Thursday, August 30, 2007

OQO model 02 Review

OQO model 02
With integrated mobile broadband, better performance, and longer battery life, OQO's model 02 is a UMPC worth owning.
Price: $2,298
By Jamie Bsales and Mark Spoonauer Date Posted: 01/07/2007

When the original OQO appeared a couple of years ago, some saw it as the solution to a problem no one had. But now, the model 01 looks like it was ahead of its time. Like its predecessor, the model 02 Ultra-Mobile PC is a handheld device that runs Windows, but the 02's addition of fast EV-DO connectivity for hundreds of metro areas around the country means the difference between a handy tool and an expensive novelty.

Other refinements, such as an improved keyboard, faster processor, and more elegant docking solution, sweeten the deal. Users who need more than a smart phone but who wouldn't otherwise tote a laptop with them everywhere will find a lot to like in this sequel.

Weighing just over a pound and measuring 5.6 x 3.3 x 1 inches, the model 02 is a UMPC that is compact enough to carry with you in a jacket pocket, briefcase, or purse. The five-inch widescreen LCD slides up to reveal a new, ergonomic, backlit QWERTY keyboard. You won't be able to type as fast as you would on a BlackBerry, but the layout provided better tactile feedback than the model 01.

The cursor is controlled via a small pointing stick for your right thumb and mouse buttons for your left. Or if you prefer, you can use the included stylus and tap the screen. It's too bad OQO didn't include a stylus holster on the device, though. The model 02 does get warm after some use, but not uncomfortably so, and it was quiet.
The 800 x 480-pixel screen is six times brighter than the model 01's display. Text and icons look fairly tiny, but OQO includes a handy zoom button, although you'll need to scroll around to see various parts of the screen. This configuration includes a 60GB hard drive that's shock-mounted and equipped with drop detect technology in case of falls. The main unit has a USB and auto-sensing audio-out/line-in/line-out headphone jack on the bottom. The only notable omission is a memory card slot.

What makes the OQO model 02 more compelling than the hot-selling Sony VAIO UX Mini PC is its embedded EV-DO Rev. O modem (with service on Sprint's network). It blows away the poky Cingular EDGE connection inside Sony's device. In locations with four or five bars of signal strength, download speeds were as high as 997.3 Kbps, and upload speeds averaged 120 Kbps. Surfing the Web was quick (25 seconds to load, 11 seconds to load our Gmail Inbox). Even video clips over the WWAN connection loaded quickly and played smoothly. Just plan on using headphones; the built-in speaker's sound was thin and tinny.

This UMPC didn't deliver the best mobile broadband performance in areas with weaker coverage. In a location where signal strength dropped to two or three bars, the model 02's throughput dropped to as low as 23.3 Kbps; other notebooks we've been testing with Sprint Rev. O capability have maintained over 100 Kbps in the same conditions.

Although the 1.5-GHz Via C7M processor is certainly faster than the Transmeta CPU that crippled the OQO model 01, you shouldn't expect to do more than run productivity apps on this device. The model 02's performance numbers were low; its 69 score on MobileMark 2005 is less than half than what Sony UX delivered. On the other hand, the model 02 booted up faster than its predecessor, and it opened and closed apps faster.

We were quite pleased with the model 02's four hours of battery life. To get that endurance, however, you'll need the double-capacity battery ($199 and included in this configuration). Those who work in short spurts can get by with the standard battery, which lasted for 1 hour and 54 minutes in our tests.

If you want to use the model 02 as your primary PC, OQO sells a sleek black docking station that includes a slot-loading optical drive and a metal arm attached to hold the main unit, which is a lot more elegant than the snaking cable littered with ports on the model 01. The $299 version of the dock includes a DVD/CD-RW drive, and the $399 version comes with a DVD burner (or $349 as an add-on at the time of purchase). The docking base has three USB ports, an auto-sensing headphone jack (since the main unit's jack is blocked when docked), a LAN port, and an HDMI and VGA port to attach a full-sized monitor. OQO charges $19 for an HDMI-DVI adapter (and one is included with the docking station) and $29 each for HDMI-to-HDMI, HDMI-to-DVI cables.

Bundled software is limited to the Microsoft Origami Experience, a collection of utilities designed to show off what a UMPC can do, and OQO's own Manager and Wireless Dashboard programs. The OQO we tested included Microsoft Office Small Business Edition ($300) and ran Windows XP, but a Vista version will be available soon.

Clearly, the OQO model 02 isn't right for everyone. Those who need more power and creature comforts and don't mind carrying a larger machine should spend the two grand for an ultraportable. But if you want a constant PC companion without the anchor of a laptop bag, the model 02 might be just what you're looking for. It doesn't have the Sony UX' bells and whistles-such as two cameras and a fingerprint reader-but having the ability to connect at high speeds virtually anywhere makes this the best UMPC yet.

OQO model 02: world's smallest Windows Vista® PC

Compact Digital Camera or Digital SLR - Which Is Best For You?

