So: junior has saved up to buy his own computer. Since we're, by habit, a Mac family since forever, but he's opting for a PC, I'm finding the thicket of options a little overwhelming. The main issue is to reconcile requirements for gaming, durability (and potential futureablility) and price. (Also: we're in Europe, so some models/options don't seem as readily available as in the US.) The other main piece of information I'm missing is the reliability - in terms of build quality and service - of PC brands. Is there a good place to find some guidance - or is it really a lot easier than it seems? [more inside]
posted by progosk
on Mar 2, 2014 -
I have an ongoing need to make hard disk clones and images/snapshots for home and business use. What's the easiest, most effective path to do this? [more inside]
posted by diode
on Feb 18, 2014 -
I browse the internet using Firefox Portable (run from a USB) on whichever PCs I'm using (at work, at the public library, on friends' PCs, etc.), and Firefox on my smartphone (Samsung Galaxy S3). Is there some way (e.g. software I can install) that I can have every URL I visit automatically sent to my email address? [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange
on Feb 13, 2014 -
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 -
I am in need of a new laptop, and I am considering the purchase of a Mac instead of a PC. Can you help me work out the pros and cons? [more inside]
posted by msali
on Feb 4, 2014 -
I need to give some video files to an editor who needs a Mac-formatted drive. I only run Windows. Happy to (have my producer) pay a reasonable amount for the privilege. What are your favorite programs for this purpose?
posted by Shotgun Shakespeare
on Feb 3, 2014 -
My Windows 7 PC (HP H8-1300z) has been working quite fine for the past 2 years but it recently began acting up and I can't figure out why. Everytime I attempt to do a copy/paste (backup) with large volume of folders from one drive to another (external) the PC freezes. The fan also randomly goes crazy for a minute or two and then stops. [more inside]
posted by bostonhill
on Jan 26, 2014 -
I want to buy a new desktop PC, but there is a distinct lack of resources available. What should I be looking for in a desktop machine? Please don't say "a Macintosh." [more inside]
posted by alicetiara
on Jan 25, 2014 -
I'd like a thin and light 1080p laptop. It does not need to be powerful, but it does need to be cheap
. I'd like to spend about $300, but it must be under $500. The perfect machine would be something like a chromebook, but with a higher res screen than the ones I'm aware of. The resolution requirement trumps the thin and light requirements. [more inside]
posted by jsturgill
on Jan 7, 2014 -
I have a "WiFi-Ready" SmartTV
(meaning it doesn't have a built-in wireless adapter, but has USB ports for one and ethernet port) and I'm looking to avoid the additional adapter by utilizing the fact that it is HDMI 1.4 compliant and my computer is 3 feet away with a decent internet connection. I have the appropriate HDMI /w Ethernet cable but don't know if this is something that was at all intended when the standard was put together. [more inside]
posted by gzimmer
on Jan 5, 2014 -
I use an ancient MS Natural Keyboard, but the main thing that's relevant here is the key mechanism.
The Goog will show you models old and new
I recently took mine apart, cleaned the plastic parts with water, got it nice and clean (years of accumulated cookie crumbs, etc.)
The problem is - now the keys are kind of stiff. For example, if I strike them at a slight angle, they don't depress as smoothly as before.
The standard advice online is to clean a keyboard to prevent
sticky keys, but I have the opposite problem.
Is there some kind of lube/oil/spray I can use?
posted by 4midori
on Dec 30, 2013 -
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 -
I'm getting tired of Skype constantly resetting my phone while video chatting [more inside]
posted by Ryogen
on Dec 25, 2013 -
I have a lot of PDFs and some of them contain my notes and annotations. How can I single out the annotated files without opening them all, one by one? [more inside]
posted by bollockovnikov
on Dec 12, 2013 -
I'm trying to remember the name of an early '90s DOS-based football game which featured various horror movie-type monsters instead of human players. And it's not Mutant League Football. [more inside]
posted by hiteleven
on Dec 8, 2013 -
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 -
I am trying to find this PC game I remember playing as a kid (mid-late 80's). It was maybe EGA era, definitely at least CGA. Me and a friend believe the name of it was something like "Destiny". It was a north/east/south/west/look kind of game with RPG elements. I don't remember a ton about it, except that we really enjoyed it, and never completed it because it was corrupted when we got to the end. One of the striking images I have is a green venus fly-trap like creature, with eyes on stalks. As you fought it and did damage, you would lop eyes off, and ichor would ooze out. (These were still images no animation, but updates throughout battles). I also remember something about a fountain and gems at the bottom of it as well (yeah, real specific I know!). I believe the end involved orcs and a throne or a crown, but it's getting real hazy at this time. If you have any recollection of this game, I'd love to hear about it, to prove that me and my childhood friend are not having group hallucinations, and to maybe track it down and play again.
