Netbooks Vs Computer Tablets

Update Dec 2012

ultrabook-netbook-tablet

 

I am still enjoying my new iPad2 and I do not regret waiting for the new ipad ( Third generation).  Was up in the big smoke of Dublin City the weekend and got a chance to get my hands on the new iPad to play errrrr I mean test it. Yes the display is lovely and bright and clear ( maybe too bright!!) but it only shows up Ireland’s slow internet speeds and quite a lot of the apps did not suit the new display.  There is little external difference between the new iPad and prior models; most people would be hard-pressed to tell them apart in a lineup. Sure, the most recent iPad is slightly thicker and heavier, but its still beats dragging around a huge laptop. The high resolute camera is pretty clear but also felt kinda silly holding up a 10 inch tablet to use as a video recorder or camera no matter how clear it is.  All in all a nice bit of kit but is it worth paying out extra to upgrade from only a recently developed Ipad2 tablet!!  It still does not have a mini or full USB connection or a memory card slot and with more affordable android tablets arriving on the market with capacitive 5 point touch screens, USB connections etc,  it will have its work cut out for it to stay on top of the tablet market.

While there I also had a chance to check out the new Ipad mini.  I was expecting it to be smaller but it is a  good size screen to work with.  Not that it would be my choice, the larger screen would still be my preference.  The Ipad mini is still very expensive compare ( prices from €330 from Apple website) to the Ipad2 ( from €399 new) which is a tried and tested and reliable computer tablet.  Great bargains to be got buying refurbished iPad tablets with full 12 months warranty from the Apples refurbished online store.   To keep an eye on any new refurbished Apple items available you can leave your email address with a description of  the Apple products you are looking for with this website.

The Netbook

The idea of an incredibly lightweight, portable Netbook was very appealing two years ago, working on one didn’t really deliver. I figured I would be able to use the netbook for everything I had to do in a standard workday, especially since I was still in college at the time. I wanted to update my website, upload video and photos, and so on, and especially word processing for assignments and of course my thesis. It wasn’t easy, though. My first Netbook was a cute little 8 inch screen running windows XP. I have to admit it did run fairly well operating office 2003. But, and it was a big but..first I found it very difficult to view all the screen even with the task bar hidden. Then Office 2003 ran into compatibility issues with the new office 2010 which had become standard now in the majority of places. So that Netbook went the way of eBay and a new Netbook was purchased. The New Netbook was the sexy looking Acer One running Windows 7 Starter. Lovely looking machine,I installed Office 2010, and an anti-virus, Avast, thinking the least amount of stuff on it, the better it should run.

Now the problem was,just because a Windows 7 Netbook is supposed to do everything doesn’t mean it’s actually good at doing anything. Since it’s a Windows PC, you don’t have to worry about not being able to use the applications or Web services you need to get your work done–but you’ll have a hard time getting accustomed to using them on a Netbook.

For example, I rely on Web apps for most of my tasks, which works fine on my desktop PC . But it’s a lot harder to edit a document when I can see only a paragraph or two at a time. Even simple stuff, like reading a Web page or a spreadsheet, was downright frustrating on the Acer One 10.1-inch display. And talk about slow!! So hoping to improve performance I upgraded the Ram to 2GB and upgraded the windows 7 Starter to Windows 7 Ultimate. But still found the slowness frustrating especially when I needed to perform a PowerPoint presentation for a college assignment it just kept lagging and when I got frustrated, I got less work done. Yes the Acer One Netbook had all the bells and whistles such as 3 USB ports, 2 in 1 media card reader and 1 HDMI port, 1 Ethernet port, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 0.3 MP build in webcam and a decent 10 hour battery. Nice! Pity the performance left it down.

Computer Tablet-IPad2

So finally this year I decided to invest in a computer tablet. I was reluctant to purchase the Apple iPad2 at first as I use an Android HTC mobile phone and I love it. I love the freedom to choose any application I want without restrictions and the fact that the Apple Ipad2 did not have a USB port was a big downside. I did investigate some android tablets and at the time a lot still came from China or Hong Kong and were not really tested. Got my hands on the Eldest Lads iPad2 and found I was pleasantly pleased with its performance and how fast it responded. The ease of use and the ability to carry it around were all selling factors. So after selling off my Acer One I invested in a refurbished Apple iPad2 from the Apple Store with full Apple warranty,( I did have to keep checking back to catch one as soon as its available as they go fast).  Recently realised that you can have your email addressed submitter to keep an eye on any refurbished Apple product from this Link for Irish customers.

