Specs: 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U Processor 1.6GHz with Turbo Boost Technology up to 3.4GHz, 23.8″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen Edge-to-Edge LED Back-lit Display, Windows 10 Home, 12GB DDR4 2400MHz Memory, Intel UHD Graphics 620, 1TB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive, High-Definition Audio Support, 2 – USB 3.1 (Type A) Gen 1 port (Rear), 2 – USB 2.0 Port (Rear), 1 – HDMI-out Port (rear), 802.11ac Wi-Fi, 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN (RJ-45 Port), Bluetooth 4.3LE, Wireless Keyboard and Optical Mouse
Installing an SSD drive in an old computer can help breath new life into it. Before taking that on, check out this article at PCMag (see source link below).
SSDs may all look alike, but there are loads to know about them as you read reviews and shop. You’ll be able to carry on a conversation about them—and buy wisely—with our help.
Good buy on this…
AmazonBasics Compact Ergonomic
Wireless Mouse with Fast Scrolling
VicTsing 4-Button Slim Silent Wireless Mouse
(portable and pocket sized)
Don’t know how long this price will last… $28.99 Other, lesser sizes available as well, at reduced price.
You know, desktop computers are fading away due to the smartphone and as a result, more and more people are going with laptops for their home computing needs; whether it is a Windows OS based computer or Chrome OS based computer (Chromebook). Here is PCWorld’s review of the best laptops of 2018 (see source link below).
PCWorld’s quick-hit recommendations:
- Best ultrabook laptop:Dell New XPS 13[dell.com]
- Best budget convertible laptop:Asus ZenBook Flip UX360CA-DBM2T[amazon.com]
- Best 2-in-one/ tablet / hybrid laptop:IdeaPad Miix 520[amazon.com]
- Best MacBook:13-inch MacBook Pro (2017, Core i5)[apple.com]
- Best gaming laptop:Alienware 17 R5[dell.com]
- Best budget gaming laptop:Dell G3 15 Gaming Laptop[dell.com]
- Best portable gaming laptop:MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 8RE[amazon.com]
- Best luxury laptop:Microsoft Surface Book 2[microsoftstore.com]
- Best high-end Chromebook:Google Pixelbook (Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB eMMC)[amazon.com]
- Best laptop under $500:Aspire E 15 E5-576-392H[amazon.com]
- Best convertible laptop:HP Spectre x360 13t[hp.com]
- Best budget gaming laptop:Asus Chromebook Flip C101PA-DB2[amazon.com]
If you been holding off on getting a security cam for your home or business, then look no further. I came across this Wyze brand cam that is very inexpensive and has the features that you see with the more expensive brands.
I highly recommend this device. Wireless range is very good. Has high rating at Amazon… What this device does is eliminate clutter and gives you 3 products wrapped up in 1: 16×4 Cable Modem, AC1900 Dual band Wi-Fi Router, 4 Port Gigabit Router… I personally own one of these and can attest to its’ good quality and operation. Very pleased…
The laptop stand is compatible with laptop, MacBook, notebook & tablets size up to 17″, depths less than 12.6″ Raises your notebook screen 6.2-inches in to a comfortable and ergonomically correct eye level, while freeing up desktop space.
BONUS Smartphone Stand: Comes with an free adjustable Phone Stand, which offers you five tilt choices from 36°to 67°, ensuring a comfortable fit for a wide range of personal preferences.
Learn about the latest USB cable connector, called USB-C:
The USB-C connector looks similar to a micro USB connector at first glance, though it’s more oval-shaped and slightly thicker to accommodate its best feature: Like Lightning and MagSafe, the USB-C connector has no up or down orientation. Line up the connector properly, and you don’t have to flip it to plug it in. The cables also have the same connector on both ends, so you don’t have to figure out which end goes where, which has not been the case with all the USB cables we’ve been using for the past 20 years.
The new card is capable of recording video continuously for 43,800 hours.
Tablets didn’t exactly take over the computing world, as Apple and Microsoft had predicted years ago. But they have been evolving to the point where they can fill in for a laptop under the right circumstances.
These adapters allow you to connect a USB C device with a standard Micro USB cable for charging and data transfer purposes.
This particular adapter, at Amazon, has a very high customer review rating, is rated as a best seller; and, at the time of this posting had a coupon offering to drive the price even lower.
