Sunday, July 20, 2008

laptop problems

I have been noticing that a lot of the newer laptop models are becoming broken way before a person has had the laptop even a year or two. Lots of models have bad motherboards or bad screens or the hard drive is bad, and sometimes the power socket is bad. Many people have experenced this within a few months to a year or two and then they have a laptop that is a paper weight or a door stop. It is a good idea to know what is wrong with the laptop so if you decide to get that $2,000 laptop fixed you will know what it needs before you show up to the repair store and shell out even more then what it would have cost. if you didn't know what the problem was the tech will have to diagnose the problem and charge you for the diagnoses, time it takes to diagnose the problem, then charge you to get the part and put it in. Some but not all tech repair places will have an awesome workforce. Some people tell you you need a part that it doesn't need and to find out its the wrong part or tell you the cost is going to be more then what it should be to have it repaired. It is a good idea to start by buying a good quality laptop. One that wont die out within a year or 2 and that will last like the older ones that are out there. Look for one that is small enough but packs a punch that way you can take the laptop with you anywhere and not have to be limited on space. A good battery time of 3 hours or more is key since most people work away from home or go to collage and do work there like typing and power point presentations or audio recording for class. Don't just go out and buy the first laptop you see either because maybe you may end up with a not so great model. Keep an eye out for reported hardware problems before you buy. Look in consumer reports, check out the online sites, check adds and reviews and do the math so you end up with the best laptop for your dollar. A little research can save you hundreds of dollars.

Some places to check:
Consumer reports
C Net

It's a good idea to check several sites and get a general consensus of problems. Sometimes you'll have one lone complainer who happened to get a bad machine that slipped past quality control.

Alert Alert Alert!!!
There's some very bad adapters making their way into the UK. They are marked with a fake CE label produced in China and have been known to cause electrical shocks and fires. They tend to sell for 1/2 the usual price and are sold on the internet and discount stores.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

new computers/computer building

Your Choices

Desktop or Laptop?
When choosing a computer what do you go for, a desktop or laptop? Do you build or buy one prebuilt from the computer store.

Custom built, U built or Off the shelf
You have three choices. You can get one built for you or build it yourself or buy one from a computer store. Building your own computer has it's advantages but it can cost $2000 or more If you get your parts from a big box store.
For better cost savings and quality parts try Newegg
Newegg sells computer parts cheaper then a big box store so you can have a computer for about $500-$1000 that you built yourself.

Choosing parts for your computer
1. Motherboards - you want one that can support a fast enough processor for your computing needs. Do you use it for graphics, videos, gaming or just office work?
Amd is a great brand for processors since they are more designed for video and audio and gaming. If possible avoid motherboards that have video cards built in. They seem to slow the processor and degrade the video output quality.
Look for an add on card such as an nvidia g force or ati rage. The advantage of an add on is that it can be changed as newer and better cards come out. The disadvantage is that these cards can be expensive.
If you can't spend the extra money for an add on video card look for a board that has an onboard video processor. Asus and Abit are two good boards to look for.
2 Hard drives - a solid state or flash hard drive is the best way to go since there aren't any moving parts to break down and no risks of loosing you data to an unacessable hard drive. These drives have a fast access time and boot time, but the price of a flash style hard drive can cost you a little. The next best hard drive to look for is a Sata which has a pretty good response time and is a little cheaper and a little better then ide hard drives.
3.Burning Drives - to back up the media or burn copies of movies and music. Lo magic is one good brand for a dvd burner since it can acept any dvd-r/rw and +r/rw. there is also a blue ray dvd burner but to get one ur looking at $700 or more for the drive and with a per price media of $10-$20 or $25 that may not be the best way to go right now for a burning drive.
4. Sound cards - to get all the sound from your computer I would go with a creative audigy 7.1 surround. You will shell out the extra bucks for it but in the end you will have the best gaming and audio sound there is.

5.Internet connections - I'd go with wireless since maybe where you want to place the computer you dont want to have to run wires or cant run wires. Belkin or d-link has some of the best wireless routers available. Belkin has idiot proof routers where if a certain conection to or from the router is not working correctly it will tell you what is wrong. That way you can fix the problem yourself. If its just going to be yourself get a wired router. If it's going to be you and a few friends enjoying a game of Wow and or you would like your neighbor to use your router to get on the internet then go with the wireless.
6.Speakers - Opt for Altec Lancing or Logitech speakers not the little baby speakers that come with the computer or the ones that someone gave you cause they don't sound good or they got new ones.
7.Enclosures - A case to put all the components in look at a case that has a few fans or places for fans that way the computer will always run at its top speed.
8.Monitors - look for an LCD monitor that is big enough and can suport dvi and vga, that way no matter what video card you have whether built onto the board or add on you can use the monitor. If your not into building one or having one built for you can get one from HP, Dell, Apple and other manufactures. Apple and HP are a few of the best computer manufactures out there at this time, I know there are others that people like but those are a few I like.

Laptops - I'd go with a Sony,Toshiba,HP or Apple they will get the job done. When looking at getting a prebuilt desktop or laptop you may look at prices from $500-$3,000 or more depending on the size and what it has installed and how its set up and what bundled software it has.

This is just scratching the surface for computers. I know myself I have left out a few things but this is just a start. More on the nuts and bolts of putting things together comming soon.