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March 2016

Take Care Of You Laptop Battery Or Else

Take Care Of You Laptop Battery Or ElseLaptops are common now; most people have them to take to school or when they travel for work. They’re useful and easy to move with. What is also common is to see someone scrambling to find a place to charge a laptop battery. That report due tomorrow may suddenly be lost if you don’t find an outlet within thirty seconds… Or that slideshow you have created (but carelessly forgot to save) may disappear if your laptop battery is not recharged.

As common as laptops are now, it is just as common to see individuals forgetting that the machine needs a little bit of help to run. It does not magically power itself; the battery does not somehow manage to stay full as you work for hours at a time. Yet, many seem to think that their battery does just that. No matter how long they stay hunched over the machine, it will work.

A few times of having the laptop die will cure that fantasy.

The truth is: you must keep your laptop charged. Yes, one of the advantages of having a laptop is that you can take it anywhere; it does not require you to remain plugged into the wall. That still does not mean that you can expect the laptop to run with a low battery. Yes, you can walk around with it; yes, you can wander away from your plug. You still should return, however, when your computer tells you it’s low.

And they do tell you. Laptops feature a symbol at the top of the screen that allows you to see just how much your battery is charged. The lower it drops, the less time you have. This is basic. Anyone will even a small trace of knowledge should know and understand this. Yet, too many people risk losing everything to squeeze out an extra minute on their battery. These are the same people who try to frantically finish a report as opposed to saving and heading to their charger, only to lose the majority of it when the computer quits. And these are the same people who swear they will never do it again, but forget that promise the next time around.

Laptop batteries have short ives. They can fail as quickly as thirty minutes. Some last longer, of course, but the result is still the same: if you are not careful and don’t pay attention, the battery will die. Of course, laptops offer warnings when a battery is low. Often, a small screen will pop up to remind you that the time is almost there. Still, thinking you can simply ignore that screen since you’re busy is not the wisest of moves.

This are basic ideas, and you may be rolling your eyes, wondering who would be so foolish. But it does happen, all-too-often it happens. Because of this, you must make an effort to remember that, as convenient as your laptop is, it is still a machine and therefore needs care. Check your laptop battery and keep it charged.

Building Your Own Computer

Building Your Own ComputerThe world of computers is constantly changing. It is one of the only industries that is different from month to month. If you’re in the market for a new PC, there are continually new options available. To get the best bang for your buck in computer technology, you may want to consider building your own PC.

Those with a little know how in the computer industry can save themselves tons of money by building their own computers. Companies such as Tiger Direct and mwave.com offer components that can create a top of the line system for a fraction of the cost. These stores offer all of the necessary components that reside in the “case” or main unit of the computer.

These include the motherboard, processor, cooling fans, hard drive, memory, keyboard, mouse, video and sound cards. There are motherboards available with integrated video and sound but not all do.

When you are buying a motherboard, make sure to check whether you will need to buy a separate video and sound card. Also make sure that the motherboard you are buying has extra slots so you can expand your system.

Another key to remember when building your own computer is to make sure all of your components will work together. Manufacturers make specific models to work together, so you may want to buy your parts from just one brand.

If you are going to use your computer to surf the Internet and play computer games you are going to need extra pieces. At minimum you will need an Ethernet card, CD/DVD drives and a graphics card. You can also benefit from gaming ports for joysticks or other game controllers.

The hardest part about building your own PC is installing the motherboard and the Operating System. This is the first step toward creating the unit. You must physically put the components into the case using screws. Begin with the motherboard and then connect your processor. Add the memory into the memory slots and install any necessary drives.

Once you’ve installed the drives, you can put in the install CDs for your operating system. Most PCs will guide you through the set up process to install the operating system. After making sure the operating system is up and running, put in your other devices one at a time.

Although it may be quicker to install all of your additional hardware at once, you want to test each piece as you go to make sure that piece is in good working order.

Even though building your own PC can give you a better computer for less money, the process is not for everyone. As a compromise, computer companies like Dell and Gateway allow their customers to custom build PCs on their website.

A customer can choose from different options regarding speed, memory and special portals. The additional benefit of buying from a company is that the PC is normally under a guarantee. You can also take advantage of technical support. This may be the best option for someone who has extra money to spend to get the custom components that they want.

