Are PC’s a thing of the past?

I know you are thinking the same, everybody is! The latest era of mobile phones and tablet devices are pushing out the common household pc out of the door. This is because technology is advancing rapidly there are new gadgets and features coming out regularly and people are moving on from the what was once the best thing since sliced bread, the desktop computer.

The latest laptop sales are up 80% of computer sales but believe it or not 90% of households in America have a desktop computer. But how often do they get used is the real million dollar question. In the past couple of years technology has advanced at an incredible rate and with it so have computers, there are no longer fat, bulky and slow desktops sat in the corner of the living room. We now have smaller more portable and faster computers in which is better for everyone.

desktop computer

Desktop computers are widely used by gamers and many office companies; this is because the needs they are trying to achieve are perfectly suited for a desktop computer. Little things such as the battery life, with a laptop you have to estimate how long before your power dies. Which for gamers is a pain, with office jobs you don’t really need to be portable and what is the point in paying a higher price for the same specifications?

Laptops are vastly becoming the favourite along with smartphones and tablets. The most
It makes sense; you wouldn’t dress as if you were in the 80’s because it is out of date and old fashioned. Same goes with desktops, they were once the future and the same will famous tablet has to be Apple’s Ipad. Last year in the last quarter Apple generated $36billion in revenue and 100 million ipads were sold to contribute to that revenue. Yes, laptops and tablets may cost more and be more expensive to maintain but when the company which is producing them is generating these amount of figures then it is clear as crystal that the desktop computer is now a thing of the past.

Tek Squad are experts in maintaining and repairing all types of systems, from the old desktop right down to the latest apple mac laptop our skills vary. No matter what is popular at the minute, someone will invent something better or a new version of your laptop/computer will be released and your machine will be a thing of the past also.

Contact us for more information.

5 Tips to boost computer/laptop performance

boost computer performance

Remove Malware – This is the main common cause of your computer running slow, Malware can sit in your computer undetected clogging your system. They can also bring with them viruses and other malicious software which can harm your computer or laptop. The solution to this is to install a good anti-virus and run scans frequently.

Install a faster hard drive – If your computer is taking time to load basic programs, then it is recommended to upgrade your hard drive. Things to take notice of when it comes to a hard drive are the RPMs, transfer rate and the cache size. Now obviously if your hard drive has low numbers it will tend to load applications and programs a lot slower, so investing in a faster drive can improve your systems performance. SSDs (Solid State Drives) seem to be coming a lot more popular now instead of the hard disks, this is due to the response of the load time which is a lot quicker. They are, however, limited as they have only so many read/write cycles. Meaning it’ll need replacing at some point.

A general computer clean up – This should really be the first thing you do if your PC or laptop is running slow. Remove any unwanted files, folders, apps and programs which you do not need or use. Also if you have and internal email program try deleting all your junk emails and spam just to clear some room. Web browsers are another unconsidered form of junk, most browsers come with extensions and plugins installed which you do not need and is clogging up your ram and hard drive. Again remove any unwanted browser add ons as they can also carry with them malware.

• Disk Defragmentation and Compression – This process is a brilliant way to boost your systems performance if you have a windows system it will defrag your hard disk automatically but there is a range of different software which can do the job also. Compression is just as good as defragmentation as this is the process of compressing all the files on your hard disk to make some space on the hard drive.

• Improving your DNS – Most people complain of slow internet, this could be because of the router they are using or because of the DNS settings. To improve your connectivity speed try changing your DNS look up server, adding a faster DNS server will deliver your commands you want to your IP Address which will boost your overall connectivity speeds.

The Very First Laptop Computer

As we know in today’s world laptops are taking over especially with businessmen. We can do almost anything on today’s laptop and the super advanced technology; it makes you think what the first ever laptop was like? I am going to tell you…

The first ever laptop computer was the EPSON HX-20 which was announced in 1981 but wasn’t put on the market until two years later in 1983. It was generally known as the first ever handheld portable computer system. The best way to describe the EPSON HX-20 is that it was the size of an a4 piece of paper with a screen smaller than most mobile phone screens in today’s world, which allowed around 4 lines of 3-6 words per line. It had the feature of rechargeable batteries and a full keyboard (maybe not as many buttons as we have today). So it has all the features of a desktop but you can take it wherever you want with you. Naturally it didn’t have any WiFi or internet connections as the internet wasn’t a mainstream thing back then.

Now don’t expect any major super-fast specifications as this was built in the 80s where a 0.5 MHz processor was renowned as “super quick”.  The HC-20 weighed roughly 4lbs which compared to the laptops we have today is like an elephant. It ran off two Hitachi 6301 CPUs which ran at 0.6 MHz!! Wait it gets worse… It had installed into it 16KB of RAM, you heard it 16KB and it could run upto a maximum of 32KB. In laptops in the modern world they have upto 1TB of storage memory in the Hard Drive, back then the HC-20 had a cassette tape which stored memory just like the tapes we used to have in our cars and radios. We’re not finished there though, it also had installed a built in printer. This was like no printer we have today it was more like a receipt printer like you see on tills in shops or when you get a bus ticket.

