How to Check Your Computer Power Supply

How to Check Your Computer Power Supply

The power supply for your computer is the most important element. But it’s often the component that is overlooked; therefore, it’s usually a generic, budget brand. The power supply can cause errors and restarts because other parts in your computer are not getting enough voltage or power. If your computer is causing problems, test the power supply before spending money on maintenance.

Why do they fail? Power supplies don’t put out as much power as what they are rated for over time. Their output decreases. Overheating a computer (power supply) can cause issues. Bad power (black outs, brown outs, spikes) can cause the life to decrease as well.

You should always try to troubleshoot your power supply. Use a power supply that you know works before you spend money on a tester or new power supply. This is a simple, effective solution to solve a seemingly complex computer problem.

Purchase a low cost power supply tester as it’s an efficient, easy way to tell if the PSU is good. A multimeter is also an excellent solution because it can also be used for other things. Choose the most viable option that works best for you and your computer.

Ensure that your power supply fan is operating, especially if you have an older PC. If it is not working properly, replace the power supply as soon as possible. Sometimes fans can be blown out with compressed air. But if it’s not spinning, you need to replace your power supply immediately.

Check that your power supply is powerful enough for your operating system and your needs. If you have added extra hard drives, a powerful graphics card, and new RAM, then you should ensure that your power supply has enough juice.


Where Did I Put My Memory?

Where Did I Put My Memory?

Our memories are important. Our memories make us who we are. But what if you remembered everything? That may not be a good thing since getting rid of old memories helps to form new ones. Perfect memories retain the information you need and forget what you don’t need.

For Canadians, memory loss is our second greatest health concern after cancer. Remembering and forgetting is becoming increasingly difficult because we are constantly overwhelmed by information such as pin numbers, alarm codes, and passwords for our cappuccino makers. There is simply so much to forget. Are you one of those people who forget names, and where you put your purse, wallet, or keys? How about where you parked your car?

Humans have been forgetting things as long as we’ve been remembering things. Sailors learn to navigate by remembering songs that give them directions. These songs are kind of like a GPS. Ancient humans used to sing songs to remember things. Most children learn the alphabet by singing a song. This proves that music and songs do help us remember things.

But singing songs isn’t the only method to remember things. Dave Farrow, an instructor who teaches memory courses, helps business owners remember their clients’ names through visualization. Studies show that people remember best visually. Using acronyms also helps. Do you have a technique to remember things?

In London, England, world memory championships take place each year. These memory experts train their brains and block out distractions by using glasses, ear plugs, and juggling balls. It’s quite like an Olympics of the mind. To recall numbers, they simply turn them into easy-to-remember shapes.

The neurons in our brains store different memories. When we remember something it activates our neurons that convey that particular experience by following a certain pathway. Our memories fade because these pathways weaken, and then we begin to forget. But our neurons are resilient, and they continuously grow.

The trick is to combine physical and mental exercise to improve your memory. Brain gyms are becoming more and more popular. They provide a place to exercise your brain and learn new things. Even learning how to dance helps.

Taking pictures is another way that we capture memories and images. Sense cams are being used by people who suffer from severe memory loss. These cameras take pictures every 30 seconds and provide a visual map of your everyday activities.

Forgetting is an essential part of being human. But can you keep your memories and make them better? Yes. All you need to do is socialize, visualize, exercise, sing, and keep learning new things.


Are We Digital Dummies?

Are We Digital Dummies?

Communicating is a part of human nature. It’s what we do. With advancements in technology, there are no limitations to when and where we can communicate.

Over twelve billion text messages are sent worldwide every day and over a billion people are on Facebook. In addition, the number of personal computers around the globe is expected to double in the next four years. But is all this technology a good thing?

Are We Digital Dummies? is a documentary that discusses how the latest technologies affect your life, family, and co-workers. How has it affected your life? You may say that it has made your life better and easier, but does this mean that you’re constantly plugged into the digital world?

People interviewed for the documentary say that they can’t live without their personal devices. They also complain that their computers and BlackBerry control their lives and increase the amount of time they spend on the Internet. Aside from personal use, our careers may require us to be reached at any time when we’re away from the office.

Are We Digital Dummies? also examines the consequences of using our cell phones while driving, at home, and during office meetings. Prolonged technology use has turned us into a distracted, superficial nation. We have difficulty multi-tasking all these personal devices because our brains simply can’t keep up with all the modern demands for our attention.

But some people can’t unplug from the digital world. They need to immediately read that text, take that call, or update their Facebook status. Studies show that between six to ten percent of the population are addicted to the Internet.

Are We Digital Dummies? looks at the pros and cons of technology use, and how it affects our lives. It prompts us to answer this question: Can I unplug from the digital world at any given time? Be informed about the affects of the digital world and watch Are We Digital Dummies?


How to Choose Between a Desktop and a Laptop

How to Choose Between a Desktop and a Laptop

There are pros and cons to owning a desktop and a laptop. You may already know some of them if you own both. Remember to choose the type of computer that best suits your lifestyle and living space.

A laptop is a great option even if you don’t check your email or browse the Internet when you are away from home. You can take it anywhere and everywhere you go, including in and around your home.

