Tips In Buying Used And Refurbished Computers

While computers today are generally cheaper than models sold years ago, they still represent a major investment. Quality new computers can cost anywhere from $500 – $1500, depending upon capabilities. Clearly, it is a purchase that deserves your full attention and thought. Speaking of thought, have you ever considered buying a used or refurbished computer? These computers can represent a major savings to you, without loss of performance. However, there are some things you should know before looking into these alternatives to new computers. In this article, we’ll discuss some tips in buying used and refurbished computers.

The first thing to consider when buying used and refurbished computers is the brand. While there are many different companies that specialize in selling used computers, it might be best to go with a reputable brand name. The reasons are two-fold. First, you can be sure that the parts used in manufacturing are of a high quality. Second, you will also be able to secure some type of warranty, which may not be offered by other dealers.

The next tip in buying used and refurbished computers is to make sure that that you receive the proper software documents and licenses. Often times people try to pass off stolen computers as “used”, so it is important to request the paperwork upfront. It is also important to have this software in case you need to do any type of system restore or back-up.

It is also important that you try any refurbished computer before you buy. Most reputable dealers will allow you to use the computer for a short period of time to check out before committing to purchase. What are a few of the things you should be looking for? Make sure that all installed programs boot up and perform correctly. Do a thorough check of all graphics, video, and sound drivers and also make sure other accessories work properly (mouse, monitor, keyboard, etc.). Lastly, be sure to check all CD and disk drives to make sure they open and close correctly.

Another thing to consider when buying a used or refurbished computer is the support option. Does the company you want to buy from have ample support staff available? And are the hours convenient with your own schedule? If a business does not offer support for the system you are considering, it is best to move on to another choice.

Lastly, make sure that you are safe if shopping online for your used or refurbished computer. The internet can pose many dangers, so protect your personal information on any site that you choose to do business with. A quality site will have some type of encryption service in place to keep your financial transaction private.

We hope that these tips in buying used and refurbished computers will help you make a more informed shopping decision. In addition to the tips mentioned in this article, using common sense will help ensure that you receive the best used computer for your needs, at a terrific value.

Touchscreen Technology: A New Gateway to Products, Services

Frequent fliers know that checking in for flights is much easier and quicker today thanks to self-serve kiosks that enable users to zip through the process with the touch of a finger.

From car infotainment systems to the most advanced communication devices, touchscreens are becoming increasingly popular, converting everyday tasks into fast and fun experiences. Whether they are stopping by the ATM or casting their vote in the latest election, touchscreen technology is enabling people to do so with speed and ease.

An intuitive and interactive quality makes touchscreens appealing to all ages and in a variety of industries. Without the learning or physical limitations of a mouse and keyboard, touch technology is open to everyone, even young children or people with disabilities. Toy manufacturers, for instance, are taking advantage of touch technology to provide entertaining, yet educational, toys for children that are too young to have developed the motor skills required for a regular computer.

At retail outlets, store merchandisers are using touch technology as a new marketing strategy to engage consumers, while delivering product information at the touch of a finger. For instance, FAO Schwarz has installed 17-inch Planar touchscreens as a consumer design center for the Hot Wheels Custom Car Factory in its New York store. Using the Planar touchscreen kiosk, shoppers can customize their own Hot Wheels car with special colors, designs, wheels and rims.

The restaurant industry also is seeing the benefits of touch-integrated POS systems to improve order-processing time. Easy-to-use touchscreen devices enable servers to enter food orders faster and more accurately, enhancing the overall dining experience. Tableside units provide customers with a variety of entertainment and information options, such as playing video games or surfing the Web.

Other industries embracing touchscreen technology include automotive (car rental information portals, GPS systems), industrial (ATMs, gas station service pumps) and health care (outpatient information kiosks).

Receptive consumers and falling prices have enabled touch to spread its reach across a wide range of markets. As a result, this technology is making strong inroads as a primary way for consumers to get products, services and information.