With so many people buying digital cameras these days, it's obvious that the switch from film photography to digital photography is well underway. But which kind of digital camera will work best for you?For most people interested in just getting great looking snapshots and family photos, a compact digital camera will probably do the job nicely, but if you like to have more creative control over your photos, perhaps even enlarging them beyond 8 X 10 or so, then maybe you should consider the flexibility that a high quality digital SLR(single lens reflex) camera can provide instead.One advantage of most digital SLRs is their speed. All digital cameras have some lag between the time when you press the shutter button and the time that the photo is actually taken, and in some compact digital cameras this lag can take almost a full second or so. But most digital SLRs reduce that lag time considerably to the point that it almost rivals the instant response of a film SLR. If you like to shoot fast action shots, this can important to getting the action quickly and easily without missing anything.Flexibility is another great feature of digital SLRs. If you want to set the camera on full automatic mode and let it make all the exposure settings for you, it can certainly do that just like most compact digital cameras, but if you want to set it to manual mode and decide for yourself what exposure settings will be used depending on the photo effect that you wish to achieve, that can be done too. This wide latitude in camera control can be very useful if you have more than one person who will be using the camera with differing skill levels.Another major difference between compact digital cameras and digital SLR cameras is that compact cameras usually let you view and set up the shot through a LCD screen on the back of the camera, whereas the SLR will require you to look through the viewfinder instead to compose your shots. Digital SLRs do come with LCD screens, but they are mainly just used for viewing images after they are taken rather than setting them up beforehand. Which works best for you is mainly just a matter of personal preference though.Before you make your decision between buying a compact digital camera and a digital SLR, think about how you plan on using the camera beforehand and then review the tips and suggestions mentioned above to help you choose the camera type that will fit you best.

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About the Author:You can find digital slr camera reviews and digital cameras comparison by visiting our Digital Photography website.

Cameras That Satisfy Consumers

Premium Point and Shoot

Canon PowerShot SD Series 829*
Panasonic DMC-FZ Series 785
Kodak Z Series 783
Fujifilm Finepix S Series 782
Sony DSC-H Series 780
Segment Average 779
Canon PowerShot A Series 776
Canon PowerShot G Series 773
Canon PowerShot S Series 770
Panasonic DMC-TZ Series 764
Olympus SP Series 754
Nikon Coolpix L Series 749
Nikon Coolpix P Series 721

Ultra Slim

Casio Exilim Zoom Series 802
Canon PowerShot SD Series 796
Kodak V Series 787
Sony DSC-T Series 782
Olympus Stylus Series 781
Panasonic DMC-FX Series 780
HP Photosmart R Series 774
Segment Average 772
Nikon Coolpix S Series 770
Olympus FE Series 769
Sony DSC-W Series 767
Casio Exilim Card Series 761
Samsung S Series 728
Nikon Coolpix L Series 725

Point and Shoot

Fujifilm Finepix F Series 749
Kodak Z Series 744
Canon PowerShot A Series 739
Kodak C Series 738
Samsung A Series 734
Segment Average 727
HP Photosmart M Series 726
Sony DSC-P Series 725
Sony DSC-S Series 718
Pentax OPTIO Series 716
Nikon Coolpix Series 714
Panasonic DMC-LZ Series 713
Olympus FE Series 703
Fujifilm Finepix A Series 698
HP Photosmart E Series 654

Digital Single Lens Reflex

Nikon D Series 822
Segment Average 801
Sony A (Alpha) Digital SLR Series 793
Canon Digital EOS 788
Pentax K Digital Series 787
Olympus EVOLT E Series 783

* Based on a 1,000-point scale

Source: J.D. Power and Associates' "2007 Digital Camera Usage and Satisfaction Study"

How to compare and buy the right notebook?

It’s not tricky to be intimidated by all the notebook computers models on the market these days. You can most often get a dozens of price range and models.In order to find the right notebook for you, a little consideration will be needed. Before go on shopping you should make a decision what actually you need. When you distinct your need, no doubt buying the right notebook is very effortless.Here we point out 5 basic factors to consider:

1. Dimension - Size is definitely a matter in the mobile computing world. A notebook computer can be affected by two element sizes: portability and display size.If you are intending that you will be used your computer for just a short time, an ultra light will save you some shoulder strain.In the other hand, a large display will definitely play a big role while using the computer for a long period in a unique day. Comparing the displays size of other desktop computers, some notebook computers displays exceed 17 inches these days. The down face is that these monsters can simply weigh three times as much as an ultra light.

2. Hard Drive - The element here sounds the size of the hard drive. What size of hard drive you have to buy? Simply query the following question from yourself. Will the notebook be my alternative system or a primary? If a primary then you should buy a bigger hard drive – 60 GB or more. If an alternative, you may probably buy a 20 GB.Also you should know how much data you will be kept in or how much data you have in the present. So simply you should buy a hard drive according to your need.

3. Memory - Determining the right memory or RAM for your notebook need to know the way of for what you will be used the notebook? If you feel that you will be face up to somewhat mundane - email, spreadsheets, word processing, etc- 256 MB will be suitable. Most often many of notebooks have such configuration, so don’t spend a lot for more RAM. But if you are aspiring mobile digital photographer always stuff your notebook with as much RAM as it can hold.

4. Network Connections - Internet is the most important part of the modern computing, computing in the 21st century rely heavily on being connected: It should be connected to a corporate network, connected to an online service, connected to the Internet, connected to a home network, connected to a wireless network.You should buy a notebook computer that will be able to access them all.

