five megapixels. Full keyboards, practical or accessed by touchscreen enable one to text messages. With access to WiFi relatively easy to find, certain phones enable you to surf the web. Movies may be downloaded and watched with apps on some phones. Many phones have functions similar to those of a computer desktop, with clock, calendar and computational capabilities.

And as computer hardware and chip technology grows ever more advanced, we are only going to see the features included on our phones grow more sophisticated as well.

Four Tips for Preserving Your Laptop Battery

From top to bottom: SR41/AG3, SR44/AG13 (butto...
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Few things are as frustrating for laptop users than to have their battery power run out at the most inconvenient time. Some batteries can last for hours while others may only last for an hour or two. Regardless of your battery capacity, though, there are some things you can do to lengthen the amount of time it lasts before losing its charge. Here are some tips to prevent your laptop battery from dying too soon.

1. Cut down on the applications that you run. If you are running several programs at one time, your battery is not going to last very long. Games and heavy graphics can drain battery power more than most other types of programs. Use the fewest number of programs necessary when you are running your laptop on battery power to get the most from it between charges.

2. Keep your laptop cool. Heat is bad for your laptop and it’s bad for your laptop’s battery. It can drain battery power and it can cause your battery to lose its capacity over time. A laptop cooling pad can keep your laptop cool, but it generally uses a USB port for power which can drain the battery. If you have a small fan that you can plug into an outlet and set next to you laptop, that can help it stay cool and get the most life from your battery.

3. Avoid using external devices. There are many computer hardware components that you can put into your laptop through the USB ports. MP3 players, external hard drives and other devices drain the battery quickly because they draw power from the battery as well.

4. Let it drain every few weeks. Allowing your laptop battery to completely drain is a bad idea if you do it every day. However, if you do it once every three or four weeks, you can help preserve its present capacity and extend its life.