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Would a Chromebook be right for us?

Between my wife and I, I'm the "computer guy," while she basically uses her computer to write, engage in social media, and update a couple of blogs with all that this entails (light photo editing, etc.). We have to replace her aging Dell laptop. Would a Chromebook be a good option? [more inside]
posted by Shepherd on Jan 3, 2014 - 11 answers

Why does my screen go black on my Dellm6500 when playing movie trailers?

thisyoutube trailer, along with a few other trailers i've found, cause my computer screen to go black (but the computer stays on). Today it happened for the first time while i wasn't viewing youtube videos, I was playing poker online, had chrome open in background, and was watching a movie on VLC (I had been watching the movie for more than an hour when the screen went black). Running windows 7 (maybe my graphics card is overheating)? If I restart, the boot sequence is visibile, and "windows is starting" is shown, but then it goes black. After about 3 or 4 tries though, it will boot up normal, with a working screen.
posted by crawltopslow on Jan 2, 2014 - 15 answers

One False Keystroke

What am I doing that makes my computer suddenly read all inputs as though the Shift key were pressed, and how do I make it stop? [more inside]
posted by koucha on Dec 26, 2013 - 5 answers

Am I on Candid Camera?

When I boot up my work laptop, the camera light comes on for an instant. Is it taking a picture? If so, where would it store those pics? [more inside]
posted by LonnieK on Dec 24, 2013 - 11 answers

Can I fake out my work VPN with a complete disk copy?

If I do a disk copy of my work computer, will the VPN be usable? Nothing nefarious planned; I simply want to be able to VPN in if I'm stuck at home (snow, sickness) without my work laptop.
posted by IAmBroom on Dec 21, 2013 - 13 answers

Started to install a printer, and bricked my laptop!

Help! My family member ask me to help install a printer (a Lexmark x5470) on her laptop. I installed the drivers and then, when I restarted the computer the MOUSE AND KEYBOARD DONT WORK. I can't login! I can't do anything! It even happens in safe mode, I am running windows 7 family premium, 64 bit on an hp laptop. Help me not ruin Christmas,
posted by cacofonie on Dec 21, 2013 - 9 answers

Before or After Christmas to buy a desktop computer?

Does Dell Computer run the best sales of it's desktop computers before or after Christmas? [more inside]
posted by BillyAnne on Dec 20, 2013 - 4 answers

What is the equivalent of Paint for Mac?

I just got a Macbook Pro and would like to be able to draw simple diagrams with shapes and text fields. Are there any Mac programs or apps equivalent to PC's Paint? My search online has brought up Paintbrush which appears to be a very old program. The new ones in the apps store are either really expensive or poorly reviewed if they're free. Thanks!
posted by grak88 on Dec 13, 2013 - 12 answers

Where do you find the best online deals for all-things-electronic?

From a previous AskMefi post dated 2006, I've re-discovered Newegg, Slick Deals, Hot Deals, Woot, Tech Bargains, and Spendfish. It's been almost 8 years since the post, though, so I'm sure I'm out of the loop. Google is great for aggregating these sites, but I'm not sure about their quality (i.e. deal-awesomeness) from a simple search. Can you tell me what I'm missing? Thanks in advance!!
posted by onecircleaday on Dec 8, 2013 - 13 answers

Help me find a good exteranl hard drive

The current external hard drive I have is "WD' brand that I got at best buy and I'm not happy with it. I am looking for a external hard drive that is easy to use for someone not that great with computers and I can back up my computer with it, that has the ability to be encrypted, is reliable, is ideally available locally at a place like best buy, must have a metal case, not a plastic one (the one I have now heats up and smells like burning plastic) Also bonus points if it has a fan in it. I have a PC not a mac, so it should be for a PC. Also I am not sure if I want to but one of those large external hard drives you leave attached or the smaller pocket sized one so any pro's and con's of both would be great.
posted by john123357 on Dec 6, 2013 - 15 answers

Hacked Instagram account; can my friend get justice?

A fellow aspiring entrepreneur and friend of mine is in desperate need of help. Time is of the essence! Here's the story: Two years ago he created his own business that sells custom hand-made clothes and products. He owns a website and is on all of the normal social media. One of his most effective tools to connect with customers is through instagram. He's worked hard over the years to develop a fan base of over 27K followers. Mysteriously, last night this account was hacked. They changed the password, hacked the business email, and have taken control of the brand. This account is the business' main source of revenue and advertisement. Although he's trademarked the company and taken all the normal preventative measures, the admin. at instagram claims there's nothing they can do to help. Assuming this is true, what are his available options? Essentially, my friend's ship just got hijacked by some evil bastards and he's going to need a seal team to get it back. [more inside]
posted by intelligentfool on Dec 3, 2013 - 15 answers

High-DPI Linux?