Amazon has the NETGEAR AC750 WiFi Range Extender with $10 off the regular price, plus apply the extra savings coupon, that is currently available, to get an additional $5 off… This extender is ideal for boosting or extending the range of your existing WiFi network.
- Ideal for extending WiFi to devices like the iPhone 6, Samsung Galaxy S5, and Samsung Galaxy Tab 3
- Dual band WiFi up to 750 Mbps
- Supports new 802.11ac & b/g/n WiFi devices
- External antennas for better performance, Access Point mode creates a WiFi hotspot using a wired Ethernet connection
- Convenient wall-plug design
- Works with any WiFi router
- FastLane Technology – Use both Wi-Fi bands to establish one super high-speed connection; ideal for HD streaming & gaming
- NOTE: Check instruction video before use
I currently own this Chromebook and I will tell you that I now very seldom use my Windows-based computer anymore at home. This has been a personal test of mine to determine if I could do the same work on the Chromebook as I do my desktop; AND, the answer is YES. This particular Chromebook is mid-range in performance and specs. I highly recommend it for home-based computing and for those Mom’s and Pop’s out there, due to its’ ease of use. This particular model by ACER is at a good price point now…
If you are into computers and electronics, this “Best Sellers” list is a good starting point in learning about these components and learning what people are consistently buying.
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You may have seen the commercials on TV advertising the Google Home Mini and wondering what is the Mini? I was curious as well and decided to find out.
The Google Home Mini is, quote: “About the size of a donut, it has all the smarts of the Google Assistant and gives you hands-free help in any room of your house”.
If you have an Android phone, you may be familiar with Google Assistant on your phone where you simply say “OK Google” and the assistant will launch; at which point, you can ask Google a question. It works very, very well. I am also seeing that you will soon be able to also prompt Google Assistant on your phone, by saying “Hey Google”. You can already do that with the Mini.
The one thing I was curious about, and my question has been answered, is the Mini as smart as the full-fledged Google Assistant(?); and, it is. The Mini is a pared down version of the Assistant making it more accessible in any room.
It’s sleek and smooth, with no corners or edges, and about the size of a donut. Its fabric enclosure is durable, yet transparent enough to let through both light and sound. The LEDs under the fabric light up to show you when your Assistant hears you. And it projects 360-degree sound so you’ll never miss a beat. With far-field microphones, Mini can hear you even when there’s music playing or there’s other noise in the background. Mini comes in three colors—Chalk, Charcoal and Coral. At $49, Google Home Mini works on its own or you can have a few around the house, giving you the power of Google anywhere in your home.
SOURCE: The Official Google Home Blog
The Acer Predator 21X was rated by c|net as the number one fastest gaming laptop; however, with fast comes a steep price.
READ MORE about the Acer Predator 21X and the other 24 runner-up laptops (which are less in price).
Chromebooks are often described as a “browser in a box” due that they run the Google Chrome operating system and browser where the apps are internet dependent. Chromebooks are often seen in the schools these days due to their low cost and ease to maintain (and use). The Chromebooks I have tested boot fast, have long battery life, brighter screens and built in protection against malware and viruses. I have always loved the Windows operating system, but Chromebook computers makes great computers for grandparents due to their simplicity.
The two reason I am looking at the ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4 is that it is one of the first Chromebooks that comes with native Android app support and the fact that ASUS builds great computers. This particular brand of Chromebook is an Amazon Choice and was most recently featured at ZDNet. Also, this Chromebook is, so far, carrying great customer reviews at Amazon.
- Flexible 360 degree hinge and 12.5” Full-HD touchscreen lets you use the C302 in tablet or laptop mode.
- Extremely lightweight at 2.65 pounds with the protection of a sleek aluminum metal body.
- Unlock the power of Chromebooks with access to your favorite Chrome Web Store apps like Google Docs and it is Google Play Store/Android app ready.
- Starts up in seconds and lasts all day, thanks to a long battery life rated up to 10 hours*.
- Work anywhere online or offline regardless of your internet connection. Enjoy your favorite games, entertainment, and keep up with work, wherever you go.
- Intel Core Processor with 64GB storage and 4GB RAM for fast and efficient performance.
