Category: Hardware

Unboxing the Unitek IDE / SATA to USB 3.0 Drive Adapter

I hoped it would be a simple fix when the customer asked me to look at her Windows 7 machine this week. I don’t really do PC repair anymore but I have one or two old customers I’ll help out when needed. I figured it was just some Windows...

Unboxing the ASUS Chromebook

This past weekend, I finally decided to spring for a Chromebook. I’ve been thinking more and more about a Windows replacement machine, at least for basic tasks. I also wanted an inexpensive solution that would extend the life of my current laptop. I often don’t need the full machine...

Screen Rapidly Flashes On and Off After Windows 7 Update

Problem After installing updates in Windows 7, I found that my primary display flashed on and off rapidly and I was unable to activate any menus on the screen. My extended display, powered by a StarTech USB to VGA Adapter, remained off even though the drivers were properly installed...

My First 24 Hours With Alexa

I couldn’t resist any longer and decided to welcome Amazon’s Alexa into my home. I was a little hesitant at first about letting Amazon put a microphone in my house but my curiosity won out. I live alone anyway and the device can always be unplugged if necessary. At worst, it might...

A Quick Guide To Keeping Your Flash Drive Data Safe

When I started using computers about 30 years ago, the floppy disk was the standard of personal data storage. I actually started out using the 5.25″ disk so the 3.5″ disk with it’s hard case and a little bit more space was a welcome improvement at the time. We’ve...

A Couple of Notes on Cloud Computing

Years ago, when I was making do with the limited computer equipment that I could afford, I never dreamed that I would one day be able to login to a website, plug in a few specs about the machine I wanted and then, a few minutes later, log into...

On the Importance of Backups and Storage Decisions

I admit it’s a little bit of a geek thing but I’m in the habit of wiping and reloading my computer systems at least once a year to keep everything working right. I find that, even as careful as I am about what I install, I still work with...

Replacing Your Wireless Mouse / Keyboard Receiver

Wireless mice and keyboards are a great way to reduce the tangle of wires on your desktop but what do you do when that tiny USB receiver, the one about the size of your fingernail, goes missing? That’s what I asked myself the other day when I lost the...

HDMI to VGA: Using your VGA monitor on your HDMI laptop

Looks like the trusty old VGA interface is on its way out and while you’ll still see legacy systems and devices using this 25 year old standard for monitor connections, the newer laptops and computers are starting to pass on VGA connectors in favor of HDMI which, among its other benefits,...

StarTech USB to VGA Review / Windows 8.1 Display Issue

A few months ago, I purchased the StarTech USB to VGA adapterĀ for my system. I got tired of the single display and going with a USB adapter was a lot easier than modifying the computer itself to support two displays. Going by the reviews on Amazon, I decided on...