Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Quality Systems Versus Black and Gold Brand

Being a professional system builder I sometimes get the ‘quality cheap’ system request, whereby a customer request’s a high performance, high quality system at a budget price.

Of course there is no such thing. There are cheap computer systems which are generally built with generic ‘cheap' computer components and then there are ‘custom’ quality systems which are built with handpicked quality components.

So the terms High Performance and Cheap, really are mutually exclusive.

So in this post I am going to outline what makes a Cheap Black and Gold Generic system and what makes up a High Quality, High Performance system.

Computer Enclosure:

High quality computer enclosures come with a high quality power supply of a high power rating. The high power rating will ensure you have plenty of power for future add-ons like extra hard drives, add in cards, USB devices and Memory and CPU upgrades.

Also such power supplies that come with good quality cases usually come with hardware to better protect your motherboard, ram and CPU from power surges and spikes. Or little rug rats that turn the system off the wrong way, such power surges can damage or at least shorten the life of your computer components.

Good quality enclosures have large high quality fans which keep components cool once again extending their life and prevent the system from overheating.

Vibration insulation grommets, these grommets insulate your hardrive from the rest of your enclosure and prevent vibration and reverberation which can shorten the life of your hard drive and sometimes make your computer excessively loud.

High quality system box, huge rear fan for excellent cooling and extremely quiet.
Comes with a high quality 500watt power supply, also features transverse mounted hard drive cradle with hard drive vibration grommets and it even looks good!


Quality motherboards really are the foundation for any quality system and it really pays not to skimp here. Among many other things quality motherboards have extremely high data throughput (data flow) to support the latest processors.

Some systems I have seen simply cannot cater for the data flow requirements of the processor they are built with, and sometimes the motherboard itself ‘throttles’ the CPU speed down by as much as 30%. In effect you are buying a CPU and not using 30% of its full power.

Also quality motherboards are built with high quality components which last much longer than black and gold specials. Quality motherboard also have additional circuitry to protect components against power spikes and surges as well as having dual crash proof bios systems and as a bonus have many innovative features.


Quality memory as a general rule has very short latency, which is the space of time between one write process in memory and the next as well has having much higher operating frequencies while generating much less heat. This results in a much more responsive and reliable system.

Here you have cheap memory and here you have quality G Skill ram.

Video Card,

Much like motherboards top video cards are made with quality components and are made from superior design specs than the standard design template supplied from ATI or Nvidia. As such a quality video cards perform better and are more reliable and generally have much better cooling solutions than Black and Gold Brands.

Hard drive,

There is only one hard drive make that you should be concerned with and that is Western Digital. But always ask for the Green model as they represent very good performance and reliability and reasonable price. Also look for capacity anomalies which have a higher amount of cache.

Overall when you you purchase a quality system, you can be pretty sure that all the components in your system are 'performance matched'. What I mean by this is that each component is specifically selected to match and complement the rest of your computer components.

Many off the shelf systems today have very powerful Processors but not the quality or quantity of ram or motherboard to properly support the full performance potential of the processor.

It's kind of like putting a Porsche engine in a old Morris Minor.

Well I hoped I have cleared things up, you really cannot compare off the shelf computer systems to custom built systems on point of price.

Your either after Quality or you want a Cheap Computer.

Blue Fox Computers

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

'Backing Up' DVD Movies

Although backing up your collection of DVD movies is a somewhat contentious issue. There are plenty of legitimate reasons for creating backup copies of your DVD Movie collection.

There is a number of programs out there, but in this post I am going to focus on one of the simplest to use programs, DVD Shrink.

The trick to copying DVD movies successfully is to reduce all data to be burnt to the 'bare essentials' only.

This is because most 'original' DVD movie disks are dual layer, where bought blank DVD disks are only single layer.

Now each layer can hold up to 4.7 Gigabytes of data, so where an original disk can hold 9.4 Gigabytes being a dual layer, we only have 4.7 Gigabytes to work with.

