5 Reasons To Purchase Desktop Computers

If you are in the market for a computer, there are a number of factors to consider.  Will it be used for your home, your office or perhaps even your home office combo?  First off, you will need to set a budget for your new purchase before deciding whether to shop for notebook or desktop computers.  Many offices use desktop computers because they are not intended to be moved around a lot.  In addition, affordability often plays a large role in someone’s decision as to whether to purchase notebook or desktop computers.

While you are shopping around, it’s important to keep in mind some of the benefits that go along with owning different types of computers.  To that end, this article provides five important reasons to purchase desktop computers.

– Desktop computers are typically much more affordable than notebook computers.  With notebooks, you are paying more for the convenience of portability.  For as little as $299.00, desktop computers can be purchased from one of the leading manufacturers and a notebook computer for as little as $499.00.
– Unlike notebook computers, replacing a keyboard, mouse, speakers or even a monitor does not require having your computer serviced by a professional repair shop.  Because notebook computers have everything built in, including the aforementioned features, it is more difficult to replace a keyboard or monitor as opposed to desktop computers, which operate on external connections.

– In the event of an unlawful entry into your home, desktop computers are not as likely to be stolen because of their weight and bulk.  Notebook computers, on the other hand, are small and portable.  This, alone, makes them more appealing to a thief than desktop computers.

– Desktop computers are stationary by nature.  Unlike a notebook computer, which can easily be moved from room to room, they are less likely to be dropped or broken because they are not moved as often.

– The vents on desktop computers are located on the back of the tower, which allows for proper ventilation that will help to prevent the computer from overheating.  Notebook computers, on the other hand, feature only one vent on the back with the remaining underneath the base.  If placed on a table, the air vents can become blocked and the computer may overheat.  If prolonged use leads to overheating, damage may result.

When choosing from the many desktop computers on the market, always make sure that you purchase from a manufacturer who has experience in creating computers.  Even though they are more affordable than notebooks, desktop computers are not cheap.  With an investment that involves several hundred dollars, you will want to consider the length of time the manufacturer has been in business, their reputation with customers and their warranty.

Additionally, when choosing any system, including desktop computers, always look at the potential for future upgrading.  As you grow, you will want your computer to grow with you and a part of that will include a slight upgrade from time to time.  This is the only way to get the best use of your desktop computers and make sure that your investment is one that lasts for years to come.

A Brief History Of Video Games

Video games have become a billion dollar industry. They represent both a pastime and a hobby for both adults and children. Retailers have exploited the popularity of video games and now clubs, magazines, conventions and other social events are all offered with a video game theme. T-shirts, backpacks, lunchboxes, and sweatshirts all come printed with video game logos. These are mostly unnecessary, since video game players have uncanny, radar like ability to find each other at parties and turn the conversation into a discussion of video game techniques, graphics, and sound effects.

But it’s good to know origins just as a film devotee needs to understand what made Citizen Kane so special, avid video game players may want to know what games were popular in the past.

Many video game authorities (don’t you wonder what they’re like?) cite Spaceman as being the first video game. It appeared in 1964 and was developed by a lone student programmer. Spaceman was a comparatively simple game that pitted two players against each other and armed them with a pair of classic sci-fi rocket ships complete with tiny missiles. The computer mouse controls were limited to thrust, rotate right and rotate left. The game featured an unpredictable hyperspace panic button for emergency situations, but the use of this panic button could have all sorts of effects, some desirable and some not. All action took place on a single screen that featured a sun that exerted a powerful gravitation pull on the combatants. Most players steered clear of this but some intrepid players were able to use the sun’s attraction as an asset.

Although it came along in 1972, most people believe that Pong was the first video game developed. Pong’ was composed of simple black-and-white visuals, and play consisted of simple back-and-forth table tennis like movements.

Pac Man is probably the most widely known and popular video game of all time. Japanese designed in 1980 in an attempt at a game that would interest girls.

Evidently they decided that eating was something girls enjoyed because they designed a character that looked like a circle with a chomping, wedge-shaped mouth. Pac man was simply a hungry yellow creature who lived in a maze that it proceeded to eat its way through. However, foes 4 colorful globby ghosts lived in this maze as well who existed solely to end Pac Man’s career as an eating machine.

Doom came along in 1994 and engaged the game player in an ultra-violent, blood-soaked battle against the forces of Hell. The game has a sort of amorphic quality since it did nothing to define or represent a hero. The player takes the active role and he is thrown into the middle of the action, with a health indicator at the screen bottom to indicate the games’ progression.

