Articles in Category: Computers and Computer Systems
Computers themselves, from the motherboard to the CPU to the RAM and other components that comprise “the system”.
While the ratio of PCs to mobile devices may change over time, I believe PCs will not be going away any time soon. They’re just too darned useful.
It’s easy to feel cursed if computer after computer you deal with has problems. It’s often not you at all.
There are several options to extend the life of an older machine, depending on its capabilities.
Malware can do anything, but malicious hardware can do even more.
I decided my new laptop needed more RAM. I’ll walk you through the replacement process.
My new machine is in service. Here’s what I installed, how it’s performing, and how at least one aspect failed.
My new machine is backed up, so the first thing after Windows setup is to update, update, and update again.
How I resolved a classic chicken-and-egg dilemma: I have to turn the machine on to back it up, but I want to back it up prior to turning it on.
I’ve reviewed my needs, so now it’s time to translate those into specific decisions about what to purchase.
The most important information you need when selecting a new computer is understanding exactly what you plan to do with it. I’ll review my needs.
It’s time for me to buy a new computer, and I’m taking you along for the ride.
Your system BIOS is software, but updating it regularly may not be appropriate. Updating it to fix a bug, of course, would be.
Taking a few steps immediately after you unbox your new computer can save you a lot of time, effort, and data loss later.
Depending on your usage, turning your computer off at night might be appropriate. But is it actually saving energy? In the long run, it’s hard to say.
Airflow through your computer is an important part of keeping it cool and running well. Dust and dirt often block fans.
Using your computer’s Power button improperly, or pulling the plug, can lead to serious data loss. I’ll look at the right way to turn your computer off.
Leaving a laptop running all the time boils down to two things: your convenience and a decision.
I tested a Google Chromebook. On a business trip, can I do every task I need to do, where I need to do it, without major inconvenience?
It’s not difficult to gain access to a used computer without knowing the password. You just don’t want to.
Processors are generally available with what are called “multiple cores”. We’ll look at what that means, and how you might select which is right for you.
Intel’s Core i3, i5, and i7 processors present a headache-inducing combination of characteristics. I’ll look at what matters and then dig a little deeper.
Multi-core processors add an additional layer of complexity to software design. Occasionally that can manifest as only 25% of the CPU being used.
A new computer is a major purchase, and knowing what to get isn’t easy. I continue my review of some of the important qualities to think about when purchasing.
After deciding on what kind of computer they want, many people ask for recommendations for specific computer brands. That, too, is a tough question to answer.
A new computer is a major purchase and knowing what kind to get isn’t easy. I’ll review some of the important things to think about when deciding, starting with the type of device you’ll want.
Computers are being sold without recovery media fairly often. That can create difficulties if you run into major problems.
You may not need a computer… but don’t think that moving to a tablet is going to be the end to all hassles.
The difference between the various types of things we might call “memory” is a fundamental concept that’s often confused. I’ll review the basics.
Blue screen on shutdown could be indicative of an issue with either hardware or software. We’ll walk through some steps you can take to deduce the problem.
When it comes to things like memory and RAM, more is always better. But you may not need additional RAM just yet.
Advertisements popping up on a new computer bring several things to mind, including what many call “crapware.”
Setting a budget for a new computer is a fine idea, but it’s best to dive in a little deeper and determine your processing and memory needs before you go shopping.
Replacing your computer’s CPU will depend on your motherboard. But there is actually another option to get more speed.
Upgrading a computer can be a lot of work, is going to cost some money, and depends on your needs. I’ll show you where to start.
A fan running at high speed means one thing: heat! The question is, how do you determine the cause and cool down your machine. It might be easier than you think.
There are many reasons a computer might get stuck continually rebooting. Fortunately there’s no need to lose data. You have several ways to get your data off there and with a little bit of luck you may get you a working system again as well.
You plug a new monitor into a laptop with a broken screen and still can’t see anything! You may need to tap a few magic keystrokes to turn it on.
The Microsoft Surface Pro – a complete PC in tablet form – intrigued me. I’ve been using it now for two months. These are my thoughts.
Diagnosing a computer that won’t boot can be very difficult. In particular, spinning disks and blinking lights don’t mean as much as you might think.
Spilling liquid into your laptop or keyboard can cause serious damage. The first step is to dry it thoroughly, and we’ll look at one possible solution.
Replacing a computer’s CMOS battery isn’t difficult, but since CMOS batteries last so long it’s often not even necessary.
The default configuration for most Windows laptops is to go into standby when the lid is closed. We’ll look at how to change that.
With very few clues folks often ask what might be broken if their computer does nothing. It’s a long list, and I’ll look at some possibilities.
When setting up a ‘headless’ machine, you may need to change the BIOS setting to allow it to boot without a keyboard.
Virtual memory is conceptually somewhere between RAM and hard disk space; it’s disk space used to maximize the amount of RAM available to programs.
The term “server” is used a lot in many contexts, but it’s really just a computer; quite often, it’s one that isn’t all that special.