Noticed on Amazon that you can save $10 on the TP-Link AC1200 Dual Band WiFi Range Extender/Repeater/Access Point. If this deal is still active you should see a check box next to the “coupon” button that will allow you take advantage of the $10 discount at checkout. Good customer reviews on this device…
Typically, devices like the TP-Link AC1200 Dual Band WiFi Range Extender / Repeater / Access Point, are used to improve the WiFi coverage in your home (especially if you have dead spots).
At the time/date of this posting you could get the UNITEK 60W 12A 6-Port USB Charging station $8 off with coupon code P9I7T46I at final checkout = $30 …
Charging Station for Multiple Devices: Charges up to 6 USB powered devices simultaneously, especially support 5 iPads at once. Rapid charging with BC1.2 technology, provides up to 5V2.4A of power per port. Hold your iPad, iPhone, samsung, tablets and other devices all in one place and keep your device nice organized. Removable Dividers…
At the time and date of this blog post, I found that if you apply this coupon code (4OQZ2K88), at final checkout, you can get the YI Technology Home 720p Wireless IP Camera (black) for $29… I can attest to the YI camera line and currently own, with satisfaction, the YI Dome Camera 1080p HD Pan/Tilt/Zoom Wireless IP Security Surveillance System Night Vision …
Per PCWorld, “there’s a good deal on a 24-inch, 1080p Asus gaming monitor today. Both Amazon and Newegg are selling the Asus VX248H for $110 after rebate. The rebate is via Asus, which means you’ll have to pay $130 up front, and then get $20 back in the form of a prepaid card”.
Noticed a price break on the Logitech Wireless Touch Keyboard K400 Plus. Where this keyboard excels is when it is connected to a computer that is connected to your TV (as a home entertainment setup). Battery life is up to 18 months… Excellent customer review ratings. See complete details below…
Integrated wireless keyboard with touchpad
Control your streaming entertainment without the clutter of multiple devices. A compact, slim living room keyboard puts all your controls in a single device. Comfortable, quiet keys and a large (3.5-inch) touchpad make navigating PC-to-TV entertainment effortless.
Long-range wireless connection
A wireless range of 10-meter (33-feet)* enables a responsive, uninterrupted connection in even the largest rooms. Watch video, stream music, connect with friends, browse web pages, and more— without annoying delays or dropouts.
*Wireless range may vary depending on operating environment and computer setup.
Familiar, media-friendly key layout
There’s no learning curve. You already know how to use the K400 Plus. Your media interactions are enhanced with comfortable keys, easy-access volume controls, and an arrow-key layout that simplifies navigation.
A second left-click button permits two-hand navigation and selection. Shortcuts simplify control for Android and Windows users. Hot keys work right from the box—no configuration is required.
Just plug the tiny Unifying receiver into a USB port and you’re ready to go. Plus, you can use the keyboard receiver to wirelessly connect up to six Unifying devices to your computer.
18-month** battery life
Virtually eliminate the hassle of replacing batteries. Use the on-off switch to extend battery life even further.
**Assumes up to two hours typing per day. Actual battery life will vary with use, settings
Works with multiple operating systems
Use K400 Plus with Windows 10 or later, Windows 8 or 7, Android 5.0 or later, or Chrome OS.
If you are limited for space and/or looking for a basic computer desk, then the OneSpace 50-1001 Stanton Computer Desk with Pullout Keyboard Tray may meet your specs… Pricing on this at the time of this posting was around $32.
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of backing up your personal files and imaging your hard drive. An easy way to get started on this is with an external hard drive. If you are looking for a quality drive, PCWorld just performed a review on a batch of external drives and ended up selecting the WD My Passport 4TB as the best external drive for 2017.
Lots of storage for less than the competition, attractive styling, and good performance with small files highlight this USB 3.0 portable hard drive. An excellent bargain. Source: PCWorld
- Auto backup with included WD Backup software
- Password protection with hardware encryption
- Reimagined design
- Trusted drive built with WD reliability
- USB 3.0 port; USB 2.0 compatible. SYSTEM COMPATIBILITY: Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7. Requires reformatting for Mac OS X operating system.
The NETGEAR AC750 Wi-Fi Range Extender + Extra Outlet is a number one best seller at Amazon. Extend 2.4 & 5GHz Wi-Fi up to 750 Mbps & reduce interference for better Wi-Fi coverage (and a noticeable boost in speed).