This is where DVD Shrink comes into play, DVD Shrink gives you the ability to remove all the non-essentials when copying your beloved original DVD movie.

Items like:

  • Bonus Extras
  • Two speaker stereo audio streams
  • Annoying start and selection menus
  • Trailers
  • Subtitles
  • Foreign language audio streams

Also DVD Shrink has the ability to cut out the credits at the beginning and end of the DVD movie.

For a detailed video guide on how to backup your DVD movie disks just watch the video below.

Blue Fox Computers

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Computer Cases

Contrary to popular belief, not all computer enclosures are created equal! That doesn’t mean to say you have to load up your credit card and spend five hundred dollars on a descent computer case. But as with most things it pays to shop around.

Whether you are thinking of building yourself a new system or if you are just in the market for a new computer and am not sure what to look out for, here’s an essential checklist to ensure that your next system comes with a quality case.

Rule of thumb is that the best computer cases are made by the most prominent computer hardware manufacturers and these manufacturers more often than not build products with innovative features while manufacturing a quality product.

Ventilation fan: good quality fans, the larger the better as large fans spin slower while transfer the same volume of air and produce a lot less noise. Nothing is more annoying than wondering if your computer is about to take off like an F-18 off of a super carrier.

  • Dust grilles: good computer enclosures have removable dust grilles at the front of the case which keeps the inside of your computer dust free and reduces heat build up in your system.
  • Hard drive orientation: the latest good quality computer cases have the hard drives mounted perpendicular to the case making it easy to add and remove hard drives without taking your whole computer apart. Many cases also have shock absorbing grommets to reduce hard drive noise transferring to the case and reducing vibration shock to the hard drive which potentially increases the hard drives life.
  • Power supply: a good quality power supply is essential, and one that will cater for the power demands of your system today and years from now when you may end up having four hard drives, video capture card, wireless network card, scanner, webcam and anything else that you care to attach to your computer and force your computer’s power supply to cope with.
You can see there’s a little more to computer cases than you would think.
Popular quality computer enclosures include Antec, Lian Li and Antec.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Online Computer Help

The future for online computer help is very bright. No to you need to call a mobile computer technician and make an appointment during working hour which would mean you would need to take time off of work and sometimes wait for hours for the tech to arrive.

Today computer assistance often comes in the form of online computer help. You don’t even need to make a phone call. Online computer help arrives, well online. Many computer support companies offer online assistance through a service called RDP or Remote Desktop Protocol, whereby a computer support tech can provide online computer help remotely.

This means that services are delivered much faster to the customer, service is more efficient in most cases and costs are greatly reduced for the support service provider, traveling time to provide computer support on average equals half to two thirds of the entire job time. Traveling to the job, performing the repair or providing the service and then driving back to the workshop or to the next job, of course a food portion of cost savings are passed onto the client, the overall cost savings makes providing such a service common sense and increases the profitability of providing such a service while reducing cost to the client. It’s a win – win situation!

So why don’t we see more online computer help services, well that’s a good question! Well there are some technical considerations to consider.

  • Clients’ internet speed: a slow internet speed makes it hard to connect to and provide remote support to a client’s computer.
  • Modem type: some modems cannot cater for RDP or remote desktop services
  • Software issues: some software can hamper or prevent remote access to a client’s computer, preventing remote online help.
  • Security issues: there are potential security issues when the client’s network is setup for remote online help when a clients system is part of a wireless network. Extra precautions need to be taken.
  • Client education: some client education is required to ensure that technical requirements are met so remote desktop support services are unhindered.

To get around these issues many computer support firms provide a subscription service to online computer help, where they will make an on site visit and ensure your system and network can be accessed remotely. Many people find this a little intrusive to have a computer tech at their home when there is nothing wrong, also people hate contracts or subscription services.

For my own support business, I have provide a very simple solution where the customer can simply email a request for information regarding online computer support, from there I simply email the client detailed and easy to follow PDF file on how to prepare their computer for online computer help, support rates, a guide to requesting and establishing a connection and a short checklist to ensure that their online computer help is provided efficiently and hassle free!

