I strongly suspect the reason most people pass up great deals
on used computers is that they're afraid of getting one that
breaks soon after they buy it. While there is always that risk,
in my mind, paying as little as 5-10% of the price of a new laptop for
a used, yet functional and useful one, far outweighs the risk.
So, I have decided to explain the basics of laptop computer
repair and upgrade...
If you have been reading my articles on this website, you know
that I believe most people are paying far, far too much money
for the computing power they're getting. This is most likely
because consumers still have the mindset that they had before
the death of Moore's
law, sometime around 2005. Before that, they were forced
to buy a new computer every few years to avoid
obsolescence. Since Moore's Law is now dead, I have said
repeatedly that from a cost-per-computing-power perspective,
you are now far better off buying a used, quality business
laptop than a new consumer laptop...
This article is a continuation of the one I wrote last week,
How to Surf the Internet on a
13-Year-Old Laptop. Based on my brief trials of
15 purported "light and fast" browsers, I will give my
impressions of their speed and utility...
Many people falsely believe they need the latest and greatest
computer to surf the Internet. The truth is that, next to ISP
bandwidth, software, not hardware, is what causes many consumers'
computers to run slowly on the Internet. To illustrate this, I
decided to take an old, cheap computer, install fast,
light-weight software, and see how well it surfs the Internet.
In this article, I'll present a comparison of the
Internet-surfing performance of this old laptop
to that of my much faster core i7 laptop...
In the 1980's and 1990's computer manufacturers competed not just
on the basis of hardware superiority but also by providing better
software. Most millennials are likely too young to remember the
computer operating system battles that began in the early-to-mid
1980's and ran until some time around the mid 1990's. That was back
when Apple and Microsoft were duking it out over who would control the
desktop computer market. During that period, essentially every
competitor who sold a computer with a different operating system
either went out of business or switched to Windows...
So, you want to buy an inexpensive laptop that will do everything
well. Unfortunately, finding a laptop like this is not an easy
task. Contrary to what you might expect, it seems that almost
all multipurpose laptops on the market today suffer
from being either too expensive or having a fatal flaw or two
that prevents them from being able to perform well at everything
you might reasonably expect them to be able to do...
When considering online privacy, many uninformed Internet users
ask the naive question, "I have nothing to hide, so why should I
be concerned about my privacy?" There are many good reasons that
honest, law-abiding citizens should be very concerned about their
I was prompted to write this article by the demise of the 8Chan
website a few days ago and by the ensuing flight of some of its
users to ZeroNet...
Last week, I noticed that the battery was swelling in my
Hauwei Union Y538 Android smartphone that I bought about 3
years ago for $20 at Best Buy. I went back to Best Buy to see
if they had a replacement battery and was told that they no
longer carry cellphone batteries. That didn't surprise me,
because I knew that very few cellphones still have
The Internet contains an astoundingly large collection of
It comes in the form of movies, music, podcasts, documentaries,
video clips, books, and more. This article provides links to some
of the higher-quality free entertainment in each category...
In 2008, when Satoshi Nakamoto published his paper
Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer
Electronic Cash System (pdf), he wanted to provide a system for
privately transferring money directly between individuals via the
Internet, without involving a centralized third party, such as a
bank. Those of us who understand the need for privacy, know there
reasons for demanding privacy. Today, the banks of developed
countries have managed to successfully insert themselves into and
eliminate privacy from nearly all cryptocurrency transactions...
When it comes to Android TV boxes I'm somewhat ambivalent.
On the one hand, having a small, inexpensive, dedicated device
that sits on your TV that you can use to play games, listen
to music, watch Netflix and recorded movie files, surf the
Internet, and install other applications onto is a great idea.
On the other hand, the applications that come with Android TV
boxes just don't seem to work very well...
The Interplanetary File System (IPFS) is a peer-to-peer,
distributed computer network that can be accessed from the
Internet. Some might call it a new Internet
separate from the regular Internet...
Strong parallels can be drawn between today's open-source
peer-to-peer networks (AKA decentralized networks) and the
personal computer industry of the early 1980's...
In a recent conversation, some additional reasons for
maintaining anonymity in our online social networking were
pointed out to me. I had not seriously considered
them, because I had not understood the degree to which some
troubling problems have begun spreading surreptitiously through
our western world...
Several options exist for those who would like to have
cheaper telephone service...
Giant social network websites like Facebook, Reddit, Twitter,
and Google Plus have some significant problems. One is that users
have no real control over anything that happens there and,
therefore, often zero recourse when they are treated unfairly.
The way users are treated is completely at the whims of the
companies that own these sites...
Because there is nothing like watching a TV program
whenever you want, the DVR is the best invention since the VCR. I
say that a bit tongue-in-cheek, because DVR's fulfill the same
role as VCR's but are not as good for a number of reasons...
Sometime in the late 1980's or early 1990's, daisy wheel printers
went out of fashion and were replaced by bubble-jet printers. For
the next twenty years or so, we couldn't get our hands on a
daisy-wheel printer--except maybe at a thrift store, if we were
David, one of my fellow college students in the early to mid
1980's, was a unique individual, a free spirit, outgoing and
outspoken. He liked to have fun, and he liked other people, and
everyone I knew who knew him liked him. David worked his way
through his first two and a half years of college looking through
a microscope. He worked for Motorola quality control in one of
their semiconductor fabrication plants (fabs) finding
flaws in silicon wafers...
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