Power Bank RAVPower 26800 Portable Charger (13 Hour Charging time for 9 Day Use). Over 2400 positive customer reviews.
A power bank is a battery that you charge up and use it to recharge other devices. I currently use one of these when I go camping to recharge my phone, portable radio and to provide power to a cell phone booster.
If you got $20 to spare and want better sound quality from your laptop, then the Logitech 3.5mm Jack Compact Laptop Speakers is the solution (see source link below). These speakers are currently carrying a near 5 star consumer review rating based on over 3,200 reviews at Amazon.
Quickly and easily transfer your files between OTG-enabled Android smartphones and tablets1 and PC and Mac computers. Free up space to add more photos, videos, songs, and other stuff. Simply connect the SanDisk Ultra Dual USB Drive 3.0 to the micro-USB port of your Android device and move content to the drive. Quickly transfer files at up to 150MB/s* from drive to computer with the high-speed USB 3.0 connector. Spend less time waiting to transfer a full-length movie to the drive than with a standard USB 2.0 drive3. The SanDisk Memory Zone app (available on Google Play) helps you manage your phone’s memory2, making it easy to move, view, copy, or back up your photos and videos to the drive, so you’re always ready to take more videos and pictures on the go.
Noticed this Amazon deal at PCWorld for the Aukey 104-key mechanical keyboard that you may be interested in…
There’s nothing like a good keyboard deal as the week moves into full swing. Amazon and Aukey are offering some deals on the latter’s products today. Of the bunch, our top pick is Aukey’s KM-G6 for $35 (use code RSKGHPRI at checkout). This is a 104-key mechanical keyboard with Outemu Blue switches and six-color backlighting (see source link below to read more)…
If you go to Amazon and check out the Seagate Expansion drives (1TB, 2TB, 3TB, 4TB) you will find that these drives are carrying a 4.3 star (Best Sellers) review rating, based on over 6,000 reviews. If you are in need of external backup storage, this drive is a good choice. You can also check and compare other external drive choices HERE…
The Seagate Expansion portable drive provides extra storage for your ever-growing collection of files. Instantly add space for more files, consolidate all of your files to a single location, or free up space on your computer’s internal drive to help improve performance. Setup is straightforward; simply plug in the included USB cable, and you are ready to go. The drive is automatically recognized by the Windows operating system, so there is no software to install or configure. Saving files is easy too–just drag-and-drop. Take advantage of the fast data transfer speeds with the USB 3.0 interface by connecting to a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port. USB 3.0 is backwards compatible with USB 2.0 for additional system compatibility. System Requirements: Windows 7 or higher, SuperSpeed USB 3.0 port (required for USB 3.0 transfer speeds or backwards compatible with USB 2.0 ports at USB 2.0 transfer speeds, compatibility may vary depending on the user’s hardware configuration and operating system). Box Contents: Seagate Expansion Drive, 18-inch USB 3.0 Cable, and Quick Start Guide.
I don’t know how long this deal will last. Amazon currently has the Logitech G602 Gaming Wireless Mouse at a 50% discount (see source link below). This mouse is very popular and currently is carrying a 4.5 star rating based on over 2200 reviews.
- Up to 250 hours of battery life
- Power-saving, high-accuracy Delta Zero sensor technology
- Lag-free gaming-grade wireless, Performance and Endurance modes maximize battery life
- Long-life buttons rated to 20 million clicks, 11 programmable buttons
- For Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Mac OS X 10.6.8 or higher. For more details go through the “System Requirements” mentioned below.
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One of the new features that come to Windows 10, after the Windows Creators Update, is “Night Light”…
If you are one of those computer users who is on the computer during the night hours, then “Night Light” is a feature that you may want to enable. Studies have shown that our sleep cycle can be disrupted as a result of blue light that emanates from our computer displays (monitor). A solution to this is to change the hue;: thus, restricting the blue light. This is where “Night Light” comes in to play. “Night Light” will help you display warmer colors to help you sleep; is fully adjustable; and, can be scheduled to auto turn “on” and “off”.