To make an appointment for, or to receive details of online computer help.

Feel free to email me at or visit my website for more details.

John Salamon
Blue Fox Computers

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Registry Cleaner that actually solves problems!

If you are anything like me, you probably check out new exciting software from Cnet downloads or load demo disks and test out all manner of new and exciting software that comes out. And that’s great; I’m always looking for really cool tools, entertainment software and other new software gadgets that either save me time or provide a function that no other software does, even though ninety percent of the trial or demo software I load up and try, I don’t use again and therefore un-install.

After a while, even a short while, doing this can in some instances create a serious negative impact on your computer’s performance. Now if you’re not one to run image files to get your computer running smoothly again, then I recommend you look at a registry cleaner which will give your computer’s registry a thorough clean and getting it working smooth and fast again, as well as solving and fixing potential problems which could quickly leave you stranded with a system that simply refuses to boot.

The program is Error Fix, now I am not a real fan of Registry Cleaners or any type of automated system maintenance software, from my experience a lot of them can cause more problems than they solve. But after trailing a fully activated version of Error Fix for the company to test on my Windows 7 machine, I was quietly impressed and decided that it would be a good idea to endorse it.

First looking at the software and wondering what carnage it was about to do with my system I ran a registry scan and come up with 526 problems, it was just a co-incidence that my computer was pretty dirty and muddled and was due for me to run an image file anyway, but after running the registry cleaner Error Fix and re-booting I quickly changed my mind about running an image file backup.

Before running Error Fix, Firefox and Flock (previous post) was freezing up, also after an extended period my computer was slowing right down and needed re-booting despite being a quad core behemoth with four gig of ram. Yet after running Error Fix my system ran, as far as I could tell, like the day I first installed the operating system. Very impressive!

Overall Error Fix is very easy to operate, much like many other registry cleaners really just without the weird and wonderful operating system problems afterwards!
So if you are in the market for a registry cleaner you can’t go past Error Fix, it will be one of the few programs that I will permanently add to my computer's running list.

Error Fix

Parasharia web directory

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Having your computer serviced?

That’s right, most computer owners don’t realize that computers, just like cars do need regular service. Although the routine maintenance for a computer is usually much less involved than a car and not nearly as expensive; computer maintenance is essential to maintaining a healthy, smooth running and trouble free computer.

For the most part a computer service involves having the interior of your computer case and the processor heatsink/fan cleaned of collected dust, you can get away with having your computer serviced every twelve months.

For the large part having your case and processor/heatsink cleaned might seem trivial, but believe me ‘a lot of dust’ can collect on a processor heatsink in twelve months. This dust inevitably hampers airflow through the processor heatsink and therefore the heatsink holds more heat, which in turn will make your computer’s processor run hotter and slower, and can even reduce the life of not only the processor but the whole system.

Other maintenance services that can be performed during your computer's yearly service can also involve:

  • Image file and backup reversion: when the operating system is ‘dirty’ or highly unorganized sometimes no amount of defragging the hard drive will help, so if you computer reseller or technician has been wise enough to create a clean backup image of your computer; it might be wise to have that backup image (operating system/Xp or Vista) reverted to its original clean, pristine state; where it will run like the first day you bought it
  • Hard Defragmentation: Over time files on your hard drive will become fragmented or messy, and although it’s a simple operation to de-fragment you hard drive, let’s admit it many of us just don’t have the time. While your computer is off getting serviced, the hard drive should of course be defragmented.
  • Hardware check: this might sound strange to the average person, but for us computer nerds we can come across signs of impending doom. That’s why as part of your computer’s servicing routine, a thorough hard drive and memory (Ram) check should be the final PC health check. If there is an impending problem with your hard drive or ram, it’s a good time to know about the problem while your personal data can be easily saved and transferred onto a new hard dive.
  • Upgrade options: during your computers yearly service is an ideal time to weigh up the value of any hardware upgrades. It will save you an extra service bill and reduce your computer downtime.
Well I hope I have been helpful in providing useful information on the value of having a computer service regularly.