The iPad2 arrived within a day or two and within ten minutes I had it up and running and receiving my emails from two different accounts makes it easy to keep business and pleasure apart.  The Tablet is very thin and you will find it easy to hold in your hands comfortably. It has an excellent battery life on continuous playback of videos, music and web browsing. The other advantage of iPad2 is Books. Reading books on iPad2 is a pleasure. With the Books feature, you can have access to iBook, Nook, Kindle and Google Books. I knew about the onscreen typing which made touch typing impossible, so I had ordered a Bluetooth case with a build in keyboard from eBay for 20 euro including P & P. I also wanted a basic case to protect it without the keyboard which I also got from eBay from an Irish Seller for 8 euro, very neat with a fold-able back that can be used as a stand for the iPad while watching a film etc. All of which arrived within the next day or two after receiving the iPad2. The keyboard case worked like a charm, very easy to connect using the Bluetooth and folded up no bigger than my last Netbook and much lighter. Battery is great on the Ipad2, over 8 hours working online and typing up my Blog. Nice One!  The Ipad2 also came with the WordPress Application pre-installed so I can get into to my Blog with one touch.

Using the Ipad to do a PowerPoint Presentation on a TV or Using a Projector:

Now the big question is, can it do a PowerPoint presentation? The answer is..Yes, as long as you use the appropriate adapter and the correct application to run the PowerPoint.  I have recently installed a new application called SlideShark which is FREE and it allows you to view and show presentations for free using either a VGA adapter or a digital AV HDMI adapter, again depends on the type of projector you are using.   Using SlideShark the PowerPoint’s are stored online ( Free 100 MB) available at anytime to use from the Ipad application or the PowerPoint can be shared via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Email, and play exactly as created.  The PowerPoint can be saved onto the Ipad before the presentation from the SlideShark website when you have WiFi available and then can be played on a projector or LCD television without the need of an internet connection, very useful.   To actually create a PowerPoint the very good and reasonable Application Docs to Go( 7.99 euro) which is also available for your desktop or mac makes a reasonable PowerPoint.   Another options is keynote ( 7.99 euro) which allows you to create and store your PowerPoint on icloud online ( free 5.0 GB of cloud storage) which comes with all Apple Ipads.   To put your PowerPoint into the Ipad is very easy, all you have to do is to either drop it into your DropboxBoxicloud to name a few, or even just email it to your own email address and pick it up on the Ipad. For more information on cloud storage go to my blog on Cloud Storage.

The disadvantages of the IPad 2 are, it still lacks USB support, Flash support and HDMI Output (thought output is possible via Apple Digital AV adapter).  So to present your PowerPoint you will need to get an adapter, either a VGA adapter for older projectors ( around 20 euro ) or a Digital AV HDMI Adapter ( about 30 euro ) with charging options including on it, which could be handy if your battery is low before a presentation.   The iPad’s lack of USB support is not as essential as it would have been lets say 5 years ago, the companies providing good and often free cloud storage are increasing everyday.  To get more tips and tricks for the iPad go to“The Best iPad Tips and Tricks”“at GIZMO’S FREEWARE website.

UPDATE: Just received the Digital AV HDMI adapter and I am very impressed. I plugged in my HDMI lead from my HD LCD television to the ipad2 using the HDMI adapter and the graphics for the games were as good as the playstation 3, for a fraction of the cost. E.G . mortal combat 3 is €5.49 for the ipad2, while the same game for the PlayStation 3 is nearly €50. The browser also worked perfect and the films on Netflix played on the television from the adapter on the ipad2 were crystal clear. It goes without saying PowerPoint worked perfect from the ipad2 to the LCD television. It is really a pity that the iPad does not come with those connections first day.

One of the biggest draw backs for the Ipad is its lack of Flash support. So, before buying the iPad, just consider whether the web sites you frequently needs flash support. For example: the SlideShare Presentations playing YouTube videos on LinkedIn cannot be viewed via the Ipad. So if you view web sites which requires flash a lot, then it would be a better choice to go for any Android Powered Tablet than the Ipad.  Another option for the Ipad is to download the iSwifter browser onto your iPad from the App Store, this is a flash browser. It works, but I have found it a bit jerky.