To get to “Night Light” on your computer: Click on Start > Settings > System > Display > Night Light Settings
GEEK SQUEAKS’ OF THE WEEK
Don’t install the Windows 10 Creators Update on your own, Microsoft advises – Microsoft would prefer it if you didn’t try to install the Windows 10 Creators Update yourself. Instead, the company is encouraging everyone but advanced users to wait for the Creators Update to become available via Windows Update. That means workarounds for excited users, like the Media Creation Tool or the Windows Update Assistant, are discouraged… READ MORE
Windows 10: The big changes headed your way in 2017 – As a perpetual work in progress, Windows 10 continues to accrue new features, as Windows catches up with Microsoft’s vision of it being an OS that runs anywhere, syncs with the cloud, and has an intelligent assistant at its core… READ MORE
5 Free Software to Measure WiFi Signal Strength – Here are 5 free software to measure WiFi signal strength. Using these free software, you can easily measure the signal quality of your WiFi which is coming from the router… READ MORE
CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 Complete Starter Kit – 16 GB Edition – An exclusive Starter Kit from CanaKit that includes the fastest model of the Raspberry Pi family – The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and everything you need to get up and running within minutes in the exciting world of Raspberry Pi!… READ MORE
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WindowsReport.com is an independent online publication founded in the Fall of 2012 that covers Microsoft’s Windows platform along with its many related products and services, all in the aim of contextualizing the wider implications of their development in the world of technology.
Since its founding, WindowsReport.com has grown to become one of the most important websites when it comes to Windows coverage, with millions of Windows enthusiasts relying on WindowsReport.com’s team of experienced tech journalists, editors, community managers, and more for the freshest news, reviews, features, and product recommendations.
Bookmarks4Techs is a compilation of websites that I have bookmarked over the years. If you run a tech site or know of a tech site that is not on the list, go to the Bookmarks4Techs page and complete the easy to fill out form.
GEEK SQUEAKS’ OF THE WEEK
The 20 best smartphones in the world – If you are looking to purchase a smartphone, this article may give you some insight. Most of the phones reflected are high end phones… READ MORE
The Galaxy S8 was a clear contender for the top spot, and the G6 finally let me place an LG phone within the top 10. To be clear, the top 10 smartphones in this list come very close to each other in terms of performance, design, and features, and you’d easily be happy with our number 10 pick as you would with our number one pick. It all comes down to your personal preference over design and features.
If you see this hook in a toilet, LEAVE and report it – What we’re talking about are innocent looking clothing or coat hooks. However, if you take a closer look, you’ll see there is a tiny hidden camera built-in that peepers are using to watch people undress. Here’s an example of what one of these “spy hooks” looks like… READ MORE
How Dish Network could shake up your wireless service – The way your service looks in coming years could rest in the hands of a satellite TV provider. Seriously… READ MORE
#1 Best Seller Desktop Computer (at Amazon) – Acer Aspire Desktop, 7th Gen Intel Core i5-7400, 8GB DDR4, 2TB HDD, Windows 10 Home, TC-780-AMZKi5… READ MORE
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This week I went on the hunt at Amazon to see what the TOP TEN best sellers were in Data Storage devices (see results below). The top dog in this category was the:
Stating, “Best Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard Out There” is my personal opinion; HOWEVER, I will tell you that the Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard is, by far, the best bluetooth keyboard I have ever owned. I have tried quite a few bluetooth keyboards and my experience with them have not been good. I would often experience lag time when typing and disconnects from the device I was using.
The Logitech K380 changes all of that: but, the main feature of this keyboard is that you can connect up to three devices to the keyboard and toggle between the three on the fly. For example, I connected my Minix NEO Z83-4 Mini PC, my Samsung Galaxy Tab S, and my smartphone to this keyboard. Toggling between the three is a simple as 1-2-3 (number’s individually assigned to each device). I cannot get over how fluid this keyboard is. As a matter of fact, I am composing this article using this keyboard; AND, even though it is a mini keyboard, I would not hesitate in using it as my main keyboard. Another biggie with this bluetooth keyboard is that it takes two AAA batteries and according to Logitech the keyboard will give you 2 years of use between battery changes. The keyboard is available in four different colors.
As of this posting of this article, Amazon has the Logitech K380 on sale for around $30… Normally it is priced at $39.99… In my opinion, this price is reasonable, due to the fact that you have the option of connecting to 3 different bluetooth devices and that it is very reliable for a bluetooth keyboard.