5. The Price - Price of notebook depends mostly on your budget, how much you can pay for a notebook. A few years ago, $2.000 were not sufficient for buying a notebook, but today, there are a huge rang of notebooks allow you to pay $1,000 or less for a notebook. However purchasing a notebook computer is still considered a major purchase for most of buyers. You should compare different prices before confirming a deal. We would recommend you for comparing and buying a notebook computer.

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About the Author:Harris Adam is an expert writer of quality content, he wrote these articles, “How to compare and buy the right notebook" for such notebooks: that allow comparing etc. He can be reached at

Do You Need Bluetooth?

Do You Need Bluetooth? When buying any digital electronic device, whether a cellphone, PDA, or notebook computer, it is important to check the specifications to ensure that it will serve your purposes. Bluetooth is becoming an increasingly popular offering in personal electronics, but do you need it?What Is Bluetooth?Bluetooth is a wireless PAN (Personal Area Network) transmission protocol standard. In layman’s terms, Bluetooth is a technology that enables a device to communicate and share data with other Bluetooth capable devices – cellphones, headsets, PDAs, notebook computers, desktop PCs, computer peripherals, printers, cameras, and others – through radio wave transmission (so there is no need for wires) at a range of around 1, 10, or 100 meters, depending on the class of your Bluetooth device (Class 1 has the longest range and Class 3 the shortest).If a device has a Bluetooth chip, it can communicate with other devices that have a Bluetooth chip. Users can share pictures, movies, datasheets, documents, and all sorts of information among them as long as their devices are in range (they do not need to be in direct line of sight). For instance, a Bluetooth-capable digital camera can communicate with a Bluetooth-capable printer for direct printing. Likewise, a Bluetooth-capable cellphone can be connected to a Bluetooth-equipped headset so that a person can take and make hands-free telephone calls.Bluetooth can be used for internet connectivity as long as a Bluetooth-enabled computer is in range of a Bluetooth modem. Bluetooth devices can also form a small wireless network (called a piconet) of up to 8 devices. For security, devices can be paired and transmissions encrypted. So that it causes only minimal interference, Bluetooth periodically changes frequency channels.Bluetooth uses the same radio frequency that 802.11 Wireless Networking does, but it is much simpler than 802.11 technology, negating the need for complex network configurations. Bluetooth also has lower power consumption, making it more economical, though its range is shorter. You Need BluetoothIf you wish to have an extremely basic home network, Bluetooth is for you. There are no wires to trip you and there are no complex configurations like network permissions or addresses to deal with. Piconets are temporary, so a new device can immediately join or leave a Bluetooth network with nothing more than a simple device discovery. It is important to note, however, that piconets are no substitution for a traditional home network (whether through Ethernet or 802.11 Wireless), which are much more reliable and offer much more full-bodied security options.If you have a notebook computer, there is a good chance you will want to have Bluetooth connectivity so that you can take advantage of the many Bluetooth-equipped peripherals, thereby eliminating the need for bulky wires. You can also easily synchronize data between your handheld devices and your notebook computer. Moreover, if you are fond of sharing data with other handheld device users, you definitely need to have Bluetooth for easy and convenient data sharing.You Don’t Need BluetoothIt is important to note that Bluetooth can present a security risk if you store sensitive information on your Bluetooth-enabled device. If you are traveling with sensitive information on your computer, cell-phone, or PDA, it is wise to disable Bluetooth temporarily to prevent data theft or exploitation. Please also note that some corporations and government entities disapprove of Bluetooth and similar convenience-based additions, so please check with your employer if you intend to use your Bluetooth-enabled notebook for business.Please, check out these recommendations for the best notebook computers.

This article may be republished freely as long as this copyright notice and box of resource links are included at the bottom.Copyright © 2007 MALIBAL, lLc
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About the Author:MALIBAL is the Home of the World's Fastest Laptop! Headquartered in Las Vegas, this groundbreaking company has transmuted the world of mobile computing with its nonpareil laptops and unrivaled 24-hour USA-based support.

Buying Guide to Graphics Cards

The graphics card is a vital performance component of your computer, particularly if you play 3D games, or work with graphics and video content. The graphics card sits in an expansion card slot in your PC and it is specifically designed to process image data and output it to your monitor, enabling you to see it.

A graphics card works by calculating how images appear, particularly 3D images, and renders them to the screen. 3D images and video images take a lot of processing capacity, and many graphics processors are complex, require fans to cool them and need direct power supply. The graphics card consists of a graphics processor, a memory chip for graphics operations, and a RAMDAC for display output. It may also include video capture, TV output and SLI and other functions.

You can find the graphics card that suits you by comparing specification between brands and vendors on At you can compare a great range of appliances, and assess them according to their specifications, brands, prices and vendors.Graphics CardsWhat are your needs?

The first decision you need to make is whether you need a graphics card for handling 3D images or whether you are simply requiring 2D image rendering. For 2D requirements, you need only a low-cost solution. In many cases, an integrated graphics solution will suffice for 2D applications.However with 3D graphics, the performance of the graphics card will impact directly on the frame rate and image quality of 3D programs and games. The differences between the low and high-end cards can be substantial, both in cost and performance.Rendering 3D graphics is like lighting a stage, both the geometry of the shapes in question and the lighting of it need to be taken into account. The geometry of an image calculates the parts of an object that can and can't be seen, the position of the eye and its perspective.

