Wednesday, June 8, 2016
How to Buy a Computer

The choice of computer types and styles has exploded in recent years, making buying a new computer a completely different experience than it was even ten years ago. There are many things to consider as you research computers to find one you want at a reasonable price.

It’s no surprise then if you’re confused about what to look for in a new computer and you’re certainly not alone. Many of us are in that self-same boat. Let’s face it, technology changes so fast, it’s hard to keep up. What’s state-of-the-art today becomes old news so quickly it can be frustratingly hard to keep up.

In the end, all you really need to know is - will the computer you pick do everything you need it to do? Here’s a simple plan to help you choose a computer that fits your needs

Learning Computer Speak

In order to help you understand what you read or hear from a computer sales person, here’s a glossary of terms you’re likely to encounter when shopping for a new computer. It’s the same whether you’re buying a PC or a Mac.

Computer Router
  • A Router is a small box that allows several computers to join the same network.  Besides wired connections, most modern routers offer wireless connectivity as well.
  • The Processor is the brain of a computer, also referred to as the CPU. Processor speed is measured in gigahertz (GHZ.) The larger the number of GHZ, the faster the computer will be.
  • The RAM or Random Access Memory, is what your computer uses to store information.  Again, the higher the number, the more memory your computer will have.
  • The Optical Drive is the device that can read and write CDs and DVDs.
Wireless Network Card
  • A Wireless Network Card is able to access the Internet without the computer being physically connected to a router. They are rated by their speed. A computer store expert can advise you on the speed you’ll need for your purposes.
  • An Ethernet Port is standard on all computers. It allows your computer to connect to the Internet by physically plugging it into your router.
  • The Operating System is the software that makes your computer go.
  • The Hard Drive is where all files, whether music, movies or word documents, will be stored. Hard drives are rated by size and speed. A computer salesperson can help you decide how much storage you should have for your needs.
  • A Video Card enables you to see what you’re doing on your monitor. Different video cards allow you to do different things, such as use multiple monitors or watch HD movies on your computer.

New or Used

Whether you want a new or a refurbished computer depends a lot on your price range. You can save a lot of money by buying something that’s a year or so old. Naturally, a brand-new computer with a warranty will cost more.

Features You Need

Decide what features and abilities are most important to you. Things to think about include:

  • Do you want a laptop or desktop model?
  • What software do you need the computer to run?
  • Are there peripherals, such as a modem or printer you need to be able to connect to the computer?
  • Compatibility with software or hardware you already have.
  • Your budget.

Portable Vs. Powerful

You will need to decide whether you want a desktop or a laptop. You can also get a hybrid PC.

Today’s laptops are small, lightweight and portable and offer a variety of characteristics that will suit almost any need. Many laptops now feature detachable, convertible screens that can double as tablets.

For a more powerful system, a typical desktop is designed with more core processors and hard drives and lets you add extra devices, if needed. You can connect a desktop computer to one or more large screens, which offers greater flexibility for looking at data, files and videos.

Standard laptops and desktop machines, which are a lot cheaper than they used to be, are also still available. But these, too, start to get expensive if you opt for advanced features like touchscreens, built-in cameras, fingerprint readers and even facial recognition login software. Some of these extra features may be unnecessary. For example, a touchscreen isn’t very useful on a desktop monitor.

Bottom Line

These days it’s not unusual for homes to contain more than one computer or types of computers. Laptops are convenient devices for students and executives who are always on the move. A desktop computer is often chosen to play games or pay bills on.

A reputable computer retailer will take the time to help you understand the features and functions of each of the different computers you’re considering so you can make the best choice for your particular needs.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Video Editing for Your Business

In this day and age, businesses that want to make their mark online must learn how to take advantage of multimedia content. It’s what potential customers are responding to on the Internet, and nothing works better than video because it combines the power of visuals, audio, and storytelling to capture the attention of an individual.

However, producing and editing videos can be a tall order particularly for small businesses that can’t set up their own studios. There’s a free video editing software with Windows and there are freeware ones out there, but what they’ll give you are either watermarked files or severely crippled functionality. A business needs a full-fledged commercial video editing software, such as Camtasia Studio 8.

Created by TechSmith, Camtasia Studio originally started as a rudimentary video creation tool used by software demonstrators, but over the years, it has blossomed into a full-featured education/information video tool. Now at version 8, the program’s codebase has been rewritten completely from scratch and includes a whole slew of new useful features (such as multi-track video editing and hyperlinks) as well as optimizations that lessen the system requirements.

How Camtasia Studio 8 Can Help Your Business

To understand Camtasia Studio’s value as a tool for your business, you need to first understand what it was originally used for and what made it so popular in the first place. The first users of the program, or at least the first users who managed to use it for profit, are those who create video tutorials on Youtube.

When Camtasia was first created, it’s selling point is that it can capture screen activity and save it as a video. People who need to attract customers did so by creating tutorials of how to do things, whether it’s tweaking a game, installing a WordPress plugin, or even how to modify a computer’s registry – they used Camtasia to capture what they are doing and uploaded it to Youtube for everyone to see.

It highlights a couple of important things that businesses need to remember: first is that people prefer being shown what to do on a video, as opposed to reading text instructions, and second is that there is value in showing people how to do things. This means if your business has something to do with teaching people or showing them something, Camtasia Studio is the perfect tool. But what if your business relies on something else, such as conventional selling and marketing of goods? Thankfully, the new Camtasia Studio is still useful.

What Camtasia Studio 8 Can Do For Your Business

Version 8 of Camtasia Video is no longer just a desktop capturing application. It is a full-featured video editor that supports all the file formats that you would ever encounter, from MP4 to MOV, to PNG to MP3 and everything in between. You can now create and edit your own videos, for a fraction of the price of more popular video editing software used by big name studios. Additionally, Camtasia has a free trial phase so it is virtually risk-free.

So what can you do with a video editing program? Create your own Multimedia content, of course. It could be something with high production values or something that looks intentionally low-fi, designed to go viral on meme sites. Whatever kind of multimedia content you create, one new feature of Camtasia Studio 8 will be extremely useful: support for clickable hyperlinks on the video itself. This is not a simple text link either, you can turn anything on the canvas into a clickable hyperlink, whether it’s text or part of an image.

This clickable hyperlink will be a very valuable tool in bringing new customers to your fold. Just create a video designed to reach as many viewers as it can get, then stick a hyperlink in there pointing to your website or a newsletter signup and you’ll have an interactive ad that works so much better at driving traffic than a hundred dollar banner ad.

Camtasia also has the ability to include polls or interactive questionnaires straight from the video, which could be useful for gathering feedback or encouraging viewer engagement.

Is It Worth Getting?

The biggest thing that Camtasia Studio 8 has going for itself is the fact that it costs a fraction of what other video editing software demands while offering the same functionality. By virtue of being affordable, it minimizes the cost risk to businesses and makes it a smart move to at least get the trial version, just to see if you can put it to work for your business.

If you just need a simple image editing software for creating a video here and there, Camtasia Studio is still a good deal, as not only will it fill your needs, it also keeps you future proof in case you find yourself with a business that could benefit from a video campaign.

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Thursday, May 14, 2015
OS X Yosemite

When it comes to computerizing your workplace, there are a lot of complex and confusing decisions to be made. One of those decisions is to choose the right kind of operating system for your workstations. Each operating system comes with its own set of strengths and weaknesses.

You will have to find one that would suit your operations and overall business better. In this scenario, it would be ideal to look at all your options and test them against your requirements. Here are the top OS options available in the market for you to take a look at.

The Big 2

Though there are more OS options available, the 2 most popular and widely used options include Windows and OSX and therefore, our comparisons will be limited to these options. To start off, we will take a look at Windows first.

Windows: Microsoft's Windows is the staple operating system for more than half the organizations around the world because it is highly flexible and compatible with multiple programs and software. This high level of flexibility and compatibility comes in handy, especially, if your organization has to constantly collaborate on work or share files with clients or other businesses.

Windows is also quite user friendly, which means you won't have to spend considerable amounts of money or time trying to train employees. In fact, windows is so common that most of your employees probably know their way around it.  Speaking of the flexibility mentioned earlier, Windows can be used with multiple hardware options giving you the freedom to pick and choose only the components that you would require.

Coming to the drawbacks, the truth is that windows has many. One of the main issues with windows is security. This OS has a wide list of viruses and other computer infections that it falls victim to on a regular basis. The other issue is that of hardware and software maintenance. Owing to the large number of software and hardware options available for Windows, not every configuration can be tested officially. This results in a lot of configuration problems and eventually leads to instability.

Nevertheless, Windows makes a good option if you aren't too concerned about security or regular maintenance.

OSX: Though not as common as the Windows OS, it is, nevertheless, considered to be far superior by its patrons. Apple's OSX is the dream operating system for those involved in content creation. It's built on the Unix platform, which gives it a wide range of advantageous features.

It also hosts applications that are optimized for the purpose of content creation, be it textual or visual. It is also extremely easy to operate and users constantly praise it for its brilliant interface. Work processes become smoother and problem free with OSX. It is also very secure compared to windows since there aren't too many viruses or malware designed for OSX.

However, there are drawbacks even to OSX. To begin with, OSX is an expensive program and would not be feasible unless your work involves continuous content creation. Even the annual updates tend to burn a hole in company budgets. The other issue is that it isn't compatible with multiple hardware or software options like Windows. OSX runs only on Apple hardware, which means you will have to buy the complete Apple system, which isn't cost-friendly at all. So, unless you are an organization whose service involves constant content creation, OSX isn't for you.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Gtel, the Zimbabwean company, has become known for its mobile phones and customized Original Design Manufacturer (ODM) hardware. The company has now ventured into tablets with its first one called the T9000 tab. They have chosen to go with a Windows OS for their first tablet, moving away from the trend of Android tabs that have been flooding the market. How does this tablet fare and is it worth buying?

Features and specs in the Gtel T9000 Windows Tab

The Gtel T9000 Windows Tab features a roomy 8.9 inch screen that works really well for watching videos, although the in-built speakers are not that great unless you are in a very quiet place. Windows has made its OS free for devices that are smaller than 9 inches, which is helping Gtel price their tab much lower than would have been otherwise possible for a Windows OS tablet.

Some basic specs of the Gtel T9000 Windows Tab:

  • 8.9’ 1920x1200 multi touch touchscreen display that works at 254ppi for the tab
  • Intel Atom z3735F Quad Core 1.83GHz processor
  • 2GB DDR3 RAM
  • 32GB TF cards storage
  • 5 megapixel primary back and 2 megapixel secondary front camera
  • 8000mAh battery
  • Windows 8.1 OS, but also optimized for Android KitKat Intel HD Graphics card

Gtel provides a wireless keyboard as part of the package for this tab, which is very convenient especially if you intend to use it for extended periods for typing and writing.

The body has a glass front and back with an aluminium finish in gray and black, making the tab look and feel very premium. However, the body plus the TF card storage make the tablet quite heavy and bulky. The bulkiness makes it less portable, so if that is something you are looking at, then consider your options carefully.

Being a Windows tab automatically reduces the choice of apps on this tablet. However, most apps that can be used for a Windows desktop can be used on this tab. Some of these apps are not optimized for tablets and touchscreens, so using the keyboard more often might be a good idea.


  • Comes with a wireless keyboard
  • Software updates directly by Microsoft
  • Battery good for daily use, lasts up to a day with a single charge
  • Wireless keyboard shipped with tablet


  • Heavy bodyweight
  • Camera gives poor quality photos and does not have an in-built flash
  • Files cannot be directly copied from PC to tablet
  • No choice between Windows and Android, although box mentions it to be so

Overall the tablet seems to be built sturdily, performs well for most day to day activities and has a good battery backup. Downside is its heavy body, a not-so-great camera and the fact that it is only usable with Windows 8.1.

