December 25, 2011

Troubleshooting Common Sound Problems

It’s happened to pretty much everyone. It seems like someone always running into issues with their sound functioning. If things were as simple as playing movies in your direct tv, then running into PC sound problems would not be such a big deal. There are a number of things you can check to help you get your sound back working again. One of the first is to simply make sure your speakers are turned on, that is if they use power. You should also make sure the speaker volume is up, but not too loud so that if you get it working it blasts in your ear. If you speakers aren’t coming on make sure the power supply is plugged in.

Next you need to check the physical connection to your PC. Make sure the speakers are plugged properly into the personal computers input. Typically, this is 3.5mm green jack, although optical or coax inputs are more commonly being used to connect computers to speakers. Whatever your computer uses make sure that both ends are plugged in properly. In addition ensure that if your speakers have the ability to become unplugged from a subwoofer, ensure they have not come loose. If you have a keyboard with sound controls make sure you do not have the computer muted.

Finally you need to check your computers settings. In Windows you can double click the sounds icon bringing up the controls for the sound settings. Make sure the volume slider is up at least half way, there may be more than one depending on your version of Windows. In Windows 7 the volume sliders are application specific, meaning that each application that uses sound will have its only volume slider. Also ensure that the application you are watching video or listening to has its volume up at least some of the way.

How to Detect and Remove Spyware from Your PC

How to Detect and Remove Spyware from Your PC

Spyware is computer software that infects your pc and typically displays pop ups, changes your homepage, inserts other ads and even could possibly be additionally malicious. To start off you have to ask yourself do you have spyware? Is your browser loading pages that you didn’t click on? Did is your PC acting funny? Does your browser have a new toolbar? These are just a few of the things you might notice if your personal computer is infected with spyware. Now you will need to work to remove it.

You can start by downloading a couple free removal tools. Hijack This will do a good job at detecting inconsistencies as well as Browser Helper Objects or BHOs. Spybot Search and Destroy and Lavasoft’s Ad Aware are two similar packages that will also help detect, protect and remove harmful or even just irritating spyware items from your personal computer. Microsoft also has a package that is a virus scanner and spyware removes called “Microsoft Security Essentials”. It works well with windows and updates regularly with Windows Update. All of these software packages are available for free and you shouldn’t use any site that asks you to pay to use them.

One options is to find all of these applications be searching for them, navigating to their respective web pages, finding the right download, then saving and downloading as well as installing. But there is a better option, all of these items can be found at a website called “” where it allows you to build a single custom installer just by checking the software you want. You may find other items that could possibly be very helpful in the removal of spyware as well as new software that could possibly be beneficial to you. Once you have the spyware removed it’s a good idea to use a browser like Firefox or Google Chrome that can help protect you against additional attacks or issues down the road.

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 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!

Why and How You Should Clean Out Your Computer

Why and How You Should Clean Out Your Computer

These days many people leave their personal computers on all the time, even when they are not actively using them or do not plan on using them for some time. Often the computer will go into suspend or standby mode, but it does not stop all the fans from spinning or the computer from processing information along the way. The fans inside the computer move air around to keep things cool. But one issue with moving around is that it tends to move dust around and hair inside the computer. This stuff can build up and form balls of dust inside the computer. The fine particles enter the fans assembly and grind away at the bearing and will cause them to wear and make noise over time.

There are steps you can take to help maintain your PC though. One is to clean the dust out of the inside. You can start by disconnecting all the cabling from the computer after shutting it off. Then bring your computer out in the open and remove the side of the case. This may require a screwdriver. Once the side is removed resist the urge to touch the parts inside with your hands. To clean the insides use a can of compressed air available from your local computer store. Another option might be to carefully use a vacuum inside the computer being cautious not to bang or bump the components inside.

Make sure that you spend time cleaning the fans out really well, getting all the dust and dirt trapped in the grills of the heat sinks. Additionally clean out the inside of the power supply the best you can. With the insides cleaned out well, you can replace the side panel. Next make sure the area where you keep the computer is cleaned out and then you can put the computer, re-hook up the cabled and turn your PC back on. You should repeat this task around two times per year depending on how dusty your home gets.