Which computer printer technology would you go for?

A computer printer is a device that produces human readable text or graphics in electronic form.

The following printer technologies are found in modern printers

• Toner based printers: Toner based printers are very similar to photocopiers. They refer to the method used to adhere to the media. They are known for high quality prints, high print speed and low cost per copy. The most common example of toner based printers is laser printers. Their cost effective benefit has made them dominant for home and office applications. Another fine example of toner based printer would be LED printer which uses an array of LED’s instead of a laser to cause toner adhesion.

• Inkjet Printers: Inkjet printers are cheaper than laser printers but they are expensive to run as their cartridges need to be frequently replaced. Inkjet printers are widely used at homes and by small business users. They have an excellent all round printing capabilities from black and white to color prints. Inkjet printers ensure high resolution photo prints offering high quality photographs. Inkjet printers are comparatively much slower than laser printers. Another disadvantage of inkjet printer is that the pages take a long time to dry before they can be actually handled.

• Impact Printers: Impact printers rely on a forcible ink to transfer ink to the media. They are similar to typewriters and have a limited capacity for reproducing text.  A daisy wheel printer is a specific type of printer where the type is molded around the edge of a wheel. Impact printers are basically of two types’ letter quality printers and dot matrix printers.

• Line Printers: Line printers print an entire line of text at a time. These printers were the fastest in impact printers and were used for bulk printing in large computer centers. They were never used with personal computers due to their operating system. They have now been replaced by high speed laser printers.

3 Uses for an External Hard Drive

An external hard drive is a hard disk drive (much like the one in your computer) that is placed externally, outside of the case. You can buy them pre-made, or purchase a hard drive and an enclosure, and make your own. They came in many sizes, are relatively inexpensive, and are well suited to perform various functions. In this article, I will detail 3 specific uses for your external hard drive.

For one reason or another, you may have chosen a computer whose storage capacity you’ve outgrown. It may be full to capacity with files and programs, and you need room to expand. So the first example is to use your external hard drive to add expandability to your computer. This is true in case all of your PC’s hard drive bays are full, and especially if you have a laptop which has only one hard drive bay.

A second example is to use your external hard drive as a shared storage drive. You can attach it to a PC, set permissions and share-ability, and start saving, and sharing various files. For example, you can share and save pictures, MP3s, and video files. By using it in this manner, you’ll be able to free up tons of space on your computer’s local hard drive, and you’ll be able to share files with everyone in your home network.

Another possible use for your external hard drive is to save important documents. For example, you can scan wills, deeds, insurance information, leases, bank account and credit information, and store them on your external hard drive. You can also take pictures of all your valuables, and keep these safe in your external hard drive for future reference. If it’s important to you, then it’s worthy of being saved in your external hard drive. You can then store this hard drive in a secure location such as a fire-proof safe, or a safety deposit box. This will surely save you tons of headaches in case of theft, or worse yet, a disaster.

There you have it. That’s 3 possible uses for your external hard drive. They’re versatile, and come in sizes that you can choose according to your specific needs. If you have a lot of files to save, then you can get a 500 GB hard drive, or larger if you wish. If you only have a few important documents to save, then maybe a 15 GB hard drive will suffice. The important thing is that it is you who can choose the size you need. It is you who can choose what its primary function will be. And if you need to, you can get more than one external hard drive. That’s what makes them so ideal.

Computer Ergonomics And Repetitive Stress Injuries

More than anything else, the main goal of computer ergonomics to work to reduce repetitive stress injuries that can result through the regular use of a computer and related equipment. Through this article, a brief overview of repetitive stress injuries is provided, particularly as these injuries relate to computer use and computer ergonomics.

Generally speaking, repetitive stress injuries are referred to by many experts in the field of computer ergonomics as Cumulative Trauma Disorders. As the moniker suggests, the key to understanding and appreciating Cumulative Trauma Disorders is appreciating that they are, in fact, cumulative. In other words, these injuries develop overtime from repetitive movements, strained exertions, working in awkward positions as well as from compression and vibration.

