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