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”.
People often ask what might be broken if their computer does nothing. It’s a long list, and I’ll look at some possibilities.
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.
Steps you can take when your computer locks up.
Turning your computer off at night might be appropriate. But is it saving energy? It’s hard to say.
Several components in your computer use power and generate heat in proportion to how they’re used. I’ll review the two biggies.
Choosing a computer for a loved one can be very difficult. I’ll review a few areas to consider when purchasing a computer as a gift.
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 steps you should take right after unboxing your new computer will save time, frustration, effort, and data loss later.
CPU speed doesn’t matter quite as much as it once did. I’ll discuss why, and what you should also be looking at.
The term “server” is used a lot in many contexts, but it’s really just a computer.
My laptop died. Here’s the process I went through to resurrect it.
Leaving a laptop running all the time boils down to two things: your convenience and a decision.
Repair or replace can be a difficult decision. I’ll review a few factors to consider when deciding.
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.
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 you determine the cause and cool down your machine. It might be easier than you think.
Malware can do anything, but malicious hardware can do even more.
I recently updated my wife’s computer again. This was unexpected, but the process reinforced a couple of important lessons.
Rebooting your computer “every so often” is less necessary these days than it once was, but the point is often moot.
Files accumulating on your machine can result in increased computer clutter, decreased performance, and even less stability.
My Computer Does Nothing When Turned On; How Do I Fix It? Something to Look at, and Something to Listen To
A computer that does nothing when you turn it on can be very difficult to diagnose. Spinning disks and blinking lights don’t mean as much as you might think.
While I don’t recommend third-party driver update tools, the tools provided by your computer’s manufacturer are a different story.
This is a question I generally avoid answering, but I will anyway. The problem is I can’t really tell you what to purchase, since your needs are undoubtedly different than mine.
When I’m given an old computer, there are a few things I do for the safety of the original owners, myself, and the planet.
Chromebooks can be a viable alternative for those who do most of their computing online and are looking for a simpler, perhaps more stable, yet powerful device.
A BIOS password provides a surprising amount of security on a computer — so much that if the password is lost, chances for recovery are slim.
My new machine was ready! I’ll show you where it came from, and the laundry list of things I did first.
Recovery from an unbootable machine isn’t as daunting as it sounds… with a little preparation.
Looking carefully at how I use my computer, and with help from my chosen manufacturer, I’ve configured my new desktop machine.
A year ago, I replaced two laptops and a desktop with a single laptop. It’s time to evaluate the results.
There are several options to extend the life of an older machine, depending on its capabilities.
My wife’s computer was struggling and it was time to replace it. After evaluating her usage, her willingness to make a change or two, and my own experience, I made a decision that might surprise some.
Here are five common options to speed up and extend the life of an older computer.
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.
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.
Airflow through your computer is an important part of keeping it cool and running well. Dust and dirt often block fans.
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.