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Hardware | VariableGHz

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Archives for : Hardware

Celluon LaserKey CL850 Review

Yeah, I had to buy this. No, it wasn’t necessary. I decided on the Celluon LaserKey CL850 because it is the latest laser virtual keyboard and it supports a USB connection, unlike the CL-800BT which only supports bluetooth. I felt compelled to write this review because every other review I saw had awful low-res out of focus photos and didn’t show the product in enough detail. So, here we go.

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The Importance of Properly (Thoroughly) Testing Your Memory

When I used to teach high school, I would describe RAM (Random Access Memory or simply “memory”) as physical desk space, and virtual memory as putting stuff on the floor. So, stuff on your desk (RAM) is the stuff you can access right away, and when the desk is full, you have to put your stuff on the floor (the hard drive) which takes longer to get. Since all hard drives are slower than RAM, it’s always good to have plenty of RAM.

Over the years I have found it is pretty rare to find memory defects, but when they do exist, your system can become incredibly erratic. Having faulty RAM can cause your system to give you BSODs, lock up inexplicably with no warnings or error prompts, restart endlessly in a loop, not boot at all and can even cause a loss of data if you are able to run the system and a piece of software is attempting to access the faulty area(s) of RAM. I am not necessarily suggesting you purchase ECC (Error-Correcting Code) RAM, but I am suggesting that you take the time to test your RAM at least once — and test it the right way.

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How-To Transfer Data From Old Laptops

To be clear, this is really just a brief overview of how to take out a typical laptop HDD (hard disk drive) and then plug it into a desktop system in order to retrieve the contents. This happens frequently. Old laptops give out in one way or another, sometimes it’s the display, the PSU (power supply unit) or the motherboard. Whatever it is, after a certain number of years it typically costs less than the cost of a new computer altogether. Unfortunate and wasteful, yes, but that’s the reality.

When the laptop “dies” or doesn’t boot up, if you’re lucky, the HDD has suffered no mechanical failure and is just fine, even if somehow Windows won’t load (like an NTLDR missing error, for example). Chances are, your data will be just fine and the fastest possible way to get the data off is to simply take the drive out and deal with it at the source.

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HP Pavilion TX2500 Review

I have recently replaced my TX1000 with a TX2500 and despite a few little hiccups during the setup, I am very impressed with the improvements.The TX2500 is solid, light and sports a real touchscreen with wacom pen. Battery life is quite good and I recommend setting the power mode to “Balanced” rather than the standard “HP Recommended” that ships with the unit and manually adjusting the screen brightness to your tastes.

Physically, the TX2500 varies very little from the TX1000, where the major improvements lie are in the touchscreen and performance. My feeling about the TX1000 was that it was drastically underpowered and not up for the challenge of running Vista. The TX2500, however, feels powerful, balanced, and runs cool to boot.

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PC ER: Loud Pop Followed By System Failure

Symptoms:

PC emits very loud “pop” noise four times over a span of 5 months yet everything is working fine. Suddenly, without warning, the computer shuts off completely. Upon reboot, the system barely passes POST (Power On Self Test, or BIOS (Basic Input Output System)) without shutting off again. I receive a frantic phone call. “What’s wrong? Why doesn’t the computer turn on anymore? I didn’t do anything!”

System Background:

This is a system that I built for a law firm, no fancy components were necessary except for the RAID 1 for backup in the event of a hard drive failure.Most of the components were new and in excellent condition.

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