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Sort of a child-protect my computer question, kinda sorta

My boss is bringing his kids to the office over the weekend. I have toys and stuff for them to play with, and he also wants to let them use my computer to play games, etc., while they're here. Let me start by saying this is NOT a problem and I have NO issue with it, but I just need a quick bit of advice as to how to protect myself without losing my bookmarks, etc. [more inside]
posted by janey47 on Jul 25, 2014 - 11 answers

Software skills for aspiring technical writer

How do I know I’ve taught myself enough technical writing software (number of programs and my abilities therein) for potential employers to take me seriously? [more inside]
posted by glass.hourousha on Jul 23, 2014 - 6 answers

Timeless Graduation Present for a Computer scientist

My Partner is graduating this summer, with a degree in computing, I'm looking for a present relevant to computing that would be a timeless present.
posted by anonymous on Jul 17, 2014 - 11 answers

Shockwave Flash causing instability?

Twice in the past two days, my computer has choked while playing youtube videos [more inside]
posted by Scattercat on Jul 16, 2014 - 14 answers

Places to write with electrical outlets in NYC? (preferably the Village)

Yes, we are looking for places to plug in a laptop in Manhattan, as close to the East Village as possible, and open as late at night as possible. Free Wifi's a plus. What we already know: Starbucks (Second Ave and Astor Place): con -- so crowded that outlets are already in use Other cafes (not enough outlets) The libraries -- not open very late Suggestions? thanks
posted by DMelanogaster on Jul 7, 2014 - 5 answers

Please help me snap my windows.

Mac OS 10.8.5- What's the best app for adding the Windows Snap feature? Googling led me to Better Snap Tool and Hyperdock- if either of these (or others) have proved to be useful to you, please let me know! Thanks to all in advance.
posted by invisible ink on Jul 3, 2014 - 9 answers

How do you fight for your consumer rights when you are socially anxious?

My Mac Air manifested damage within 6 weeks of purchase, but Apple refuses to take any responsibility (damage isn’t covered under warranty), insisting I caused it. My credit card doesn’t offer insurance. The only option they’ve given me is to pay $500+ to have it fixed. If you were me, what would you do? [more inside]
posted by oceanview on Jul 3, 2014 - 18 answers

Please computer, don't leave me!

My computer is suddenly dead. How can I resurrect him? He refuses to even turn on. [more inside]
posted by silverstatue on Jun 30, 2014 - 19 answers

Really? The computer that used to come in "Blueberry"?

I'm fed up with Windows and want my next computer to be a Mac—but the product landscape has changed a lot since the last time I seriously considered it. Is an iMac really a competitive machine for someone doing heavy graphics and video work? [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator on Jun 26, 2014 - 25 answers

Help me ID a Sci-Fi Story about computation and evolution

A few years ago I went into my school's SciFi library and I was given a book of short stories which I read several of sitting on the floor of the library. And then I put down the book and I don't remember what it was called. One short story was about a world in which computation speeds get faster and faster until someone, eventually makes computers capable of running models on the order of complexity of a world's worth of physics very very quickly. I think the computers may have been the shape of small cubes. [more inside]
posted by ch3cooh on Jun 25, 2014 - 2 answers

Help Me Keep My New PC Happy, Healthy and Safe From Harm

I've very recently (ie yesterday) got myself a brand new desktop PC! I would really like your advice on the best ways to keep it running at its best, protected from the nasty things that lurk on the internet (virii, malware, spyware etc) and set up to get the most out of our blossoming relationship... The machine runs on Windows 8. [more inside]
posted by Philby on Jun 25, 2014 - 10 answers

Help me use Excel to save my job

So, I just got promoted to a new position at my company (Yay!). Unfortunately, the new requirements involve scheduling a ridiculous number of people. It turns out my predecessor has just been doing dozens of iterations manually until one kind of worked, but every slight change puts a bunch of other things out of wack. I feel like Excel could probably be capable of doing it, but I have no idea how I would go about designing such a spread sheet. [more inside]
posted by cacofonie on Jun 19, 2014 - 17 answers

Surely backpack technology has progressed alongside the laptop?

I'm looking for a men's backpack or messenger bag that exists at some magic intersection of lightweight and strong/durable. This is for daily commuting, often by foot, in New York City. My flashy new devices are impossibly light, and I'm looking for a bag that won't add unnecessary bulk when I carry some or all of them with me. [more inside]
posted by scarylarry on Jun 16, 2014 - 12 answers

What is going on with my laptop screen?

