Choosing a Computer

By Richard Churchill – First Published July 2012

The average PC will stay with you for at least 4 years, so choosing well is key to avoiding stress in years to come. The choices involved in buying a computer are intimidating. Here I briefly cover the major choices, I have put a longer guide “Buying a Computer”

First choice, what type of computer do you want? There are 3 main designs,
Tablets these look like large mobile phones, good for browsing online (I’ll cover these next month).

Laptops have flip up tops, giving you a screen and keyboard, varying from ultra-light to big and heavy, the larger models are faster but time between charges decreases (the biggest run from mains chargers most of the time).

Desktop/All-in-One, here the computer parts are either in a separate box, or built in to the back of the monitor. These are what most people think of as a computer. Other than shape there is no difference between Laptops and Desktops

The next question is “PC or Mac”? Mac is exclusive to Apple Inc and runs Apple’s own Mac OS software, considered to be more reliable and secure. Macs are more expensive, with fewer software titles available for them. A PC is any other computer than runs Microsoft Windows. PCs are cheaper, made by many companies, run more software but are more vulnerable to attack.

The hard disk is where you store all your stuff, (it’s the figure measured in hundreds of “gb” in a computers details). Simply the bigger it is, the more videos, music etc. you can store.

Finally the processor and ram, the brains and working memory of the computer. Processors have become so powerful now that for the average home user, even the slowest current processor will still be fast enough. Ram is now the most important element, without enough of it the computer will run slowly. 2GB is the minimum 3Gb or 4Gb are better if you can get it, more is unnecessary at the moment.

Going further

If you are fortunate enough to live in Bristol or South Gloucestershire and wold like help with your computer why not give us a call? You can call us on 01454 616365 or use our contact form and we will call you back.

Getting the Facts

By Richard Churchill – First Published April 2011

The coming of the internet has given us much greater access to information, it is now possible to find out almost anything about anything of the slightest significance. Anyone can put information on the internet and there is no editorial control. How in that case do you know the information you are reading is accurate? Continue reading “Getting the Facts”

Finding a company

By Richard Churchill – First Published March 2011

I have noticed that fewer and fewer people are using the big printed directories. The Internet is slowly taking over as the primary way to find the trades people. Using the internet gives you a very wide choice, you can check reputation of the company you have chosen and often find out in great detail what they do before you pick up the phone, or email them.
Continue reading “Finding a company”

Letting your pictures out

By Richard Churchill – First Published February 2011

The modern use of digital photography has led to a change in the way we relate to photographs. While it is possible to get high quality prints off our digital photos, either from our own printers or from numerous high street shops that are replacing their film developing equipment with digital photo printers, most of the time our pictures just remain trapped on our computers looked at whenever we remember they are there. Continue reading “Letting your pictures out”

Its a Social World

By Richard Churchill – First Published January 2011

The technical innovation of the last 10 years has been the group of technologies known as “social media”. At the turn of the century the idea of keeping up with what your friends are doing week by week via the internet was barely considered, now it is is possible (if you want) to keep up with your friends activities on a minute by minute basis. Continue reading “Its a Social World”

Getting that eChristmas spirit

By Richard Churchill – First Published December 2010

It’s December that means pretty much whatever religion you follow, or even if you don’t follow a religion, there’s a festival to celebrate. This generally involves cards, presents and good wishes. This is now the age of the computer so what is the ‘tech savie’ way to spread goodwill? This month I will point you in a few directions that will give you an easier or more interesting time. Continue reading “Getting that eChristmas spirit”

Getting the message across

By Richard Churchill – First Published October 2010

Email has been around for decades, but in recently years the number of ways of communicating have been multiplying. You can now send instant messages,hold debates on forums, phone friends over the internet, hold video conferences, find out what old friends are doing with social networking. There is a lot of noise out there but how much of it is actually useful? Continue reading “Getting the message across”

Can you hear me?

By Richard Churchill – First Published August/September 2010

If you think about international calls, I’ll bet you think of long numbers and high bills. If you have relatives that live abroad, it is a real pain, especially if you also have to think about time differences.

While it has been possible to talk to someone over the internet for at least 10 years, until recently it wasn’t easy. Slow connections meant call quality was poor, even getting a connection seemed to require a degree in computing, certainly not for the general user. What we want is a service that is easy to use, tells us when our friends and relatives are available, it would even be nice if we could see the person we are talking to. Continue reading “Can you hear me?”

Keeping your files safe from disaster

By Richard Churchill – First Published July 2010

Backup, its an awkward subject, something we should all do but with no right answer for everyone. How do you keep your treasured holiday pictures safe without it costing more that the holiday did?

There are a number of strategies that can be used singly or in combination to keep your valuable files safe. I’ll go over each here so you can work out what is the best solution for you. Continue reading “Keeping your files safe from disaster”