Most people assume that when it comes to Cumulative Trauma Disorders, exposure to the source of a trauma needs to be for a lengthy period of time. In many instances, this assumption does prove correct. However, in reality, it is impossible to develop Cumulative Trauma Disorders after exposure to a source for a matter of weeks. As a result, it truly is important for a person to follow the suggestions of computer ergonomics specialists.

The symptoms of repetitive stress injuries or Cumulative Trauma Disorders include severe pain, tissue swelling, numbness, unusual tingling, restriction of natural joint movement and, ultimately, decreased dexterity.

If you are in fact experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it is absolutely necessary for you to seek prompt and immediate medical attention. By seeking medical attention in the first instance, you have a far better chance of alleviating the symptoms and the underlying traumatic condition. In addition, by seeking prompt medical attention, you are far more likely to avoid a more invasive medical procedure such as surgery to resolve an injury or disorder.

When all is said and done, repetitive stress injuries or Cumulative Trauma Disorders simply are not matters which should be taken lightly. Rather, as has been noted, if you feel that you are suffering from one or another of the symptoms outlined in this article, you should waste no time in obtaining medical attention and assistance. Further, as has been noted, you can avoid or lessen the harmful side effects of computer use by following the guidelines established by experts in the field of computer ergonomics. Truly, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure in the case of Cumulative Trauma Disorders.

10 Benefits Of Smartphone Bluetooth

10 Benefits Of Smarthphone Bluetooth Below, are 10 benefits and reasons to use Bluetooth technology.

1. Wireless As you probably already know, there are many benefits and advantages to using wireless devices. Along with improving safety as a result of eliminating wires you don’t need, wireless also offers you plenty of other advantages. When traveling with your laptop or other wireless devices, you’ll no longer have to worry about bringing connection cables.

2. Bluetooth is actually inexpensive The technology of Bluetooth is cheap for companies to implement, which results in lower costs for the company. These savings are then passed from the company on to you.

3. Bluetooth is automatic Bluetooth doesn’t have you set up a connection or push any buttons. When two or more devices enter a range of up to 30 feet of each other, they will automatically begin to communicate without you having to do anything.

4. Standardized protocol Bluetooth is standardized wireless, meaning that a high level of compatibility among devices is guaranteed. Bluetooth will connect devices to each other, even if they aren’t the same model.

5. Low interference Bluetooth devices almost always avoid interference from other wireless devices. Bluetooth uses a technique known as frequency hopping, and also low power wireless signals.

6. Low energy consumption As a result of Bluetooth using low power signals, the technology requires very little energy and will use less battery or electrical power as a result. This is an excellent benefit for mobile devices, as Bluetooth won’t drain the battery.

7. Sharing voice and data The standard for Bluetooth will allow compatible devices to share data and voice communications. This is great for mobile phones and headsets, as Bluetooth simplifies driving and talking on your cell phone.

8. Instant PAN (Personal Area Network) You can connect up to seven Bluetooth devices to each other within a range of up to 30 feet, forming a piconet or PAN. For a single room, you can also set up multiple piconets.

9. Upgradeable Upgradeable is the standard for Bluetooth. There are newer versions of Bluetooth in the works, which offer many new advantages and backward compatible with older versions.

10. The technology stays Bluetooth technology is a world wide, universal wireless standard. With it being as popular as it is, you can count on it being around for years to come. As more and more devices start to use Bluetooth technology, more manufacturers will be eager to make their products compatible. A chain reaction will occur, making Bluetooth the standard for cutting edge wireless.

