Jun 01

Cheap Laptops

Cheap Laptops

Looking for good value for money? Want a laptop with decent speed but don’t want to spend your lifes savings? Then Gigabyte may be the brand you are looking for when it comes to Cheap Laptops.

Cheap Laptops

Gigabyte is a much newer brand than the usual suspects, Acer, Dell & HP. Launched in 1986, for years Gigabyte have focused on spare components such as motherboards and add-on cards etc. A few years ago Gigabyte launched its range of notebook computers which has taken the market by storm with far superior pricing than competitors. This doesn’t necessarily mean that when you buy this brand you are buying a product of inferior quality or specification.

As always there are things to look out for when buying cheap laptops however with Gigabyte these are normally on the surface and internally you are still getting a quality product.

Gigabyte utilize intel processors and motherboards, pretty much the same internal product as most other manufacturers however at better pricing and normally with a longer warranty. Where most manufacturers offer a standard 1 year warranty with an option to pay and upgrade, gigabyte offers a 2 year warranty as standard.

So where do they save money you may ask? With most of their products there are very few tell-tale signs as to the price difference however it is worth reading reviews on the particular model that you are looking at for user experience and after-sales satisfaction. For example, this article has been written on the Q1585N model which sports an i5 Processor and 2gb of memory. Performance-wise the machine is fantastic and for a little over R5000 is surprisingly powerful and quick. It even runs some of the newest games such as “Call of Duty, Black Ops2” albeit at a slightly lower spec than one would like but it runs it nonetheless. (Take into account this machine was launched nearly 3 years ago and still holds its own).

The screen is a high-gloss 15’6” LED with brilliant clarity and a decent refresh rate. General operations are smooth and quick and the machine exceeds expectations in almost every department. The only criticism that can be noted about this machine is a touchpad that does feel a bit cheap however other than that the rest of the machine looks, feels and behaves like a quality product.

Many other manufacturers will try to justify their pumped-up pricing with fancy stickers and claims of high quality audio and the like but in truth most use similar internal components and are identical other than the badge on the front. At the end of the day it really boils down to the following; Processor speed and graphics capability. Ram/Memory can normally be upgraded for as little as R200 and most machines today come out with a minimum of 500gb hard drive space which is sufficient for the majority of users.

An entry level Gigabyte notebook will cost you a little over R3500 and comes with all the same features as similarly spec’d competitors. If you are looking for value for money, start here.  Get in touch for a quote today, even if you do like the fancy brands such as HP and Dell, we will deliver and assist with all setup requirements to get you started.

Permanent link to this article: http://computerdoc.co.za/blog/cheap-laptops/

May 15

Blackberry Z10 vs Q10

Blackberry Z10 vs Q10

Blackberry Z10 vs Q10

The new blackberry Q10 has just been launched and blackberry fans wait with baited breath to see this device in action.

Didn’t blackberry just release the Z10?

They sure did, however the Q10 has arrived as its similarly spec’d baby brother.

What’s the difference?

All though the Q10 has similar specifications it is smaller, lighter, and for those users that still aren’t true touch screen fans, the standard and familiar blackberry qwerty keyboard, albeit an edited, streamlined version. Another improvement is the Q10s 2100mAH battery, compared to the 1800mAH of the Z10. With a smaller display, this means the new device is better suited to intense users than its touch screen predecessor.

Boasting an 8mb camera with a resolution of up to 3264 x 2448 pixels this device will not leave users wanting for photographic quality. Other features include 1080p video capabilities as well as the all new Blackberry 10 OS. Blackberry also seem to have been generous with memory specifications, giving the Q10 16GB of storage and 2gb of RAM. With a Dual Core 1.5Ghz Processor the Q10 packs more punch than many Netbooks on the market today. This is a noticeable change from blackberry devices of old and give the Q10 an impressive smoothness and fluidity when roaming through menu’s and switching between applications. Additional party tricks include an Accelerometer, gyro, proximity sensor and compass as well as many other gimmicks for the techno fiends among you.

Any Downsides?

