I need a new laptop pronto, and I have a bunch of Amazon gift cards to spend! There are a couple of deals on Amazon today, but I've bought some lemons before (curse you, Lenovo!!) and I'm hoping the more computer-savvy folks of Ask Metafilter can help me pick a non-lemon this time. More info below... [more inside]
Since Apple decided to stop tethering their products, I've been seeing stories in the news about people just walking into stores in large groups and walking off with thousands of dollars worth of items. Explain Apple's business plan to me. [more inside]
I've decided it's finally time to figure out all that security/ encryption/ anonymity/ privacy stuff that the EFF is always talking about. Where do I start, and how much hassle am I looking at? [more inside]
It does this every so often and I'm not sure what to do. Details to follow. [more inside]
I'm 43 and want to learn to code for the fun of it...would love to hear from any non-coders out there who have successfully managed to do this. Can you give me an idea of what I can realistically expect out of this experience? Special snowflake details after the jump... [more inside]
Despite great efforts to understand computer network subnetting, I am hopelessly stuck and feel like I will never get it. What resources can I try that treat the topic differently for someone without a computer background? [more inside]
I'm using an old 401k rollover to pay for graduate school. Tuition is a higher education expense, so it qualifies for penalty-free withdrawals, and the PATH Act confirmed that "purchase of computer or peripheral equipment" is also a qualified expense (as is software). Do things like adapters and dongles fall under the aforementioned "computer and peripheral equipment", or would I have to separate those out? [more inside]
Artists of Metafilter: what do you do to avoid hand pain and/or eye strain? [more inside]
Hi, I need something that will automatically (or even with the relatively easy push of a button) back up all the files on my computer that have a certain extension. Specifically, I have a Mac and I want automatic backups of all my Excel and Word files but don't want backups of pdfs or anything else. [more inside]
I really enjoy reading semi-novel style books on the story of companies and technology. Do you have any recommendations for me? [more inside]
My friend has a Lenovo G770 laptop that has developed problems with the screen display and the battery. Coincidental? Or related? What is the hypothesis space and how do I whittle it down? More inside. [more inside]
Okay does it mean something bad when a website Vimeo doesn't appear correctly on TWO different browsers I have - safari and chrome? Especially when website looks perfectly fine on other people's computers? Also I have a mac. [more inside]
Make me seem less dumb. Do these fall under the designation of IT? [more inside]
I've been using a laptop for a little over four years now (started Win7, is currently Win10; problems persisted throughout) and it has the strangest issues that have popped up over the years, which each on their own is a cute quirk, but all together is gradually making my computer unusable. Help? [more inside]
I'm comfortable with computers, but far from an expert. But other people see my comfort and presume that I'm a total pro and ask that I take a look at their PC, because "its running too slow". What FREE bit of software would you recommend to optimize a person's Windows 7 PC so runs a bit faster or smoother? These users all use the Microsoft Suite and Firefox. Is there FREE software on the PC that deletes old caches or files or something similar?
Where can I find a replacement screen for my Sony Vaio T Series Ultrabook (SVT13125CXS)? [more inside]
I have an audiobook file I saved to the drive of my Nokia Lumia 521 Windows 8.1 phone. I have the app Audiobooked. It will only find audiobook files from an SD card (which I don't have and don't want), or OneDrive, or Dropbox. [more inside]
So I've enjoyed building computers as a hobby for years now. I enjoy putting the components together, reading comparison tests, looking at spec sheets and comparing prices, all that stuff. The problem is that I can't do it as often as I'd like because its too expensive! I need a hobby that's like building computer but is a lot cheaper. [more inside]
I recently set up a docking station for my laptop on a desk in my room. The only problem is that this seems to have really spotty WiFi coverage. Sometimes it's fine, sometimes it lags to hell when trying to load even something mostly text-based like Metafilter. Streaming is often impossible. I'm considering buying a range extender for my network - what should I keep in mind? [more inside]
I'm interested in the Dell Inspirion 15 5000 Series, but I'm not sure if Dell is worth the time. Chiefly, I need a good laptop for university, photography editing, blogging, writing essays, youtube, reddit, playing chess, downloading pdf files, computer programming, and possibly Minecraft. [more inside]
I love to be able to multitask on my ipad while I watch videos in 'picture in picture' mode. Is there a way I can emulate this on a PC? I found a Chrome extension that will do it for Youtube but it won't make the video 'always on top' so it goes away when I click on anything else. I'd like to find something that will do it for all video in a browser - whether that's chrome or something else. I'm running Windows 10.