The 7 inch Teclast Android Pad

My middle lad in the mean-while had picked up a Teclast 7 inch Android pad with Capacitive 5-Point Touch Screen from Ebay for less than a 100 euro from a seller in the UK ( i.e. no import tax). Now well may you ask what do you mean by a Capacitive Screen!!! Well for example the Ipad has a capacitive screen along with the majority of mobile smart phones. In other words it’s a screen that can be easily navigated using ones fingers and can pinch and zoom images to any size for easy viewing. The alternative is the Resistive touch screen, ( need a stylus/pen or nail to operate the screen) for a good comparison with the pros and cons go to Yamp’s Blog. So I had a chance to examine the Teclast 7 Inch Android 2.3 pad and to my surprise it worked very well indeed. It has full video Skype using the build in camera, over 8Gb storage with the option of adding more using a memory card which the Ipad does not have. Has all the bells and whistles the Ipad has for one-third of the price and it even has a HDMI output which allows viewing of movies or photos on any LCD television using a HDMI lead. Middle lad is very happy with the 7 inch Android pad because he says it makes it very easy to type or text on by holding it in both hands and it fits into his pocket. Again its easy to pick up a case with a keyboard for the 7inch pad on Ebay but this time using a mini USB connection as the smaller pad does not have Bluetooth, pity really as it’s about the only thing that is missing. Have to mention it also plays Angry Birds very well!!. So would I get a 7 inch android pad, the answer is NO, size matters, especially when I want to see the screen I am typing into, but would I get a 9.7 inch or a 10 inch Android pad, the answer would be Yes indeed, Especially after seeing the performance of the Teclast 7 inch pad. Very impressed and very easy to do a PowerPoint presentation using the HDMI output to a Projector. Again Docs to Go or Slideshark will make sure the PowerPoint runs smoothly.

There are many more Computer Tablets out there, so do the research and find the one that will suit you. Has the Computer Tablet made the Netbook obsolete!! It is seriously beginning to look that way. At the end of the day I would seriously consider paying out big money for something that could very easily be dropped and damaged beyond repair. As with all mobile equipment, accidents can and will happen, and not to mention 6 months down the road whatever you have purchased, especially when it comes to technology, it could well be out dated pretty quick. So take performance, price and usability into question before you purchase your computer tablet and above all ask yourself: how much fun is it to use!!.

NOTE: There are a lot of cheap 10 inch Android Computer Tablets for sale on eBay at the moment ( avoid the China and Hong Kong ones or you will be caught for the 21% import duty ) but the majority of them have the Resistive touch screen which is not that much fun and can be quite frustrating to use. Make sure the screen is the Capacitive 5-Point Touch Screen if it’s not mentioned on the description then it means it has the Resistive screen which is much cheaper and does not work as good as the capacitive screen.

New, Second-hand or Refurbished PC’s?

Second-hand-pc-for-sale-Mumbai-Bandra-West

 

Ok you need a new PC! But you really do not want to pay-out a huge amount of cash so you are thinking of buying a second hand one. What should you look out for when buying a used system? Buying a second hand computer is a lot like deciding on a new computer: you’ll have to think about what you are going to use it for, what else you’ll need to buy to make it work for you and how long you want to keep it. Check my previous blogs: Netbook Vs. Computer Tablet and Desktop Vs. Laptop. All these concerns have to be compared against the cost of a new model, so each concern will be tackled one at a time.

What Do You Need The Computer For?

Before you buy any computer—new or used—you should ask yourself what you’re planning to do with it. Since most used computers are a generation or two behind the most recent models, you have to take special care to make sure you don’t need a computer for cutting edge work. Here are some criteria to keep in mind:

Portability: Do you travel often? Do you expect to take your work with you? Size and weight are a concern, then: make sure the system you’re buying is small enough you can comfortably transport it, but be aware that with portability often (but not always) comes a trade off in features and horsepower ( read my post on Netbooks).

Specs: Think about the applications you plan to run. Will you be doing any high-end gaming? Video or audio encoding? Anything else that’s CPU or memory-intensive? If you’re a student will you be using Photoshop or Dreamweaver? How much storage will you need? Make sure to consider the specs of the system against the apps you’re going to use and ask yourself: Can this computer handle my needs? (Often the answer maybe “Yes.”) If not, is the money you’ll save on a used machine worth slower apps, or sticking with older models without new features?

