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Look Out For Fake Online Shops

Look Out For Fake Online Shops

As the world shifts its shopping onto the Internet, the scammers that exist in the physical world are following them there. Plenty of fake websites have sprung up hoping to catch unsuspecting consumers and the sad fact is that the consumers are falling for it.

The primary way to avoid such bogus sites is to stick to the old adage “If it’s too good to be true, then it is”. If you are looking for the newest X-Box on the day before Christmas and you find a website that says they have lots in stock – it’s fake! Sometimes the scam works by offering unbelievably low prices on products. Again, if it’s unbelievable, it probably is.

But sometimes you just can’t figure it out, because the scam is pretty good. In these instances, just put good old Google to use. Let’s say the company’s name is ABC789 Inc. Just type in that name in Google and look at what turns up. Usually, if it is a company that has been in operation for a while, there will be many hits on the page. You will also run into many forums where users have commented on that company. From this information you can make an informed decision on what type of company it is and how reliable their products are.

As always, good research can always help you before you get into a sticky situation. Don’t be impetuous and impulsive when you make purchases online, because it might even get you into more trouble than losing your money or getting a bad product.

How Clean are Your Computers?

How Clean are Your Computers?

Article written by Best Businesses

Would you consider grabbing a sandwich after you touch a toilet seat? Would you consider eating a sandwich after touching your keyboard? Out of the two scenarios above, the cleaner option is the one that involves the toilet seat. Surprising, right?

Studies have found that toilet seats contain 80% less bacteria than keyboards. This is because restrooms are cleaned regularly and hygiene is a priority in offices. The keyboard and mouse are not even considered for a complimentary wipe down. This is a matter for concern and must be taken seriously. The cleanliness of computer equipment that you constantly use is very important. Humans with their quirks such as nail biting, nose digging, rubbing the eyes, etc. transmit bacteria when at the workstation.

Proper care must be taken by administrators in an office to make sure that these items are cleaned as well. This not only ensures better health for the employees, it also results in more productivity and less downtime for the office. The cleaning company must also be carefully selected, and the chemicals that they use for cleaning must be reviewed thoroughly before being given the green light. Improper methods can lead to a variety of incidents that range from letters being erased from keyboards to chemical fumes affecting employees.

These concerns are not limited to the office only. Even in your home, you should make an effort to keep your computer equipment clean. After all, good hygiene is good living.

How to Bring Down Your Electricity Costs

How to Bring Down Your Electricity Costs

You may not realize it but your computer can eat up a lot of electricity. How much it consumes depends on you’re the configuration and also on what other devices you have connected to it.

Usually a desktop PC will have a Power Supply Unit that is rated between 300 and 500 watts. This denotes the maximum power that can be delivered via that PSU. Before you start panicking, the PSU does not deliver the maximum all the time and only does it when required.

There are many culprits that cause a lot of power consumption. Advanced graphics cards draw a lot of power, especially when graphics intensive games are played. Using apps that require a lot of memory and processing power also delivers similar results. Using a large CRT monitor or even an LCD monitor at full brightness can push up your power bill.

To bring down your energy costs, try to do the following:

1. After shutting down the computer, physically cut the power connection to the PC by flicking the switch to the “off” position on the wall socket.
2. If your monitor does not draw power from the PC (enabling an auto switch off), you should switch it off manually after shutting down the PC.
3. Switch off printers and scanners when not in use.
4. Switch off any powered speakers when not in use.
5. Reduce the brightness on your monitor. This will consume less power and also promote long life in the product.
6. Use power management tools provided with the OS.

Buying an External Hard Drive

Buying an External Hard Drive

An External Hard Disk is a worthwhile investment for any computer user. If you are an avid downloader of content (legally, of course) then storing movies and mp3s on your computer is going to take up a lot of Hard Disk Drive (HDD) space. This is fine until you encounter the day when the HDD crashes. Backing up your data can save you the frustration and anger when that happens and this is where an external HDD really comes into play.

