Six New Years Resolutions for Your Laptop


This year will be different and you’ll take extra good care of your laptop, right? Here are six pointers to keep your laptop humming at top speed and to protect your email, files and data.

Don’t Drink and Drive.

If you have liquids near your laptop, you increase the chances of a spill. Always keep beverages a good arms-length away from any computer equipment.

Give Your Email a Work-out

Pick a day each month (perhaps your day of birth) to review your emails and file, archive or delete the messages that are more than two months old. If this is too tedious, you can automate the archiving process in a relatively painless way. In Outlook, click ‘File’ and then ‘Archive’ to set the configuration. Archiving helps keep your PST file (which stands for “Personal Information Store” and contains all your outlook data) under two Gigabytes. If your PST file grows too large, it can cause Outlook to slow down considerably and even make it crash. So, give your email a monthly work-out and reduce it.

Get File Insurance

Unlike life insurance, ensuring the safety of your files is cheap and does not require an agent other than yourself. Put simply: Back-up your files. The process seems like such a chore, but it only takes a few minutes every week. Do not put your data’s safety on the back burner. Schedule a time each week to do your data backup to an external Hard Drive. If you have extremely important data, the best way to be absolutely certain that all your data is safe is by using an online backup. Online backup really is the wave of the future. LaptopMD suggests Mozy.com with an unbelievably cheap data backup solution that anyone can afford. For $4.95 per month, you receive unlimited, instantaneous online backup. If your laptop is lost or stolen, or your home is damaged by flood or fire, your data will be safe and sound on a server and accessible at all times from any computer in the universe. Whether you choose online back-up or manual, do it every week.

Keep Your Email Free

Use web-based email such as Yahoo, Hotmail, or Gmail. These free accounts are preferable because they are accessible from anywhere on the globe and they are compatible with every operating system. At LaptopMD, we often assist clients with email accounts from Verizon, TimeWarner, or Earthlink who find themselves tied to a specific service provider. If they move and the service provider is not in that area, they are forced to change their email address, which is a big pain. Using a free web-based provider makes the transition between providers easy and painless. Plus, there is no need to back up your email, because it is always stored on a safe server with enormous storage space.

Check Out the Flashing Maintenance Light

Like the Check Engine Light on a car, your computer has a way of signaling you. An updated antivirus is the cornerstone of any healthy computer. When you are notified to renew your subscription, do not wait – update it as soon as possible. Consider it health insurance or preventative medicine, which is definitely worth purchasing once a year for $30-$70. If your laptop does become infected, it can be costly to remove the virus from your system. Your updated antivirus will protect you from 90% of the viruses online. Keep in mind that you still need to be conscientious of your web surfing and stay away from torrents, and programs like limewire. There is no antivirus that can protect you from every single virus, but smart web browsing and an updated antivirus will pretty much guarantee your safety.

Let Your Laptop Breathe

It’s best to rest your laptop on a hard flat surface so its air can circulate. When laptops were named “Lap Top Computers” there were no fans inside and air flow was barely necessary for healthy usage. As faster processors and higher quality graphics cards became standard equipment, laptops required fans with heat-sinks to disperse the heat from these components. Blocking the air vents surrounding these fans can effectively render the fans useless. This causes the cpu and gpu to run incredibly hot, and eventually burn out. When that happens, you will most likely need to replace your motherboard, which carries a hefty price tag. If you prefer to work on a couch or bed, make sure the vents are unobstructed; especially the vents around the fans. If you feel the laptop getting especially hot while watching movies, you can purchase a relatively inexpensive laptop cooling fan which will guarantee your fan to have the best air circulation possible.

If you follow at least two of these tips, you can be sure your laptop, email, files and data will be secure. If you follow four or more, we at LaptopMD might wonder why we don’t see you around anymore.

More Money for Microsoft: Should you invest in Windows 7?

Should you invest in Windows 7?

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Before we answer this question, we are going to share some background information.

Let’s look back at Microsoft’s last present to the World:

Microsoft’s marketing strategy never ceases to amaze me.

