Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Buying a New Computer Now -- What Should I Buy? -- Talk at The Kinnelon Library Wed. May 23, 2018 @ 7 PM

In The Market for a New Computer???

High End Computer -- Possibly Too Expensive

I get asked about what new computers are good choices to buy a lot, and I do have choices to recommend. And I have reasons for my choices. Most people, when looking for a new machine give too much weight to the initial purchase price, forgetting that over the life of the machine, there are other costs that can drive the total price a lot higher. Such as upgrades and repair.

The first thing to remember is that the Most Expensive Thing about a New Computer will be ... Replacing it. The longer your machine lasts, the cheaper it gets! 

It used to be that a computer might die before it became too slow or old to use, and a desktop or laptop at 7 years old or older running Windows XP was common. That's an old computer from a hardware standpoint and likely to fail. These days the burden placed on a new machine is getting heavier so rapidly, that, unless you buy a moderately powerful computer, it is likely to be unuseable for websurfing, online purchasing or many common programs and services long before it is even 5 years old

Buy the most powerful computer you can afford -- the difference in price may only be a few hundred dollars, but that will translate into a much longer and more useful lifespan, as well as a machine that waits for you, instead of you waiting for it.

Buy Computers with Core i7 or Core i5 Intel CPUs, instead of Core i3 or lesser processors -- they are more powerful  and that makes a difference. Buy a computer with at least 8 GB of RAM or more, expandable to 32 GB or more (RAM is and will be cheap), and with at least a 1 TB Hard Drive

One Desktop Computer I like and recommend is the Dell Vostro Desktop seen below:


Dell Vostro with Core i5 6 Core 8 GB 1 TB New $540


Specs: Core i5-8400 4.0 GHz Hex-core CPU, 8GB RAM, 1TB SATA III HDD, Wireless-N, Bluetooth, Intel UHD graphics, 1-year warranty, and Windows 10 Pro 64-bit OS

This computer is discounted now by Dell and is shown by ExtremeTech,for $539.00, or as I like to call it, $540. No discount code is needed.

Do get on a the PC Magazine, TechBargains, and ExtremeTech mailing Lists for up to date notice of good deals. Do check Dell and HP for re-furbished Grade A machines with full warranty. Do check on Amazon for computers and monitors sold by Amazon with damaged boxing.

I got my beautiful new 32" 4k Samsung 1 millisecond response time, HDR10 monitor for over a $100 off just by checking to see "Other Sellers" and choosing one with a "Damaged Box". Same warranty, same equipment.

Don't buy a monitor by checking a box on the Dell or HP webpage -- those prices are too high. Check out the Tech Bargains websites.

I will be giving a talk at the Kinnelon Library on this and other computers that I like this Thursday, May 23 at 7 PM. I will cover the following topics:


What Computers Should You Buy Now?
 Tablets, Laptops, and Desktops
How Much Should You Pay and Where Should You Buy Them
What Computers Will Last the Longest Time
What Do You Need if You Just Want to Surf the Web and Do Email?

And, as usual we will have Question and Answer: Ask Your Questions, Bring in Your Laptop or Device for advice.

All of you Kinnelon and North Jersey people, and everybody else, are welcome to come.


Call the Kinnelon Library at 973 838 1321 and reserve a spot.


~Ted





Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Computer Talk Tonight, Wed. Apr 25 2018, at the Kinnelon Public Library Has Been Postponed

Those of you planning to attend the Ted Talks Computers talk at KPL, note that it is not happening, and will be rescheduled.

Sorry for any inconvenience.

Thanks,


~Ted

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

It's Complicated! Internet TV! Streaming Video! TV and Movies Everywhere: Your Phone! Tablet! Computer! EEEK! Talk at the Kinnelon Library Mar 28 2018 at 7 PM

Cable? or Streaming Video? or Internet TV?

You Choose!




What is it, or what are they? They can be Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast Devices and Boxes, etc., with and without Remote Control, and it is Software and Subscriptions from aggregators and providers like Netflix and YouTube and DirecTV, all of which let let you watch TV Channels and Movies without a Cable Subscription either thru your computer with an internet connection or thru your Smart TV (an Internet enabled and connected TV) with Apps from the Providers, or a USB Device or External Box which may come with a Remote.

What are the drawbacks?

If you don't have Cablevision/Optimum the drawbacks are you don't get everything in one place and it isn't necessarily easy to DVR programs and series in advance.

Clunky integration with your TV, some of the time.

What are the advantages?

Other services can save you a lot of money. Especially if you don't want a lot of want a lot of the cable shows. And if you choose right, you can get just-released stuff sooner than you would with cable for not much more, or no more money.

What should you look for?

First of all, you want to see good reviews from users. Check the major mag and service reviews of the services, such as those from PC Magazine and take a look at not only the editors' opinions, but also the users.

A lot of what people complain about really has to do with the underlying internet they are using, an d not the actual program service they have subscribed to. Although not always.

Remember that you are dropping cable tv, not cable internet.

Cable internet for those of us in this area or with Verizon FIOS is excellent and fast even at the slower speeds when compared with what is the bandwidth required for tv.

So this list above is from searching on "internet tv"

So where to go next? Let's see what's recommended:


So if you are a cord-cutter -- that is you are dropping cable and want a cheaper alternative, you have 3
choices:

DirecTV Now (AT&T) -- However, there is a gotcha: unless you have a Smart TV with built-in Amazon FireTV or ROKU capability you cannot just use/download a DirecTV app you will have to get a supported device that they list. You may get a good deal if you are an ATT customer already. And right now they have a $10 per mo. intro offer which auto jumps to $35/mo unless you cancel ahead of time.

Sling TV is supported on most Smart TVs incl Samsung

YouTubeTV is supported as well.

What if you have an older TV, with no SMARTS -- well, then you should get a smart TV 'cause your life will be easier. But if not you can get a USB device such as ROKU, Amazon FireTV, or ChromeCAST or ??? and it will add internet capability for streaming from your router and a remote for navigation

Here a shots of some of the offers:


DirecTV Now



Sling Offer


YouTubeTV Offer -- FREE! :)


So what's next?

So we will have a discussion of this stuff tonite at the KPL, Mar 28, 2018!

Call the Kinnelon Library at 973 838 1321 and reserve a spot.

See you there!

~Ted




Saturday, January 20, 2018

Talk at the Kinnelon Library Wednesday, Jan 24@ 7 PM on Computer Disaster Recovery -- Quick and Complete -- How to Do It!


Taking Care of Your Computer: Disaster Recovery
No Matter How You Got There!
I will be giving a talk at the Kinnelon Public Library, Wednesday, Jan 24, at 7 PM, which is the first of such talks this year, roughly a month apart, and this month it will be on the subject of Disaster Recovery!
  • From Lightning Strikes to Hardware Failure, What to Do
  • How to Plan for the Worst
  • What Steps to Take in Advance
  • How to Restore Your Working Environment
  • How to Protect Your Data
  • How to Be Up and Running again Quickly, even in Minutes
  • Real World Examples that Have Happened to Me! Lightning ... !
This is the Kinnelon Library's description of the talk:

"Computer Class-Wednesday, January 24 at 7:00 pm-Ted Whittemore of Kinnelon Computers returns to the Kinnelon library with his monthly computer classes

This month he (that's me) will be talking about System Maintenance and Recovery for Win 7 thru Win 10, with the emphasis on Win 10, including Updates, Backup and License Restoration. Be the Boss, learn how to take care of your computer and tell it what to do and avoid Surprises! Bring a fully-charged laptop, if you have one. To register, or for more information, call 973-838-1321 or click on Adult Program Registration."

Plus -- As Always -- Ask Your Questions about Your Computer and Computer Related Problems, such as:

1) Is my machine too old? When do I need a new machine?

2) How can I "pin" that program to my Taskbar, and what is a "Gadget?"

3) Why does my computer ... ?

4) If you have a laptop with a problem, bring it along and we'll take a quick look.

5) Questions and on-the-spot diagnosis will be limited by the time available!!!

All of you Kinnelon and North Jersey people, and everybody else, are welcome to come.

Call the Kinnelon Library at 973 838 1321 and reserve a spot.

See you there!

~Ted

PS: This talk pertains to PCs running Windows 10, 8, and 7


Photo Credits: http://enron-online.com/2013/07/02/cute-baby-kittens-enron/
         

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