Category: Technology

Computer Overheating

If you have an unused fan port of any size, from 40mm to 120mm, you can install a fan. This is easy to do. They’re mounted with just 4 screws, and can be attached by a standard Molex plug by means of a 3 to 4 pin adapter. The adapter will almost always be included with the fan. Perhaps the best thing of all about these fans is their price. They cost about $5 for an 80mm, and around $10 for a 120mm.

If you don’t have a fan port, and don’t want to go to the trouble of case modification to make one, there is still a fan you can use. It’s a turbine fan, that mounts in a PCI slot. They’re thin, only the width of a slot, and somewhat disk shaped. Despite their small size, they can pull more air out of a PC than a regular 80mm fan. They can be attached to a Molex plug, and cost about $10.

Another way to attack the problem of airflow is to remove obstructions in the case. One place to start is with the IDE cables. Often called “ribbon cables” these connect your hard drive and CD/DVD to the motherboard. They can also block air to these components, allowing heat to pool. Ribbon cables can now be replaced with rounded ATA cables, which take up less space, allow air to circulate, and are much less susceptible to damage. They cost $5 each.

Decide On A Printer

Usually the big deciding factor on what kind of printer you are going to end up with is the price. Good inkjet printers can be had for one hundred dollars especially if you are not interested in printing in color. If you are intending to print photographs however then you have to start looking for a high quality bubble inkjet printer in the two hundred to three hundred dollar ranges. If you want to find an all in one printer that can do it all or a high quality laser printer then you can expect to pay three hundred dollars or more for the unit.

The absolute cheapest option for what you get are the inkjet printers and you can get one for fewer than fifty bucks by shopping on the Internet. These cheaper printers are slower and only print about ten pages a minute and have a reasonably high resolution of 1200 dpi resolution (dpi means drops per inch.)

The best inkjet printers that have the best value when it comes replacing the cartridges will be the ones that come with two cartridges – one unit for color and another for black and white. If there is only one cartridge you almost always end up using up all of the black ink and throwing out a lot of perfectly usable color ink. Color ink is considerably more expensive than black, so using a combination of colors rather than black ink to print out documents will also add to the cost of the use of your printer. Keep in mind too that the cheaper; the printer is the more ink it will probably eat up as it processes tasks.

If you are willing to spend more than a hundred dollars on a printer your options open up considerably. Printers are available at higher printing speeds and are able to print on different types of appear such as envelopes or business card stationery.

Sometimes if you are a savvy shopper, especially on the Internet you can find black and white laser printers for about a hundred dollars. These are best for people who print in bulk and don’t need to print out in color.

If you are willing to spend between $200 and $400 on a printer then you can get a very high quality inkjet printer that will print excellent quality graphics and photographs at a very fast speed. This price will also buy you a low-end color laser printer. A good quality one will print out between ten and twenty-five pages a minute. Any less pages printed out per minute and the laser printer is not a bargain for the price!

Video Conversion

DVD players are taking the place of VHS players. The old video machine we are familiar with is becoming redundant in the face of the DVD player. This means that DVD’s are generally replacing videos. Certainly, there are a number of beneficial factors for DVD’s over VHS tapes. To name a few, these include longevity, hardiness, storability and picture quality. This means that Video tapes do not last as long as the DVD disk, they are more durable when compared with video tapes, they are smaller and easier to store, and finally, the quality of your DVD picture can be better than that of the VHS tape.

Thanks to modern technology, your old video tape can be digitally re-mastered, and edited to improve the end result and viewing appreciation. This means that the overall effect, and the degree to which you enjoy your movie, can be improved when converting your old VHS video to DVD. So, if you think video conversion would be beneficial to you, consider the following as your options.

You can choose to make the conversion yourself, by using bought software or hardware, all available from your computer shop. In these cases you should conduct research to ensure that you get the correct converting equipment to give you a good result. This can be the more complicated, and sometimes, if you cant get good advice, the more costly route to take. The other option for your video conversion is to use a reputable video conversion company.