I have a Yoga 2 Pro, freshly purchased, with an insanely high resolution screen (3800 x 1800). I generally run Xubuntu in a VM alongside windows, but I'm struggling to make it truly workable. What is the state of the art in resolution independence when it comes to Linux? What window manager should I be looking at, are there guides and tweaks etc.? [more inside]
posted by jsturgill on Dec 2, 2013 - 3 answers

Help me keep our Apple Cinema displays out of the landfill.

We have five aluminum 30" Apple Cinema displays at the office. They are slowly going dim. I don't want to trash them. How can they be fixed? [more inside]
posted by Mei's lost sandal on Nov 24, 2013 - 12 answers

Computer shopping, what do I need?

I have a Dell Computer desktop that runs with Windows XP now. It is 11 years old and has been a good one but is running slow so it is time for a replacement. I just need the tower, I have been looking at Dell's website but am willing to try another brand if they are comparable. I do not do any gaming on computer, just internet surfing and some Microsoft Office Word and Excel work. I have Internet through Dish Network Satellite. I have read if you are not into touch screens to get Windows 7 Home Edition. I don't think I want to go with refurbished computer and Amazon seems to be a popular choice for computer shoppers. I have no idea really what to look for, the Dell Inspiron 660 is priced at $529 with 1 TB Hard Drive, 8 GB RAM, 6 M cache/up to 3.3 GHZ Intel Core i5 - 3340 processor. There are other towers with 1 TB Hard Drive and 4 GB RAM - would this be a good choice? Any suggestions appreciated.
posted by just asking on Nov 24, 2013 - 8 answers

Samsung NC20 Laptop Slow, Malware--Should I just reinstall Windows?

I have a Samsung NC20 laptop that I bought 4 or 5 years ago. It runs Windows XP and has some sort of malware, IRP Hook, that AVG has found but cannot remove. In addition, it runs significantly slower than I would like, and cannot play most videos at all--the sound plays fine, but the image just staggers and jumps. [more inside]
posted by Slinga on Nov 15, 2013 - 9 answers

PC racing game with beautiful Japanese island landscape

I remember a PC racing game with winding up and down road, with a Japanese island landscape (amongst other themes). You would be racing with a car or some flying thing, racing against computer players, maybe with some simple weapons to eradicate opponents. Roads would surprisingly split up and you would need to decide which alternative to follow. Era is probably DOS, 256 or 16M colors. Good music included (which is what gave me the flashback). Thanks heaps.
posted by oxit on Nov 9, 2013 - 1 answer

New icon added to work computer task bar called pncmonv3.exe.

Hi, can someone computer savvy in the hive mind please tell me what pncmonv3.exe does? I have googled it and it doesn't come up with anything. I'm wondering what it can monitor/what it is doing. Thank you.
posted by anonymous on Nov 8, 2013 - 3 answers

Minor computer upgrade.

I'm looking to upgrade my 2012 computer to be able to run some mid-range games. I'm not expecting anything spectacular. Is there a way to do this for $100 or less? I know upgrades tend to be expensive, but I'm hoping a minor upgrade to this computer won't cost as much as upgrading to the best-of-the-best out there because Technology Marches On and such. [more inside]
posted by Autumn on Nov 6, 2013 - 11 answers

Minecraft LAN Games (You Are Not My Tech Support Person-filter)

My wife and I wanted to play Minecraft together. Minecraft has that handy "Open game to LAN" button in single player mode. But it's not working. [more inside]
posted by Scattercat on Nov 5, 2013 - 12 answers

Playing Bridge Online?

After doing some research, I can't seem to quite find an answer to this. A friend and I would like to play bridge together online, and would like the two other players to be computer-generated. Anyone know of where we can do this? The sites that I have looked at seem to be all live players, or else you can play against the computer alone.
posted by nanook on Oct 31, 2013 - 4 answers

My eight year old is dying! (Laptop that is..)

My eight year old laptop is about ready to bite the dust. For the last year and a half it has had permanent residence on my desk as it cannot function if it is not plugged in. The screen must be at the correct angle or it completely cuts out. It struggles to download documents and music. She has been good to me, but it is time to begin thinking about purchasing a new computer. Problem is, I’m fairly out of touch with the market now. Here are my needs with regards to a laptop. You tell me what I should be looking for. [more inside]
posted by Driven on Oct 28, 2013 - 15 answers

TV + Computer = disaster?

I just realised that I am looking to get a 27" computer and a 32" TV. Is there a sensible way to combine both? Has anyone tried to use a HD TV monitor as a computer screen or a 27" iMac as a TV? Isn't there a way we can not buy two screens? Please, hivemind, let me know the practical issues that are worth considering. Thanks
posted by london302 on Oct 28, 2013 - 13 answers

How much can "tech" at work see of what I am doing?

How much can "tech" at work see of what I am doing? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 27, 2013 - 11 answers

Annual lists of bestselling laptop and desktop computer models?

I'm looking to gather data on the top selling laptop and desktop models for each year (preferably over the past 20 years and with total units sold each year in U.S. and in world). Does anyone know of a source or would be able to point me in the direction of one? Is there an industry newsletter? Ideally, I want something like "2003's Top 10 Bestselling Laptops: 1) Gateway 450: X million sold; 2) Dell Inspiron 8500: x million sold" etc, but I'm not too picky, any leads would be better than what I got now.
posted by jng on Oct 25, 2013 - 4 answers

Question about Bluetooth security and speakers.

I am about to buy some bluetooth speakers to be used in conjunction with a Windows computer and Itunes. I have heard vague rumblings to the effect that bluetooth has security issues that regular wifi devices do not. Ordinarily, I would buy wifi speakers but the few I can find are awfully damned pricey. Would I be putting myself at risk of compromising my computer's security if I set up a pair or two of bluetooth speakers in my apartment? In general, are there any bluetooth security issues I should be aware of, as a new user of this technology? Many thanks for your time.
posted by jason's_planet on Oct 24, 2013 - 2 answers

Flickering Monitor

I have my Macbook hooked up to a monitor, and within a few minutes of connecting the two, the monitor starts flickering more and more. Help! [more inside]
posted by nanook on Oct 22, 2013 - 4 answers

How are these tricked out Thinkpads selling so cheaply on Ebay?

I'm thinking of getting a Lenovo Thinkpad x230 to replace my aging laptop and noticed that Ebay had sellers with seemingly good ratings offering machines with higher specs than you can get in the Lenovo store for much cheaper. Is this too good to be true? [more inside]
posted by col_pogo on Oct 18, 2013 - 7 answers

Help my computer take me beyond the blue start-up screen

I have a HP Elitebook 8530p and recently after I have logged on it just sits there with a blue, slightly floral but otherwise blank screen and nothing else happens. I am able to start in safe mode, which is what I'm in now and I've done a system recovery which worked once, but I don't want to have to do that every single time I start the computer. So what do I try next?
posted by lazy robot on Oct 15, 2013 - 2 answers

Heavy Excel user ISO work-from-home setup

I'm looking for recommendations on a home-office setup that will eliminate the need for going into the office on weekends. [more inside]
posted by undercoverhuwaaah on Oct 12, 2013 - 6 answers

How do you help people have an epiphany about difficult concepts?

How do you describe the basic concepts of a difficult subject you know a lot about that makes it "click" for a beginner? [more inside]
posted by reenum on Oct 11, 2013 - 18 answers

how do i get this ghost out of my computer?

My conputer has its own ideas about what I should be typing. For the love of sanity, please help. [more inside]
posted by windykites on Oct 10, 2013 - 9 answers

Process launchers

What are the go-to systems these days for launching and managing a whole bunch of processes? [more inside]
posted by spbmp on Oct 9, 2013 - 6 answers

Crooked mobo ports

Three ports on my computer's motherboard are crooked. Is this easily fixable? [more inside]
posted by Zelos on Oct 8, 2013 - 4 answers

MP3 jukebox?

I have like 500gb worth of MP3s on my computer. My computer is about 6 years old. I just bought a replacement and I don't want to transfer all my music. I want to have my music in my living room, but I don't want a computer set up in there. Instead, I was wondering if there was some kind of high capacity storage device that I could plug into, say, my TV, and control with a remote. Does such a thing exist? How much is it? Where can I get one?
posted by to sir with millipedes on Oct 5, 2013 - 11 answers

What's the verdict on bluetooth multicasting using Windows 7?

Mrs. Van and I enjoy watching movies at night using XMBC on our HTPC (which runs Windows 7)... But in a Manhattan apartment with two kids under the age of 2, we're usually stuck watching foreign subtitled films, using bulky headphones with a splitter, or turning the volume up and down constantly on a Hollywood blockbuster. I bought a couple of bluetooth headphones and an adapter a while back. I got one of the headsets to pair, and while that works beautifully, I don't think there's a way (using the normal Broadcom drivers) to pair two at the same time. Is there a software product or workaround that would allow us to pair *multiple* bluetooth headsets, allowing both of us to listen to audio coming from the computer? Thanks.
posted by BobbyVan on Oct 1, 2013 - 13 answers

How does DailyLit split up books into bits?

