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Posts tagged ‘laptops’

Don’t let False Economy spoil your Christmas laptop purchase

November 17th, 2015

Martin

I’ve done laptop buying guides before. The last guide showed you what to look for in a new computer, depending on what you needed it for.

Well, in many ways that advice still stands, though the ‘Core’ processors from Intel are now into their 5th generation. The amount of RAM you need hasn’t really changed either, especially as Windows 10 is meant to be friendly to machines with low amounts of RAM (working memory). Read more

6 ways to make a bad PC situation even worse

November 3rd, 2014

Martin

You don’t need to have a computing degree to use a PC these days. That complicated bit of kit sitting on your lap has been honed to the point where it pretty much browses the web, installs programs and empties your bank account all on its own.

But when disaster strikes, why stop there? Here are a few ways to take a perfectly virus-ridden, shattered laptop and really go to town on it.

Grab a registry cleaner, any one will do. Then hit CLEAN, then CLEAN again!

Registry cleaners are a Windows user’s best friend. Install one (or four), hit the button marked ‘clean’ or ‘wipe’ or ‘destroy’ and wait a few seconds for your registry to be stripped of every pesky setting you’ve given it. Then hit that button again, just to catch a few extra things.

And try to install just one more registry cleaner from whichever popup catches your eye first.

Go on – or are you chicken?

One thing I’d certainly avoid is these two programs. They’ve got good reputations, let you backup your registry before making changes, and come with a host of other tools to keep you PC ship shape.

Free: CCleaner: not only makes it easy to do proper repairs to the Registry, but bundles in a couple of other tools too.

Paid: iolo System Mechanic: you get a hell of a lot of tools for your money, and I’ve been using this for years on my own PCs and laptops. If you’re happy to pay a little for a lot of power, try this out. If you’re a real glutton for punishment, get 40% of System Mechanic here.

Browse dangerously

Ignore the nay-sayers who think you should only use top-notch software like AVG and Kaspersky. To really bugger up your PC you need to find a ‘Top 10 Review’ website which peddles its own substandard product, and get that installed.

Then, when the shocking messages appear suggesting you spend more money, click away!

And pity those scaredy-cats who cower behind things like:

The Netcraft Toolbar Extension, which makes it far too easy to spot spammy links and dodgy websites. This is one freebie you won’t be finding me bothering with.

AVG Free: Supposedly the best free antivirus. I wouldn’t know, because I got my A/V from some website somewhere. I forget.

Kaspersky Security Suite: a reputation as the best of the best, two years running from PC Pro and MicroMart magazines. A whole security suite too, if you’re that way inclined. Put this on your computer and you’ll never achieve that Disaster Nirvana that we’re looking for.

Knacker your laptop

Laptops are a special case. They’re basically built to be thrown around literally, and to slip out of bags perched on walls.

So don’t treat your laptop like a priceless antique or the brittle concoction of plastic and silicon that it is. Try these tips:

Drop your laptop

Make sure your thumb is pressed hard on the screen when you close the lid

Slam that lid down like a mousetrap spring

Play tricks on siblings / husbands by crushing hands in laptops for combined laptop-relational breakdowns.

Bonus tips

If this isn’t enough to wreck all chances of seeing Facebook again, I have some bonus tips for you:

  • Always send angry replies to spammers. They’re a sensitive bunch, and will take you off their list straight away
  • If an email comes in offering something which sounds too good to be true (like, say, a pill which ‘doctors are furious at’), there’s only one way to reap the benefits: whip out your credit card.
  • To turn off your computer, just hold down the power button for 8 seconds. This kills the power, and saves you having to click three times to get it to shut down. This is best to do during a Windows Update or defrag.

Now that you know how to really mess your computer up, get going! Alternatively, if you know a friend who’s done one of these things and needs a little help, call in a PC repair expert.