While you can service your own computer, there is of course risks involved and if your lack the confidence or technical know how it’s wise to have your computer service performed by a professional technician.

For prompt on site assistance, please feel free to contact me through my website.

Blue Fox Computers

Parasharia web directory

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Shepherd of the ‘Flock’

I don't make a habit of doubling up on my posts with my Internet Marketing Blog, but I feel this program is too newsworthy to be contained in a single blog.

The program or rather internet browser I am talking about is of course 'Flock'.

Yes I know, I didn't just mis-pronounce a cuss word; I hadn't heard of it either up until a few days ago when I was researching an highly successful internet marketer by the name of Ed Dale.

Anyway getting back to business, this browser will fundamentally change the way you view and surf the internet. Although for those casual surfers this new revolutionary browser will hardly blow wind up your skirt, though for the hard core internet freaks and internet marketers alike, or for those just looking to spend less time on the net, the heralding of this state of the art browser is akin to the second coming.

The browser 'Flock' is made by the same people who created Firefox, and in my opinion will soon increase Mozilla's strangle hold on browser domination; in fact it could enjoy a complete monopoly, the 'Frock' browser is that good!

To give you some details Flock was built on the basic foundations of Firefox, and once its installed there is no hassle at all migrating all your browser setting, passwords and favourites to Flock, the process is done seamlessly and although Flock seems a lot like Firefox it is all so much more powerful.

All your social sites fully integrate into flock, facebook, twitter, you name it.

Flock has a very customizable My World tab featuring your favourite feeds, friend activity, favourite media, and favourite sites. You can totally manage facebook and even individually interact with facebook friends with a very nifty People Sidebar. There’s also a neat Media Bar giving fast access to your favourite media streams complete with a video stream search facility for the major video stream sites such as Flickr and Youtube, there’s a RSS Feed Side Bar and let me not forget a time saving and Account and Services side bar. If you’re into blogging you can publish and update your Wordpress and Blogger blogs with the browsers blog editor.

You can easily ‘borrow’ web content and share it or drag and drop it onto your on sites all within the browser, to be honest I could keep going and going and going.

Although the best thing I love about this new browser is the total lack of hang-ups, it works seamlessly and is very responsive and despite the complete thrashing I gave it while opening twenty six tabs it never skipped a beat, not even once.

And last but not least, it runs on every operating system known to man, yes even Mac's!

I urge anyone who wishes they could do more online in less time to give Flock a test drive, I highly recomend it.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Finding Lost Files using Search

Finding Lost Files using Search

A few clients have asked me, 'how do I find files which I have misplaced or lost.

Well a quick way of finding lost files is using the Search utility in windows, here's a video on how to use search to find files which you may have lost or misplaced.

I know the video is pretty small and may be hard to see, basically I typed .jpg

That's (dot J P G) into windows search window, then clicked 'see more results'

Add to:


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Backing up Bookmarks in Firefox

Here's a video I have prepared to show you how to backup up your bookmarks in Firefox. It's also a good idea after you have created the backup file of your bookmarks to email the backup to one of your emails for safe keeping. If for any reason your computer crashes and you lose your favorites from your browser, you don't have to perform the tedious task of finding all your favorite web pages one by one.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Windows 7 Review


When Vista first came out, everyone was mesmerized by the changes and the advances of operating system design and features. Though rumor has it Microsoft had two operating systems under development at the same time and chose to complete development of Vista and keep what is now known as on the back burner.
In true Microsoft style, they leave the best till last amid gossip that Windows & is due for release on 10th April.

Having installed (codenamed Vienna) on my main computer about a month ago, I’d like to give you an independent review of what the public is in for with Microsoft’s new operating system release.