My old laptop will not boot after trying to upgrade from 8.1 to 10. It's trying to do the scan & repair thing but it gets hung up at 12% and then shuts down completely. (Overheating, I assume, because it won't start again at all for about ten minutes, then it does the same as before, pausing at 12% etc.) [more inside]
I've finally run my SSD out of room. Do I need to replace my SSD with a bigger one, or can I just add another SSD for games and stuff? [more inside]
I want a 23"/24" monitor for my mac mini. I do a lot of writing/reading PDFs + long texts plus fair amount of photo editing. Speakers wanted.Not sure if webcams in monitors are worth it. Would be used in sunny room in FL, so anti-glare advice welcome as well. Thanks.
I have a Lenovo Ideapad that is approaching 2 years old. It's been a pretty good computer and has held up fairly well, but over the last month the screen has started flickering in many positions that aren't just straight up and down. E.g. if I'm on a couch and it's in my lap, the screen may flicker if I adjust my legs. If I have it resting at a an angle to write in bed, the screen tends to flicker any time it moves, until I can get it into a relatively stable position. Is this fixable, and if not, how much longer is my laptop for the world?
My 13-year-old loves memes, the kind that are a photo with amusing text over them. Unfortunately if he starts looking for them, they quickly become racist, sexist, degrade people with disabilities, etc. Is there anywhere safe to look for this kind of humor? [more inside]
My elderly relatives live far away, and I would like to find a way to set up a completely foolproof video chat solution. We use skype and facetime, but they don't like crowding together on the couch, their computer doesn't have a great screen, and their lighting is really poor. They are not terrible with technology, but the solution needs to be really simple. [more inside]
I have an exciting opportunity to expand my transcription business by taking on some work transcribing real-time lectures at the local universities next semester. However, with all of the equipment I'll need to carry, I fear that my everyday laptop is too big and heavy to drag around all day. I'd like to buy a used, maybe a few years old, lightweight device that I can transcribe from, but I'm not sure what I should be looking at exactly. [more inside]
I installed Malwarebytes on my home machine, and it immediately found what it identified as a Trojan inside its own folder. I'm trying to figure out whether this could be a conflict with Norton, or whether it's something worse. [more inside]
While browsing Wikipedia I got a pop-up message on my screen: "Your IP [address redacted] has been blocked. Error message zk3.com". Then this: http://imgur.com/nHhXNub. Then using Logmein I was communicating to a person who showed me on my event viewer that I had 53,,906 admin errors, and to fix these I needed to pay Secureweb LLV $240.00. I said they were holding me to ransom and closed the session. [more inside]
I have one hard drive with some important documents on it and I'm looking to protect these contents in the event of theft. What's the best (not too difficult) way to do this? I'm on Apple OS.
I'm looking for some help cutting through the mix of crap that Google throws up and finding some quality free (or very inexpensive) resources for learning the statistical programming language R. [more inside]
I produce a podcast with guests chatting comedically in two locations. Skype and Google Hangouts mute one side's mic while the other side is talking, which really messes with people trying to interject jokes. Are there any (relatively simple) VOIP solutions that allow crosstalk and interruptions? (Audio consistency is much more important than audio quality, and we'd like to still have video.)
Say you buy a used computer or laptop and install a clean copy of the operating system on the hard drive that came with it. Is there any reason it might still be potentially unsafe to use, like hidden keylogging hardware? Spy programs that stay on the HD even with a clean install of the OS? Ant eggs inside the computer just waiting to hatch? Just kidding. But seriously, anything?
