When it comes to buying a computer these days, most models on the shelves are stylish and slim laptops. But if you want to do certain kinds of work, such as rendering, video editing, playing games or running a server, then a desktop PC remains preferable. The large power supply of a desktop PC means it can run many more peripherals than a laptop, and the availability of impressive cooling options lets you run far more powerful processors and graphics cards, for incredible performance.
When it comes to home computing, there is one debate which has been dividing users for years: to build or to buy. It may be that you are firmly on one side or other of the argument. Perhaps you imagine building a PC to be on a par with rocket science. Or perhaps the thought of buying an “off the peg” home computer with potentially mediocre components fills your heart with dread.
Whether you work in an IT-intensive industry or simply take a personal interest in the world of computer technology, you’ve probably heard the term “cloud computing”. However, you may not be sure what this really means. Simply put, cloud computing allows you to store your data on online servers that are independent of the hardware you keep at home or at work. It also allows you to access software through the Internet without installing it on your own computers. But is cloud computing right for you?
In any home computing or digital media environment there are probably half a dozen Bluetooth devices, from your laptop to a wireless keyboard or headset, to your smartphone and tablet, to wireless speakers and much more. Bluetooth itself is just a short range radio system, similar to Wi-Fi but without the hub or router, for two or more devices to communicate directly.
In today’s electronic world, more and more of what we do, say, and think is moving online. From social media to e-mails and blogs, there has never been more information about us online – and whilst this may have its advantages, it also means that we are more prone than ever before to attacks by hackers and cyber-criminals.
When the phone rang one afternoon in February, Steve – a 39 year-old copywriter from Worcestershire – was mildly irritated to be interrupted by yet another overseas sales call. The distant voice at the other end of the phone line, however, identified itself as calling from the NatWest fraud department. The bank, it reported, had been contacted by the police to say that an attempt had been made to use Steve’s debit card in the United States, at a hotel bar late one evening. Given that the card had never been used before outside England, the transaction had been automatically declined.
Even on a modern, super-fast computer, the demands of Windows can put a lot of stress on a computer’s hard disk drive, slowing down performance. Most computers have a hard drive activity light located somewhere on the case front, and if that’s always lit up, it is a good indication that your hard drive is doing too much of the work, making your programs and the system wait for it and preventing you from using the computer at its full power.