Power: If you’re buying a laptop, especially a used one, look up how much a replacement battery will cost, or a spare AC adapter. (The majority of 2nd hand laptops will need either a new battery or the adaptor is missing). Depending on how the system was used before it went up for sale, that battery may or may not hold a decent charge, and may be through its recharge cycles and ready to be recycled. This is especially important if you plan to travel, or work in multiple locations. If you’re buying a desktop, it’s probably not an issue.

All in all, sit down and think about the way you plan to use the system. If your day-to-day computing involves tons of web-apps, web services, (Google Docs, Facebook, My Space, YouTube etc.) and few desktop applications, (Photoshop, Dreamweaver, video editing software etc. ) a lightweight/low spec system may work for you. If you really need desktop horsepower for gaming, design, and video editing, you want to make sure that used system is up to the challenge.

Make Sure you’re Not Better off Buying New (Or Refurbished!)

Other things to consider: Does the second-hand pc included Software and Peripherals! A new pc will come with the latest operation system and usually at least a 1 year warranty. If you’re buying refurbished PC from an authorized reseller, they’ll probably include the OEM license for the OS,( operation system) and offer their own service plan, or toss in a warranty for a couple of months. See what comes with yours—or how much it would cost to get what you need. The same applies to peripherals like keyboards and mice.

Competitive Pricing: Aside from raw specs and stats, look at the price of the used model, and compare it to the price of a new, comparable system. Remember, used doesn’t always equal bargain, even if the seller is tossing in some pre-installed software or an external hard drive. Would you spend the same buying new or refurb, perhaps with that previously mentioned warranty?

Price of Upgrades: Many people buy a used system and completely underestimate how much it will cost them to upgrade. Sure, that €200 used laptop may look like a bargain, but once you pay between €50 to €60 for a larger hard drive, (old laptops often come with quite small hard drives e.g. 20gb which you will be lucky to hold some videos and about 10 high resolution photos before its full) a €119 Windows 7 license, ( many old pcs run windows xp, it is no longer supported by Microsoft) and any programs you need to buy, (Office €118) it’s not looking like much of a deal anymore. Heaven forbid you plan to upgrade the hardware in the immediate future—the cost of a new Hard Drive alone on top of the purchase price may make buying new a more attractive option. Then again a new PC will not usually come with Office preinstalled but at least it will have the latest operation system and a larger Hard Drive.

Take a Test Drive on a 2nd hand computer

If you’re buying from a private seller, like a friend or a contact from DoneDeal or Adverts, see if you can get a test drive of the system for a while—it might be difficult to negotiate, but a short period of use with the system, even a few hours, can make the difference between knowing the thing will boot and hold a charge and not knowing at all. If you can’t get away with it for a while (and honestly, not every seller would be willing to let you walk off with the computer they’re selling before paying for it) at least take some time to turn it on and give it a good look. A few things to check:

  • Check the frame and body for cracks or surface damage.
  • Check the screen for haze, dead pixels, or discoloration.
  • Check the inputs, ports, and optical drive for any broken or malfunctioning ones. Bring peripherals (USB stick) with you if possible.
  • Check the included software, and if anything licensed is included, make sure the keys or media are available to you.
  • Check the processor speed, open the computer (right click on my computer, scroll down to properties) and look at the processor itself, not through a software program as these can be changed or tricked. Ram, Hard drives etc. can be easily be changed on a PC but the processor is for life, anything less than 1.55 GHz is not worth getting.
  • Check when you are purchasing a used computer that it has legal windows and the ~CD or other disc and its windows Key included. Many small computer companies who build or sell used computers may not provide you with legal copies of the software, which is not only illegal but may leave you with a fine or the inability to get updates.

Cost

Buying a used or old system doesn’t have to be a bad experience, but you do have to be cautious when shopping. There are plenty of bargains to be had on Adverts, DoneDeal or eBay, and even from your friends looking to offload their old systems, but just make sure you’re not throwing your money away. Some computer models have specifically high resale values, so make sure to do your homework long before arranging to meet, and make sure you wouldn’t necessarily get a better deal if you bought new or refurbished. Sometimes sellers will try to tell you how much they paid for it, and tell you that you really got a great deal since they paid €1000 and selling it to you for €500. But you also have to compare how much a computer with the same features would actually cost you now, and not forgetting it will come with full warranty!. Two years from now, that €1000 computer with the same features may now only cost €300. When pricing a refurbished or used computer it is important to note if the system is still available for sale new. If it is, this makes the price comparison very easy to determine. If an older system is no longer sold this is where specification becomes extremely important. With the specs in hand try and find a comparable brand new system and see what you get. Often times you will find that for the same price you can get a better, newer laptop or desktop.

