Be Picky About Computer Keyboards

If there is anything I have learned in the past ten years of being an editor that is using my computer all day, it is that it is good and right to be absolutely picky when it comes to choosing computer keyboards. If this seems like an insignificant choice to you, then it is clear that you, unlike me, do not spend the majority of your days typing on a computer.

If you did, you would quickly realize what a difference computer keyboards can make to a typing experience. It took me a couple of years to realize that there were actually a lot of options when it comes to computer keyboards and that I didn't have to be satisfied with a computer keyboard that didn't fit my hands.

I have probably made my way through at least eight or nine computer keyboards in the past ten years. I have learned what suites my body and my needs better and that has often caused me to go on the hunt for a newer and better computer keyboard. I have learned that there are a huge variety of As computer keyboards and that if you search for them, they do not have to be too expensive or hard to find.

If you are about to purchase a computer for the first time, or if you are simply looking for a computer keyboard that fits your body and your needs better, then don't rush into a purchase until you have done some research to learn about your options. A great place to begin the search for computer keyboards or any other part of computers is by visiting a computer store where the employees are knowledgeable about all things computer. Stop into a local store or two and see what you can learn about choosing computer keyboards that are right for you.

Another great way to do research on computer keyboards is online. That is, if you can manage to use your current keyboard for a few hours to do the research! Look through many websites until you find the deals that are in your budget and that match your needs. Finding a computer keyboard can be a tedious process, or it can be easy if you look in the right places. The bottom line is that if you are going to be using your computer a lot, then it pays to have the best possible computer keyboard.

7 Barebones Computer Buying Tips

Getting a new computer should be a cool thing, especially a cheap computer. After all that time struggling with you old machine, probably fighting with it to get the latest software to run, your new computer should be a ray of light for your computing future.

Oh, if it were that simple. If things were really that easy or simple when buying a cheap computer, life would be much easier, but just like every other thing, its not that simple.

Barebones computers have become extremely popular, and for good reason. Getting a barebones computer which does not include a monitor and comes with the bear minimum of parts makes them an upgradable, practical and cheap computer.

But not all things are rosy in barebones computer land...

1. Missing parts

Although barebones computers do come with the essential pieces, most people need at least one or two extras for their day to day barebones system. This is simply due to different applications people use them for. Don't get caught missing that extra part from your barebones system that you then need to get later. You still need to do some homework and research to find out what you really need from your barebones system.

2. Super cheap computer deals

Beware, many corners can be cut to get those sub $200 dollar barebones systems. They can be great, but not always, carefully analyse the components of the package. Also remember that a barebones system couldn't possibly include a monitor for that price, which adds a lot to the price.

3. Mismatched parts

This could become a problem if building your own computer, but it even happens in pre-assembled barebones computer deals. There is a chance that you get something that doesn't fit with the barebones system. There are lots of different connections and speed ratings between parts. Make sure the ones you get match up to the other parts and your needs. Although not common, incompatibilities between parts are not unheard of.

4. Outdated components

To get super-cheap deals older parts are sometimes used in cheap computers. Although this can be a great cost-saver and some old parts are fantastic, there is nearly no chance of an upgrade without putting a major amount of money into your barebones computer again, perhaps as much if not probably more than you paid for your great deal.

5. Defective parts

Although this is another one that has gotten better as the competition has gotten stronger, there is a chance of defects in cheaper products. Your motherboard could be faulty, your power supply might give up after a month or two. These may not be intentional problems, but come hand in hand with "cheap computer stuff".

6.Refurbished computer parts

Refurbished computer parts are a great way to save some money. Not always the biggest saver, but there can be problems with the updates to these computers in much the way as mismatches happen in barebones systems. Often the computer is slightly updated to meet needs, but is really quite an old model, just with upgrades. Can be fine, but the parts they replace might be replaced with something newer but inferior.

