Must-Have Laptop Accessories to Prioritize Buying

Buying a computer, specifically, a laptop can be huge investment for some people. On the average, a quality, entry-level laptop would still cost you about $500. However, equally as important as saving money and finding an affordable deal is maximizing the use of your computer.

Here are a few important accessories you should prioritize, which will greatly help your laptop’s performance.

 1. External Hard Drive

In general, laptops have a limited amount of memory in them. Their smaller size does not allow them to have additional space saved on them. Owning a quality external hard drive can help solve this problem.

Owning an external hard drive gives you a place to backup your files, as well as store files you are not using on a daily basis. Having a laptop with a full memory usually leads to a lot of lag, and the operating system does not function as efficiently. Having a hard drive at your disposal greatly solves this problem.

Tip: A cheaper alternative is to buy a USB flash drive. It does not store as much space, but its way cheaper than a hard drive.

 2. Quality Speakers

Having a good set of speakers help maximize the sound of your laptop. If you use your computer a lot for watching movies or gaming, or more practical tasks such as video editing or conference calls, then this accessory is a must-have.

Some laptop’s in-house speakers are also pretty unreliable, so have your external speakers is a good insurance policy. Some speakers even come with software so you can adjust the audio quality of the device to your preference.

Tip: If you want a more private hearing experience, instead of speakers, you can buy headphones or a headset. Both essentially serve the same purpose.

 3. Strong Case and Bag

Personally, I have always been a fan of self-expression and designing your personal belongings. It is a great way to introduce your personality to other people. The same can be said for our laptops. There are fun and creative ways to do this, all while remembering to be practical.

My suggestion is to start off by buying a strong and sturdy laptop case. Not only will this protect your computer, but also as a canvass for your creative juices. Look for stickers you can post on your case. These can either be quotes, pictures, and funny images – whatever reflects your personality. This also serves as an indicator that that computer is yours.

 4. Charger Protector

In my experience, chargers are always the first things that break. I have always noticed that as time goes by, the wires weaken, and eventually split apart.

One practice that has helped me solve this problem is using a charger wire protector. I do not know what it is officially called, but its long wire that you can twirl around your laptop charger’s cord. It helps strengthen and minimize damage when it bends. It is also really cheap to buy. Who knew that such an accessory could have such practical effects.

 5. Anti-Virus

We usually connect our laptops to different networks (Wi-Fi, printer, etc.) so it is susceptible to viruses. One very practical way to protect your computer’s software is to arm it with a strong anti-virus system. This greatly improves the immune system of your device because a quality anti-virus program can detect, eradicate, and disinfect your computer. Think of it as an insurance policy:  you never want to use it, but in times of need, you are glad that it is there.

 

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Computers and the Internet: A Digital and Personal Evolution

The Internet and computers are two of the most innovative creations of man. The advancements of both these inventions are constantly being felt in our everyday lives, and the effects they have on us are unparalleled.

While we have had so much growth in these aspects, there are still so many things to learn. Every day, there are more and more innovations being added to both the Internet and computers. As we use them on a daily basis, we uncover not only new pieces of knowledge but also learn many things about ourselves.

This constant evolution is as much personal and human, as it is digital. We can never take one away from the other. Man is the primary creator of technology, while technology is meant to serve the needs of man. No matter how hard we try, they will always be intertwined.

There is no question as to how much computers and the Internet affect our daily lives. We can see it in our homes and offices, in schools, malls, airports, train stations, and road. Advancements in medicine, transportation, education, and security are largely due to these advancements. The growth of social media in recent years has also changed drastically how we communicate and interact with people. I am awestruck at home both these innovations have taken us.

But as we go through the marvels of these inventions, one thing I would want to point out is that we should never let this technology control us. While I understand that these make our lives easier, we should never allow it to reach a point that it enslaves us. A man should control these technologies, and not the other way around.