Warranties on Refurbished Computers

The key to any refurbished computer system is the warranty. These are products that typically were returned or rejected due to a defect. While that defect may have been corrected and no further problems may develop you want to make sure that some coverage is included for potential faults. The problem is that warranties are typically modified for refurbished products.

First and foremost, the warranty should be a manufacturer one. If the warranty is not provided by the manufacturer it should raise a red flag for consumers. A manufacturer warranty will guarantee that the system will be repaired to the original specifications with manufacturer parts or certified replacements can be used with the system. Third party warranties can cause major problems as replacements parts may not be guaranteed and it may take longer for the system to be repaired.

The next thing to look at is the length of the warranty. It should provide the same length as if it was purchased new. If the manufacturer is not offering the same coverage consumers should once again beware. The lower cost of the system may be the result of them not offering to support the product.

Finally, be wary of extended warranties. If an optional warranty is offered for purchase with the system, it should be a manufacturer extended warranty and not one through a third party. Also be wary of the cost for extended warranties. If the cost of the extended warranties makes the system cost more than buying it new, avoid the purchase.

Conclusions

Refurbished laptops and desktops are one way consumers can find a good deal, but they have to be much more informed before the purchase. The key is to ask several key questions to know if it is really a good and safe deal:

  • Is it sold by the manufacturer or a retailer?
  • What is the price relative to the same PC new?
  • Is the system comparable to an equivalent priced new PC?
  • What type of warranty comes with the PC?
  • Who will handle warranty work?

If all of these can be answered satisfactorily, then consumers can generally feel secure in the purchase of a refurbished PC.

Laptops Vs Desktops

Laptop vs. Desktop PC

So you want to buy a computer! The question you ask yourself is: should I buy a Laptop or a Pc?

computer

I was discussing this very same topic the other day with a non-technical friend. Now well may you ask why discuss it with a non-technical friend in the first place!! Even why discuss it at all? Well the reason this discussion started in the first place was because I had a very upset friend on the phone the other day bemoaning the demise of her much-loved laptop. As usual the damage was done by spilling a full cup of tea over the laptop. After I gave the usual advice : do not start it, unplug it and leave it open to dry out for a couple of days and fingers crossed give it a try then. Of cause the most common damage that happens to the majority of laptops has to be spilled liquids and falls, of which 90% of laptops do not survive. Yes I am afraid the previous mentioned friends laptop was one of the 90% that did not survive. The most common problems with liquids on laptops, besides the fact liquids and electricity do not mix is that the motherboards are usually fried. Now the same full cup of tea falling over while on a desktop will only result in a very sticky keyboard which can be replaced for under €10. So back to the reason, why discuss the merits of a laptop v’s a desktop with a non-technical friend! The main reason is, and I hate to offend the majority of the population of Ireland but the majority of the population in Ireland who use computers are not technical minded. Yes I can hear the shouting from here, I am no experts on computers myself but maybe its an age thing!! We learn by our mistakes. So when someone wants a computer to lets say: email, Skype and just look up stuff they look towards the laptop without a thought to a desktop.

So the reasons mentioned by my non-technical friend who uses her laptop to get her emails, Skype etc etc. was that a laptop is mobile, well can not argue with that!! or can we!!! Now lets break that down, she says because its mobile!! Well that is true but for how long!! The longer you have a laptop the less the battery will hold its charge. By the end of the first year of the laptop you would be lucky to get an hour out of using the laptop especially while surfing etc. So the laptop has to be kept plugged in for the majority of the time anyway. Ah but what about the portable Netbook with a 10 hour battery!! Right, good luck using that for anything more than checking your emails, as anyone who has read my previous blogs will know I am not a happy camper when it comes to Netbooks. In fact not impressed at all with Netbooks. Check out my Netbooks Vs Computer Tablets for anyone who has not read it. Now the next reason why my friend purchased a laptop as opposed to a desktop was size and storage. Yes the laptop is neater and easier to store and has a certain mobility to it. Modern desktops come in many sizes and are neat enough to fit in to quite small spaces these days. So I really do not think that should be such an issue, especially since LCD monitors are so neat as well. For the price your definitely get a lot more specks for your hard earning money if you purchase a desktop. The same specs on a laptop would be double your money and the risk of damage is also doubled. Games run better on a desktop computer , to run games on a laptop you would be paying out huge money and is it really worth the risk paying out that much money and with one slip its gone!! Instead of bringing a clumsy laptop around the place why not make more use of all that cloud storage that is now available and can be easily accessed from any pc any where.