7. Claims of great warranty

To try and entice you into feeling safe, offers of long warranties are made. Most of the parts in the computer could have past their warranty dates, so the warranties are purely from the company that put the computer together. They can be hard to contact and take their time to get replacements to you as well as expect you to mail the computer to them so that they can do the repairs.

Barebones computers can be a great way to put together a second computer, build a computer for simple purposes, like writing documents and casual web surfing. Barebones fit perfectly as a second computer. Just keep these things in mind and you won't get bitten by the bargain bin monster.

Your Affiliate Business - Peripherals, Software, Computers

I have always been interested in computers, but in the beginning, I would not venture any further than to the software end of learning.  However, learning only the software side, and knowing nothing about the hardware side, can open you up to some costly times at the shop.

When I was selling peripherals, I happen to ask my immediate supervisor how he would go about learning the hardware side of computers.  He looked at me and flatly stated,  "Like I did -- learn by doing – build a computer from scratch".
Well, that is exactly what I did.  And I'll give you a tidbit of what I learned and the problems I encountered.

Lessons Learned

1. I tried to put a floppy drive from my old unit into my new unit.  I blew up the floppy drive. Lesson learned – do not put outdated computer components into a new system.  Duh! 
2. Some of the old programs are not compatible with the new operating system. Did cost me some extra money and time.
3. Don't build a new system from scratch – it cost more than a manufactured unit, unless you have money to burn, want to learn more about computers, or you are going to repair computers for a living.

What do you need in a computer?

Since you are going to run your business from your computer – you want to make sure you get the best you can get, at the price you can afford.

1. When money allows, piggyback an additional hard drive onto your primary hard drive for backup. Needless to say, your primary hard drive will not
last forever.
2. CD-ROM – (Self explanatory)
3. Hard drive – Make sure your hard drive has enough memory  -- I have several 40 GB hard drives.
4. Floppy drive – good for quick copies of an Excel, Word, etc.
5. Printer – A quality printer.  When looking for a printer, make sure it is compatible with the operating system you have and the operating system that is currently out on the market.  Why?  It saves you time – you may have to look for an upgrade for your printer online for the new operating system – sometimes it's free, sometimes it's not, or sometimes the computer will not support the printer with the new operating systems.  They want you to buy a
new unit.  
6. Power supply – some suggest that the computer unit should have 300+ voltage to give your operating system a lot of snap.
7. Fans – The new units usually have additional fans to cool the CPU – which will help extend the life of your computer.
8. Networking capabilities – you'll never know when you want to add an additional unit, it's always good to be prepared – and trust me it will happen
9. If you have to buy a new operating system, I would suggest going with Microsoft XP Professional. I found it very stable, and less likely to crash.


If you start adding everything up, you will realize that I spent more on a "build it yourself unit" versus that of a complete unit.  And the complete unit my friend, is definitely the way I will go from now on.

I have bought several units, and through hard knocks (rebates not received, wrong unit sent  – poor customer service) – learned that the best deal that I have encountered was from Dell Computers.  They offer different computer units, peripherals, printers, etc. with instant savings on select Dell PCs -- great weekly deals – reasonable prices and honored rebates.  Okay, as you can see I'm sold on Dell – if you want to take a closer look you can go to my website
at to see for yourself what they have to offer.

To conclude, when you buy a computer unit online always be aware of what you're buying, what you will be using it for and with, and where you are buying it and from whom.  Sometimes you have to take the hard knocks to learn, which is okay, however, when the hard knocks include an outlay of money – it's always good to have some good advise before making a decision.

Zombie Computers Roam The Internet

Spyware and viruses are so common that you would be hard pressed to find anyone that isn’t aware of them. Under the umbrella term Malware, these little programs have been causing trouble for computer users for many years, and they seem to get more powerful everyday. A new incarnation of malware is becoming very common as of late, and it involves using a virus or trojan horse to place a computer under the remote control of a hacker. The controlled computer is referred to as a zombie and it is used to commit various dastardly deeds without the knowledge of the computer owner.