Another important thing I’d like to point out is how with this incredible power and efficiency comes a deeper call to be more responsible. These have not only brought us convenience and connectivity but a temptation to take advantage of others. Greater technology now allows us to hack systems, secure personal information of others, be racist, and a lot more, all with the swipe of a screen or a push of a button. Yes, things have become easier, but the same also applies to people who have bad intentions on their mind.

I guess the point I am driving at is this: As we grow in this technological age, we should never forget our humanity and basic values. Even as the situation presents itself, we should always treat each other with compassion and respect. After all, as these advancements grow, so should ourselves.

In the same way that computers and the Internet are progressing, our morals should keep up as well. Your digital and personal developments cannot be fully realized without the other. In a few years, I hope I can tell myself this: “I am happy with the innovation in computers and the Internet, but even more proud that we are more human than before.”

 

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Mac vs. Windows: Which is Better For You?

One of the longest-running and most heavily debated topics in the computer world is this: Mac or Windows, which one is the better operating system?

In an attempt to share my views on this matter, I would like to further dissect each of these two companies and share some of the major advantages and disadvantages that they offer.

Advantages of Mac

Mac, or Macintosh, is a family of computers conceptualized by Apple Inc.  Ever since its birth in 1976, Apple has taken the world by storm and introduced a myriad of different innovations. Arguably, its most noticeable contribution is the Macbook.

One of the most distinctive features of a Mac is its seemingly powerful, yet very simple interface. Macbooks are very straightforward and take a what-you-see-is-what-you-get approach to using them. It is so easy that people have often said, when you go Mac there is no turning back. This is a testament to this brand’s user-friendliness.

Some other advantages to consider is Mac’s highly clear retina screen, regular software updates, optimized battery life, and unparalleled multi-tasking features. If you already own an Apple product, such as an iPhone, you can easily sync it with the Mac computer.

Finally, Apple offers their customer support so when you have a problem with your Mac, you can expect an immediate response from them.

Disadvantages of Mac

One of the major disadvantages Macbooks have are its incredibly hefty prices. An entry-level model would still cost you about $1200, almost twice as much as a Windows-run computer. Macbook parts are also very hard to find. They also have a very exclusive approach to their accessories, meaning they are only compatible with Apple products. Finally, if you are into gaming, you will be severely disappointed with Mac. Up until now, they still do not offer a strong gaming experience for its users.

Advantages of Windows

Windows, on the other hand, is a creation of Microsoft. As opposed to its counterpart, one of its major advantages is its flexibility in all aspects. There are infinitely more choices in a computer that uses a Windows operating system. This also means that you have a wider range of prices to choose from.

If you are seeking a high-end model, you can do so, while if your budget is more constrained, there are still a lot of choices that offer above average quality. Generally speaking, Windows computers are also a lot cheaper than Macs.

Regarding program and software selection, Windows also offer more options for you. More kinds of software are easily compatible with this brand. Currently, the Window store has roughly 50,000 different applications to choose from, and more you can buy in actual computer stores. It is also way easier to un-install software on Windows. It takes very little fuss to do.

Lastly, a greater population of the world uses this operating system, so there is better compatibility. It is also much easier to share and send files.

Disadvantages of Windows

Well, since Windows is more accessible to people, security is an issue. These computers are more susceptible to catching viruses since about 95% of them are aimed at Windows. Generally speaking, this program is also prone to lagging and needs a lot of maintenance. It is also a lot more difficult to find quality support with Windows.

 

Conclusion

All in all, both of these options are high-quality choices, and you cannot go wrong with either regarding performance. Just remember to figure out what you are requirements are, and it should help make your decision a whole lot easier.  

  

 

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Four Basic Rules For Using Social Media

The Internet, specifically social media, gives people an unlimited amount of freedom and a vast platform to share their opinions. While I do agree that sharing ideas is important, I also feel that sometimes, that freedom can mutate into a toxic pile of negativity, which breeds inhumane behavior. People take advantage of the anonymity, and use it for their own selfish, sometimes even cruel, intentions.