Remaking Your Computer Experience

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The blue screen of death. The spinning death wheel. Regardless of whether you use a PC or a Mac, these are terms you’ve most likely heard. And, for about 99 percent of computer users, they’ve not only heard of these things, they’ve experienced them. Sometimes, they’ve become such standard experiences that users wish harm upon their computer, and often go so far as to contemplate throwing it out the window. Rash actions won’t help your computer, but there is something that can help.

By reinstalling all of your computer software, you can create a like-new computer experience for yourself. It’s not as difficult as it may sound, but it does require a few things. Naturally, you need a place to store all of your files while you tinker away at the process. An external hard drive is the ideal storage device. If you aren’t already backing up your information regularly on a separate drive for safety, this is a good time to begin a good habit! Simply copy the contents of your computer’s hard drive to the external hard drive. This will take a while once you’ve begun the process, so let that run while you search the classifieds for Los Angeles apartments.

When you’ve completed the back-up process, you’re ready to begin the process that will bring you some relief as a computer user. Delete the entire contents of your computer’s hard drive. This eliminates any bugs or viruses that have worked their way into your system. Then, reinstall your operating system programs, followed by any other favorite programs you’ve picked up along the way, such as the Microsoft Office suite or Photoshop. Once completed, simply migrate your personal files from the external drive to your computer’s drive. This creates a sort of natural defragmentation process, which will assure that your files and programs are blocked together in the most efficient manner possible. All told, ‘death’ will be gone from your computer experience.

Laptop Computer

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The laptops started out as a portable computer that was mainly used by the military. Over time they were developed to be smaller and lighter which made them more desirable to a wider audience. With better quality machines available that have a cost range that is within reach of the general public, laptops have become a common selection for a personal computer. The components of a laptop is similar to a desktop computer. These include a keyboard, screen and speakers contained in a single unit. The laptops is powered by a lithium ion battery and can be recharged via a power adapter.

There are many advantages to using a laptop with the battery being one of them. A desktop computer can be impacted by power outages. As long as the laptop battery is charged it will be accessible for use. The fact that the laptop is small with all of the equipment contained in one unit makes it a good choice for individuals who have a small living space. There is also the benefit of reducing the amount of wires within your home. By carrying your laptop with you, there is immediate access any type of work that needs to be done on the computer. The laptop allows you to view your files and review email during down times like a commute to work.

Along with the advantages, there are also disadvantages to choosing a laptop. The portability of the equipment and it’s value makes it a target for theft. They are also prone to damage because of the portability. When a laptop is damaged it can be costly to repair and may require replacement. A desktop can be upgraded easily which is not the case for laptops. Upgrading a laptop can be limited. The disadvantage that may be a key determining factor of purchase of a laptop versus a desktop is price. Laptop computers remain more expensive that the desktop.

Troubleshooting Computer Problems Online

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Troubleshooting Computer Problems Online

When something goes wrong with your computer and you are unsure of what the problem is, the number of options that you have at your disposal is relatively limited. You can call a technical support hotline, you can bring the computer in to a repair shop, or you can try to do the repairs yourself. The cheapest option is generally going to be the best option if you have some basic understanding of how computers work. But how will you be able to diagnose the problem so that you can determine what to do about it?

One of the easiest solutions is to use the internet to determine what might be wrong with your computer. Go to your favorite search engine and perform a search for words relating to your problem. You might search for “computer running slow” or “blue screen of death when I use FireFox” or a variety of other keyword collections depending on whatever is going wrong with your computer. Indicating in the search engine exactly what kind of problem you are having is going to help you find websites where people have had to deal with the same type of problem.

Once you throw your symptoms into a search engine, you should be able to find experiences of other individuals that have dealt with something similar. Read forum threads, blogs and technical support websites for the valuable insight provided by the people who have been in your shoes and you should be able to get some valuable help with solving your computer problem. This is definitely the cheapest way to get computer troubleshooting help, and you may just find the answers that you were looking for without having to deal directly with an expensive expert at technical solutions or a lengthy troubleshooting call with a tech support company.