Zombie computers are almost always attached to the Internet via a broadband connection such as DSL or Satellite Internet. This is important as spammers have found that by using zombie computers to send out their junk mail they can easily avoid detection. As of 2005 it was estimated that up to 80% of all spam was sent via zombie computers, and that number is on the rise.

The increase can be attributed to smarter hackers and better technology, but the real driving causes behind the increased zombie trend are better spam filters and anti-spam laws. According to Tom Spring at PC World Magazine, “spammers are hiring virus writers and hackers to help them create armies of zombie PCs to send spam.” This union of hackers and spammers has been beneficial to both parties in opening new revenue steams that are extremely difficult to shut down.

Gregg Mastoras, a senior security analyst at the security firm Sophos says, “A new underground economy is evolving." This new economy is for the most part illegal and to date impossible to stop completely.

As of late the Chinese hackers have thrown their hat into the game and have taken the zombie computer business to the next level. Senior Pentagon Advisor Paul Strassmann recently said, “As of September 14th 2010 there were exactly 735,598 computers in the United States infested with Chinese zombies”.

Large groups of zombie computers can be used to form a “botnet” or network of slave computers. This network can be used to send out millions of spam mails in a short period of time. Slave networks are also used to commit a DoS attack. DoS attacks, or Denial of Service, target a particular website and overwhelm the server with information requests until the server can no longer handle the load. These attacks or in no way secretive, and once discovered are easily shut down. There will be a period of time however when site traffic will be disrupted by the DoS attack. Larger more sophisticated networks such as those used by governments or large firms have defensive measures in place to prevent damage from a DoS attack.

Your Personal Computer Is Your Friend And Companion In The Modern World

As forecast by many in the 1980s computers are finally taking over the world. You will find them in every office and nearly every home. People use them to manage their lives. You can manage your money online, pay bills and shop over the Internet. You can also keep in touch with friends and family all over the world. If you do not learn how to use a computer, you are going to be left behind.

You will find computers in gas stations, hospitals, stores both large and small, beauty shops, restaurants and more. There are many self-service computers around, synchronized with their headquarter databases. It is impossible to escape computers nowadays. 

Banking, for example, is self-serviced through ATM machines. Gas stations are self-serviced by their use of menu-clad touch screens. A lot of cash registers run on a Windows system and send purchase details via the internet back to headquarters. If you have your blood pressure or heart rate measured, that is also a digital process. You can even order fast food by dialing and making your selection from pre-programmed menus by pressing the buttons on your phone!

It is highly likely that all paper-based transactions (money orders, checks etc) and documentation (filing cabinet systems etc) will become obsolete. Post offices will have a lot less work as paperwork decreases. Homes will be using less paper and our natural resources will be preserved because of this.

If you are not good with computers or have never used one, this might well make you feel worried. Luckily, computer systems are designed for ease of use, so even a child could understand and use them. Many systems are designed with menus and selections so you just need to press the buttons according to your choices. Computerized systems have been deliberately designed like this, so that everyone is capable of using them.

If you have to use an electronic system, look at the main menu. The main menu will probably appear as soon as you turn the device on. The buttons on the main menu have options that take you to other additional menus, where you have more choices to make. You can choose the service that you need in this way.

Remember that if you make a mistake or press the wrong button, the device is not going to blow up! You can easily get back to the main menu and start again if you need to. Every time you use a similar device, it will get easier.

On many electronic devices you will find a ‘help’ option which you can click if you get confused. If it is available, be sure to use it if you need to.

There is really no way to avoid computerized systems in the modern world. There is no need to be afraid of them either. If you remember how simple the menu system is to use, you will find out that you can approach and use these devices as if you had designed them yourself.