As we are given this liberty, it is important to remind ourselves that with it comes a lot of responsibility and reflection. As users of social media, it is imperative that we abide by following a set of guidelines.

 1. Think Before You Click

Before sharing content on the Internet, always ask yourself this question: Will this do anybody any good? The basic premise here is to respect other people, and that includes their opinions, cultural background, and beliefs. In the same way that you will not agree with everything other people say, accept the reality that not everybody will agree with you. This is meant to be a forum to exchange ideas and broaden our perspectives, but it can only be done if we first create a culture of respect, and that all starts with a single click. Remember, it only takes one hateful comment to create a riot.

 2. Verify Data

While everyone is entitled to their own opinion and has the freedom to express what they feel, it is equally important to stick with credible data. Recently, more and more fake news has been circulating the Internet. Photoshopped images, satire articles, and gossip news are just a few things you should watch out for. Not only does this create panic among people, but also it breeds a culture of bullying and divisiveness.

So, before you share news on social media, read the whole article and what its message it (not just the headlines!). More importantly, verify if the source is legitimate. There are so many kinds of information on the Internet, so it is our responsibility to discern whether it is real or not.

 3. Know What to Share, and What to Keep Private

Not all information should be posted on the Internet.  As valuable as it is to share your ideas, it is also important to ensure that you are safe. Social media is open to everyone, and that includes people who have bad intentions on their mind.

Take advantage of the privacy settings on your page. Be sure that when you share personal and potentially sensitive information about yourself, it is with people whom you trust. Also, avoid sharing personal information such as your mobile number, home address, or details about your family. Remember, your safety, and your family’s security should always be the main priority.

Recently, Facebook has been involved in a number of scandals related to data privacy. Before you agree to use a service like Facebook, you should read the Facebook Terms of Service to make sure you know what you’re actually agreeing to.

 4. Be Open to Other People’s Points of View

As important as it is to respect other people’s opinions, we should also be open to what other people have to say. We have always said that social media is a chance to share ideas with one another, so why not let it teach you a thing or two? Be open to having your opinions questioned and your beliefs shattered. Accept the reality that sometimes, the way you see things may not be the whole picture. You never know, maybe somebody else’s experience can teach you something profound and meaningful. That all starts with keeping an open mind.

Conclusion

Social media is an innovative tool that I hope we all learn to maximize. This is an ideal venue to learn more about the world by communicating with different kinds of people. However, to ensure this productivity, we need to preserve a positive exchange of ideas. We cannot allow it to breed negative tendencies such as bullying, racism, and sexism.

To prevent this from happening, we need to constantly remind ourselves to be responsible and respectful social media users. As they say, we need first to be the change we want to see in others.

Five Ways to Protect Yourself When Using a Computer

As the technology around us advances, so do the risks. One of the biggest fears that people have when using a computer, and going on the Internet, is being hacked. Our security is something we should always protect. In this ever-changing world, we never know what dangers could be waiting for us at every turn.

To help you greatly reduce the risk, here are some tips on how to keep yourself protected:

 1. Install an Effective Anti-Virus Program

The easiest and most well-known way to protect your computer is to install an effective anti-virus program. This works like a vaccine: when a virus attempts to access your computer, this program detects it and then proceeds to eradicate it. Of course, some viruses are stronger than others, so it is important to get one of the higher kinds of anti-virus programs. Personally, just to be sure, I would suggest that you buy these applications, instead of downloading a lite version on the Internet. If there is anything you should not cheap out on, it is this.

Of course, always remember to update this software.

2. Avoid Sharing Your Personal Information

At present, more and more applications are being introduced to make our lives more convenient. Bank transfers, online selling, and job interviews are just some of the tasks now done virtually, which ask us for a lot of personal information. Always remember to check if the website is legitimate and if the connection is secure before sharing any personal information. The same applies to your passwords.

Recently, there have been more and more cases of money laundering and illegal transactions through online methods. That is why it is important to remember this rule: When in doubt, close the tab.

