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How To Upgrade Your PC

By: Alex Fir

Before you upgrade your PC hardware it’s best to search all options and ask for advice. Only after this you can go and buy a new component. It’s also useful to check if you really need an upgrade.

Do not upgrade your very old PC because it would cost a lot of money. It’s cheaper to buy a new computer in such cases because they are easier to upgrade later.

Upgrading the hard drive:

The majority of people do not really need to upgrade their hard disk, unless they use it for playing a lot of music, movies, and games. A 20 GB hard drive is sufficient to keep new office and internet applications, and all your files and data.

A medium sized hard drive would be around 40 GB and the maximum would be around 60 – 80 GB.

Before upgrading your hard disk it’s best to do a complete disk checkup including disk scan, defragmentation, etc. If you happen to be an average user and need more storage you can add an additional drive to the existing one. Before an upgrade, be sure to back up your files.

Upgrading the RAM:

RAM or Random Access Memory is the short-term memory of the PC. It keeps data that is being worked on now and may or may not be transferred to the hard drive that represents the long-term memory of the computer.

Current processors can perform an enormous number of operations per second. The hard drive, on the other hand, is significantly slower to handle so much information. This is where a high-speed RAM memory comes in. RAM needs a power supply to keep data. Once the power is turned off the data is lost.

Almost all PCs have 64 MB RAM and often 128 MB. If you want to run newer applications on your PC then you must upgrade to 128/256 MB RAM.

A lot of people who upgrade from 98 to Win 2000 discover that their computers lock up very often. This is because they don't have enough RAM.

CPU upgrade:

If you choose this upgrade, you will have faster execution of instructions but it leaves the RAM and hard drive capacity unchanged.

This sis the most cost effective upgrade and can increase the efficiency of your computer considerably. Seek a professional help before you take a decision.


Upgrading motherboard is not such a good proposition unless you replace the CPU and the RAM as well to achieve greater performance levels. You upgrade the motherboard either because the current one doesn’t support a faster CPU or the CPU requires a different socket. It could be very expensive. Think about buying a new PC.


Ports are sockets at the back of your computer where you plug in external devices. Older PCs work on “parallel” ports. If you need to work a lot on peripherals such as digital cameras, digital camcorders, CD burners, and scanners then you need to upgrade to USB and Firewire ports if you are not using them already.

Both tend to be cheaper than the “parallel” and SCSI devices they replace. Always make sure that there are no compatibility problems with other devices in your PC when you plan to upgrade any hardware on your machine.

About The Author

Alex Fir

If you are planning to buy laptop computer visit Laptop Computer Center for the latest news and information.


Toner Cartridges - How They Work

By: Martin Smith

In the past computers and their accompanying printers were huge. Toner reservoirs and toner cartridges were used instead of ink cartridges like the ones in use today. Toner cartridges were difficult and messy to fill. The toner cartridges were an advancement. Some printers ran on print wheels and some used ribbons.

Computers are compact and printers now do more than just print on some cases. Cartridges with self-contained reservoirs are used in printers. Refilling some cartridges is possible and it isn't as messy as adding toner was. Two types of printers cartridges now exist. Hewlett-Packard and Epson printers primarily, used the first type the Peizo Electric.

An electric current is applied to a small crystal causing it to expand about every five microseconds (20,000 per second). The ink, because of the expansion, squirts through the print heads rapidly and precisely. Piezo Electric can do more precise action and tend to last longer because it has fewer print heads than do bubble jet/ thermal printers.

Bubble jet printer cartridges heat the ink into a bubble and is squirted through the ink nozzles thousands of times a second. The printer that is quieter than Piezo based printers is the bubble jet. It prints with exceptionally high resolution color printing. Ink is squirted through the nozzles as they move over media in the inkjet method not the mega pixel method.

Liquid ink, is squirted, in various colors on the paper to create an image. A motor assembly is used to enable the print heads to scan the page horizontally while the page is rolled vertically. A narrow band of an image is printed and the paper moves on ready for the next step. For speed it prints a strip across the page while it also prints vertical rows of pixels in each pass.

There are several types of inkjet technology. DOD-drop on demand squirts small drops of ink on to the paper through tiny nozzles. It is akin to a hose being turned on and off 5,000 times per second. The amount of ink dropped on the paper and which nozzle fires and when is controlled by the driver software. The ink tends to smear right after printing in inkjet technology.

This is getting better as new ink compositions are developed. The Thermal Technology of printing allows the ink to shot onto the paper. This is a three stage process. The squirt begins in stage one when the ink gets heated to create a bubble. The initial pressure breaks the bubble and hits the paper. The vacuum that results pulls the ink from the reservoir to replace what was ejected.

In the past printers were highly priced because the print head that would imprint the image on paper was contained within the printer. Printers are fairly low in price, but the expense comes when you have to buy cartridges for it. It would almost be worth it to buy a new printer rather than the cartridges because the cost of cartridges is often more than the most basic inkjet printer.

Although cartridges are expensive they have some complex technology in them that would make them cheaper over-all than it would be to keep replacing printer heads. Cartridges now have print heads contained within in themselves. If you use the correct cartridges in your printer, you could have the printer for a long time. Black cartridges work by squirting the ink through tiny nozzles onto the paper as they move back and for the page as do color cartridges.

Color cartridges have three reservoirs; one is filled with magenta, one with cyan, and one with yellow ink. A lot of things can have a bearing on the image quality. The quality of the paper you choose could determine the image you get. The two main influences on image quality are brightness and the absorption of ink. The vividness of an image describes its brightness while how effectively ink is put to the paper is absorption.

It is best to use paper specifically designed to be used with an ink jet printer. Using the proper type of paper will result in the best possible image. The settings of your display properties and/or printer settings can affect your printing project. The type of paper you use and the printer may suggest leaving your documents to dry for awhile. Check your printer for settings that may save ink by putting out less ink allowing documents to dry faster and provide you with a near perfect print image.

Knowing your printer and how it works is important.

About The Author

Martin Smith is a successful freelance writer providing advice for consumers on purchasing a variety of Discount ink cartridges which includes Cheap ink cartridge, if you have time drop by his site for some tips and information.


Computer Graphics: They're Not All The Same

By: Mandar

Graphic images on your computer come in two different forms, raster images and vector images. Raster images are made by programs such as Photoshop and Corel Photopaint. Vector images are produced by Adobe Illustrator, Freehand, and CorelDraw. While the results from these different programs can look similar, the ways in which they are made are very different.

Raster images are made up of millions of individual squares, or pixels, of various colors. The more pixels you have, the better the image will look. The number of pixels, or resolution, is usually expressed in dots per inch (dpi). Images on the Web are shown at 72 dpi. A high-resolution image would run 300 dpi or higher. Some types of printing can get into the 1600 dpi range. Much like a mosaic, a raster image can look smooth from a distance but as you zoom in closer you can see the individual pixels.

A vector image is drawn from mathematical formulas for lines and curves and is redrawn each time you zoom in for a closer look. The quality of the image stays the same regardless of the level of magnification. Vector files, since they are formulas instead of information on millions of individual pixels, tend to use less memory than raster files.

The edge of a circle, rendered as a raster image, may look smooth initially, but eventually as you zoom in you will see a jagged stairstep edge of the individual square pixels that make up the image. A lower resolution image will look jagged or pixellated much sooner than a high resolution image. A circle's edge in vector form will always be smooth no matter how close you zoom in since it is recalculated each time you change the view.

Raster based programs are best at working with photo-realistic images and make subtle (or bold) changes in color, shadow and texture. Vector based programs excel at easy control of edges and tend to produce a more graphic style of art. Regardless of the type of image, higher resolution is always better for producing a good result. While your image may be vector or raster, or even a combination of the two, the Art Staff at will work hard to translate it into the best textile printing possible.

About The Author

Mandar is a graphic artist and man-about-town with Design your own custom tshirt online at


Put Order and Information into File Names

By: Mark Meshulam

Unless you place your faith in internal search engine software or document databases to track your work, consider a relatively low-tech enhancement to your work methods. I promise it will pay big dividends.

Consider how you name your files and folders. Have you missed an opportunity to clear the clutter and make your work more accessible? When you look at file names within a folder, do they sing out to you with sweet meaningfulness, or are they a cacophonous jumble of confusing heiroglyphics?

The eye likes symmetry. The mind loves order. When you create files and they pile upon one another over time, does their accumulation reflect a master plan or a disaster unplanned? When you view your list of files, is your eye happy, your mind content?

