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If you're in the market for a new computer this question has undoubtedly came up once or twice. It is only getting harder with smart phones and tablets now making a laptop seem like a thing of the past. Desktop sales have fallen even further and have been on a decline ever since 2010, personal home computing has taken a noticeable change away from having to sit at a desk every time and more towards computing your way. For certain things though there is no replacing a desktop computer and some people still need one, let's see the advantages of a laptop vs. a desktop when used as a personal computer.





What Makes A Laptop Computer Better?





There are definitely times a laptop is better than a desktop and the main reason is of course portability. Having a computer with you on the move is great especially if you're a student, your job keeps your out of the office, or you prefer sitting outside or on a couch versus your desk.





Students are one of the biggest users of laptops and that doesn't seem to be changing, you can't type a paper on a smart phone and it's still very awkward and slow on a table with their detachable keyboards. If you're going from classes to the library and back it leaves almost no time to go home and makes a laptop a must have. You can now write papers, do research, and connect to social media in your off time between classes all without having to drive or take the bus home, it saves you time and money in the long run. As a student a laptop with email, internet and a word editor is a must unless you don't value your time out of classes.





If you work in an office chances are you have a desktop, but what happens when you have a job that takes you outside of the office for extended amounts of time from hours to days? You might not need one for anything or you might need to be connected to the office all day, if this is the case a laptop or tablet is probably something you have on you. Since most work places are still more professional than casual chances are they don't use tablets since they still haven't found a place into every office especially the more traditional ones. This leaves you needing a laptop and with options ranging from 10” screens to 17” models there is a laptop for everything you need to do for your job.





What if you're not a student or just don't like having to sit at a physical desk all day? A laptop gives you the freedom to take your computer on the couch, to the park, or over to a friends house to play video games or listen to music anywhere you want to. If you're a casual user of a computer chances are the laptop is the one you chose due to how versatile and handy they have become.





What Advantages Does A Desktop Still Have?





Although their sales are declining it does not mean the desktop is no longer being used. There are some things that will always require a desktop due to the fact they are faster, more powerful computers with room to upgrade. While laptops try to catch up every year in performance the desktop constantly has new hardware coming out that a laptop just can't compete with. If you're doing any sort of movie editing or high end video games a desktop will always be superior, their processors are able to use more power which equates to being faster and you can run video cards a laptop just can't. If you need the ultimate in performance a desktop will always be the way to go.





A desktop has typically been cheaper than a laptop but in the last few years that has switched to where you can get entry level laptops for less money than a desktop which is probably contributing to the decline in their sales. If you're in the market for a desktop it's not all bad news you can actually get one relatively close in price that will still far out perform the laptop if you don't need it to be portable. Checking sites like New Egg and Tiger Direct will get you a great deal without the hassle of going into a store.





The last place that is still common for desktops is a work environment. This is mostly due to companies buying large quantities will get a very good deal on some basic low end computers. It doesn't mean a laptop wouldn't be better they can just be had for a far lower cost so if you're trying to save money buying a desktop new or used will get you a better deal. Their screens can also be changed at anytime unlike a laptop, getting a 21” or 24” LCD monitor is very inexpensive now compared to what they use to be so a desktop will always have the better options for viewing especially if you use it as your entertainment PC with movies, Netflix or anything media related. You can also change their mouse or keyboard in case you don't like the laptops built in versions so they are all around more customizable than a laptop.


laptops versus desktops



Both Desktops and Laptops are Still Needed





If you still can't decide between the two maybe the best thing to do would be go to a store and see which works best for you. You obviously can't take it outside to try it but some people can't stand a laptops keyboard and mouse and that would be a reason to not buy a desktop in itself. There is no right answer with laptops versus desktops and it will always be debated so make your own choice off of your budget, requirements and which one fits your life style the best.   

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A laptop is a great investment and our companion for a long time, but fresh out of the box it does not come with everything that we need over the course of its use. Laptops only come with the basics. However, to get the maximum out of your laptop and to keep it safe and secure you are going to need to invest in some accessories.

With a plethora of options available in this regard, choosing the right accessories can get confusing. Here is a list of a few of them which we consider must-haves for any laptop:

1. Laptop Bag

One of the most essential accessories for your notebook is a laptop bag, which will hold and protect it when you are on the go. The safety of your laptop should be of paramount importance. Various types of laptop bags are available -- comfortable to carry, lightweight, ergonomic or check–point friendly (so that you can speed through the security at airports). Many companies make laptop bags designed with a number of compartments, including a special padded section to store a laptop safely.

Choose the right laptop bag based on your needs. If you travel with often, a light yet durable carrying case should be preferred. Similarly, if you wish to carry associated laptop accessories or other items like files, books and documents, along with your laptop, a spacious bag should be your pick.

2. Wireless Mouse

Today’s light-weight laptops allow for ergonomic browsing, though many users prefer a handheld mouse for navigation. When you need to make precise movements with your cursor, such as drawing a diagram in Paint, the optical mouse is the preferred choice over the touchpad. Wireless mice, designed for use with laptops, are much smaller than the desktop mice and fit easily into the pocket of a laptop bag, making them easy to be taken along everywhere.

3. USB Flash Drive

One is often required to transfer data between laptops. Bluetooth is fine for files of a small size, but for large amounts of it to be transferred USB flash drives remain the best choice. They make transferring your files fast and easy. USB flash drives are small portable devices that plug into your laptop’s USB port. They are more reliable and durable than other storage mediums such as floppy disks or CDs.

USB flash drives are available in different storage capacities ranging from megabytes to gigabytes. Choose one as per your need, and make it a point to carry it in your laptop bag.

4. Portable Laptop Desks

Portable laptop desks are an invaluable laptop accessory for mobile professionals. Not only do they prevent laptop burn but also enable you to work more comfortably.

A portable laptop desk keeps the laptop's heat off your lap, helping you avoid the dreaded toasted leg syndrome. It enables you to work on the laptop sitting on the floor, the sofa, or even in bed, providing a stable platform always.