On install installs very similar than Vista and XP with the exception of an extra small 200mb boot partition which apparently increases reliability. Of course the installation was much larger, about 14 Gigabytes. What really pleased me after it was completely loaded and up and running is the extensive hardware support, for the 32bit version anyway. It suffers none of Vista initial hardware driver problems when if you remember Vista came out. I was very concerned about driver support form canon laser printer and wireless network card, but most will find if doesn’t find and install the driver from the install, you will just be able to use Vista drivers for all your hardware devices.

Now to the look and feel of , the look is very sharp and kind of resembles a Linux Red Hat distribution but only better. It certainly is an improvement over Vista. The use of transparency is very cool and helps somewhat with windows navigation as it lets you see what behind the fringes of your windows.

A very nice feature of is that whenever you hover the cursor over items docked over the task bar you get a medium transparency thumbnail of that program fade up giving you clear representation of what’s waiting for you. If it’s a webpage that’s been minimized to the taskbar a temporary maximized page is thrown onto the screen to show you what that browser contains. This feature will come in very useful for anyone who has multiple desktops running a high number of browser windows.

It doesn’t take long to get use to this feature and use it too to its full potential.

As far as the kernel goes, it provides for a very responsive operating system and now doubt can make use of and take on much larger amounts of ram. As far as networking goes, Windows has made it a lot simpler to share files by what it labels as a ‘Home Group’. Sharing files in Windows 7 is much simpler and user friendly than under Vista.

Overall suffered no crashes in the month of my test drive, though some older programs I have been warned by the operating system not to install, which isn’t a bad thing really. Also the new credential manager to keep usernames and password is a great tool that works seamlessly with Firefox and IE but not so well with Chrome; also you have the ability to create a backup of all your usernames and password only to restore them later after a fresh install which saves a lot of hassle.

There are many more very neat features and additions to to many to add to this post, but the standout improvements would have to be Windows 7 driver support and it’s rock solid stability.

Of course I hope I don’t get proven wrong, but this windows offering would have to be the best since Xp was brought out to replace windows 2000 and if you are thinking of buying a new computer in the not too distant future I would strongly urge you to wait until starts to become available on new systems.

'Computer Support!'
........ here

Learn to Make Money Online

Friday, February 20, 2009

Printer Problems

Sorry that I have posted a few reviews up lately so now I will post some not so common solutions to a common problem.

If I can ask the question ‘have you got an inject at home? And if you have, has there ever been a time where you went to print on it and the print has come out all blotchy, with streaks or with lines of no ink. I bet it would be most of you because this is one of the most common problems I see with people’s .

This symptom is a common cause of the printer not being used on a regular basis. You see an inkjet s’ printing head is designed to transfer ink onto the paper your printing onto. Of course I hear you say! But during this process a gradual and continued flow of fresh ink is left on the printing head, thus keeping it moist.

Problems occur when you don’t print for a while, say 2-3 months given varying atmospheric conditions. What happens then is that the ink left on the print head from the last print has had time to dry and harden, creating a barrier for fresh ink to flow from the ink cartridge through the printer head and onto the paper, hence the blotches and stripes.

The problem is in extreme cases, running a ‘deep head’ cleaning cycle probably won’t solve the problem. Unfortunately if you have this sort of problem, much more extreme measures are called for.

Here are some measures that may, and I say ‘may’ loosely, fix your beloved s print head from dried ink blockage.

If the print head has become clogged and the 's head-cleaning cycle won't help (run it 10 times if you have to) you could try these things:

Soak the head in hot water then leave it overnight, then try it again

If you have access to an ultrasonic cleaner that will take the print head, use that. (These are used by jewellers and other people which have to clean small, intricate parts)

Buy some Isopropyl Alcohol and soak the print head in that overnight. (You can get it from the chemist)

Use a Mr Cappuccino (or your Espresso machine). It's a small kitchen appliance which creates a jet of steam for frothing milk for making a cappuccino. You can use the jet of steam to blast the print head. But be careful that you don't melt things -- short, sharp jets only.