Unfortunately, the short answer is yes. All though an impressive device, with a hefty price tag of R8999, many users would rather opt for the cheaper Samsung or iPhone alternatives. In addition, software for the new devices (Z10 & Q10) is limited so far as not all developers have joined the party where blackberry’s new OS is concerned. Some of the apps that won’t run on BB’s 10.1 OS are whatsapp, fnb’s banking app and dropbox to name a few.

Hopefully device support will improve in time however for those users crippled by the loss of these applications, blackberry will have to do better to compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung.

For more on Blackberry Z10 vs Q10 click here to read Blackberry’s official review

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://computerdoc.co.za/blog/blackberry-z10-vs-q10/

May 06

Web Development

Web development and SEO (search engine optimization) have become a hot topic on everyone’s lips in today’s world of technology and fast paced business mentality.

The reasons for this are endless however here are some advantages for you to think about moving forward in order to give your business the edge that it needs to succeed in today’s cutthroat working world.

Web Development

A website needs to be functional as well as look good. In fact, often, the functionality is more relevant than a decent looking site. “Functional” in this context refers to the correct setup and optimization for ranking in website searches (from google, yahoo, Bing etc), assisting people in actually finding your site. It is almost pointless having a great looking site that nobody can find or that is not optimized correctly. Therefore the correct balance is important.

Seo –  Search Engine Optimization

If you are unaware, this is the structuring/optimization of a website in order to gain ranking and become “more available” when online searches occur. This has become an imperative role where the internet is concerned and is a service that can prove invaluable in gaining new business and marketing your company.

According to google, 97% of searches for local businesses are done online. This is a huge market that should be tapped and utilized by everybody. “So lets build a website” you say. All though that is a great start it now becomes a matter of being seen by as many of this 97% as possible. This is where SEO comes in and why it has become such an important and sought after practise. The beauty of SEO is that unlike the “real world”, it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune and can be even more powerful than large scale conventional advertising.

If you have let yourself or business get a little behind the times then it may be time to start thinking about creating a website and advertising online. The Computer Doc will assist you in the process from start to finish and offers some of the best bang for your buck. We can assist from Web Development and implementation right through to SEO and site maintenance. Contact us to find out more or click here to read more about our Web Development Services.

web development

Permanent link to this article: http://computerdoc.co.za/blog/web-development/

Apr 29

PC Backup

Your PC Backup

One of the most neglected issues in today’s technologically driven world is the pc backup.

Users far and wide are losing work daily as hard drives crash and drives fail causing complete devastation in its wake. Not only can one lose work and mail, but users lose irreplaceable data such as family photos or videos daily.

There is no worse feeling than the loss of this data, especially when years of valuable memories or thousands of hours worth of work are at stake.

Before this happens to you, or even if it has before, you may be interested in some tips in keeping you covered for future.  There is a very simple and obvious resolution and although this may not always be practical, there are many ways in which to implement it and make it easier.

The rule of thumb is this; Always keep one or more copies of your data. Whether on another hard drive, another computer or even online (provided this is a secure and reliable source).

Allthough there may be an initial outlay for hardware, it will be worth your while when disaster does strike, and there are some fantastic free applications that will assist you in automating your pc backup and taking the responsibility off your hands.

Cobian backup is one of these applications and is a great, simple way in which to automate this system for you and can backup to any destination for you whether over a network to an alternate machine or to an external hard drive. It will also give you options on what type of backup you require, from full, incremental, differential etc and allows you to select the exact source and exact destination making it simple and automatic taking human error out of the equation. Once setup you can leave this to run and just check on things every now and then to ensure drive space is still okay etc.

The ideal situation is to have 2 external drives, which you can swap out on a weekly basis, and keep one of these at a separate location at all times. This way in the event of fire or theft, you always have a copy of your data elsewhere and do not have “all your eggs in one basket”. This is also where an online pc backup service could come in handy. The limitations with this option come into play when file sizes are large and in this case physical media is more appropriate.

For more information or for advice in setting up a pc backup solution click here to give us a call and we will assist.

PC Backup

Permanent link to this article: http://computerdoc.co.za/blog/pc-backup/

Apr 22

Lightening Fast Internet

So-net Entertainment, a Sony- Backed Internet Service Provider have just launched a Lightning fast internet technology based on Fibre Optic technology. The Nuro as the new service is called is said to boast speeds of up to 2Gbps…That’s 200 hundred times faster than South Africa’s fastest ADSL connection, currently sitting at 10Mbps. At this speed, one would theoretically be able to download a 1 Gigabyte file in less than 20 seconds. This would even surpass most hard disk speeds and is a new level of speed as we know it.

This new service is said to be launched to home and business users at a cost of roughly R500 per month for a 2 year contract with a R5000 installation fee. This is equivalent to what the majority of South Africans pay for a 4mb service today (excluding the hefty installation) however is relatively reasonable considering the advancement and sheer speed of the service.

To compare, the Google Fibre broadband Internet service offers 1 Gbps download speed — and that’s still 100 times faster than today’s average home ADSL connection.

With todays Seacom outages and service issues throughout southern africa we often wonder how long services like these will reach our shores and whether or not these will be solely for the super rich or giant corporations.

At present the service is available in Tokyo and six surrounding areas however the technology is said to be spreading fast.

We can only hope that this reaches us soon and that we too can enjoy the benefits of “first world” technology!

In the interim, for good old fashioned home-grown click here to contact us..

fast internet

Permanent link to this article: http://computerdoc.co.za/blog/lightening-fast-internet/

Apr 14

8 ways to fix a Slow Network

Slow Network?

Slow Network

A slow network can be caused by many factors..

Here are 8 ways in which to resolve your slow Network Issue and try to speed things up or fault find..

  • Believe it or not sometimes a good old fashion reboot resolves many small issues. Powering down and restarting network hardware and all machines may refresh settings.
  • Powering up devices one at a time can also help in troubleshooting and detecting a problem computer or “weak link” on your network.
  • Try changing ports should your network consist of a switch or router as sometimes these ports go faulty. This doesn’t necessarily mean that your whole device is at fault however you should consider replacement soon.
  • If changing Ports on your devices doesn’t help try testing with a different/spare device to determine whether this is the culprit..
  • On Desktop machines, one could try re-installing or replacing network cards. These are normally relatively inexpensive and is a quick way to ensure your pc is not causing your slow network.
  • Mis-treated/old network cabling has also been known to cause intermittent issues at times. Try changing network cables just to eliminate this as a cause for your slow network.
  • Virus’s & Malware could easily cause a slow network and this is often a good place to start if hardware is not to blame. Try running scans to determine whether or not you have a clean network. We recommend products such as Eset’s Nod32 Antivirus or free spyware applications like Spybot – Search & Destroy or Malware Bytes. Please note that if setup incorrectly some of these applications can cause speed issues or certain applications to hang. If you are uncertain about using these applications rather call us and we will advise accordingly. For more advanced users also checkout Trend Micro’s hijack this or even housecall for a quick way to find and delete serious infections or rogue services.
  • Slow Internet does not necessarily mean that you have a slow network. If only your internet is slow this could be caused by many other issues however many of the above steps may apply. This could also be caused by Virus’s/malware however it may be worth checking with your provider first and testing hardware such as routers, adsl lines and other internet related devices.

For more advanced issues such as wireless troubleshooting and setup tips check back soon for our next blog or contact us for some advice.

The Computer Doc is always happy to assist..

Permanent link to this article: http://computerdoc.co.za/blog/slow-network/

Apr 08

Outlook Error

Outlook Error

Inbox repair tool and using the scanpst.exe function when getting an Outlook Error. How to repair a corrupt pst file in outlook.

Symptoms

Occasionally when opening your email you receive the outlook error “Outlook cannot open the file “c:/…./outlook.pst” run the inbox repair tool to resolve..

Cause

When this happens for some reason you have a corrupt PST (Mail File). This can be caused by many things.

  • Sometimes virus infections within your mail file will cause corruption and you will receive an outlook error.
  • Later when cleaned by an antivirus this too can leave gaps in the database causing unreadable file data.
  • A failing Hard Drive could be causing data loss and once again leave you with and outlook error.
  • If a mail file gets too big Outlook often tends to cause its own corruption as it doesn’t quite know how to deal with files this large and may run out of memory while trying to read data etc. When an outlook pst file gets to a point of 4gb it is good practice to start archiving and backing up your mail to make files more manageable and easy for outlook to deal with.
  • Finally, faulty plugins within outlook can cause issue’s within your data file and it is good practice to disable plugins that are not in use and may be causing issues or slowing things down.

Resolution

In order to resolve this corruption and repair your mail file try these steps.

  • Browse to my computer and open the following file location to find the scanpst location. This may differ slightly depending on which version of outlook you may have.
  • Browse to and open the following file C:\program files\Microsoft Office\Office12\Scanpst.exe (may be in folder offce11 or office 13 for later versions of Office).
  • Once the scanpst application is open you will see a browse button. Click here to locate your pst\mail file. This too differs depending on your version of windows.
  • Windows XP: Browse to and select c:\documents and settings\”username”\application data\local settings\Microsoft\Outlook\outlook.pst
  • Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8: Browse to and select C:\users\”username”\AppData\local\Microsoft\Outlook\Outlook.pst
  • Once you have selected the file merely click start. This will scan your pst file for the relevant outlook error or corruption and attempt to repair the file for you.
Outlook Error

Scanpst Applicaction

If this doesn’t resolve your issue call us and we’ll try to assist.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://computerdoc.co.za/blog/outlook-error/

Mar 19

How to Reload Windows 7

 

Windows 7 – Approx. Load time 30 minutes depending on machine specification

  • Insert your Windows CD into your CD Rom Drive and Reboot your Pc
  • Tap F12 upon startup in order to choose the required boot device (Machines may vary however a brief message should display at the bottom of your screen telling you which key to press – often F1, F2 or Delete Key may be used)
  • Select your Cd-Rom/DVD Rom Drive as First boot Device
  • Press any key to boot off the disk (A brief message is displayed – press any key!)
  • On the Install Windows page, enter your language and other preferences, then click Next.
  • If the Install Windows page doesn’t appear, and you’re not asked to press any key, you may be required to change some system settings. To learn how to do this, see this link on the microsoft website Start your computer from a Windows 7 installation disc or USB flash drive.
  • The license terms and conditions will appear, click I accept the license terms, and then click Next.
  • On the “Which type of installation do you want?” page, click Custom.
  • On the “Where do you want to install Windows?” page, click Drive options (advanced).
  • Select the partition that you want to change, select the formatting option, and then follow the instructions.
  • When formatting has completed, click Next.
  • Follow the instructions to finish installing Windows 7 (This will include naming your computer and setting up an initial user account)

Permanent link to this article: http://computerdoc.co.za/blog/windows-7/

Mar 19

How to reload Windows XP

Windows XP – Approx. Load time 1 Hour depending on machine specification

 

  • Insert your Windows CD into your CD Rom Drive and Reboot your PC
  • Tap F12 upon startup in order to choose the required boot device (Machines may vary however a brief message should display at the bottom of your screen telling you which key to press – often F1, F2 or Delete Key may be used)
  • If the Install Windows page doesn’t appear, and you’re not asked to press any key, you may be required to change some system settings. To learn how to do this, see this link on the microsoft website Start your computer from a Windows 7 installation disc or USB flash drive.
  • Select your Cd-Rom/DVD Rom Drive as First boot Device
  • Press any key to boot off the disk (A brief message is displayed – press any key!)
  • A Blue screen will load with terms and conditions, press F8 to continue
  • Press L to continue with a fresh installation (Please note that all current data will be lost and a proper backup should be made prior to running the installation)
  • Format the Partition Using the NTFS file system
  • Windows Will now begin copying files and the installation will follow
  • Select time and date settings relevant to your region
  • Installation should now be completed.
  • Drivers may need to be downloaded from the internet or installed from disk in order for full functionality.

 

For more information or to contact us click here

Permanent link to this article: http://computerdoc.co.za/blog/windows-xp/

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