Monday, March 23, 2015
Google Chromebook Pixel

The latest version of the Chromebook Pixel was launched by Google. Similar to the latest MacBook, it accepts USB-C standard. However while the new Apple laptop has a single USB-C port, Chromebook Pixel features two of them because the company wanted to deliver display and also charge simultaneously, said Google. It has a solid drive card reader and two 3.0 USB ports in addition to a headphone or mic jack.


The latest Chromebook Pixel has the ability to give out almost 100 watts of power. This is greater than what is typically needed by even the biggest laptops, said the company. When a user plugs in a compatible USB Type-c device, the charger is able to adjust the correct amount of power for the device. This allows tablets, laptops and phones to be powered using one single charger.

An HD display output for a TV/monitor is also possible with the USB-C via HDMI accessories and DisplayPort. The USB-C was created for transferring high speed data (20Gbs), said Google. The present USB devices are only able to go up to a maximum of 5Gbs, so there is scope to grow.

The Chromebook Pixel (12.85 inches) has a touch-screen display of 2,560x1, 700 and weighs around 3.3 pounds. Buyers have the option to choose an Intel Core i5 processor (2.2GHz) along with 8GB memory. They could also opt for an Intel Core i7 processor (2.4GHz) with 16 GB memory. Flash storage of 32GB and 62GB is also available.


The incorporated Intel HD 5500 Graphics permits 4K of video output using HDMI or DisplayPort. There is also the option of a video adapter line (USB-C). Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11ac are both supported by the Chromebook Pixel.

The Chromebook also has a backlit keyboard that comes with an engraved, clickable trackpad and wide-angled camera (720P HD). A twelve hour battery life is promised by Google. You will find the updated Pixel on the Google website with a starting price of $999 (Intel Core i5 version).  It comes equipped with a 32GB solid state drive and a memory of 8GB RAM. You will have to shell out $1,299 for the Intel Core i7 processor which comes with 16GB RAM along with a 64GB solid state drive.

The buyers get cloud storage (1TB Google Drive) for 3 years. However, you get only 180 days to claim it when you log into the Chromebook. The first Chromebook Pixel with a touch feature came in the year 2013. If you’re looking to try the new Chromebook Pixel by Google, check out a tablet pc rental near you. As a company, Google is all about experimentation and is guaranteed to live up to the expectations of the user.

Thursday, March 19, 2015
Trendy Mini PCs

It was long time back that smaller desktop computers became extremely popular. That was the time of media center PCs and home-theater fans would connect the TV to small computers for streaming videos or recording on-air programs. Today, there has been a dramatic transition towards game consoles, smart TVs and Apple’s Mac Mini is perhaps the only small-sized desktop in the picture.

HP’s new range

HP believes that the market can still do with a small desktop powered by Windows, whether on an office desk or the living room. The latest collection of products launched by HP includes the HP Stream notebook (11.6 inches), two tablets - HP Slate6 VoiceTab II, HP Stream 8 and the HP Pavilion Mini Desktop. The HP Stream has an 11.6 inches High Definition display and 32GB flash memory (eMMC). It is equipped with the Intel Celeron processor and comes in a slim design with a Horizon blue color palette.

The HP Stream is a tablet that is powered by Intel and is cloud-connected. It has Office 365 (one year) installed in it along with Microsoft OneDrive storage (1 TB for 1 year) in addition to the Windows 8.1 operating system. The HP Pavilion Mini Desktop stands 2.06 inches tall and weighs just about 630 gram. It is literally palm sized!

Even Intel i3 core processors can be supported by this system. The starting price of the HP Pavilion Mini Desktop is Rs. 26,990 which includes 4GB RAM, Intel Pentium 3558U and an HDD of 500 GB. The HP Stream (without keyboard, monitor mouse) has a starting price of Rs. 19,990. The starting price of the HP Stream 8 Tablet is Rs. 16,990 and that of HP Slate 6 VoiceTab II is Rs. 15,990.

Big storage for HP's new Pavilion Mini desktop

The latest Pavilion Mini by HP is less expensive than the Mac Mini with a smaller footprint. It also has one distinct feature which is missing in the Mac Mini-It can access the internal elements in case additional RAM is required.