Recently I posted an article, All I Want For Christmas Is A MINIX NEO Z83-4 … Well, Santa left me one of these and I must say, I am very impressed, thus far. As a matter of fact, I am writing this blog post using this mini PC, connected to a 32 inch TV, in my garage. I typically do not post reviews, but I did post a review on Amazon (see below) to encourage others to consider this mini PC as a home entertainment setup or even for a basic PC for everyday use (such as email, web browsing, watching videos, office documents, etc…). Very nicely built with a very small footprint.
This review is from: MINIX NEO Z83-4, Intel Cherry Trail Fanless Mini PC Windows 10 (64-bit) [4GB/32GB/Dual-Band Wi-Fi/Gigabit Ethernet/Dual Output/4K]. Sold Directly by MINIX Technology Limited. (Personal Computers)
Great Mini PC That Met All My Expectations, December 30, 2016
Put a great deal of research into the Minix Neo Z83-4 and based on my research I purchased this mini computer (as a Christmas gift to me) with high expectations. The Minix Neo Z83-4 has met those expectations and more… If you are looking for a computer to connect to your home entertainment system, this is the one to get. If you are someone looking for a basic computer setup, this will do the job. I currently am a tech blogger (whatsonmypc.wordpress.com) who has an obsession for computer technology. Setting up this computer was quick (and easy), with no software bloat that you typically would find on new computers. I have put the Minix Neo Z83-4 to the test by running numerous software applications, videos, browsers, etc… and for a mini PC this thing rocks. I have been very pleased with the build, ease of setup, the numerous ports available and the fact that my experience with this mini PC, thus far, has been very positive. Currently, I am using this computer in wireless mode, with a 32″ Insignia TV connected (via HDMI), with a wireless mouse connected, wireless keyboard connected, a 128GB Mini SD card installed and a 1 TD Western Digital external drive connected. One thing I did run into is that when you insert a SD card, it has to be inserted upside down. Ditto on the other positive reviews you are finding here. Nice work Minix…
Now this is what I call a really neat product. It is the Inateck 2.5 Inch USB 3.0 Hard Drive Enclosure (External Case) for 9.5mm 7mm SATA/HDD/SSD drives… What makes this enclosure standout is that it also serves as a 3 port USB (3.0) hub. Makes good use of any old drives you may have laying around.
Automatic sleep function: Features automatic sleep and spin-down, goes into sleep mode automatically after 10 minutes in idle state. LED flashes each three seconds to indicate standby, a single access to the drive restores the operational mode. Sustainable power management and environmental protection ensured.
Features ABS plastic material, contemporary and reliable design; Top-grade Jmicron JMS567 chipset, theoretical USB 3.0 speeds of up to 5 Gbps, downward compatibility with USB 2.0/1.1.
Suitable for 9.5mm and below thickness 2.5-Inch SATA HDD; Converts any 9.5mm & 7mm 2.5-Inch SATA HDD/SSD into an external hard drive for ultimate mobility and convenience.
Tool free, No Reboot and Additional Driver is needed, easy to install and disassemble; Built-in foam pad, protect hard disk effectively.
Compatible with all Windows versions and Mac OS; eye-pleasing HDD LED activity indicator; Support hot-swap,Plug & play.
SD Memory cards are used in many different devices these days from smartphones to cameras to video recording devices… There are so many cards to choose from. For example, check out [click here] to see an example of what I am talking about.
So, how do you determine what “class” card to purchase? Like everything else when it comes to storage; speed and capacity are two of the main factors that most people look at. A general rule of thumb when it comes to the SD Card (for file and data storage) is that the higher the class number, with Class 10 being the highest, the faster the read/write speeds. To learn more follow the source link below to get insight on SD Memory Cards…
The SD Association defines Speed Class standards indicated by speed symbols to help consumers decide what card will provide the required minimum performance for reliability.
Source: Speed Class – SD Association
Looking to get one of these mini pc’s for Christmas (like I need another tech toy)… It is called the Minix NEO Z83-4. My intention is to set this up as a connection to my TV. See spec’s and YouTube video below…
Here are the specs:
Palm-Sized Computing – Ultra-compact design combined with premium performance. Equipped with Intel’s Cherry Trail Quad-Core processor.