5. External Hard Drive

A portable external hard drive is an extremely useful accessory that can be used for additional file storage space for a laptop that lacks extensive internal storage, or for backing up and archiving files so that they are secure in case of a laptop failure. It’s an inexpensive way to safely store valuable data in the event of a virus. Additionally, external hard drives can store large digital music and movie collections, organize old files, or store digital projects in one place.

Many external hard drives offer security features such as password protection and data encryption to keep prying eyes away from your files. Advanced hard drives come with an automatic backup feature that syncs your data and backs it up to the cloud so that you always have an online copy of the files you choose to backup.

6. Laptop Cooling Pad

Heating problem is a common issue that laptop users face because the in-built cooling systems of most laptops cannot stand the heat generated from long hours of use. Overheating can damage your laptop’s performance and may lead to a system failure. A laptop cooling pad helps reduce the laptop’s operating temperature. Protecting your laptop from overheating will prolong its lifespan.

7. External Speakers

If you are not satisfied with your laptop’s built-in audio system, you might want to consider buying external laptop speakers to enhance your music listening experience. A set of external speakers offers higher sound quality and a much more powerful output than built-in laptop speakers. External laptop speakers are also helpful when doing presentations or participating in a Web conference.

8. TV Tuners

An external USB TV is a kind of television tuner that allows television signals to be received by a laptop. Adding an external USB TV tuner enables you to watch TV on your laptop from office, home, car or even the garden! These USB units also allow you to resize the window so that you can watch TV and work at the same time.

9. USB Light

The USB-powered LED lamp is a very useful gadget for typing in the dark without disturbing others. The flexible neck USB-powered clip light is very convenient and useful for laptops. The flexible neck of the USB enables us to position light at different angles. It's powered by the USB port, so you don't need any external power supply.

10. Headset Microphones

Headsets with microphones are hugely popular and useful. These headsets are used on laptops to take advantage of free long-distance conversations. Headset microphones allow you to control your output. High-end headsets provide impressive sound quality and are ideal for the audiophile who wants to play their favorite tunes without disturbing others.

11. Cleaning Kits

Laptops get used everywhere, from offices to restaurants, and no matter how hard you try to keep them clean, they still get dirty. Dust inevitably gets absorbed into the fan and crumbs fall into the keyboard. Infrequent cleaning can lead to overheating and permanent damage to your laptop. To keep your laptop running smoothly, you need to clean it often.

The cleaning kit is thus an inevitable accessory for your laptop. It should include disposable cleaning cloths, a dust brush and a cleaning liquid. These are inexpensive and effective and a reliable way to keep your notebook clean.

12. Security Device

Traveling with a laptop can present significant risk of it getting stolen. Unfortunately, even if you guard your laptop, there’s no sure way to prevent someone from snatching it. Thankfully, security devices such as the cable lock and lockdown brackets are available in the market to secure your laptop. A portable laptop lock secures your laptop to desks or tables with a galvanized steel cable and combination lock.

13. Screen Protector

The laptop screen protector is a thin layer of plastic that cleans and protects the screen of your laptop. Its anti-glare matte coating reduces glare caused by sunlight and fluorescent lighting. This allows you to use your laptop indoors under bright office lights or outside a coffee shop with the sun shining directly on the screen. Additionally, glare reduction can help reduce the effects of eye strain caused by spending long hours in front of a laptop screen.

With these must-have accessories, using your laptop will be quite easier, comfortable and simpler!

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Apple releases a new iPhone every year and it always sends people into a buying frenzy. For most people the newest iPhone is a must have item but is it really worth upgrading your phone every year? Apple has been notorious for only doing a big update every two or three years leaving the phone in between to be almost the same as the previous year. Meanwhile you have to pay a huge upgrade fee and try to sell your old phone. Companies are now making it “better and easier” to upgrade your phone but is it really costing you more in the long run to upgrade?





Let's first look at what you actually get with a new smart phone. Going back as far as the iPhone 4 there has now been the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, and now the iPhone 5C and 5S. That is 4 years of phones just from Apple and people are still using the iPhone 4 to this day with zero problems. What you really get every year is very minimal in most cases, the iPhone 4S was a big deal because it had Siri but ever since then the changes have only been a faster processor, longer battery life and a better camera. Don't get me wrong I am a life time iPhone user but paying $600+ dollars for these minor features just doesn't seem worth it and some people are now using these upgrade plans that cell phone companies offer and it's costing them as much or more than some peoples car payments after a few years. Let's look at what upgrading to the latest smart phone for a marginally faster experience really ends up costing you.




att next iPhone plan



We'll start with AT&T the original and still largest carrier and seller of the iPhone. When Apple released the iPhone AT&T was the only company who carried it and since then has been unstoppable when it comes to iPhones. They realized everyone wants to upgrade their cell phone every year but it was still very expensive out of pocket. It use to be 2 years you'd have to wait for a full upgrade and somewhere around 12 months for a partial upgrade. This meant if you wanted the new iPhone every year you might be paying $200-400 out of pocket. Most people cannot afford this so they started the AT&T Next plan. They offer that you can upgrade to the newest smart phone every year with “no down payment, no upgrade fee, no activation fee and no finance charges”. They either offer a 12 month plan or an 18 moth plan which sounds like it'd be the perfect way to get a phone right? No more paying $200 up front you now just pay $20 or $30 dollars in sales tax. What they don't like to make so obvious is the fact they will add on the fee of $35 a month to your cell phone bill. If we do some simple math their 12 month plan is 18 simple payments right? That means if you upgrade after 12 months you still owe them 6 payments that you can either pay in full or roll over onto your next bill. 18 payments of $35 is $630, you have now payed two or three times what you would have if you didn't use their plan! Using AT&T Next plan will make you pay full price for an iPhone every single year and when you rollover the last 6 payments it will only get more expensive over time. Is upgrading to the newest phone really worth $630 a year with AT&T?




verizonedge iPhone plan



Let's look at Verizon next, they are one of the major carriers of the iPhone and offer an almost identical upgrade plan called Verizon Edge. They are a little more straight forward with their plan at least and offer it as a “Here’s how it works: Choose the phone you want and sign up for a service plan. The full retail price of the smartphone will be divided over 20 months”. In just shy of two years you will have paid the full retail price of your smart phone which for an iPhone 5S 32GB is $749.00, if you divide that by 20 months it adds a payment of $37.50 to your bill. If you had just signed a new two year contract you'd pay about $200 for the phone which has to be upfront, but it saves you over $500.