The lighting is a calculation of the direction of the light sources, their intensities and the respective shadows that occur. The second part to presenting a 3D image is the rendering of colours and textures to the surfaces of the objects, and modifying them according to light and other factors.Most modern graphics cards include a small microchip called the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), which are provide the algorithms and memory to process complex images. They reduce the workload of the main CPU, and provide faster processing. Different graphics cards have different capabilities in terms of processing power. They can render and refresh images up to 60 or more times per second, calculate shadows quickly, create image depth by rendering distant objects at low resolution, modify surface textures fluidly and eliminate pixelation.

What Specifications to ConsiderProcessor clock speedThis impacts on the rendering capability of the GRU. The clock speed itself is not the critical factor. Rather it is the per-clock performance of the graphics processor, which is indicated by the number of pixels it can process per clock cycle.Memory sizeThis is the memory capacity that is used exclusively for graphics operations, and can be as much as 512MB. The more demanding your graphics applications are, the better you will be served with more memory on your graphics card. 16-M64M128M256M512M640M and moreMemory bandwidth

One thing that can slow down 3D graphics performance is the speed at which the computer delivers information to the graphics processor. A higher bandwidth means a faster data transfer, resulting in faster rendering speeds.Shader modelDirectX Shader Models allows developers control over the appearance of an image as it is rendered on screen, introducing visual effects like multi-layered shadows, reflection and fog.Fill rateThis is the speed at an image can be rendered or "painted". This rate is specified in texels per second, the number of 3D pixels that can be painted per second. A texel is a pixel with depth (3D). The fill rate comes from the combined performance of the clock speed of the processor and the number of pixels it can process per clock cycle, and will tell you how quickly an image can be fully rendered on screen.Vertices/trianglesGraphics chips don't work on curves, rather they process flat surfaces. A curve is created by multiple flat planes arranged to look like a curve. 3D objects are created with multiple triangular surfaces, sometimes hundreds or even thousands, tessellated to represent the curves and angles of the real world.

3D artists are concerned with the number of polygons required to form a shape. There are two different types of specification: vertices per second (I.e., angles the triangles), and triangles per second. To compare one measure with the other, you have to take into account the fact that adjacent triangles share vertices.Anti-aliasingA technique used to smooth images by reducing the jagged stepping effect caused by diagonal lines and square pixels. Different levels of anti-aliasing have different effects on performance.RAMDACThe Random Access Memory Digital to Analogue Converter takes the image data and converts it to a format that your screen can use. A faster RAMDAC means that the graphics card can support higher output resolutions. Some cards have multiple RAMDACs allowing that card to support multiple displays.TV-outSome graphics cards provide the option to connect a television via either a composite (RCA) or S-Video connector. TV OutS-video OutS-video In and S-video Out (VIVO)YPbPr Connection for HDTVDVISome graphics cards include a connector for DVI monitors, handy because a lot of LCD screens support DVI. DVI offers better image quality than the standard VGA connector.Dual-headDual-head is a term used when two monitors are used side by side, stretching your desktop across both.SLI (Scalable Link Interface.)With SLI you can couple two graphics cards in your computer, enabling each card to take half the rendering thereby doubling the performance.When considering your graphics card, it pays to think about how much you need your computer to process your graphics output. Using a high end graphics card with a high pixels per clock rating, large memory, fast processor and other features means that you can run the latest games efficiently, or work in intensive graphics development.Different ModelsWhile there are many vendors of graphics cards, there are actually only two major manufacturers of chips for graphics cards. Nearly every graphics card on the market features a chip manufactured by either ATI or Nvidia. Cards using the same graphics chip will perform roughly the same as each other. However, even though they use the same chip, some feature slightly higher clock speeds, as well as manufacturer guaranteed overclocking-an even higher clock speed than that specified. Other factors that will influence your decision should include the amount of memory a card has (128MB, 256MB, 512MB) and its additional features, such as TV-Out and dual-screen support.Use the search facilities at to compare the features, prices and vendors of graphics cards.

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About the Author:Andrew Gates is a writer for comparison online shopping service . helps you compare video cards and buy online from top-rated online stores. You can also read graphics cards reviews and specifications.

Broadband And The Way It Works

Most people are not aware of what the term broadband really means. Even if this is a word we keep hearing every day, we may not have a clear understanding of how broadband works. This is not at all a shameful thing, as even the technology industry has trouble trying to define it clearly. The definition the online dictionaries provide us with is that broadband is a class of communication channel capable of supporting a wide range of frequencies, typically from audio up to video frequencies. A broadband channel can carry multiple signals by dividing the total capacity into multiple, independent bandwidth channels, where each channel operates only on a specific range of frequencies. Got it yet?

