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Changing Careers Back (or The Once and Future Techie)

I made a career change (technology to law) a few years ago, and now I'd like to change back, as I had a decent career before and have a pretty foul one now. How do I do this? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 31, 2013 - 9 answers

Why does my computer keep freezing?

Why does my computer keep freezing during video games and HDTV playback? [more inside]
posted by soy_renfield on Jul 28, 2013 - 10 answers

Saving a hard drive/Windows install that is freezing up.

Our desktop computer is locking up in scary ways, and I'm looking for advice on how to save the contents of the hard drive, and/or just get it up and running again. [more inside]
posted by jbickers on Jul 20, 2013 - 15 answers

Ergonomic keyboard with 6 on right side?

Are there any reasonably-priced split keyboards that put 6 on the right side? [more inside]
posted by at home in my head on Jul 20, 2013 - 6 answers

Do latest-generation external hard drives work seamlessly?

I am considering buying a new Macbook Pro with a solid-state drive, but the drives built into the laptop do not offer enough storage for me. If I buy an external Thunderbolt hard drive, will the laptop be able to seamlessly play music and video from files stored on the hard drive, or is there likely to be an annoying lag? Apart from portability, are there any technical issues with relying on an external hard drive for primary storage and everyday use? I am a fairly ordinary but media-heavy user.
posted by eugenen on Jul 17, 2013 - 10 answers

I just want to scroll down!

Yesterday evening the down arrow key on my laptop computer started behaving strangely. [more inside]
posted by JuliaJellicoe on Jul 16, 2013 - 5 answers

Best hard drive solution for mobile audio recording

Trying to decide what to get, here. I've got an interal 750gb 5400 rm drive in the MBP that very occasionally throws up the dreaded "drive too slow" dialog in Logic at only 6 or 8 tracks of 24 bit 44.1 kHz. [more inside]
posted by Devils Rancher on Jul 12, 2013 - 16 answers

How do I scope a dynamic webpage thingy?

I'm pretty dim, but I've been told to write a scope of work for a dynamic webpage. Can you help me with the lingo? [more inside]
posted by Banish Misfortune on Jul 11, 2013 - 5 answers

FPS issues in one specific game

The boyfriend's having FPS and sluggish gameplay issues in one specific game -- "World of Warcraft." His computer is more than powerful enough to, in theory, run it without any problem, and it used to. What gives? [more inside]
posted by sailoreagle on Jul 2, 2013 - 10 answers

Limiting a single OSX Application's use?

Does an OSX app exist which will limit the use of a single application? Nothing in the parental controls seems to be able to limit time spent in a given application. [more inside]
posted by neilkod on Jun 23, 2013 - 4 answers

Router needed but...

Wife has trouble getting wi fi on cell in bedroom and router/modem downstairs...Router is pretty old and not I think a good one. Would like one that I simply take the two wires from old and put into new, strong one. No messing with it beyond that...is this possible and what should I get ? [more inside]
posted by Postroad on Jun 20, 2013 - 13 answers

Dell Vostro 1400: Battery not being recognized. Possible culprits?

Is it even possible to replace the component that will allow my battery to be recognized again? [more inside]
posted by lizarrd on Jun 17, 2013 - 2 answers

Is a smart display a smart choice as an external monitor?

I currently have an Asus Netbook that serves as my primary computer (although I tend to travel with my iPad on short trips and leave the netbook at home). I'm a PhD student and know I'll need to upgrade within the next year before I start the heavy dissertation writing. However, right now I'm thinking of getting an external monitor to use at home for more screen real estate (useful for reading articles and taking notes). Should I get a smart display or a regular monitor? [more inside]
posted by MultiFaceted on Jun 15, 2013 - 4 answers

Is there a low-power, low-cost computer with a PCI-e 2.0 x8 slot?

