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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.

If you are looking for circuit breakers, we recommend turning to RELECTRIC.com.

Used Computers Are a Good Buy

Used Computers Are a Good Buy

Computers and cars are prime examples of quick depreciation. The moment you purchase either of these products and leave the showroom, they have depreciated considerably. This has nothing to do with being cheated but all to do with the nature of the product. Once owned, the value is drastically reduced.

Computers, in particular, tend to lose their value very quickly over time. This can hurt your finances quite a bit, especially if you had decided to purchase the top-end configuration that was available at that time. Computers such as these cost a lot more because they feature hardware that is not yet available en masse in the market. Therefore, you end up paying a premium. This is justified if you are a power user who is constantly at the computer using up every little bit of performance it has to offer. However, if you do not fit into that category and just want to use your computer on and off for email, surfing, playing a game or two, etc then a top-end purchase is a bad idea because you are wasting your money.

A better alternative is to purchase a used computer. Using the theory of depreciation mentioned above, it is very likely to be able to purchase a computer with a decent configuration for a very low price. For example, a Desktop computer with a P4 processor can go for as cheaply as $90. At that rate, you can get one, use it as you wish, and not bother about taking care of it as if it does go bust at some point, you can easily replace it with another. This type of purchase saves you a lot of money and makes a lot of sense with the recession affecting the economy.

How to Connect Your iPod Touch to Bluetooth Speakers

How to Connect Your iPod Touch to Bluetooth Speakers

Finally, the iPod Touch can connect to Bluetooth speakers. Originally, the iPod touch did not support Bluetooth out-of-the-box, but now you have to perform a simple software upgrade and ‘voila’, the iPod has Bluetooth support. Yes, this means that you had the technology to do Bluetooth based operations but had to wait until Apple kindly consented to allowing you to do so.

However, there is no point in griping about it now that you can finally connect to other devices via Bluetooth. Before you run off to hook up your Bluetooth speakers to your iPod, there are a few things to bear in mind.

Software version & iPod – First, check your serial number against the Apple website to determine which type of iPod you possess. You will need a Second Generation or newer iPod to proceed. Once you have confirmed that, check your software version number. To do this, simply select Settings-> General-> Version number. This will inform you as to which version of the OS you possess. If you do not have version 3.0, it strongly recommended that you upgrade to the latest OS available. This might involve a small sum (possibly about $5) but it will be worth it.

Speaker instructions – Do not throw away the box and instructions that came with the Bluetooth speakers. They contain important information that relates their connectivity. More often than not, Bluetooth devices have their own peculiar way of being discoverable and more importantly, have their own unique PIN number. You will need to follow the instructions to make the speakers discoverable to you iPod and hold on to the PIN number so that you can enter it when asked to do so. To search for your speakers, simply select Settings-> General-> Bluetooth and turn your Bluetooth on. Once turned on, you will see your speakers as one of the discovered devices.

Keep these tips in mind and you will find it easy to enjoy music off your wireless speakers, using the iPod.

Three Ways to Type Faster

Three Ways to Type Faster

As more and more people opt for work-at-home jobs, many are finding that the jobs involve a lot of typing. If you are one of those who find yourself in this position, it is necessary to upgrade your typing skills so that you save a lot of time. Let’s face it; single finger pecking is not going to get us anywhere, is it? So here’s three ways to improve your typing skills:

Position – Your fingers have predefined roles in where they should rest and where they should reach. It is imperative that you learn them as those positions form the initial steps in learning to type. Look online for a free typing tutorial which will help you learn these positions.

Practice, practice, practice – This point cannot be emphasized enough. No matter what you learn you must always practice it to be good at it let alone be perfect. Typing is a skill that requires a lot of practice to improve your understanding of the layout of the letters on your keyboard as well as to improve your speed. In your search for an online tutorial, you will come across many typing tutorial games. Go ahead and play them, you will find a fun way of improving your typing skills.

Do not peek – It is probably the hardest thing to do when you start off, but try your hardest not to look at the keyboard when you are typing. At first, you will make many mistakes and might even get frustrated. But if you keep at it you will find that your fingers automatically move to the right locations without you even thinking about it. To motivate yourself, drape a hand towel over your hands and go through your practice sessions.

Typing is like riding a bicycle, it takes time to learn but once you get it you can only get better at it. So practice, practice and practice away!

LCD Price Fixing Admission Leads to Nokia Lawsuit

LCD Price Fixing Admission Leads to Nokia Lawsuit

On the heels of a Department of Justice investigation into LCD manufacturers comes a lawsuit that will hurt them even further. Nokia has launched a case aimed at making the LCD manufacturers pay after they admitted to price fixing efforts.

Nokia has alleged federal violations as well as antitrust violations and is looking at trebled damages for the federal violations. The case seems to carry a lot weight as the LCD manufacturers have been documented to having agreed on production allocations and market shares between each other at regular meetings over the past decade. The companies involved are not small fry either, the big boys of production like Samsung, Hitachi, Epson, LG, Sharp and Toshiba are names implicated by the DOJ investigation.

Nokia is undoubtedly looking to gain some financial buffering from this payout when it happens, as it most undoubtedly will, to prop up their tottering bottom lines. But who can really blame them? The inflated prices pushed on Nokia by the manufacturers would have hurt them anyway during the decade long period and this is merely payback. The problem for the LCD manufacturers is that they have already admitted to their guilt and this has the effect of dropping a pint of blood in shark infested waters. Nokia is actually the second company to files lawsuits (the first was AT&T), and that too in the U.S. and U.K., depending on the outcome, the other “sharks” will seek blood.

The only thing certain about the outcome of this lawsuit is that the LCD manufacturing cartel is about to take the biggest hit in their collective manufacturing history.