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great computer accessories can turn your older pc into a cutting edge champ

 

 

 


     

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There are some great accessories and upgrades available to take the PC you love and give it a really good makeover. You can end up with something that you like better than the new PCs in the stores.

Additional memory often can make a really big difference. But not everyone knows there model number to find out what extra memory is available. Crucial.com takes the hassle out of this. They have an online scanner that can quickly identify your make and model, and tell you how much memory is already installed. If it says your maxed out  on RAM, then your done. But if your PC can hold more memory, it shows you what your options are.

Upgrading the hard drive to a bigger one is something a lot of people would like to do, but find the job too daunting. Apricorn.com takes a lot of the hassle out of that job. Their EZ Upgrade Universal Hard Drive Upgrade Kit is designed for laptops. It lets you plug your new, larger drive into an external sleeve attached to a USB port. Then the provided software can make an exact copy of your hard drive onto the newer drive. When the new drive is installed onto your laptop, your computer should operate just as it used to, with all your files and programs in place. You just have a bigger hard drive. