Archive for November, 2006

Tips for buying a second-hand PC

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

Do you have any tips for buying a second-hand PC?

I've never bought a PC second-hand and I've never sold any of my PCs either, so I'm not all that qualified to answer this question.  However, what I can do is list what I'd look for if I were to buy a second-hand PC.

  • Be careful! 
    It's very easy to be ripped off buying something like a PC second-hand, especially of you are buying it unseen from say eBay.  Make sure that you buy from someone reputable (for example, on eBay look for a high feedback rating).
  • Check out the prices of new PCs
    New PCs are pretty cheap nowadays.  Make sure that you see what you can get new for the budget you have in mind - you could be pleasantly surprised!
  • Know the spec
    Make sure that you know exactly what you are getting - CPU, hard drives, video card etc.  If there's any ambiguity get the seller to construct a report using a tool like Belarc.
  • Know what you are getting!
    Be clear about what you are buying.  If a monitor and peripherals are implied in the deal then get confirmation that this is the case.
  • Legit software?
    Can the seller prove to you that they are transferring to you legit copies of software (such as Windows and Office)?  Ask for certificates of authenticity if in doubt.
  • Software discs
    Make sure that you get the discs with any software you buy.  Without discs you are in trouble if you ever need to reinstall.
  • If in doubt, don't buy!
    If you have doubts or feel that the seller is toying with you or being deceptive in any way, don't part with your money.

Avoid the top five disc-burning mistakes

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

Burn a lot of CDs or DVDs?  Do some go wrong on you?  You need to read "Avoid the top five disc-burning mistakes" over on Computerworld.

Here's a taster of the tips:

  • You didn't verify
  • It's the wrong media
  • You're going too fast
  • The firmware's gone soft
  • You're cruisin' for a bruisin'

Sound tips!

I've three additional tips to offer:

  • Don't handle discs too much - fingerprints on the reading/writing surface won't help a bit.
  • Find discs that work - and stick with them!  Once you find a brand of discs that works, stick with that brand.  As a rule, the more expensive the disc, the better the quality should be.
  • If you get a lot of disc failures, it might be time to replace the drive.

Will rechargeable NiMH batteries work in cordless keyboards/mice?

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

Is it OK to use rechargeable [tag]NiMH[/tag] batteries in cordless keyboards and mice?

As a rule, yes, you should be fine using rechargeable NiMH ([tag]Nickel Metal Hydride[/tag]) batteries in cordless keyboards and mice.  Just don't bother trying to use the older and weaker [tag]NiCd[/tag] ([tag]Nickel Cadmium[/tag]) type - they won't last long at all.

I tend to steer clear from cheap rechargeable batteries and got for brands such as Duracell or Energizer - the price is higher but they last longer, both in terms of a single charge and how many times they can be recharged.

Duracell Rechargeable AA NiMH Batteries, MIGNON/HR6/DC1500, 8-Count Package (Pack of 2)  Rechargeable Aa Nimh Batteries

The evil, twisted people of this world

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

Here's one, the author of this scam email.  Just because someone says they have honorable intentions doesn't mean they do.

Dear Friend,
I am Mr. JOURAN JAWAD a merchant in Dubai in the  Middle East.(German Citizen) Now based in United Kingdom .I have been diagnosed with Cancer which was discovered very late, due to my laxity incaring for my health. It has defiled all forms of medicine, Right
now I have only about a few months to live,according to my Medical Doctor. This latest development about my health has been given me alot of worries and problem,I then realised that life is meaningless without having a child and a wife.I have been leaving a life not worthy of emulation without wife and a child,I was busy chasing money as my oil business was booming with so much money to leave with.

I then sat down to realised that if i died leaving this money behind,It will become Governemnt properties without any Next of Kin.Now i want to assist the  less priviledged people in the world Most especially those that suffered from different Natural disaster related matters, Eathquakes and Tsunami is claiming lives in Asia while Hurricanes of different name is claiming life and properties in USA. I can not do this alone without your coperation.Kindly contact me back with the following information, Your name and adress,Telephone and fax number.I will be able to put your image in this project with this information as i shall get this information across to the Security firm for a change of ownership of this Money.

For your willingness and readiness to act accordingly, I will set aside 10% for you for your time and efforts in caring out this responsibility on my behalf while, the remaining 90% will be used by you for both charity work and setting up of an investment that is profit oriented to enable you continue to assist the less privileged from time to time from the profit you make from this investment annually.send further response to email

I need your urgent reply so that I will not have to go on sourcing for a credible person to handle this project. God bless you.


Jouran Jawad


Gifts for Geeks – Infrared thermometer

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

Gotta geek that you are shopping for?  Want some holiday gift ideas?  Then you've come to the right place!  Over the next few weeks I plan of offering a number of gift ideas for geeks.

La Crosse Technology IR-101 Infrared ThermometerHere's the second gift - [tag]Infrared thermometer[/tag].  Dead handy for testing how effective the PC cooling system is and spotting hot spots.  It also has great "geek appeal"!

  • Easy, contact free temperature measurement
  • Continual temperature measurements by holding button
  • Continuous capture of MIN/MAX temperatures
  • Great for temp measurements in hard to reach places
  • Nylon neck strap and carrying case included