As you can imagine this holds true for every single cell phone carrier they all give you the same great deals on upgrade plans. They are counting on you to want the newest phone and pay their outrageous prices to keep up with the Jones. If you're really set on upgrading to the latest and greatest phone every year do it the smart way. If you plan to stay with your cell phone carrier which most people do, plan that every year you'll need $200-300 for the newest upgrade when resigning your two year contract. If you break that down over just 12 months instead of 18 with AT&T or 20 with Verizon you could save just $17 or $25 a month for a shorter period and still get the next years newest iPhone! It will save you $12 a month and hundreds of dollars every two years. At this point you can sell your old iPhone and even come out on top! When you do their trade in plan you don't get to keep your old phone, if you buy the phone you can sell it on eBay, craiglist or any of the online places to sell it and break even or come out on top buying a new iPhone! After looking at what upgrading to the newest iPhone will really cost you is it even worth upgrading your phone every year?

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Technology and Your Kid
As far as the children of today are concerned, the Internet has always been around. They are playing video games on it or using Skype to talk to far-off relatives or even doing their school projects. Children are being introduced to the Internet as early as kindergarten. They learn about their teacher’s website along with her name and do research for their projects on the computers in the school library. Learning how to use this technology that has become such an integral part of our lives is a necessary skill that needs to be taught, and moderated, to children today.

The Age of Internet

By 2011, six out of ten children from the ages three to 17 used the Internet at home, roughly 58%. Almost 83% had a computer at home. There has been a steady rise in the number of children with access to computers at home. It has risen from 15% in 1984 to 76% in 2003. Consequently the number of children using Internet at home has risen from 11% in 1997 to 58% in 2011. 36% of eight to eighteen year olds have access to a computer in their bedroom and as many as 33% have Internet access. The youth of today spends nearly an hour-and-a-half apart from schoolwork on the computer surfing various social media sites.

We are living in an age when the process of teaching and learning is being enhanced in ways previously thought impossible without technology. Schools are giving students their own devices to access information, participate in courses, do research and homework, as well as engage classmates. It can safely be said that schools, soon, will be wired for an improved learning and teaching experience. But these tools of technology are not the end, but a means to help the children learn the skills that will propel them towards careers benefiting society.

There are definitely implications to letting kids as young as 5 or 6 have access to such technology. Growing cases of cyber-bullying or child abuse online are but a few cases. Just as we guide kids about issues of safety, conduct, manners and decorum, we should also ensure that they know the protocol of online behaviour before they get online. Laws like the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) require schools to teach the children about online safety and responsibility.

What Can Parents Do

Talk to Your Child – Parents should take an active interest in what their child is doing on the computer or the Internet. Just like they want to know of their kids’ whereabouts and the company they keep, similar interest should be shown in learning of their online activities.

Talk about the Rules with Your Child – You and your child together should develop rules about acceptable and safe behaviour for all electronic media. Be it the television, the laptop, or the tablet.

Check out the Internet – Try and assess the pros and cons of the websites your child visits. Most online activities are beneficial and help young people with similar interests interact.

Talk to Other Parents – Talk to other parents about how they discuss technology and its uses with their children.

Connect with the School – Parents should work with their kid’s school and school district to help develop a class educating the parents about the ground rules on usage of equipment like laptops, computers, tablets etc. as well as policies on electronic aggression and the resources available to parents.

Educate Yourself – Stay updated about new devices and websites your child is using. Talk to your child regularly and explore the technology for yourself.

Set a Good Example – Children take their cues from parents. It is important that parents set the bar high in terms of use of technology.

Introduce Them to Safe Websites – The aim with exposing younger children to technology is to shield them from exposure to harmful content and set rules to keep their online enthusiasm within reasonable bounds. Take recommendations for such sites from teachers and other parents and look them up with your child.

Keep the Computer Visible – Making sure that the laptop or computer is in your vicinity and visible gives you more control over the online activities of your child. Set clear limits on the amount of time that can be spent by children on the computer.

Make It a Family Activity – Children love to take on a teaching role. If you are not savvy around technology ask your child to coach you, or show you what they have been up to online.

Set Downloading Rules – Warn the children against downloading anything without your permission. There are many programs and plug-ins that threaten the integrity of your system and are hugely popular on peer-to-peer networks used by teens.

Explain Online Shopping to Children – Avoid giving children the use of credit cards online, it is a gateway to financial disaster.

What Can Schools Do

Almost 70% of middle school students use laptops for learning, 66% use desktops and 47% use smart phones. These figures jump to 75%, 65% and 60% for high school students. This makes it imperative for schools to regulate the use of technology among kids.

Boost Parent Leadership – Begin discussions in the PTO or the PTA about safe and responsible online use by students at school and home. Form an advisory group which can determine where to get started or get an expert to help you out. There are many free and reputable sources available which help parent and teaching communities to keep a better check on the laptop/computer and Internet usage of kids.

Communicate with the Parents – If the school is starting with the use of computers in classrooms make it a part of an open-house or parent-teacher nights. This will help the parents get a better idea of what their children are being taught.

Be Clear with Parents on the Repercussions of Misuse of Technology – When parents sign the school’s Code of Conduct and Acceptable Use Policies (AUP), it makes them aware of what constitutes a transgression of the policy, how it will be handled and how it will reflect on your child’s record.

Be Creative in Your Efforts - Schools and parents should not limit their discussions to being safe and responsible with technology. The best aspect of these technologies is the amount of ease they offer in learning and teaching. Ways must be found to use these technologies with families and steps should be taken to encourage them to use it together for school-driven activities, events, fund-raisers, or other projects.

