home computer http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/5052/all en-US Why You Should Buy a Desktop Computer http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-buy-a-desktop-computer <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/why-you-should-buy-a-desktop-computer" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000015596799Small-2.jpg" alt="Man and woman working on desktops" title="Man and woman working on desktops" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="153" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My first laptop, purchased back in 1997, was a 12-pound gray Toshiba that took approximately eight minutes to fully boot and froze constantly. It had something like 256MB of RAM, which was considered a great deal of RAM at the time. I believe it cost a little under $1,800 (which, in today's money, is like $6 million). It broke down after a year, which is fine, because I probably would have thrown it out the window if it hadn't simply stopped working. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-computer-faster">Make Your Computer Faster Instead of Buying a New One</a>)</p> <p>The laptop computer has undergone quite the transformation in the past few years. Laptops are lighter and more stylish, and they have more processing power than my first laptop could have ever dreamed of. But I'm probably not going to be buying one anytime soon. Now, with the advent of better laptops, tiny netbooks, and adorable iPads, my next computer is going to be a desktop.</p> <p>Why on Earth would anyone pay for a big, clunky machine that is stuck in one place? Here are a few reasons why I am choosing a desktop over a laptop.</p> <h2>Desktops Are More Affordable</h2> <p>Dollar for dollar, a desktop is simply a better investment in terms of raw computing power. Making RAM and memory small enough to fit in the laptop is expensive, so you pay more for the same processing power in a laptop than you would in a desktop.</p> <p>I'm not really a multi-tasker, but a great deal of my work involves switching between applications. I might be working on a website and then change over to graphics editing and then need to check the contents of a technical manual. I need a computer that has the RAM to handle all of the back-and-forth. Many of today's laptops have that much memory, but the cost of that memory in laptop form is prohibitive for me.</p> <p>Could I get all the processing power that I need in a laptop computer? Yes, but I would pay a great deal more for the portability.</p> <h2>I Don't Like to Work <em>Just Anywhere</em></h2> <p>Stop by any cafe with WiFi, and you will find at least 40% of the customers are working on some kind of portable computer. This kind of productivity is fine, but not everyone can work effectively in a cafe. Personally, I can't even READ in a cafe. If I go to a coffeehouse, I can do two things: drink coffee and stare at other patrons. I am literally incapable of doing more than that.</p> <p>People love the portability of laptops, tablet computers, and netbooks because they can use the technology to <em>work anywhere</em>. And that's great &mdash; for people who are able to tune out ambient noise and concentrate on one thing at a time. For some of us, that's just not a possibility. I, for one, can only perform work in my cubicle at work or at my desk in my home office. Other locations just aren't conducive to my productivity. I'm easily distracted, and the noise in airports, cafes, and bookstores doesn't help me work.</p> <h2>WiFi and I...We Don't Get Along</h2> <p>I'm not sure what it is about the magnetic field surrounding my body, but<em> I am capable of repelling the signal of any wireless network in my vicinity</em>. Does anyone else experience this? If I am lucky enough to locate an actual wireless network, I won't be able to convince a laptop to connect to it. In my home, we have a wireless network set up for my husband's various laptop computers. I can't use them. In order to guarantee that I can watch &quot;Modern Family,&quot; I have to plug a computer into a wired Ethernet connection.</p> <p>I recognize that this is not a normal problem that normal people experience, but it does make a huge difference in how I feel about traveling around with a laptop.</p> <h2>I Like the End of a Workday</h2> <p>I like the idea of being able to put my work down. If I carried a laptop with me everywhere, I'd never escape from the feeling that I<em> could be working at all times</em>. I like to separate work from the rest of my life. The beauty of having a desktop computer is that once I walk away from it, I walk away from work and can concentrate on other things. When you work as many jobs as I do, having that kind of physical separation is important.</p> <h2>Laptops Have Lousy Ergonomics</h2> <p>Laptops aren't always conducive to comfortable typing. Once you get used to an ergonomic keyboard and gigantic trackball with gel wrist pad, it's hard to go back to a strange, cramped little keyboard that's missing the number pad, or using those little keyboard nipples in lieu of a mouse. Or a touchpad. My god, I hate touchpads. One accidental swipe with the thumb, and you end up deleting entire paragraphs at a single keystroke.</p> <p>I've often heard people suggest that laptops can function as desktops. &quot;You can dock your laptop and plug in a mouse and a keyboard!