Dell Launches PC Recycling for US Customers (Dell PC’s Only)

Published 30th September 2006 By Bryce Whitty

Dell has announced that they have recently launched a recycling program for its US customers and is online at
This recycling offer is designed for consumers and includes the pick up of used Dell-Branded computers and peripherals at no charge.

Dell has had a similar program running in Europe since November 2003 and this offer is also currently available in Canada. I wonder if these recycled parts will just be melted down to be made into other items or they will find their way to the spare-parts-for-old-Dell-computers shelf?

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Computer Technicians 103: Knowing your power (supply)

Published 28th September 2006 By Boris M
Computer power supply

Last week, on Technibble: CT 102 we discussed the best way to prepare your software toolkit. Today, however, we’re back on the hardware railroad to discuss the one component your whole computer depends on: the Power Supply Unit. Any computer, no matter how perfectly planned, prepared or assembled, will fail to boot, sputter, smoke and eventually die if connected to an inadequate, weak or just plain faulty power supply. Picking a decent power supply isn’t much of a science; however, knowing what voltages run through your computer is, and knowing it will come in handy once you start actually repairing, as it might indicate what exactly went wrong with the powersupply. While you shouldn’t attempt to repair a PSU at any cost, knowing where the trouble lies will help you fill a replacement claim if the supply is still under warranty.

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How to stop Messages from Messenger Service

Published 25th September 2006 By Bryce Whitty

Some users, especially those who aren’t running Windows XP Service Pack 2 occasionally receive messages to their computers with the title “Messenger Service”. This is not to be confused with “MSN Messenger”. These messages commonly say you have viruses, adware, Spyware or other nasties on your system and you can fix them by going to their site and buying their software.

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Computer Technicians 102: The Essential Utility Kit

Published 22nd September 2006 By Boris M

In our introduction to the CT series we explained the basics of assembling a good toolbox that’ll help you deal with hardware issues. However, as you already know, there’s the other side of the computer duality. Software, while not something you can touch, feel, or throw against the wall, is generally bound to give you more trouble. If you arrive to a computer that won’t power up, you know it’s a hardware failure for sure. If, however, it won’t boot into the OS, or boots up to trouble, the odds are in favor of a software issue. And since you were summoned, you need to make sure you have as many utilities at your disposal as possible.

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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