When Vista was released, we as a public, (also known as Microsoft’s guinea pigs) were forced to upgrade to this new OS both in our Homes and in our Businesses. So, goodbye Window XP, hello Windows Vista! There was no escape, no way out. No matter how hard you tried, no one could avoid Window Vista. Even giant corporations were forced to bow down to Microsoft. The hardware manufacturers were seemingly instantly bought out. Dell, Sony, Acer, HP, Toshiba, and all the rest were suddenly making computers with hardware that was only supported by Windows Vista. Especially in the last 2 years, you could not find a computer on the shelf that came pre-loaded with Windows XP. It was plain: either buy a new computer with Vista, or stagger on with your old computer that was on its last leg.

monopoly

Microsoft does not give you a choice. You either follow them, or get screwed.

Microsoft has one of the largest monopolies in the World.

 

So what does that mean for the everyday consumer?

You purchase a brand new Dell laptop from Best Buy pre-installed with Windows Vista. You take it home, and guess what? YOU HATE IT! Even fresh out of the wrapping paper the computer runs slower than your old Windows XP Machine. Even worse, when you try to install some of your old applications, you find that they are not compatible with Windows Vista. So you have just paid a ton of money for a slower, practically useless laptop and you’re even stuck learning a new Operating System.

Now the frustrated consumer comes to us begging us to “Downgrade” them from Windows Vista back to Windows XP. So now on top of buying a new laptop, they have to pay us to wipe Vista off and install XP. Now we, being the friendly computer shop naturally want to help our clients in any way possible. The problem is, these laptops were made for Windows Vista. So now we are forced to take apart the entire laptop and manually identify all the components on the motherboard. We then go to each individual website and look for XP Drivers. For the video card, we go to the Nvidia website, for the wireless card, we go to the Broadcom website and so on. This takes two to three times longer than a typical install, so as a result, we have to charge more (and of course we explain that to the customer first).

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When vista first came out, we did hundreds of roll-backs to XP and were charging around $300 each to do it (for a 6+ hour process that was the lowest price we could give). Many of our customers were extremely unhappy with Microsoft for putting them through this ordeal.

There was a public outcry about how horrible Windows Vista was and how Microsoft was dealing with the problem. Macintosh took advantage of this and started their add campaign slandering Vista. This caused many people to switch from PC to Mac.

Some PC manufacturers tried to combat the situation by packaging dual boot systems. The problem was, you had to buy 2 Windows License keys – one for Vista and one for XP. So instead of buying a computer with just Windows XP, a customer was forced to pay for a license for both Windows XP and Windows Vista.

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Fast-forward to the Windows 7 release. So now, instead of fixing Windows Vista properly and giving their customers what they paid for, Microsoft is releasing Windows 7 which is basically what Windows Vista should have been – an upgrade to Windows XP that runs smoother, but is updated and is more visually stimulating.

So now, finally, we are going to answer the question: Should I invest in a Window 7 upgrade?
The answer is yes – and here is why:

Windows 7 makes it easier to install drivers and keep drivers updated – it actually has the ability to check the Microsoft servers to see if driver updates are available and it is nicely packaged into Windows Update.


Windows 7 has built in support for Solid State drives which are the next step in speeding up your computer’s data access times.


Windows 7 has better multi-tasking abilities – and takes full advantage of processors with multiple cores.

Windows 7 has true backward compatibility with older Windows XP machines. Do not upgrade a machine over 5 years old, however. It is time to get a new computer pre-loaded with Windows 7 if you’ve got a 5+ year old computer.

Windows 7 was re-worked from the ground-up. It is the first time Microsoft has changed this much of the back-end programming since Windows 98 over 10 years ago.

Windows 7 is not “More of the same” as Mac claims it is. This operating system is actually the best, most stable OS Microsoft has released since Windows 98. Even Windows XP had more bugs on release than Windows 7 – which is virtually bug-free from our experience.


So should you upgrade my existing Windows Vista computer to Windows 7? Yes yes YES! It is the best Microsoft OS to be released in a decade!

