Oct
30

Maintaining A Keyboard

When you spend a few hours at the computer, the two things you will always subconsciously know how to use are the mouse and keyboard, which are easily the most significant peripherals one can use on a computer. The mouse generally doesn’t accumulate much dirt as there isn’t much space for it to get in to begin with it. They keyboard on the other hand isn’t so fortunate. Located centrally, the keyboard is more of a dust and grime magnet than most other computer parts are ever exposed to.

And that can be one of the most frustrating things to have to work with. When you’re sitting at the PC and are trying to write a paper but half the buttons on the keyboard are either sticky, missing a key cap or just down right not press-able.

Just how it is recommended to clean a PC up every now and then and perhaps breathe some new life into it by doing a fresh OS install, it is vital to keep a keyboard in tip top shape for all your daily typing needs.

There are a variety of ways to clean your keyboard, and in the end it’ll all depend on what kind of keyboard you use. The easiest way is to carefully remove the key caps and then get rid of all the hairs and other dirt that will have built up on the keyboard’s inner workings. Note that you should not actually take the keyboard apart, simply remove the key caps and do some dusting.

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Oct
30

Firewall

One of the most dangerous places for a computer to be is actually the internet. With the amount of viruses and other malicious pieces of code out there, you can never be too safe. Naturally, your best bet at keeping yourself and your PC safe is to simply not go to the high risk websites that could try and inject a virus of a kind.

There are numerous lines of defense one can rely on to have a flawless and mostly safe and secure variety to choose from. The anti-virus programs are some of the most popular ones, and many are freely available to choose from.

A firewall is one of those lines of defense that work best in collaboration with a strong anti-virus program. The purpose of it is to monitor every in-and-out going connection to your computer and strictly monitor what a certain program might be attempting to do outside of its intended perimeters. What it can’t do is protect your perfectly – since for every operation happening you will have to grant access to programs. There is little protection from the harm that you have permitted to go through.

This is where the anti-virus comes in to make sure that your mistake of letting in a dangerous piece of code can only do limited amounts of damage or is quarantined to protect your sensitive files.

If a virus manages to get past both levels of security you have either given it the permission unintentionally or you have somehow managed to contract a high level virus. In this case, your best bet is to immediately back up files and proceed to wipe your system.

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Oct
18

Back Ups

Let’s face it – in reality, there’s a good chance that something completely unexpected happens and everything goes absolutely wrong. This holds especially true for all things technology – quicker than you might think and you can find yourself with a broken computer that won’t even start up any more. Accidents can happen and you should be prepared for the worst, unless you fancy losing absolutely all your data and files.

Having a back-up is never a bad idea. Imagine your house was struck by lightning, your power circuits blow and your computer’s power unit gives out, killing the rest of the machine in the process. Now imagine you had a fresh back up just lying around – perhaps online, or a USB stick, and lo-and-behold you can restore the backed up files to a new computer without losing a single thing.

There are many different ways to make, store and use a back up. The most convenient way to make one is to use the tools Microsoft has already provided in the Windows programs. Using this tool you can create a back-up and specify what you want in it. For many, there is little point storing a lot of their random media files, so they might only back up sensitive documents and such.

Combine this with the currently excitable cloud technology and you have maximum comfort from your own home. What’s important though is to keep a regular schedule of backing the relevant data, or one might find themselves in the situation of being stuck with an old back up that lacks all the recent files.

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Oct
14

Anti Virus

Viruses are everywhere. Unfortunately this is a fact we cannot do much about especially in the industry of computers. There is money to be made off of computer viruses by the less morally inclined in this world, and unless that changes, we will forever be plagued by the annoyance of viruses.

There are several forms of defense against the little nuggets of code that are so detrimental to your computer system. Of course your first line would be none other than common sense – if you want to avoid viruses at all costs, then stay away from online places wherein you might get one. This includes, and is not limited to, piracy sites, shady dating and adult content sites. Those, bloated with ads and such, will always put you at a likelier risk of contracting a malicious program that could damage your computer.

The next line of defense is an anti-virus program. These programs seek to protect your files from unwarranted access, which is essentially what a virus ultimately seeks to do. There are many decent programs out there to get for free that will aid you in your quest against the never-dying world of viruses. A good anti-virus program will scan your system for files it might have missed when they were downloaded and checks there for malicious code. You are then presented with a variety of choices which normally includes an attempt of removing the malicious program or putting it into quarantine. Some viruses are very stubborn and will require a significantly more involved procedure in getting rid of them.

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Oct
10

The Blue Screen of Death

Despite the rising popularity of Apple’s Mac line and its associated operating systems, the truth is that most people still use a Windows Computer. When inexperienced with computers, one of the most intimidating things that can happen is for the infamous Blue Screen of Death to pop out of nowhere following a system crash.

What many are actually unaware of is the fact that Blue Screen of Death (often abbreviated to BSOD) is one of the most basic and straightforward troubleshooting tools there are for a defunct computer. Do keep in mind that the BSOD will normally only pop up when a severe hardware or systematic failure is encountered, meaning that either there’s a part inside the computer that’s broken (or improperly connected) or something has corrupted Window’s system files to a point of no return.