A few companies specialize in video conversion to DVD. These companies offer the expert, professional video conversion services to provide you with an impressive and often improved end result. These professionals also offer a number of different services, all related to video conversion. These include video archiving, all format conversions, corporate DVD authoring, video to flash, video for web and High Definition Digital Video.

Therefore, these professionals offer services and provide the necessary skills that digitally re-master any video recording that you may want to preserve. They will convert your movies to any format you may require. Why not take the easy route for video conversion to DVD, by using a company that can improve your videos and offer you convenient services to keep your memories for longer.

Choose Suitable Wireless Router

Check What Wireless Standard you Need

There are many wireless routers supporting different wireless standard, such as 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11n (draft n), so which standard should you use?

The most popular and mature standard is 802.11g but the latest is 802.11n (draft n), however I would advise to choose the one with 802.11g standard if possible.

802.11g can support bandwidth up to 55Mbps in the 2.4GHz band. It’s compatible with 802.11b products because they both use the same radio frequency. That means 802.11g wireless router will be able to talk to 80.11b wireless adapter. The only problem of 802.11b/g is its interference with other electronic devices that utilize same 2.4GHz radio frequency and this will affect the wireless signal strength.

Then how about 802.11b? Since 802.11g is backward compatible with 802.11g, so I don’t recommend you to use 802.11b product. 802.11a wireless router is not so popular and normally used by business users, so you can forget about it.

As for the router with 802.11n (draft n) standard, it’s still new and the standard is yet to be finalized by IEEE. The expected speed is 10 times faster than 802.11g and the coverage is much wider. If you plan to buy it, be prepare to pay more as the price is expensive.

Compatibility with Other Wireless Devices

Think about the compatibility with wireless adapter, access point or other wireless devices when you choose the router. That’s no point you bought an 802.11g wireless router when other wireless devices are 802.11b aware only.

Always take into accounts of how do you plan to deploy the wireless network, what wireless devices you have and what others you plan to buy when choosing the wireless router.

Wireless Encryption Support

You must always enable encryption on your wireless router, so choose the router with at least WAP encryption. The best you can choose is the one with WPA2 encryption support. Having encryption in your wireless network would allow authorized users with correct encryption key to join the network. It would also avoid your network bandwidth from stealing by neighbor or strangers.

Don’t use WEP encryption on your router if you have better choices, this type of encryption is easily to be hacked by using hacking tool that freely available on Internet.

Other Security Features on Wireless Router

Look for the router that provides firewall feature! This will add an additional layer of protection to your network. If you manage to get the one with stateful inspection support, that would be the best. Stateful inspection firewall will inspect every state of the connections providing better capabilities to drop the malicious traffic.

Check also about the URL, IP and MAC address filtering features. These mentioned security features should be common nowadays, but just check about it to make sure the features are there.

Buy a Flat Panel Monitor

Arguably the best thing about the flat panel monitors is that they save over a square foot of room on your desk. Old school monitors are big, bulky and outdated. Most people are looking forward and changing over their offices to flat panel monitors. If you are looking for a new alternative for the large, bulky monitor you have in your home, a flat screen is the perfect solution. Many models are able to covert to a televison screen simply by pressing a button! This way you can have a high def experience while sending emails or watching your favorite show!
Another great feature about the flat screens are the USB ports. Say goodbye to the old days of having to move your big bulky computer around to plug in your digital cable. Today’s flat screen monitors have USB ports right on them so it’s easy to plug and play.

Flat panels are quickly becoming more known for their clear picture. The flat panels are brighter which makes graphics and text easier to see. Although the flat panels are generally crisper, some come with the option of digital or analog. Most have capabilities for both, but digital is sharper and has the better image. The digital flat panels usually run a little bit higher in cost, but any digital user will tell you, they’re worth every penny.

Although the flat panels may be a little more pricy up front, they are actually quite practical in the long run. Since the flat panels are smaller are more efficient, to run, they will save you money in energy costs.

They’re not cheap (though they save in energy costs).

While they’ve come down in price, there’s still no getting around it: You’ll pay a bit more for flat panels (although the gap in prices from CRT monitors has narrowed). That’s because they’re more difficult to manufacture.

