Archive for the ‘Hardware’ Category

Finding The Right PC for You

September 17, 2012 Leave a comment

English: Acer Aspire

When it comes to buying a  Computer, you want to get the absolute best. Of course, if you are like   most  of us, you don’t really have the cash for the computer of your dreams.  In fact, you are going to be lucky if you can afford one at all.  If you can find the money for a computer, there are a couple of things that you will want to consider before you make your purchase.

Laptop or Desktop

Now that laptops are becoming increasingly more capable, fewer and fewer people are opting for the desktop computer.  That doesn’t mean that a laptop is the perfect thing for you.  A laptop can provide great portability, but it comes at the cost of memory, processing power and screen-size.  Depending on what you will use your computer for, you may find that a desktop computer is better(though mobility is everyone’s dream!).  If price is  really important, you might look into a portable piece like a tablet to bring to class paired with a cheaper desktop in order to avoid sacrificing the function that you need for price.

Screen Size

Bigger is better, but it is also a lot more expensive.  Bigger screens are also not necessary for reading online papers for class.  Those big screens can also effect your body’s biological clock.   With smaller screens you are going to run into other problems – you might have a difficult time seeing what you are working on.  It is important to remember why you are buying the computer.  If you only need one for classes, it might be a lot easier to tote it around if it has a smaller screen. It is worth noting that screen resolutions are measure in DPI(dot per inch),DP(Dot pitch). The higher the value the higher the display’s resolution.


The fastest, smartest computers are always the most expensive.  Of course, cutting costs on things like screen size and accessories can cut down the cost a little, but in the end, the bigger your computer’s brain, the more costly it is going to be.  To get enough memory, you may eventually find yourself needing a desktop.  If you use a lot of file space on your computer for programs, videos, and photos, you might need all of that space to keep your computer running.  If you are worried, look into the price for an external memory bank. it is worth noting that the term memory in the computing world is used interchangeably between the Hard drive and the RAM. Since this article’s intenstion is not to bore you with technical terms, it is worthy to note that when talking speed of processing more attention should be given to RAM size but when talking about permanent storage, more should be given to Hard Drive space.

Additional Gear

What computer would be complete without all of its accessories?  Web-cams, special mouses, Wifi cards and fancy sound cards can all pimp out an otherwise boring computer.  Some of those things are going to be pretty cheap, like laptop covers; and others are going to cost you a lot more, such as fancy graphics cards.  Weigh the benefits against the things that you are going to be using your computer for.  If you are only going to be writing papers, a fancy graphics card might not be a good idea.  If you are going to be designing webpages, it might be worth it. Other gears like the docking station, microphone e.t.c are also available. The rule of thumb here is “Buy What You Need” balancing the cost.


Though functionality is the word, you still don’t want to by a slimy looking computer without good external appeal. I personally hate ugly computers, no matter how good its functionality. You can also look into the possibility of building your own PC.



Laptop Battery, replace or revive?

April 25, 2012 7 comments

My Laptop Battery does not retain a charge! My Laptop battery lasts only for 10min and it powers down! My Laptop will not power up, the power indicator blinks red 3times and goes off even with the charger connected. These and more questions are reactions from users who encounters a battery problem.

The Laptop battery like any other electronic part, will have to be replaced sooner or later. Due to wear as a result of use. The chemical reactions taking place within the battery also result in permanent wear of the batter components, charging and discharging is not also an exemption. There are various tricks though that can be used to revive your battery if you suspect it no longer retains charge. The next paragraph deals with this.

The cooling method:

This may sound strange but it works! Your freezer may just be the solution to you problem! Note, this works only for the old NiCd(nickel cadminum) and NiMH batteries. Remove the Laptop battery, let it cool to room temperature and then place it in a freeze overnight( you can permanently damage the battery if not allowed to cool to room temperature before freezing). Remove the batter and then allow to warm up to room temperature before using it. Charge the battery fully and allow to fully discharge, repeat the discharging and charging process a few times and your battery may just be revived. This method is not full prove, but there’s no harm in trying considering spending a few buck on a new battery. It is worthy of note to say that Lithium batteries will be damaged by low temperatures so this method will not work for Lithium batteries. For lithium batteries, there is a method for revival to be considered. Completely drain the battery till the computers powers down. After this drain further using a bulb( a low wattage 12 volt bulb will do just fine) or other low power means to drain the battery to a little above the discharge threshold( this depends on the voltage rating of the battery). After this put the battery into the Laptop and charge till full charge. Repeat this several time and the battery may be revived.

After trying the tips above and no improvement is notices, then its time to replace the battery.

Tips to elongate battery life.

The average battery life falls between 3-5 years when properly used. Its scarce to have a Laptop battery that will extend beyond this range. At most we can maximise the useful years. The following tips will help.

1. Recalibrate your batteries at least once in 2 months. This is done by discharging to about 40% and then full charge with the cycle restarted about 3 times.

2. Too high temperature or too cold( for Litium ion batteries) temperature should be discouraged. This reduces battery life.

3. Use appropriate power management profiles.

4. Playing videos and audio from CD/DVD drives cause more discharge rate for the battery which is not good. It is advised to play such media from the Hard Drive/ USB drives.

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