Each time you try a cleaning method, use a damp paper towel to gently wipe and dry the print head area.

Put a teaspoon of water in the bottom of the empty cartridge and try the cleaning cycle a few times

Please remember though use these tips at your own risk, chances are if your print head of your is clogged with dried ink from lack of use and a print head cleaning cycle doesn’t solve the problem, it means you will probably have to buy a new print head

Alternatively, a simple way to avoid this problem is to print a small full colour image at least once every month or so, this way all the ink colours ours circulated through the ink head, one full colour print a month should keep you out of trouble.

Remember to visit my website and contact me if you need any help with any of your computer problems.

'Computer Support'!

Kick ass custom system for nix!

Well rounded high quality custom computer.

I have received a few emails of late asking what is a good all round general purpose custom spec which is capable of playing the latest games, watching video, basic photo editing, in general the most popular task most people use a computer for today.

For me this is an easy question to answer as I continually keep up to date with the latest hardware offering, product pricing and performance comparisons of components. It’s sort of a disturbing hobby I have.

So rather than me having to send the same email over and over again I decided to give you the hardware rundown of my sweet spot system, a designed to give you 85% of the performance of the latest and greatest at around a third of the cost.

Here we go......

  • Motherboard: Asus M3N Series (various models to choose from) budget M2N78-EM
  • Processor: AMD Phenom Quad Core 9550
  • Memory: Kingston HyperX 4 Gigabyte 2*2 Gig modules 800Mhz
  • Video card: Asus nVidia 9600GT or 9600GTX
  • Hard Drive: Western Digital 500 Gigabyte Green AKS
  • Case/Power supply: Antec Sonata III with 550 Power Supply

If are looking to buy a new in the near future and you would like a quote on the above system or a specially designed for you needs, please feel free to contact me through my website or send me an email.

'Computer Help!'

Friday, February 13, 2009

Adware Remover Reviews

Adware Reviews

Adware is one of the largest sources of headaches for computer users today. This type of software doesn't spy on you or anything quite like that - instead, it covers your screen in ads, even when you aren't connected to the Internet! Fortunately, there's an answer to this problem.

We've tested dozens - even hundreds! - of adware removal programs. Some of them are great, most of them get the job done (more or less), and too many simply don't work. We've gathered the top contenders in the field, and reviewed them here for your convenience!

For more information please visit my Adware Review Website

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tips for buying the most suitable Printer

5 Tips to buying the most suitable

When most people buy a new they normally look for multiple functions and price. But there are many things to consider when buying a home , like total cost of ownership of the unit i.e. cost of ink tanks or refills.

Questions you will need to ask yourself before your new purchase.

1. What am I going to use the for?
2. What would be my expected print volume?
3. How often will I print colour?
4. How much of my printing will be text?
5. What functions do I need?

This might seem like stupid question, but what type of printing do you think you might be doing.

Photos – High quality Inkjet - Things to consider

If you are into digital photography and think you might use the for printing quality prints from your digital camera, while a suitable which may be more than equal to the task and seem quite cheap, in contrast the costs of replacement ink tanks are more expensive than Grange Hermitage by volume, and third party refill packs are not always an option. So it’s a good idea to take into account the cost of replacement ink tanks before committing to a photo printer as well as the alternative option of just using your local photo lab.

Of course it’s no huge surprise that companies have made a killing over recent years from ink tank sales due to everyone embracing the convenience of printing photos from home. Another disadvantage of ink jet cartridges is that they have a limited shelf life once installed into the . In other words whether you use the or not, you will need to replace all the cartridges roughly twice a year.

But if you are an enthusiast photographer and aware of the increased cost of owning your own photo and highly value the ability to be able to print quality prints at home, then there are some great products out there.

Primarily Text – Home Laser

It’s only in the three or four years that small/home laser s have come onto the market, and if you primarily are printing text and moderate to large volumes of it, there is no better solution.