&quot; This is true, but once you've docked a laptop, you might as well be using a desktop. Why bother paying extra money for portable technology when you just have to pay hundreds extra in peripherals in order to make it feel comfortable to use?</p> <h2>Data Is Highly Portable</h2> <p>But what about moving data around? The great thing about a laptop is that you can take your ENTIRE hard drive with you wherever you go. This is true. But I can also take whatever I am working on wherever I go via a USB thumb drive or external hard drive. I don't travel much for work, but on the rare occasion that I do, I can access my documents using Google Docs from a borrowed or rented computer. Of course, for some people, travel with a laptop is a fact of life, but for me, travel is a rare luxury that isn't meant to be marred by experiencing airport security while hauling a laptop.</p> <h2>Lifetime/Durability</h2> <p>A business laptop comes with a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-extended-warranties-ever-a-good-deal">standard warranty</a> of about one year (top-of-the-line models might come with three-year warranties, but are significantly more expensive). A desktop comes with a standard warranty of three years. This means that it is cheaper to fix desktop computers in the long run. The reason is obvious &mdash; a laptop gets moved around, banged up, and is prone to breaking down sooner as a result.</p> <h2>Security</h2> <p>Of course, someone could break into my home and steal my desktop &mdash; I'm not suggesting it won't happen. But it's much less likely to happen than having someone steal a laptop. Anyone who broke into my house would have get past a ferocious, man-eating Pekingese, whereas swiping a laptop from my car wouldn't take much effort at all.</p> <p><em>Do you use a desktop computer, or are laptops the best thing that has ever happened to you? Do you have some unique combination of computing power that makes your life easy? Share it with us in the comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-you-should-buy-a-desktop-computer">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/the-5-best-waterproof-laptop-cases">The 5 Best Waterproof Laptop Cases</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/7-tools-and-gadgets-your-smartphone-can-replace">7 Tools and Gadgets Your Smartphone Can Replace</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/the-5-best-usb-powered-fans">The 5 Best USB-Powered Fans</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/the-5-best-power-surge-protectors">The 5 Best Power Surge Protectors</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/frugal-advice-for-the-gadget-addicted">Frugal Advice for the Gadget Addicted</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Technology cheap computer home computer laptops Mon, 06 Jun 2011 10:00:14 +0000 Andrea Karim 551768 at http://www.wisebread.com Build your own computer...submerged in oil. http://www.wisebread.com/build-your-own-computer-submerged-in-oil <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/Submerged006.jpg" alt="oilpc" title="oilpc" width="359" height="269" /> </p> <p>It&#39;s one thing to build a PC. Pah, everyone&#39;s doing that. But imagine the look on your friends&#39; faces when you show them a computer in an aquarium filled with mineral oil. I&#39;m still taken back by it, and I&#39;ve seen the video...twice.</p> <p>This all came from a post I did recently on <a href="/get-your-pc-to-give-you-coffee-bacon-or-even-an-orgasm">case mods</a> . I found the article but just couldn&#39;t bear to let this one sit in with the other modfications. It&#39;s just way too cool. </p> <p><strong>WHY AN OIL-COOLED COMPUTER? </strong></p> <p>Apart from looking ace, the guys with the huge brains over at <a href="http://www.pugetsystems.com/submerged.php">Puget Systems</a> explain it all here in their own words...</p> <p><em>&quot;We built this system because with all the oil cooled projects out there, no one built a system that looked good and functioned well! After seeing all the other projects, we had a lot of ideas of how we could do it better and more easily. Many projects used vegetable oil, which would go rancid after a short time. The mineral oil does not have this problem, and is completely clear. We also wanted to use an appropriate enclosure -- the Toms Hardware system used a clear acrylic case, and they had to painstakingly seal each rear connector to keep the oil from leaking. We wanted to put the ports on top to solve that problem the simple way. Other people have built systems in aquariums before, but they were always oversized and square. When we found the Eclipse System 6 Aquarium, we were excited to see an aquarium that was absolutely perfect in size -- you couldn&#39;t go any smaller. In addition, we had questions about performance and long term effects. Our initial tests, which we go over below, answer the questions about cooling performance. We&#39;ll post a follow up to this page in a few months to let you know how a system like this performs in the long term.&quot;</em> <p>Equipment needed is standard (apart from the fish tank and mineral oil). Everything you need to know is on the Puget Systems site. So, without without further ado I present the &#39;Making Of&#39; video...awesome. And if that&#39;s not enough, Fat Boy Slim&#39;s Weapon Of Choice accompanies. Double-good taste.