computer hacks http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/11266/all en-US 10 Ways to Save Computing Power http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-computing-power <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-save-computing-power" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/580210_60447338.jpg" alt="computer system" title="computer system" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Lurking within your office and home is a group of workaholics that are costing you money. Who are these offenders? They're your computer system.</p> <p>The average computer wastes roughly half the power it draws from its energy source. This power never reaches the processor or other components yet it creates heat that places extra demand on your cooling system. These energy vampires translate into higher bills and unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions. Here are 10 easy fixes to protect your wallet without reducing your computer's capabilities.</p> <h2>1. Upgrade</h2> <p>Make energy efficiency job one when shopping for a new computer or peripherals. Look for the Energy Star labels or check out the <a href="http://www.climatesaverscomputing.org/search/index.php">Climate Savers Computing</a> product catalog.</p> <h2>2. Downsize</h2> <p>Switch to a laptop when you don't need the fuller capability of a desktop. Laptops typically consume less power and, hey, they can be used at a coffee house!</p> <h2>3. Take a Nap</h2> <p>Use computer and <a href="http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=power_mgt.pr_power_management">monitor sleep modes</a> to save nearly half a ton of CO2 and more than $60 a year in energy costs.</p> <h2>4. Kill the Screen Saver</h2> <p>Screen savers make for pretty pictures but they aren't necessary on modern monitors. Studies show they actually consume more energy than if you simply dimmed or turned the monitor off when not in use.</p> <h2>5. Dim the Screen</h2> <p>Turn down your monitor's brightness setting. The brightest setting on a monitor consumes twice the power used by the dimmest setting.</p> <h2>6. Nix the Extras</h2> <p>Shut down such peripherals as printers, speakers and scanners when not in use.</p> <h2>7. Fight Phantom Power</h2> <p>Plug all your electronics into one power strip and switch it off when you're finished. If you want to avoid rebooting, put processors on a separate strip.</p> <h2>8. Minimize</h2> <p>Close unused or infrequently used applications. Is it really necessary to keep Photoshop, Word, Outlook, Safari and Internet Explorer all open at the same time?</p> <h2>9. Monitor Energy Use</h2> <p>Give your system a once over with a power meter that displays how much energy you're actually consuming.</p> <h2>10. Create a System</h2> <p>Establish multiple power schemes to address different usage models. For example, create a power scheme to play CDs that immediately shuts off your hard drive and monitor without putting your system into standby mode.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This is a guest post by the <a href="http://www.couponsherpa.com/">Coupon Sherpa</a>, a source of reliable online, printable and grocery coupons. You can download the free <a href="http://www.couponsherpa.com/mobile-coupons/">Coupon Sherpa iPhone app</a> with in-store mobile coupons, or check out more great tips from the <a href="http://www.couponsherpa.com/ask-coupon-sherpa/">Ask Coupon Sherpa blog</a>.</p> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/coupon-sherpa">Coupon Sherpa</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-computing-power">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-small-ways-to-save-big-on-ink">11 Small Ways to Save Big on Ink</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-computer-faster">Make Your Computer Faster Instead of Buying a New One</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-high-tech-tools-to-help-your-garden-grow">6 High-Tech Tools to Help Your Garden Grow</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-review-confronting-collapse">Book Review: Confronting Collapse</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-good-life-on-less-energy-even-in-the-us">The good life on less energy--even in the US</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Green Living Technology computer hacks conserve energy Tue, 11 May 2010 13:00:53 +0000 Coupon Sherpa 71807 at http://www.wisebread.com Make Your Computer Faster Instead of Buying a New One http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-computer-faster <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/make-your-computer-faster" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/fast speed.jpg" alt="speedometer" title="Faster is Better" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Buying a new computer can be a very exciting time...until you get the bill.</p> <p>What most people don't realize is that you don't need a Quad Core chip for email and Internet browsing.</p> <p>But after you've had your computer for a while and it starts to get sluggish, a lot of people start thinking that a fancy, new machine will cure what ails them.</p> <h3>You Don't Need a New Machine</h3> <p>That's the good news. The bad news?&nbsp;You'll have to run a whole bunch of programs to get your computer running smoother and faster.</p> <p>But fear not, computer newbies!&nbsp;I'm here to walk you through every step of the way.</p> <p><strong>Note:</strong> I know a lot of you aren't fond of installing new programs onto your computers, but these are all free programs that come highly recommended and can be downloaded from <a href="http://www.cnet.com">CNET</a>, a trusted authority on all things tech. There are several programs that do what these programs do -- these are just the ones I&nbsp;use and trust.