* I AM NOT LOOKING FOR HELP CONVERTING VIDEOS, HANDBRAKE IS NOT WHAT I NEED * I have a chromebook which can play MKV files but almost never plays the audio. I've read that there are programs that can 'remux' video so that it switches the container type or some such instead of actually converting the video. The programs that have been suggested are baffling and I have no idea how to do the remux with them. So I need advice on what program to use as well as how to use it. Thank you very much! [more inside]
The hard drive on my Dell Optiplex 745, 11/2006 vintage, failed. Is there any reason why replacing the drive and keeping this thing running for a few more years might be a penny wise pound foolish decision? If replacing the drive seems reasonable, what should I keep in mind as I source a new one? Details follow. [more inside]
I need to schedule people for appointments at various intervals, ideally using some form of...software?, and I'd like to do it all in one go at the start. I guess this is a computer problem, but maybe it's a math problem. Shoot. [more inside]
I've got a 2011 MBP that I'd like to prep for sale. It's still running Snow Leopard (and I don't have the boot disks.) What's the easiest, most idiot-proof way to wipe it clean so I can sell it? Is it worth going to the Apple Store for this sort of thing?
I purchased a British HC book some years ago which focused on the labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral (it was on the B&W cover) - the book was structured in three parts, one dealing with the labyrinth and its meaning, the other two parts concerned a startup company developing software/computer architecture and there was a direct link to the Chartres theme. [more inside]
So I've got a macbook air. There is NOT a ton of room left on it. But somehow a bunch (like 25-30) photos I took were deleted. I'm still not sure how. And I want to restore JUST those photos. But as I understand it, I need to restore the entire library. And I don't have enough room for TWO libraries on this computer. So is it possible to just go back, look for the photos I want, and restore JUST those? If so...how? Latest mac OSX.
We have a closet full of old paper forms at work. We'd like to convert them into a csv of 'name', 'email' to import into our email list. Is there a service that would do this for us? Or is there a certain google search term I should use? [more inside]
We can use our computing rigs for bitcoin mining. But are there other programs/projects where one could use their computing power to earn money? For example, we know prime numbers are rare and are useful (e.g. cryptography). Is there a market for finding prime numbers? There is considerable computing investment required to find a prime number. I guess someone has to pay for that. [more inside]
Do you have a base (or low) model recent Mac Mini? How does it work for general internet use, including streaming and itunes? I like to use Firefox and open a lot of tabs, and use a few script heavy sites like Amazon. Interested in your experience with THIS PARTICULAR SETUP (or maybe the higher model Minis). Does it work fine? Or does it choke? Thx!
We're working with a Syrian refugee family in our community (Canada has a lot these days!). I've been tasked with sourcing and setting up a computer for them to use for basic web browsing and Facebook. I've tried twice, run into trouble each time, and would love suggestions from anyone who's familiar with setting up computers in Arabic. Windows? Ubuntu? Details inside. [more inside]
I have a pretty old MacBook pro (probably 7-8 years old) that's very sluggish and glitchy. I'd like to relegate it for the single purpose of running Logic Pro. It currently runs Logic but very slowly and crashes often. Can I like wipe the whole thing somehow and make it do nothing but run Logic well? [more inside]
I'm a liberal-arts-ish woman who has some experience with computer programming (HTML, CSS and PHP) and a ton of graphics/design experience. I hear about code bootcamps and lots of people changing careers to CS, and I'm wondering if it would be a good idea to try and develop my programming skills. But I'm worried I'm not geeky enough to hack it. [more inside]
How do I safely connect my computing equipment to a surge protector and a far away wall socket? [more inside]
Hello all. I'm looking to build or buy a new rig for photo editing in Lightroom CC (6). I'm dealing with some rather large .dng files around 60-90 MB in size and it's just killing my current rig. My current computer is a 5 year old HP Pavilion Elite HPE-170f with an Intel Core i7 920 2.66 GHz, 15 GB Memory, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 with 1.8 GB Memory and a 500 GB Samsung EVO 850 SSD for my OS (Windows 7) and my Camera Raw Cache (currently set at 25 GB). My images are currently stored on a separate internal HDD. It's a pretty slow WD Green drive. [more inside]
I had a few days where I didn't look at my screens (laptop, smartphone) several hours before bed, and wow-- it made a huge difference in my quality of sleep. I rely on a computer for much of my work, and my smartphone for much of my mindless time-wasting in the evenings. What are some things I can to do change this habit? [more inside]