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-your-own-computer-submerged-in-oil">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/get-your-pc-to-give-you-coffee-bacon-or-even-an-orgasm">Get your PC to give you coffee, bacon or even an orgasm.</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/boost-your-computers-ram-in-seconds-very-easy">Boost your computer&#039;s RAM in seconds. Very easy.</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/blood-gore-and-hairy-warts-a-diy-halloween-makeup-guide">Blood, gore and hairy warts; a DIY Halloween makeup guide.</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/make-your-own-self-tanning-lotion-and-5-other-fabulous-diy-tips-from-the-web">Make Your Own Self-tanning Lotion and 5 Other Fabulous DIY Tips from the Web</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/how-to-make-your-own-soda-tidy-a-room-in-three-minutes-cure-a-hangover-and-become-a-movie-extra-phew">How To Make Your Own Soda, Tidy A Room In Three Minutes, Cure A Hangover And Become A Movie Extra. Phew!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks DIY case modifications cheap computer DIY electronics home computer mineral oil PC personal computer Sun, 13 May 2007 18:09:41 +0000 Paul Michael 640 at http://www.wisebread.com Get your PC to give you coffee, bacon or even an orgasm. http://www.wisebread.com/get-your-pc-to-give-you-coffee-bacon-or-even-an-orgasm <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/015E000000053670.jpg" alt="coffeepc" title="coffeepc" width="350" height="263" /></p> <p>As a frugal shopper, I like to make my products work hard. If I can get something to double as an equally handy item (for instance, a belt buckle that opens beer bottles, a portable TV that&#39;s also a flashlight) then I&#39;m happy.</p> <p>So, I&#39;m sat researching articles for Wisebread and I look down at my computer, ashamed. It has only ever been a computer. Surely, I thought, some bright sparks out there have figured out ways to make the PC into something so much more. Well, they have. Boy, they have. They&#39;re called casemods, and I found so many different functions for the humble PC that I was blown away. Until...until...</p> <p>...I found the USB gadgets! And I was even more amazed. So, I present to you my findings for making your PC work oh so much harder than it ever has before. Get it to brew you a coffee, a beer or even get some bacon grilling. I&#39;m not kidding. If you&#39;re a lady, your PC can even give you an orgasm. Now that is double-duty and then some. </p> <p><strong>1- The Coffee Brewing PC. </strong>- This one has been around for a while. I had some trouble digging up specs on how to do it yourself, but I did come up with a few leads <a href="http://articles.pcapex.com/featured_pc/the_caffeine_machine.php">here</a> . <strong><br /></strong></p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/caffeine_machine_1.jpg" alt="coffee pc" title="coffee pc" width="345" height="459" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>2 - The Beer Machine.</strong> - Presumed at first to be a prank, but from what little info I found this one actualy looks feasible. Of course, mixing beer with electricity, especially something as sensitive as a PC, maybe foolhardy. Here&#39;s a <a href="http://ohgizmo.com/2006/02/09/a-beer-dispensing-pc">link </a> to set you on the path....</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/beer_pc.jpg" alt="beer pc" title="beer pc" width="344" height="338" /> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>3 - The Hamster House </strong>- And why not? It&#39;s warm, it&#39;s right next to you as you play your games, it&#39;s a greatr pet home. I think. I wouldn&#39;t want to find poop in my RAM though. No details on this unusual build other than this link <a href="http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/upgrade/1342527.html?page=3">here</a> .</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/hamster.jpg" alt="hamster pc" title="hamster pc" width="359" height="320" /> </p> <p>And then...the USB gadgets....</p> <p><strong>4 - The USB Vibrator with multiple attachments - </strong> Ladies, now you know what to ask Santa for. This little package of pleasure was originally invented by Brits (so I&#39;m told...hey, I&#39;m happy to believe it). It retails for $36.95 <a href="http://www.condomcountry.com.au/item/t-vib-usb-kit-10func">here </a> and the write up is, well, pretty good: - </p> <p><em>Completely controlled by a tiny microprocessor, the vibrator compontents can easily be manipulated to give you an ultimate deep and penetrating orgasm. It has 10 unique preset pulse/vibrate rhythms, includes 5 interchangable latex probes and a Self Adjustable Finger Ring Vibrating bullet.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/usb_vibrator.jpg" alt="usb Vib" title="usb vib" width="364" height="245" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>5 - The USB Pencil Sharpener</strong> - Now, if you&#39;re hard at work at your PC and still have the urge to do things the old-fashioned way, here&#39;s a cute gadget. It all runs off the PC power, again. Keep &#39;em sharp. Only $7.95, right <a href="http://www.myvirtualzone.com/detail.aspx?ID=14059">here</a> .