Power and Your PC

Posted on April 15, 2016 By

Power and Your PCThe power coming into a computer is the most critical component, and it may be one of the most overlooked. It is just taken for granted that it will always be there and working properly. A top of the line processor and ultra powerful video card do nothing if a system does not receive the ample, stable power it demands. Having quality components providing and regulating the power supplied to a computer is critical, and this brief overview looks at a few areas worth consideration.

Power Supplies

Computer power supplies take the high (110V or 220V) DC voltages from an electrical outlet and convert it to the various lower AC voltages required for a system to operate. The typical voltages required inside a computer are 3.3V, 5V, and 12V, where the 3.3V and 5V lines are generally used to power circuitry, and the 12V line provides power to run items such as hard drives, optical drives, and cooling fans.

Power supplies are sold in terms of their total power output, in terms of wattage. Choosing the correct power supply means not only finding one

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How To Format A Hard Drive

Posted on March 9, 2016 By

How To Format A Hard DriveHere’s how to format a hard drive (Legal Stuff: We are not responsible for any damages, lost data, or anything of the sort)…

If you have a computer, you surely know what a hard drive is. If you don’t have one, or simply don’t know what a hard drive is, then this article will begin with a short description of the hard drive. Then we will cover formating a hard drive…

Step 1: What Is A Hard Disk Drive?

A hard disk drive in computing is a type of storage device made up of hard disk platters, a spindle, read and write heads read and write arms, electrical motors, and integrated electronics contained inside an airtight enclosure.

Now you know what the hard drive is. Let’s stick to the point and start with the information on the title of this article. How to format a hard disk drive….

Step 2…

First of all, you should have a reason if you really want to learn how to format a hard drive. But don’t forget that formating a hard drive does

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Computer Cooling Hardware

Posted on February 8, 2016 By

Computer Cooling HardwarePC cooling systems are one of the hottest – and coolest – computer hardware accessories available. Most computers, however, still do not come with a cooling system more advanced than the typical heat sink and cpu fan. Some computers, however, are being sold with liquid cooling systems, such as the Apple G5 Power Mac. The dual processors undoubtedly put out a great deal of excess heat that a simple copper heat sink and fan alone can not properly dissipate. Intel is also getting into the new cooling trend, claiming that it’s newest processors (of the Pentium 4 line) are approximately 20 degrees hotter than any chip currently produced by AMD (Advanced Micro Devices).

Although these new processors all but absolutely require high-end cooling systems, it may not be a bad idea to add an additional cooling system to your 1-3 year old system. Your heatsink and fan can probably handle the heat, but the additional cooling can’t hurt. Here are some popular options if you are looking to add a new cooling system to your computer:

– Water cooling system. Several companies currently offer both external

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Finding a Better Mouse

Posted on May 12, 2016 By

Several years ago, I found myself wanting a better mouse. My computer at the time was a Mac Pro provided by my employer, and the aluminum keyboard and Mighty Mouse that came with it were downright awful. The laptop-style, low profile keyboard was terrible to type on and the mouse had a tiny ball for scrolling, which would get gummed up very easily.

At first, I simply traded them in for a Logitech wireless keyboard and mouse set which I used for quite some time. It was a basic rubber dome keyboard and standard wireless optical mouse. They were okay. They worked. Ultimately, I wanted something better.

I noticed that my boss would try out other mice, but ultimately return to his old trackball. He explained that it was more ergonomic and he found it easier to use. Unfortunately, the model he used had long been discontinued and regularly sold for over $300 on eBay. Too rich for me. But I figured there must be some modern equivalents.

So I went on a search. My initial requirements were simple. It needed to cost less than $50 and I didn’t want to give up my scroll

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How to Increase the Life of Your Printer

Posted on May 10, 2016 By

You have just come back from your holidays, you dust off your printer, pop in a camera memory card and set off printing your pictures only to find your printer isn’t working properly. Now before writing your printer off, here are a few tips and ideas to help prolong your printer lifespan and to get it working perfectly again.

Keep It Clean

You would think this is a pretty obvious point, but it is amazing how many people neglect to clean their printers.

Everything needs a clean now and again to keep it working properly, especially printers. In order to aid with the printing process, ink and toner contain additives such as wax, drying agents and lubricants all of which, expectantly, get into all the little cracks of the printer after long print jobs. A build-up of this will cause mechanical parts to stick and seize and cover important sensors in your printer.

