Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Software -- Protect Yourself and More for Free or For Less

See? You do need protection!
Last week we talked about the hardware, but what are some really good deals on software? Especially software everyone needs. First -- some fairly cheap, then some free. The two utilities I'm talking about are AVG Free, which costs nothing, doesn't bug you, and outperforms many commercial and costly Anti-Virus programs, and Norton 360 version 5, which is arguably the very best commercial personal security software, with not only great anti-virus but also a great firewall, and it's not noisy, either. We use both around here.

Did you know that you can almost always get Norton 360 v5 or whatever version for 1/2 price, just for asking? You have to ask at the back door, though. Don't mind? Me neither. Especially since, when you just to to Norton you will pay either the list price of $80 or a slightly discounted $60. The trick is to search or "Google" for "Norton 360 cheap". Yes, it is that simple. Amongst the listed items presented will be one from Symantec or Norton itself, in this case, offering Norton Anti-Virus 2012 for $30, Norton Internet Security 2012 for $35, or or Norton 360 v 5.0 for $40. This is a 3-license deal valid for 3 PCs and one owner.

Today, as I write this you can do even better, and get another $10 off at Staples for either the download or boxed CD version (with free shipping) -- Norton 360 v 5.0 at Staples. $30 bucks. Great deal. This won't always be around though, but the Norton backdoor for 50% off has been, for almost all of 2011 and 2010. Just like Santa, I've been watching!

Don't want to pay anything??? Zero, nada, zip??? OK. I can't get you Norton, but I can recommend absolutely free AV software that will do a great job, won't bother you with annoying announcements all of the time, and that you can download and install at no charge -- AVG Free 2012. Click on the green CNET bar in the middle of the page.

I see you've put up your holiday lights!
So how does that car insurance ad on TV go? You decide what you want to pay!


Photo Credits: Virus Spreads --
                       Holiday Computer -- various

PS: Look at the top photo -- Computer Viruses don't spread to humans, but I can get you a great deal on a pair of glasses that will help you when you are .. oh, never mind.

Monday, December 12, 2011

2 Computers that Offer Great Bang for the Buck -- Powerful Enough to Last for a While

Anyone who has owned an older computer knows how pathetic an experience using that old machine can be. A good solid mid-range computer from 5 years ago that seemed like a sensible choice at the time, with a good balance of price vs speed, can't really do much. Maybe it can run one program at a time, surf a little bit, run a word processor, but not a lot more. Why is that? Well, new programs are bigger and take up more memory, put more demands on the CPU, and require more graphics processing power. And even worse, the pace at which that is happening is increasing. Which means that the sensible choice for a machine that has to last, is no longer so sensible -- you need a more powerful machine than you think you do.

My 2 favorites at this moment are based on Intel's new 2nd gen Core i7 CPU -- for laptops, the 2670M or its siblings, and for desktops, the 2600.

2 reasonably priced machines, a desktop, and a laptop, available now, at a discount, that I like a lot are the:

HP h8xt, which comes fully equipped with the Core i7 2600 processor, 8 GB of RAM and all of the goodies you need including a 15 month Norton Internet Security Subscription, Blu-Ray, free shipping and so on for about $850.

This is a great deal. You migh want to add a bigger power supply (I would) or an extended warranty, but that's up to you:

and the :

HP dv7tqe, which comes with the Intel Core i7 2670QM mobile processor, a 17.3in 1080p screen and  Blu-Ray, etc, and more for about $900.

This is another great deal and takes about $500 off the list price of the laptop, and is based on an  unadvertised coupon code that you can get through TechBargains:

Note you have to copy the discount code and enter it in the coupon code box at checkout.

Both of these machines are available as I write this, but can disappear at any time.

Also, since it is true now more than ever before, that *** Power = Longevity *** these machines will last you a while, too.

Nothing says Happy Holidays like buying well and keeping the change.

Happy Holidays!


Photo credits: My screen captures at HP

Monday, December 5, 2011

How to Buy a New Computer for Holiday 2011 -- It's Cyber December!

Hey! We're busy workin' for you here!
Think you missed all of the good deals by not buying that laptop on Black Friday, or Cyber Monday, or Sale Hangover Tuesday??? Think again! You didn't miss much, really. Yeah, stock thinned out, and some of those laptop and desktop computers are gone for the moment -- but, I'll let you in on a secret -- that stock will come back in a few days, and so will the deals and sale prices. Here's how to get the machine you want and some suggestions for choices.