</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/isharp2l.jpg" alt="usb isharp" title="usb isharp" width="400" height="266" /></p> <p><strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>6 - The Homemade USB B-B-Q</strong> - I&#39;ll be honest...from the pictures I&#39;ve seen, I&#39;ll pass on a sandwhich made from this stuff. Yikes. But if you do happen to be hungry and want some fresh-grilled pork, a few USB cables and a heating plate will do it. Find out more <a href="http://www.makezine.com/blog/archive/2006/08/usb_bbq.html">here</a> .</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/usb_powered_bbq_7.jpg" alt="usb bbq" title="usb bbq" width="390" height="246" /> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>7 - The USB laser-guided missile Launcher</strong> - Let&#39;s face it...when your boss sneaks up behind you at work, wouldn&#39;t it be great to give him both barrels? Well, do so at your own risk, but here&#39;s the price - just $49.99 right <a href="http://www.thinkgeek.com/geektoys/warfare/8bc4/?cpg=froogle">here</a> .</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/rocket_launcher_v2.jpg" alt="missile " title="missile" width="333" height="353" /> </p> <p><strong> </strong></p> <p><strong>8 - The USB fragrance burner</strong> - If you&#39;ve been grilling bacon and chugging beer and coffee at your PC, this one could come in handy. A nice, pleasant device in an array of quite silly macho toys. Only $9.50 from <a href="http://www.mwave.com/mwave/skusearch.hmx?SCriteria=AA53530&amp;CartID=done&amp;nextloc=">MWAVE </a> (but they recently ran out of stock). </p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/usbfragranceoilburner4.jpg" alt="oil" title="oil" width="383" height="287" /> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>9 - The USB Vacuum cleaner</strong> - So, let&#39;s imagine that you&#39;re chewing on your freshly grilled bacon sandwhich from your USB griller, and breadcrumbs fall into your keyboard. No problem. Simply pop in the USB vacuum and clean up the mess. Simple. $14.95, <a href="http://www.epartyunlimited.com/usb-keyboard-vacuum-cleaner.html">here</a> . </p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/vacuumfull.jpg" alt="vacuum" title="vacuum" width="442" height="294" /> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>10 - The USB Lava Lamp </strong>- 70&#39;s retro-chic updated with a 2007 twist. Not quite as funky as the original, but hey, it works off your PC&#39;s power and that kind of energy-saving, right-on idea is very hip and trendy, baby. Just $12.97 from many outlets including <a href="http://www.cgets.com/item--USB-Lava-Lamp--USBLavaLamp">this one</a> . </p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/USBLavaLamp_full.jpg" alt="lamp" title="lamp" width="422" height="316" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>11 - USB heating gloves</strong> - A great invention if you happen to by typing in an igloo, but I really don&#39;t see the point otherwise. But if you do happen to suffer from cold hands instead of cold feet, pick up a pair. They&#39;ll keep your toasty. $22.99 from <a href="http://www.perpetualkid.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&amp;ProdID=1706&amp;dc=froogle">Perpetual Kid</a> .</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/usbheatinggloves2.jpg" alt="gloves" title="gloves" width="394" height="295" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>12 - The USB Butt Cooler</strong> - If you happen to have a hot butt (and I don&#39;t mean that in the way it sounds...or do I?) then you&#39;ll benefit from the USB butt cooler. Just plug it into your USB port and your cheeks will not be rosy for hours. I only found it in Japan, <a href="http://plusd.itmedia.co.jp/pcuser/articles/0608/17/news062.html">here</a> . </p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/butt_cooler.jpg" alt="buttcool" title="cuttcool" width="322" height="275" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>On my internet travels, I also found USB slippers, a coffee mug warmer, a desk fan, beverage cooler, ashtray and many more weird and wonderful things. One great site to get you started is <a href="http://www.usbgeek.com/prod_list.php?page=&amp;cat_id=008&amp;cat=USB+Gadgets&amp;pgSize=63">www.usbgeek.com</a> </p> <p>Now, go put the PC to work. </p> <p><em>Photo from </em><em><a href="http://www.clubic.com/actualite-5904-un-pc-qui-fait-aussi-le-cafe.html">clubic.com</a> </em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-your-pc-to-give-you-coffee-bacon-or-even-an-orgasm">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/build-your-own-computer-submerged-in-oil">Build your own computer...submerged in oil.</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/blood-gore-and-hairy-warts-a-diy-halloween-makeup-guide">Blood, gore and hairy warts; a DIY Halloween makeup guide.</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/mountain-dew-christmas-tree">Mountain Dew Christmas Tree</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/make-your-own-self-tanning-lotion-and-5-other-fabulous-diy-tips-from-the-web">Make Your Own Self-tanning Lotion and 5 Other Fabulous DIY Tips from the Web</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/chill-out-with-these-6-simple-diy-freezer-treats">Chill Out With These 6 Simple DIY Freezer Treats</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks DIY accessories casemods custom built DIY gadgets gifts home computer power sharing toys unusual USB weird Tue, 08 May 2007 19:00:16 +0000 Paul Michael 609 at http://www.wisebread.com