Well, these definitions can be rather confusing sometimes, but once we have analyzed every part of it, you will surely make a good picture of how broadband really works.Broadband is not like the normal class of communication channel that we usually use, that is our regular phone lines. A regular, base band phone line can carry up to 56kbps of data with the help of a high-speed modem, but without additional technology, that is its maximum capacity. However, with the increasing popularity of the internet, people began to demand faster data transmission.If the base band line has one channel to send information, you can imagine a broadband line as having multiple channels that you can use at the same time. Furthermore, a broadband connection is capable of carrying a wider range and type of frequencies, meaning different types of data. It can also do it faster!

If you can imagine your connection to the internet as being a tunnel, that links your computer to the internet, you will clearly see that a broadband is a wider tunnel. It will allow a larger amount of information to go through your connection at the same time. The breadth of this tunnel is called bandwidth. With this broadband service, you can also download files such as audio and video files.Another advantage of the broadband services is the fact that they can also compress and transmit data.You will get more out of the bandwidth that you have. Broadband makes your internet experience faster. Therefore, broadband technology can widen the existing channels, not to speak about using them more efficiently! Isn�t this what each and every one of us is looking for in any internet connection?

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About the Author:Skyriver Communications - A new breed of connectivity services provider - T1 San Diego - Broadband San Diego - Trusted. Reliable. Qualified.

About Laser Printers

Like with many other things in the world of printing, laser printers have come a long way in the past few years. They have gone from being found almost exclusively in offices to being offered at $100 for a home user. Although they are better for a lot of people, some have a hard time imagining themselves buying a laser printer for their home. A lot of people have the idea that laser printers are just the big clunky machines in their offices where the toner cartridges cost a fortune. However, if you are someone who prints out a large amount of documents and is tired of always having to buy new black inkjet cartridges, laser printers can be the solution. Once you get past the initial sticker shock of buying laser toner cartridges, you will realize the numbers for an entry level laser printer versus an inkjet printer look something like this:Typical toner cartridge - $50-$60Page yield - 2,000-3,000 pagesAverage cost per page - 2-2.5 cents per pageTypical inkjet cartridge - $20-$30Page yield - 400-500 pagesAverage cost per page - 4-6 cents per pageAlthough these are just averages and may not seem all that different, in general if you are printing documents, it will probably cost you twice as much to run an inkjet printer than a laser printer. It is better to think of things in the long term when it comes to laser printers, because only then will you truly appreciate their value. If you buy a laser printer and then a backup toner cartridge at the same time, by the time you will have finished that second cartridge, you would have gone through roughly 10 inkjet cartridges.So if you aren't into printing color, then you are probably better off going with a laser printer over a standard inkjet printer. You will appreciate the speed and low maintenance of a laser printer, while also saving money on printer ink in the long run.

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About the Author:Karl Smith devotes all his time to ink, so therefore he is probably the world's foremost authority on the world of printing. He writes a blog at

A Guide to LCD Monitors

Liquid Crystal Displays, or LCDs, are not a new innovation in themselves. In fact, portable computers, and handheld games have long used LCDs as their display. However, they are now becoming far more affordable for use with desktop computers.

The basic premise behind LCDs is that electricity is being applied to crystals to reveal the necessary colours. There is also a backlight to enable the display to be seen clearly under al lighting conditions that the LCD is being viewed in.LCDs have a number of benefits over traditional CRT, or Cathode Ray Tube, displays. The first of these is their size and weight. The thickness of LCDs is only a couple of inches so that it can be used in places where space is at a premium. The CRT displays are often over 20 inches deep, and take up far more space on a desk or computer table. Of course, the smaller the size of a monitor, the lighter it is. LCDs are considerably lighter than their CRT counterparts.

In fact, LCDs can even be mounted on a wall, whilst the bulky CRT cannot so easily.LCDs do not have the same light intensity of CRTs, and do not use the same scanning process to produce images. These are both extremely important from a Health and Safety point of view as LCDs do not cause the same levels of eye strain for the user that CRTs can do.One of the environmental considerations that any people are becoming interested in is energy efficiency. LCDs require a minimal amount of energy to light the crystals, and the amount used for the backlight is also considerable less than that used by the CRTs constant scanning process.Of course, nothing is perfect, and LCDs do have one major drawback, their cost. It is true that the price of an LCD monitor is dropping all the time, but they are still significantly more expensive when compared to a CRT monitor of the same screen size.

This means that it will take some time before the cost of LCDs is less than CRT displays, but if you can afford to buy one now you won’t regret it as the benefits justify the extra cost.

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About the Author:S. Stammberger is editor of LCD Monitors. Get details on manufacturers, distributors, vendors, and suppliers of LCD Monitors.

3 Tips to Remember When Doing a Memory Upgrade on your Desktop

A desktop computer might be the best investment you make for your business and for your family. By providing you with the ability to create professional looking documents, access to the internet, and general gaming and music functions, you can not only broaden your world, but you can also keep up with the fast pace of information. If you've had your computer for a while, you may begin to wonder what else it can do for you and for your life. And that's where many people start when they think about adding memory.Why You Need More MemoryJust as we all wish that we had a more efficient memory system in our brains some days, our computers wish for more memory to improve their function. RAM, or random access memory, is essential for storing programs and information when we are working on the computer, making it easier for us to access this information when we need it. The more programs we need to access, the more memory we need. As the rest of the computer is bogged down with stored programs and documents, the computer needs to rely on the RAM more and more to perform basic functions.

