Find Local Computer Repair

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When needing your computer fixed, you have two options: a small local repairman, or a large store-based repair technician. Which is better? Who should you trust? This video should answer those questions for you.

  • When hiring a local tech, find out from friends & family about their reputation. If you can, speak to any of their former customers. This allows you to find out if they do a good job in respect to quality, as well as make sure there are no complaints about service.
  • Local Vs In-Store – Peace of mind will always be found at the In-store repair because these people are paid to fix your PC, and they could lose their job if they remove and swap out hardware. To be honest, most if not all techs are not willing to put their job on the line for a component.
  • Prices will always be better with local techs. Most technicians that run locally from their home will usually have a set amount of money they are expecting to be paid. This wont change depending on the size of the job or the time scale. You need to work out for yourself if your willing to pay the set fee.
  • Always get a second opinion. If one tech says it’s hardware and you need to repair it NOW… don’t jump the gun and pay up. Seek out friends if possible with PC Repair skills and ask them to look at the PC themselves. Also, ask them if what the technician says is possibly false. Do not be afraid to challenge the feeling of authority you can get from most technicians. Some will even be insulted, however this is nothing to do with ego, its to do with the repair of your PC and you need to take precautions.
  • Try to never to leave the local technician alone with your PC unless absolutely necessary. This will make sure they cannot remove parts for no real reason. This also gives you time to speak to the technician and find out more about your system, what it’s capable of and what you can do to prevent problem arising in future. Nearly all good techs will be happy to give you advice.

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Computer Backup

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I have talked many times in the past about how critical it is to regularly back up your computer data. Here are some excellent tips sent in by a community member, to help you decide what to back up, when to back up, and HOW to back up.

  • Do not backup to only one specific drive. Many people often backup their information to one specific drive and think they are safe. Chances are that drive that they have backed up their data on, will fail at some point. The best way to backup your information is to backup on multiple drives. Therefore, if one drive fails you can easily locate another one where the data is located. There are many websites that will allow you to use a certain amount of space to backup your information for a low fee. Using these types of websites are a great way to backup your data when your other drives may fail on you. Remember, the more places you have the data stored, the more likely you will be able to recover it.
  • Protect your backup drives. Sometimes, hard drives will fail and you will loose your data. There are some ways you can avoid this from happening to you. To prevent a hard drive from failure, check to make sure it is in a healthy condition. To do this, you need to check to see if it’s stable. Some software will tell you if the drive is in an good condition or if it may fail some time in the near future. A free method to make sure the hard drive is in good shape is to defrag the files on the hard drive. In some cases, your files will separate and become fragmented. In Windows, there is a free program called “Disk Defragmenter”. This program will let you select the drives you want to defrag. You can also you Disk Keeper, a software program which does the same thing as Disk Defragmenter, but does a better job.
  • Organize your data. You may have heard many times, that you should organize your data to make sure you never loose your important information. However, when a day comes and you decide to backup some data that you do not place in folders, you could cause a habit of doing it over and over again. Sooner or later, you will see that all of your data is unorganized and hard to find. Always make sure you backup your things in either folders or a method you prefer to find your data easier. I recommend using sub folders as well. This will let you find things more specific to what you are trying to search for. To do this, create a regular empty folder on the drive, and then open the folder. Create another folder inside that folder, and place the files inside of it. Then, create another folder inside the same folder you have just made and place files into that. This way, you can locate each folder and see which files are inside of them.
  • Know which drives to use. Drives such as, Flash Drives are great way to backup small things such as documents or even programs, depending on the size on the flash drive. Flash Drives can range from 16mb all the way up to 32Gigs. If you are thinking about backing up things such as movie files or music, I highly recommend to purchase a external hard drive. These can range from 120gigs to 500gigs. Remember though, the speed of the data transfer may be slow, because it is USB 2.0. This also holds true for fire wire (IEEE1394) ports. In order to transfer data across one drive to another at a fast speed, you must use Internal Hard Drives. These drives can easily transfer data no matter what kind of data it is. SATA cables are much more faster than the old ATA cables, so if you are planning to look for the best speed, try to buy hard drives that support SATA cables. Just make sure your motherboard can support SATA.
  • BONUS TIP!! Backup as many times as you can. When disaster strikes, and you have lost all your data, you will blame yourself for not backing up your things. I recommend backing up important data every once a week. This way, it ensures you of not loosing your data and you are well aware that you are safe if disaster did strike.

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Zonbu Computer Giveaway on New Year's Day!

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Awhile back, I did a video review of the new Zonbu computer. I decided to start 2008 out right, by giving it away on the spur of the moment to a lucky viewer!

The requirements to be eligible for this giveaway were the same as always:

  • You must be present in the chat room to win.
  • You have to be subscribed to my YouTube Channel.
  • You must have left a comment at some time in my blog. The comment can be at any time, on any post. However, it needs to be a GOOD comment, that relates to the discussion. Saying things like “good tips!”, “you’re great!” or “I want to win!” do NOT count, and will be deleted.

That’s all there is to it! So without further ado, let’s reveal the winner!

Congratulations to xalent1 for winning the Zonbu! And, since you left such insightful comments on the blog, I’ll be sure to send you a little something extra, as well!

Be sure to join us every day. From now on, the weekly giveaways will NOT be announced in advanced. You have to be a regular member and show up for more than just the giveaways to win! Happy 2008, everyone!

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Buying a Desk

I am looking into possibly buying myself a new desk soon. These tips sent in by community member Serores will definitely come in handy for me. I hope they will for you, as well. Currently, I’m using a Bush Series C / Corsa – Hansen Cherry.

  • Size: If you’re only going to be using a laptop and maybe some books and papers, you dont have to waste your money on a huge desk. This way, you can save a lot of money and buy other things to enjoy in your home office. On the other hand, if you have a huge monster computer like the one Chris gave to Kat, you may want a bigger desk. This also depends on the kind of monitor you’re using, and if you want your computer tower on or under your desk.
  • Shape: Chances are, if you’ve had your house for awhile you already have a pretty cluttered office. So, here comes the question of where will you put your desk? If you want it in the corner, get a triangular one. If you want it just on the flat wall get a square one. If you want it on the ceiling, you’re looking at spending a lot of money on duct-tape… so I dont recommend that.
  • Compartments: If you’re the kind of person with a lot of knicknacks, papers, books, and other miscellaneous items, you may want to look into a desk with a lot of compartments. The compartments should be various sizes to fit everything you need. This is where, if you want to get fancy, you can bring a list of things you’ll have on your desk shopping with you, to remind you of what you have. This way, you can look at a desk and picture how everything would go on it.
  • Quality: Simple, if you have a lot of heavy stuff… you dont want your desk to fall over. Also, a good sturdy desk is best when you have kids or pets that are always jumping off the walls. Another exaple of quality is wood smoothness. If you’re an artist like me, you know what it’s like to draw on a table with gaps between the boards when you have no tablet.
  • Look: I know for me this would be the last thing I look at. However, for some this may be of high importantance. Pick something that matches your style and color scheme (if you have one). Also, stay away from annoying bright crazy colors that won’t let you focus on a book or the screen, because you are distracted by your desk.

Free Computer! (Giveaway video)

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As promised, I gave away another computer, when we reached 20,000 subscribers on our YouTube channel! Thank you to everyone who has subscribed, and to all of you who visit regularly. Don’t worry, we’ll be giving away more things in the coming weeks and months, including another computer.

The requirements were simple for this giveaway. Once we reached the 20,000 subscribers, you simply had to comply with four rules to be eligible to win:

  • Be subscribed to the YouTube Channel
  • Leave a good comment on my blog, showing you have read a post and contributed to discussion. Insipid, meaningless comments don’t count.
  • Be present in the chat room to win!
  • Must live in the US or Canada for this particular giveaway

So as usual, I began scrolling up and down the list of people present as quickly as I could. I cannot see the names list as I scroll. I always have someone on the Ventrilo server say the word “STOP”, to tell me when to stop scrolling. The people on Ventrilo cannot see the list of names either. Also, there is a second or two lag from the time they say “stop” until I HEAR them say it. Putting all these elements together, shows you that there is no “rigging” of the contests. It’s completely random.

The first name chosen this week was mats. Mats is from Norway, so is not eligible to win. The cost of shipping would be more than the computer is worth. Also, Mats would have to pay a LOT of money on import taxes, or whatever it’s called in his country. I felt so bad, so I asked him to email me, and I’m going to send him a little something else, instead.

The next name chosen was zigyzigyzat. He is subscribed to the YouTube channel, but he unfortunately did not leave a comment on the blog. Sadly, we had to pass on him and begin scrolling again.

Moving on and scrolling, the next person chosen was CashMcMogulson. He is in the US according to his IP address. However, he forgot to leave a comment on the blog. So… let’s go again!

Ianimate3D was chosen next, but was not present at the time of the drawing.

Now when I stopped again, I knew immediately that there could be a problem. My scroll stopped near the top of the list, and I immediately said that people would think it’s rigged. I asked everyone in chat and on Ventrilo what I should do. Unanimously, everyone said to show the name. When I showed the name… Kat yelled out “OH MY GOD”, because the scroll had stopped on her. Not only does Kat do some work for me on the videos I record, she also is in charge of moderating our chat room. This is why I knew some people may say it was rigged.

In order to keep things even moreon the up and up, I threw a poll up on the live feed, courtesy of Ustream.tv. Over 500 people were present, and I think pretty much everyone voted. In an overwhelming majority, around 60% of you said to give her the computer!! Kat is subscribed to the YouTube channel, has left more than one comment on the blog, and was obviously present. So Kat… congratulations!!

MESSAGE FROM KAT HERSELF

First, I would like to thank everyone who voted in favor of my getting to have the computer. It means a lot to me that you all support me, and are my friends. I am very fortunate to have such amazing friends. This computer is very badly needed, as mine is quite old and unstable. Now, it will be much easier for me to work, and chat!

I know there are some who are claiming that the contest was “rigged”. This is just plain silly. In all the time I have known Chris, I have come to know him as a man of honor and integrity. You all saw him, the same as I did, when he hesitated to even show the name he had stopped on. All of us in chat and on Ventrilo encouraged him to show the name. He even made it MORE fair by doing a poll. I completely understand why some would think that. However, I give you MY word of honor that everything was completely legitimate. I was so excited and freaked out when I saw my name on the screen that I was shaking, and had tears in my eyes. My old computer will be going to my daughters to use for school.

Again, thank you to all of you from the bottom of my heart, and to Chris for the generosity he has in giving things away every week.

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