Advancements In Computer Technology

With technology progressing as fast as it is at the present, it is a wonder we do not have a new mass-marketed gadget appearing every few minutes. Personal computers, once predicted to be owned by a mere handful of individuals, are everywhere nowadays. If you are a student a personal computer is virtually a necessity. Accompanying the ever-increasing popularity of the personal computer is a plethora of gadgets and technological advancements. Though it may not be every few minutes, it seems as though every couple of months we hear about a computer with more storage space or a new device that one can connect to their computer.

Some devices that appear on the market are either completely superfluous or not so accessible to the entirety of the population, whether it is because of their cost or their limited supply. The costly devices are reserved to those who can afford them, until some new gadget replaces them and the price of these machines decreases, much like any new technology that appears on the market. Those gadgets, which are unnecessary, are not overly practical and the market for these creations is comprised mainly of those with an affinity for such devices. Inventions like webcams, while they are certainly fun to play with, are essentially unnecessary as they have no bearing on the actual operation of the computer and are used largely for leisure computer activities.

The more purposeful advancements in computer technology revolve around those, which increase the computers ability to manage certain tasks and those, which increase the storage space of the computer. Many personal computer owners find themselves craving more space to store songs or various other files and often wishing that their computer were faster. Though many computers produced today have a excessive storage space, that is, it is nearly impossible to fill a personal computer to capacity, these types of advancements permit a much speedier and more efficient functioning computer.

3 Benefits To Owning A Refurbished Laptop

If you like having the latest and greatest, then refurbished is not for you. However, if you don’t mind minor cosmetic damage, and the fact that someone else has used your laptop, then you may want to consider purchasing a refurbished laptop. But why would anyone want to purchase a refurbished laptop as opposed to a brand new one? In this article, I will tackle this very issue, and give 3 reasons why you should own a refurbished laptop.

The first reason why purchasing a refurbished laptop may be a good idea is that they are a lot less expensive than their newer cousins. Of course, refurbished implies that it has seen prior usage, so refurbished laptops are generally older models, and you don’t always know how their previous owners took care of them. But refurbished also implies that someone has taken the time to fix, and often times replace, any broken components. Do some research and only buy from reputable sources.

The second reason why you may want to purchase a refurbished laptop is that, because of their low cost, they are more expendable than new models, and make a great second laptop. As I explained above, refurbished laptops are generally a lot cheaper than a new laptop so if something should happen to it, you’re only out maybe a few hundreds dollars as opposed to a new laptop which could cost you thousands.

The third reason why you may want to consider purchasing a refurbished laptop is that since you’ll be spending a lot less money on the computer itself, you can afford to spend more upgrading it with newer, and better components. For example, you can add memory to speed it up, or upgrade to a larger hard drive. You should, of course, make sure that your computer can support these upgrades before you even purchase it. If it can’t, then look for one that can before making your final decision.

If you decide to purchase your first refurbished laptop, make sure you do plenty of research. Refurbished means used, and you don’t kow how the previous owner took care of it. Buy from a reputable source that offers some sort of warranty. Most won’t warranty the battery or software but will provide at least a 30 day warranty for most of the hardware.

I’ve discussed three benefits to owning a refurbished laptop. They are low in cost, make a great second laptop, and you can spend more on upgrading the components.  Make sure to do your research before you buy, and owning one will be a pleasant experience.

5 Reasons to Choose a Notebook Over a Computer Desktop

Many of us are so used to working on a computer desktop that when it comes time to purchase a new computer, we don’t consider other options. Today, computer notebooks – which were once called laptops – offer a number of advantages over a computer desktop. Here are just five reasons why you should take a second look at notebooks.

1. Mobility

You might be used to pulling up a chair to your computer, but it makes much more sense to pull your computer up to your chair. Laptops can certainly be used at your desk, but you also have the option of bringing them to the spot where you’re most comfortable. Maybe you’d like to surf the Web in the evening out in the living room or catch up on your favorite blogs before bedtime. Notebooks with wireless connectivity can travel with you throughout your home, so you can check your email or do your Internet shopping anywhere.