First of all, you do know that the best prices for top tier systems from Dell, HP, and other makers can almost always be found at the non-advertised coupon sites, right? No? You should. Always, always, always go to:

and you can always Google for more. Think of these sites as discount aggregators, where you can find all of the available discounts in one place.

You will find coupon codes, and multiple coupon codes good for discounts and stackable discounts on the computers and the shipping.

These codes are not advertised, they are often limited-use, and they expire, so you need to get them and use them if you want the discount. But, if you don't, that discount or a similar one may come back after a week or 2.

For instance, here is a great top-of-the line laptop we purchased recently from HP:  -- 33% discount! Just for copying a code!

If the link doesn't come up, it means this deal is gone! But you can find another for this particular laptop at the main TechBargains site link above.

And if you think you do not need a state-of-art Intel Quad Core machine, you should remember that, now more than ever, power equals longevity -- the more powerful your new machine, the longer it will remain useful.

But there are other nice computers to find as well, and not only computers, but all kinds of stuff, from GPS devices to Monitors, TVs, and so on.

Check them out.

Remember what Santa always says:

Never pay Retail!

He said that, right?


Well, it's still true.

Ho, ho, ho!


Photo Credits:

Monday, November 28, 2011

Speed Up Your Older Computer For Free! Kill the Noise -- Make It Quiet Down.

You have an older computer with a single core CPU, and less than 2 GB of RAM and it barely works at all it's so slow, and the fan is running all of the time. What should you do? Well, assuming you are like most people, you have software creep -- over the past few years you've added programs that run all of the time using up your CPU's horsepower and your precious memory. Get rid of that stuff! Uninstall it! But -- know before you make it go -- don't just uninstall stuff if you aren't sure whether you need it!

Recently we ran into just such a situation. A 5 year old system had its fan running full blast, and the CPU was maxed at 100% most of the time according to Task Manager, so that it was pretty much useless. It wouldn't stay connected to the internet, booting it up took forever, and so did loading programs.

So. Using Add or Remove Programs, we uninstalled of the the unneeded AOL software, the VPN and IBM Terminal Emulation Software (now unneeded), the Enterprise Level McAfee software (and replaced it with the much smaller and less burdensome Microsoft Security Essentials), as well as a lot of other useless stuff. We were ruthless. If we didn't need it, it went.

We rebooted the computer and, lo and behold (I always wanted to say that), the CPU usage had dropped to less than 1% most of the time, with small spikes up to 2 or 3% occasionally. Cool! Well, not yet; the fan was still running fast and a bit noisily.

There was a visible build-up of dust at the fan intakes and around the front and back of the machine, so we opened it up, took it outside, and blew all of the dust out of the power supply, intakes, exhaust, and so on, until all of the air pathways were clear.

Buttoned the computer back up, rebooted it, and we heard ... almost nothing. Now it was cool! With the dust gone, the computer didn't have to suck air like a vacuum cleaner just to stay alive.

Mission accomplished. The computer is now usable, runs programs, stays connected to the network, and doesn't make any noise.

Total cost: $0.00. Except for me, of course.

You can do this, too. Probably without me.

If not, well ...


PS To load Task Manager just put your mouse cursor on empty Taskbar space and right mouse click -- the pop-up menu will list Task Manager as an option -- left mouse click on it and it will come up. The Processes Tab will show you which are using the most CPU cycles and the Performance Tab will show how busy your CPU is.

PPS To run Add or Remove Programs in Windows XP, go to the Control Panel and look for it near the top.

Photo Credits:

Monday, November 21, 2011

Recycling For Free -- How to Get Rid of Those Old Computers, Batteries, Monitors, etc.


It's a problem. What do you do with all of that old electronics stuff? Batteries, Computers, Monitors -- the places that will take them charge a serious fee, or you have to ship the stuff someplace. But now, the Kinnelon area, or in fact, anyplace that has a Best Buy nearby has a very convenient alternative. Recycle at Best Buy! It's free for  up to 3 items per day.

We all want to recycle, right? But we also don't want it to cost an arm and a leg.

The DPW Dump won't take a lot of the stuff; other places (Staples) charge 10 bucks per item.

So I went to Best Buy on Rt. 23 today. Dropped off 3 sealed lead acid (SLA) batteries from a UPS that I had renewed with new batteries. No problem. Walked in the door, handed them the box, and walked out. Done. Cost nothing. You can do it any day, except on a major holiday, starting at 9 AM.

Boy, that's great.

Many towns now have computer and tech equipment drop-off locations, but many of those Do Not Accept Batteries, or charge for doing so. Best Buy accepts batteries and does not charge.

I can't tell you how many times I've been asked by people what they should do with their old equipment. Now I know what to tell them.

I'll be going every day for the next 2 weeks to get rid of all of that old stuff I've got hanging around.

You should, too.


Photo Credits: Various, Can --

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Computer Backup or Climbing Out of the Computer Crapper!

Bathroom Blogfest 2011

Climbing Out -- When You Realize That You're In Deep, What to Do to Get Out of the Crapper. If you can do one thing, and one thing only: Backup Your Computer!

If you have a problem with your computer, you do not have a backup, and you cannot make one, you have been flushed! So before you get to that point, even if you are circling the drain, do this one thing that will save you from every possible computer problem.

Change is good, right! Especially if you are in a bad place! In keeping with the metaphor of climbing out, I do have to say, sometimes we just find ourselves there ... in this case, all of us bloggers, and computer users in general .. where we do not want to be. So, how to jettison the bad and stay out of the crapper yourself? And what happens, if your trusty tool, your computer, isn't? So trusty, that is.

Everything was OK! But then ...

We don't even like to think about it. Your lifeline to the digital universe lets you down -- it's got a Virus or lots of 'em, it's making terrible noises and overheating, Java doesn't work and none of your Flash stuff will display, or suddenly it's HotHotHot! What will you do?

You can't ignore it; it won't go away. You ARE in the toilet. You need to know the quickest and least painful way to get out.

Well, you have 3 choices, actually. First -- You can pay to have it fixed, and put your baby with all of its delicate files and info into the hands of a stranger who will do God-Knows-What to it and will then return it to you. Whew! Stressfull! You are backed up aren't you???  Second -- You can fix it yourself. Well ... you can. If you can. Third -- Some combination of the 2, that is take some steps yourself, and let a pro do the rest.

Now, let me say this again -- You are backed up, right? 

If you are, great. If you are not, and you can still back up, do so, right now, with whatever backup tools you have. You don't have any???!!! See the article Computer Backup -- Simpler is Better in the Working Computers Blog.

A small excerpt makes an important point:

"having a boot or system disk clone is the single most reliable and speedy way to recover from a disk failure or even from an infection.

If your boot disk fails, you can boot from the backup disk. If your boot disk is infected (and you haven't cloned the infected disk to the backup), you can boot from the backup disk and scan and clean the original boot disk. If you lose a file, you can just go get it from the backup disk.
my favorite ( program that does disk cloning) is Casper (The Friendly Ghost) 7.0."

The other wonderful thing about such a backup is that it's cheap -- a 2 TB disk and the Casper Software will run you about $100 or maybe a little more depending on what you choose, and that's the cost of a diagnostic at The Geek Squad.

OK, let's assume you are backed up to a bootable disk. Hooray! 
You do, right?
Now, whatever the problem, and whatever course you take in fixing it, you are safe in the knowledge, that you are protected, every article, every email, every photo. And once your computer is fixed, you can boot it right up. 

So if you have just backed up, congratulations! You have pulled yourself out of the John Crapper! If you have been backed up all along, well, you were never there in the first place!

Who knows what's down there?
And don't let the Gremlins getcha!

Happy computing!


I'm watching you!
PS Happy Halloween!
PPS Photo Credits: 
Man Getting Pulled In --
I Love My Computer --
Sloth in the Toilet -- various
Skull in the Toilet -- various

Here are my fellow Bathroom Blogfest participants. Check out their 'climbing out' posts, too.

NameBlog NameBlog URL
Susan AbbottCustomer Experience CrossroadsCustomer Experience Crossroads
Paul AnaterKitchen and Residential DesignKitchen and Residential Design Blog
Shannon BilbyFrom the Floors Up
Toby BloombergDiva MarketingDiva Marketing
Laurence BorelBlog Till You Drop
Bill BuyokAvente Tile Talk
Jeanne ByingtonThe Importance of Earnest Service
Becky CarrollCustomers Rock!
Katie ClarkPractical Katie
Nora DePalmaO'Reilly DePalma: The BlogO'Reilly-DePalma Blog
Paul FriederichsenThe BrandBiz Blog
Tish GrierThe Constant Observer
Elizabeth HiseFlooring The ConsumerFlooring The Consumer
Emily HooperFloor Covering News BlogFloor Covering News Blog
Diane KazanUrban Design RenovationUrban Design Renovation
Joseph MichelliDr. Joseph Michelli’s Blog
Veronika MillerModenus Blog
Arpi NalbandianTile Magazine Editors' BlogTile Magazine Editor Blog
David PolinchockPolinchock's Ponderings
Professor ToiletAmerican Standard's Professor Toilet
David Reich my 2 cents
Victoria Redshaw & Shelley PondScarlet Opus Trends Blog
Sandy RenshawPurple Wren
Bethany RichmondCarpet and Rug Institute BlogCarpet and Rug Institute Blog
Bruce D. SandersRIMtailing
Paige SmithNeuse Tile Service blog
Stephanie WeaverExperienceology
Christine B. WhittemoreContent Talks Business BlogContent Talks Business Blog
Christine B. WhittemoreSmoke Rise & Kinnelon Blog
Christine B. WhittemoreSimple Marketing Blog
Ted WhittemoreWorking Computers
Chris WoelfelArtcraft Granite, Marble & Tile Co.
Patty WoodlandBroken Teepee
Denise Lee Yohnbrand as business bites

Friday, September 16, 2011

Restore? Or Recover? What's the Difference? When to Restore your PC and When to Recover Your OS.

We recently had a client who ventured in where Angels Fear to Tread. That is, he couldn't get his Windows 7 laptop to boot, because he interrupted a massive Operating System Update in mid-stream by ... drum-roll, please ... Turning It Off. So the poor laptop didn't know where it was or what it was doing and would only hang or reboot after that.

The choices made after this point went downhill from there.

After such a thing, W7 or Vista will present you with a special menu on booting up which offers you some Repair choices, 2 of which are Restore, and Recover.

Microsoft may even mislead you by giving you a menu with System Recovery Options under which you find System Restore, even though the word Recovery itself may be used to mean something entirely different.

These are not choices you want to guess about. You either know what they are, or you don't.

The penalty for guessing wrong is: You lose all of your data, your files, your photos, your passwords and settings. Pretty heavy price to pay.

System Restore is Microsoft's answer to rolling back the OS to an earlier state in time, before updates were installed, or perhaps badly installed due to an untimely shutdown, when the machine booted properly, and before specific date and time which you can choose from a list. Nothing else is touched, and all of your files and data remain.

Restore would have been the proper choice for this client.

But, he liked the sound of Recover, I guess. I mean, if you don't actually know what Recover is, and you are guessing optimistically, you might think, well, that you will recover your machine to a completely healthy and pristine state, as in before you had a problem.

But  Recover in this case means to put the laptop into the As-Shipped-State from the manufacurer, to Recover the factory settings. Which also means, no data, no photos, no passwords, no settings. You get the picture.

Sadly, this is the choice the client made.

Don't make this choice! Unless you mean it.

And don't guess!

Anyway, now you do know the difference between Restore and Recover, so you don't have to guess.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Computer Backup -- Simpler is Better!

Hard Disk Problems???

I recently had someone proudly explain to me how extremely happy he was with his backup situation -- he had spent the better part of the week on the phone with Acronis technical support and had finally configured the latest version of Acronis Home 2011 to incrementally and continuously backup his system! He was happy. I was incredulous and didn't know where to begin explaining what was wrong with that picture. Oh. My. God. If you need backup for Windows 7, Vista, or XP, this is not the way to go.

The principle of Occam's Razor is that, all other things being equal, the simpler explanation for something is the better -- and the corollary is that the simpler solution to a problem is the better one -- for a lot of reasons.

In this case, let's talk about Backup Solutions. What is the most important thing about a backup solution? Well, that it can save your butt when you've lost something you need, or have to restore your system! What is the 2nd most important thing? That it works FAST

Complexity is the enemy of both reliability and speed. That is always true. Remember those amazing
Swiss Army Knives that were 2 inches thick and had 47 different tools folded away? They had everything from a saw, to a spoon, to a leather punch, to a, well ... knife. The problem is, amazing and cool as they were, or are, they aren't really very good saws, or even knives. Too complex, too cumbersome. Jack-of-all-trades, master of none.

I do not mean to pick on Acronis Home 2011, which is a well designed and potentially useful product, but it, and other complex Backup Programs like it suffer from the Swiss Army knife problem. Too many options, too many choices, too many technical details. They are not intuitive, they may require tech support to get you working properly ... and they are not so simple that, a year or so down the road, when you absolutely, positively need them to work, that you remember how to make them work, and they actually do.

Too many times have I discovered, as a technically aware person for goodness sake (!), that my archival backup solution was, drumroll please, Corrupt, or Incomplete, or whatever.

Simpler is better.

Most people do not need instantaneous, incremental, real-time, continuous file-system back, and it adds a level of complexity to the backup and restore process that can get in the way of actual backup and restore.

What we do need is rock solid, quickly available file and system disk availability and restore.

You get that from disk cloning or disk imaging.  And you are better off having that from a dedicated, small, idiot-proof (which is a good thing when you are flustered and desperate) program that is ALWAYS available to you. I have written about this before, and I suppose I will again, but it bears repeating, having a boot or system disk clone is the single most reliable and speedy way to recover from a disk failure or even from an infection.

If your boot disk fails, you can boot from the backup disk. If your boot disk is infected (and you haven't cloned the infected disk to the backup), you can boot from the backup disk and scan and clean the original boot disk. If you lose a file, you can just go get it from the backup disk.

If you have an archival backup, in the case of disk failure, you have to restore your operating system and your programs to a new disk, install your backup program, and then restore all of your data. Boy that takes a long time. Hope it works out for you.

Acronis Home 2011, Norton Ghost 15, and Laplink Diskimage, as well as other programs all do cloning, but my favorite is Casper (The Friendly Ghost) 7.0 -- it is a simple, fast, and reliable program dedicated to one thing only. The only other thing you need is a USB or eSata external Drive and they are cheap -- well under a hundred bucks.

And if you want daily or multiple daily backups of data files, check out IDrive for backup to the Cloud of up to 5 GB of data for free. You will have the best of both worlds. Backup for all of your data and a quick restore for that and your most frequently changing data.

Don't lose those Photos, and Letters, and Invoices, and don't waste your time.


Photo Credit:

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The List -- Links and Resources for Maintaining Your Own Computer -- Kinnnelon Public Library Talk May 3, 2011

Here is a list in one place of the current links for many if not most of the free software and resources you need to deal with virus and malware infections, monitoring your computer's behavior (Vista and Win7 only), and buying the right computer:

Free AntiVirus Software

Microsoft Security Essentials

AVG Free



Free on the fly scanning and disinfection software:


Malware Bytes

Free Monitoring Gadgets:


Microsoft Live Gallery

Core Temp

Buying a Discounted HP, Dell, or Toshiba Computer:



Disk Cloning Software:

Casper 6.0

Norton Ghost 15

Acronis True Image Home 2011

Click on the Links above!

For Disk Cloning check out the post "Bring In The Clones"

If you do not know what this is all about, you must not have been to the lecture!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Backing Up To The Cloud -- Update -- or IDrive Remotely

S#!* Happens!

Backing up your computer free -- especially at no charge -- to the internet, or the cloud, is such a good idea, and has the potential to save you from so much misery, that I want to go over it again and mention a new provider who offers more storage and has a nice interface program to go with it.

Why should you care about backing up remotely?

Well, first of all, if your computer is destroyed -- and it can happen you know -- or even just if it's just disabled by something that has broken your local backup as well (you do have local backup, right?), you can just restore to a new machine pronto, and you can be anywhere when you do it. Your house burned down? No problem! Well maybe it is a big problem -- but not for restoring your computer, at least to basic functioning. Take your brand new or repaired computer, connect to your internet backup provider and restore -- all of your passwords, logins, settings, sensitive files, priceless photos -- you get the idea.

I've been using IDrive recently, which offers up to 5 GB of backup storage freely, and has a very easy to use and reliable user interface. There are others out there that I have used, including Mozy, which I also like, but Mozy and others I have looked at only offer 2 GB of backup storage, and, well, all other things being equal, 5 GB is better than 2 GB.

Once installed it backs up the computer in the background, and it can be set to notify you of successful completion or not, your choice. There is is little icon on the taskbar system tray which you can consult to tell you about the status of your backups, should you be so inclined.