As this RAM depletion occurs, you might notice that your computer is running slower or having troubles with basic programs. Your computer might crash more often than it ever has or it may freeze in the middle of a task. If you didn't have a lot of memory to begin with when you bought the computer, chances are good that you still don't have a lot of memory to work with – and you need to correct this.The good news is that you can actually do your own memory upgrade on your computer to make things move more smoothly for you. Here are three tips to help you with your first memory upgrade.

Tip #1: Always Check on How Much Memory is too MuchJust like you can't screw two light bulbs into one socket, you can't always put a lot of memory into a desktop computer. Some models simply aren't equipped to handle higher amounts of memory. But they can often be built up to about 1GB average, which is a fair amount of total memory for a basic desktop computer.To find out how much memory your computer can handle, you can refer to your user's manual to see where the computer lists the memory capability. If you can not find it here, you might want to go to your computer manufacturer's website to see if they can give you directions from here. The help desk for your brand can also help guide you.For a PC, you can find the maximum memory slots and capability by finding System Information through your Control Panel and finding the memory allotted. For example, if you see that the memory allotted is 1.87GB, you will know that you can only upgrade to that amount. You will then want to check to see how much memory you are using at the current time and then whatever the difference is, that's what you can add.Adding too much memory will not work in your computer and can often cause troubles in terms of making your computer work too hard or even not work at all.And while this seems like it would be a limiting factor in terms of your computer's performance, knowing about the memory capability will help you begin to look at computers differently when you go to buy a new one – you might want to find one that can be easily upgraded.

Tip #2: Always Buy from a Certified Memory Seller It's very tempting to buy memory from someone that is selling it for a low price. When you want to add memory to your computer, you should expect to pay a few hundred dollars per GB that you purchase. And while this sounds like a lot of money, you will be getting a lot of performance in return.To find certified memory sellers, you will want to go to your brand's website to see who they recommend or to simply buy the memory from the manufacturer directly. This will ensure that the memory is made for your computer and that it will work with the software and hardware you already have.Buying from a cheaper seller can often result in malfunctioning equipment as well as a loss of the money you paid for it.

Tip#3: Always Read the DirectionsInstalling memory into a hard drive is actually quite simple, if you read the directions. These will come with the memory sticks themselves. Here are the basic tips:

Buy a pair of memory sticks for maximum performance
Turn off and unplug your desktop
Remove all cords that supply power to your desktop
Press in the power button to discharge any electrical charge
Touch a metal part of the tower to discharge electricity
Open up the tower, remove the old memory
Push in new memory until it 'clicks'
Put tower back together and turn on

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About the Author:About Author :Grant Eckert is a writer for is a leading provider of Ram Memory Upgrade Memory Computer Memory

10 Buying Tips to get the Best Printer

When it comes down to buying a printer for yourself, the real key is finding the best printer for your needs. And how do you find the best printer? Ask questions! Here are 10 great questions to ask yourself in order to find the absolute best printer for all of your printing needs.

1. Is the printer going to be the only printer in the home or office? If yes, then you need the printer to be able to do multiple functions like print pictures, print text fast, and do it all effectively. But very few offices have one printer, and even some homes have more than one with the price of printers on the market. So it might not be a bad idea to buy two printers for your home with one for photo printing, and one for everything else.

2. Do you need a multifunction (all-in-one) printer or not? Nowadays you can buy printers that scan, copy and fax. Will you need your printer to perform any of those things? If you don’t necessarily need the printer do any of those things, then it will not be a factor you need to consider. If not, your buying decision will be much more speedy.

3. What are you going to use the printer for?If you have a need for one particular function in a printer, look for just that at first. For instance, if you want scanning capability, look for that first and then go for the printing part. This means what are you going to use the printer mainly for? Here are some common printer uses, usage levels and the type of printer that may be best suited for this usage:

• Light everyday home use: occasional printing , mainly text, maps for directions, a few photos here and there. (Basic entry level inkjet printer).

• Heavy home use (Or home office, light office): High number of pages, still mainly text or no photo images (no color needed then b/w laser printer, if color is needed a good fast inkjet printer, and if budget available than an entry level color laser).

• Home photo printing: Uses a few mainstream paper sizes, print family photos, cards, scrapbooking, but nothing in high volume (entry to medium level photo printer depending on the budget).

• Professional photo printing: High quality photo printing (high end photo printers).

• Printing marketing materials. Small businesses, real estate agents, etc. (color laser printers small-to-high end).

• Heavy office use for mainly text: if black/white is enough (b/w fast laser printer).

• Heavy office use with also a lot of images and color: a lot of text with graphics, company newsletters, brochures, graphs and presentations. (a good high end color laser printer)

4. What is your budget for buying that printer? You can start by coming up with a budget and then try to get the best printer that fits your needs in that budget. This can work several ways. Most likely, however, you will think of a number that looks great on paper. After a bit of research, you may find that you overestimated or underestimated the cost of a printer that fulfills all of your needs. Then, you’ll come up with a more accurate budget and go from there. Be sure to consider the cost of printer ink cartridges in your budget as well, as they will be a recurring expense.