The HP Pavilion Mini is decent enough for necessary office tasks and everyday surfing. It has an Intel Pentium processor; however an Intel Core i3 CPU can also be installed for better speed. There is 4GB RAM in both of them and they can offer support to up to 16GB (if added later).

You might find some glitches or slowdowns in the working of the Pavilion, especially when compared to the Mac Mini. But it is still value for money and comes with a mouse and wireless keyboard, not available in Apple. Check out a laptop rental to experience working on the latest range of HP mini PCs.

Friday, October 24, 2014
Make your Computer Quieter

Are you annoyed by the constant hum of your computer and wish you could cut out the noise? First, you need to understand where that noise is coming from. The principal source of noise comes from the motors, and the spinning parts like the CPU fan, the cooling fan, power supply fan and your hard drive. Because modern-day computers are being equipped with faster graphic boards, hard drives and processors, they generate more heat and require cooling. The cooling in turn gives way to the noise.

Replace the fan

One of the solutions to quieting your computer is to get the case fan and CPU fan replaced with quieter ones. The pre-installed ones tend to be noisier, so get an expert to install a big fan so that greater amount of air will be moved at a slower speed, as a result reducing noise. Fans that can adjust the speed depending on the heat are also available.

Clean the computer

Sometimes, the culprit could be a dusty computer. There could be a lot of dust build-up in the heat sinks and the fans, which will make the system hotter and as a consequence noisier. So, use some compressed air and clean your system. If you are not sure about how to dismantle and clean the system, you could get the help of an expert.

The hard drive could be the culprit

The hard drive on your computer could be really noisy, and identifying this noise when the computer is booting is quite easy. Alternatively, you could disconnect the drive and switch on the computer. If there’s no noise, the culprit is surely the hard drive. You could either replace the hard drive or cover it with a removable casing which can make it quieter.

Other causes

Often, the placement of the computer could make all the difference. Have you tried moving it around to see where the noise is lowest? The step is definitely worth trying, and if it works, you can save a lot of trouble. If the system has been placed on a surface such as a floor that is really hard, the vibrations of the computer could cause extra noise. You could put a layer of padding to muffle the noise. Another cause could be as simple as a loose screw on one of the fans or components. Your hardware expert could check this aspect quickly and resolve your problem.

When you are renting a computer from the computer rentals firm, find out if the PC is a loud one before choosing it, if noise is going to be a factor that bothers you.

Friday, September 26, 2014
PC RAM Requirements

RAM is the next most crucial factor after the CPU that determines the performance of your computer. Adding additional RAM can sometimes be more useful rather than getting a new CPU.

Different RAM Requirements

If you notice your computer system operating slowly or constantly accessing the hard drive, it is a sign that you require more RAM. For those using Windows XP, Microsoft recommends a 128 MB minimum RAM. You could encounter several application-related problems when using a 64MB RAM. So, for the most favorable performance, with regards to the typical PC applications, 256MB is usually suitable. When operating Windows 95/98, 32MB of minimum RAM is required; the computer will perform even better with 64MB. As far as Windows NT/2000 is concerned, software experts recommend 64MB of RAM. You can add 128MB or even more for better performance.
Linux users can easily work with merely 4MB, but those planning to get X-Windows and engage in more hardcore work will need 64MB of RAM. A 128MB minimum RAM is needed for Mac OS X operators.

The RAM requirement mentioned for the systems above takes into consideration typical usage. This means operations such as using the Internet, office applications, word processing as well as simple entertainment activities.

However, if you are a professional who undertakes work such as computer-aided design, hardcore data processing, 3-D animation, you would mostly require greater RAM. In addition to this, if your computer acts as a kind of server, you will require more RAM.