The best way to clean your printer is to first turn it off. Next you will need a small brush (A clean, fine Bristle paint brush works well) to clean off excess dust in and around the printer exterior. For the

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Should You Build Your Own Mini PC

Posted on May 7, 2016 By

Nowadays there is a large number of alternatives when it comes to mini-PCs, many of which are barebones that you have to assemble yourself. Of course, these fetch a lower price and are often preferred by some people. Other mini-PCs come ready-to-use with all the parts and even the operating system pre-installed. Of course, their price is higher, though not by much, something that deters some people. So, what alternative should you go for?

If you are a hard-core IT enthusiast (the type of person who would prefer Linux or some other more esoteric OS, while also do computer-related DIY projects for fun), then a barebone may be the alternative for you. Although turning a barebone into a fully functional mini-PC is no easy task, it is still manageable and may be even fun for those super geeks out there. Plus you get to choose what components to put in your machine, something that some people like to have control over.

Nevertheless, if you are not a super power-user and care more about having a fully-functional and accountable PC, then it would probably be better to invest in a ready-to-use mini-computer. Apart from the obvious plus

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Spicing Up Your Keyboard Collection

Posted on May 3, 2016 By

When it comes to must haves for me concerning mechanical keyboards I always recommend the MKC Zinc Gold Tone Keyset. While the set can be a bit pricy at $50 for the set of just 37 keys to me it was well worth the investment. The first benefit you get from the keys is simply the look of them. Because they arrive individually wrapped they have no scratches or blemishes on the keys. Then when you contrast the keys to the plastic ones on your keyboard these shine and reflect all the light making them look very beautiful. Then the feel of the keys is much more superior to any plastic counterpart. Although they can be a bit cold at first touch it’s never an uncomfortable temperature. The smoothness of the keys also feels much nicer than plastic keys that usually are slightly textured. Even with the lack of texture your fingers don’t slide all over the keys and it’s still easy to use. These keys also provide a physical benefit along with an aesthetic one. Because the weight of the keys is a bit heavier than plastic keys it makes the spring in the switch easier to


You Can Prevent Computer Slowdowns and Issues

Posted on April 12, 2016 By

Most people understand preventive maintenance like changing the oil in your car will help your car run better and last longer. The same principle holds true for your PC. Based on the computer repair services we do on computers in Cincinnati, we believe 80% of computer slowdowns and problems can be prevented!

The purpose of this article is to help you understand how you can prevent computer slowdowns and other issues.

The top 10 ways you can prevent computer slowdown are…

1. Ensure antivirus software is installed, automatically checking for updates, and automatically scanning all incoming files. If there is a virus associated with a new file it will automatically be repaired or quarantined. New viruses come out daily. Because of this, the anti-virus software needs to be configured to automatically updates it’s self. McAfee and Norton’s are the most popular anti-virus software and what we recommend.

2. Run antispyware/antiadware software. Spyware and adware are hands down the most common cause of PC slowdowns. This software is critical if you are surfing the Internet. Spybot Search & Destroy or Ad-aware are the two most common free anti-spyware/adware packages. We recommend a more proactive packages

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Ways To Backup Your Data

Posted on April 7, 2016 By

The data on your hard drive is the most critical item inside your computer, and the only item which can not be replaced. It may be an unwanted hassle and expense to replace a defective memory module, monitor, or processor, but there is no replacing data once lost.

In addition to the possibility of a simple hard drive failure, the threat of internet borne worms and viruses has become an increasing risk to data loss or corruption. Although you may not be able to provide absolute protection to your hard drive, there are various ways that you can ensure that the data on your hard drive is protected. Five methods of backing up your data are summarized below…

1. USB Flash Drives

Although I am not recommending that flash drives be used for the actual data storage, they are a convenient means of transferring data from one computer to another. Important files can be quickly loaded onto a device such as the MINIDISK-512-DGRY-CS USB 2.0 Flash Drive, and transported to another computer for safe keeping. Installation and operation is extremely simple, and other than perhaps having to install a software driver, the use of a

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Setting up a Network Wired or Wireless

Posted on April 2, 2016 By

To Wire or Not to Wire
Wireless networks are en vogue, but your installation won’t be successful unless you chose the right type of network and set it up properly. Wired networks require that each computer be connected via a wire to a central location, called a switch or hub. This often involves installing cables through walls and ceilings and can present a challenge for anyone.
If the computers in your home or office are all within 500 feet of each other, a wireless network might be for you. A wireless network has no cables. It can connect computers on different floors of a building or even across the street. Aside from the obvious benefit of not having wires, wireless networks are more convenient since the setup, configuration, and reconfiguration can often be done within minutes, without extensive planning.