Excellent Thermal Design – Perfect balance of speed, temperature, performance and absolute silence. Low operating temperature and incredibly energy-efficient.
Desktop Performance – Lightning-fast and highly responsive user experience. Exceptional connectivity capabilities, packed with 802.11ac Dual-Band Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet.
Multi-Purpose PC – Excellent Thin Client Solution or Home Theater PC. Equipped with Dual Output display ports (Mini DP and HDMI) and supports up to 4K @ 30fps.
Ready To Run Out Of The Box – 32GB of Samsung eMMC (MLC), 4GB of DDR3L memory and pre-installed with Windows 10 (64-bit).
Don’t know how long this deal will last, but you can get the Microsoft Universal Foldable Keyboard for iPad, iPhone, Android devices, and Windows Tablets at half price on Amazon. Two things jump out at me that I like and that is it is Bluetooth (4.0) Smart and has full-size keys.
I don’t know who would want one of these, but a site called USBKill.com is selling a device (similar in appearance to a USB Flash Drive), that purportedly is designed for testing the surge protection of electronics to their limits – and beyond.
According to the site:
“When plugged into a device, the USB Killer rapidly charges its capacitors from the USB power lines. When the device is charged, -200VDC is discharged over the data lines of the host device. This charge/discharge cycle is repeated many times per second, until the USB Killer is removed.”
Simply put: used on unprotected equipment, the USB Killer instantly and permanently disables unprotected hardware.
USB KILL 2.0 DEMONSTRATION VIDEO
What is nice about having your own blog is that you can have some fun with your friends and at the same time educate others…
My elders alway told me, “If it is too good to be true, stay away from it…” Two computer friends of mine, who I will call Bill and George, came across a “no name” flash drive that was advertised as 1 TB for $16 (out of China). They were excited when they received their perfectly packaged “no name” drives (all the way from China) and were bragging to ALL, “look what we got, 1 TB drives for $16″… Their excitement soon turned to blush when they started filling the drive with data and discovered at approximately 10% capacity of the drive the data started spilling out and the drive would not accept anymore data.
Bill and George were victims of what has become a very common scam on the internet of counterfeit USB flash drives. Many of the these drives can be found on eBay (and even Amazon); typically ship from China; and, often are in packaging (and branding) that replicates popular manufacturer’s such as Kingston, SanDisk, Toshiba and Corsair. Oftentimes, the seller themselves are unaware that the drives are counterfeit and take the hit on this, as the middleman (resulting in poor customer feedback that affects their seller ratings).
So, as you can see great measure and tactic has been taken by these crooks to take your money. Usually, with these drives, most folks do not realize in time, that there is an issue, due to the fact most folks do not “right away” start maxing out the capacity of the drive.
Again, “If it is too good to be true, stay away from it…”. Here are two tips to abide by when purchasing these drives:
- Do your homework… See what is current from reputable manufacturer’s (such as Kingston, Corsair, Sandisk, Patriot, etc…). You will get a general idea of what the current generation drive capacities are (and their true costs). For example, CLICK HERE to see the real cost of what a 1TB drive can be at present…
- Buy only from a reputable online source or buy at a local box store… I am seeing that a great majority of these counterfeit drives are found on eBay and typically ship from China (making it difficult to get your money back).
… and, MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-018)
Malwarebytes has a junkware removal tool that I was unaware about that will aggressively perform the following tasks:
- Removes adware that spawn popup ads, such as Conduit
- Uninstalls unwanted toolbars and browser helper objects, including the Ask and Babylon toolbars
- Removes potentially unwanted programs (PUPs)
- Cleans up traces left behind by PUPs
I am a big user of the Malwarebyte products and decided to give this tool a test run. To run the tool, simply download and run it. A command-line window will open up that will prompt you to hit a key on your keyboard to launch the program. If you have any browser windows open, they will automatically be closed. In the end I found that the tool is pretty aggressive in its’ cleaning to the point it actually removed one of my Chrome browser extensions that I use on a regular basis. With that being said, I recommend you make a note of what extensions you have. If you are in a situation where you find your PC running slow and suspect an infection, you may want to run this tool.
