Category Archives: Hardware

What Is Defragmentation?

If you’ve been using a computer for a while, you’ve probably heard talk of “defragmentation.” Maybe you’ve even run a defragmentation utility. But what does defragmentation really do? Is your computer really fragmented? It doesn’t look like it’s in pieces…The truth is, you almost assuredly don’t need to defragment anymore. Here’s what the situation is. When a computer stores files on its hard drive, it says “This file goes here and this file goes here and this file goes here.” Hard drives are magnetic, and therefore each bit of your data has a physical location on your hard drive. The computer keeps track of where each bit of each file is, or else you couldn’t use your computer. But as you use your computer, you delete and add new files. Say you delete five paragraphs of...

Replace Windows XP for Cheap

Microsoft’s support for Windows XP has officially ended.  Those systems still running XP are vulnerable to hackers accessing data or being turned into a bot-net to spread viruses and malware.  Maintaining an up-to-date anti-virus software isn’t enough to keep a system running XP secure.  It’s time to ditch XP once and for all.  Luckily, there are reasonably-priced options so that you can replace your XP relic without needing a second mortgage. “Do I have to switch to Windows 8.1?  I hear it’s a big change from XP.” It’s true that Windows XP users will feel more at home with Windows 7 than with Windows 8 which has some distinct and noticeable differences in appearance and navigation from earlier versions of Windows.  You don’t have to migrate to Windows 8.1 if you’d prefer to stick with a more...

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...

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...

Things To Do When You Setup A New PC

Set Up A New PC: Protect, Transfer, Store

After scrimping and saving, researching and debating, you finally settle on the perfect new PC, only to realize once you get it home and plugged in that you can’t get much use out of it until you get the files and programs from your old PC onto your new one. Here are my top 3 steps to set up a new PC. If you’d have asked me three years ago how I get a new system set up like the old one, I’d have told you how lucky I was to have a team of skilled technicians to set up a new pc for me. It turns out that the magical process of migrating data to a new computer isn’t so complicated after all, and most typical PC users can...

Apple’s New iMac

iMac: “Sleek” Makeovers Unveiled: Apple’s Newest Additions

Topping today’s announcements, Apple unveiled a number of new and sleek devices, including a major update to both their laptop and desktop lines. Popularity gets a makeover: The first device is an addition to the MacBook Pro line. The “world’s most popular notebook” now comes in a 13-inch size with retina display for crisp and highly detailed graphics, which also reduce eye strain. Coming in at a resolution of 1680×1050, the laptop is able to handle an impressive amount of computing, including HD video while rending audio and photo graphics. The device adheres to the same rigorous design standards as previous iterations, and is constructed out of aluminum and glass. The Classic Upgrade: The second and arguably more impressive announcement is the update to the iMac line, which has not significantly...

Small Business Data Backup

Data BackUp – You Don’t Even Need A Truck

Data backup is the flossing of the tech world: you know you should do it, but you just never get around to it. There’s something in human nature that makes us learn the hard way – cavities are no fun. Yet when it comes to risking the data that you need to run your business, the price of procrastination is too high. For small and medium businesses, data backup is all about automation, redundancy, and reliability. The first step to reducing your exposure to hardware failure is consolidating your data in one more reliable and easier to backup location. Instead of saving files to each of your workstation computers, saving files on a shared server will mean that if Jane’s hard drive dies tomorrow you won’t lose the...

5 Tricks To Revive An Old PC

Breathe New Life Into an Old PC

If every click on your old, slow computer makes you want to tear your hair out but your budget just won’t permit replacing it, take heart. Even if you’ve already upgraded the hardware to the extent you can and performed all maintenance to rule out a malware infection, there are a few tweaks left that may make life with an old PC more bearable. While the biggest performance boost most often results from hardware upgrades (more RAM and replacing your hard drive with a solid state drive can make a world of difference), bulky software can overly tax your system’s resources. This can lead to slower performance, crashes and errors.

Ditch Bloated Software

There are some common software culprits that can make even a new PC run slowly....

Computer Going Slow? Don’t Ditch It, Fix It!

Newer, faster, bigger — it seems like the makers of computers and gadgets want us to see them as disposable. Why bother fixing it, just replace it!
Yet we like our stuff — we are comfortable with how it works, and while it may not be the flashiest, it gets the job done. Who wants to have to learn how to use something new? Of course, budget-savvy Nerds are always looking for ways to save some dough, and fixing what we have is a great way to do it. Before you grab your trusty credit card to run out to replace that sluggish computer or unreliable gadget, let us show you some simple steps to fix it, not ditch it. Who knew that something as simple as dusting out your computer could make it last longer?...