As you can see the specifications compared to today’s are very antique and very very slow but back then it was like a brand new apple mac. To prove that, the EPSON HX-20 was priced at a hefty $795 and don’t forget this was back in 1983 where this amount of money meant a whole lot more than it does today. So next time you are looking to buy a laptop and you are worrying about the price for the performance, just remember the first ever laptop.

Prevent Overheating – Top Tips

Overheating can be a problem in laptops and can be down to any number of reasons. We’re going to discuss the most common reasons and what you can do to safeguard against them.

Why is Overheating such a problem? The act of overheating can be quite damaging to your computer if left unchecked. These days most computers have a safeguard against this and will automatically shut down if they start getting too hot. This can be a nuisance as they will usually shut down without ay hint of warning, sometimes costing you your afternoons work.

The reason why it will shut down is because overheating can affect your computer’s Central Processing Unit (CPU). This is the brain of your computer and does all the “thinking” for your computer whilst your Rand Access Memory (RAM) does the doing and your Hard Drive Disk (HDD) does the remembering.

If the CPU was to overheat, this could cause damage to it which would then stop your whole computer working. The term “Central” in CPU shows exactly how important this is. Imagine if your brain was to suddenly stop working, that is as important to us as the CPU is to a computer.

Overheating can usually occur if the vents of a computer become blocked, usually by a build up of dust. To prevent this happening you can use a dust cloth or ear buds to clean the external vents. If the dust build up is particularly bad, then you may have to open up your computer to clean the dust from the internal vents. As it’s harder to use ear buds and cloths inside your laptop or computer, I’d recommend using a can of compressed air. This will clear off all the dust that have attached themselves to the components of your computer.

TOP TIP: To prevent the CPU fan from turning when using the can of compressed air, pop a wooden pencil in there to stop the rotars turning. Don’t use a metal pen as this could be carrying static electricity and cause damage to your CPU.

If you have thoroughly cleaned your computer and still have trouble with overheating, then your heat sink could be faulty. This could need replacing. If you’re having trouble with an overheating laptop, feel free to give us a call for more advice.

Password Storage Tools

In this day and age people have what seems like hundreds of passwords. One for their computer, one for their tablet and one for their phone. And then one for Facebook, one for Twitter, Hotmail, Gmail, work etc. It can all get a bit much if you’re constantly having to remember which email addresses go with which password.

It’s also not prudent to simply reuse the same password for everything. Imagine, if someone cracked one of your passwords, they’re going to try that password for every other account you have. That’s not a good thing to happen as they’ll be able to access everything.

There are some great programs out there that can keep track of your passwords for you, and you only need to know one password. Programs such as LastPass also offer a great password generation addition to their site so you can create some powerful passwords for all your critical accounts.

You can also create an extra secure password for LastPass and even use two factor authentication for your passwords with LastPass. This adds an extra step, in effect two passwords, that are required to gain access to a program or website. LastPass will store one and you will have to remember the other.

They offer this because there is no truly bulletproof software out there. For every genius trying to create uncrackable software, there are other genius’ dedicated to cracking that software. Two Factor authentication will protect you if your LastPass is ever compromised.

So, the choice is up to you if you want to use password storage tools or not. But I’d recommend if you do, then make sure to use two factor authentication.

What’s the Difference between a Quick and a Full format?

It’s one that can crop up at any time. For instance you could find yourself with an old computer that’s running slow that you just want the hard drive from. Or you could discover an old USB drive that you no longer need the data for. This is also good to know if by some unfortunate chance your USB drive was to corrupt.

Before we discuss the long and short of it (or the quick and full of it), lets take a look at what exactly a format is. First, low-level formatting is essentially dividing up your hard drive or USB into separate spaces. Your computer will essentially ring fence a part of your hard drive and be able to access it when needed.

Secondly, high-level formatting is the writing of a file system to your hard drive disk. For example when you’re installing an Operating system, the Windows (or Mac OSX, Linux) files will be written to the boot sector first, with empty space being written across the rest of the disk.

So now we know what formatting is, lets take a look at quick and full formats. A quick format will write 0s over the existing file system structure, basically overwriting and deleting your Windows installation. A full format, however, will write zeros to the full disk. As there is much more of a surface area to be covered, it naturally takes longer for a full format. So if you’re keeping your hard drive I’d recommend a quick format if you need to format at all.

If you’re giving your hard drive away though, for instance if you’re selling your computer, then it’s best to give your hard drive a full format. Otherwise there could still be some recoverable data of yours on the computer’s hard drive.

So, if you’re keeping your hard drive or computer, a quick format is fine. If, however, you’re giving your computer away, best to give it a full format just in case.

New Computer This Christmas? Stay Safe With These Top Tips

So you’ve started the new year with a new computer. Lucky you, but if you want to make the most of your computer then you need to make sure to look after it. Here are some basic tips to help you keep your computer secure and running smoothly.

Turn On Automatic Updates

I know this will get on the nerves of every computer user, none more so than Windows users. Windows are always releasing updates and they can take a while to install sometimes. What you want to be able to do is have these updates install automatically. This will help keep your computer not only up to date with the latest software, but it can help tighten up security too.

Find an Antivirus & Update it Daily

Security is a big business these days so no doubt your computer will already come with an antivirus trial installed. The good news is that you don’t have to stick with this antivirus and can remove it. Usually the antivirus pre-installed isn’t the best, they’ve just paid the computer manufacturer to be there. So once you’ve uninstalled it you find a new antivirus. Which program you choose is completely up to you, but I do recommend having one and updating it daily.

Remove Unused Software

This ties in with the last point a little bit. When computers are released, other tech companies pay these computer manufacturers to have their software pre-installed on the models that get shipped out. It is just another form of advertising and is often referred to as “bloatware”, because it bloats up your system when you don’t need it. Removing this software will not only free up system resources, but if you open an old version of one of these programs accidentally, you could have a security issue.

So stay safe with these tips and get the most from your new computer.

How to Run a Memory Test on Windows 7

You might want to run a memory test for a number of reasons:

> Your computer might be running slow. This could be down to a number of things, namely, if your computer memory has suffered a bit of damage, then it’s not going to be performing to its true potential. Also known as a memory leak, running a memory test will identify and hopefully resolve the problem.

> Your computer could crash a lot. Again this could be down to memory issues, especially if caused by a memory leak. A memory leak is where a malfunctioning piece of memory will assign memory to a process or program where it cannot be recovered. In effect, slowly reducing the amount of memory you have available until you have so little memory left running, your computer is forced to shut itself down to protect itself.

To run a memory test, open the start menu and type “memory” into the search box.

Select “Windows Memory Diagnostic” from the list of search results.

Select the “Restart now and check for problems (recommended)” option from the box that pops up.

Your computer will then restart and the memory test will run. Grab a cup of tea as this might take a while.

Once completed your computer will report to you any memory problems it can find. Call Tek Squad and we’ll be able to help fix your underperforming computer.

My Computer Won’t Switch On. What Do I Do?

It’s an awful sound, the sound of silence. You’re all too familiar with the whirring and clunks and clanks (depending on how old your computer is) that commence immediately after you hit and release the power button.

But what happens if you’re let down and all that follows the clicks of the power button is silence? Well, not to worry, there may still be some hope yet.

First of all, you can start by checking the power cable to your computer. Is the cable plugged in? Is there power going through it? Is your PSU switched on?

Plug something else into the power socket you’re using for your computer, if it switches on, the problem is with the socket and not your computer. If the cable is plugged in and the socket is switched on, check that the cable is securely fixed to your computer.

If the cable is securely fastened to your computer and the socket is switched on, check the back of your computer for a switch. Sometimes power supply units (PSU) have a switch on the back of them so that they can be switched off. Check this switch is in the correct position before proceeding.

A lot of computers with these types of PSU will have an indicator light at the back of them. If this light is on and your computer still won’t start up then it could be a bit of a bigger problem.

At this stage it’s important to remember that your hard drive will probably be ok. I say probably because if there was a power surge, it could have passed a current through the hard drive, leaving the hard drive effectively dead.

At this point as your computer isn’t working then you should get in touch with a computer repair company in your area. They will be able to thoroughly examine your computer and troubleshoot it professionally.


Precaution measures to take when outsourcing laptop repairs

The modern laptop is a great business tool, as these days you can carry out most of the functions that you can on a desktop computer but with the added bonus of being able to use them on the move. Choosing the right laptop, as with everything, is vital to ensure you can use it for everything you want to, but the effective running of it means regular maintenance. Even if you take all the precautions that you can such as virus prevention software and carry out regular cleaning both inside and out, your laptop will inevitably run into problems at one point and you will need to source a laptop repairs company unless you have someone in house trained to do so.

Sourcing a company to fix something you don’t understand, and few people know the inner workings of their beloved laptops, can be intimidating in the same way as buying a car; how do I know if their taking advantage of my ignorance, so there are a few precautions to take when outsourcing laptop repairs:
Ask around for recommendations.

Nothing beats first-hand experience and so even if this is your first time outsourcing laptop repairs, you may well know someone who does this already or has done in the past. Ask about companies they have tried, and get an idea of which you should consider and which you should avoid like the plague.

Get the person with the most knowledge of laptops and laptops repairs within your company, or even just someone you know and trust, to talk to companies you are considering. If they are ‘talking the talk’ and clearly understand what is being said, companies will feel much less able to try and full any sort of fast one with you, whether that’s including repairs that aren’t necessary or saying a job will take longer than it will.

Have a company lined up to carry out any laptop repairs in advance instead of waiting for a problem before finding one. This means that you will have more time to find a company you trust and feel comfortable as well as check for references, instead of being in a rush to find someone, anyone, to get your laptop going again; you won’t be held to ransom on time.