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This article discusses tips for buying a refurbished laptop computer.

Buying a Refurbished Laptop Computer

Buying a Refurbished Laptop ComputerWhen considering buying a used or even a new laptop, the first thing you need to do is to determine your computing needs.* word processing* e-mail* browsing web pages* moving the laptop from home to work (weight)* gaming* on-line shopping* a database application* personal finance* is battery power importantCheck out the Minimum Systems Requirements needed to do all of the your applications. They will not come with the laptop, as refurbished laptops often only include the Operating System (OS). If they don't include an installed OS, then be prepared to install it yourself. This is not for those that don't know what they are doing, so research what is involved before buying one without an OS.Once you understand what you really need, you need to determine your budget.Most old laptops do not have working batteries. If you need a battery, shop around to figure out how much they cost. You should know that on older laptops, batteries don't last more than an hour or two, so purchasing a new battery for the purpose of longer battery life may not be worth the expense. And by all means, stick with a name brand IBM, Dell, Toshiba, Compaq-HP.If you are new to computers and you want to browse the World Wide Web, you will need to obtain the services of an ISP (Internet Service Provider). There are basically two types of Internet access options: broadband (cable modem, DSL, satellite) and lowband (dial-up). Broadband is the preferred type since download speeds can range from 128kbs to 6000kbs. The faster the better, of course. But, if your budget is tight, dial-up works just fine for typical browsing and e-mail usage.Your choice of ISP's will be dependent upon two things: budget and location. If the budget allows and you don't mind paying upwards of $35-50+ per month, you can purchase a broadband connection. However, even if money were no object, your physical location will determine what types of services are available to you. Broadband is not available everywhere (with the exception of satellite). If you have a telephone line, you can always choose dial-up. AOL's bread and butter is dial-up users. Do your research to determine what is available in your area and compare costs.And for you gamers out there, you definitely need a reliable broadband connection. Gaming over a lowband connection can be a frustrating experience and sometimes even impossible. You will need to check out the minimum systems requirement for the games you are interested in using to make sure the CPU speed and the RAM and graphic chip requirements will support the games you wish to play.Once you have figured out your budget and your needs and the requirements of your laptop it is time to search for the laptop of your desires.Some people choose to search at www.ebay.com. If you do be sure to check out the seller to be sure you will have a smooth transaction.Many people don't want the hassle of bidding, so use your favorite search engine: Google or Yahoo or MSN for the terms "used laptops" or "refurbished laptop".An important thing to keep in mind is how will the vendor treat you should there be a problem. If you don't like their attitude or they don't pick up the phone shop elsewhere. Price is important, but if you have a problem and spent the least amount of money possible the vendor may not have any resources available to help you after you have purchased and spent your money.If all the above seems like too much of a hassle, then buy a new computer. It will cost around $700 + but will come with a new battery and a one year warranty, although some new ones seem to have only 90 day warranties. It will also have the latest Windows XP system and an 800 number to call the vendor, should their be a problem. I'd call the 800# first before buying to get an idea what kind of support they will provide.

Types of Computer Hardware

Types of Computer Hardware

Computer hardware is a physical part of a computer that executes within the hardware. It is unlike computer software or data that can be frequently changed, modified or erased on a computer. Computer hardware is not frequently changed and so is stored in hardware devices such as read only memory (ROM) where it is not readily changed. Most computer hardware is embedded and so is not visible to normal users. Below are the different types of hardwares found in a computer.Motherboard: It is the central or primary circuit board making up a complex electronic system such as a computer. A motherboard is also known as a main board, logic board or system board.Central processing Unit: A CPU is the main component of a digital computer that interprets instructions and process data in computer programs.Random Access Memory: A RAM allows the stored data to be accessed in any order. RAM is considered as the main memory of the computer where the working area is used for displaying and manipulating data.Basic Input Output System: BIOS prepares the software programs to load, execute and control the computer. Power Supply: Power Supply supplies electrical energy to an output load or group of loads.Video Display Controller: It converts the logical representation of visual information into a signal that can be used as input for a display medium.Computer Bus: It is used to transfer data or power between computer components inside a computer or between computers.CD-ROM drive: It contains data accessible by a computerFloppy disk: It is a data storage deviceZip Drive: It is a medium capacity removable disk storage system.Hard Disk: It is a non-volatile data storage system that stores data on a magnetic surface layered unto hard disk platters.

CD/DVD Burners

CD/DVD Burners

Some people think with the standardization of DVD burners on new computer systems, CD burners have become obsolete. Most people with CD burners will tend to disagree, as do I.Before going out and purchasing a CD Burner or DVD Burner the requirements of the individual need to be determined allowing the best choice to be selected.A DVD Burner is used for copying or duplicating a DVD disc or to burn video files into DVD Format so they can be played on a home DVD player. DVD discs allow Gigabytes of Data to be burned to the disc, in some cases a whole hard drive of data, making a tempting choice to use as a data back-up tool.We need to remember that to be able to read the DVD, a DVD ROM is required. If you are in an office environment and need to use the disc on multiple computers then this may cause an issue as most computers in an office dont come installed with a DVD-ROM if they do then its a waste of money on the IT departments part.Although CD Burners are somewhat slower than todays DVD burners they do have more pros than cons when comparing to a DVD Burner for data back-ups. Blank media Discs for CD Burners are either 650MB or 700MB in size, yes a lot smaller than that of a DVD disc.CD-R discs can either hold data or audio and can be read in almost any CD-ROM and if the CD-R is made into an audio disc then its possible to read the disc in a Hi-Fi or a car CD Player you will need to make sure the drive has the ability to read CD-R media, most newer models of CD-Players are compatible to read CD-R media.DVD burners only have the advantage of size of CD burners. Now that DVD burners are becoming more and more popular, the prices of CD burners and media are dropping dramatically making them a very cost effective purchase.

Useful Tips for Buying Used Computers

Useful Tips for Buying Used Computers

In this modern era, high tech devices that are very expensive like the computers can be replaced with cheaper ones. Such cheap computers mostly come in the form of used computers. Used computers can be found in abundance in the "used computer" warehouses in various places, even in the local area of the prospective buyers residence. However there is no guarantee of quality when buying a used computer. The buyer has to take his own personal risk in doing so. But, if the buyer is ready to spend some money in upgrading the level of the used computer and also some time checking the quality of the used computer before purchase, it will save him from loss. Used computers can save a lot of money for the buyer when compared to buying a new computer. There are many who cannot afford to buy a new computer like the students who do not have any source of income but definitely require computers. For such people, used computers come as a boon.Also, used computers need not always be second hand computers. They can also be recertified or refurbished computers. Refurbished or recertified computers are those, which are checked for any faults, if any corrected and sold with a warranty ensuring the working condition of the computer to be perfect. Hence, such computers are considered to be the safest form of buying a used computer. Refurbished computers can be bought from many of the online stores at very less prices. Quality computer manufacturers also sell such kind of recertified or refurbished computers. However, certain measures need to be taken while buying such kind of computers. The prime aspect to be considered while purchasing a used or refurbished computer is to look for a good branded one. There are various companies who sell used computers or refurbished computers. The main reasons for opting for a branded one is that it comes with a warranty and also the buyer can be sure that the parts used are of good quality. While buying used or refurbished computers related software documents, licenses and paperwork have to be got from the seller as this will avoid stolen computers being passed off as "used computers" s to the buyer. If possible working for some time on the used computers will determine its efficiency. Most of the reputed dealers would allow the purchaser to use the computer for a shorter period to check the quality before purchase.While checking for the efficiency of the used computers, it is good to check if the booting process is smooth, as most of the problems occur during booting and also to check all the sound drivers, video, graphics, monitor, mouse, keyboard etc. CD drives and hard disks also need to be checked. Another aspect is the support system offered for the used computers whether technical or non-technical, support staff capabilities and the number of support staff which determine the quality of service offered. If the purchaser is not satisfied, he can very well think of another choice.