I would like to build a new router for my home network. It won't generally need to do a lot of work, but I do need it to have a PCI-e 2.0 x8 (or higher) slot to accommodate a QDR InfiniBand adapter. Beyond this requirement, my next-highest-priority goal is that this machine not consume a lot of electricity when idle or mostly idle. A low purchase price would be nice, too. I plan to build this machine from parts (motherboard, CPU, etc), although if the cost is low enough, a pre-manufactured system would be fine too. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!
posted by Juffo-Wup on Jun 7, 2013 - 8 answers

Cheapest sensible laptop for photography

I'm beginning to take photographs again, and my apartment has no real easy space to set up my currently-decommissioned desktop PC. My present laptop is super low-end and it's a horrible drag trying to do anything with photos on it. Please recommend a minimum spec replacement - a few more details after the cut. [more inside]
posted by ominous_paws on Jun 6, 2013 - 5 answers

Help me have All The Games (computer version)

I would like to be able to play older computer games (from CD) on newer computers. You (or more accurately, I) would think this would be easy as long as the Operating System was the same, but in fact it is not: help me figure out why, figure out if what I want is possible, and help me do it if so. [more inside]
posted by corb on Jun 5, 2013 - 15 answers

Mounting noises

My computer keeps making the mounting then un-mounting soud. IOW it thinks I'm plugging something into the USB and then removing it. It started after I used my old external hard drive to back up my stuff. Any ideas how to shut it up...other than mute? New Acer. Runs Windows 7.
posted by kristymcj on Jun 3, 2013 - 15 answers

Computers and kids

I have one laptop in the house and one smartphone in the house. Both of these have my personal photos, texts, emails, etc on them. I also have one smart 10 year old in the house who uses these devices to google things, play games, type assignments, etc. How do I keep my personal stuff out of the site of my kiddo? [more inside]
posted by latkes on May 25, 2013 - 8 answers

SATA to USB adapter for drives over 2TB

I have a SATA to USB adapter that can handle 2.5 and 3.5 drives and is great for quick transfers and migrations without having to lug around an external drive. There don't seem to be any that can handle drives above 2TB which are becoming more common now that 3TB drives are so cheap. Does such a device exist that can handle larger drives? [more inside]
posted by ridogi on May 23, 2013 - 4 answers

Have Users Change a Running Python Script's Variables over the Web?

I'm writing a simple simulator with python and I would like to be able to have my users log in to the simulator over the internet and change their own set of variables. [more inside]
posted by millerizer on May 22, 2013 - 14 answers

Trading a desktop for a laptop

About a year ago I bought a refurbished iMac. I now totally regret buying a desktop computer and really wish I had a laptop instead. Is there any way for me to trade in my still perfectly-functional iMac for a Mac laptop? (In NYC if it matters) [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz on May 21, 2013 - 5 answers

Laptop overheated, now connectivity problems

My laptop overheated, I took it to get cleaned, now it's having Internet connectivity issues. I think the repair place may be at fault. What do I do now? [more inside]
posted by Put the kettle on on May 20, 2013 - 5 answers

Poor Little Old Laptop...

Is my PowerBook G4 officially dead? [more inside]
posted by polly_dactyl on May 20, 2013 - 6 answers

Does anyone even buy desktops?

Is there a market for custom built computers sold through an independent person, versus Dell or HP? [more inside]
posted by trogdole on May 18, 2013 - 32 answers

Which laptop to buy for a college freshman?

My brother is starting college in a few weeks and needs a new laptop. His only requirement is that it run Windows 8. My requirements are that it is under $800 and can withstand manhandling by an 18-year-old. I'm leaning towards a Dell because of their perceived good reputation - is this accurate? Any recommendations for Dell models or other brands? Bonus: he will click every suspicious link, download any fool thing, and therefore infects computers with viruses instantly. What can I do to prevent this? His favorite line is "Norton anti-virus IS a virus!"
posted by tatiana wishbone on May 16, 2013 - 34 answers

Docking stations and KVM switches and Synergy, oh my

For years I've been doing all my work and a good percentage of my play on a single as-overpowered-as-possible desktop box. For a variety of reasons -- not least that I'm starting to give up hope that the Mac Pro line will ever be updated again -- I'm considering making the switch to several smaller, task-dedicated machines. I am going in circles trying to figure out how best to make them all work together on a hardware level -- I can't decide if I need a docking station or a KVM switch or both or neither, and if I do need them which ones should I get? Help me, hardware geeks! [more inside]
posted by ook on May 14, 2013 - 6 answers

Advice on buying an UPS for my desktop

Hi MeFi, I want to buy an uninterruptible power supply for my personal desktop. I don't need a lot of performance, just something to ride out brief blips in the power. I was thinking about getting this one{APC Back-UPS ES BE550G 550 VA 330 Watts (4) NEMA 5-15R (Battery Backup) (4) NEMA 5-15R (Surge Protection) Outlets UPS} This is a good idea? Do you need more information about my setup? Thanks, zscore
posted by zscore on May 13, 2013 - 15 answers

Does your laptop resemble the laptop I'm trying to buy?