Making Use of Dropbox

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Dropbox is a super fantastic file hosting service that is much different from all other file hosting services available. Users that are trying to find a way to share files between different people or different computers can benefit from the ease of use that Dropbox provides. The benefits are numerous when it comes to using Dropbox, and Dropbox affords users with a safe space where they can store and access their files quickly, easily and effectively no matter where in the world they are.

On every personal computer where you intend to use your files you will install the Dropbox client. Dropbox will then sync with every single PC and make sure that all files in you Dropbox folder are exactly the same across all locations. The service is very fast and provides you with two gigabytes of space for free. Additionally you can gain more space by paying or by signing friends up. Both you and the person who signs up with your referral link will gain an extra 250 megabytes of space.

Dropbox is not only available for the PC. In addition to the personal computer client, there is also a client that is intended for use on Apple computers as well. There are also clients and Dropbox applications designed to suit people on smart phone operating systems, including an interface that is designed especially for the iPhone. In addition to having the local copy of your files on your computer, your files are also going to be hosted in your Dropbox account on the web. What this means is that you can access all of the files in your Dropbox account no matter where you are, and you can share them on the internet quickly and easily as well. If you are not already using Dropbox, now might be the time to check out the extensive features and usability that it offers.

What is Spyware?

Example of firewall function: Blocking spyware...
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Spyware can be a huge problem these days. Spyware is physically capable of infecting nearly all computers, and so this means that you are at risk regardless of what type of computer you are using or what you are doing on the internet. Users can get spyware unintentionally just by visiting websites linked from search engines that are designed to infect users. Unfortunately there are many different ways that you can unintentionally infect your computer with spyware and other types of malicious software like adware and viruses.

A common tactic that websites use in order to infect your computer with spyware is to tell you that you have won something and that you only need to “click here” to accept. Another such idea might be to create a website dialog that looks like it is coming from your computer, but it will actually be coming from the infecting website, tricking you into launching something harmful for your computer without realizing it. Many websites will even launch pop ups that look like they are scanning your PC for spyware for absolutely free. They tell you that they have found an infection, and if you download their software you can remove the virus or infection, only you end up installing spyware or other malicious software instead.

Aside from obtaining reputable spyware software in order to clean your personal computer up after an infection, one of the best things you can do is simply to make sure that your computer is fully up to date with the latest service packs and hot fixes from the manufacturer of your operating system. Additionally, using third party browsers such as Google’s Chrome or Sea Monkey and Firefox from Mozilla can help keep you and your website more adequately protected from internet predators and their spyware, adware, viruses and other malicious software.

Computer Hardware and Laptops

Archaic typewriters and desktop computers, USS...
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There probably has not been as fitting a time for advances in computer hardware to have such maximum effect as it currently is having for several reasons. For one, many advances in hardware tend to make computers faster, lighter, more powerful and sooner or later, less expensive. This progress is also apparent in the laptop category.

In 2008 more laptops were sold than desktop computers. Not only were the improvements appealing to a wide variety of consumers, but the fact they were portable also had a significant appeal. A lot of updates can be found online, for instance, if you need specific driver updates you can google them and download directly. Not only was a powerful device needed for doing work, but for doing work wherever the work needed to be done was also key. Mobility became crucial.

In the state of a declining economy, many workers were laid off or may have had their hours cut. The concept of working freelance, at all times a practical method of work for many, was being embraced by workers previously employed on a full-time basis. Not being locked down at a single office all day, chained to a desktop, necessitated a different tool. Having a powerful notebook that would fulfill all their requirements, often for a variety of employers and demands, was definitely a much-needed solution to this situation.

Another advantage computer hardware brought along was the prevalence of smart phones. Not only did these new devices allow one to make calls wherever one was, but new and varied applications allowed one to use the device not only as a virtual rolodex and appointment book, but to surf the web for needed information.

While the best solution for all would be for the economy to swiftly ramp up and get the millions who have been pink-slipped back to productive employment.

However it may be said that there was a market who was in the right place at the right time, if unwillingly, that was ready for the new products the computer industry was ready to introduce.