Why choose a solid state drive?

Samsung solid state driveThe buzz is really starting with the solid state drives, especially since the prices are coming down. So what exactly is a SSD (Solid State Drive)? Well, it’s basically a big thumb drive.  It’s different from the traditional hard drives that have been used since the dawn of time because it has no moving parts (meaning less points of failure). So why would you want a solid state drive? In one word, performance. I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand to sit around and wait for my computer to boot up. Being that I repair computers for a living, I already spend way too much time waiting on the crazy machines.

A solid state drive will drastically improve your boot time. It will also launch your apps faster and have  better all-around performance. It even uses less power so your laptop battery will last longer.  However, solid state drives are still a bit pricey when you look at the per GB price.

If I were to buy a new PC at this very moment, I would defitely spring for the SSD option.  But since a new computer is not on this year’s wish list, I’m going for the upgrade. :)

I’m installing a solid state drive in my laptop (this Samsung solid state to be exact), then I’m using an external hard drive as secondary storage.  This works out well for me because I share files with my family anyways.  So we can all access our shared network drive.

This Samsung solid state drive comes with everything you need to replace your hard drive. Installing it is easy, peasy, lemon squeezy.  Probably the hardest part will be re-installing Windows once you have it in place. Questions? I’d be happy to oblige. Just ask. :)

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Amazon Student

Amazon StudentAmazon student is a great program for college students. Some of the benefits include:

  • Free 2-day shipping
  • Free release date on video games, DVD, books & more
  • Deals and promotions exclusively for students

Best of all, its free to join for your first six months!

Amazon has great deals on textbooks as well and if you have the Amazon Student Prime Membership, you’ll get the free 2-day shipping.

Click here to join now.facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

3 Reasons Why I’ll Stick with the iPhone 5

iPhone 5 competitionI have to admit, there is definitely eye candy out there when it comes to smart phones now.  I’ve personally taken a liking to the Nokia Lumia 920 and love what Windows has done with their mobile OS. However, when I take a step back and evaluate the pros and cons, my decision comes back to the iPhone for these 3 big  reasons.

  1. Customer Service: You cannot beat Apple’s customer service. Period. Hands down. I love being able to walk into an Apple store and walk out a happy customer.  You just don’t have those options with the other phones.
  2. Durability: My iPhone looks almost exactly the same as it did when I unboxed it 18 months ago.  I have an iPhone 3 that I just sold that looked just as good and it was 3+ years old.  Apple products are built well and as long as you put some kind of case on it, you can rest assured it will last a long-long time.
  3. Resell Value: I cannot think of any other electronic device that has the resell value Apple products do.  I can resell my iPhone for more than I paid for it due to the cell phone contract.  Good thing is, I can turn around with that money, sign another two year contract and pocket the change.  I couldn’t do that with any other phone.

So before you go down the road thinking Apple didn’t step up the game, just remember, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” It is this mentality that has kept the iPhone ahead of the game for so long.  They add just the right amount of improvements to satisfy their customers wanting change while maintaining the status quo for those who don’t.

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Fun Kids Animal Game from National Geographic


 This is a great online game for kids from National Geographic. They offer a free option as well as subscription options from just over $4 a month (with annual subscription). Check it out! It’s really fun.facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Great iPhone Cases for Women

I just wanted to share some of my fave iPhone cases for us ladies! All of these are rated at least 4 stars on Amazon (or were at the time of posting) Enjoy…

Love the color!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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A list of not-to-forget accessories for Christmas

Here’s a list of a few great deals for the holiday season!

You know what it’s like…you buy that new computer, printer, TV, gaming system, sound system or DVD player for Christmas only to discover you don’t have the cables you need to get it all working.  Then you wind up spending way more than you should locally the day after Christmas because there is no way you are waiting another couple of days to get it there.  So be sure you get these goodies:
HDMI Cable – A necessary cable if connecting your new flat screen to other devices such as a DVD player and some gaming systems.

Belkin Conserve Smart Surge Protector – This is a great device that will automatically turn off up to five entertainment system components when you turn off your TV, and easily reduce standby power.

Wii HD Component Cable – Save almost $30!

Belkin USB Printer Cable

Maxell 48 pack AA Batteries

32″ – 55″ Flat Screen TV Mount – Be sure you buy the right mount for the right size TV!

SDHC Memory Card – Be sure you get the right kind of memory card for your particular camera.  Different brands and models use different types of memory cards

Cell Phone Cases & Covers – Dont’ make the mistake of waiting. Go ahead and buy the case and get it on BEFORE it gets broken  in all the chaos of the holidays.  This is one of those items where you’ll definitely save some bucks buying online and it is great to see all the reviews as well.