When Should you Give up on that Old Computer?

Computers last only so long. Sooner or later you’ll either have to do some computer repair on that old computer of yours or simply decide to abandon it. In this article I’ll give you tips to help you decide when you need to send your computer out to pasture.

How much will the computer repair cost you? What kind of repair you need to have performed on your computer and the relative cost of that repair can help you make the choice to walk away from fixing that computer. Most computer repair shops will offer you a free estimate before they perform the repair. Smaller computer shops are more likely to offer free estimates that larger shops. If the computer shop you usually go to won’t give you a free estimate, consider finding one that will.

Most software repair problems will cost you under $100 and won’t usually be a reason to ditch your computer. Keep in mind that a newer computer in and of itself, won’t stop you from getting a virus, or some nasty spyware and such. You still need to have anti-virus software installed and up to date. One exception to this advice though is if your computer is running an older operating system because it won’t / can’t run the latest patched operating system out there. In that case, buying a new computer would in fact help you avoid software related problems in the future.

Sometimes, it isn’t the one repair that is expensive but the need for multiple repairs over a short period of time. I have an old Thinkpad 600X that is over seven years old. At first, I reasoned that I only needed a few repairs (which I was able to do myself). I replaced the battery, I added new memory and I replaced my keyboard. All of this cost me about $200. Now my hard drive has developed some problems and I’m looking at another $100 or so to replace it. Last Thanksgiving, I would have been able to get purchase a brand new laptop for as little as $400. This new laptop had many features lacking in my old computer laptop like a DVD player, more memory, a larger LCD screen and more. Sometimes, it makes more sense to purchase a new computer than to keep repairing an old one.

At the end of the day, only you can decide whether that computer repair makes sense or whether you need to look at buying a new computer. Many different factors can come into play but ultimately, it’s about getting things done with a computer whether your old one or a new one.

Laptop and Notebook Computer AC Power Adapters

An AC Power Adapter is an electronic device which produces a specific direct current from the mains with an Alternating Current (AC). Although actually a power supply it is popularly known as an AC Power Adapter or AC Adapter. Laptops along with most other portable devices use Direct Current (DC), this also applies to rechargeable batteries which power laptops. Direct Current has a constant flow of electric charge in one direction and flows from low to high potential. Connecting a laptop to AC is unsuitable and dangerous due to the varying magnitude and direction of the current, which can cause an internal component to fail and even result in fire.

The AC Adapter carries out the following steps to produce the correct current and voltage to power your laptop or charge your laptop battery:

o Converts the mains voltage to a lower voltage level

o Converts the AC voltage to a DC voltage by a process called rectification

o Smooths out any voltage ripple

o Converts the voltage to the required voltage to power the laptop

The other well-known name for an AC Power Adapter is battery charger or laptop battery charger. This is an important device providing you with laptop mobility and frees you of restriction from using the power cord. Check the link at the end of this article to find the correct AC Power Adapter for your laptop.

Car and Airplane Power Adapters

This is a particular design of a power adapter which accepts DC input and output DC voltage required to power a laptop. Instead of a standard plug for a wall socket, these have a specific cable that plugs in the cigarette lighter. The 12V DC supplied through the cigarette lighter socket is converted to provide a different DC voltage. This power adapter can also be used in other vehicles with similar sockets i.e. Vans, trucks and even boats. Air or airplane adapters work in the same way.

Universal Laptop Power Adapters

Complying with most mains power supplies worldwide, a universal power adapter or power supply is able to accept an input voltage ranging from 100 – 240 V with a frequency range of 50 – 60Hz. A truly universal product. However, the term universal also applies to the array of laptops it can supply power to. Laptops are built to various specifications and the power consumption varies accordingly. Physical attributes also differ between laptops and are not limited to the power socket. Manufacturers of universal laptop power adapters supply various connecting tips allowing the adapter to be connected to various laptops. These connecting tips help the power adapter detect the correct voltage to supply the laptop.

Universal power adapters are also available for cars and airplanes. Supplied with different types of plugs to fit a car cigarette lighter socket or the in-seat adapter on most airplanes, such power adapters truly allow the user to be mobile over great distances. The 2-Power Universal Car Air Power Adapter can power 98% of laptop computers.