posted by xipher
on Dec 4, 2013 -
I'm looking to replace my development laptop with a more powerful model. I'm having a hard time finding a model with everything I need. Do you have any recommendations? [more inside]
posted by Vorteks
on Nov 27, 2013 -
-PC action-adventure game, mostly action, but I do remember simple adventure things like moving blocks or unlocking doors
-first person view
-can't remember how health stats and weaponry were viewed
-Had to rescue a woman (go figure), but not sure if she was royalty or anything, just motivation to do the journey
-Started in kobold (or kobolt) caverns, there was a spider cavern section where it was tunnels burrowed by the spiders themselves, a lava cavern/mining level where you had to break down a rock borer (might have been a laser)
-mid to late 90's probably because it's graphics were close to Quake 2, just not as smooth [more inside]
posted by LittleNami
on Nov 22, 2013 -
Long term Mac user, 90% of work is browser (chrome) based and other than that I use skype, evernote, 1password, coda, join.me etc. I run my own web based business and consider myself almost but not quite a geek. Purchase price and maintenance costs are important to me but also given my browser based use I now doubt that I can justify the extra $ for a mac. [more inside]
posted by lapsang
on Nov 13, 2013 -
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).
posted by oxit
on Nov 9, 2013 -
I'd like some recommendations for easy-to-play PC-based video games that an uncoordinated person could enjoy. [more inside]
posted by alex1965
on Nov 8, 2013 -
I am buying a Mac for the first time. For budgetary reasons the Mac Mini is the only option on the table. Having convinced myself that the increased outlay for an Apple device over a generic desktop PC is worth it, I am now stumped on the question of which Mac Mini to buy. Please help me decide which model to choose. [more inside]
posted by jonnyploy
on Oct 29, 2013 -
Hi, I want to get a refurb PC running Windows 7 (for occasional use), get one of the beefy, business-use laptops that cost crazy money about 3-4 years ago. Now I see these machines for $200-$300. I near good things about the Lenovo t400 & t61, but I'm open, also wonder if people can suggest places like Newegg, etc., that are good or to be avoided. Thanks!
posted by ambient2
on Oct 19, 2013 -
My husband and I bought two monitors a little over 12 months ago. They worked just fine for 6 months when his developed an intermittent fault. Essentially, the screen abruptly goes static-y and weird, and horrible noise comes out the speakers - I guess it should be described as interference. None of the controls work and it has to be powered down and back on again. Two months after his started going wrong, mine did too - exactly the same way. [more inside]
posted by ninazer0
on Oct 13, 2013 -
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 -
Just wondering if I should invest my time/money into this game (having NO experience with it in the past). [more inside]
posted by dbirchum
on Oct 7, 2013 -
I have a 2yr old and lots of video I take almost daily: I love how the iOS apps Qwiki and FrameBlast automatically/randomly cut and assemble videos on my iPhone to make a video montage - sometimes it lands on a really nice selection and I feel wonderful sense of serendipity. With little or no effort, I have a great video to share with friends and family.