I'm looking to buy a laptop that meets a few simple requirements. Does this describe your machine?
  1. Customizable before purchase -- it's essential to me that the factory install e.g. the SSD and the CPU that I specify
  2. 17" screen
  3. Trackpad is responsive, ergonomic, satisfying to use
  4. "Home", "End", "PgDn", "PgUp" and "Delete" keys are all clustered together, not strung out in a row
  5. High-end
  6. Not made by HP
[more inside]
posted by foursentences on May 11, 2013 - 14 answers

Operating System Question

I have 20 computer that don't have hard drives. After installing new hard drives, I plan on installing windows 7 on all 20 computers. My question is will I need to purchase 20 copies of Window 7? Does Mircrosoft have an option when outfitting multiple computers.
posted by Noodles on May 7, 2013 - 9 answers

Ship a laptop from US to Poland

I have an old laptop I'd like to send to my relatives in Poland. How would I go about this? Does this even make economic sense? [more inside]
posted by echo target on May 3, 2013 - 8 answers

How to mount this monitor stand?

I want to mount a monitor stand on my desk, but there's a vertical lip that gets in the way of the clamp. What's the best way to get around this? [more inside]
posted by Wossname on Apr 28, 2013 - 12 answers

How to move a computer onto a switch and keep the IP address?

I have a Mac Pro set to DHCP manual assign and a certain IP address that cannot change. I also have a printer plugged into a certain network jack; IP address less important. I am moving the physical location of the Mac Pro near this printer and the printer's network jack is the only one available. I'll have to plug both of these machines into the same network jack via switch/router. What switch/router is the right one to buy in 2013 (bonus if I can find it at Best Buy) and what the right way to set this up so the Mac Pro is still reachable at the same IP address on the network?
posted by michaelh on Apr 27, 2013 - 12 answers

So did you find a new MacBook Air on a plane the other day?

Lost my MacBook Air with sensitive files on the SSD. How worried should I be? [more inside]
posted by Crotalus on Apr 23, 2013 - 19 answers

My Brother wireless printer doesn't work after resetting my laptop.

I have a MacBook running OS X 10.6.8 and a Brother HL-2270DW printer. This morning I had to reset my entire system using Time Machine; everything else is up and running, but the printer doesn't work. I've tried reinstalling it with the printer setup disc, but the laptop won't detect our wireless connection when I get to that step (it suggests disabling my personal firewall, but I don't have one set up.), and the laptop won't let me add any printers in System Preferences. Any suggestions would be gratefully appreciated, because I've spent all afternoon trying to figure this out.
posted by The Card Cheat on Apr 22, 2013 - 5 answers

The two shall be one

I have two versions of the same PDF, both annotated in Acrobat Pro, and I need to make them into one document. [more inside]
posted by bwonder2 on Apr 21, 2013 - 4 answers

How did this happen? Strange product order...

Someone ordered a product online using my email address and an old address of mine. They did not use my credit card. I'm pretty sure this wasn't a gift. What happened? [more inside]
posted by Ms. Toad on Apr 21, 2013 - 14 answers

Picky girl looking for a new laptop.

These are the things I want in the laptop.... [more inside]
posted by Autumn89 on Apr 20, 2013 - 8 answers

creepy man stuck in computer, help delete him!

