Archive for July, 2012

Make Your Laptop Battery Last

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

How many times have you taken your laptop out to use it and realized your battery was almost dead? The fun is looking for an emergency charge, and depending where you are could be a plug finding quest. The stability of a laptop battery is questionable after 1-2 years depending on your usage. Most laptop batteries are created to last around 400 recharges and will then have the possibility of losing its ability to hold a charge.

Here are some tips to help you extend the life of your current battery:

  1. Using your laptop as a primary desktop PC that is always plugged in wastes the amount of recharges available to you. Did you know the battery is not needed if its plugged into an AC outlet? Pop the battery out until you need to travel with your laptop.
  2. Turn off Wi-Fi and BlueTooth when it is not needed. Laptops have an easily accessible shortcut key to instantly disable wireless networking.
  3. If its going to be awhile before you can grab a charge don’t play computer games, music or DVD movies. Multimedia activities will drain a laptop battery.
  4. If your running any programs from a CD or DVD note that it can be copied to and run from the hard drive do so. The hard drive usage will consume less power than an optical drive.
  5. Disconnect external devices (i.e. external hard drive, USB devices) when not needed.

Good to Note: Make your battery have a longer life by utilizing standby  and hibernation mode. Use standby to save power when you will be away from the computer for a short time. Use hibernation to save power when you will be away from the computer for an extended time while working.

Tim Grier
Computer Magician
CET Computer Magic

What will Windows 8 Do?

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

There has been much talk about the new Windows 8.  I like many of us was curious on what the new features would be on this new version of Windows. It seems like there has been some user friendly changes and new ideas to make Windows 8 a competitor to the ipads out there, along with significant improvement to existing functions. The proof will be in the usage to see if the improvements make it live up to its preset expectations. Here are some of the functions I have found highlighted around the internet:

  • On a business level Windows 8 is designed to maintain corporate security and manageability as more workers bring in their own consumer-style gadgets.


  • The Start menu has been revamped and serves as both a launchpad and a dashboard. You can see at-a-glance activity for many different kinds of data via Live Tiles, and a way to quickly access common apps.


  • The “charms” menu is revealed when you hover to the right side of the screen. This is the Metro version of a context menu, with the options listed behaving a little differently depending on what Metro app is in the foreground.


  • To Instant Search start typing in the Start menu and you’ll be taken instantly to a search page. (It appears as if Windows Media Center is no longer included with Windows 8; it’s being made available as an add-on you’ll pay for, due to the licensing fees involved with the product.)


  • The Metro-interface edition of Internet Explorer 10 now runs Flash–a natively installed version, akin to the way Flash has been integrated with Google Chrome. The new Do Not Track policy, by the way, is also enabled by default in IE 10.


  • A Windows 8 feature called “Windows To Go” allows users to store their personalized image of Windows 8 on a USB drive, and then boot it from an older PC running Windows 7. It will allow users to run instances of previous versions of the operating system within a Win8 desktop, and how it also can easily boot on older systems running Windows 7.Not only can Windows 8 run Win7 virtually, it can split the display screen so that the same app running in Win8 and Win7 can be shown side by side, to make comparison easier.


  • Metro style apps are the focal point of the user experience on Windows 8 Release Preview, and great Metro style apps share an important set of traits that provide a consistent, elegant, and compelling user experience.


Looking forward to seeing the changes in store and how they will work for its faithful users.

Resources utilized for this post include:

Tim Grier
Computer Magician
CET Computer Magic

The Effects of Dust on Your Computer

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Dust is a common enemy for both computer and person alike. When is the last time you gave your computer a good air bath? Most people respond never, which can have some short term and long term problematic results. Computer devices are made for low dust environments and need to be kept that way.

  • Did you know that most computers do not come with dust filters? What results is the drawing in of dust directly into the computer case. The dust will coat the components with a film or layer of dust over time. This can causes the computer to operate above the  optimal 75 degree mark speed wise.


  • DVD Drives or CD Drives can experience premature failure. These optical components are built with Optical lenses, motors, and servos that require a dust free light path to function properly. To much dust can cause them lose their ability to read data from disks.


  • A computer with a large buildup of dust can experience short circuits due to humidity changes. The longer the dust sits sedimentary and gathers moisture, it can harden and form a block across connections.


  • Have you ever put your hand on the side of a computer and found it to be extremely hot? Extra heat is caused by dust.  If too much dust traps heat inside the case, it will slow the system down or shut it down.


Useful Tip: A service schedule to keep your computer components dust free is essential. The easiest thing you can do on a daily basis is to keep a can of Dust Off or other brand handy to prevent dust buildup.

Tim Grier
Computer Magician
CET Computer Magic