The screen capture below shows a manual backup in progress, and normally you would not see this window -- in this case, I have manually set the backup to take most of the upload bandwidth and not to auto-pause on user input, which IDrive would normally do.

Backup In Progress
5 GB may not be enough for everyone, but it is enough for most people. and it will save your hide should you have a disaster, well, at least the back-up-your-computer hide.

We see the worst case situation often enough to be able to say it could happen to you

If you have more to back up there are other plans that start at about 5 bucks a month, for 150 GB -- more than enough for most personal users. 

Don't like IDrive? Pick another provider -- check out out Mozy, SOS, and Carbonite. I have used Mozy but not the others, although I have heard some good things about them. SOS offers a low flat fee program for up to 5 computers, and Carbonite offers unlimited backup per computer for a low flat fee. Still IDrive is free for 5 GB. Free is good.

This is INSURANCE. You DO have insurance, right? It's for accidents that you will NOT be able to recover from otherwise. This is a situation that qualifies.

So. 5 GB is free. It's easy. It's a no-brainer. Do it.


PS You are doing a complete backup of your PC, right? Good! I am so glad ...

PPS No? OK, immediately go to the blog post on how to clone your PC. Bring In The Clones!

PPPS You do want to be up and running again in minutes, right? See PPS above.

Monday, January 3, 2011

7 Cool Computer and Related Useful Toys for The Holidays! Continued, Part 2 of 2

Are the holidays over? OK, they are. But I still intend to finish this article on useful tools, or toys, since they are so nice.

Now -- I was on the subject of nice monitors for the holidays in Part 1. My second recommended, still somewhat (by my standards) sensible, and also qualifying in the Holiday Toy Department, is the HP ZR30w, also available from Provantage for under $1120, no tax, incl delivery (over $100 less than from HP). With a resolution of 2560 X 1600 pixels it far exceeds that of HD TV and is among the highest resolution and largest computer monitors in the consumer marketplace. Until you've used one of these, you DO NOT KNOW what you are missing.

There are other monitors similar from Samsung and Dell, as well as more models from HP, but they are either not as good, in my opinion, or more expensive. $1120 is a lot of money to pay for a monitor, and you could argue it's hard to justify such an expense on practical grounds, but if you spend a large part of your day in front of your computer, this HP 30" monitor will make it a lot more pleasant. This is one sharp, beautiful, high-resolution display.

Especially if you are an Everything Out on The Desk kind of Person to whom putting something away is akin to forgetting about it, it is very nice to be able to see all of the stuff you are working on, not to mention, staggeringly beautiful high resolution photos for you photographers, and incredibly detailed and deeply textured, almost 3D movies.

You be the judge whether or not it's worth the extra $900 over the Asus VW266H, which at nearly 26" diagonally, and 1920 X 1200 makes for a great display as well.

I confess -- I own both of them -- and I'm happy with both of them.

One of my favorite new printers is the excellent new Photo Quality Canon Pixma 4820 for about $75 tax free delivered at Amazon. The ink is a bit pricey and it's not a network or wireless printer but it does print gorgeous borderless photos at up to 8-1/2" X 11" and also auto-duplexes as well, that is, it prints on both paper sides automatically. It's not wireless, but it includes great software and is easy to use. I have one and like it.

Other good Photo Printers to consider are the Epson Artisan 50 which is about $100 at Amazon tax and delivery charge free, which at $20 more than the Canon above justifies itself by being stingier with the ink, so you should save that $20 back in no time, and uses high capacity cartridges in addition to standard cartridges, so you'll be longer between replacements. No duplex, though.

If you want a Photo Printer that does it all and is also a multi function  all-in-one device, the Canon Pixma MP 640, at less than $150 from Amazon delivered, does everything you could ask above, including duplexing, is networked and wireless, scans, fixes flawed photos, and connects with almost all media cards. 

I do not recommend the HP Photos Printers, sadly, since in recent years I have seen too many fail shortly after warranty expiration, and this is true of their All-In-One printers as well.

There are a lot of laptops I like, but I am only going to recommend one, the HP dv7t, which is available with up to a quad Core i7 mobile processor, is lightweight and gorgeous, has decent battery life and can usually be had at a discount. Check out and for the latest discount codes for this machine. Today it's $500 -- yeah -- $500! That makes a nicely equipped Core i7 720m machine with a lot of goodies sell for about $1000! With an extended warranty!

Happy New Year!


Photo Credit: -- Dell 30" monitor

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