Where should you get the upgrade? Well, LaptopMD of course! We will give you the cheapest upgrade New York – Guaranteed.

LaptopMD Holiday Shopping List

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Looking for a laptop this holiday season? LaptopMD owner Arthur Zilberman has a few pointers for shoppers. The technicians at LaptopMD repair all laptop brands, so they have a keen understanding of which laptops offer the best all-around features and which models are best suited for specific needs.

For example, Arthur knows which laptops are most suitable for business travelers, and which ones will make the grade for college students.

Arthur has more than 15 years experience in computer repair and has owned Laptop MD since 2000.

LaptopMD’s Holiday Shopping List


Best All-around Laptop: Macbook Pro 13”


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The Macbook Pro 13” at $1,149 offers value, style and power. Although Macs tend to be more expensive than PCs, you may save money in the long run, because it is unlikely to need repair from the virus infections that can plague PCs. The battery life has been increased by 40%, and the Macbook Pro has both speed and a sleek aluminum casing.


Best Non-Mac Laptop: Fujitsu Lifebook S7220
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These laptops are brilliantly designed, with all the fans, cpus, and other internal components positioned with precision. Like the Mac, both the parts and the software are made by the same manufacturer, for a superior product, priced at $1,150.

Best Laptop for Travelers: Asus UL30A-A1
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The Asus laptop offers an amazing 7-12 hours of battery life per charge. It isn’t as fast as other laptops, but its longevity is well worth the trade-off in speed. Weighing less than four pounds, this 13” laptop will fit neatly in any suitcase or briefcase. The price is also attractive: under $800.

Best Laptop for College Students:
Toshiba Satellite T135-S1310
Fujitsu Lifebook A1220
Lenovo Thinkpad SL510
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The Toshiba is a great gift for any college student. Its battery runs strong for more than six hours and it costs $700. Windows 7 comes standard on the T135 but there is no optical drive, so you will have to purchase an external CD-RW/DVD drive to watch movies.

An alternative is the mid-range laptops from Fujitsu or Lenovo with 15” screen size. Plenty of space and power for most any college user (assuming you’re studying, not playing games). Price is $750 for the Fujitsu and $500 for the Lenovo.

Best Desktop Replacement Laptop: Macbook Pro 17”
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This Macbook is an alternative to a clunky desktop computer. The 17” screen with edge to edge glass is great for photo or video editing and the unibody construction make it smooth and stylish. The touchpad has multi-touch capabilities for those who are comfortable without a mouse. It has a fast processor and good graphics card, but is priced a bit higher at $2,249.

Best Budget Laptop: Asus K50IJ-RX05
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Priced under $500, the Asus is a great buy with superior hardware and specs. Its 15.6” wide-screen display is more than ample for surfing the web and word processing, with enough power to satisfy your needs.

Best Laptop for the Accident-Prone:
Panasonic ToughBook 30

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If you or your laptop user has a history of breaking or dropping laptops, or sharing a drink with the computer, there’s a Panasonic in your future. The Panasonic tough books are built to last, which may be why the police and military often prefer these computers. They are ugly looking and bulky, and their ability to take abuse comes at a price, around $3,200.

TIME OUT New York Review

Time Out New York Features LaptopMD

When your PC or Mac laptop breaks down, who should you call?

According to a recent article in Time Out New York, LaptopMD at (212) 920 4833 is the number you’ll want to dial.

Best At-Your-Door “Tech Repair”

In a recent article on services New Yorkers can have delivered right to their door, LaptopMD is featured in Time Out New York as the tech repair specialist to turn to when “that high-pitched wheezing coming from your computer sure doesn’t sound good”.

In fact, the Time Out New York article goes on to say, “the MDs will fix your ailing computer on the spot or take it back to their workshop, and the $90 visit fee goes toward the cost of repairs.” Our customers just love the fact that they don’t pay a visit fee if a repair is over $90 and our on-the-spot repairs are another reason why we have so many satisfied customers.