Of course, notebooks also make sense for those who are on the go. Students can take laptops to class and to the library, while businesspeople can take them along while traveling. With WiFi so widely available, it even makes sense to have a notebook while on vacation. With the right notebook, it’s easy to take photos with your digital camera, upload them, and email them to friends and family before you even get back home. Or you can use it to write a vacation blog and include those pictures from your digital camera.

2. Better Displays

The size and quality of computer notebook displays has improved so dramatically that there’s little difference between laptops and a computer desktop. For example, you can get Apple’s MacBook with a 13.3-inch LCD widescreen (1280 x 800 pixels), a 15.4-inch LCD widescreen (1440 x 900 pixels) or a 17-inch widescreen (1680 x 1050 pixels). Similarly, the Compaq Presario has a 15.4-inch display.

3. Lighter Weight

Just a few years ago, even the lightest notebook was a pain to lug around. Today, though, laptops are increasingly easy on the back. The MacBook is slightly over an inch thick and the Toshiba Portege weighs in at about four pounds. While that’s still heavy compared to come of the new ultralight convertibles (Fujitsu’s LifeBook U810 weighs only a pound and half), it’s a significant improvement over the old seven-pound laptops.

4. Better Computing and Battery Power

Historically, two drawbacks of notebooks were their limited RAM, limited space on the hard drive, and short battery life. Times have changed, though, and laptops now have as much power under the hood as their computer desktop cousins. The MacBook, for example, has 1GB of memory (configurable up to 4 GB) and a hard drive that’s configurable to 250GB. This means that your software will hum right along and you’ll be able to zip through programs as quickly and as easily as you do on your desktop. Likewise, batteries in today’s notebooks don’t heat up and don’t conk out.

5. More Features

In older laptops, the computer’s size and weight limited the number and types of features available. Today, with smaller processors and other components, there’s room to pack more features into notebooks. For example, the MacBook has a DVD player, built-in webcam, built-in wireless capability, two USB ports and a FireWire port, built-in microphone, and audio and digital input/output.

There are so many advantages to owning notebooks that, before you buy your next computer, it’s worth your while to take one for a spin.

Computer Ergonomics: Keeping Your Mouse Safe

When it comes to the matter of computer ergonomics — making certain that you computer work environment is safe and healthy — many people focus their attention on such items as their chair, the desk of worktable utilized and the positioning of the keyboard. Of course, these are all important items when it comes to the matter of computer ergonomics. In this regard, many people pay little of no attention to their computer mouse when it comes to the matter of computer ergonomics and the safe use of a computer and related equipment. When all is said and done, making sure that you are using your mouse in a safe and healthy manner is vital and cannot be understated.

The basic, primary directional device used by most computer operators is the mouse. Many computer users find themselves using a mouse continually throughout the day. In the long run, if a person does not utilize a mouse in a proper, healthy manner, a person can end up seriously impairing his or her shoulder, forearm and wrist.

With these risks in mind, there are some important pointers that you should keep in mind when it comes to properly utilizing your mouse.

When using a mouse, you should rest your entire arm on either the side of your chair, on the table or some other available and level support. In addition, the mouse itself should be located conveniently at the side of the keyboard, on the same level as the keyboard. You should not have to reach for the mouse each time you need to use the device.

When using the mouse, make certain that you do not apply a great deal of pressure to your wrist. Again, it is important that your wrist and arm basically be in a comfortable and resting-like position when using a mouse.

Generally speaking, you should keep your wrist straight when using the mouse. Further, do not grip the device tightly. No matter how stressed you might feel on the job, do not use a stranglehold on your mouse.

Mouse devices come in a wide array of different shapes, styles and sizes. Take the time to select a mouse that fits well into your hand.

Finally, set your mouse speed in the middle range. In a similar vein, reduce the time that you actually use the click and drag feature of the mouse unit. There is now some software on the market that eliminates the need for this particular function all together.

By following these steps, you will avoid causing yourself harm or damage over the long term through the use of your mouse.

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