In the past few days I've notice blue vertical lines on my monitor, only in white areas. What is going on? Is it a graphics card issue? [more inside]
posted by msbrauer on Jun 11, 2014 - 10 answers

Why are computers so mysterious?

I am trying to figure my new Samsung Galaxy 2014 tablet, can anyone recommend some specific video tutorials? [more inside]
posted by InkaLomax on Jun 7, 2014 - 2 answers

Need ideas on how to represent "computer" in tattoo

I have an idea for a half-and-half forearm tattoo (like this) where one half will be filled in such a way to represent computation, computers, electronics, artificial intelligence, something like that. Trouble is, I can't think of something appropriate that would work in a tattoo. Need ideas for this fill! Requirements and current ideas: [more inside]
posted by supercres on Jun 5, 2014 - 18 answers

Cheap graphics card for 2008 iMac?

Apple iMac A1225 desktop computers from 2008 came with the notoriously unreliable Nvidia 8800GS graphics card that burns out and turns the iMacs into bricks. Getting a new Nvidia 8800GS graphics card costs about $650 for the part. Getting a used one on costs about $300. Is there a cheap alternative -- something that costs, say, $50? As I understand it, the only alternative is the ATI 4850, which go for about $300 used. Yet I find it hard to believe that there are no other graphics card options.
posted by Eiwalker on Jun 4, 2014 - 9 answers

New computer - will it have a dial up modem and if not what to do

My mother uses dial up internet (yes, it is true, I can hear the groans now) on her old computer which uses Windows XP. I just ordered her a new Dell 745 Mini-Tower Desktop PC with Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, 4GB Memory, 1TB Hard Drive and Windows 7 Professional. It has a 10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet - Connect to a broadband modem with wired Ethernet. My question is will she be able to connect with her dial up internet connection with this and if not what are our options? Could I take out the modem in the old computer and install it in the new tower or should I buy a external dial up modem - if so can you tell me what kind - I am not tech savvy so the more details the better.
posted by just asking on Jun 2, 2014 - 22 answers

Too many reviews and all of them different

So cornfuzed! What are the best free firewall and virus checker out there? [more inside]
posted by BlueHorse on May 31, 2014 - 6 answers

How Do I Find a Job? Computer Engineering/Low GPA Edition

I have a BS in Computer Engineering, albeit with a low GPA and no internships or experience. How do I get a job? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 30, 2014 - 17 answers

What's wrong with my machine?

I've got a 4 year old Windows desktop that I use for very few things: Metafilter (using either Chrome or Firefox), email (Thunderbird), Word, and NVivo (a qualitative analysis software). I also play Steam games on the machine occasionally. I went on vacation, and when I came back, the computer was - for lack of a better term - completely messed up. [more inside]
posted by sockermom on May 28, 2014 - 8 answers

I'd like a wifi booster/relay so that I can sit in the park and work

I have an Mac airport express base station next to the cable modem downstairs. I'd like to sit in my local park and work on my Macbook. Where I sit is about 100 metres away, with a direct line-of-sight to the upstairs of the house, give or take the odd tree branch and squirrel. What I think I need, therefore, is a basic booster station in an upstairs window, that overlooks this park. What options do I have? Any advice appreciated! [more inside]
posted by carter on May 26, 2014 - 12 answers

Looking for a New 17" Laptop Suggestion

Looking for a laptop as a desktop replacement. Main requirement is that it needs to have a number pad on the keyboard. Looking for something high powered. [more inside]
posted by banished on May 14, 2014 - 13 answers

How do I tell if a file is a real corrupt PDF or a fake broken file?

I make my students submit their assignments (for college writing classes) by uploading them as PDFs to our course management system. Sometimes students submit broken or un-openable files. My question is, how do I tell the difference between a real PDF file that became corrupted somewhere along the line and a fake corrupted PDF file created by a student who didn't do the assignment and wants an excuse? [more inside]
posted by Tesseractive on May 13, 2014 - 28 answers

Help me Meta Kenobi.