How RAM is sold and installed

Generally, RAM is available for sale in multiples of 16 megabytes - 16, 32, 64, 128 and so on. 1024MB of RAM equals 1GB. For instance, if your system currently has a RAM of 64MB and you require minimum 100MB more, you will be adding a 64MB module to it. RAM installation is a fairly simple process. Just do some research and get an idea about the following basic facts:

  • The amount of RAM you already have
  • The amount of additional RAM you want to get
  • Form factor
  • The type of RAM required for your purpose
  • Different tools needed for installation
  • RAM Warranty offered
  • Where the RAM is installed

If you rent computers for your office or any other personal requirement, computer rentals can give you the exact amount of RAM suitable for your purpose.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Intel New Processor

Intel has recently unveiled a new processor called the Core M or Broadwell that will let PC manufacturers build much thinner laptops and ultrabooks. Thanks to this iconic processor, computers will be able to run without fans. The fans, which are an integral part of a laptop, may soon become a part of history, if this advanced processor technology is successful. It was Intel's Vice-President of the platform-engineering group, Rani Borkar, who announced the launch of the chip to the media.

Tough competition among chip manufacturers

It is not just Intel, but many other major chip manufacturers are also trying their level best to release a processor that could give the big guns a run for their money. These companies are trying to achieve this by reducing the size of the chips even further. However, with the latest release, Intel has taken a giant stride towards outmaneuvering their competition which it has been doing so for a long time.

The Core M chip is just 14 nanometers long, which is a mind-boggling one-billionth of a meter. Thanks to its micro-mini size the computer manufacturers now can make their devices even smaller, lighter and more power efficient, which would no longer need the fan for cooling. Experts are estimating the thickness of the future ultra books to go down to less than nine mm. Removal of the fan is a key feature that would enable the laptops to become more like a tablet.

Launch of the chip to be delayed

The launch of this Core M chip has been delayed by several months because of some issues regarding the manufacture of this state-of-the-art technology. However, once these issues are sorted out, Intel will start making these Broadwell chips in large numbers as they are expecting a huge demand from all the PC manufacturers. The company believes that with time, they will be able to handle the huge demand for the 14 nm chip, just like they did with the 22 nm chip which was also a revolutionary chip during its launch. It is expected that the customers will be able to buy the Core M powered computers in the first half of next year.

When it comes to the processors for mobile devices, it is the ARM based chips that has a strong hold over the market and Intel are looking to compete with them with the launch of the Core M.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Things to Consider While Choosing a VPN service for your PC

If you require your data to be protected, the most likely solution you would have been given is to install a VPN. The VPN is a virtual private network and works by providing a channel between the internet and your computer, which provides anonymity online and encryption of data. When you have a VPN, there’s a buffer which is a server that comes with an IP address.

If you are working on a PC or laptop that is not at home, and are using a lot of Wi-Fi at public places, there is just no way for you to know how secure the network is. You could be traveling a lot with a PC/laptop rented from a computer rentals company, and want your data safe. That is when you use the VPN service; there are several such  free services available, although the paid ones are faster.

Things to consider

Some of the VPNs block torrents so if you are planning to use the service for torrents, you should check that first. The VPN should be able to function on all your gadgets and not just the PC. Another aspect to consider is if the service has any limits on bandwidth.

You would want a network that has no limits on bandwidth. Before you get a service, you should also check on their privacy policy; does the VPN retain records of usage? If they keep logs and you are uncomfortable, you should research well before opting for a service. Also, make sure where the servers of the VPN providers are located. If the physical/geographic distance between the server and your PC is huge, the downloads will be slower. It is ideal to choose a service provider closer to your region.

There are four well known VPNs, including point-to-point tunneling protocol (PPTP), layer 2 tunneling protocol and internet protocol security (L2TP and IPsec), secure sockets layer (SSL) and openVPN.

PPTP: Not a very secure VPN step, but it is a good step from where you can start your VPN exploration.

L2TP and IPsec: Safer than PPTP, but are more complicated when it comes to setting them up.

SSL: VPN method which is more trustworthy and dependable than PPTP, L2TP or IPsec

OpenVPN: An open source system that is secure, free, and has no connection troubles.

If you need a VPN system that is more dependable than all of the above, you could try a VPN router. If you are seeking VPN just to safeguard your internet activity while on a public Wi-Fi, you could subscribe to a VPN service provider.