Building a Computer From the Bottom Up

Before you even think about building your own computer make sure that you go for the best technology possible. This is an important task and you want it to turn out as close to perfect as possible. When your PC is complete you want it to have the best hardware available. One of the biggest benefits of building your own computer is that you can customize it. You know what is most important to you. Maybe you are a graphics user. MP3s might be the closest thing you have to a best friend. Perhaps you are writing the great American novel and you are mainly interested in text. If you are building your own machine, you can concentrate on what you want but if you're building it for a third party, you obviously need to consult them first. Collecting the hardware for your new computer is the most time consuming part of the process. You want to make sure that you get high standard equipment that works well with your needs. Take your time and dont try to skimp on your hardware. If you dont heed both of these suggestions, your computer could bite back later.If you are building your own PC, you probably know that the Motherboard is the most important part of your computer. Everything that you plug into your computer will meet here. Be especially choosy when buying a motherboard. And make sure that there is an instruction manual. Some cheapies will not have one. Be aware that the Motherboard will control the future of your computer. All upgrades will have to be compatible with your Motherboard. The chipset in the Motherboard deserves careful investigation. What will it support? Find out before you buy. Take your time. There are a ton of chipsets out there.Pay close attention to how many PCL slots the Mother board has. The more, PLC slots the better because they fill up quickly. How is the board laid out? Check for any problems such as something blocking your long PCI slots. When selecting a case, be aware of the form factor. You want an ATX form factor because that is what almost all new systems are operating on. Try to go with a screw free form factor because it will be easier to work with. One equipped with fans would be optimal.Three are three groups of processors; low end, average and high end. The low end processor is okay for simple tasks. Letters, invoices and other noncomplex applications can be performed on a low end processor. If you do choose to go with a low end processor, realize that these are fast becoming outdated.Average processors are faster and they are just a bit more expensive. For a few extra dollars you will be able to access higher level applications without hassle. This will provide more speed as well satisfying the average computer user.High end processors are the cream of the crop. They are expensive and usually reserved for those on the high end of the pay scale. You will have high memory and no problem accessing complex CPU programs.Memory is a vital element of your computer. Spend the money and purchase the best you can afford. If you dont, more than likely you will need to go out and repurchase a better processor later. Also you will want to make sure you get memory that works with your system.Get a video card that suits your purposes. If you are a small business owner, go with a cheaper, jack of all trades card. If you are building this computer for home use you might as well reward yourself with some perks. Now dont go and spend five hundred dollars on a video card that a top financial institution might buy. Purchase a card that provides just slightly more than you need, but not so high end that it cost as much as the rest of your hardware.You have your mouse and keyboard, right? Get a good hard drive. Buy a new one, opposed to used, to make sure you are getting the best quality.CD-ROM drivers are cheap. Spend a little extra cash and get a really good one. If you want a more advanced unit, buy a DVD player. A DVD player will play CD-ROMs and DVDs. It will serve multiple purposes.

The benefits of the Blu-ray disc.

This article will give you an overview of the benefits that the next-gen blu-ray format will offer over conventional formats such as DVD.The blu-ray format is going to push forward the limits of current media substantially which allow you to enjoy a host of great benefits which include: Improved Capacity, High-Definition Video, Enhanced Interactivity,Enhanced Copy Protection, and Being Future Proof. The most obvious benefit is the larger capacity. With 25gb/50gb to use, movie and game studio's will be able to offer much more in terms of extra features and longer gameplay. Also many new DVD titles require 2 discs for added features whereas only one will be needed for blu-ray which will lower the prices for you.High-Definition (HD) video playback is perhaps the most useful aspect of the next-gen formats. As HD becomes more mainstream (Sky launched there HD offering recently and more households are buying HD ready TV's) the ability for disc formats to support it is imperative. Blu-ray offers space for 2hrs/4hrs respectively of HD video (different encodings will allow more and less) with space for interactive features still available. The enhanced interactivity features are another step forward compared to DVD. By incorporating the java platform (called BD-J), blu-ray players can have dynamically changing interactive menu's that can be updated via an internet connection built into the player. These updates can include extra subtitles tracks and promotional features not available at purchase. This could effectively eliminate the 'special editions' studios tend to use as users could simply download all the extra features they wanted though its not clear if this will be free.The enhanced copy protection is one aspect you won't notice as much but is very important. Blu-ray utilizes a variety of copy protection methods such as Digital Rights Management (DRM) and Advanced Access Content System (AACS). The DRM method used on Blu-ray is called BD+ which creates dynamically changing keys to protect the discs. This means that if a key is cracked only a select portion of the discs are compromised. The AACS can effectively disable players which are deemed 'bad'. i.e. if copied discs are used frequently, the AACS could disable the player for the user and stop it working even if bought by someone else. The final copy protection which may affect you is the Mandatory Managed Copy System (MMCS) which limits users to a set number of copies of discs by making the user register the 'right' to copy the disc.Finally the blu-ray disc has been designed to be future proof. This means that by buying all the new equipment needed, you will not need an upgrade in the near future (5 yrs) as these next-gen formats evolve. Also TDK has announced work on a 200gb "blu-ray disc" (6 x 33gb layers) which will future proof the format even more.This is just an overview of the benefits that blu-ray offers. There are many smaller improvements but the benefits listed above are the ones that you are most likely going to affect you.

Summary

This article discusses tips for buying a refurbished laptop computer.