Your Computer Is Your Enemy

The old cliché, "If you want a friend, get a dog" still stands in the 21st Century.  It is well established in the medical community that animals can do much to extend the human life span as well as improve the quality of life.  Don't live on or vicariously through your computer.

A pastor once said his job was to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable.  Thus we have the difference between a real live pet and an inanimate electro-mechanical object - in this case the personal computer.  The pet comforts while the computer, improperly used and/or over used, is a thief and a murderer.

Besides, the computer, especially if you run a Microsoft Operating System and Microsoft production software, requires much more maintenance than does a pet.  This alone is enough to drive most users' blood pressure through the roof.  How many times do you suspect that needs to happen before it begins to take a toll on the human body?  It is even more aggravating than the days when we only received three (3) snowy channels on a small black and white television and each channel required another trip outside in the 
rain, in the cold, in the snow, in the heat to adjust the huge antenna attached to a corner of the house which spilled the rain directly into your face as you looked up to see in which direction the antenna was pointing.  If you were lucky someone was in the house calling to you when you got the best picture.

You know what I am talking about... like when your computer locks up with a box popping up on the monitor's screen saying it needs to restart now, and won't let you do anything else until you acquiesce and reboot.  There goes your last few minutes of work.  Another blood pressure jump!  It sure is for the Tennessee Mountain Man!

Father may know best, but mother knows even better and she always made the children set across the room from the TV concerned about it ruining their vision.  Now that same mom allows the children and grandchildren to set on top of a twenty-one (21) inch monitor,  even closer to a laptop, and play games ad infinitum.  The result being more and more of our children are wearing glasses and contact lenses at younger and younger ages.

Mom also insisted that little ones spend much more time outside playing in the yard than obsessing over the magic box in the corner, and the children were healthier.  There were fewer cases of childhood diabetes and hardly any childhood obesity.

Children learned skills greater than cheating x-box and PSP, and mom and pop never heard of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.  The computer man and everyone else is seemingly required to work on or at computer consoles to some extent these days.  As a result, the entire family now either suffers from a computer related ailment or is at real risk of developing one.

With the advent and prevalence of the personal computer and gaming gizmos, the heart, which is a muscle, gets little or no exercise.  As if the TV did not create enough couch potatoes resulting in what amounts to atrophy of the heart muscle, the PC seems to have claimed the remainder of man.

A computer cannot hold you on cold nights or enjoy a walk hand-n-hand with you in the moonlight. It cannot comfort you when you are sick or improve your mood when you are sad.  It cannot feed you when you are hungry nor give you a drink when you are thirsty... at least not yet.  The PC cannot yet carry on a civil or reasoned conversation.  Irrespective of one's addictions and all the attractions on the internet, it is not true social interaction and it certainly cannot satisfy the libido try as some may.

Used improperly it can and does drive wedges between husbands and wives, and between children and parents.  Like a drug, once addicted, and it is addictive, it can cost one his job and it has.  Like a nosy gossiping neighbor or ticked off lover, it has the propensity to tell the world (friend and foe alike) everything it knows (both good and bad) about you.  And, in case you didn't know, there are hackers from people with malicious intentions, to your employer, to Microsoft, to insurance companies, to financial institutions, to the government who have the ability to ask your computer what it knows about you whenever they wish.  And, your computer... your friend in whom you confide everything, like a spurned lover is more than willing to betray her paramour and spill her guts literally.

My computer... my friend?  With such friends who needs enemies?

If you don't know how to protect yourself from a gabby computer you might want to seek the help of professionals like the folks at Remote Helpdesk 1.  Now shut the glib computer down, and go outside and play.

Benefits Of Proper Computer Recycling & Disposal

Computer recycling nowadays is easy to do and very commonplace as computers can be easily refurbished in order to provide 3rd world countries with older yet functioning models of computers. Disposing of computers properly is extremely important because if you sell your computer or give it away then the person who receives it has unlimited access to all of your personal information that was stored on it. If you leave your computer in the street for anyone to take away, then they would be able to access this private information as well.

