Hardware

Hardware reviews, information and help.

Solid State Drives (SSDs)

This month we look at a technology that has been around for some time but has, in the past, been very expensive.  Now prices are falling fast and it’s time to start to think about adopting this concept if you want to benefit from both the increase in speed it will have on your computer and to stay ahead of the technology curve (not something that we are always used to doing on the Costa Blanca!) Read this entire article »

Wireless Printers…

As people replace their ageing computer equipment we are finding that more and more people are buying laptops.  There are advantages in replacing your old PC with a laptop i.e. the flexibility of being able to use your computer where and when you want, the space you get back by getting rid of that big tower, monitor and 100’s of cables that take up the space in the spare bedroom, and the fact that you can easily take it back and forth on trips around the world.

One of the problems with moving from a PC to a laptop is deciding what to do with the printer that was sitting next to your PC, connected via a cable. Well, many people simply leave it there and walk their laptop to it every time they need to print boarding passes etc.  However some are finding that moving to a wireless printer is the answer. Read this entire article »

Newton Never Saw This Coming…

I found out something interesting this week. I had always been under the impression that Microsoft were by far the biggest “computer” company in the world. I mean their software is used on the vast majority of the PC’s, laptops and servers throughout every country, their percentage share of operating systems when compared to Apple for example is reported by Wikipedia to be as much as 90% in Microsoft’s favour – not bad in anyone’s book! Read this entire article »

New Kid on the Block

There’s a new kid on the block and he’s much smaller than the rest! What am I on about? ‘Mini’ or ‘ultra portable’ laptops, thats what. For some time I have been looking to buy a laptop to use whilst visiting customers or travelling, because the laptop I use currently for this purpose is simply too bulky and slow to be used efficiently in this manner.

There are now quite a few on the market and they are MUCH cheaper than you would think, in fact a friend recently asked what she could buy for her son, who was going off to college, her main requirement was that it should be indestructible! I said that it might be cheaper, in the long run, to resign herself to buying several of these mini laptops rather than one “tough” laptop, given she could buy about 10 of the mini laptops for the price of one ‘tough’ laptop!

The specification of each mini laptop currently on the market is pretty similar as they tend to all come with either a 9″ or 10″ screen, a small keyboard (however it’s still very usable, this article is being typed using it), a built in web cam, wireless connectivity, multiple USB connections and usually some sort of media card reader – all built into the tiny case.They tend to come with either Windows XP or Linux (an alternative, free, operating system), and usually 512Mb of memory. My advice would be to go for the Windows version as it generally won’t give you any compatibility issues with any current hardware you have and it’s not that much more expensive. I would also advise upgrading the memory – putting an extra 1 GB of RAM in shouldn’t cost the earth and it will make a big difference to the performance of the laptop.I decided to buy the Acer Aspire One, but it was bad timing as Dell announced the release of the Inspiron Mini 5 days later and it’s a smidgen better (i.e. it has twice the RAM of the Acer and built in BlueTooth and a larger hard drive) – never the less I am very impressed with my purchase.The other option was the Asus EEEPC, to be honest there was not much to choose between all of them in terms of price, I paid 299€ for mine and then paid a little extra to upgrade the RAM and of course I already had my own copy of Windows to put on it, not bad really.I’ve been using it now for a couple of months and I have to say that I am very impressed, the battery lasts for around 2 hours helped by its Intel Atom low power usage processor – which is pretty impressive for a laptop that is easily half the size of my last one, it weighs next to nothing (less than 1 kilo) and is only about an inch wider than the A4 page you are reading now.Of course as a Dell reseller we would love to sell you what Dell offer, however, as usual, feel free to ring us to talk about any of the models that I have mentioned, we will give you free impartial advice on all of them. If you would like the web site addresses of each of the models mentioned in this months article then just drop me an email (address opposite).

Mobile Internet

This month see’s BlueMoon’s first anniversary of writing your computer articles, many thanks for your support over our first year, I know that we could not have keep these articles going without your suggestions for content.

This month I thought I would spend some time writing about mobile Internet as this has been a “hot topic” for us (BlueMoon Solutions) this month. Read this entire article »

Printers and Languages

Firstly apologies…

To our esteemed editor, who has been asking for this article for the past week, only to receive it as the presses start to roll, I promise to try harder next month Dave!

Secondly, annoyance at Lexmark, who, in their infinite wisdom feel that it’s a really good idea to sell printers with software that is not compatible with Windows Vista. I mean, anyone should be able to go out, buy a printer and take it home and install it – right? Read this entire article »

The Future

This month I thought I would dedicate some time to looking forward to future new developments. What can we expect to see over the coming months in the arena of technology?

Intel and AMD continue to keep Moores Law1 alive by knocking out even faster and smaller processors, the latest of which, ‘quad core’, actually has 4 whole processors squeezed onto a single chip, thus enabling the computer to perform 4 times as many calculations than it previously was able to do in the same time. Read this entire article »