Author Archives: Seth Evans

Build Your Own Computer

Now it’s time to dust off your Lego skills, you will need them to build your cheap computer. The hard part of building computers is collecting the various computer parts. Putting the machine together is easy. In fact, you’ll be amazed how simple it is.

Before you start working on your motherboard it is very important that you discharge any static electricity that might have build up on your body. Tough some bare metal, preferably something grounded (AND NOT CONNECTED TO THE MAINS). Then get your motherboard out of its antistatic bag. You will see something similar to the picture.

1.The installation of the CPU

It’s a good idea to get the CPU in its socket before you put the motherboard in its case. You will have more room to work that way.

2. Installation of the memory chips.

After you installed the CPU you are ready for the memory chips.

3. Installation in the computer case

After you have to CPU and memory installed we are going to get the hard- and floppy drives, DVD and motherboard in the computer case.

4. Connecting the hard-drives.

In this section, we are going to put you computers long-term memory online.

5. Installation of the expansion boards.

Almost done. We are going install your expansion boards, and after that, we are ready for a first test drive of your new system.

Congratulations! you are almost done. The only thing left to do is to check all the wiring. Then connect the power cord and flip the power switch.

Use your motherboard’s manual to configure your BIOS settings and after saving switch your computer off. Insert the CD into your operating system, and when all is well you will see the opening screen.

If not….. You will have to do some troubleshooting. Go over the above steps again and figure out what was wrong.

Enjoy your new system!

Top 3 Laptops for 500 or Less

These days having a laptop is an absolute necessity. The problem is not all of us can afford to shell out $1000 for a new laptop. Luckily, thanks to the many brands currently on the market, finding an affordable laptop is now easier than it has ever been before.

Here are 3 of the best laptops you can find for under $500:

 

ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4 12.5-Inch Touchscreen Intel Core m3 with 64GB storage and 4GB RAM

The ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4 is a great entry level laptop for someone who is just starting out. It features a 360 degree hinge design which allows you to flip it anyway you want.

One thing you will really love about this laptop is how fast it starts. It literally boots up in 3.5 seconds. It is also very efficient and can last for up to 10 years on just one charge.

As far as durability goes the The ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4 can handle almost anything thanks to its professional grade aluminum body.

You can find this particular laptop on Amazon for $470.

 

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM 15.6-Inch FHD Notebook

This is the perfect laptop for the everyday user. It features a 7th gen Intel Core i3 processor which is super powerful and super fast. And with a battery life of 12 hours you will be able to maximize productivity while on the go.

Do you love to be entertained? If so the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM 15.6-Inch FHD Notebook is sure to keep you happy. Its large 15.6” Full HD LED-backlit LCD Display with a 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio is sure to deliver the best viewing experience possible.

This laptop also comes business ready with microphone, speakers and HD webcam that have all been certified for Skype.

You can get the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM 15.6-Inch FHD Notebook for $350 on Amazon.

 

Lenovo Miix 320

With the Lenovo Miix 320 you will get the best of both worlds. Not only it is a fully functional laptop, but it is also a tablet rolled into one streamlined and very portable device.

It features a detachable keyboard that can turn your laptop into an interactive, multimedia-rich tablet in a matter of seconds. Just flip it over and you can give a presentation right on the spot.

When it comes to speed this lightweight system is in a class of its on. The Intel® Atom™ processors give you the power to get things done quickly and efficiently.

You can find the Lenovo Miix 320 on the Lenovo website for $350.

What to do with an old laptop

Chances are you have an old laptop or two sitting in your closet collecting dust. And while you may not be ready to throw it out, there are some really cool things you can do to breath new life into that old portable PC.

Here are just a few ideas:

 

Turn It Into A Chromebook

We know this sounds crazy but yes, you can really turn your old laptop into a Chromebook. At its very core a Chromebook is nothing more than a regular laptop using a Google powered interface.

Because of this your old laptop should have no problem running Chromium which is the Google operating system. You can install it on just about any machine using Neverware’s CloudReady.

Please note when you turn your old laptop into a Chromebook you will only have access to a basic web browser and cloud apps.

 

Transform It Into A Digital Photo Frame

If you consider yourself a handyman, or woman, this is something you will really enjoy doing. In order to transform your old laptop into a digital frame you will first need to strip the laptop down to its bare bones.

Once you have stripped it down you will need to remove the high resolution screen and place it into a frame. Next you will need to mount the guts of the PC which for many is the most difficult part.

There are many different ways you can go about turning your old laptop into a digital photo frame. The best thing to do is “Google” it to find out which option will work best for you based on the tools you have at your disposal.

 

Turn It Into A Webcam

How many times have you wondered if someone was able to hack into your system and start using your webcam to spy on you? More times than you can count right?

Well now is your opportunity to turn the tables and start doing a little spying of your own. To make this happen you will need to download and install the iSpy application.  Don’t worry. As long as you are using it within your own home the application is free.

If however you want to be able to view the webcam remotely you will need to pay $7.95 a month to do so. Once you have it installed you will be able to spy on anyone or anything you want.

Please note If your old laptop is unable to boot up you will not be able to transform it into anything. In this case it would be best to clean the hard drive and get rid of the laptop.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=ihVYDRF4610

2 Quick and Easy Ways To Improve Google Chrome’s Performance

Over the years the Google Chrome browser has developed a reputation for being a really great browser with terrible performance. If you have ever used Google Chrome you know exactly what we mean. Especially if you are the type of user who tends to have several tabs open at the same time.

Google recognized this was a big problem and addressed it by releasing the Chrome 57 update in early 2017.