Tablet Cases & Sleevesfacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Kindle Fire Review

Kindle Fire ReviewI pre-ordered the Kindle Fire the day they opened up ordering. I had been wanting a traditional Kindle and when I heard about the Fire, I decided to wait a few months for it’s release.  There are many things that initially attracted me to the Fire.

1. I like the compact size. I really like the 7″ screen

2. I loved that all my Amazon media would be in one simple place.

3. I LOVED that I could use it as an eReader

4. I liked the fact it was the Android OS…which in my opinion is the second best mobile OS behind Apple’s iOS.

5. Well, how can I not say I loved the price point?  This was certainly a big selling point to me.

6. Based on my experience with Amazon, I knew this would be a quality piece of hardware and not some flimsy piece of junk being sold by so many no-names out there.

Great interface, amazing screen clarity and color, unbeatable battery life and good performance.

 

So, I’ve been using it now for about a week. Yes, you are thinking it should be longer. Well, I received my Kindle Fire two days after the release date. When I turned it on, it wouldn’t stay on and while I was holding it, I would BARELY touch the power button and it would go off.  Of course I Googled it to see if other’s were experiencing this issue. I determined it was apparently a defective unit.  So, I called Amazon and they immediately offered to replace it with a new Kindle Fire.  Four days later, I got my new one.  The original one was DEFINITELY defective because the power button on this one works fine. Ahhhh….now I’m happy.

Let me say, I was 100% impressed with Amazon’s customer service.  I was also uber impressed that when I turned on not just my first but also my second Kindle Fire, that Amazon had already configured it. So it recognized me by name and self-registered. That was just cool!

So I finally get to sit down and spend some time with her.  Let’s cut to the chase.  Here’s what I like and yes, dislike about my Kindle Fire.

1. I do love the size. Though, it was heavier than I anticipated which can be a little daunting when using it as an eReader.

2. I love the user interface.  Unlike all the other guys, Amazon actually customized the user interface.  I think this is about the only device out there that doesn’t look like the iPad.  Don’t get me wrong. I have an iPhone and absolutely love it but I think it is a tad ingenious that everyone has just copied it. Amazon upped it, well in a way. They customized it to tailor more to it’s main purpose of an eReader.  On the top are basically all your apps and books, then on the bottom, you have your favorites.  Then there is small menu across the top for everything else. Very intuitive.

3. It is a bit challenging to go from the iPhone to the Kindle then back to the iPhone because there are certainly things that function differently.

4. LOVE the clarity and color sharpness of the screen! Not an ounce of disappointment here.

5. Touch Screen – hmmmm, this is a toughy for me.  Having an iPhone, I have come to expect everything to have the touch sensitivity and perfection it does.  If I didn’t have an iPhone, I might not be complaining.  But I do have to say, it does leave a little to be desired. Sometimes, I have to touch something three or four times to get a response.  However, I’m not so sure that this may be more of a resource issue, as opposed to a touch-screen issue. In other words, when I touch something, it is thinking but just doesn’t respond fast enough.

6. The Amazon Silk Browser – The Kindle Fire has a proprietary browser called Amazon Silk.  It has potential. But it needs some polishing.  I do have issues with functionality on certain web pages, particularly javascript.  I also found out rather quickly that changing the option to default to mobile sites, greatly increased performance. If you want to make this change simply go to the web on the device. Then at the bottom, click the options button, it is the one that looks like the top of a page.  In there, you’ll see the settings option. Click that. Then scroll down to the bottom and you’ll see Desktop or mobile view.  Choose Mobile.  You may also want to change the option for Enable plug-ins to off.  Making these two tweaks greatly improved my experience.  In my opinion, the 7″ screen is still too small for most websites so viewing the mobile sites is fine with me.

7. Wi-Fi – no complaints, quickly connected, stays connected and I have no speed issues.

8. Hardware – As expected, the Fire is solid. Like a mentioned, a tad heavy but it’s not a deal breaker.

9. Kindle – The Kindle software is by far the best eReader software in my experience so there is nothing left to be desired here.

10. Battery Life- This has to be best battery life I have ever experienced in a mobile device…PERIOD.  Even watching movies and doing heavy browsing, I can go for several days without recharging.  I do think they could have improved on the power input though.  It’s a little clumsy and sometimes a little difficult plugging it in. It’s just a little weird to me.

11. Storage Capacity – I cannot imagine ever needing more storage than the Kindle Fire offers. Anything you buy on Amazon is stored in the Amazon cloud instantly and is downloaded to your Kindle on demand. Because of this, you use little storage on the device itself. So far I have 20-25 apps, a dozen books, 40+ song and am only using 1 of the 6.5 GB.