Another great advantage in having a desktop is now you can easily attach your desktop to your nice new LCD television very cheaply using a hdmi to hdmi lead (if your pc does not have a hdmi connection, a VGA to hdmi lead can be used). This will allow pictures and sounds from your pc to your television. In this way you can use your desktop as a total multimedia experience to view RTE player, or Netflix etc. You can also play you music collection from your pc’s hard-drive through your surround speakers on your television, and not forgetting your desktop optical drive will play also dvd’s. If you own a smart phone you can even download an app called desktop remote that will allow you to use your mobile smart phone from the comfort of your sofa to control the mouse on your desktop to start or stop what ever is playing on the pc. How is that for comfort! Music centres can be easily replaced by making the most of your desktop.

To get a good perspective of the pros and cons argument for Laptops Vs Desktops I decided to asked a fully qualified and experienced computer and electronics technician who has her own business, Kerry Computer Services, down in the lovely Caherciveen in Co. Kerry. As I would not be qualified in the technical side of the argument, and can only speak from my own experiences. So below are the reasons why they consider desktops far superior than laptops.

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KCS

I have decided to write this article for a specific reason, the world has gone laptop mad. Everyone I know seems to be buying cheap budget laptops and ditching their Pc’s!!

Why?

Here are some pros and Con’s before you go spending your hard-earned bucks..

Desktop PC

Pros:

1. Better specs for the cost: If you want performance and high specs a pc will cost you far less for gaming or other high performance tasks

2. Ease of Use: A desktop pc is easier to use (have you tried typing a 100 page report on a laptop?)

3. Easier to Upgrade: It’s so much easier to buy bigger and better parts for a pc than for a laptop. Not to mention cheaper. And its far easier to replace the parts too

4. Easier to Repair: Pc’s are much easier and cheaper to repair and not as easily damaged either. For example.. if you bring your pc to me to be repair its simple for me to whip out a part that’s bad and replace it with another.. its quick, simple and cheap.. so it saves me time and money so save you too. For diagnosis faulty parts it’s also simple to take practically any other pc component to test it with. With laptops you practically need the exact same model for most components

5. More Robust: It takes a heck of a lot more knocks to break a pc… You barely have to sneeze at a laptop and it keels over

6. Security: Pc’s are not quite so easy for someone to steal and carry off down the road

Cons:

1. Immobile: Of course you can’t carry a pc around with you

Laptops

Pros:

1. Mobility: Of course the greatest attraction to laptops is you can carry them around with you

2.Battery: The other benefit to laptops is you don’t have to have them plugged in to work, well for some of the time anyway.

Con’s:

1. Less Specs for the cost: To buy a laptop with great specs you pay a small fortune.. Yes I know there are a lot of cheap laptops out there now but they are cheap for a reason that’s why they’re called budget laptops.. You may save money on the purchase but they will cost you dearly in the long run

2. Fiddly: I love my laptop and wouldn’t be without it but i hate using the touch pad so I always carry a laptop mouse with me and if I want to do any amount of typing then forget it I use the pc or plug-in an external keyboard

3. Security: Of course laptops like any mobile device are an easy target for the opportunist

4. Repair and Maintenance: Don’t get me started on repairs.. I said to my friends only 2 years ago when everyone was going mad buying cheap laptops for their kids that in a years time I’m gonna be inundated with laptops for repair and no one will want to pay for the repair because it will cost too much.. Well I do love being right.. I’ve lost count of how many laptops I’ve had in to me in the last year with motherboards completely fried from water damage, broken screens, dc jacks broken off the boards and many of them just die as soon as there warranty runs out (surprise surprise)

Customers who have a laptop and it then develops a fault have taken their laptops to at least 3 repair techs in town to be told it will cost them €300 and upwards to repair (and get charged €50 just to be told that) before they then come to me..

Netbooks:

Now there’s a new craze started that’s gonna be even worse. Everyone’s buying netbooks for their kids instead. They’re buying them even cheaper but guess what? Even smaller parts, more expensive to replace and a whole lot more difficult to repair.