When looking to buy an external drive, you have to consider the two types available -Solid State Drives (SSD) and HDD’s. SSDs have no moving parts in them, so vibrations and small impacts will not do any harm to them. However, as long as you treat your HDD carefully there is very little chance of anything happening to it either. Of the two, HDDs are easier on your wallet.

You should decide on the size of the external drive, depending on how much data you want to backup or transfer out of your computer. If these are mainly documents that will be stored, then even a 100GB drive is enough. Otherwise, if you do need more space, 1TB and 2TB drives have recently become more affordable.

If you can afford to wait a while, USB 3.0 drives will be out in the near future offering staggering transfer rates. But in the meantime, external drives come in USB 2.0, Firewire and eSATA flavors. You should choose one of these depending on the connectivity you have on your computer and the availability of external power as some of these devices require that.

Just remember that the cost of an external drive is peanuts compared to the cost you will encounter at a data retrieval service should your HDD crash.

Buying a PC Case

Buying a PC Case

As you become more familiar with the hardware components in your computer, you will want to assemble the next computer you buy. This is because it allows you greater freedom in customizing the configuration and getting it “exactly right”. At this point, you should pay some attention to the type of casing that will house your computer.

The first decision is to choose between a Desktop and a Tower casing. The only real advantage of a Desktop casing is that it does not consume a lot of space. It allows you to place the monitor over it and there ends its usefulness. For serious hardware enthusiast, the Tower casing is the way to go.

Tower casings come in a variety of sizes and you should pick the biggest one you can which won’t eat up too much of space in your room. There are many advantages in doing this, the main one being the cooling factor. A large case will allow you to fixe multiple fans inside the casing, at strategic locations, so that your computer can be cooled efficiently. Inefficient cooling can lead to quick hardware deaths. A large casing laterally will also accommodate the large heat sink towers that are now available for CPU’s. In addition to this, it can also accommodate any future hard disk and DVD drive expansion plans.

Usually, casing come with a pre-installed power supply. In most cases this is enough to drive basic to moderately advanced hardware. But if you are going to plug in multiple hard drives and run a high end graphics card, you should probably ask the store to swap the existing power supply with one that has a higher Wattage. This will ensure that there is enough “juice” to keep all your hardware running smoothly. A word of warning though, the more devices you run on the machine the more your electricity costs will go up.

Computer Maintenance Guidelines

Computer Maintenance Guidelines

Computers, just like cars and other mechanical devices, need to have maintenance performed on them regularly. However, this article does not deal with the hardware maintenance, but rather the software side of maintenance, which is often forgotten.

Software, as most people do not realize, also needs to be kept in order. More often than not, the software that you get contains a few undiscovered bugs, some unpolished corners and even some loopholes in the code that allow hackers to exploit them. These can be fixed by installing software updates. In the past, the prevalent method involved manually checking for, downloading and installing the updates. Now, most software vendors have taken to the automatic delivery of software updates. This generally happens through the application you purchased, which is put into effect the moment you register. Whenever you see an alert for a software update, make sure you install it as quickly as possible. This is especially important in the case of operating systems, virus scanners and firewall updates.

Other than this, you can take some steps to make sure your data is protected as well. Make data backups a part of your schedule. Once a week or in two weeks is an acceptable frequency. You should also scan your hard drives for viruses regularly, once a day if possible. Hackers are always finding new ways to infiltrate systems so it is better to be safe than sorry. One other thing you can do to stay safe is to change your password whenever you can. This helps keep any unwanted characters from getting into your system and stealing valuable data.

The best way to keep track of all these tasks is to make a schedule with a checklist and stick to it religiously. This will ensure that your computer stays in good working order for a long time.

The Truth about New Circuit Breakers

The Truth about New Circuit Breakers

New circuit breakers typically come with a 12-month money-back guarantee. According to leading circuit breaker dealer All Breakers, these manufacturers not only understand the risk that they might have to replace some circuit breakers when they fail, they count on it.

The truth is that it is cheaper for the dealer or manufacturer to ship untested circuit breakers than to test each product utilizing cutting-edge digital testing equipment. Dealers much rather wait for a circuit breaker to break-down than to test each one. This is why many people opt to purchase refurbished circuit breakers from All Breakers inc. The company offers affordable refurbished circuit breakers that undergo more testing and quality checks than their new counterparts. Whether you’re searching for Cutler Hammer of FPE circuit breakers, All Breakers offers the refurbished circuit breakers you need.

Keep RSI at bay

Keep RSI at bay

Computer users tend to get engrossed in whatever they are doing. Whether it is browsing the internet, playing a game or being engaged in work the total focus of the user is on the computer. This is where an unseen or rather an unperceived danger lurks.

Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI) is an invisible assailant that you must be wary about. Your soft tissue is at risk of injury and conditions like Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, Tendinosis and Tendinitis can occur. Treating these conditions once they are past a certain level is a long and painful process. So preventing it ever occurring is the best course of action to take.

1. Every hour or so, get up from you chair and walk around the room. Do this for a few minutes and try to do some light stretching as well.
2. Switch between the mouse and keyboard on and off. That way the hand resting on the mouse is forced to switch to different movements.
3. Get an ergonomic keyboard and mouse. This will give your hands a better resting position which is more natural.
4. Use a mouse pad that has gel based or cushioned resting position for your wrist.
5. Position you keyboard and mouse on your table in such a way that there is enough room for your arms to rest on the table comfortably. This is to alleviate the stress placed on the joints of your wrists.
6. Get a chair that has good lumbar support. It should also enable you sit in a better posture.
7. Position your monitor at a proper height and angle so that there is minimal or no strain on you neck.

Choosing the Right Keyboard

Choosing the Right Keyboard

Computer users are no longer content to settle for the norm. They want peripherals devices that are geared towards their area of interest. In this regard, even a simple device like the keyboard is now available in many flavors.

Gamer keyboards – As the name suggests, these are meant especially for users who are heavily into gaming. These keyboards have an integrated LCD panel built-in, backlit keys, changeable number pads and programmable keys. These features are there to specifically target the needs of serious gamers.

Media keyboards – Although these have only a few tweaks added, they are nevertheless very useful to the right user. These keyboards often feature volume control and play/pause/stop/skip back/skip forward buttons. These are useful especially if the keyboard is wireless and the computer is connected to a TV. This way the user can sit on the bed/ couch and manipulate the media.

Ergonomic keyboards – These are beneficial for users who spend an extended amount of time in typing activities. These help to avoid problems such as RSS or CTS and also provide a better experience for the user. The keyboard is designed in such a way that it is conducive to the natural resting position of a user’s hands. In some cases the number pad is detachable for further ease of use.

Travel keyboards – These are designed to be small and lightweight. Sometimes they are foldable as well in order save space. Travelers appreciate this product because it is easier to lug around than a normal sized keyboard.

Why Are Printed Circuit Boards Green?

Why Are Printed Circuit Boards Green?

Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs) are everywhere. In your computer, DVD player, Mobile Phone, Car Stereo, etc. Anything electrical these days is guaranteed to have a PCB within it.

If you have ever looked at one, they seem to resemble a miniature city. The analogy (of a miniature city) is not too far off the mark. The tiny buildings are places where electrical signals need to go to and the roadways are the means they use to do it. PCBs have played an active role in the process of eliminating wires and miniaturization. In fact, you may be surprised to know that they have been around for over one hundred years.

The underlay of a PCB is formed using a very thin layer of Copper and usually, several layers can exist in any given PCB. Sometimes Nickel is used instead of Copper but the idea is to have a layer that will allow electricity to be conducted. The top layer or the overlay needs to be made of a non-conducting material. For this, the popular choice has been Green Epoxy Resin. Since it is very effective and most importantly inexpensive, almost all PCBs you encounter will look green. The cost factor is very significant when you consider the millions of PCBs that are manufactured in the world today. Ultimately, someone will purchase them, and using the most cost-effective materials in production makes sense.

If you are interested, there are many different do-it-yourself kits that are available, where you can play around and create your own PCBs which will perform a simple function.

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