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Before You Upgrade to Windows 8, Prepare your PC

Windows 8 officially hit the market on Friday, October 26th. I haven’t waivered in my recommendation that you use caution when considering upgrading to such a drastically different Operating System, but if you’re eager to join the ranks of early adopters, here are some tips to smooth your transition to the next generation of Windows.

First, make sure your computer is compatible with and able to support Windows 8. It actually doesn’t require many resources to run (one of its benefits – its streamlined nature helps it to boot up and run fast), so if your system was built in the last six years or so you’re probably good to go. The minimum requirements are: 1 GHz or faster processor,...

Computer Won’t Turn On? Check for Viruses

If you’ve ever had a virus that kept your system from booting at all, you know how infuriating it is. One mistake and your computer is now a very expensive brick. If you’ve never had this happen to you, consider yourself one of the lucky ones. Viruses are on the rise and show no signs of becoming less of a problem in the future. Fortunately, there are now tools that can save your computer even when you can’t start Windows, and they’re much cheaper than buying a new computer. If you don’t have access to another computer, or can’t follow the instructions here (they can get a little technical), you can always buy the fixmestick at http://www.fixmestick.com. This little device will help you boot into your computer and remove the virus. However, if the $59.99 price...

Computer Tune Up for 2013

Resolve to Regular Computer Tune Up This Year

New Year’s morning – you wake up and within a few hours you’ve broken half the resolutions you’ve set for the year. “I’ll start tomorrow,” you swear. You log on the computer, go directly to Facebook (another resolution down) and start to browse. Just like you, another year passes and your computer gets a little bit slower. If only there were some way to make sure it went to the gym and ate more healthily. According to a study performed by Crucial.com, 4 out of 5 computer users would like to change something about their computer. The top 5 changes they’d make: faster startup, faster programs, more reliability, longer battery life, and more storage space. While your computer can’t make these changes on its own, unlike you, there are...

3 Myths About Your Slow Computer

“My computer is running so slow!” – said everyone who’s ever owned a computer. It’s true: your computer never quite runs as fast as the day that you bought it. While a large part of that is simply your perception of it, it’s true that computers tend to slow down over time. That being said, there are a lot of misconceptions on why exactly this happens. Here are few of the common ones that you may have heard. Myth 1: You need to pay for an antivirus program. When peoples’ computers start running slowly, many assume that it’s because they have a virus. At this point, they will often buy an anti-virus program, or even a second. However, the problem can usually not be solved at this point by these methods. The way to keep safe is first...

Data Backup Basics

Easy Steps to Get Started With Data Backup

There are certain things we all know we should do: change the oil every 3,000 miles, choose different passwords for every online login, and back up our computers. Though I know better, I sometimes get to 5,000 miles before changing the oil, I can’t remember 500 different passwords, and I rarely back up my computer. I am a bad person. While mom showed me how to balance a checkbook (thanks mom!), no one ever showed me how to back up my computer. Now I can return the favor and teach my mom, and you, how to back up your system. Your computer’s hard drive has moving parts and all mechanisms with moving parts eventually break. Sometimes it takes years, or decades, but it’s usually when you’re in the middle...

Simple & Easy Computer Maintenance

Do It Yourself Computer Maintenance

You may think computer maintenance is only for the Nerds among us, but there are many easy things you can do to speed up your PC without investing a lot of time or money. Whether you’re a Windows or Mac user, performing some basic computer maintenance can ensure your system stays in top form. First, the easiest tip: shut down and restart your computer regularly so that it can install all necessary software and operating system updates. Next, ensure automatic update is turned on, both for your Operating System updates as well as your anti-malware programs. If you don’t have an up-to-date anti-virus program on your PC, Windows users can download the newest version of Microsoft Security Essentials for free. Make sure you take the time to run a full scan. Uninstall unused...

When Is The Best Time To Buy A New Computer?

Is There a Best Time to Buy a New Computer?

Bargain hunters everywhere swear by shopping seasonally. Buy when demand is lowest (who thinks to replace their air conditioner in February?) or when retailers are pushing out old inventory in anticipation of new models. When is the best time to buy a new computer or gadget? Unless you stay up on trending tech news, it’s hard to know when a new generation of the Smartphone or laptop you’ve had your eye on is due to be released. Luckily keeping up on tech trends is what we live for and we’re here to share the secrets of electronic buying seasons. With Back-to-School around the corner, many parents are contemplating the new year’s gear-up. While in many cases it’s good to buy when demand is lowest, retailers know that many families...

Browser Extensions and Add-Ons

When you first pulled your cell phone out of the box, you probably spent the next few hours making it uniquely yours. From selecting ring tones to choosing a photo or theme wallpaper, or downloading apps to make your Smartphone more productive or fun, the customization transformed it from “a phone” to “your phone.” You can tailor your Web surfing experience in a similar way with browser extensions and add-ons. Most are free and they allow you to personalize the look, functionality and features of Firefox, ChromeInternet Explorer, Safari or Opera. As the originator of browser add-ons, Mozilla reports that more than 85% of Firefox users have installed add-ons. Yet if you’ve never explored customizing your browsing, you aren’t alone – I was surprised to...

Can An iPad Replace A Laptop?

 iPad vs. Laptop: Can an iPad replace a laptop?

As the new school year approaches, the question I get asked most often is, “Should I buy a laptop or a tablet?” Apple’s Steve Jobs has asserted that we are living in a “post-PC world”. can an iPad replace a laptop? To test the theory, I traveled to New York with a friend, bearing my iPad 2 but no laptop. When an article needed editing, I realized that while it would be possible for the iPad to do everything I needed, it wasn’t going to work for me straight out of the box. It needed modification. If you are considering ditching your laptop, whether it’s for a trip or for good, here’s my guide to making it possible. Touch screen vs keyboard The touch screen is definitely my favorite feature...

Get In Shape Using Gadgets

Get In Shape and Power Your Workout

When the Wii Fit was released it was all the rage and for good reason: it made exercise fun by turning it into a game. You earned points while working out and the ability to compete against your friends to better your score motivated you to continue. There have been many additions to the fitness “game” since then, all designed to make you come back for more while keeping it fun. Whether you’re already working out and just need a little extra motivation, or you need a serious shove off the couch, here are a few tools to get you moving.

You’re a regular runner seeking new tools for your arsenal.

RunKeeper (www.runkeeper.com, iPhone and Android, free) is used by more than 10 million people to track their fitness...