In a day and age where it is easy to steal someone’s identity with such a small amount of information, and companies are reaping the benefits of “ID Theft Prevention” plans, it is sad to think that a smart adult would forget how much personal information they’ve got stored on their computer. Every time you enter and save a small piece of personal information into a computer, it remains in the hard drive and usually takes a computer expert to wipe your computer clean of all of the tiny bits of your personal information. Any time you save a password or send an e-mail, that information remains no matter how many times you clean the “cookies” and free up some memory.

Any time you order something over the internet using a credit card number, that number gets sent to the company and is usually stored in their memory so that the next time you visit their website, shopping and paying is quicker and easier. As many as 9 million Americans have their identity stolen every year, but sadly, most of these victims are cautious consumers who happen to be targeted because of one little mistake. Disposing of your computer the wrong way could be the one little mistake that your creepy neighbor is waiting on in order for them to gain access to an abundance of your personal information.

With your personal information at the tip of their fingers, identity thieves can easily commit fraud by opening up new credit cards under your name and billing address, using your social security number to obtain illegal employment, get a loan or mortgage under your name, or even just an ID card with your name and their picture. There are no limits to what an identity thief can do with your personal information, and their reach stretches further if they have access to your e-mail accounts and internet pay systems.

The best way to protect yourself against identity theft is obviously to be a conscious consumer when it comes to using your credit cards, watch your credit history and make sure that details such as billing statements coincide with your personal records. It’s important to watch what and where you spend your money, and to make sure it’s only you doing the spending with your accounts.

It’s okay to save personal information on your computer, as long as your computer remains in your hands. Once you are done with a computer either because it’s old or broken or you’re ready for an upgrade, there is only one safe way to dispose or recycle your old computer. In order to insure safety of your personal data and comply with environmental standards for computer disposal, your computer must be sent to a computer disposal or recycling company. Businesses such as those will properly dismantle a non-useable computer or will remove all of your personal information so that the computer is ready to be refurbished. Either way, years worth of your personal information that you entered into your computer will be properly wiped away and the theft of your identity via your trashed computer will no longer be a concern.

Affordable Computer Printer Ink

The computer – once considered a luxury item – has easily become a staple in today’s modern homes; augmenting our businesses, making modern commerce a previously unheard of convenience, and putting informational and entertainment resources at our fingertips.

And along with the home computer comes its myriad of accompaniments – the modem, the speakers, the scanner, and the printer, to name a few. The printer, used virtually every time a school project, work assignment, or shopping receipt warrants it, is far and away one of the more utilized pieces of equipment. But when the ink runs dry, consumers are left with the promise of a high priced-replacement.

Computer printer ink can be one of the most expensive accoutrements for the modern computer. And, because of the regular need for replacement, it can be an expense that crops up more often than we’d like.

Replacing computer printer ink with a new cartridge available in most retail chains can be the most expensive option. Fortunately, there are a number of alternatives that can help keep the cost of your computer printer ink to a minimum.

First and foremost, look for generic ink cartridges in smaller supply stores. In many cases, the exorbitant prices you pay can be largely based on brand names. Just like anything else, it pays to shop around.

Additionally, rather than replacing the entire computer printer ink cartridge, consumers can instead just replace the ink. There are a variety of smaller, local stores that will replace the ink in your existing cartridge for a nominal fee. In this way, not only are you saving money, but you’re cutting down on waste in the environment.

Computer printer ink refilling kits are also available for those who feel comfortable enough refilling ink cartridges on their own. Ink cartridge refill kits are generally commercial in nature and can be found in large computer supply stores and even online.

Finally, conservation is your best way to increasing the economy of your computer printer ink. Use the minimal amount of ink to print each of your projects; print in draft form or in black and white for everything but your most important projects.

Your computer printer ink doesn’t have to be cost-prohibitive. Look for alternative solutions to ensure an efficient and cost-effective means for successful printing.