The Chrome 57 update included a new tab-throttling method that was designed to reduce the amount of power being consumed when you have multiple tabs open. And while this update has indeed helped many Chrome users improve battery life and performance, there are still a few other things you can do to improve performance even further.

 

Get Rid Of Offending Tabs and Extensions

Even though the Chrome 57 update was designed so you no longer have to worry about how many tabs you have open, you should still avoid having unnecessary tabs and extensions running in the background.

Before you start closing tabs take a few seconds to look at Chrome’s built in task manager. The task manager will show you which tabs are using the most resources.

To open the task manager click on the triple dot menu located in the upper right hand corner of the browser. Scroll down to “more tools” and then select the task manager.

The task manager will show you all the tabs and extensions currently running on your system. To get rid of a tab that is hogging up too many resources, simply highlight the tab and click the “end process” button in the lower bottom right of the task manager.

 

Reset Chrome

Sometimes no matter what you do it will seem like your system is still running slow. If you run into this problem simply hit the reset button and start from scratch. When you reset Chrome the browser will return to the default settings.

But don’t worry, when you reset your browser Chrome doesn’t get rid of absolutely everything. Things such as your bookmarks, browsing history and any passwords you have saved will not get deleted.

The main things that will get reset will be your start page, pinned tabs, the default search engine (if it isn’t currently Google) and the new tab page.

The reset option is located under the advanced settings tab. You can get there by clicking on settings and then scrolling down until you see the advanced settings tab.

5 Things To Consider When Purchasing A New Laptop

If you are in the market for a new laptop there are a few key things you need to consider before making your purchase.

 

1 – What Size Is The Laptop

Most people looking for a laptop are looking for something that is easy to carry around.  If portability is your main concern, look for a laptop with a small screen. Any Ultrabook will be a good fit for you as they tend to be light and slim.

In particular you should look for a laptop that has a screen size of 12.5-13.3 inches and a weight of 1-1.5kg.

 

2 – Is The Screen Good Quality

These days people spend several hours a day just staring at the screen on their computers. That means the last thing you want is a low quality screen that makes it difficult to do your work.

Most computers these days come with fancy touchscreens that make it easy for you to maneuver around the desktop.  Those same touchscreens also have a glossy reflection that make it difficult to see sometimes.

If you want the widest viewing angles opt for a laptop that uses in-plane switching technology. If at all possible, go to a local store and view the screen for yourself before making the purchase. If you are unable to view it in person, read several reviews before making your decision.

 

3 – Is There Enough RAM

The amount of RAM you need will ultimately depend on how you plan on using your new laptop. As a baseline, it is best to avoid laptops that have less than 4GB of RAM. The more RAM you have the more applications you will be able to run at the same time.

RAM also makes it possible for you to access data quickly which is great for things such as editing photos.

 

4 – What Type Of Hard Drive Does It Have

If you are looking for a lightweight laptop you need to avoid anything with a traditional hard drive. This is because traditional hard drives are bulky, slow and produce too much heat. This will often cause your laptop to shut down right in the middle of something very important.

For best results opt for a laptop that uses an SSD, or solid state drive. Not only are these drives faster, but they are also installed in a way that doesn’t add a lot of extra weight to the laptop.

 

5 – How’s The Battery Life

In most cases the battery life quoted by the manufacturer is not all the way accurate. In reality, the battery life largely depends on how you use the laptop. For example, if all you do is browse the web with your laptop, chances are, depending on the type of laptop it is, your battery can last 10 or more hours.

If on the other hand you use your laptop to stream videos online or to download a ton of files, the battery life will be a lot shorter than what was quoted by the manufacturer.

 

3 Must have Tech Gadgets That Won’t Break the Bank

As you very well know, there is no shortage of tech accessories on the market. And the huge pool of options is what makes it so difficult to narrow down exactly what you want and what you  need. Especially if you are on a budget.

This article was sponsored by Badgerland General Contracting The good news is some of the best tech accessories, the ones that provide you with the most benefit, can be had for $50 or less.

Here are the 3 must have tech accessories that won’t break the bank:

 

Multi Port USB Wall Charger

With so many gadgets in the home it is very important we have a way to charge multiple devices at the same time. The Multi Port USB wall charger by Poweradd will help you do just that.

This particular USB wall charger has four ports so you can charge your phone, tablet and anything else that needs to be charged in one go. If you have a large family having two of these in your home can be a game changer.

You can find a Poweradd wall charger on Amazon for less than $20.

 

A Portable Battery

Over the years the battery life for smartphones has gotten way better. Even still, when you are away from home and you notice your battery is at 15%, that can cause some serious anxiety. A good portable battery will have enough juice to fully charge most mobile devices before needing to be recharged itself.

The Jackery Giant+ Premium 12,000 mAh Dual USB portable battery has two USB ports and is strong enough to recharge a 9.7 inch iPad. You can find the Jackery portable battery on Amazon for less that $25.

 

A Multifaceted USB Hub

I think it’s safe to say having a USB hub has become a standard necessity. That’s why when we say multifaceted we are referring to a USB hub that has an SD card reader and a micro card reader.

The Cateck Bus Powered USB 3.0 3-Port Hub is the perfect multifaceted USB hub for computer geeks all over the world.

While newer model laptops have built in card readers, most of them are located in an inconvenient spot. The Cateck eliminates this problem by putting the card reader at arm’s length.

Simply connect it to your laptop and it will be ready to use whenever you need it. You can find The Cateck Bus Powered USB 3.0 3-Port Hub on Amazon for less than $20.