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This topic may get moved; I doubt this is the right sub to post it in but I wanted to reach as many as possible.

I am a computer technician and "gadget freak". If you have questions about your computer or mobile device (excluding iPhones and iPads specifically, I have limited experience with them), please feel free to post those questions here. I will do my best to help you out.

Please be sure to note your computer's brand and model number, and as precise an explanation of the problem/question as possible. I usually check in in the late evening [EST US] so please give your question 24-48 hours to get answered.

FAQ [Will expand as necessary]:

What tablet do you recommend?

If you have to ask, you should probably get an iPad. If you are invested in the Android ecosystem, then one of the better Samsungs is usually a safe bet. A lot comes down to personal preference. I advise quite strongly: don't spend less than $175. If you buy a cheap tablet, especially a sub-$100 Wal-Mart special as so many older ones do, you will only be disappointed with your experience and it will be so bad you will never use it, except when you feel like you have to to fit in with the cool kids. As for the Microsoft Surface, it is meant as a laptop replacement+tablet, so it's overkill for most as a tablet.

What tablet do you use?

Dell Venue 8 7000 Series (7840), but I don't recommend it. JW Library doesn't play nice with it, and tends to freeze constantly. A shame as it's a gorgeous tablet, but it uses an Intel processor.

What smartphone do you recommend?

If you have to ask, you should probably get an iPhone. They are as simple as it gets. However, there are myriad great Android smartphones out there, but even more bad ones. While I recommend you spend at least $300 for a good phone, there really is no need to spend over $500 in most cases. While the $700+ phones do have some neat features, most are unnecessary for the average person.

What smartphone do you use?

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. But I don't recommend it. For one, it is FAR too expensive. I was foolish with my money. It also has severe software problems. It does have an amazing camera, though, which I do need for my freelance work.

What computer do you recommend?

What a loaded question. This hinges on budget, use case, and willingness to take care of it. The less you spend, the less durability you get. Also the less power, but specifically durability. If you're planning to buy new, I will say that you should avoid Toshiba. Avoid HP and ASUS if you're going sub-$500. Dell and Acer make pretty good products in this price range. $500+, HP, ASUS, and Lenovo jump into the fray. North of $1,000, you're likely to do well no matter what brand you buy. But you're mostly paying for quality, not power. Avoid Intel Celeron and Pentium processors, and AMD E-series processors. These budget chips are horribly wimpy.

What computer do you use?

Lenovo Y40-80. It was actually a fantastic deal and I do recommend it, if you do video editing, processor intensive tasks, or PC gaming. If not, it's probably too much for you.

What do you think of Apple Macs?

Beautifully designed computers, but stupid expensive and also stupid expensive to fix. However, they tend to be useful longer - the average PC hits the obsolecense point in 5-8 years, with maintenance (cleaning, reinstalls, hard drive and fan replacements, RAM upgrades). Macs, on the other hand, can run 7-10 years before hitting that obsolecense point (generally, this does vary).

Should I upgrade to Windows 10?

Yes, but hold off until September; there's still a lot of bugs.

But I hate Windows 8!

No you don't, you just don't want to get used to something different. But you should; it's faster, more stable, and more full-featured than Windows 7.

But I prefer Windows 7!

You shouldn't. Compared to 8.1+10, it's significantly slower and lacks new features that are useful.

But I prefer Windows XP!

Enjoy having your identity and money stolen.

But I prefer Windows ME!

Don't talk to me.

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I'm an old geek myself.

Windows ME - I liked it, tweaked to the nth degree.

XP - well it worked but migration wizard was a joke.

Vista well it wasn't 7

7 was what vista was supposed to be

8 and 8.x I liked but with Iobit's start menu 8.

windows 10 ( have been fast ring insider since April after getting back from west coast) it is what 8 was supposed to be.

 

Some older video cards may not work properly, such as one in this Dell C521.

When I shut down, it is necessary to uninstall driver ( but don't remove it from computer )

or I get a black screen with mouse pointer. All work arounds have failed. :(  not even universals will work

 

Thus I right click on start menu, click on devices and uninstall video driver, then shut down.

Starts up fine next time with driver reinstalled. :)

Cheers :)-D

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Thank you for your availability!

I'm thinking to buy a LIGHT laptop or notebook... Any recommendation? I heard about ultra book... And, I am hesitated to decide since ultra book doesn't have CD player and port to connect internet cable... But, it seems truly light...

Besides, I find out ASUS really has good loud speaker (or maybe not?) That's why I am thinking about this brand... Though, I am not sure if I will use the speaker or not...

I am having ACER, and the speaker is bad, and it's an HEAVY laptop...

So... help me please...

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Thank you for your availability!

I'm thinking to buy a LIGHT laptop or notebook... Any recommendation? I heard about ultra book... And, I am hesitated to decide since ultra book doesn't have CD player and port to connect internet cable... But, it seems truly light...

Besides, I find out ASUS really has good loud speaker (or maybe not?) That's why I am thinking about this brand... Though, I am not sure if I will use the speaker or not...

I am having ACER, and the speaker is bad, and it's an HEAVY laptop...

So... help me please...

 

Hi Ivy!  Good to see you again!

 

Many modern laptops have done away with CD drives, it means they can fit more electronics and more battery into a smaller shell!  And most people are surprised how little they used their CD/DVD drive once they switch!  But if you really need one, you can purchase a ($20-$30 USD) USB external drive to plug in.  If your problem is simply listening to music, you can always rip your music library in advance using iTunes or MediaMonkey, then upload all your music (for free!) to Google Play Music, after which you can stream it to any device (laptop, desktop, smartphone, tablet) for free.

