Featured CategoryLoaner Computers?by yearofth on September 19, 2013
I’ve spent a lot of time over the years with hardware vendors and software publishers, thrashing through ideas about what customers really want. No matter how cynical we get when a new product comes to market with painful lapses, vendors really do try hard to anticipate and accommodate even our most eccentric needs and wants.
Sometimes, though, conventional thinking produces depressingly conventional results. New products land on our desks boasting answers to questions we’ve never asked and features at odds with our real needs.
This was brought home forcefully for me last week, when I was discussing product-support plans with a product manager at a vendor about to introduce a hot new laptop.
Once users come to rely on a lap machine, they really rely on it — so getting a broken laptop fixed quickly is a big issue.
(If you doubt that, just ask Toshiba: After years of building a superb reputation for fast, reliable computer repairs service, Toshiba late last year saw that reputation collapse, when parts shortages threw them months behind on repair work.)
The product manager broke into a big grin when I brought up the issue of repair service for the new laptop. No problem: They were going to offer as a premium-priced option a machine-swap program, under which they’d ship the owner of a broken machine a loaner even before the defective one was returned.
A wonderful idea, I responded — at first blush. But about three years out of date.
He was floored. Was I kidding? They were very proud of this one. It was a state-of-the-art idea; it was a new level of commitment; it was . . . obsolete.
Because hard disks are now commonplace on laptops — and his machine comes only with a hard disk — the offer of a loaner when a PC breaks isn’t very practical anymore. In virtually every case, the data, and maybe the programs the owner of that broken computer needs, are found only on the hard disk in the broken machine.
What users really need is fast turnaround service, not a loaner that has neither the owner’s programs nor data.
Loaner PCs, especially loaner lap machines, are an idea whose time has passed.Choosing the RIGHT computer for you.by yearofth on July 31, 2013
If you want to find out which is the best computer for you, the following article offers some helpful pointers. You may have certain preferences when it comes to brands, but you should also be open to trying something new, as some companies have improved considerably in the last few years. It’s also essential to browse within your budget, as you can’t compare a computer costing a few hundred dollars with one that’s over a thousand.
The Apple MacBook Air MC966LL/A is the newest version of a classic that most experts consistently rate among the top computers. This model is actually 2.5 times faster than previous ones, which is saying quite a bit when it comes to Apple laptops. It offers the high speed Thunderbolt drive as well as the latest operating system, the OS X Lion. Because it has a 1.8GHz Intel dual core i7 processor and flash storage this 13.3 laptop can boot up in just seconds. With a variety of features that are unique to Apple, the OS Lion includes iTunes, QuickTime, and others as well as Time Machine which makes backing up everything on your computer easier.
While other brands lag behind in customer service, and advantage of buying an Apple computer is their extensive customer service. The Sony Vaio SE1 Series VPCSE16FX/S is among the latest offerings of the Sony Vaio series, which have been popular high-end laptops for some time now. You will get lots of RAM with this 15.5-Inch laptop, along with its fast Intel Core i5 2.40 GHz processor. If you like watching movies, especially in HD resolution, then you should like this computer, because it comes with a disc drive for Blu-Ray. If you like to make movies, you can create your own DVDs with this laptop. You can even type in the middle of the night, because the keyboard is backlit, and a couple of other features are the USB 3.0 port, and the two USB 2.0 ports that can be for any product that will fit.
If you follow technical news, you may be hearing a lot about Windows 8, the next major upgrade of the Windows operating system. For some, this upgrade could make a world of difference in whether to choose a Mac or a Windows computer because Microsoft is promising that there will be lots of radical new features in this next upgrade. Windows 8’s biggest advantage over Mac is that it will afford users the ability to use their computers like they would use tablets because it will have a highly functional touchscreen. You’ll also have the option to use a traditional mouse or keyboard. Of course, as of this writing, Windows 8 is still something that we can only look forward to. 2012 is the earliest that this OS will be released. And by then, it’s likely that Mac will come up with something to rival it.
For gaming, there are a few good choices in high performance laptops available. Another laptop option for the gamer is the Maingear EX-L 15 that has Nvidia GTX-485M mobile graphics and an Intel Core i7 CPU. It also has lots of useful ports, including two USB 3.0 ports, ethernet and HDMI. While it is expected that a gaming laptop will cost much more than a conventional one, at close to $2500, the Maingear EX-L 15 would probably only be considered by those who are very serious about gaming. Gaming machines are bulkier than the average laptop and this one weighs almost seven pounds.
If you use computers at work or school, there’s a good chance that they run on Windows. If this is the case, choosing a Windows based PC is going to be the smartest thing because it provides you with the opportunity to use the same programs when you are on the computer at home. For example, if you regularly share files with PC users that becomes more difficult when you use a Mac. It’s super easy these days to go back and forth between a Mac and a PC because the programs enjoy more compatibility than they ever have before and, thanks to Bootcamp, Mac users can set their computers up to run like Windows based PCs.
However, if you are using almost solely Windows based programs and files, you won’t have any advantages by choosing a Mac for your computer. Even though Macs are more popular today than ever before, most schools, corporations and large organizations still use Windows. When you have to choose between Windows and Mac OSes, these are just a few of the major points that you should take under consideration. If you are having trouble making up your mind, it’s a good idea to visit one of the larger computer stores, including one of the nearby Apple stores. That way you can take a look at both PCs and Macs up close and see which appeals to you more.Crops without soilby yearofth on May 29, 2013
CROPS WITHOUT SOIL
Crops without soil or hydroponics, emerge as an alternative to traditional agriculture, whose main objective is to eliminate or reduce the limiting factors of plant growth associated with the characteristics of the soil, replacing it with other crop supports and applying alternative fertilization techniques.
The cultivation of hydroponic plants stands are made of substances of different origin, organic or inorganic, inert and non-inert, i.e. with variable rate of contributions to mineral nutrition of plants. We can go from substances such as perlite, vermiculite or rock wool, materials that are considered as inert and where the plant nutrition is strictly external, organic media made with blends that include peat or organic materials such as bark of trees chopped, rice husk etc. that interfere in the mineral nutrition of plants.Sow Native Plants in your gardenby Dave Clarke on May 28, 2013
You are ready to replace invasive plants from your garden but don’t know which plants to use?Unlike the introduced plants, native plants are resistant, less susceptible to pests and diseases, and will probably not escapeyour garden to become invasive. The variety of plants native to any region, a designer of gardens offer many options that are suitable for any style of garden.By requiring less labor, native plants provide excellent options both for large commercial landscapes as well as for residential gardens. Of course, that native plants have other benefits. They help to conserve water; reduce the expense of maintenance; They provide habitat for birds ,butterflies and other wild animals; they protect the soil; and they allow to save the money for fertilizers and pesticides.
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