12. A few HUGE pluses if you are considering other similar devices – With the Kindle Fire and an Amazon Prime Membership, you get instant access to “borrow” one eBook a month through the Lending Library.  The selection is great and even includes some best-sellers.  There is also a free app every day. That’s really cool. Lastly, there are hundreds of free Kindle books. Oh, and if you didn’t already know…Amazon’s price for songs is less than iTunes.

All in all, I am happy with my purchase and think it is easily the best $200 I spent.  In comparison to the iPad, I think it is certainly a competitor.  If you like the interface and the size, then save the $300. Also, with the free apps, free Kindle books and free monthly loaner, you quickly get back your investment.

NOW let me say this – IT IS NOT A REPLACEMENT for your laptop! If you are a student or need to use a mobile device for work, then the Kindle will not cut it. Though it can certainly enhance, it cannot replace. For example, students can use it for their books (if digitally available),tracking homework, web browsing and many other things but you aren’t going to want to type out your assignments on it.

Lastly – I think the Kindle Fire is great for just about everyone from 5 to 75.

Feel free to leave your comments or questions below.

Affiliate links are included in this review. However, I was no way compensated, nor was I asked to review this by Amazon or other interested parties. The review is 100% my opinion.

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Windows 7 USB Floppy Drive

USB Floppy Drive works with Windows 7Yes, you heard me right….floppy drive.  I’ve had two clients now who have had a need for a floppy drive after acquiring Windows 7 computers.  Finding one was no easy chore as the first one I tried worked only intermittently.  I then tried the Iomega drive and it worked like a charm, but it seems it has been discontinued.  So I went on a search yet again and found this little guy at Amazon.  It’s a Bytecc USB Floppy Drive.  This bad boy works with Windows 7, is rather inexpensive and has great Amazon reviews to boot.  So if you must floppy….well have fun.facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

iPhone Dropped in Water

Well, the inevitable happened….my iPhone 4 was in my back pocket and decided to take a back flip into the…..TOILET! Yup. I couldn’t believe it.  Of course I panicked, and didn’t think twice about going in after it (thank God it was ‘clean’ water).  But here’s the best part…after drying it out over the weekend, IT WORKS! And for those of you wondering, yes my warranty is VERY voided because every liquid sensor on the phone inside and out is PINK.

Even Apple Geniuses are surprised, apparently there is only about a 5% chance they will work after being submerged in water.  So what did I do you wonder…really pretty simple but it’s all about patience!

iphone dropped in toilet1. I immediately removed the phone from the toilet, shook it and dried it with a towel.

2. I turned it OFF by pressing both the home button and the top power button at the same time until it powered off. I had to do it this way because the touch screen was not working to slide the power off. DO NOT POWER IT BACK ON for a few days as you could cause it to short out.

3. I washed my hands and threw the towel in the dirty clothes hamper.

4. I then took my blow dryer and dried it as much as possible for about 5 minutes (on low heat with the cool button pressed).  I focused mostly on the bottom area where it charges and where water can enter.

5. I filled a ziploc bag with uncooked rice and tossed my phone in the rice and closed it up.

6. I waited.

7. I waited.

8. I waited.

9. Thank God it happened on a Friday afternoon because I couldn’t have imagined living two workdays without it!

10. Monday morning, I turned it on! It worked!!!!!!!!!

11. There was obvious liquid behind the screen so I turned it back off.

12. I then propped it up, upside down,  at about a 45 degree angle on a book and pointed a desktop fan at it on high. The fan was blowing right into the bottom where you plug it in to charge.  I did this for about 3 hours.

13. I powered it up again and VOILA! no water spots.

14. It has been over a week and so far it is still working.

Now will this work for everyone? Not a clue! Did I do what I should have? Not a clue. But it worked and that’s all that matters to me.  If you’ve experienced the same horrific experience, I certainly hope you have similar results.

I absolutely love APPLE products. There is no way any other phone would have held up.  And the best part is hopefully, my iPhone 4 will hold out long enough for the release of the iPhone 5 :) facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Free Anti-Virus Protection – No Excuses

Free AVG Anti-VirusWith all these free (most after rebate) resources for anti-virus, you have absolutely no excuse for not having protection! Hurry these rebates expire soon! Get one and get it installed! My personal fave AVG or Microsoft.


Symantec Norton Antivirus 2011 – 3 User
expires 8/31

TREND MICRO Titanium Maximum Security 3 User expires 9/7

AVG Internet Security 2011 – 3 User 9/5

Microsoft Security Essentials – Free no purchase required!facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail