Hidden Costs of Purchasing a New Computer

Your computer just stopped working and you may think it will be cheaper and better to go for a new computer rather than get it repaired. Seems like a logical choice as a new computer may only be slightly higher than the repair. For the average home user, all they need to do is just plug it in and go everything will work ok won’t it?

Setting up a new computer and transferring the data can make the cost of a new computer blow out. Plus there are other gotcha’s you need to be aware of. Here is a list of things to be aware of that can add to the cost of a new computer:

  1. Peripherals. If you have an old peripheral such as a scanner or printer is it may not run under newer operating systems. Thus you may need to buy a new device or have us help find the right software for you.
  2. Transferring your data (documents, music, internet favorites and pictures) from your old compuer to your new one.
  3. Setup of email and transfer of old emails, contacts and calendars.
  4. Software such as antivirus / security programs, MS Office, finance packages etc. Do you still have the CD’s or activation codes for all your software or will you need to buy new versions?
  5. Setting up the new computer on your network and configuring it to run with the Internet, printers etc.
  6. Time to learn a new operating system and software.

Cloud based applications like email, finance packages etc may make the setup easier but there are still lots of potential issues you need to be aware of.There are also other factors not listed above that can may be unique to your situation so double check things with your IT consultant before making the plunge.

Hibernation Versus Sleep Mode: What is the difference?

A lot of people ask me “What is the difference between Hibernation and Sleep Modes on my Computer?”. So here is a brief explanation in non-technical terms.

Hibernation mode:

  • Primarily a power saving function.
  • Saves data to the hard drive and then turns off the computer.
  • Uses the least amount of power.
  • Use this mode when you know you are leaving your laptop and might not have a chance to juice up the battery and you don’t want to lose what programs and data you currently have open.
  • The computer or laptop can be moved with no chance of damage as all components are off.

Sleep mode:

  • This function is also power saving on your battery but unlike hibernation low amounts of power is still being consumed.
  • Puts the computer into an “as is” condition so when you come back, everything you were working on should be back to where it was.
  • Should take just a few seconds to resume back to how you left it.
  • Does not totally shutdown the computer like with hibernation but powers down components that are not needed.
  • Moving the computer may damage some components as some parts may still be operational.

In a nutshell, sleep mode is the best option for short period of downtime and hibernate for longer down times.

For those having problems, here is a quick troubleshooting guide:

  • XP and Vista users with low memory – neither hibernation or sleep should be used if you are having problems.
  • Windows 7 & 8 should not have any problems. If you do, you might want to get your computer looked at.

Introduction to MS Windows 8

Windows 8 is Microsoft attempt to bring together the interface on both computers, smart phones and tablets. This has made the interface different to older operating systems such as MS Windows 7 and XP and has confused a lot of people. We have put together a video tutorial which guides you through the basics of Windows 8 and shows you the shortcuts on how you can get the best use out of the new operating system.

Topics included in the video are:

  • the new Windows 8 features.
  • start screen.
  • the charms bar.
  • Windows 8 Apps (aka Metro Apps).
  • the desktop.
  • Snapit.
  • various other shortcuts, tips and tricks.

Check out our YouTube video on our YouTube channel listed below:

Windows 8 Tutorialhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wAlVz3tJvw

The video is targetted at new users or people thinking of upgrading to Windows 8. If you have any questions or comments on the video please leave them below.