I swear: the next time I see or hear "in this economy" as an intro to an advertisement or buying advice article, I'm going to drop kick the responsible party out of the nearest window. Regardless of gainful employment, who doesn't want to spend a little less to get something cool? I don't know about you, but finding a great deal always puts a little bounce in my step. What I like even more is helping others find what they want without requiring them to drop a massive wad of cash. In that spirit, here'… Read more
For some, finding the lowest price for a computer monitor trumps all other factors, including features, size, and brand. For those "some" of you, this is the blog you've been waiting for.
Here, I'll outline what I think are the best techniques for finding monitors that are priced the lowest.
Go small The smaller your monitor's screen size, the less work it takes to illuminate. Thus, the less expensive it is. Simple math, really. Obviously, you'll buy per your needs, but if funds are an issue, go as small as you can stand. I … Read more
You've heard every mantra and cautionary tale a dozen times, but if you still haven't backed up that hard drive by now, the lessons haven't sunk in. It may not seem like a big deal if everything's humming along, but losing files or precious photos to malware, food spills, fire, or any other corrosive indignity brings on those twin sensations of panic and despair. This article takes you through some simple hardware and software solutions to save those files, then weighs the pros and cons of each approach.
Back up to an external hard drive
External hard drives and network-attached storage are local ways to back up your files to a physical drive that lives outside your PC. Since network-attached storage devices are typically for the home networker with multiple computers to safeguard from data loss, most people looking for a basic backup option will lean toward external hard drives, like some of these CNET favorites.
After purchasing an external drive, you'll just plug it into your computer to get started. Most conventional drives like the ultraportable 320GB Seagate FreeAgent Go will trigger your computer to open a separate drive folder, like "Removable Drive F:". Copying or dragging the files you'd like to save from their original folder into the external drive folder transfers them over.
The purpose-built 320GB Clickfree Portable Backup Drive provides an even simpler backup method. After plugging it in, the drive's native software automatically finds and backs up all of your computer's data. Not bad for about $200. If that's not enough storage space for you, there's also the four-bay Drobo for serious data nuts. It's not without its shortcomings, including its high price. For backups, it's best used for creating redundancy in case one of your other drives fail.
Desktop backup software
One of the primary advantages of using software to copy your files is being able to schedule backups of your data, although all programs will let you manually back up data as well. While most people will find online storage solutions the easiest to maintain, desktop backup software has its merits.
For example, for $50, the Acronis True Image Home 2009 images your hard drive, including your programs, documents, music, photos, and Outlook e-mail. In the event of a crash, you can boot it from the PC or from a CD.… Read more
How To Videos from Howcast.com is a free app for watching and browsing through videos from this popular how-to Web site when you're away from your computer. The useful (and often funny) videos from Howcast cover everything from "How to Roast a Perfect Chicken" to "How to Clip Your Cat's Nails" to "How to Kiss Like Angelina Jolie."
The iPhone and iPod Touch app for Howcast lets you quickly search for videos or browse through playlists as well as featured, top-rated, and most recently uploaded videos. You can also add a … Read more
When we spoke with TomTom's representatives concerning the new GO 740 Live, the navigation device was described as offering a "God's-eye view" of the road. Now, the GO isn't omniscient, but it puts a good deal of information at the driver's fingertips with realtime traffic data, weather forecasts, live fuel pricing, and Local Search powered by Google.
Additionally, TomTom Map Share is a user-generated map correction system that allows for map data to be updated more frequently, while IQ Routes looks at historical speed data to calculate the fastest route from point to point. … Read more
In order to share files on a network in the past "classic" Mac operating system, you had to access and set up items in several locations. First, you needed to enable file sharing in one location, then add users in another location, and finally navigate to individual folders in the finder to set up sharing for those locations. Because of the multiple steps for sharing items, people could lose track of the shared folders, and the permissions that each user had for the specific share point.… Read more
Updated August 18, 2011.
If you're an iTunes user (download for Windows|Mac) whose appetite for music, movies, and podcasts is outstripping the capacity of your computer, it might be a good time to think about offloading that library to an external hard drive or a separate internal drive. If you do it right, the process is relatively simple, although the transfer time could take an hour or more, depending on the size of your media library.
The good news is that it's incredibly easy. So easy anyone can do it. Then again, if you're new to Gmail (which is just the type of person this feature is aimed at), the process can be confusing.
Yesterday, we took a look at the TomTom One 140 S and found that we liked it, but wanted a bigger screen.
Today, we find ourselves on the road with the TomTom XL 340 S, which takes all of the features that we praised in the One (lane guidance, IQ Routes, Map Share, and text-to-speech) and packages them behind a larger 4.3-inch wide screen.
The result is an easier to read map, more accurate menu navigation and address entry, and a generally more enjoyable in-car experience. Even though we initially had our doubts about the new EasyPort mount, the … Read more
It's always the case that what is now premium tier will one day be entry level. That's just the way it goes as products become more advanced and users more sophisticated.
Which brings us to the TomTom One 140 S. We've had a few short looks at the One 140 in previous weeks. At first glance, the One 140 S seems like the poster-child for entry-level portable navigation devices, with its small, 3.5-inch screen and unassuming form factor. However, look beneath the surface and you'll find features that were only available on TomTom's top-of-the-line … Read more