Basically, filenaming is an unrecognized art. Most of us are left to our own devices to figure it out. The good news: with some thought, you can be the artist of a system which will resonate with function.

Let's start by considering the basis upon which files should be ordered. I will jump to the punchline and say it out loud: chronologically. To order files chronologically, have the filename start with a datestamp prefix such as YYYYMMDD- or YYMMDD. If you do this, your files will always sort themselves chronologically and you will have no trouble finding the latest and greatest work within a folder.

What you do following the datestamp prefix depends upon how the file will be used. If the file travels to someone else as an email attachment and then returns back to you after some sort of review, I recommend having the second portion of your filename be a locator.

The locator can be a 3-5 character abbreviation which will give you a solid hint about where the file needs to be refiled upon its return. You develop the locator so that you and others in your group recognize it as an abbreviation for a project. When they see the datestamp prefix and locator, they will already have much information about the contents of the file.

After entering the datestamp prefix and locator, now you can write a nice, meaty descriptive text (descriptor). Use as many characters as you like, just beware that beyond a certain length, the filename will be truncated during display, and you will lose, rather than gain information. Consider 30 characters to be a maximum filename size.

Subtracting 7 characters for the date stamp and 3-5 characters for the locator, this gives you 18-20 characters to tell your story. The way to know if you are doing a bad job with descriptors, is when you see the identical descriptor in multiple files. Don't repeat descriptive text unless you specifically want to highlight the similarity between the two files.

Tip: NO spaces in names of files or folders. Spaces are not FTP-friendly and you may be FTP-ing sooner than you think.

Tip: NO unnecessary capital letters and DEFINITELY NO TEXT WITH ALL CAPS. It's not only irritating, but it also takes away a useful tool, that of using upper and lower case text for better conveying your message.

Tip: Find a style and stick with it. For example, if you like the looks of hyphens separating datestamp, locators and descriptors, then do it that way every time. If using underscore between words in the descriptor feels right, then make it a habit. Even artists can have discipline, you know.

Tip: Use language to the greatest extent possible. In other words, use words more than acronyms. Cutsey corporate acronyms, after the first dozen or so, get pretty boring.

Examples of good file names:


Bad file names:

article.doc (too vague - what article? )
Work Project.xls (too general - what work project? when? )

Copyright 2005 Mark Meshulam

About The Author

A versatile denizen of Northbrook, IL, USA, Mr. Meshulam is an owner of a productivity software company (, a construction company (, and a document scanning/reprographics company ( His software product Poingo Email Printer has a feature which adds timestamps to filenames.


Wireless Networking Basics

Considering a wireless connection for your computer? Discover the basics of wireless networking before you proceed.

Wireless networking is simple in theory: just install a wireless network adapter in each computer and forget about drilling holes and running cable. When you deal with equipment based on the 802.11b (or Wi-Fi) standard, unfortunately, the reality often falls short of claimed specifications. Your wireless network will have a limited range - you've probably experienced a decrease in speed at a certain distance from an access point. That's why you must adjust the location and configuration of your wireless setup to obtain the best possible performance, range, and reliability. Follow expert advice and your connection will be faster across longer distances--and you'll have fewer dropped connections.

Pick the best location: The farther your wireless networked computer is from a wireless access point--and the greater the number of solid objects that stand in the way--the slower your connection will be. To optimize your network's speed and range, position your wireless access point at least a few feet above the floor and away from metal objects, particularly large appliances like refrigerators. Though most manuals for networking products tell you to position the access point in the middle of the coverage area, it's often better to identify the locations where you expect to use a computer and put the access point where it will be in a direct line of sight (or close to it) to as many of those places as possible.

Don't waste time worrying about "dead spots" if no one is likely to use a computer there. Once your wireless network is up and running, even slight changes in your wireless network card's position (say, a shift in the orientation of your laptop as you recline on the couch) may dramatically improve throughput or even restore a dropped connection.

For larger areas--or areas with many obstructions--your only option may be to shell out the cash for multiple access points. If you go this route, you'll find that wireless setup is easy: Simply make sure that the access points have identical settings. Virtually all wireless network adapters support "roaming": In areas where access point coverage overlaps, the adapter will latch on to the strongest signal.


Lana Hampton makes it easy to find the right wireless product for your needs. Visit today for the latest wireless information.
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