How do sites like DailyLit split up large text files into smaller files and then email them? [more inside]
posted by reenum on Sep 30, 2013 - 4 answers

How to prevent vision deterioration from excessive computer use

I use the computer for 16-18 hours a day becasue I have a online business and I have noticed my vision worsening since doing this. I really don't want glasses and have seen a eye doctor who said I don't absolutely need glasses my vision is 20/25 I think he said. I used to have better vision before I spent so much time on the computer. I'm wondering if there any any "techniques" used by OSHA or anything to prevent eyestrain or vision deterioration from excessive computer use .
posted by john123357 on Sep 30, 2013 - 19 answers

My Magic Mouse went for a swim...

I forgot that my Apple Magic Mouse was in my front jeans pocket, and it went through the washing machine. Strangely, it still works fine, even with the same batteries. I admit I'm impressed. BUT... [more inside]
posted by rensar on Sep 24, 2013 - 5 answers

Help me find a desktop PC on a budget

My 4-year-old laptop is dying and I want to replace it with a desktop. What is the least computer I could buy now that would still be upgradeable enough that I could keep it and upgrade it for several years? [more inside]
posted by matcha action on Sep 13, 2013 - 19 answers

Help, I think I've installed a virus

Setting up a new computer for my mother and stepfather I've accidentally installed a virus. After three hours of slogging through getting a new computer set up for them (why would we write down any of our passwords, the old now dead computer had them all saved) I tired and not paying attention downloaded Firefox for them. Problem: It wasn't from Mozilla, didn't realize until afterward that it was from something called ez-download. Internet says this is a Trojan. I've turned off the wifi and have windows defender running a scan. There is nothing on this computer from a software standpoint that needs to be saved. Computer didn't come with a windows8 disc but rather a partioned drive. If I run a reset to factory will that be easiest? Will it work? Halp!
posted by dismitree on Sep 9, 2013 - 13 answers

Do I need a new computer power supply, or can I fix this one?

I have a 650W power supply in my computer that I installed myself back when I asked this question (scroll through the answers on that for most system specs). This morning, the fan on the power supply started making noise. Do I need to replace the supply entirely, or is this something I can fix on my own? [more inside]
posted by LionIndex on Sep 6, 2013 - 10 answers

Microsoft Security Essentials

Microsoft Security Essentials Missing From System Tray. [more inside]
posted by dbirchum on Sep 2, 2013 - 35 answers

New games are crashing my computer

My computer started crashing to a black screen a few minutes into any new game. I just got payday 2, and 4-5 minutes into the introductory map my computer would crash to a black screen, I thought it was the game, so then I tried the other new game I just gotten, Saints Row IV, same thing, it let me play for like 10 minutes then the same crash to black screen. [more inside]
posted by Iax on Sep 1, 2013 - 12 answers

Specs dammit! I need specs!

My current computer (a Dell desktop from 2008 or so) has served me well, but is about to shuffle off of its mortal coil. I'm looking to get a new laptop that will support some pretty resource intensive work, specifically Pro Tools/audio work and perhaps like, Sony Vegas/Final Cut Pro/Aftereffects video stuff. I'm wondering if you guys could help me spec out a new computer based on these needs - both the best Mac and the best PC I could potentially get, given my needs. Budget = $2500
posted by to sir with millipedes on Aug 31, 2013 - 8 answers

Why won't my Windows 8 laptop 'talk' to my Canon Pixma printer?!?

I have a new Samsung Ultrabook running Windows 8, and a Canon Pixma iP4600 inkjet printer. The interwebz tell me that I should just be able to connect the two, and print away. I can't. Now what?? [more inside]
posted by Salamander on Aug 28, 2013 - 8 answers

Why do all VPN's give me the BSOD?

I have tried several VPN's on two different PC's running windows 7 and they all crash both my computers with a BSOD. How can this be? [more inside]
posted by gnossos on Aug 28, 2013 - 9 answers

More than one tab would be just great

Laptop freezing semi-regularly with internet use, need suggestions. [more inside]
posted by carnivoregiraffe on Aug 20, 2013 - 9 answers

Gaming the System

We're building a new PC. We're also an avid gamers. What OS do we want (and/or monitor and mouse/trackpad combo)? [more inside]
posted by Diagonalize on Aug 14, 2013 - 20 answers

Cheap, great laptop recommendations?

I really need a cheap, new-ish laptop to make my Youtube cartoons. I have very little to spend, so I'm hoping you smart folks on the TG Comics board have some suggestions. [more inside]
posted by Ursula Hitler on Aug 12, 2013 - 8 answers

To R or not to R

My office has recently had some funds open up and we are looking into investing in some statistical software to make our lives easier. We do a lot of work with distribution fitting, Monte Carlo analysis, and regression analysis with data sets that may contain left or right censored data. Unfortunately, we only have a few days to identify the best software package for our buck. Alternatively, the idea has been floated to download the free R software and spend the money on some training to get over the steep learning curve. What program or approach would be the best use of our money?
posted by C'est la D.C. on Aug 12, 2013 - 23 answers

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