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Free Alternative to Office365 Called Open365 – I Love Free Software has a great article about LibreOffice’s new alternative to Office365 called Open365. After reading the article I went ahead and opened an account (for FREE) at Open365 (which appears to be in beta). Once I opened the account, client software was downloaded to my PC; which, I opted to not install. Instead, I went directly to the cloud-based version of Open365. First impression, not bad… Will be keeping an eye on this.
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… and, MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-016)
Recently I have been paying special attention to folks who have Android smartphones (and tablets) and I am noticing that the majority do not have their phones locked down (either with a pin code or pattern lock). I highly recommend that you get into the security setting on your devices and lock them down; preferably, with a pin code so that when your phone is turned “on” or awakened out of its’ sleep mode, a code (that you pre-designate) is required to access and operate the phone. You will not realize the importance of this “slight” inconvenience, until your phone is misplaced.
To take this a step further, there are apps available that allow you pass code protect individual apps to prevent apps from being launched on your phone (or tablet) in the event you hand off the device to someone else, such as your kids. An app locker that I have been testing out is called Avira Applock+. What I like about Applock+ is that it is very easy to setup; and, it specifically focuses on securing access to your apps (and not a bunch of other stuff is bundled with it). An included powerful feature in the FREE version is the unlimited remote device management, where you can remotely lock and unlock apps on your managed phones (as many as you like!) from Avira Online Essentials – your online dashboard.
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A Surge Protector For High-End Home and Professional Workstations – Here is a surge protector that is highly recommended. It is the Belkin BE112230-08 12-Outlet Surge Protector that is a #1 Best Seller at Amazon. This surge protector is built to protect professional workstations, laser printers, telephones, home-theater systems, and everyday household electronics. While it is recommended for heavy duty devices, it can also be used to protect other household electronics as well without problem.
Google Calendar Keeps Getting Better And Better – You may not have noticed; but, as of this month, a new feature has been implemented that will allow you to create reminders in your calendar.
Just like on Android and iPhone, you’ll get the following:
- Reminders stick around – If a reminder isn’t completed, it will appear at the top of your calendar until you mark it done.
- Reminders work across Google – Reminders you create in Inbox, Keep, and the Google app will also show in Google Calendar.
- Reminders sync with mobile – Reminders created in mobile show up on the web and vice versa. So you can stay on track from just about anywhere.
To read more on this, CLICK HERE…
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… and, MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-015)
This week’s blog posting on “How To Watch YouTube In TV Mode On Your Computer” is actually a very easy posting for me. To go into the YouTube TV Mode on your computer, simply open your browser and type in the following URL: https://www.youtube.com/tv … That is all there is to it. Once you are there there are three very easy keyboard commands you need to know. By hitting the “G” key on your keyboard, a guide will slide out from the left side of the screen. To perform a YouTube search, simply hit the “S” key on your keyboard. If you need to go back to the Home Screen, simply hit the “ESC” key on your keyboard. You can also easily navigate YouTube.com/TV with your mouse (pay special attention to the sidebar on the left side of the screen).
YouTube.com/TV is also called YouTube Leanback and can also be launched by entering the URL of https://www.youtube.com/leanback. This mode of watching YouTube, which is commonly not known (or is forgotten about), is especially beneficial for those who have the larger computer monitors or have a media center set up on a large screen TV.
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File Encryption Software That I Was Unaware Of – Have you ever heard of MEO File Encryption Software? I was unaware it existed and glad that I found it. A free version is available for non-commercial use. If you like it, I found that following the install you can copy the folder where MEO File Encryption is installed to your flash drive and turn it into a portable app. Very nice (and easy) file encryption software with the following features (in the FREE version): Easily encrypt files and folders; Decrypt files that have been encrypted; Encrypt emails and send within MEO; and Create self-extracting encrypted files that can be decrypted without encryption software.
Learn To Tie Knots Online – Check out Animated Knots by Grog that is described on the site as “TIE KNOTS THE FUN AND EASY WAY – Better to know a knot and not need it, than need a knot and not know it”. There is a desktop and mobile version available.
Bet You Never Saw This Before – I have been looking around for a bluetooth capable mouse for my Android tablet and came across a mouse with a bluetooth speaker built into it. It is called the Aerb® Wireless Bluetooth Speaking Mouse . I haven’t decided whether to splurge for this (just to have something different); but, I have never seen anything like it. A mouse with a speaker built into it is a really neat concept; especially, for a tablet or smartphone.
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