Embrace the Change

It is not surprising to find a pre-schooler who can barely tie his shoelaces, but as if by instinct, can operate the latest gadget that has come home. Technology can be intimidating for those who were introduced to it late in life. The most important point to keep in mind is this, the job of teaching kids how best to use technology can seem daunting as they seem to be so much better at it than us.

Always be willing to learn along with, or from, your child. Establish trust between yourselves to ensure they are always honest and forthright about their activities with you. There are some definite dangers to children using technology, just like there are dangers to children playing football or other outdoor sports. The most important thing to be kept in mind by both the parents and the teachers here is for what purpose is the technology being used.

Experts worried about how immersed kids are these days in interactive media point to studies linking heavy screen-time to obesity, short attention spans, inability to make real-world friends, dulled imagination, low academic performance and increased aggression. They also argue that digital technology robs kids of the hands-on creative play that is so essential for their development. On the other hand many experts and parents laud the fact that technology makes learning fun, and engages kids actively in exploring and trouble-shooting.

However, even experts who are skeptical about the growing use of technology among children agree with the importance and benefits that it presents. All said and done, learning how to live in this hi-tech world is an essential life-skill that children today require, and it is something for which they need to be carefully guided.

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If you've been looking to upgrade your businesses laptops there could be many good reasons to do so. If you look at it from purely the cost side then yes you'll think you're just spending money on new computers and losing money. When you look at it from a business side you'll realise it can actually make you a lot of money, you're paying your employees hourly so the longer a certain task takes them the less efficient they are. If you get them a newer and faster machine they can now get far more work done in their hours at work and potentially make you even more money. There are even ways to sell your old laptops so let us see how it can be profitable to sell a businesses' laptops or desktops.






How and Where to Save Money Buying New Computers




The first step might seem like the most obvious but you've got to buy new computers and you want to spend the least amount of money possible right? There are many options to look at and depending on how large your business is or how many you need there is no “right” choice. One option you can always consider is to buy used laptops, just like with cars, electronics lose their value very fast. So if you buy a year or two old model laptop it's value has already greatly dropped and you can now save a large amount of money upgrading. Used computers can be found in many places, Craigslist locally, local computer stores, or the best option being an online bidding site. Some companies sell their gently used models for a huge loss and it's the perfect way for you to save hundreds or thousands If you're set on getting a new laptop or desktop system you can still be a frugal shopper, looking at places online will get you the best deals and you can even check on sites like New Egg or Tiger Direct and find some very low prices on brand new technology. There is no simple answer for which option is best that's for you to decide, however don't think going down to Best Buy is your only option because that will typically be the most expensive way to do it.






Don't Forget About Your Old Laptops




Just because you no longer need your old computers doesn't mean they're worthless yet. Depending on how old they are and what condition they're in you can actually sell your old business or school computers. There are places online who will help you with the process and even pay for all of the shipping and handling. Making the entire process for you as easy as going to their website or making a short phone call it can now all be done online. Doing this can greatly offset the price of new laptops and the more often you do it the better it might be for your company. If you upgrade your laptops once every 4-5 years you will not only have to deal with slow old computers, but when you go to sell them their value will be considerably lower because technology moves so fast. If you want to know the secret to saving money and optimising your employees efficiency it is to sell your old and used laptops more frequently. This mean every 1-2 years you will get newer cutting edge laptops that perform tasks far quicker and make the entire office get more done in their day. It also means when you go to sell your laptops their value has dropped less and you will lose a far smaller percentage than you did by waiting longer. It really is beneficial to sell your businesses or schools laptops and desktops sooner than later because it drops so much every year. Technology is even worse than cars in their depreciation so the quicker you can sell them the better off you'll be.






Where to Sell Your Laptops at?




Now the biggest problem is where can you sell them safely and securely? Most companies are going to want their personal information erased whether it be bank information, customer information or just personal documents. This can be a big problem because most places don't offer any sort of safe business data removal or charge money for this service. The one I found who offers the highest level of data erasing security is Quick Laptop Cash, it might not sound important but a company who will go through every single computer and hard drive to ensure it has been erased is very important. If you want your companies information erased to government and military standards they use the exact same software and systems as the most top secret government institutions. If you've ever looked around at different companies most will actually charge you a fee to get data security at this level! Erasing hard drives and memory takes a very long time and the required hardware and software to do it are very expensive. If you want to not only dispose of your companies desktop and laptop computers but ensure that your personal and business information is safe you need to use a company like Quick Laptop Cash, it is where I went to sell my laptops online and I'd highly recommend them.






Now that you have upgraded to newer and more efficient computers, have sold your old unneeded technology, and have got a free data removal service that would normally cost thousands what is left to do? You now need to keep doing this same process every few years to keep your costs of upgrading low and get the most work out of your employees as possible. Too often do I hear them complain of slow or out dated laptops that can no longer keep up with their work. Don't pay your employees to sit around and stare at a loading bar sell your old business or school computers and get them a modern quick computer!

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How Well do they Fix Your Computer Issues?



You've most likely heard of these programs by now, whether it was a TV commercial or a friend who tried them. If so you hopefully know to stay far away from them because they will not do anything positive for your computer. They advertise claims of “we'll speed up your computer to be faster than new” and “we will solve all your computers issues”. They are not going to clean anything up and they actually install more stuff onto your computer that slows it down. Let us take a look at a few of the popular ones and what they claim they can do to speed up or fix your laptop or desktop. They end up working more like a virus than anything and should never be used.








Programs to Never Install on Your Laptop



One of the more popular ones is AVG PC Tune Up, they claim it will boost your computers speed but if you Google some of the reviews you will quickly see you should never even run their free trial. After the 24 hour period is up you can expect your computer to run at speeds FAR worse than you've ever seen before. They will then show you endless ways to “click here” and purchase the full version that will make your computer run faster again. There will be messaged like “we found 48 errors and can fix them for the low price of $xx.xx”. If you spend anytime looking into this one the reviews alone should scare you away from ever wanting to touch it, the most common review said they had to have their operating system professionally reinstalled to even get their computer to boot again.