 3. Passwords

Passwords are supposed to be highly encrypted measures that block people from gaining access to your account. Therefore, be sure to use a complicated password. Avoid using personal information such as your birthday or initials, which can be easily researched.

Use a term that not many people know about, but at the same time, is also easy to remember. If all else fails, just use a jumbled-up combination of numbers, lower and upper case letters, and symbols. The important thing to remember here is not to be generic. A unique and random password is usually an effective one. 

4. Filter Your Email and Delete Spam

One of the most basic reasons people use computers for is to check their email. Unfortunately, this is also a usual place where hackers can attack you.  To prevent this from happening, take advantage of your filter settings. Normally, emails today automatically flag suspicious messages they perceive to be as spam. Once they appear in your spam folder, delete them immediately.

Many of these messages may seem very normal. They will use different methods to entice you to open the message, such as a cry for help, or an announcement that you won a raffle. Always be vigilant with these strategies and make it a regular habit of deleting your spam messages.

 5. Backing Up Important Data

This last one is less about protecting yourself from hackers, but more so being prepared in case of technical difficulties. In most cases, we store a lot of sensitive information on our computers. As with any machine, there is always a risk that they completely break down. In this case, it is essential to back up important documents.

Invest in an external hard drive with a strong security system. Make sure also that there is adequate space before you start moving files. At the very least, this is an important insurance policy to ensure your important files are safe and well kept.

Conclusion

Our privacy as individuals is always something that we should strive protect, most especially in this digital world, which has many growing risks. These are just some very basic suggestions to ensure that we are using our computers responsibly and safely. It may seem like very simple suggestions, but following these will go a long way in ensuring our protection from these virtual dangers.

 

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Evolution of the Internet

The Internet is an ever-growing microcosm filled with unlimited amounts of information. It is a powerful medium that allows people of different cultures and walks of life to communicate and learn more about one another. It gives them an ideal platform to collaborate, share ideas, and engage in intellectual discourse.

In short, the Internet has managed to reduce the distance between people and connect them with one another.

Brief History

Crediting the invention of the Internet to one person is impossible. Rather, this is an effect of various brilliant minds, working together, and building on each other’s ideas and theories. It is nice to think that the inter-connectedness we appreciate today is a byproduct of their connectedness with one another.

Right now, I would like to attempt to retrace how the evolution of the Internet started.

In the 1960s, many people conceptualized and viewed the Internet as a singular network that allowed people to communicate, connect, and share information. This is the basic framework what we know today.

It was not until the late 1960s that the US Department of Defense created the first prototype. ARPANET, or Advanced Research Projects Agency Network, was conceptualized to allow sensitive information to be shared in a singular, secured network. This idea was later built on by scientists, Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf, who envisioned creating a “network or networks.”

Eventually, in the 1990s, this evolution took a major step when Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. While often mistaken for being the Internet, the WWW, using various links, is a medium to share information. This served as the backbone for what we know today.

Here’s a brief overview of the history of the internet by a YouTube channel called Life Noggin:

Current State of the Internet

After several technological advancements, most especially the boom of computers, the vision of having a multitude of networks being connected with one another, was finally achieved.

Currently, there are over 3.58 million users worldwide, which is more than half of the world’s total population. They use the Internet for many different reasons: research, sharing of information, entertainment, etc.

Arguably, its most practical benefit is its ability to connect people. In a way, it helps make the world smaller and more accessible. This connectivity allows people to know more about different cultures, races, beliefs, religions, and ideologies.

Right now, even if you are living in Asia, you are aware of what is happening in the USA. You can see images and videos online of current events. In the same way, people from the USA are also updated on things happening in Europe, or Australia.

This has a positive effect on humanity. We become more culturally sensitive and understanding of other people. More than that, we can create deep relationships with people, despite the distance.

Additionally, we have a much easier, much wider access to information now. If there is something we are unsure of, our knee-jerk reaction is to search it online. Unlike before where research is done in a library, today it can be easily Googled through our phones.

The Internet has also been made available to more people. In the past, we needed a computer to use this, but now, there is now mobile Internet on our smartphones.

