Your Tech Life – Radio Show #13 (21 January 2010)

Thanks to everyone who listened, and to all the callers. (Right Click Here (Save As) to download as Mp3) CLICK HERE to Subscribe using iTunes A big thanks...

Thanks to everyone who listened, and to all the callers.

[audio:YourTechLife013-podcast.mp3]

(Right Click Here (Save As) to download as Mp3)

CLICK HERE to Subscribe using iTunes

A big thanks to Heather and the team at Nintendo Australia for helping out Darren our caller who’s daughter is in Hospital recovering from an operation to remove a Brain Tumour.

Detailed show notes coming soon, until then, below is my Laptop Buying Guide – I will expand on this in the coming days, and also the notes for Ingrid on how to turn off AutoRun on Windows.

AutoPlay – Windows.

Firstly, Ingrid should check that her new Broadband Modem is only connected via a network cable, which is more square on the end, like a phone connection yet bigger.  NOT by a USB connection which is a narrow rectangular plug.

If its not, then try do the following for all her drives like CD ROM and REMOVABLE DISKS

  1. Open Windows Explorer by pressing the Windows + “e” key.
  2. Right-click the desired CD-ROM and select Properties from the menu.
  3. Select the AutoPlay tab.
  4. Select each item from the pulldown list and for the Action to perform, select “Take no action” to disable autorun, or pick the apporpriate action to take if enabling autorun.
  5. Select OK.
LAPTOP BUYING GUIDE
I don’t know if it’s the time of year, or perhaps the increase in marketing for laptops, but one of the most common questions I’ve been getting lately on the email and from people who I run into seems to be ‘which laptop should I buy’
It’s a bit like the old how long is a piece of string.. however, there are some basic tips I can give you…
Firstly, SIZE DOES MATTER.  If you intend to do a lot of travelling with the laptop, consider anything with a 13inch screen or smaller.  10 inches and under is a NETBOOK these days, and these are notoriously light weight and great to carry around.
NETBOOKS though are very small, and often too small to do lots and lots of work on.
Finding the right SIZE laptop is the first step, and the best way to do that is to pop into a few retail stores – Dick Smith, Bing Lee, JB HI-FI – and stand at the counter typing on the display laptops, pick them up get a sense for which size you like.
Once you’ve picked the size, the rest is a whole lot easier.
If you’ve chosen a laptop 13inches or bigger, compare the processer.  Not necessarily the speed, but the type.  Celeron is not as good as Pentium – Core I3 is not as good as I5.  This is a tricky part, so I’ll publish a sliding scale on my website yourtechlife.com soon…
Next, compare the amount of RAM available, which will either be 1, 2 or 4 GB or Gigabytes – the more the merrier of course!
4 Gigabytes is going to provide the best performance for all your applications, 2 is fine, but don’t think you’ll be doing anything fancy…
Finally, the Hard Drive – The top end now in a Notebook would be 500Gigabyte – this is the space you can save things like photos, videos, music and new programs.
250GB is the absolute minimum you should have on a Laptop, on a netbook you can get away with 160…
Some other minor things to look for – every Laptop MUST have Wireless – if it doesn’t  – don’t consider it.
Bluetooth is useful if you want to transfer files/photos from your phone.. but its not essential.
Netbooks don’t have CD/DVD Drives, but be careful, some Laptop’s don’t too – so keep an eye on that if it’s a feature you want!
As a guide – a netbook should set you back around $500
A 13 inch laptop should be between $1000 and $1500 depending on features, and 15 inchers between $1200 and $2000.. but price isn’t always a great guide!
Most importantly, make sure you like the feel of it – the size, shape and layout are vital – don’t buy just on price… touch the mouse pad, type a few words – you need to feel comfortable with the laptop or you will regret it in the long run…
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Trev produces two of the most popular technology podcasts in Australia, Your Tech Life and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He hosts a nightly radio show on Talking Lifestyle, 8pm Monday to Friday in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show and A Current Affair. Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave. Like this post? Buy Trev a drink!
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