One important thing to do when you encounter the infamous error message is to snap a picture of it with your phone or camera. Following the explanation regarding the fact that your computer just unexpectedly offed itself, an error code follows which will give indication as to what went so wrong that the system had to shut itself down in order to protect the computer from harm. Using a second computer or other means of accessing the internet, you can use this to figure out how to fix whatever is wrong, or show it to a tech savvy friend who can lend a helping hand. Don’t be afraid of the Blue Screen of Death, it’s only trying to help.

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Oct
10

Motherboard Sockets

Technology is one of the fastest growing and most interesting industries in the world to follow. New technologies are developed on an almost daily basis with everything becoming better, faster and stronger.

For a PC user this is a good thing – the more innovation there is the the field, there more there is to choose from and prices stay competitive. However, there is a drawback – with everything consistently being updated, you will eventually be left with an outdated system – and this can be a potential space for committing mistakes when building a PC.

One of the most common mistakes a first-time PC builder makes is that the parts he buys are incompatible with each other. Given that the motherboard can be compared to being the heart of the computer, one can safely say that the processor is its brain, and what’s even more important is that these two both work together in perfect sync or we’re stuck with a black screen.

Unfortunately, with the rate at which technology grows, manufacturers for processors keep competing with another to make the best product for affordable prices, and this competition leads to more innovation. However, as technology advances, it becomes less and less compatible with its predecessors as seen with motherboard sockets. As motherboard and processor need to work hand in hand, they need to click – quite literally, as your processor must be of the right kind to fit into the socket of the motherboard. If the sockets align you’re pretty much in the green as the rest of the components will be a piece of cake.

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Oct
08

Defragmentation

Is your PC slowing down? That’s natural. As PCs get older and used more and more, they tend to slow down a lot and cause a lot of undue frustration and anger.  There are a variety of causes for this, but one that many less experienced PC users tend to overlook is defragmenting their hard drive.

A general rule of thumb is to always keep around 20% of your hard drive free. So if you have a 1 Terabyte HDD, you should only use up 800 Gigabytes of that space. In addition to that, it is heavily recommended that you keep your files organized in some sort of system in order to maintain them properly and not wonder where all your free space has gone.

When you defragment your hard drive, your computer will work for a fair amount of time to take a partition of your hard drive and clean it up. This will include reassigning spaces and moving around spread-apart files and folders. Often your PC will find “dead” files that are invisible and left over from when you cut and pasted something or deleted files in the past. They take up unnecessary space and can accumulate to slow your PC down overall.

There are also quite a few different tools available for free on the internet you can use to clean up your hard drives in order to keep them in optimal working condition and avoid a lot of anger as your PC slows down over time. Just remember that it is crucial to leave between 15 and 20% free on your disks or you won’t be able to properly defragment.

Oct
02

Drivers

One common computer related problem people often run to deals with “drivers.”  Drivers are an essential software component of any computer yet many don’t actually know what they do or what their purpose is. The first thing to note is that drivers are mainly related to accessories or hardware. A computer is made up for the following core components: power supply, motherboard, processor, graphics card and RAM.

The motherboard is the heart of every system and serves to connect all the pieces together so that when you turn your computer on, you actually see something. However, it isn’t as easy as plug-and-play – there are many different manufacturers of these parts and pieces. Here is where drivers come in. They are essentially instructions for every piece of your computer so that it can communicate with other parts to form a coherent system.

Often when a piece of hardware is acting up in some way, it can be as simple as the driver for it being outdated or not properly configured – meaning it can be fixed by simply going to the corresponding manufacturer’s website and installing the latest driver from there.

This can also be used to fix accessories not working properly. For some USB devices such as webcams, phones or headsets, you will have to install the right drivers before they know how to communicate with the motherboard so that you may use them. Nowadays, many accessories come with their drivers preinstalled, but for some you will have to go the extra mile, especially if you are dealing with an older model.

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Sep
29

Keep Your PC Cool

 

Your computer creates a lot of heat when it is turned on and being used, especially if you have been using it for long hours. Parts like the CPU can get extremely hot. The thing about computer is, if it overheats, it won’t function well. To avoid ruining your computer by overheating, you should follow these simple tips.

  • Always clean your computer – What slows the fans inside the computer is the dust that it accumulates. The more dirt it gets, the slower the computer gets. If it gets too dirty, it will eventually stop.
  • Keep the case closed. It won’t help cool the computer if you keep it open because of the dirt it will get when it’s out in the open.
  • Make sure that your computer is placed in a cool and clean area. If it gets too hot in one position, it will start overheating.
  • If you have a particularly old computer, consider replacing and upgrading the CPU fan.
Sep
21

Best PC troubleshooting websites

There are so many people with computers but not everyone will know what to do in a situation where it stops working. The first thing most people do in times like this is to panic and take their computer to a professional who can fix i for them. Before you spend hundreds of dollars, it might be smart to just go over different PC troubleshooting on websites. In fact, don’t wait for your computer to be broken, read simple troubleshooting instructions now from the most helpful websites online.

1. Crossloop- This is a 24 hours support group website. If you are having any difficulties, there are many experts in this site that can assist you in fixing the problem.

2.Techspot – This website is filled with different reviews, forums and news about everything computer. You are likely to find a common PC problem being discussed in this site.

3. Geeks to go- Aptly named, this website is filled with information from the computer geeks that will be extremely helpful to PC users.