Computer Technicians 101: The Essential Toolbox

Published 14th September 2006 By Boris M

So, you’ve decided to become a computer technician. Whether it’s the will to help people, computers, to earn cash, to make a name for yourself, or any combination of that, it’s a good thing. I hope you realize you’ll have quite a bit to learn if you’re completely new to the business. In order to become a good technician, you should know the inside and outside of your computer, both hardware and software – and I say a good one, because if you don’t put your mind and will into it you’ll land in more trouble than you can imagine, and you will only have yourself to blame. If you learn how to do everything properly, you’ll know what went wrong, and you’ll be wise enough to make sure you didn’t do it. In this article, let’s assume you’ve seen the inside of your computer at least once, you know all the basic parts of your computer and you can generally guess what all can go wrong.

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Why you Should Avoid Cheap Power Supplies

Published 11th September 2006 By Bryce Whitty

The computer power supply is not only one of the most important parts on a PC; it is also the most overlooked. When computer buffs talk about their systems having very powerful processors, RAM and video cards they rarely ever mention the power supply, and if they do, they only mention the power wattage.

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Posted in Hardware

Case cooling – the physics of good airflow

Published 8th September 2006 By Boris M

Airflow’s good, heat is bad. If you’ve read our article on replacing GPU fans, you already know the dangers of heat and how to prevent its effect locally. However, keeping a computer running coolly isn’t just about placing a giant heatsink on the hotspot – although it undoubtedly helps. Just shifting the same stale air around isn’t going to help keep the components cool, in fact, it’ll only heat them up. So, aside from on-site planning, you need a bit of global planning as well to insure you have a cool computer case. After all, you have a CPU, a GPU and a power supply to cool in there.

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New ZCodec Adware/Trojan disguises itself as a Video codec

Published 5th September 2006 By Bryce Whitty

Panda Software (the makers of Panda Antivirus) reported last week of a new type of adware/trojan combination. zCodec claims to be a video codec (such as divx, xvid etc.) but claims to offer “40% better video quality” than other codecs. Once installed it becomes an adware program and can install trojans, rootkits and other malicious software.

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Virtualization and its Uses in the Tech World

Published 4th September 2006 By Bryce Whitty

Written by Guest Writer: Luke Shillabeer; Virtualisation is a term that’s been floating around the computer world since its start in the 1950’s. Recently however, due to increases in computer processing power and storage space it has become somewhat of a hot topic as it gives simple, powerful solutions to some of the biggest computer issues; security, privacy, compatibility and portability.

I know, I know, it sounds like a horrible buzz-word from the dot-com era that a marketing guru would have used to drum up some investment capital, but fortunately there’s quite a bit more to virtualisation than the flashiness of its name!

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How to Replace a Video Card GPU Fan

Published 1st September 2006 By Boris M

Heat is the enemy of computers. Unlike short circuits and lightning strikes, which usually do instantaneous damage to your components, heat is one of the nuisances that can damage your computer over a long period of time, as well. Without delving into water-cooling and similar alternatives, having a well-ventilated, spacious and tidy computer case can help the general airflow. However, sometimes heat has to be directly removed from the overheated component, be it the CPU, the northbridge chipset or the graphic card’s GPU. Those three are commonly considered the three critical overheating points inside a computer.

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Posted in Hardware

Confessions of a Geek Squad Employee

Published 31st August 2006 By Bryce Whitty

An ex Geek Squad employee speaks out about the price and time gouging forced by their parent company Best Buy to meet weekly quotas. Read More …

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New Virus Targets AMD Processors

Published 30th August 2006 By Bryce Whitty

Laharl ex spotted this one for us:
Researchers at Symantec have discovered a proof of concept virus that targets a systems processor rather than its operating system. There are currently two versions of this virus, one targets the 32 bit version and the other targets the 64 bit version proccessors from AMD. Symantec are calling these viruses w32.bounds and w64.bounds.

Symantec found this code in online meeting places for virus writers such as underground websites and IRC chat channels.

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Geek Squad Marketing: Why they get more clients than you.

Published 29th August 2006 By Bryce Whitty

The Geek Squad is something most computer technicians have seen or heard about at some point even if you are outside the US. In this article I will be talking about their beginnings and their highly effective marketing that make people view them as mini-celebrities instead of just computer technicians.

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Performing Data Recovery

Published 26th August 2006 By Boris M

There comes a time in the life of each hard-drive when it just won’t access any of the data on the drive anymore. The same applies to CDs and DVDs which, due to their fragile nature, get scratched and scraped beyond readability. As Murphy’s law would often have it, it happens exactly to the files you need when you need them. In order to preserve your data (and your sanity in case data starts mysteriously disappearing), you need to know exactly what can be done to make sure you don’t find yourself losing important files.

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