5. What is the true cost of printer ownership?Find the supply cost of the printer before you buy it. Calculate the cost per page estimation—if the cartridge yield is 300 and the price of cartridge set is $30, then you will average 0.10 per page--and if you print about 200 pages a month you are looking at $20/month cost or more. Things to keep in mind:- Laser printers are less expensive per page (always) especially just black/white lasers as they are great for heavy printing. - Off Brand Printer Cartridges. Not all of them are good. Some stores sell not-so-great quality off-brand or after market products but if the seller is reputable and has a guarantee then why not try it?- Laser Printer Cartridges. Most of the time, if the model is popular enough, you can find good remanufactured cartridges. If you do this, buy remanufactured cartridges that have a new drum, as this will make a big difference. For less popular printer brands and models you may not be able to find cheaper cartridges so check before you buy. - For inkjet printers, most HP, All Lexmark, Xerox and some Canon do not have compatible new generic brands but do have cheaper--but not by much--remanufactured cartridges. Most Epson, Brother, Some Canon, Oki and Xerox have good compatible affordable cartridges. You can forget Dell. And Lexmark has old technology and inferior printers with expensive supplies that you can buy only from directly but some cheaper remanufactured cartridges do exist.

6. Have you heard of the printer brand before? Usually, very few printers have breakthrough technology and designs that can last. Try something that has been tested by the market--you can read reviews for it and supplies are and will be available.

7. What do professionals and customers think about it?In this day and age, we spend a lot of time and money on our printers so it really is worth it to spend ample time on research. Some good printer review sources you can use include: Amazon , PC Magazine website, PCWorld Magazine Website and CNET reviews

8. What do your friends think about it?Ask friends and family about their printers if you think they use one similar to yours. There’s nothing like a good review from a close personal friend or relative to encourage you to make that purchase—if you trust their opinion, that is.

9. Have you thought about non-traditional brands?Consider other brands besides the usual suspects like HP, Lexmark, Epson, Canon or Dell. A lot of new good printers are out there like Brother and Samsung. Even Kodak is coming out with new printers these days. Doing your research means digger deeper than the label.

10. Where will you buy the printer from?Many people opt to buy products online these days, which is great. But a major purchase like a printer gets tricky. Buy the printer from a local store and if you are going to use it a lot, and the printer is expensive it might worth it to get their store warranty. Don’t try to save a few bucks ordering online. Printers are still delicate equipment and can get broken during shipment. Also, you might want to return the printer after you try it out and it’s much easier to walk into the store to do so.

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About the Author:This article is written by Brenda Stokes. A longer version of this article is at 10 Buying Tips to select the best printer. She writes more on Discount Epson Printer Ink and provides tips Printer Ink Refill Instructions.

The Brief History of Apple Laptops

The release of the Apple laptop was the product that helped put Apple back on top in the computing world. For years, Apple had been appreciated by graphic designers, artists, and other visually minded people who appreciated the plethora of graphics programs on Apple’s computers. And for this reason, Apple became entrenched in a niche market and struggled gain footing as a serious competitor in the computing world.

But with the launch of the Apple laptop, Apple was able to finally break free from this restrictive mold. Apple was able to separate itself from the crowd with a visually appealing product that catered to the customer’s needs and wants – a powerful computing machine that was easy to use.

Apple laptops, such as the iBook and PowerBook models, were visually unique also. They stood apart from other laptop designs with their trademark sleek white or shimmering silver color and a curvy design that lacked edges. These laptops appealed to both the upper echelon as well as the common dweller.

The Apple laptop also incorporated accessibility into its design. This Apple product was different in that it could be used with PC and Windows products, which is one of the attributes that helped propel Apple beyond its constrictive refines. Apple users were no longer restricted. Another plus is that the Apple laptop tended to outperform comparable laptop PCs.

The novel design of Apple laptop even included a built in trackball which served to set it even further apart from its competition. No other laptop manufacturers included such a feature that was integrated as well. With the Apple laptop, the trackball was placed in front of the keyboard making it easier to use and much more comfortable will.

Apple even managed to package its laptop into a smaller space than other PC manufacturers. The Apple laptop was less than 2.5 inches thick and only covered an area slightly larger than a letter-size sheet of paper. And in addition to that, it weighed in at only 6.8 pounds, while its PC counterparts averaged well over 8 pounds and lacked many of the features found in even the cheapest desktop system, such as hard drives and mice.

By incorporating features that other laptop PCs did not include, the Apple laptop managed to gain footing in the IT world and propel itself to the top of the ranks. And by remaining on the cutting edge of technology, Apple shows no signs of slipping yet.

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About the Author:
Brenda Moore is a frequent user of the apple laptop but also uses the dell laptop. She's gotten her last apple laptop for free, via the free laptop website.

Guide For Buying Your Rack Mount Computer On The Internet

If you desire to get a rack mounted computer for your use, you can begin your search on the Internet. You can simply visit any of the major search engines, like or and search for "buy rack mount computer", "rack mounted computer for sale online", etc.

This will give you many websites that you can buy the rack mount computer of your choice.

But before you hurry up and make payment, ensure that the online sellers are genuine. You don't want to spend the money paying for your rack mount computer only to realize at the end of the day that you have been defrauded of your hard earned money.