Laptops are also fantastic space savers. They are small, sleek self-contained units free of a monitor, CPU, and extra power cords. Laptops operate on only one power cord, which you only need to use if the battery needs recharging. Try to purchase one with a long live battery as a wireless laptop is only as good as the battery that powers it. With advancements in batteries, hardware, and software, a laptop can run as long as five hours or even more.

It’s a good idea to purchase a laptop that has a wireless adapter built in, along with a wireless network in your home or community so that you can use your laptop in any room in your home while being connected to the Internet. How convenient! You can even purchase a wireless printer that communicates with your laptop via infrared (IR), WiFi, or Bluetooth technology.

Desktop computers are a viable option if you want to pay less and get more. When you’re looking for great performance features in a reasonably priced package, the desktop computer may be the right solution for you. With a larger tower case, the manufacturer has more space to install more technologies. New processors usually favour desktop computers first.

If you download a lot of music, movies, and videos, a desktop computer is the best choice. Because it can handle more powerful technologies, you can watch movies and videos with remarkable clarity and no lag time. You can also purchase large hard drives and CD/DVD-ROM drives and still have space for upgrades.

Unlike laptops, you can upgrade your desktop and make it better, stronger, and faster. You can add memory, a better video card, and processor if you want the latest technologies at your disposal. With a desktop, you virtually have no limitations.

A laptop may be a good choice if your living space is small, and you’re constantly on the go. Desktops are great if you are home often, and want to get the most out of your money. Choose what works best for you. If ever in doubt, you can always purchase a laptop and a desktop computer.


How to Evaluate Your Web Browser’s Security Settings

How to Evaluate Your Web Browser’s Security Settings


Increasing the security settings in your web browser could prevent your computer from being attacked by viruses or unwanted hackers.

Your web browser is your main connection to the rest of the Internet, multiple applications may rely on your browser, or elements within your browser to function. This makes the security settings within your browser very important.

Many web applications try to enable various types of functionality, but it may leave your computer vulnerable to attacks. Disable most of these features and enable the functionality temporarily if you think the site is trustworthy.

Remember to familiarize yourself with your browser’s security options and settings. Every browser allows you to adjust security levels, so it’s a good idea to understand how to change your settings and to be knowledgeable of certain terms.

If you use Internet Explorer as your default web browser, you can find your settings by:

  1. Clicking Tools on your menu bar
  2. Selecting Internet Options
  3. Choosing Security tab
  4. Clicking Custom Level

In Firefox, you can access your settings by:

  1. Clicking Tools on the menu bar
  2. Selecting Options
  3. Clicking the Content, Privacy, and Security tabs

To keep your computer safe, your security settings should be at the highest level possible. But this may prevent some sites from loading or functioning properly. Keep your security settings high, but only enable certain features when you need to.

Your web browser may give you the option of putting websites into different segments, or zones, and allow you to define different security restrictions for each zone. The Internet is the general zone for all public websites. The local intranet is a safe zone, but be aware of the settings on the sites that are listed.

Trusted sites are an optional zone, but may be useful if you or your business maintains multiple websites. Even if you trust these sites, apply the highest security levels to external sites. It’s in your best interest to avoid visiting sites that are restricted or that make you question if they’re safe. Visiting sites that use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) in this zone allows you to verify that the site you are visiting is what it claims to be.

Some websites use web scripts, such as JavaScript to achieve a certain appearance or functionality, but these scripts may be used in attacks. Java, ActiveX controls, and Plug-ins are used to provide some functionality, but they may put your computer at risk. Before installing them, ensure that they are necessary and that the site you download them from is trustworthy.

Disabling cookies and blocking pop-up windows in your settings are also simple, yet effective ways to protect and secure your computer.


Copy Machines Are a Serious Security Risk

Man Looking Inside Photocopier

Warehouses worldwide hold thousands of used copy machines ready to be sold to unknown buyers. Nearly every copy machine that has been built since 2002 contains a hard drive similar to the one on your computer.

Your copy machine stores images of every document that you scan, email, and copy. Personal information, such as your Social Insurance Number, birth certificate, bank records and income tax forms can be found on your copy machine. This is the kind of information that identity thieves thrive on.

Retrieving images and information from copy machines is easy with a bit of computer knowledge. Too easy. Once you purchase a used machine for about $300 and turn it on, you can find out where it’s from, how many copies and prints are stored on it, and what it was used for.

It takes about 30 minutes to remove a hard drive from a copy machine. You can access thousands of documents in less than 12 hours. All you have to do is download free forensic software programs on the Internet and run a scan.

The industry fails to inform people of the potential risks of copy machines. According to a 2008 Sharp survey, 60% of Americans are unaware about the security risks of copy machines.

Some major manufacturers offer security or encryption packages on their products. There is a Sharp copy machine that automatically erases images from the hard drive, it costs $500 to install this device but most businesses are reluctant to pay for it.

Remember that your copy machine is actually a computer. If your copy machine is ready to be sold, clean up your hard drive and destroy it. This will keep your personal information safe from identity thieves. There are many low cost and free programs available to securely delete files and folders (don’t trust the Recycle Bin) and also completely wipe a hard drive when you are done with it. E.g. WipeDrive, DBAN, Eraser, SDelete, Freeraser.

Do you always wipe your data?