Do you see a pattern here?

The bigger the computer the easier it is to repair and maintain, the cheaper it is for the performance and the longer it lasts so saving you a whole lot more money in the long run

Final advice:

If you wanna buy a computer for the family, for the kids to play games, the hubby to download the latest footy matches or play poker and the missus to chat on Facebook then for goodness sake buy a desktop pc

If you just want something for business that’s portable and you’re not too worried about cost then a laptop or netbook will suffice.

Nic

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So there you have it from the horse’s mouth, so to say. Could not have said it better myself. So I hope you find the advice worth following. I have always recommend Kerry Computer Services as they operate on a no fix no fee basis. I know there based in Caherciveen, but they pop in to Tralee now and again and their website has a great discussion forum for any advice you may want to know.

Video link on your LinkedIn Profile

 

Adding-Video-to-your-LinkedIn-Profile-Using-Slideshare

when you have seen one LinkedIn profile you have really seen them all, there really is not that much difference in the layout besides names of Colleges, Job Titles, Websites etc. So what would make it stand out!! How about a video! Even better its free. On linkedIn you have the option of adding Applications, see end of the profile after clicking on Edit Profile. One of these options is WordPress, which can be pretty useful to include in your LinkedIn Profile if you have one.

The application I will be using for this little tutorial is SlideShare. Join up for a free account. Have the video you want on your LinkedIn profile on yourtube, could be a college project, a presentation etc. Add the SlideShare application on to your LinkedIn profile by clicking on Profile ( after your logged in of course), Edit Profile, and near the end of the profile you will see add an Application. This will give your a grid of the different applications you can add to your profile. Check them out, you will see there is also a Box.net files applications which could be useful for your Box.net cloud storage that I have mentioned in a previous post Cloud Storage.

Now the difficult part, na only kidding, create a simple PowerPoint slide. Open Microsoft Office on you PC, go to PowerPoint, it should open in default on a blank new PowerPoint presentation.

Type in the name of the video, or some kinda of Introduction, or you could just leave it blank as the video will speak for its self when it will start playing automatically, save the PowerPoint (slide) with a name you’ll remember when you look for it to upload it to SlideShare and to a place you,ll find it.

I find it handy to have a folder in my documents will all my WordPress stuff in it, good PC housekeeping will always save you time. On SlideShare click on the big upload button, find the PowerPoint and upload.

Give it time to do its stuff, give it a name while its doing it, when its finished go to your username on the top right in SlideShare, on the drop down click on My Uploads. This will have the slide that you just uploaded and now you want to add the video link to it.

Click on Edit, a list of options will appear, these are self explanatory. Go to the top of this page and three different tab options are available, Edit, Replace and Edit Your Tube Videos . Select the tab Edit YourTube Videos, now you need to get a copy of the link from the YouTube video you uploaded earlier, usually under the video under share.

Paste the link in to the section “Enter YouTube video URL” . To select when you want the video to start playing, select from “ Insert this video ” to “Before Slide 1”, to start playing straight away. Recommended option as otherwise the video might not be noticed but when viewers of your profile hear the video playing they will scroll down to view it.

If you prefer an intro ( typed while creating the PowerPoint slide) to your video choose “After Slide 1″. When you have the video link or links inserted click on Insert & Publish. There is an option to view the presentation. Once the application has being added to LinkedIn the Presentation will automatically load. Enjoy

Android Apps Now on PC

David Gaughran,s great blow out

As anyone reading my post will have noticed by now my certain lack of new posts!!. Well David Gaughran can be blamed for that. In case anyone missed the great competition that he ran through Twitter the link is at the top of this post.  As you can see it was moi!! who won all 32 books. Saying I,m trilled is an understatement. So i have more books to read right now than I have time in the day to read them, isn’t that a great complain!!  I am sure I will do my best to get through them. I have added a new widget at the right side with a image and a caption of the book I am currently reading. I would recommend David Gaughran’s blog to follows, not just because he is an author but his marketing skills and tips are excellent.

 

bluestacks

All things technical will still be included as usual if not on here it will be a link on twitter.  I have just installed the new beta Bluestacks to my windows computer, free to use while its a beta edition ( means a trial run).   Working great so far, it synced with my HTC Desire mobile phone without a problem and now all my apps are also on my windows computer to use or play with as well, pretty neat.