Wireless networks, however, are not as fast as wired networks. If you play computer games or want to view streaming video or other high-speed multimedia, a wireless network might not have enough capacity. But, if you just want to check e-mail and view web pages, a wireless network is a good choice. To install a wireless network, you


The Printer Cartridge Game

Posted on March 12, 2016 By

Think you got a great deal on a printer? Like the rest of us, you probably paid $50 to $75 for a decent Epson or Lexmark printer. What’s the catch, you might have asked? Most salesmen would say there is no catch. They’d probably go into a rant about how the printer market has gotten more competitive, driving prices way down. While that’s a true statement, it isn’t the primary reason for such inexpensive printers these days.

So, why are printers so inexpensive? It’s pretty simple – printer manufacturers need you to buy their printer model so you’re forced into buying their outrageously-priced ink cartridges. It’s kind of like the relationship between a gasoline company and car manufacturer, except in this situation the printer company is supplying both the automobile and the fuel. Gas companies wouldn’t make any money if no one owned an automobile. In the case of printer manufacturers, things are a little different. They don’t make any money on selling printers – they make their money by selling you the replacement ink cartridges.

It makes a lot of business sense when you think about it. A consumer buys a printer every few years,


Learn How To Diagnose Power Supply Problems

Posted on March 8, 2016 By

The Power Supply convert’s your regular household current into low DC voltage used by the computer. When this component fails,there is simply no activity going on with your computer.Remember to do the easy troubleshooting first.Inspect the Power Supply for any damage.Double-Check all connections.

Learning how to check your power supply and how to replace it when needed can be a life saver if you’re a computer buff or in business with the trusted PC.Don’t take for granted the simple pleasure of turning on your PC and everything works just fine.

We turned on one of our computers recently and in about one hour,it just re-booted itself.And it continued doing so about 10 times a day until we found out the power supply was the culprit.Things to look for when your power supply is going bad or just dies on you are the following.


Here you must first check the wall outlet for power by connecting another device such as a radio or lamp to be sure power is present.If the computer is connected through a surge protector,check it as well.

If the wall out has power,check the power

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Hard Drive Selection

Posted on March 6, 2016 By

Perhaps the biggest mistake people make when building their computer(s) is to underestimate the importance of the hard disk drive (HDD). In our modern society, bigger is synonymous with better, so when you go to buy a hard drive you look at how “big” it is, its data capacity. But is that all you should be considering when buying your hard drive?

Like every other component of your computer, the HDD is far too complex a system to describe in any sort of detail here, but hopefully by the end of this article you will know what to look for when you go to buy your new hard drive.

There are 4 primary aspects to look at in a hard drive (in order of importance):

  1. Rotational frequency and average seek time
  2. Buffer size
  3. Internal/external transfer rates
  4. Capacity

Rotational frequency has become a large selling point (5400/7200/10000/15000RPM) recently, so you shouldn’t have too much difficulty finding out what the rotational frequency of your HDD is when you go to buy it. Now of course the faster it spins, the faster it can read from the disk (there are other advantages also), but be aware that the faster it

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Tips To Select Proper Hard drive

Posted on February 16, 2016 By

Day by day computers are getting advanced. Capacity and performance are increasing with every passing year. This is true for the primary storage also. Latest Hard disks are getting bigger in capacity and with higher rotational speed can access the data faster. This is good news for computer users.

The digital revolution has brought with it the need to store vast amounts of data. The new Hard disks are ready to take the challenge. The good news is, these Hard disks with higher capacity are affordable. Thanks to a very competitive market and demanding consumers.

Hard disk technology is suitable for the bandwidth demands of today’s applications. The 7200 rpm hard disk drives with a minimum storage space of 40 GB and above are now more common than ever before.

The demand for storage in PCs has boomed. With a lot of multimedia files being used today, including MP3, Flash files and movies–even today’s entry level 40 GB hard disks aren’t enough for users. On the other hand, 80 – 400 GB, 7200 rpm drives are also available and are preferred by professionals.

Depending on your need, you should select the proper hard drive.

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Does Size Really Matter In Our Digital Age

Posted on February 6, 2016 By

Well, we’ve all seen the advert, but that’s not what I want to talk about, so get that out of your head straight away. No, let’s think about what many call the “Queen of Arts” – namely painting.

Have you ever wandered around a huge Art Gallery and marvelled at the works by Tintoretto, Raphael, Constable or any master painter who has produced huge canvasses? Then again, we have many fine examples of beautiful artwork in cameos and miniatures. In fact, in all sizes between these two extremes the evidence of creative genius can be found down through the ages.

However, it’s patently obvious that the correlation between size and creative genius is poor. Mere size on the premise, “never mind the quality feel the width” is not the prime element of a masterpiece. Yes we are fascinated by the Sistine Chapel, for example, by the sheer scale of the paintings, but it’s the genius of the painter that draws the eye. It’s also true though that the artist tugs at our heartstrings by the wealth of detail that working in a large format permits.