</p> <h3><img width="409" height="300" src="http://www.thewriterscoin.com/AVG Antivirus.jpg" alt="AVG Antivirus" /></h3> <h3>Step #1: Virus and Spyware Protection</h3> <ol> <li>Download <a href="http://download.cnet.com/AVG-Anti-Virus-Free-Edition/3000-2239_4-10320142.html">AVG&nbsp;Antivirus</a></li> <li>Install it, run it, and set up a regular schedule to run once a week, so that you don't have to worry/remember to do this manually</li> <li>Download <a href="http://download.cnet.com/Spybot-Search-amp-Destroy/3000-8022_4-10122137.html">Spybot Search and&nbsp;Destroy</a></li> <li>Same thing: install it, run it, and set up a regular schedule to run once a week. I like Wednesdays at 2:00am. I'd also schedule a weekly update to make sure you're scanning the latest viruses too.</li> </ol> <h3><img width="411" height="300" src="http://www.thewriterscoin.com/CCleaner.jpg" alt="CCleaner" /></h3> <h3>Step #2: Clean the Registry</h3> <p>A computer's registry is basically a map of where everything in the computer is located. Over time it can get cluttered and cramped, so it's good to clean it up every now and then.</p> <ol> <li>Download <a href="http://download.cnet.com/CCleaner/3000-2086_4-10315544.html">CCleaner</a></li> <li>Install it and run it.</li> <li>The great thing about CCleaner is that you can clean the registry, clean up space on your PC's hard drive from things like temporary internet files, and you can also de-activate startup programs, which we'll get to in a minute.</li> <li>Run the registry tool and the cleaner tool.</li> </ol> <h3><img width="397" height="300" src="http://www.thewriterscoin.com/Smart Defrag.jpg" alt="Smart Defrag" /></h3> <h3>Step #3: Defrag the Hard Drive</h3> <p>Hard drives are like your closet: sometimes you need to clean them out and put things back in order for everything to run nice and smooth.</p> <ol> <li>Download <a href="http://download.cnet.com/Smart-Defrag/3000-2094_4-10759533.html">Smart Defrag</a></li> <li>Install it and run the Analyze feature, which will tell you if you need to defrag the thing or not. How easy is that?</li> <li>Set up a regular schedule so you don't have to worry about it. Let's do this one once a week too.</li> </ol> <h3>Step #4: Quick Startup</h3> <p>Does your PC take forever to get booted up? Most of the time, it's because so many programs are trying to launch right when the computer is starting up. Turning off a lot of the unnecessary programs will help speed things up.</p> <ol> <li>Open CCleaner</li> <li>Go to Tools --&gt; Startup</li> <li>Disable programs that you don't really need to have open right away. If you're not sure, write them all down (or take a screenshot by hitting the &quot;PrtScn&quot; button and pasting it into Paint) and see what happens when you remove them. You can always add them back later if something doesn't look right. I only have five things set to run at startup and a whole bunch are grayed out.</li> </ol> <h3><img alt="" src="http://www.thewriterscoin.com/RAM.jpg" /></h3> <h3>Step #5: More RAM</h3> <p>There are several things you can physically do to boost performance: from overlocking to upgrading your processor. But you have to be pretty handy with tools and computers to do all of that. The easiest thing to install on a computer, however, is RAM. RAM&nbsp;is like the workspace your computer has to do work. If you're running a music program like Winamp, Microsoft Word, Excel, and have an Internet Browser open, that takes a lot of workspace to make sure things are nice and fast.</p> <ol> <li>Go to <a href="http://www.4allmemory.com/">4 All Memory</a> (again, my personal pick&mdash;and no they're not paying me)</li> <li>Pick out which computer you have with any of their handy tools. It's really easy and kind of fun.</li> <li>Buy as much RAM&nbsp;as your computer will allow you. You may want to double check in your manual to make sure you buy just enough and not too much.</li> <li>Buy it.</li> <li>Install it. This sounds complicated, but it's as easy as putting a Nintendo cartridge into its slot. Really.</li> </ol> <p>If you don't trust yourself or don't want to install the RAM&nbsp;yourself, have a friend come over and do it. Or call your PC's tech support line and have them walk you through it. If that doesn't work, search Google for your PC and &quot;installing RAM&quot; and you may find a nice walkthrough with pictures and everything. Don't worry, it's easier than it looks and more RAM&nbsp;will give you a really big boost in performance!</p> <h3>Enjoy!</h3> <p>Your computer should be noticeably faster now. Don't forget to uninstall any old programs you don't need anymore that are just taking up space. The more free space in your hard drive, the better.</p> <p>If you don't see enough of a boost in performance, congratulations! You have done your due diligence and you've earned the right to actually say &quot;I&nbsp;need a new PC.&quot;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carlos-portocarrero">Carlos Portocarrero</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-computer-faster">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-a-cable-to-control-your-android-phone-while-you-drive">Build a Cable to Control Your Android Phone While You Drive</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-computer-last-almost-forever-with-some-simple-tricks">Make Your Computer Last (Almost) Forever With Some Simple Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-refill-an-ink-cartridge-with-a-small-piece-of-tape">How to refill an ink cartridge with a small piece of tape</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-save-computing-power">10 Ways to Save Computing Power</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-high-tech-tools-to-help-your-garden-grow">6 High-Tech Tools to Help Your Garden Grow</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Technology computer faster computer hacks Wed, 09 Sep 2009 17:00:01 +0000 Carlos Portocarrero 3550 at http://www.wisebread.com