Can you reassure me that majoring in computer science and trying to find a job in technology and software as a woman isn't going to be terrible? [more inside]
posted by trogdole on May 13, 2014 - 44 answers

Old Toshiba laptop won't boot to USB with HD installed

I have a laptop (Toshiba A105 S4344) with a windows xp install and a bootable USB clip with Win7 on it. I want to put Windows 7 on the laptop. If I take the hard drive out then the USB clip boots fine (but has no hard drive to install windows on). If I put the hard drive in then it runs windows off the HD even though USB boot is ahead of it in the BIOS startup order (and when I put a blank hard drive in then it complained it couldn't find the windows startup files). And when I try and insert the HD after loading Win7 off the USB, the installer can't see the hard drive. I've checked the BIOS and there aren't any secure boot/UEFI shenanigans going on. I will probably end up burning the win7 install onto a dvd, but does anyone know why the Toshiba would be overriding the boot order?
posted by Sebmojo on May 12, 2014 - 3 answers

Need to contact the Mac at home.

We have a several Macs at home. We want to securely connect to any of them from outside of home, via other Macs or iPhone or iPad and pull off files or use the home computer via the remote Mac/iDevice if needed. Talk to us like we're not tech savy and tell us how to do this. All the macs are running 10.9.2.
posted by sock, the puppet on May 11, 2014 - 9 answers

Games like Don't Starve and the Walking Dead

I'm looking for easy-to-control but sophisticated games with a distinctly spooky sensibility. [more inside]
posted by pretentious illiterate on May 5, 2014 - 16 answers

Laptop Blues.

Yet another laptop question. I only need a laptop for surfing the web, downloading, watching DVDs and streaming Netflix for around $500. Unfortunately, I don't know much about laptops. I do know that I want a terabyte hard drive and I don't care about touch screen. I found this and this both from Toshiba, both very similar. Will I be happy with either of them? Will Windows 8.1 piss me off? I am also open to other suggestions.
posted by MaryDellamorte on May 5, 2014 - 11 answers

16 gigs of RAM and still as slow as molasses

My computer mysteriously started running slower than molasses. Please tell me possibilities as to why! [more inside]
posted by Zelos on May 4, 2014 - 13 answers

Help choosing a budget laptop for international work?

I need a new laptop but have no idea where to begin. Reading reviews at CNET and PC Mag only confuses me more. I would really appreciate help from the MeFi community! [more inside]
posted by philotes on Apr 25, 2014 - 5 answers

Help me fix my Mac!

My Mac won't wake up after going to sleep -- what's going on? [more inside]
posted by queens86 on Apr 25, 2014 - 9 answers

I need a new external monitor for my iMac

I had a new iMac and my older, external Apple display (10 years) recently died. The thunderbolt screens have terrible, terrible reviews. Any suggestions on a specific model for a 27 inch screen? I do video editing so it needs to be pretty decent. Thanks.
posted by captainscared on Apr 20, 2014 - 8 answers

Computer upgrades for gaming - Johnny Five Alive edition

Looking to upgrade my 2009 gaming beast. It still serves well, but I know there are vast improvements I can make for relatively little money to the GPU, RAM and HD. [more inside]
posted by OnTheLastCastle on Apr 10, 2014 - 11 answers

Monitor WTF

About six months ago we started having issues with our computer monitor. Upon booting our 2-ish-year-old Dell desktop, the monitor would blink on and off a couple of times, then work as normal. As time went on, the blinking went on longer and longer until it was doing it for close to a half-hour. [more inside]
posted by altopower on Apr 8, 2014 - 10 answers

My arms ache from constant computer usage. Any tips / recommendations?

I have a dull, constant pain mostly around my elbows and forearms. I'm entrenched in a technology lifestyle - I work with computers full-time, enjoy gaming in my free-time, and hold my phone up to my face in bed. The pain impacts many activities I deem valuable. How can I mitigate or prevent this pain without drastically altering my lifestyle? I understand you are not my doctor. [more inside]
posted by WCF on Apr 4, 2014 - 24 answers

Practical Online Courses for a Secretary Turned IT Person

What online courses are immediately applicable to IT knowledge for a medium-small "knowledge" company? [more inside]
posted by alice_curiouse on Apr 3, 2014 - 5 answers

Need help defeating wire fraud.