In the same way, large format and medium format cameras

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Posted on February 1, 2016 By

DVD CD ROMs have become predominantly the most used CD drive for desktop and notebook computers. They are very reliable and now come as a standard in most computers. If you are looking for a laptop then make sure it has a DVD ROM, this will give you extra speed for normal Cds, and you will be able to watch your favourite DVDs while you travel.

I often sit up late watching DVDs on my laptop after a hard working day.

If you are interested in Desktop computers, then the DVD drive will enable you to watch your favourite DVDs on your monitor. I currently have a 21-inch monitor and a 5.1 computer surround kit. This brings DVDs to life and acts just like a home cinema system, however the quality is even better.

Most DVD ROMs will come in speeds ranging from 4 to 10 speed. This is more than adequate to watch the latest DVDs, play the latest games, and use and install the latest software. Normal CDs can only perform at a certain speed, and it is a lot lower than what the DVD ROM offers. I hope you have a better


The Right Way To Discharge Capacitor In Switch Mode Power Supplies

Posted on January 7, 2016 By

Switch mode power supply contain some large filter capacitors that can hold dangerous charges even if the unit has not been used for several days. Typical values of this type of filter capacitor are 220uf 250volt and 330uf 400volt! If you are going to work on the power supply circuits, it’s a good idea to discharge that capacitor first.

There are three ways to discharge the big filter capacitor in a power supply.

1)Discharge it with a screw driver (not recommended).

The reason for not using the screw driver to discharge a capacitor is because

-the printed circuit board or circuitry can be damage due to the spark generated while discharging the high voltage capacitor.
I once blowed the power section using this method. However, if you know that the capacitor stored voltage is not too large, you can easily discharge it with a small screw driver.

-if the capacitor holds a heavier charge of electricity. Discharging the capacitor may melt the tip of the screw driver and the copper on the printed circuit board.

-Sometimes a heavier spark may cause small disintegrated solder lead or copper to fly out from the


Adding Serial Ports to a Computer with Only USB Ports

Posted on January 6, 2016 By

So you bought a new computer but you don’t have serial ports?

It’s surprisingly common these days – you find an awesome machine that does everything you want it to do, but then you get home and find out that amongst the lightning-fast processor and terabyte hard drive, you’re missing something – a serial port.

Most laptop manufacturers have killed RS-232

In an effort to enforce newer standards, such as USB and FireWire, many laptop manufacturers have let serial ports fall by the wayside. They don’t take into account the millions of people and businesses that still require serial ports for one application or another.

Add a true serial port with a USB adapter

You can use a USB to Serial Adapter to easily and quickly add a serial port to your laptop. The nice thing about the adapter is that you can use multiple adapters on one machine (using a hub or an add-on card) and dynamically set the COM assignment.

Various serial devices requiring some type of serial port

Many PDA’s, GPS units, routers, printers, fax machines, etc. still require serial ports. A lot of these devices are moving

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How to Get the Case Off Your PC

Posted on January 5, 2016 By

This is the first step to servicing, upgrading or removing PC hardware from your PC. Refer to my other articles on adding, upgading or removing just about any piece of hardware.

First things first, get that case off your PC. This is usually done by removing the screws on the back. Don’t remove the ones near your power supply! This will cause your power supply to fall out. Simply remove the screws along the side that seem to be holding the case to the frame. Usually, this is about 6-9 screws. This will remove both sides. If you are aiming on only removing one side (sometimes this is best, as you only need to service one side) then remove the three screws holding the one side on. (For clone PCs. For IBM/Compaqs, refer below). After you’ve got the screws off either the one side, or both sides, simply slide the sides off towards the front side (the side where the power button is).

If you’ve got an IBM or Compaq, you will need to remove all the screws holding the case onto the back, and then employ one or both methods. Some IBM PCs require you

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Be Free with Wireless Speakers

Posted on January 3, 2016 By

Are you tired of laying wires through your house, creeping through small places just to get the right sound effect? Wireless speakers are the answer to your headaches. With wireless speakers you gain the freedom to move your music to where you want it to be without the hassles of cables. Planning to have a party outside? Don’t move your whole entertainment system outside while you can make use of outdoor wireless speakers which can move right along with the party.

Want to have hi-fi quality sound through your laptop computer? Why should you be tied to wires while using a portable computer? Make use of wireless speakers to give you the freedom to work or play on your computer where you want to, while having the high fidelity sound you deserve.
Here are a few examples of how you can use wireless speakers to improve your way of living.

o Listen to your favorite music collection while taking a bath.

o Have a BBQ or party outside without having to move your whole stereo system.

o You can store all your favorite music on your computer and listen to it anywhere in your

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