Monday, July 29, 2013

Some useful suggestions I received when my computer had problems

I had some serious issues with my five-year-old desktop computer. I described this in an e-mail forum and got quite a few useful suggestions. Here are some of them; they can be very useful and handy.

This from a good friend in the USA:
1- Have a computer chap come in and try to diagnose and treat your computer. Or take your computer to his shop.
2- I bought a laptop with Windows 8 and so far I have not been able to learn to use Windows 8. It is very different from Windows 7. I understand Microsoft will be issuing an update to Windows 8 soon. We will just have to wait and see if the update is helpful. 
3- If you decide to get a new computer that would be a good solution. (But only make that decision after the computer chap has evalutated your present computer).  Get a modern laptop. Laptops are now as powerful as desktop machines so there is no reason to put up with the size of a desktop these days. A touch screen, yes.  4 to 8 GB RAM. Dual or Quad core processor. Sooner or later you will have to upgrade your present computer to run modern software. Your present machine probably can run Windows 8, but not well. I would hesitate to upgrade your present machine to Windows 8. 
4- People who use Apple will urge you to switch to an Apple machine. There are probably lots of pros and cons to this. 
5- Tablets such as iPad are not computers, although they perform many of the things computers can do, particularly the on-line stuff. 
6- I have occasionally experienced a computer problem that just seems to go away after a week or two.

Even if you decide to get a new computer, I would still have a computer chap try to make your present computer functional, so that you can have two computers if you wish, (if you had two computers now you would not feel as stressed as you do) or sell the old one. Also I would think if the "old" computer were working, it would be easier to transfer your stuff to the new machine.
(Thanks friend.. that was very handy...)....

Another friend from India, who is doc cum techno geek had this to say:
Sony is a waste of money unless u r after the brand name. u can get better laptops from samsung, asus or dell

He added:
If you want a full fledged computer, I wouldn't recommend a laptop unless you need portability, now a days we have all in one desktops where all you see is a 23 or 24 inch monitor with all the hardware built into the casing of the monitor. and u have wireless/bluetooth keyboard and mouse of full size for comfortable use. That would be the best way to go . 
Windows 8 is lousy and no service packs can make it better. But as everyone knows every alternate windows OS since windows 95 has been crappy. So you would be better off with the windows7 64 bit version which is great. I use the win7 ultimate 64bit version on all my computers. I am writing this on a self assembled desktop with a 23 inch monitor, coolermaster cabinet housing an asus mobo running a quadcore i7 3.05GHz processor and 12 GB RAM with the main os on a 256gb ssd and all the rest on regular hdds, with 2 dvd writers(need to replace one of them with a bluray writer). i prefer to buy asus as far as possible because i found them the best in performance and price.
(Thanks friend.. you have earned the title of nerd).

More from the same guy:

I love all in ones as they dont occupy lot of space and come in all sizes and prices from 25k onwards. but if you have the space to store the regular desktop box, it is always preferable to opt for that because..
1. for the same performance and features all in ones will cost more than regular desktops and laptops will cost even more.
2. with a laptop or all in one if some part gets a complaint you have to ship the whole thing for service, in a desk top you can change any of the components anytime. it is like the good old ambassador car of India (recently voted the best car for a taxi in the whole world). you can get an experienced service person any where and every where like our one rupee phone boxes.
3. It is easy to keep everything cool when there is more space for air circulation.
4. If you want to upgrade something you can easily get it done if u cant do it yourself, not so with laptops..the most u can do with a laptop is install more memory and put in a new hard drive.

P.S. --this is a great review on all in one PCs:

He also added:
take a little time to browse the Indian sites of dell, Asus or Bitfang, Ebay. the prices start between 20 & 30k and can go up and beyond 100k , it all depends on the kind of features you want. but again as i said all in ones are for those people that don't want to have the big boxy thing under their desks (the big box is still the best and cheapest way to go unless you need portability, you simply cant get a laptop with the same features unless you want to spend more than 75% of what it cost for a desk top and let me tell you except for simple tasks like word processing or web browsing , a laptop wont cut it if you need to work with photoshop or multimedia. Of course there are laptops capable of that too but they are prohibitively costly and heat management becomes a major issue, you cant really keep things cool in a laptop) so once again, if you are going to buy only one computer for all your work and need portability buy a laptop. but if portability is not necessary nothing to beat a desk top, even these all in ones are not the ideal solution because , again they are after all nothing but huge 20 - 24 inch laptops with separate keyboards and mice and will suffer from the same disadvantages but slightly to a lesser degree. if you are into gaming then things will get hot too. so my preference is always for a big box for all the important work, the laptop is a convenient extension device purely because of portability.
It is like this if you must live in Manhattan you will end up spending more than half a million for a dingy studio apartment, go out of Manhattan and you can buy a great house for less than that!

He adds:
Don't buy a laptop with win8. every alternate windows version is a flop. Windows 7 64 bit version is the way to go...

A 3rd colleague had this to say:

I also suggest Joe not to move to Window 8, because it is different from Window 7. In using it, I have experienced difficulty from the beginning and I do not know how to close it without the help of my son ( Indeed he also regrets he has changed his laptop OS to window 8 ). Yet I have Windows phone 8 in my cellphone, it's OK and it's compatible with my PC/laptop W7.
Apple OS is also very good but you should totally change your hardware.
 Thanks again friend...
These suggestions should be very useful and I hope it is well received by all readers. In fact, I added this blog in case I need it in the future.


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Samsung Galaxy Note hanging problem solved

I have a Samsung Galaxy Note-1, that is- the first series Galaxy Note which has a BSNL SIM card. Used to constantly and repeatedly hang for no reason at all.
I searched the net for solutions and also had the Galaxy Note sent to the authorized service center.. but the problem persisted.
I received this useful tip which solved the problem...the problem lies with the vast number of android apps which try to access the internet simultaneously via the SIM card even though it is a 3G card.
What I did is this:

Go to settings>>>>data usage>>select the app (eg: gmail)>> check (click the tick sign)  restrict background data....

Do this for all the wireless/ internet data  hungry apps, like skype, any other apps that use a lot of data...
This solved the problem in my Galaxy Note...

Saturday, May 18, 2013

How to sign in to gmail account on your android phone

It was a real pain to access my gmail account from my android device. Despite repeated attempts at signing in to my gmail account on my Galaxy Note via the gmail app, it would not sign in, nor tell me what was wrong. So, I looked it up on google and this is what I found.
A slightly complicated process of signing in to my gmail on the Galaxy Note android device via something google calls Application specific passwords.
This link provides the path to generating application specific passwords:

It can be a pain to find the appropriate setting on gmail account settings on your PC. The link above has a small link which leads to the password generating page.
Once the password is generated, just enter it into the gmail app whilst signing in for the first time. It seems this password can be used only once. If need be generate it again for another gmail account or other app.
This video also was useful:

Monday, May 13, 2013

A simple method to make your own ultrasound phantom

This is a simple and relatively quick method of making your own ultrasound phantom. The video explains the whole process in meticulous detail.