My company and industry is under widespread and sophisticated B2B wire fraud attack. Help me locate the vector or mechanism, please. [more inside]
posted by Hosiery Exegesis Association on Mar 30, 2014 - 15 answers

Calling all cable experts

Tomorrow I'm hosting a presentation where the speaker would like to hook up a laptop to two decent-sized external speakers. All that's lacking is a cable. I'm hoping to run out to the electronics store tomorrow morning to buy a cable (or two?) to do this, but am completely baffled as to what to get. I plan to call the store in the morning, but simply because I am nervous about the presentation and would like to sleep peacefully tonight, can anyone here recommend exactly what kind of cables I should get? [more inside]
posted by whistle pig on Mar 24, 2014 - 7 answers

Can you make my CPU stop beeping in the night?

I bought a new Dell XPS 8700 last fall. Lately, the damn thing seems to work like an alarm clock ALMOST every night around three or four am. I wake up to hear three rapid beeps over and over. This lasts for about a minute. This happens even when I shut it down. [more inside]
posted by Brodiggitty on Mar 24, 2014 - 37 answers

The search for a search utility

I'm looking for a great utility that will let me search for text strings within MS Word and PDF documents. Specifics within ... [more inside]
posted by Crotalus on Mar 23, 2014 - 5 answers

Help me sell my computer!

I'd like to sell my desktop computer. I built it in 2011, with intermittent upgrades. It was fairly powerful at the time, as I used it as an engineering student. Specs are below. I have a few questions, never having done this before. I need help setting a price, setting up the OS for sale, and safely deleting my data [more inside]
posted by nickhb on Mar 22, 2014 - 15 answers

Getting video from the TV to my computer

I like to make gifs. What kind of device and setup do I need to pull live video off of television and onto my computer?
posted by cashman on Mar 18, 2014 - 5 answers

Will upgrading my mid-2010 Macbook Pro solve all of my problems?

My mid-2010 Macbook Pro doesn't handle streaming video or huge Excel files well. Would a comprehensive upgrade solve my problems, or am I better off buying a new computer? [more inside]
posted by acidic on Mar 18, 2014 - 18 answers

My friend accidentally fried my Macbook. What is her responsibility?

I'm in grad school. My friend/classmate accidentally knocked over her water bottle on Wednesday and drenched my MacBook Air (which was on the classroom table about three feet away), killing at least the motherboard (per the repair shop where I took it) and possibly other things as well. It will cost at least $520 to repair; I'm out of AppleCare coverage because I got my computer a bit over a year ago. I have two questions. [more inside]
posted by c'mon sea legs on Mar 9, 2014 - 89 answers

These projects aren't going to manage themselves

What would you recommend for project management and research-sharing among 15 people? We want to replace Redbooth fka Teambox with something that works and suits our needs better (specifics within). Thanks in advance. [more inside]
posted by andromache on Mar 6, 2014 - 6 answers

Uses for a PowerPC Mac Mini?

My mother wants to send her old Power PC Mac mini to the dump. What else could I do with it? [more inside]
posted by selfnoise on Mar 6, 2014 - 15 answers

Installing Mint, Screwed Windows

I went to install Mint 16 last night (the latest version) as a dual-boot system. I have a 1.5TB disk where Windows 7 lives with Mint 12, and 2 encrypted 3TB disks. (Mint 12 is no longer bootable, BTW.) Obviously, things did not go as planned... [more inside]
posted by IAmBroom on Mar 3, 2014 - 9 answers

Help with finding an inexpensive laptop

I need a laptop for travel for about 3-4 weeks a year, and up to this point I have always had an old one I can tote around, I recently bought a series of older macbooks through craigslist that did the job for a little while, but both, for various reasons are no longer working and can't be fixed without a lot of cost. I am hesitant to try for another craiglist computer, because of my recent experiences, but I also don't want to lay out the money for a new macbook because of how infrequently it will be used, it just seems, well, wasteful both monetarily and also letting a new computer collect dust. It needs to be able to run Adobe CS 5 or 6, it can either be a mac or pc, though ideally a mac. If no other options present themselves, I would most likely look at Apple refurbished. But are there any other sources that I am overlooking?
posted by nanook on Feb 26, 2014 - 9 answers

How can I stop my computer screen from fogging my brain?

I have to stare at this thing an awful lot for work, and of course I stare at it recreationally too. But after a few hours a horrible dazed feeling creeps up on me. It's not eye strain, I don't get a headache. I just stop being able to think straight. This is not viable. What do I do about it? [more inside]
posted by Because on Feb 24, 2014 - 13 answers

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