The other popular one is a Registry Cleaner software and there are many of them out there. These have been proven time and time again to do absolutely nothing good and actually slow down your laptop or desktop too. They are supposed to clean or wipe the files left behind from deleted programs and other saved items. This in turn is supposed to make your PC be able to access information faster because it won't have to look through these items but the truth is unless you have an incredibly slow hard drive or too little ram your computer should never experience problems because of this. What these programs typically do is install bloatware along with the actual Registry Cleaner, when you're not paying attention to the install screen it will have add on programs also known as bloatware that get installed and cause horrible problems for your computer like pop ups, internet not working, and in some cases the computer won't even boot up. NEVER install a registry cleaner whether it's from a random company or a well known one.




 PC Tune Up Problems



What to do if You Want to Speed Up Your PC Computer



Now that you know these fake programs do nothing to speed up or clean your computer you might be wondering how you can actually speed it up. There are some simple, safe and FREE steps you can take to speed up your computer.


  1. The first step is to get rid of all of those programs you downloaded looking for the quick and easy fix. They're slowing down your computer and actual contain malware that will harm your computer in more ways than just slowing it down. You can try a program to search for malware but you should be warned they don't work too well either.

    The best way is to go into your computers control panel, and then go to uninstall a program so you can get these malicious programs out of your hard drive. The easiest way to do it is to organize the programs by their install date. Chances are it is one of the most recently installed programs if it has started causing enough problems to try finding it. Once in there you can go through and see every programs name, publisher, install date, and file size. The program name and publisher should be all you need to decide if it was something you installed or something vital to the PC operating. If you're doubtful on who the publisher is or if you actually installed it do a simple Google search. Putting in the program name and publisher will instantly give you a ton of reviews from people with the same problems. If it says the publisher is Microsoft Corporation you probably don't want to mess with it, when the publisher is Bills Spyware Safety that would be a good place to start at, chances are it is not a program you need or want. Left click on it the program name and then right click. You'll see “Uninstall” come up and you can now get rid of that pesky malware program.

    Do this through your entire program list and your computer will be much better off. Some will make you restart of might even tell you they cannot be uninstalled. If this happens you have now found a really bad program or something vital to your computers functionality. Do a little research and be sure it is not needed, then simple read how to get rid of it because PC techs will gladly share their knowledge online of how to beat these malware viruses. If all else fails take it in to a professional who can make sure it is properly removed.

  1. Another thing that Microsoft Windows 7/8 and Vista has is Aero. The technology they call aero is for esthetic purposes and is just there to make the operating system work and look more stylish. This takes a toll on your ram and processor though because they must dedicate some resources to them, I'd turn these off if you're finding your machine to have speed problems. It won't be a big difference but if you're looking to speed up your computer it will certainly help.

  1. Do less multitasking if your PC is having speed problems. Depending on the task(s) at hand and how new or fast your computer is will play a huge roll in how fast certain things will run. If you're trying to stream music, browse the internet and burn a Blu-ray DVD at the same time you might have problems on an older laptop or desktop. Lots of people think their computer is running slow when it's actually just their internet, if all of the things you're trying to do are online or you have 10 windows open on your browser you might not have fast enough internet to keep up. Keeping an eye on your multi tasking and internet speeds can be a big cause of what seems like an old or slow machine. Try to change your computer habits and focus on one task at a time to see if that helps.




computer tune up 



Speed Issues can be Hardware Related

If after doing all of this you're still seeing speed issues you might have larger problems like something wrong with your hardware. Laptop hard drives are the most prone to fail item on modern laptops or desktops because they have a ton of moving parts. You often won't know they're about to fail but sometimes your computer might give you a warning. If you see this your computer will likely be running slow and is probably about to fail. Either back up your information or take it to a computer repair store so they can safely transfer your information or attempt to fix it. The hard drive failing will slow everything down and possible stop it from booting without warning. If you don't think it is hardware related try those 3 tips for speeding up your PC and avoid buying useless programs!

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Don't Let Your Laptop Slow You down at Airport Security

Flying, for many, is a feat of fortitude. It is not only about spending long hours in the air, but also the amount of time usually spent at the terminal. Waiting to check-in can often be longer than expected, but even worse than that is to encounter an unmoving line at security.

Facing the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is one of the most frustrating aspects of air travel for most people. Tales of privacy violation and long-drawn searches are shared often on the Web, this and the snail-paced lines during the holiday season suddenly makes airport security a nightmare.

One of the biggest fears of any flyer is to lose their laptop in the checked baggage. This is why it is usually preferred to take it along onboard with the carry-on luggage. But even then, if not packed correctly, it can cause you a delay during the security check.

Below are a few steps you can follow to ensure that you and your laptop breeze through airport security:

Pack Smartly

It is always advisable to learn the rules of airport security beforehand. Make sure that the intended checked baggage is properly packed with no loose cords or metal containers. If not, be prepared to get pulled up.

The carry-on baggage is the luggage you are allowed to take onboard the airplane. You can carry one personal item like a laptop, a purse, a small backpack or a camera case, over and above one carry-on. There are a few things you should keep in mind so that your checked luggage and carry-on luggage, which usually includes your laptop, makes the flight with you.

