BUYING A USED NEW COMPUTER

Buying a new computer is fun and they’re pretty cheap now. But watch out for the online reviews; trust no one and don’t speak to strangers. When searching for “how to buy a desktop computer,” you’ll find articles steering you to computers costing $1800 and up. These are fast and mean but appropriate mostly for people who edit videos or play games. Lots of memory and lots of processing power are important in those areas; for most of us, not so much. Searching for “budget desktops,” you get some strange picks, not all of them ready for prime time. PC Magazine shuttled us to the “Shuttle XPC Nano with Windows 10.” It weighs only one pound and goes for $221 […]

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THE NEW CHROMEBOOK

Topics: the new Chromebook, 3D art and photos, glamorous camping, news, tech tips.

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MAKING MUSIC

Topics: Free music app, refurbished computers, geography game, Netflix Releases,security for Android phones, Dropbox tip.

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HERE’S LOOKING AT EVERYBODY

  If you use Facebook, but worry about it sharing your personal information with strangers, we have a fix. It’s Facebook’s “Privacy Checkup.” From your computer, go to Facebook.com and click the tiny picture of a padlock next to the tiny picture of a globe in the upper right. Follow the steps to increase your privacy. — You might not want anyone to see how often you play “Candy Crush,” or any other application, for example. In that case, change the “public” setting to “only me.” — Remove any apps you’re not using. — Change the information on your profile page and remove the year of your birth if it’s listed. (It’s easier to do identity theft if the bad […]

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SPEEDING UP A COMPUTER – TAKE 5

After we threw Windows out the window and began using a Mac, we felt nostalgic for our test computer, a Windows all-in-one machine with a large screen. It felt real slow now compared to the Mac. Okay, time to go to work. To get to the bottom of things, we brought up “Task Manager.” You can do it too. Right-click the taskbar at the bottom of your screen, or press the “Ctrl-alt-delete” keys all together and choose Task Manager. If, like our computer, your computer’s CPU (the brain chip) is running at 99 percent capacity, that’s a problem. At first, we thought the culprit was Google Chrome. When we switched to Microsoft Edge, the replacement browser for Internet Explorer, the […]

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TURN YOUR TV INTO A COMPUTER

Asus has made a “Chromebit.” It’s an $89 four-inch black stick you plug into your TV to turn it into a Chrome computer. Temporarily, of course.

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WHAT TO DO WITH AN OLD COMPUTER

If you have a computer laying around that’s no good any more, consider turning it into a lightning-fast Chromebook.

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STAYING FLEXIBLE

Bob was wrong about Joe Biden running for president, but he may be right about flexible computers. He predicts that a computer that wraps around your arm will one day be the norm, not a smart watch on your wrist.

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CHROMEBOOKS TAKING THE PLACE OF IPADS IN SCHOOLS

Google’s Chromebooks now account for 49 percent of U.S. computer shipments to schools in grades kindergarten through 12, according to a recent report from Futuresource.

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BUYING A NEW COMPUTER

When we buy a new Windows 10 computer this summer, we’ll be asking ourselves: Should we get one with a traditional hard disk drive or one of the new solid state drives? Hard disk drives have been around for 60 years. They were a tremendous advance over floppy disks. They were invented by IBM and were originally called “Winchester Drives,” because they were as fast as a rifle bullet, they said. The name may have been influenced by the fact that the IBM lab that designed the drive was across the street from the Winchester mansion in San Jose, Calif. Solid state drives have no moving parts, they’re all chips. But even if you buy a computer with one of […]

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