Free Video Converter for IPad2

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Videos come in many different formats. Let’s say you have down loaded your video (sheee we won’t tell). Now suppose you want to watch it on your ipad, your Android smartphone or even your laptop. However depending on the format that was used to create the video (say .mov), it might not play properly. Some of the other formats supported by ipad2 are: .m4v, mp4, .mov.

That is why you need a video converter, a utility that changes a video from one format to another. I can recommend one that’s easy to use and even better it’s free, yes that’s right it’s free. It has the very unusual name of Hamster Free Video Converter . I use tinyurl to copy and paste in a web address because it reduces the characters in this case from 79 characters, to 26 characters: especially useful in the character restricted Twitter. Anyway I am getting side-tracked.

Using Hamster Free Video Converter is a three-step process. First, you select the files you want to convert, either by navigating a file menu or by just dragging the file or files to the Hamster window. Second you choose a generic output format e.g. (AVI, MPEG or WMV) or a specific device: Apple TV, IPod Touch, HTC phone, or whatever. Hamster has pre-sets for 16 different gadgets. Once you have chosen your output click a button and sit back while Hamster goes to work, it doesn’t get much easier than that.

TIP: During installation be sure to choose the customization option and to disable the blekko toolbar and Anti-Domain Phishing Advisor that the application wants to install. We can do without the sneak ware.

How to import a movie in to Ipad2

Now comes the difficult part, how to get the movie on to the Ipad2. There are many ways using wifi ( E.g. Air Video, or Air Playit which also streams music from your PC over your wifi, both require installations on your PC and Ipad2 )but for this exercise we are working on the fact no wifi is available, or you want to watch a movie where there is no wifi. One option available is to use a 5 in 1 Camera Connection for Ipad2, cheap enough to pick up in Ebay for under 10 euro. The 1pad is not powerful enough to run a large size USB storage stick, I have tried with an old 500mb stick and it picked up on that ok but any bigger and it will be a hit and miss affair. It works better using a memory card. The trick is to make sure the name of the video or photos you have on the card or stick is exactly 8 characters in length and only has a three letter extension. E.g. mymovies.mp4 or p0000000.jpg. and all have to go into a folder named: DCIM. Your iPad then automatically opens the Photos app, which lets you choose which photos and videos to import, then organizes them into albums. Try out different sizes and formats to see which works better.

NetBooks

Window’s 7 Starter netbooks

 

netbook-white

Got a new fab netbook with windows 7 starter but can’t put your favourite pictured as your wallpaper?. Easy use “stardock my colours” . or just type “stardock my colours” into Google search bar. shortcut on desktop after download.

Comes with free themes and also allows you to copy and paste your favourite photo into the picture folder. eg. doubleclick: Computer > HardDrive C> users> public> public pictures> sample pictures> drop your photo or favourite wallpaper in here.

Close folder (x). Start Stardock-myColors from the desktop. Comes free with “Diamond” theme or “Think Green”  Select your preference, click apply (allow a good couple of minutes, depends on speed of netbook) To change wallpaper, go to wallpapers at top of mycolors and select your image. To use the wallpaper without the themes, click “Windows 7 Aero” on left column. ( no need to register it unless you want extra themes, free to use otherwise) Have fun.

TIP: Upgrade to Windows 7 ultimate, works perfect on my netbook. For an even cheaper way to improve your netbook performance why not upgrade the 1gb memory to 2gb: purchased from Crucial.com . This website has free shipping and a free tool to scan your netbook or laptop to make sure you get the correct ram. Prices from 30euro..

Surfing the Internet

 

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More and more PC users use broadband which use either an USB connection or wireless, ( check out the Internet section for the best wireless deals).
You don’t need a hightspec computer to surf, but if you plan to get into online phone and video conferences, Check out Skype, streaming audio and the like, a slow machine will prove frustrating.

If you have not being informed yet, let me tell you that the Internet has emerged as truly mobile” now. Data cards & USB modem / data sticks from multiple vendors like Vodafone , Meteor, O2 , Three.ie & eMobile are available in the Irish market to accompany laptops & desktops, especially laptops/netbooks when they are on the move. The easy to use features of these small gazettes have enhanced the portability of Internet connections across the world. Be sure to check each top provider on their rates to suit your pocket. There is more information on how to surf the Internet and different options on the INTERNET section.