What are some PC desktop equivalent software programs that will make a very busy guy's family video montage creation easier?
posted by cha4
on Oct 5, 2013 -
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 -
So now I have a job I'd like to splash out on a gift for myself for Christmas. I'd like to upgrade my aging desktop rig to something that can handle the Oculus Rift and give the kind of smooth, reliable performance it requires, preferably without breaking the bank. Some advice on recommended specs would be much appreciated. [more inside]
posted by Drexen
on Sep 16, 2013 -
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 -
My computer's rear panel USB ports periodically stop working -- even after replacing the motherboard. I'm at the limits of my diagnostic abilities here. Has anyone ever seen anything like this? [more inside]
posted by teraflop
on Sep 9, 2013 -
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 -
Is there a standalone tool which would allow one to create an offline form which must (1) be completed via Tablet PC stylus - that is, accept handwritten entry; (2) prompt the user if required "fields" have not been completed? [more inside]
posted by Ian.I.Am
on Aug 27, 2013 -
Need non-violent game recommendations. Have Xbox 360 (never used), a badass PC, and iPad. Like pretty, detailed environments, exploration, puzzles/deduction, mystery, adventure. Dislike all but the most very mild violence, and also not very good with things that are time-sensitive (like having to do things very, very quickly or have a good reaction time to succeed). Many years ago in the mid-late '90s I enjoyed Myst/Riven, The 7th Guest, Zork Nemesis, the X-Files game, the Titanic game, and a couple other exploring worlds/figuring things out things that I can't remember the names of. [more inside]
posted by rabbitrabbit
on Aug 16, 2013 -
I played the PC game Worms years ago. Which of the many current sequels (if any) has that community moved to? [more inside]
posted by 4th number
on Aug 16, 2013 -
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 -
PhillyPhilter: I need the services of folks in Philadelphia who might be able to fix or at least diagnose a busted laptop on short notice. Seemingly randomly, my high-end Clevo-style PC laptop started to show random visual artifacts when in Windows... and then even when booting up the BIOS... and then freezing horribly. I have no idea what is going on, and I have two academic manuscripts that are coming up to being due. However onerous, I could go to the university library to work on this, as I have all of my work backed up. Unfortunately, I have the misfortune that I am going to be traveling out of my area starting this weekend, for almost a full week. So I need help fast if at all possible, and I would prefer not to mail this damn thing to Michigan where it came from if I can avoid it. Where can I turn to in Philadelphia for this kind of PC laptop fixing service?
posted by Keter
on Aug 7, 2013 -
So, I know there have been variations on this theme but could use some advice on a laptop purchase. I mainly use a mac for work but would like a windows machine for light gaming (current games like Assasin's Creed, etc), but also for coding (LAMP stack) and running a Linux VM. [more inside]
posted by evilelf
on Aug 5, 2013 -
A year ago, I bought a new TV
with HDMI capability and hooked it up to my PC to work as a monitor (with a straight HDMI cable connection). IT. IS. AWESOME.
I just moved into a new place with more room and now want to connect my surround sound system (5 speakers) to this setup as well.
This is the receiver
I'm considering purchasing and from what I can tell, will do what I need.
Extra potentially pertinent info:
- PC has two HDMI ports (one on the video card)
- Nintendo Wii connected directly to TV via RCA cables
- BluRay player connected to TV via HDMI cable
I want my setup to allow me to use the surround sound at all times (when watching broadcast TV, when using the TV as the PC monitor, when using the BluRay player and when using the Wii (this is the least important)). I'm assuming the TV will connect to the receiver (via HDMI) and the PC will also connect to the receiver (via HDMI) and all other hook-ups will remain as-is.
Thanks in advance for any advice or tips on how to make this easy! This will be my dream setup so I'm excited to get it right.
posted by Twicketface
on Jul 29, 2013 -
For his birthday, my son would like to upgrade the graphics card on his Dell Inspiron 560. Little help here? [more inside]
posted by not_on_display
on Jul 23, 2013 -
I'm currently filling out a profile on elance.com for web development jobs and am being asked to indicate which skills I possess. Some of the choices include MacOSX and Windows. I've also seen people list these on resumes(used to work in HR) in the same section where they list proficiency in MS Word, or even in a separate section for operating systems, for pretty much every kind of job, not just tech-related. [more inside]
posted by fromageball
on Jul 23, 2013 -
I need a 3.5 inch disk drive to read some old documents on my Mac. The SmartDisk drive I just bought on Amazon was not well made, and today after very little use the drive head just fell out the front like a broken tooth. Can anyone recommend a more sturdy floppy disk drive? Would it be better to just get an enclosure for an old PC drive?
posted by steinsaltz
on Jul 8, 2013 -