 - If there is film in your checked baggage, be ready, the screening equipment will damage it. Keep all undeveloped film and cameras in your carry-on baggage

 - Putting your personal belongings in clear plastic bags will make it less probable that the TSA screener will have to handle them

 - Do not keep wires and cords in a jumble; pack them cleanly with minimum possible looping

 - Get a backpack with a lot of pockets for the journey. If you want to take a purse make sure it fits inside the backpack

 - Don’t stack piles of books or documents on top of each other

 - Make your belongings easily visible to hasten the process

 - Do not pack or bring prohibited items to the airport

 - Check ahead of time with your agent or airline to determine the baggage policy, including the limitations on the
number of pieces, size and weight

 - Carry-on baggage always follows the 1+1 rule, one bag and one personal item

 - Keep identification tags on all your bags with your name, phone number and address. This includes your laptop

 - Avoid overpacking, especially around your laptop. Not only will it cause spillage when opened for checks, it may even cause the airport security to pull you out due to difficulty in screening

 - If you are carrying any wrapped electronic equipment or anything gift-wrapped be prepared for it to be opened for inspection

Prepare Your Laptop for the Trip

TSA requires an unobstructed view of your hardware in order to make sure your computer hasn’t been tampered with. However, juggling various items like shoes, jacket, ID and tickets, makes it difficult to keep a track of things. Add a fragile and difficult-to-handle laptop in the mix, and you can find yourself in complete disarray by the time you reach the scanner.

Be prepared to prove that the laptop is yours. US Customs officials may charge you a duty fee to bring your laptop into the country, unless you prove it has been purchased in the United States. Keep it handy when standing in line.

If asked to turn on your laptop to prove it is a working computer, which may mean time to boot up, be prepared. Turn on your laptop before you get in line and put it in sleep mode.

Trying to save time by packing your laptop with your checked luggage is a no-no. The chances of theft are high for any valuable packed in the checked luggage. Carry the laptop with you and make sure some part of your body is touching it at all times.

If a traveler fails to answer the questions posed or follow security guidelines, airport security has the right to confiscate the laptop. In case of multiple laptops being passed through security, you should put your name and address on them. Don’t run your laptop through anything other than the airport security x-ray machines. Keep it away from other screening equipment and request that it be physically inspected instead. Make sure your laptop is prepped and ready before your journey.

TSA Approved Laptop Bags

To save on time, and the annoyance of having to take out your laptop in transit, try and get yourself a TSA-approved laptop bag. You can choose from three different patterns: Butterfly, Trifold, and Sleeve. These allow the x-ray machine a clear view of your computer as it rolls along on the conveyor belt.

People carrying laptop bags that are not checkpoint-friendly must remove the laptop from the bag. When you place the laptop in the scanning bin to pass through the x-ray machine make sure there are no other hard objects in it that could damage the laptop.

Some of the things to look for when selecting a checkpoint-friendly bag:

 - Make sure your bag has a designated laptop-only section to lay it out flat on the x-ray belt

 - There should be no metal snaps, zippers or buckles inside, underneath or on-top of the laptop-only section

 - The laptop-only section should have no pockets inside or outside

 - There should be nothing in the laptop compartment other than the laptop

 - Make sure that your bag can be unfolded so that there is nothing above or below the laptop-only section

There is no guarantee, even after purchasing one of these bags, that you can leave your laptop in your bag for screening. If it is found that the bag does not provide a clear and distinct image of the laptop, it will be screened separately. There are options for laptop bags available in the market that present a clear x-ray image but most current laptop bags will not do so.

What Stays in and What Does Not

Any laptop 12x14’ or larger has to come out of the bag. Not every laptop coming through is measured, but those are the general dimensions that are considered to be standard size. But remember, if you choose to leave your small laptop in the bag and it is not visible clearly on the x-ray, it will have to come out.

Usually equipment like tablet computers, netbooks, and e-readers are less dense than a typical laptop and are easier for x-ray operators to inspect. However, larger laptops and game consoles appear denser and need to be removed in order for the x-ray operator to get a look. But once again, if the officer can’t get a good look at your bag, or if they see something out of the ordinary, they will have to remove it.

A lot can be hidden inside a laptop. Items have often been found concealed in the body or circuitry of laptops, this makes it imperative for security officials to take a good look at them. Having only three seconds to make a call in order to keep the lines moving, the more visible you keep your laptop the faster the process will go.

Wear a Smile

It may not be your favourite part about traveling but security checks and security officials at airports have a very important job to do. Venting your frustration at them is a sure-fire way to slow yourself down. The TSA agents deal with scores of grumpy travelers every day. But if you keep your cool, cooperate and wear a smile the procedure will be pleasant for you and everyone around.

So the next time you go through airport security keep in mind the points above if you’re carrying your laptop, tablet, gaming console or other devices. Make sure that you cooperate with the officials and have the documents and equipment handy for speedy checks.

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It has been talked about a million times but there are still people converting from one to the other or they might actually need to use both. For this reason there are always people looking at the newest Macbooks or iMacs and people looking to build a new top of the line custom PC. It really comes down to what you'll be using it for and this guide should help you make the right choice because it's never the same for any two people. Each platform has its strengths and weaknesses so let's see which ones work best for you.






What to Look for in a New Laptop or Desktop





1) What are you going to use it for?

This is the most important question, while either of the platforms will be able to handle your easy daily tasks such as internet browsing, email, and multimedia there are some specific tasks that certain ones will really excel in.





If you're trying to play video games the long time running leader is still a PC and it's typically a custom built one. This is because you can keep your computer updated to have the latest cutting edge hardware very easily that will allow you to play the huge list of PC games out there. While most games are made to be compatible with both platforms now there is still a large list that is PC specific. On top of that there is no native support for DirectX on the Mac OS or Linux, you will need this for most newer games and while it can be made to work for a Mac, the Windows PC is the best option here by far.





If School or work is your main focus chances are you'll be using Microsoft Office Suite. While there are plenty of other options it still continues to be the norm in work and school environments. It is compatible on both platforms so you shouldn't have a problem getting it to work with either and you can even use the free versions out there like Open Office if you're wanting to save some money. The only thing that might sway your vote here is if you need to use a specific program for work, depending on your line of work most still prefer a Windows laptop or desktop but some creative arts jobs might require an Apple computer. With an Apple computers you can always just run Boot Camp, Parallels or any of the other options out there which allow your Mac to either turn on like a Windows computer or open a window that runs like the Windows operating system. This is where you want to make sure you know exactly what you'll be doing with your computer to avoid any Windows vs Mac compatibility issues you might run into on either platform.