Laser home s are very cheap to run, I bought a laser canon six months ago and since then I have done some serious printing, probably over 3000 pages and I am still waiting for toner to run out. Also toner cartridges are relatively cheap, but here’s a tip ‘Buy Online’. You can buy the genuine toner cartridges online for around 30% less than a retail outlet and you can save even more if you buy a reconditioned cartridge.

And if you really need to print colour there are some great colour laser printers out there, although they aren’t quite as efficient as the Mono Laser’s and the s themselves as well as the cartridges are considerably more expensive.
Overall if your’ only looking to print text and expect to do a fair bit of it, a small home/office is a great choice.

Multi Function s

Multi Function s are great for the convenience of doing a multitude of tasks using a single device. Print, Scan or simply Copy, some models even have an integrated Fax.

The obvious benefit to having a Multi Function is that if you need a Scanner or Copier and even a Fax Machine for that matter, effectively you get an ’All in One’ solution. The only drawback is that all Home/Small Office Multi Function s are ink jets and therefore pricey to run due to ink jet cartridge replacement costs. Other than the costs of ink jet cartridges, Multi Function s are a great investment if you need all those functions as buying a Multi Function will prove much cheaper than buying a separate , Scanner and Fax machine.

Wrapping up, what’s important is getting all the functions you need and the quality you expect for the best possible price ensuring you get the best value for money. Overall the best advice is to identify and ascertain all your essential needs before you go shopping for your new and consider the lifelong ownership cost of the unit.

'Computer Support'!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Hard Drives

Post’s for computer support

What is the best Hard Drive to purchase!

Being a computer buff from way back, I have used and abused most of the offerings from all the manufacturers. As well as working for an IT Support company for a number of years I had the displeasure of receiving a steady stream of small cache servers which use the same domestic model s, the same hard drives that you and I would buy, of which all came in due to hard drive failure.

So I’ll give a best and worst list based on my experience of performance, reliability and longevity.

Best Hard Drives

1. Western Digital
2. Seagate

Worst Hard Drives

1. Maxtor
2. Samsung
3. Hitachi

Overall ‘Western Digitals win in all areas hands down, they run cooler, quieter, last longer and perform better than all other hard drives on the market today, and they have done this for some years now.

Granted they can be a little more expensive, $6-$22 depending on hard drive capacity. But the extra spare change you spend is well worth it considering you will have no sizing issues (Seagate) and you will have a much greater lifespan with Western Digital than with any other .

Western Digital provide a Three Year Warrantee with its mid range (Green) hard drives and a Five Year Warrantee with its performance hard drives.
Only a few months ago I had a pair of Western Digital fail on one of my computers, but only after Seven Years of dedicated and torturous service.
Therefore if you are looking to add some storage capacity to your computer or you are forced to replace a hard drive due to failure or you’re considering purchasing a custom or off the shelf computer.

Make sure you get a high quality storage solution by insisting on Western Digital .

(Purchasing advice) Western Digital Caviar Green 500Gigabyte $109 BEST PRICE

If you would like professional technical assistance in providing computer storage solutions, whether it be the purchase of an external , or another internal hard drive installed into your system. Feel free to email me at or visit my website for further contact details.

'Computer Support to Your Door!'

Monday, February 2, 2009

Keeping your files safe!

Of late I have had a lot of customers call me up to recover their precious data from their laptop or desktop PC after a serious crash or virus attack. A simple but rarely used method which can be adopted by all operating systems whether it be Xp or Vista. The only requirement is that your hard drive has to be partitioned or you need to have a second hard drive available.

So in order to save you a great deal of heartache in the future I will now go through with you how to move your ‘My Documents’ folder from its default location at the time when windows was installed to another partition or better still another hard drive which will greatly reduce any risk of data loss.
First go to the intended new location of your ‘My Documents’ folder, create a new folder and rename it, yep you guessed it ‘My Documents’.