Since then, many video games have been developed to follow this course of blood spilling games with increasing levels of violence. But in 2000, video games turn a surprise u-turn when The Sims came out. Here the game consisted of a sort of Lego virtual reality where the player could build and furnish his or her home. It appealed to the nesting instinct and players created ongoing sagas that revolved around decorating their virtual homes and raising children. The Sims is a wish fulfillment vehicle where the player can create an ideal life and forget his own. It is rumoured that a second version of the game is planned wherein the Sims and their neighborhood cope with falling real estate values when the characters from Desperate Housewives move in.

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Best Passwords

No sane person would ever like someone else reading her email. Or for that matter some other person using her password and breaking into a financial institution. You should, therefore, choose a strong, secure password in such a manner that would be a hard nut to crack for others and easy for you to remember. The more random and mixed-up you make it, the harder it is for others to crack. Mind you, if your password is compromised, the password crackers will even take over your identity.

A password, if too short, is vulnerable to attack if an attacker gets hold of the cryptographic hash of the password. Present-day computers are fast enough to try all alphabetic passwords shorter than seven characters. We can call a password weak if it is short or is a default, or which can be rapidly guessed by searching a subset of all possible passwords such as words in the dictionary, proper names, words based on the user name or common variations on these themes.

On the other hand, a strong password would be sufficiently long, random, or which can be produced only by the user who chose it, so that ‘guessing’ for it will require too long a time.

For maximum security, the user should follow some simple guidelines:

1) Passwords should preferably be at least 8 characters long and not more than 14.

2) Passwords should contain a mix of numbers, letters, and special characters (%&3ac_ht4@m7).

3) Passwords should not contain a dictionary word from any dictionary, be it French, Spanish, medical, etc.

4) Each password should be different from the user’s User-ID and any permutation of that User-ID.

5) New passwords and old passwords should differ by at least 3 characters.

6) Avoid picking names or nicknames of people, pets, or places, or personal information that can be easily found out, such as your birthday, address etc.

7) It’s wise to stay away from common keyboard sequences, such as dfgh678 or abc345 .

8) Never form a password by appending a digit to a word. That can be easily guessed.

9) Avoid writing your password down or storing it on your computer.

10) Never share your password with anyone else.

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5 Tips for Buying a Laptop

Buying a laptop is a major investment decision. As such it is not one that you should make lightly. Below are 5 tips that will help prepare you for making the best and most well informed decision when buying a laptop.

Tip #1 Size Matters

Buying a laptop is a matter that requires some thought. Consider the size and weight of the laptop. How often will you be carrying your laptop? Your answer will help determine which size and weight will best suit your needs. If you will be carrying your laptop frequently, a lighter model will be preferable.

The keyboard is another area to consider when buying a laptop. Why is the size of the keyboard important? A larger laptop will have a slightly larger keyboard area. But keep in mind that if you worry about your fingers or wrists taking on too much stress from typing on a keyboard that is too small, you may want this to be a main factor in your purchasing decision,

Tip #2 Choose Your Mouse

A laptop it will come with a built in touch pad, an alternative to the mouse, whereby the pad is controlled by the user’s finger movement. For some people, this type of pad is uncomfortable and not easy to work with. Before purchasing a laptop, determine what mouse options are available. Test each one and determine which one best meets your needs.

Tip #3 Wireless Options

Today, when many people think laptop, they think “wireless”. No doubt people want to make sure that their laptop computer will be able to access the Internet with a wireless connection. Many try to account for this by ensuring that their laptop has potential upgrade options, such as room for an expandable PC card or a USB port. However, since so many laptop users are looking for wireless connections, many of today’s laptops come pre-wired for wireless Internet. All you need to do is activate your wireless Internet service, and your laptop will take it from there. So depending on your needs, choose your laptop whether it is capable of expanding or if it is already configured for wireless Internet.

Tip #4 Check for Ports

Peripheral equipment will be connected to your laptop through USB ports. You will make your life much less complicated by ensuring that your laptop has adequate ports. Connecting equipment such as printers, scanners, and digital cameras will be much simpler if you have the ports readily available. If you are not sure, thoroughly read the specs for any laptop that you are considering purchasing.

Tip #5 Check Your Budget First

Finally, when buying a laptop, beware that you do not overspend. First create your budget and stick to it. When you think that you have found the laptop that you want, do not rush into it. Wait a day and check over your budget, requirements, and see if you are still as excited about the laptop in the morning, as you were when the sales clerk was showing off its specs. If you still feel that it is the laptop that you want to purchase, then go for it.

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.

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