Wednesday, December 17, 2008

HP’s TouchSmart In the Running with Apple

HP's Touchsmart IQ506 is the second generation, touch-sensitive computer. Its all-in-one design houses a built-in webcam, TV tuner and wireless keyboard and mouse that makes the unit sleek and compact. But the custom touch interface created by frog design is really what makes this computer top of the line. This is not just an imitation iMac…

The TouchSmart comes with:
• an all-in-one PC-22-inch widescreen,
• 2.16 Core 2 Duo Processor,
• ATSC tuner,
• 4 GB RAM,
• 500 GB HDD,
• 5 USB ports
• and an SDHC reader.

The Touchsmart interacts with Vistas with touch screen capabilities much like an I pod or I Phone , You can access television shows, files and pictures at the touch of a hand. However, fair warning it does have its faults:

• Internet Security is only 60-day subscription for live updates.
• Windows Media Center is slow to react. 64-bit
• Vista may be incompatible with your existing hardware and software.
• No back button on the mouse.
• No pointing device on keyboard.

For more information on the new TouchSmarts please visit HP's Website

Friday, December 12, 2008

Logitech Mice Reach into the Billions

Logitech MouseLogitech started back in the early 1980's when a mouse was only used for CAD (computer-aided design applications). Since the mouse's humble beginnings over 20 years ago, mice have become the staple hardware piece in being able to fully utilize PC's and laptops alike. From hundreds of designs and specialty mice catered towards every different interests such as business and gaming, Logitech ha struly reached a milestone. To put the number One Billion (1,000,000,000) into perspective take a look at these interesting tidbits.

  • A billion seconds ago it was 1959.
  • A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.
  • A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age
  • A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet
  • A billion dollars ago was only 8 hours and 20 minutes, at the rate our government is spending it

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Computer of My Dreams!

As a little Christmas project we are doing I have been asked to look for the most expensive desktop PC I could find on the internet. This is of course all because our manger just happened to run across the "If I were a Rich Man" video on YouTube.
Dear God, you made many, many poor people. I realize there's no shame in being poor...but it's no great honor either. So what would have been so terrible if I had a small fortune? - Tevye

"If I were a Rich Man"... Err uh woman; I know the exact computer that I would buy! I’m all about graphics and photography and I enjoy dabbling in some web design from time to time, so my choice for the best graphics computer money could buy, with everything I would need or want would be an Alien ALX® X58.

My customizations would come with:

- The new Intel® Core™ i7-965 Extreme 3.2 GHz 8MB Cache processor. Nothing beats this power. Cost $700

- Acoustic Dampening: Alienware® Acoustic Dampening - Cost $99.

- Power Supply: Alienware® 1200 Watt Multi-GPU Approved Power Supply – Cost $250

- Graphics Processor: Dual 2GB GDDR5 ATI® Radeon® HD 4870 X2 with CrossFireX™ and Quad GPU Technology – Cost $550

- Video Optimizer: AlienAdrenaline v1.0: Video Performance Optimizer – Cost $35

- Memory: 12GB DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz - 6 x 2048MB – Cost $500

- Motherboard: Alienware® Approved Intel® X-58 Motherboard- Socket 1366 Core i7 Ready, Dual Triple Channel DDR3 Memory

- Operating System (Office software not included): Genuine Windows Vista® Ultimate (64-bit Edition) with Service Pack 1 – Cost $100

- System Drive: Extreme Performance (RAID 0) - 256GB (2 x 128GB) Solid State Drive – Cost $830

- Because Picture Raw requires a lot of space and several copies of each image due to processing for print and web I would want an additional storage drive. I chose one with 2TB (2 x 1TB) SATA 3Gb/s 7,200RPM w/ 2 x 32MB Cache – Cost $388

- Optical Drives : Dual Drive Configuration - Drive 1: 20X Dual Layer Burner (DVD±RW) w/ LightScrib and in Drive 2: 4x Dual Layer Blu-ray Burner (BD-RE, DVD±RW, CD-RW) - Cost $450

- Enthusiast Essentials: Dual High Performance Gigabit Ethernet Ports – Cost $150

- Sound Card: Creative Sound Blaster® X-Fi™ XtremeGamer High Definition 7.1 Audio – Cost -$99

- Having two monitors to work on is great for multi-tasking and also great in web design. It gives you the opportunity to see your pages displayed in different sizes during development. Monitor 1: is 24" 2408WFP 1920 x 1200p (6ms) – Cost $689

- Monitor 2 is a 30" 3008WFP 2560 x 1600p (8ms) great for movies and photo editing. Cost $1999

- Speakers: Logitech® Z-2300 2.1 200-Watt Speakers - Cost $249

- Keyboard: Wireless Keyboard - Logitech® diNovo Edge Keyboard – Cost $178

- Mouse: Standard Mouse - Logitech MX™ Revolution Mouse – Cost $82

- Command and Control:Belkin Nostromo SpeedPad n52te, SteelSeries Ikari Laser Mouse and SteelSeries 5H v2 Headset.- Cost $189

- Logitech® QuickCam® Pro 9000 - Cost $100

- Microsoft® Office Home and Student 2007 - Cost $150

- Warranty: 3-Year AlienCare Toll-Free 24/7 Phone Support with Onsite Service - Cost $300

- AlienRespawn: AlienRespawn v2.0 Recovery DVD – Windows Vista® Edition - Cost $0

- Digital Editing Software: Adobe® Photoshop® CS4 - Cost $718

All of this for a grand beautiful total for $13,950.00. This system will have the power and performance that is top of the line with the warranty to back it up. A graphic girl’s Dream! Check this out my friend mike built his dream laptop here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Help for the Helpdesk Consultant

There Are NO Stupid Questions

In my four plus years working at a computer services helpdesk I have been asked some pretty off the wall questions. I have encountered people who know more than I do about computers and others who aren’t sure what the difference is between a mouse and a monitor. The director of our department use to tell us, “The only dumb question is a question unasked.” He expected the Help Desk staff to treat people with respect and no matter what help was needed we were to help them find the answers. If we couldn’t find the answers we were to find someone who could. He told us it didn’t matter if they called and asked how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop and granted while I was never asked that question I have been asked some pretty wild ones like:

“It says press “any” key to continue but where is the “any” key?”

“Why do I need an Internet Service provider? The Salesman said my laptop has the Internet card inside?”


“I somehow made my screen ¼ the size that it was. How do I make it big again?”

Regardless of the questions it doesn’t mean users are dumb. They just don’t have experience and many are very stressed when it comes to technology. They fear breaking something or messing something up. I used to joke saying “If anyone could break the internet it would be me,” and at the time I believed it. Now I build websites and assist other people in learning about computers. It is staying in touch with my old inexperienced self that helps me relate to the person I am helping and then I can ease their anxiety.

Remember, if it wasn’t for the inexperience of users, techs would not have jobs becasue everyone would be doing their own problem solving. Staff attitude can shape attitudes toward the services of the company and build or tear down the reputation from within.

Simple questions just result in simple solutions but your helpdesk staff can still get frazzled by them. They can relieve some of their impatience by sharing stories or tips in a social gathering either in a news group or occasional meetings. Regular training can also be a way to help your support staff to deal with off the wall issues like how to get rubber cement from between your keys. Over all when questions are handled with respect and understanding at the end of the day it feels good.

Feel free to share with me your stories and how you dealt with them

Monday, September 29, 2008

A Comptuer Blog

Welcome to our new computer blog. Our hope here is to discuss and review any and all topics related to today’s computer technology. Unlike other blogs our staff will be taking full advantage of this blog to present the latest computer topics in a unbiased manner written for the average computer user and we promise these posts will be based purely upon our opinions and real life experiences. We hope you enjoy our blog and as always feel free to drop an e-mail to with any suggestions, or content, for a post you would like to see.