 

I had not heard that ASUS had particularly good speakers, but that may be.  My Lenovo laptop has surprisingly loud speakers with surprisingly good range, and even a virtual surround sound processing that is unexpectedly effective... But it still sounds like laptop speakers.  I try to only use them for watching videos or the like when I don't have a better option, but usually my laptop is plugged into a stereo system with very large, very good speakers when watching movies or listening to music.  Of course, you don't have to go that expensive.  Logitech makes some nice small speaker sets for less than $70 (as low as $20 sometimes); including some 5.1 surround sound sets!

 

Lastly, for recommendations; look for a 12"-14" if you want to go small, but bear in mind that screens with smaller sizes can be somewhat expensive to replace if broken.  Lenovo's X1 Carbon is the best ultrabook I've seen thus far, but it's expensive.  So is HP's x360 Spectre, which is also stunning, but so is the price (over $1,000).  Lenovo's Yoga is an ultrabook/convertible tablet on a budget, and it's not terrible, but I've seen a LOT of broken hinges on them, so I don't recommend them.

 

Shop around, go to big stores (I assume you have something like Best Buy there), play with them and see what you like.  Then get a 2nd opinion from somebody like me before you buy!

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What the different between a laptop and a notebook, which one is better? 

 

Hi Missy;

 

Laptop and notebook are different words for the same thing.

 

An Ultrabook is a laptop that: is thinner than some randomly-defined size (I think 1"), is low power, has no optical drive, has a solid-state drive for storage, and has over 6 hours of battery life.  Some have redefined it to mean "a really thin laptop".

 

Netbook is a dead term for miniature (11" or less), low-power laptops.

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Oops, forgot about that question.

 

Normally, I would encourage using wi-fi instead.  If that's not an option and you have decided to go for a computer without ethernet, there are inexpensive ethernet-to-USB adapters out there for $15-$25.

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:wacko:HY I  HAVE A DELL LAPTOP. INSPIRONM531R-5535 AMD ELITE QUAD-CORE ,just attended convention in Sunrice FLA, I WANT TO GO BACK AT THE END OF AUG, AND WOULD LIKE TO RECORD SUNDAYS ENTIRE PROGRAM, WAS VOLUNTER AND MISS OUT ON TALKS, SO HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO RECORD, IM TECH CHALLENGED :exclamation:THANKYOU

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I spend most of my time on the iPad, but when I crank up the Levano, it is headache time. I have tried to get rid of all but the basic stuff, and it is getting better, I think? What about the Windows 10? I do have Windows 7.

Oh, and, by the way, can you please do a home visit?. We are wanting to install cameras for security, and we just get lost? I am hoping we can do the hardware stuff, and get someone here to finish out the tech stuff. We have minimal, but the images need to be stored on the, "cloud" headache time!

I literally spent about 4 hours a day, for days getting a printer hooked up. I've done it before, but this was a nightmare. Sid is talking about buying an iPad compatible printer. I say,"let me get my app to work" I'd did. But, today is another day. I want to see if it stuck. The fix

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Lenovo's Yoga is an ultrabook/convertible tablet on a budget, and it's not terrible, but I've seen a LOT of broken hinges on them, so I don't recommend them.

 

I have a Lenovo Yoga 2 and it is just over a year old. The battery doesn't last very long, the display has a small crack on the upper corner and the keyboard sticks. It isn't my favorite computer...

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:wacko:HY I  HAVE A DELL LAPTOP. INSPIRONM531R-5535 AMD ELITE QUAD-CORE ,just attended convention in Sunrice FLA, I WANT TO GO BACK AT THE END OF AUG, AND WOULD LIKE TO RECORD SUNDAYS ENTIRE PROGRAM, WAS VOLUNTER AND MISS OUT ON TALKS, SO HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO RECORD, IM TECH CHALLENGED :exclamation:THANKYOU

 

Wat.

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I spend most of my time on the iPad, but when I crank up the Levano, it is headache time. I have tried to get rid of all but the basic stuff, and it is getting better, I think? What about the Windows 10? I do have Windows 7.

Oh, and, by the way, can you please do a home visit?. We are wanting to install cameras for security, and we just get lost? I am hoping we can do the hardware stuff, and get someone here to finish out the tech stuff. We have minimal, but the images need to be stored on the, "cloud" headache time!

I literally spent about 4 hours a day, for days getting a printer hooked up. I've done it before, but this was a nightmare. Sid is talking about buying an iPad compatible printer. I say,"let me get my app to work" I'd did. But, today is another day. I want to see if it stuck. The fix

 

Your post appears to be incomplete.

Most consumer computers do come with a ton of bloatware, so uninstalling that should have helped somewhat.  If it has become corrupted by viruses or malware, which is possible if you have limited technical knowledge, then doing a complete reinstall may be necessary.

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i would like to know why when play a video form the inter net it poss at lot 

it use to not do that and it does not mater what website im on

We have a language barrier here. I think you mean YouTube and other videos are buffering a lot, which likely means either your internet connection is not fast enough, or your computer may be damaged - either having virus/malware problems or hard drive failure. Have your computer looked at by a real technician (not just a "computer guy" at the hall). If it's okay, then call your internet provider.

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well let see now 

 "internet connection" i have Cable 

 " hard drive"  hmm may be 3 years old 

 virus/malware problems hmm may be 

Even cable internet can go screwy...

Hard drives can be lemons, or can die early under heavy continuous use or if the computer has ever been dropped or bumped badly.

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