Now we will tell the computer to relocate the contents of your original ‘My Documents’ folder to the new folder you have just created on another hard drive or partition.
To do that go to Start and open up the Start menu in the bottom left corner of your desktop, ‘Right Click’ on ’My Documents’ in the start menu. Left Click on ‘Properties’ on the pop- up menu.

In Vista click on the ‘Location’ tab in the newly opened ‘Documents Properties’ box.

Then click the ‘Move’ button and then navigate to and select your new ‘My Documents’ folder. Your computer will now move you ‘My Documents’ files from the folder in C:\ drive to your newly created folder on another partition or hard drive.
Now I hear you ask? What is the purpose of changing the location of your original ‘My Documents’ folder off C:\ drive?

Well to answer that question, when people have problems with their computer whether it be their operating system ‘Windows’ is sick, they have caught a virus which has gone rampant or if your hard drive is playing up to the point where Windows won’t boot up, the first thing you will be asking yourself is ‘Are my personal files ok!’ In most cases they will still be there but they just won’t be readily accessible. In other cases a serious ‘recovery mission’ might be what the doctor orders; which can be expensive and time consuming and provides no guarantee of recovering all if any files especially if a virus is involved or the hard drive has lost its file structure is or damaged in any way.

So it goes without saying ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’!

For just a little configuration change you can save yourself the possibility of a Huge Headache while giving yourself peace of mind that your personal data is secure!

If for any reason you don’t feel comfortable making the above windows configuration change or you would like a new hard drive and backup image created as well as your ‘My Documents’ folder relocated by an expert technician and you live within the Adelaide suburbia, please feel free to give me a call.

John Salamon
Mobile: 0402309971

'Blue Fox Computers'

Note: If your computer is sick, or you have a very large amount of data on your original ‘My Documents’ folder on C:\ drive it is advisable to seek professional technical help!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Buying a new computer.

For the large part buying a brand new computer can be a pretty daunting task; especially if you are not technically minded or heavily into the computer world or internet.
Nonetheless it would be good to know that you get reasonable value for money and that your new system will last and perform 'trouble free' for an acceptable period of time.

Here's a checklist to help you get things right when purchasing a new computer.

  • Set your budget. Decide how much you are going to spend (but try and be flexible)
  • Decide what are you going to use the computer for. Have a rough idea about what you may be using your computer for in the near future, this will give the salesman/technician a better idea of what components you need built into your system.
  • Future Proofing. There is no need to have all the latest components in your system, 'unless of course you have too much cash', but it is wise to have a computer with decent hardware specifications so you won't need to replace the system or upgrade components in three or six months time.
  • Performance balancing. This is probably the most overlooked aspect of buying a new computer, all components need to be balanced in their performance. There is no use having the latest and greatest Processor if you don't have enough memory to support it.
  • Software bundle and sales support. Usually when you buy a new computer there is not all that much software pre-installed, and little if any after sales support. If you are not that tech savvy, shop around and see if you can get your computer setup at your home 'internet ready', complete with internet security software as part of the package.
  • Quality components. Look to purchase a computer with quality components, I have a list of preferred computer component brands on my site.
  • System backup. Is there an operating system backup? Having a backup or 'image file' which you can access with a dvd disk is much more desirable than carting your computer to a computer workshop, waiting a week or even two and spending $200 to have your Vista installation re-installed due a virus attack.
  • Personal folder configuration. If for some ungodly reason your computer goes down, there is a very simple technique to ensure you don't lose any of your precious files. Though this technique needs to be performed 'before the fact'. Unfortunately this simple technique is rarely performed on newly purchased computers. (Visit this blog again soon for how to protect your personal files from a system wide crash!)
  • Shop around. Remember to shop around and remember not all computers a created equal.
Well that's pretty much it in a nutshell, remember the computer retail market is highly competitive at the moment; so use it to your advantage. Just try and familiarize yourself with what makes a quality computer system; too many computer retailers these days look to increase profit margins by using 'black and gold' low quality components!

Anyway I hope I have been helpful.

John Salamon

'Quality Computers!'

Buying a new computer.