More than ever, it has grown to be a powerful medium of change in the world. I will not be surprised that in the next few years, more advancements will be introduced.

Conclusion

There is no doubt that the Internet has made a major effect on our lives, how we do things, and how we relate to other people. Its funny to think how a little over half a century ago, the first Internet prototype was not even born, the now it has grown to be the widest network we have ever known.

As we continue to grow with the Internet, one thing we should remember is with this great power and technology come a greater requirement to be responsible. No matter how far the Internet evolves, as users, we should still be in control of it. We should always be in control of the Internet, not the other way around.

 

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A Buyer’s Guide to Gaming Headsets

Finding the perfect gaming headset can be quite a difficult task. There are so many choices out there, each with their specific advantage. Each one also has a unique set of specification that we must factor in as well.

To help you narrow down your search, I would like to share some of my suggestions on what are some headsets you should consider buying.

1.  Kingston Hyper X Gaming Headset

The Kingston Hyper X is a state-of-the-art headset equipped with surround sound technology and 53 mm neodymium drivers. The audio quality is crisp and realistic, which gives you a different level of gaming experience, and even allows you to hear the faintest sounds in the background.

The headset also sports a lightweight and ergonomic design to give you maximum comfort while you play. This is one of the most comfortable models on the market so you can wear it even for long hours.

Pros:

  • 7.1 surround sound technology
  • Compatible with devices such as the PS4, Switch, laptops, and smartphones
  • Microphone has clear voice quality and noise canceling features
  • Comes in 3 stylish colors

Cons:

  • Does not come with software to adjust sound tone and bass
  • Soundcard is easily damaged
  • Not compatible with Xbox One (you still need to buy an extra adaptor)

2. Creative Sound Blaster H5 Tournament Edition Gaming Headset

The H5 Tournament Edition headset is a clear upgrade over its predecessor. The manufacturers of Creative focused on improving sound quality and depth. While it does not give you a surround sound option, considering its very affordable price, it still provides you with very solid audio. The drivers are a bit smaller at 50mm drivers, but thankfully the sound quality is not affected.

The headset also comes with Creative’s revolutionary software, which allows you to choose a specific sound profile from a list of pre-installed choices. If you are a gamer that is particular with kind of sound for a particular game, you will find this feature very useful. This model is clear value-for-money deal.

Pros:

  • Improved sound quality with greater precision on background effects
  • Comes with 3.5 mm jack adaptor
  • Use the Creative software to choose from 5 different sound profiles
  • Provides 1-year limited warranty
  • Affordable price

Cons:

  • No surround sound technology feature
  • Although light, the dimensions make it a little bulky and hard to bring around
  • Ear cups do not swivel
  • Software does not allow you to change sound dynamics (bass, tone, echo, etc.) 

3. Siberia 800 Wireless Gaming Headset

If you are looking for a cordless gaming headset that allows you greater freedom to move around as you play, you might want to consider the Siberia 800. Despite using wireless frequency, the audio quality is top-of-the-line. The heightened sound is crystal clear and realistic to help improve focus as you play. You also have the option to activate the surround sound feature for more intense gaming sessions, all with the press of a button.

The headset also comes with two lithium ion batteries and a fast charger so that you can play longer without the fear of the batteries dying out on you mid-game. Couch control also gives you the convenience to adjust settings even while far away from the console.

Pros:

  • Top-notch sound quality
  • Wireless technology has a maximum range of 12 meters (40 feet)
  • Ear cups have memory foam padding for increased comfort
  • 20-hour battery life and 70-minute fast charging features
  • Easy mobilization, ear cups can be folded up to 90 degrees
  • Use a transmitter and software to customize sound exactly how you like it

Cons:

  • Big and bulky size
  • High-end level headset with a high price

Conclusion

As I have stated before, the headset you buy will highly depend on your gaming requirements. Today, I have presented three choices, each giving you a specific benefit. All three also have a different price point to fit your budget.

 

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