Bar Code Label Printers

Bar code label printers are generally the most common dot matrix, laser, and ink jet and thermal printers. Dot matrix printers are one of the oldest printers used for printing bar codes. In these printers, the lines are built dot-by-dot as a solenoid-driven needle strikes an ink ribbon, transferring the ink to the paper. These printers are inexpensive, can print any form and are easily accessible. However, the quality dot matrix printer is unacceptable today. Ink jet printers are one of the most commonly used printers, especially for high-speed applications. They can also be used to print directly onto a carton where a label has already been affixed.

However, they are suitable for only high-speed printing and may not be very cost-effective for small-scale bar code printing operations. Ink jet clogging, limited barcode resolution, “bleeding” ink, and poor contrasts are some of the disadvantages. Laser printers are quite good as far as the quality of the print is concerned. They have very good resolutions and can scan quite well. However, they cannot effectively print smaller labels. The adhesive on the labels has to be good enough to take the heat and pressure from the printer as most label adhesive tend to melt. Thermal printers for bar coding are of two types: direct printing and thermal transfer.

Bar code printers have to be analyzed on the basis of: quality of the print, readability, initial installation cost, speed, long-term maintenance cost, materials waste. Each of these printers has different results. Thermal label printers score well on all aspects except for material waste. They are most suitable for applications that have variable data fields, point-of application systems, varying label sizes, graphical and scalable text fonts, and high-definition bar codes. They are also compact, quiet, and have lower operating costs.

Today, there are special bar code label printers available with various options like different print modes, label cutter, liner take-up, peel, rewind, tear, real-time clock (for printing time and expiration dates); alerts for maintenance; portability, compatibility with parallel; serial, USB, wired or wireless Ethernet, twinax or coax cables; memory for storing frequently used data; font options like styles and colors; multi-lingual options; sensors and many more. These printers are also compatible with different sizes and materials of labels, including water-resistant, fabric or acrylic.

PCMCIA Sound Cards

All laptops have the PCMIA card slots on them. Originally, PCMIA only produced PC cards to add extra memory to the computer. But with the advent of multimedia technology, they have been producing other types of PC cards for different purposes. One of these is the PCMIA sound card.

This audio card works pretty much like your garden-variety sound card. The only difference is that this one is attached to a laptop. For purposes of temperature regulation and to maximize space, an external sound card is the next best thing to use in laptop computers. It has the same functionality as any other external sound card and, it also has three kinds for you to choose from depending on your preference.

Again, choosing the right PCMIA sound card for your laptop depends on what you would like the audio functionality for. If you use your laptop for simple audio purposes like listening to music every now and then, you can go for the 2.1 PCMIA audio card. If you’re a movie buff and are very particular with audio quality, you should get the 7.1 kind. Of course, there’s always the 5.1 type which is sort of the middle ground option. Just make sure that your laptop can handle the high-end variety so you can maximize the audio quality produced by your PCMIA card.

Mouse Trays

A mouse tray can be adjusted to the appropriate height, rotation and tilt to accommodate different types of users. Many models can be installed at the side of your computer desk or keyboard tray to free up desk space. It may also include a wrist rest to reduce hand strain and injury.

The types of mouse trays available in the market

  • Clamp-on models – This type comes with a thick clip that clamps onto the side or the surface of a computer desk. It is less secure than a mounted tray, but it is easier to assemble and remove.
  • Mounted model – This model features a mounting arm that can be fixed on or beneath the shelf of computer table. It is fastened separately from the keyboard shelf. A few of the models available with this type swivel or rotates to accommodate the user’s posture or position while using the computer.
  • Slide-out models – This type can be hidden discretely under your keyboard’s tray and slides out when you need to use it.

Helpful tips to remember when buying your own mouse tray

  • Choose a mouse tray made out of durable material, specifically one that is made out of medium density fiberboard (MDF). This material retains its form despite heavy weight and constant use.
  • If you prefer a tray that swivels, choose a tray that rotates up to 360 degrees to give you full control over angle and position.