3123 posts tagged with computer.
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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

Help Me Identify a Macintosh Computer

I am looking for help identifying a Macintosh computer I used in the late 90s (details inside...no pictures). [more inside]
posted by dbirchum on Feb 24, 2014 - 8 answers

What do the professionals use to remove computer viruses?

My father just got his WinXP machine back from a local computer shop. They ran five programs on it, found some viruses and removed them. What programs would they use for this, and can I, a mere amateur, acquire them myself? [more inside]
posted by Rash on Feb 21, 2014 - 9 answers

How to get Searchya off of my computer

I have somehow gotten the search engine highjacker "searchya" on my computer and have followed all the instructions I can find on-line to get rid of it but it still shows up as the default search engine. I have even contacted the searchya website and followed their instructions but its still there. I'm getting very annoyed with this search engine that I don't want and never asked for. Has anyone else been able to resolve this?
posted by mcbeitz on Feb 21, 2014 - 9 answers

Mac Mini to travel as desktop between two countries? How feasible?

Thanks MeFites for your assistance; now for a Mac Mini question! The Flashdrake is needs a new computer to take to Italy for around 5 months a year; he currently uses an all-in-one desktop PC in Australia running Windows 7 and a 23" screen. Has been using a 17" 2010 laptop now running Windows 8 when travelling to Italy, although doesn't like using it, finds the screen hard to see, and never got a handle on Win8. I could buy a new laptop, or a new desktop to keep overseas, but it seems that getting a Mac Mini and hitching it up to a monitor at either end. While we would still backup, it seems like an elegant solution. He is not familiar with the iOS, but loves his iPad, which he uses when he needs portability when out and about. Is there something that I'm missing here? I imagine that as long as we avoid an expensive Apple monitor (that's possible, right?) it would work well, with be relatively cost effective. Thoughts? What am I missing here?
posted by Flashduck on Feb 20, 2014 - 11 answers

Why are airline computer reservation systems so slow?

The computer reservation system that airline personnel at airports use to rebook flights for customers, change seats, and so on seem markedly slower than when the customer uses the internet to pick a seat, or book or change a flight. Why is that? [more inside]
posted by lassie on Feb 19, 2014 - 24 answers

2161 Pram Message for inaccessible storage device -- fixable?

My Data Traveller has become inaccessible showing up only in my devices and printers window as 2261 Pram, a new term for me. Placing the memory stick in other USB ports not helping and location G:\ seems impenetrable and unchain able as does everything on my storage device. Is there any chance the data is recoverable or has it died on me for good? I usually can fix and recover my own files -- until now...
posted by Alexandra Kitty on Feb 19, 2014 - 2 answers

Computer for the elderly

I maintain a PC for a user who has dementia and who breaks the computer in short order. So I installed DeepFreeze (thanks AskMe) and it has worked great, but now they turn off the computer without shutdown so it eventually blue screens and won't boot at all. What can I do to make the system impervious to turning off without shutdown? I'd like to stay with Windows if possible for a number of unrelated reasons, though open to Linux if there is no other option assuming it can be "frozen" cfg and remote management.
posted by stbalbach on Feb 18, 2014 - 9 answers

SO close to buying a new laptop, befuddled by technical details. Help?

I posted a question here about this last year, but since then my old laptop went belly-up and now I need to find a good replacement in kind of a hurry. I am looking for a few features and I don't have a lot to spend, but I have a big bunch of Amazon gift certificates I went to use on this. I am not a tech-head and trying to find the right laptop is confusing the heck out of me. Please, won't some kind soul help me? [more inside]
posted by Ursula Hitler on Feb 9, 2014 - 8 answers

My dad would have known the answer

My dad passed away on Friday, and my mom is eager to get into his computer (Song Vaio running Windows 7) and Blackberry (Bold). Both are password protected. Is there any way to change the password on each without wiping the data? I'm fairly computer literate, and my father will have every software disk he's ever received. We also have access to his email if that helps with the Blackberry. Thanks.
posted by i_am_a_fiesta on Feb 9, 2014 - 9 answers

Purchasing an Macbook Air?

I need a new laptop. Replacing my old MacBook Pro. Considering a MacBook Air. Details inside. [more inside]
posted by dbirchum on Feb 9, 2014 - 18 answers

Battlestation: Multiple desktops and monitors but 1 keyboard and 1 mouse

Hi, I have 1 keyboard, 1 mouse, and two desktop computers to use with a 3-monitor setup. I would like to know the best way to use a triple monitor setup where I can click a button and switch back and forth between desktop A and desktop B for the single keyboard/mouse and the monitors. Consolidating files onto one machine is not an option. Are there devices or hubs I could plug the keyboard/mouse/monitors and desktops into that can do this? Amazon links would be great.
posted by furious on Feb 5, 2014 - 14 answers

Buying a computer in the U.S.

I live in an EU country and will be visiting the States soon. I also need a new laptop (I'm a Mac user). Given the favorable exchange rate, does it make sense to buy it while I'm there? What kind of hardware or other issues will I face (charger, keyboard, etc.), and is it worth the hassle?
posted by Paris Elk on Feb 5, 2014 - 15 answers

How to remotely help father with computer.

My Dad often has trouble with the computer that run along the lines of "can't download email attachment" or "doesn't know how to forward email". I need a program that will allow me to access his computer remotely so I can do simple common tasks for him, as he's unable to retain the information even when we go through it step-by-step, over long drawn out phone calls. Being able to see what's on his screen, or to indicate to him where to click would simplify things for both of us greatly. I have used RealVNC before, but only within a home network and don't know how challenging it is to do over the internet. We are both using Windows 7. Thanks.
posted by roshy on Feb 3, 2014 - 18 answers

What is going on with my Ipod?

I started having problems with my Ipod and I am unsure of the best way to remedy the problem. [more inside]
posted by kbbbo on Feb 2, 2014 - 3 answers

Computer froze up, emitted melting plastic smell, but now works fine.

So, I have a PC. It was custom built by some guy but is nothing special. Runs XP, has a hard drive, etc. Earlier today I used it for 2-3 hours and then shut it down. It emitted a serious melting plastic smell that stunk up half the house, and it froze on the shutdown screen--the mouse would not move. I freaked out and unplugged it. There was no smoke or anything visible, and there were no sounds of any sort. I opened it up and nothing looks amiss. I started it up just now and it works fine. No smells, all the fans work fine. I'm actually using it to post this question. Any idea what could have happened? I'm 99% sure it was the computer emitting the smell--it was definitely localized right there.
posted by Slinga on Feb 1, 2014 - 12 answers

Ideas for my new laptop?

I am in the market for a new laptop but am so far out of the loop that I'd like your tips on what's even possible these days, please! [more inside]
posted by rubbish bin night on Jan 31, 2014 - 7 answers

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