Below are some guides for safely buying your rack mount computer on the Internet:

Don't buy from any online store that has a price that is too good to be true. You can find some online stores that offer too cheap price for rack mount computer. Be wary of such companies. Don't just rush and make payment, but first confirm to see if the company is genuine or not.

In other words, do your own investigations before making your order. Too bad these days there are still many fraudulent sellers on the Internet. They just set up websites claiming to sell items like rack mount computers, only to take your money and disappear into thin air.

You can visit any top computer related forums on the Internet and ask the members there about their opinion on the best places to buy your rack mount computer. Watch for the similar advice given by most of the members. This will give you a good indication if it’s worth following their advice.

When you take these few tips into consideration it will help you make the best rack mount computer buying decision.

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About the Author:
By Bill Johnson Rack Mount Rack Mount Computer

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Gateway: From PC powerhouse to buyout bargain

Suitors once offered $7 billion for Gateway, but after a decade of missteps and bad luck, the company is snapped up for a modest $710 million.

Taiwan is a long way from Iowa.

But not as long as the distance that Gateway--the farm-raised, direct-sales PC company that grew into a major force in the U.S. computer industry--has traveled over the past two decades.
When Acer agreed Monday to purchase the American PC maker, it wasn't shocking, since more than a few pundits would say Gateway's acquisition has been several years overdue. But at a $710 million purchase price, it's a comedown for a company that in 1997 was offered $7 billion to become part of Compaq (which was eventually acquired by Hewlett-Packard).

A string of bad quarters, a revolving door into the chief executive's office and a schizophrenic business strategy have all led to Gateway's end as an independent company after 22 years in business. The economic downturn that began in 2000 hit Gateway particularly hard, and it never quite recovered. Its identity as a company was constantly in flux after that, expanding through retail stores, delving in the world of consumer electronics, and acquiring low-end PC maker eMachines. But none of the new strategies quite worked.

"Gateway's basically been up on eBay for the last couple years."
--Samir Bhavnani,analyst, Current Analysis West

Now it will be up to Acer, a Taiwanese company, to resuscitate Gateway's heartland image and compete with the PC industry's dueling giants, HP and Dell. To people who've watched Gateway's aimless adventures of the last few years, the new and focused management that will be at the helm is probably a good thing, and a long time coming. "Gateway's basically been up on eBay for the last couple years," said Samir Bhavnani, analyst at Current Analysis West.

Founded in 1985, the company was built on a direct-sales model--a la Dell--which was initially very successful. Gateway grew 20 percent to 30 percent from quarter to quarter at its peak in the '90s, making it the Acer of its day--the fastest-growing PC maker at the time.
In 1997, founder and CEO Ted Waitt rejected a proposed merger with Compaq, a deal that would have made Gateway the consumer arm of the world's largest PC operation at the time. After turning Compaq down, Gateway moved into software and services, financing and Internet connections.

But it wasn't as adept selling its PCs in cow-print boxes directly to business. In 1999, Waitt resigned and Jeff Weitzen took over as CEO. Then in 2000 a steep decline in demand hit the PC industry. Gateway's shipments dropped off quickly. The company went from moving 4.2 million units that year to 3.2 million in 2001, 2.7 million in 2002, finally bottoming out at 1.9 million in 2003, according to data compiled by IDC.

Then an economic recession hit. Things got worse. In 2002, Gateway began stocking its Gateway Country Stores--which were formerly just places for customers to place orders--with a variety of consumer electronics, such as cameras, video recorders, and most notably, plasma televisions. The company made a huge splash in the nascent plasma business by undercutting other vendors by hundreds of dollars. The strategy was applauded at the time, but it was a bust.
"At one time it was really focused on selling televisions and made a pretty big bet on the digital home...HP and Dell placed similarly large bets, but they also kept the focus on their PC business," said John Spooner, analyst with TBR.

Then, switching gears, the company scooped up eMachines, a low-end PC maker, in 2004. By then, Gateway had lost much of its shine, and much of the leadership from the much-smaller eMachines was brought in to run the company. "In reality, it seemed like eMachines was taking over Gateway, with its management structure, the way they marketed themselves, and priced themselves," Bhavnani said. eMachines Chief Executive Wayne Inouye moved over to run Gateway, and seven of 13 of the senior vice presidents appointed after the merger also hailed from eMachines.

Later that same year, the newly combined company announced it would begin closing its retail stores, which also meant cutting more than a third of Gateway's workforce. It was then that Gateway began cropping up on retail shelves, and TVs and other consumer electronics were cut out of the picture to focus better on its core business—PCs.

Inouye left in 2006 and company chairman Rick Snyder stepped in as interim CEO. Later that year J. Edward Coleman became the company's fifth chief executive in six years.

Finally, the company got back to doing what it does best -- building PCs. By then, it was worth one-tenth of its value at its peak. But there's still that brand, the biggest reason Acer wants the company. Acer will need it to compete in the U.S. market with Dell and HP.

"Who doesn't like the spotted dots, the cows, what they stood for, seeing (founder) Ted Waitt in the commercials with the pick-up trucks?" said Bhavnani. "It's a company that people rooted for."