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my computers
 
 
  • gaming/everyday custom build PC built in 2015, running like a dream in 2021
  • Custom built audio PC, 2021
  • Mac Mini for DJ software (only)
  • Lenovo Thinkpad gen 3 X1 carbon for writing and travel.
  • Dell Vostro desktop for data retrieval and copy sessions.
 
 
 
 
 
Recommendations custom build PCs

-motherboards: Gigabyte
-video cards: EVGA
-memory: G-skill
-SSD storage drives: m.2 pcie or sata SSD samsung for boot
-spin drives: Western Digital
-case: Fractal
-psu: EVGA
-monitors: Acer, Dell, BenQ
-mouse: corsiar
-keyboard: hyperX mechanical w/ cherry MX blue switches
-speakers (podcasts): Tribit MaxSound

other stuff

laptops: Lenovo Thinkpads
tablet: Ipad
phone: iphone (older models off ebay
console or PC for gaming: whatever floats your boat!
HDTVs: Samsung
soundbar: Vizio

 
 
 
  • Be careful who you let use your computers, especially kids.  All it takes is 5 minutes for bad stuff to be installed.  No anti virus can stop determined people from clicking yes to everything. This is where troubles came from. Never do anything the internet tells you, and do not call any numbers given to you by the internet or by pop ups on your computer. Always update programs via that programs official website.
  • Do not download any windows help applications such as registry cleaners, tune up apps, optimizers.  They are all hot garbage which usually install hidden applications in the background along with their service.  Never call any 1-800 numbers to get your computer fixed unless it is a trustworthy number from a trustworthy website like Dell’s or Apple’s.  Contact someone like me for advice first if you are unsure about things.
  • Never allow anyone remote access to your computer, especially people who call you out of the blue saying your computer has a virus.  It’s a scam.  Big time. More information is on my website.   You can listen to one of the scammers being scammed here by people who know who and what they are: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=scammers+get+scammed
  • Be careful where you download files from. Ramsomware is running rampant now.  If your computer gets infected with it, your data will be encrypted and then try to spread to other computers on your network.  The only way to retrieve your data is to pay the scum that created the worm.  They provide you with a phone number to call and you would have to pay them in anonymous crypto currency like bitcoin so the feds can’t trace them.  Scary stuff.  Corporations lose millions of dollars every month to this threat.  Watch your children and all the ‘free stuff’ they like to get. 
 
common traps used by bad bad hackers and scamers online
(double click to enlarge the screen shot)
 
 

 

archived - pre 2013
 
  • 1 megabyte (MB) = 1024 bytes
  • 1024 megabytes (MB) = 1 gigabyte (GB)
  • A blank cd-r can hold 80 minutes of music or 700mb of data.
  • A blank single layer dvd can hold about 4489 megabytes, which is 4.4 GB.  It can also hold the same amount of data it would take 6 cd-r discs to store. If you have 6 movies that are 700MB each, a single layer dvd will hold 6 movies. I prefer DVD-R blanks.
  • A blank dual layer dvd can hold double the above.
  • All music whether it is mp3, flac, mp4 gets converted to Microsoft’s .wav format so it can be heard on your speakers.
  • An mp3 basically takes a .wav file and strips it of all the frequencies human’s cannot hear.  This reduces the size of the track significantly.  A 4 minute songs is about 40MB.  Using an mp3 encoder (LAME is the best) and using a 128 kbps bit rate, that 40MB wav is reduced to a 4mb mp3 at cd quality sound.  Now you see why the music business sucks ass now right?
  • Video codec’s reduce the size of a movie or tv show from the DVD .vob standard.  There a so many video codec’s out there that it really depends on which one you use as far as the rate of compression that you'll get.  In reality a 4 gigabyte dvd movie (2 hours) in .vob format can be reduced to a 700mb .avi file which will look pretty good on a tv set.  Google dvd shrink or #1 dvd converter to read up on this.
  • Ever play a DVD on your computer with a 22" lcd monitor?  Wonder why the picture is so small.  In simple terms this is because dvd's, as clear as they are on a regular tube tv, are really a third of the size of most 20" monitors.  
  • A dual core processor computer basically has 2 processors (cpu’s) instead of one,  which will either work in tandem or work separately to do your tasks.  Think everything gets done in half the time.
  • Who makes the best routers for home and apartments.  I’ve used them all.  Lynksys gives me the least troubles. 
  • When upgrading a computer, keep in mind that while the motherboard and cpu may be crusty and old, Your other components might just be fine and can be moved to a newer system, espeically the hard drive (s) and cd or dvd drives.
  • Burning DVD’s?  DVD-R blanks are what you want to get.
  • For desktop computers one of the easiest ways to improve performance if your RAM is already maxed out, is to use a dedicated video card.  If you don't play games, a simple 128mb or 256mb video card will do the trick.  Good enough to work on everyday tasks and get a little WOW in.  Of course if your computer is running on less than 1gb of memory, then you should add more ram.  2gb is good enough.  3gb is even better.  Most windows xp and vista 32bit computers will only use 3.25 gigabytes of ram, anything more will just sit there.
  • Want to find a picture or mp3 on your hard drive?  In the folder you want to search, hit CTRL - F and choose all files and folders.  If you want to search for all jpg pictures in the folder, enter *.jpg in the "all or part of the file name" box.  Windows will search for all files with the extension jpg.  Now you can see if your significant other has any naughty stuff sitting on the PC :-)
  • Ifyou have a product key sticker on the bottom of your laptop for windows, be sure to put a peice of clear tape over it so it doesn't wear away. Otherwise they will fade away over time due to normal handling.

-Do you have dvd’s you would like to make backup copies of?  You might want to try the knock out combo of dvdshrink and DVD Decrypter. Works great on most discs. 

-Need to backup cd or dvd data discs.  You’ll need to make an ISO, which is a duplication of the file structure of a disc.  An exact copy.  You’ll want something like PowerISO

-Want to save that clip you saw on youtube or google videos?  Get your hands on this nice free app called Orbit Downloader. It works.

-Want to convert that dvd .vob file (or any other one) to a smaller .avi?  Grab HandBrake.  It’s free, and it works.

-Do you torrernt? Do it behind a VPN or some other IP hiding solution. They are out there snooping (aggressively), and if you are caught downloading copy-written material and are subpoena's 9 times out of 10 you will have to pay damages. Best to stay private online.

 

 
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