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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BUYING A NEW COMPUTER

Until the other day, we thought there were only two things to remember when buying a new computer: Get one with an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor and get at least eight gigabytes of RAM. Here’s a third tip: Get one that’s easy to restore to its original factory settings. We learned this lesson after attempting to replace Bob’s nine-year old HP machine with a Lenovo.

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SUPER CHEAP TABLETS

Talk about cheap: There’s a $50 tablet called the Chromo 7Ci. It started out at $38, but high demand drove up the price.

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FREE STORAGE FOR CHROMEBOOKS

We’ve written about Google Chromebooks, a laptop for surfing the web and answering email. They cost around $200 and now they throw in a terabyte of free storage for two years.

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A BIGGER STICK

In March, Intel is coming out with “Compute Stick,” a plastic thingie that plugs into any late model TV and – Poof, turns it into a Windows 8.1 computer. This is way beyond the Roku, Chrome Cast and the Amazon Fire Sticks we wrote about recently. You just have to ask yourself if you want a whole computer on your TV. It’s $149 for the Windows version, and for the real techie types, there’s a Linux version for $89. A keyboard would be extra – but they’re cheap. Our take on this? It would be good for people who find themselves squinting when they look at computer monitors. Get the BIG picture.

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