 Apple Macbook Pro vs Windows 8 Toshiba




2) What are the Limitations to the System that you Choose?





If you decide to go with a laptop or desktop it doesn't matter if you're looking at an Apple Macbook or Windows 7/8 computer they're all going to be limited by their processor and video card (if it has one). This means don't buy a laptop expecting to upgrade it later as they're set in stone and not able to be switched out like a desktop.





If you decide to go Apple you no doubt know they're well known for their multimedia capabilities whether it be photos, video editing, music production and much more. However they're being caught up to quickly by PC brands and the software they offer is what makes Apple one of the most popular brands still. The all in one approach they take to your entire computer experience is what really sets an Apple apart from everything else. From the moment you buy the laptop to when you get rid of it they're there to help along the way. With new Apple stores popping up all over the country chances are you have one close to you. Their laptops are constantly rated to be some of the highest in reliability and customer satisfaction. This is because they offer amazing customer support that is actually based here in the United States as well as having their laptops all assembled and the parts produced by them. Most Windows computer companies will use the cheapest parts they can find to keep costs down but Apple uses their parts, their operating system and stands behind it all. This all of course comes at a much higher cost then a Windows option.





Say a Windows laptop or computer is more your style, you'll have endless options from the multiple companies out there who produce business and main stream models, to the less know brands who make niche computers for gaming, multimedia uses, and everything in between. If you still can't find what you're looking for you can always just go ahead and build your own from scratch! The Windows operating system allows you to create as simple or wild a machine as you'd like, this is where it has Apple desktops beat because you can always upgrade their hardware to the newest cutting edge stuff. They are also quite a bit less expensive especially when you look at higher end iMacs or Apple desktops capable of costing over $3,000 with only a few simple upgrades.


Windows 7 or 8 and Apple OSX desktop compatibility 



Wrapping up the Differences of Apple vs Windows

There is far too much to cover about their differences but those are some of the main ones regarding price, functionality, and what meets a users needs. The best thing to do is talk to people you work with and see what works best for them, if they're all using Apples chances are it works best in that scenario, if your work ONLY lets you use a Windows PC then it might not even be a choice for you to make. Most places will have them out on display and Best Buy is the only retail store that sells both. You can go in and test out both of them to see which one you like more. Some people absolutely love the Apple all in one track pad while others cannot stand it. In the end it will come down to which one works best for you so go try them out first hand.

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9 Gifts the Geek in Your Life Will LoveConnoisseurs of technology have a different standard of gifting than any old regular Joe. You cannot imagine them to be happy with just another iPad mini or whatever latest Kindle version you could find online. Gadget hounds cherish technology like art. Some of the amazing gadgetry coming out today is nothing less than art. But it can be difficult to wade and trudge through the never-ending stream of gear and find something that truly stands out. Be it a brother, father, boyfriend, wife, sister or mother, there is a ton of interesting gadgetry out there.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic – For any photo enthusiast already at pro-level with DSLR and its assorted lenses, the next best thing is usually an instant film camera. It is alright if you think that these analog models had completely disappeared from the market with the rise of digital cameras and smartphones. But Fujifilm has been making a line of similar Polaroid-like instant cameras with a styling that is both retro and sleek. With a film size roughly an area of 3.25 x 2 inches, it is not as big as the typical polaroid print but makes for perfect memento-sized pictures that can fit in a jacket or a purse.

Its manual control over brightness, a bulb mode and double exposure setting offer enough wriggle-room for enthusiasts to get really creative with this camera. This is a great camera for travelers, the fact that it looks like a toy camera also helps put people at ease. You can get up to 10 exposures before you have to load another cassette into the camera.Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic

Mohu Curve Indoor HDTV Antenna – It is true, you can vastly improve the video quality of broadcast on TV channels and bypass your cable box while at it. All major broadcast networks have been streaming free uncompressed HD signals since 2009, all you need to receive them is antenna. With the technology today having come a long way from the rabbit ears of yore, antennas too have gotten much better in performance, and style.

Many indoor antennas are about the size, and bear the appearance, of a plastic placemat for the dining table. For the best reception you need to hang them in a window or on your wall near the ceiling. They work well, but usually do nothing good for your décor. The Mohu Curve Indoor HDTV Antenna on the other hand looks almost like a simple sculpture.

Set on the table it looks as if it was always meant to be there. The Curve 30 has a 30-mile reception range and the Curve 50, a 50-mile reception. It connects to your TV with the same type of coaxial cable that your cable box uses. It comes with a ten-foot cable, but you may have to experiment with the placement for the best reception.

Chromecast – Weighing in at about 34 grams this 72 x 35 x 12 is one of the smallest and handiest dongles in the market. Once plugged in the back of a television set, there is almost no indication that it is a part of your home theatre setup.

Unlike other streaming devices, Google’s Chromecast doesn’t come with a remote control, or for that matter, any onboard applications or content.

Setting up the device or watching a video from your personal media collection or even browsing YouTube is done through the use of apps on your Android phone or tablet, iOS device or via Google’s Chrome browser on a Chrome OS, Windows or Mac PC.

The setup is an absolute ease with the Chromecast. Just power the device and plug it into an available television HDMI port and follow the prompts. It will walk you through the process of connecting it to a Wi-Fi network, pairing with your choice of source device and downloading any available firmware updates. At its low cost and user-friendliness it is the perfect gift for a travelling geek. ChromecastPebble – One of Kickstarter’s most successful crowdfunding projects, Pebble was one of the first to break into the smartwatch market. But contrary to popular perception it is not a smartphone for your wrist. It reads out basic text, lets you skip through your music and of course displays the time. You will need a smartphone and an accompanying app to get started.

It feels comfortable on the wrist, is relatively lightweight and the smooth edges keep their distance from the skin. It is solid enough for regular use and with its waterproofing down to 50 meters it can stay with you in the pool or under the shower.

The secret to its weeklong battery life and daylight readability is a technology similar to an e-paper display. The 114x168 black-and-white screen has nearly 20,000 pixels. It lets you view emails and time readout in various fonts, along with watch faces and other indicators.