Computer Printer Ink

How to Keep Your Laptop Out of Thieves' Hands

Here are six guidelines to help you avoid seeing your notebook PC disappear! 

So there you are, rushing to catch a plane. You've got an important presentation on your laptop, along with sensitive company and personal information. And then, suddenly, it's gone.Either you've lost it, or it's been stolen. 

Airports and hotels are favourite places for thieves. Laptops disappear from both and that's bad enough. But often, irreplaceable data has gone with them. According to Safeware, an insurance agency specialising in insuring high-tech equipment, in the US alone 591,000 laptops vanished in 2010. 

None of this has to happen to you. But you have to be extra careful today. With the increased security at airports, losing track of a laptop is easier than ever. Here are six guidelines to help you avoid seeing your notebook PC disappear ?or, if it does, help you find it or get a quick replacement. 

Tips for Getting Through Security Checks
Oddly, some airports have collected stacks of laptops. They're left behind by harried passengers in security areas. Most are reclaimed eventually. But some people never come back for their machines. 
Obviously, you've got to allow yourself plenty of time when you fly. When I travel, I carry my laptop in a backpack. There's lots of room in there, and it's inconspicuous. I see fashionable businesspeople carrying laptops in expensive cases. They're asking for trouble. Those cases say, "Laptop! Laptop! Steal me!"
Security people most likely will want to check the laptop. If possible, handle it yourself, rather than having them do it.

Don't be afraid to speak up. You don't need your machine damaged.
Be sure your battery is charged. The security people may well want to turn on the machine. Most important, don't let it out of your sight. This becomes especially difficult if you are selected for a random head-to-toe check.Once on board your flight, put the computer ?safely stowed in your bag ?under the seat in front of you. Try to avoid putting it in the overhead bin. Others will have more access to it there. 

Have Sensitive Data? Encrypt It
If you have sensitive information on your computer, consider encrypting it. If you have Windows XP, you already have the tools needed. While the thief has your machine, these extra steps will make it much more difficult to access the laptop's data. 

Encryption will protect your business secrets, but it won't retrieve your data. To do that, you've got to back up your information to another computer. If you run your own server, you can easily upload files to it.
You don't have to back up everything on the laptop. Just copy the files you will need to the server. If your laptop should be stolen on your trip, you may be able to borrow a computer at your destination and download your important files. Finding time for backups is a pain, I know. But they can save you. 
Make Your MP3 Player do Double-Duty
If you don't have a server, or don't want to back up to it, take a look at MP3 players. Some today have huge hard drives. They are easily hooked to a laptop through the USB or FireWire ports. The data can then be copied to the MP3 player. These things can copy any data, not just MP3s. 

Trace a Stolen Laptop's Location
If your laptop does get stolen, wouldn't it be great if the system could do the high-tech equivalent of phoning home? There are programs that will report the location of a stolen laptop. They work when the laptop connects to the internet.Security experts also say that engraving your name on the computer is helpful. That will make it more difficult to sell on so thieves may look elsewhere. 

Set a System Password
Every road warrior should protect their laptop with a start-up password. This way, a system password prompt will appear each time you start your computer before Windows even begins to load. It will prohibit any access to the computer at all. 

To create a system password, you'll need to access your computer's setup utility (also known as BIOS settings, which stands for "Basic Input/Output System"). Typically you do this by pressing Delete, Esc or F1 as soon as you turn on the computer. Check the manual though, as some computers are different.

Consider Laptop PC Insurance
If your laptop is expensive (and aren't they all?) you might want to insure it. Some homeowners, renters and business insurance policies don't cover computers, and if they do, there may be many conditions attached.
Today's laptops are ripe targets for thieves. If you follow these basic guidelines along with some good common sense, you won't have to give yours up.

Small Business Start Up, Small Business Ideas, Small Business Plans

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