My daughter was using her computer yesterday, taking college placement math tests that she downloaded from the college site. As she continued working a creepy male voice came over the speakers. It came on randomly, she thought it may have been a monitor, but realized it repeated itself. It overlaps the music she was playing, meaning it didn't stop what was playing, just played along at the same time.I listened tonight, it's scary. Male voice, sounds of gun mechanism, shooting, heavy breathing, chanting, prayer like words, it's breathy-like winded or possibly sexual. Has anyone heard of a computer virus like this? What do I need to do to get this creepy man out of the computer? Thank you for any help you cam offer.
posted by jennstra on Apr 16, 2013 - 26 answers

Having trouble trying to partition the hard drive on my old Mac

I'm trying to partition the hard drive on my old mac (model 4,1 running OS X 10.5.8) so I can dual boot Ubuntu. The problem is that when I go to Disk Utility and and select to partition the drive I get an error saying that the partition failed because there's no space left on the device, even though I have lots of space. This happens no matter how small I make the partition. [more inside]
posted by el chupa nibre on Apr 15, 2013 - 4 answers

Help me choose a laptop quickly (Student UK)

So I stupidly dropped my laptop and whilst the data on it was thankfully recoverable (teach me to back up more often!), the machine itself is done for. I'm more technologically minded than a lot of my friends but it isn't really my area and I always take forever to investigate and weigh up the options, but I really need to order it quickly since I go back to university next week! So please, some recommendations or pointers to help me make a quick and sensible choice. (Some basic personal requirements/details below.) [more inside]
posted by an opinicus on Apr 13, 2013 - 3 answers

Wifi not connecting on laptop, but works on phone?

My laptop refuses to connect to my home wifi network, saying a cable is unplugged. It's not. [more inside]
posted by cozenedindigo on Apr 11, 2013 - 10 answers

How do I test the speed/reliability of a network?

I have a somewhat complicated home network (see inside) that works OK most of the time but is occasionally unreliable. What software tools exist for testing the long-term reliability of a network (i.e. over several days)? [more inside]
posted by Betelgeuse on Apr 10, 2013 - 6 answers

Wanted: bombproof, redundant, fast, accessible data storage

I have tens of thousands of photo, video and music files. I want to store them in a way that is reliable and rapidly accessible. More details inside. [more inside]
posted by googly on Apr 8, 2013 - 11 answers

Looking for 2-player android games that reproduce the board-game feeling

A favourite evening activity for my wife and I is playing board games. I've been thinking for a while now that a lot of the things that are fun about board games ought to translate very well to tablet games. So I'm looking for suggestions for Android games that fit a few criteria: [more inside]
posted by primer_dimer on Apr 5, 2013 - 9 answers

My new Samsung SSD cloning software doesn't work

I have a problem with my new Samsung SSD cloning software - it doesn't work. I keep getting the following error message: "external exception EO6D7363". The new drive is recognized by Win 8. [more inside]
posted by noonknight on Apr 4, 2013 - 1 answer

Something wrong with the wife's computer. But what?

So, my wife's computer stopped booting the other day. Nothing happening on the monitor, hard drive whirrs away in a repetitive pattern for as long as we want to let it go. [more inside]
posted by Kid Charlemagne on Apr 3, 2013 - 2 answers

Is there a strategy game with a ret-conned API to it?

For basically my whole teen-to-adult life I have wanted to write AI for video games as a hobby. Mostly games of the overhead strategy type, think Red Alert, Warcraft (not World Of), Starcraft and so forth. [more inside]
posted by RustyBrooks on Mar 27, 2013 - 6 answers

Javascript Void my A**

Asking for my Momma: Windows did an update and now she can't go to any of her websites that require passwords (bank, pintrest, ...). Nor can she download any thing. She also keeps getting a pop up saying Javascript Void(0). She uses Windows 7 w/ Internet Explorer. I had her enable scripting, tried to get her to download Google Chrome to see if maybe it was just Internet Explorer- but she can't download. Cleared cookies, temporary internet files, cache... What is going on? She has virus protection in the form of McAfee.
posted by MayNicholas on Mar 23, 2013 - 20 answers

Am I at the mercy of big ink?

Canon Pixma printer purchased in US, specified ink cartridges not available in Asia where I live, BUT there is a different model number that looks exactly the same. Can I use it? [more inside]
posted by dust of the stars on Mar 16, 2013 - 2 answers

Calendar Editing and Syncing Between Two Mac Users

I'd like to sync a shared event/appointment calendar with a work colleague, which we both can edit (not just view) on our iMac computers, preferably without having to go to an external website to make edits, or paying for an outside service. Details within. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 14, 2013 - 12 answers

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