Pebble’s two apps, one for Android 2.3 and the other for Apple devices running on iOS 5 or later, enable everything from initial setup to push notifications. There have been various other smartwatches that have been launched since and it would be a good idea to check them out as well.

Logitech Powershell – One of the best designed gaming controllers for the iPhone so far, the Logitech Powershell is solid with a rubbery finish making it comfortable to hold. It is sturdy and compact enough to be stored loosely in a bag or pocket.

The Powershell slots directly into the iPhone without having to pull the controller apart to fit it. The phone retains all of its independent functions and the headphone jack and lock buttons remain attainable so that users can listen to music and lock their phones at all times.

Unlike other controllers it has an analog D-pad instead of analog sticks. It registers both the direction you are pressing it and the force with which you are pressing it.

Peachy Printer – 3D printing has become one of the biggest leaps technology has taken in the new millennium. But for most, the idea of owning a 3D printer is as good as a mirage. However, thanks to crowdfunding and a bunch of enthusiastic people, we can now buy affordable versions of 3D printers.

Boasting of a price under $100, Peachy Printer is set to revolutionize the world of home printing. It provides a minimum wall thickness of 0.2 mm and its speed is dependent on the complexity of the project.

It has no certain build limit, but the amount of time taken to print will depend on the complexity of the project. It is entirely feasible that one day Peachy Printer may even print you a house, but doing that may take years. The printer uses resin and the company is in the process of figuring out a high-performance low-cost resin especially for the Peachy Printer.

Panono Panoramic Ball Camera – This is a shutterbug’s delight. Fitted with 36 cameras, all you need to do to get those difficult panoramic shots is throw the ball in the air, not too high though.

One quick toss will capture everything in every direction into a high resolution 360 degree x 360 degree full-spherical panoramic image. Not to be afraid if you do not catch the Panono when it comes down; it’s tough external casing protects the cameras inside. It is lightly resistant to rain, and if the camera rotates too much when you throw it up it will not register an image.

Mophie Space Pack – Consider this a three-in-one device, providing a case, a charger and a storage provider. Despite adding a little bulk to your iPhone 5/5s, it is a great asset that helps compliment the iPhone 5’s insufficient amount of built-in storage. It is perfect for on the go users who are constantly on the move without access to power sources or backup memory.

Nest Learning Thermostat – In 2012 the Internet expanded to include more IP addresses. Machine-to-machine technology, or the Internet of things, is set to connect billions of electronics around the world. This thermostat gives you control of how low you want to keep the heat and helps lower your bills. It lets you control the heat from anywhere in your home from your smartphone. It also has humidity sensors, temperature sensors and a Wi-Fi radio! It definitely puts the old thermostats to shame.

There are a lot of gift options to present to your tech-loving friend. So do not be daunted by the amount of new gadgetry that comes your way and find what the gadget-freak in your life would love.

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Does your battery not last as long as it use to? Can it only hold a fraction of the charge it use to even though it says you're at 100%? If so it's probably time to start looking into replacing your laptops battery.

There are many reasons why your laptop battery starts to fail quicker but the main reason is age. A laptop battery is doomed from the start as their useable life starts diminishing from the day you buy it. All new laptop batteries and most old ones are of the lithium-ion type and it has been the standard for many years. These batteries are here to stay for awhile and I wouldn't expect any major improvements or upgrades to come out anytime soon. If you've hit the point of needing a new battery before you make the purchase here are a few reasons why these batteries fail.




All Batteries Fail in Time

It's the one thing you cannot prevent from happening to your laptop battery. Eventually it will get old just like the laptop and need to be replaced or recycled for a newer one. Manufactures say their batteries are typically good for about 400 charging cycles. This might not sound like a lot but should last you about 1-2 years before you see it's life start to diminish. This might mean instead of 3-4 hours of like you'll get just one or two at best. These are the early warning signs of a failing battery.

There is sadly no way to “restore” a dead laptop battery. You might read that some people try to completely deplete it and recharge the battery a few times in a row. It might sound like a good idea but this is not going to work and you should save the time trying this to find a better deal online for a new one!







How to Extend or Save Your Current Battery

Luckily there are some steps you can take to keep your battery working longer so you can save the money you'd waste on a new battery, and after you see the price you'll want to save that money. Lots of people use their laptop as a desktop replacement, and that means it's always on a desk, couch, etc. and actually doesn't even use the battery. If you always have it plugged into the AC wall adapter this is great for computing power but horrible for battery life. This constant draining and charging of your laptop battery is actually making it's short life even shorter. Like we said earlier a laptop batteries life is determined by the number of charge cycles it will go through, so save it some cycles and just unplug it. With your laptop plugged into the wall it will have zero negative affects on your computing experience and might even improve it!

The other problem with leaving the battery in your laptop while you're running off the wall power is the extra heat. I am sure you have noticed after it's been on your lap for awhile there is a great deal of heat being let off by these little laptops. Keeping the battery unplugged when not needed will keep it from getting hot which is the other big reason a battery will hold a smaller charge. Keep your battery cool at room temperature and don't needlessly cycle it through charging and you'll save a lot of time in the long run.




When the Time Comes to Buy a New One

Once you've tried everything possible to keep that old battery going you will eventually need to buy a new one if you're set on using your laptop away from AC power.

There are many ways you can go about this but I'd recommend looking online because you will find the best deal there. Going through the manufacture is a great way to get an OEM battery but they are not cheap, some batteries are going to cost close to $300! If this is not worth it for you then I'd say to start looking into places like Amazon or eBay. They will sell OEM or used OEM batteries at a fraction of the price you can buy a new one for.

If you're not looking for an OEM battery there are plenty of good options out there. I'd still heavily worn you to not buy the cheapest battery because they will not last. There is a saying you get what you pay for and those are just a cheap plastics shell around some AA batteries, these will wear out quick, hold a very short charger and can even possibly damage your laptop. Saving money is important but don't even look at these options unless you want to run into some battery or laptop trouble.   

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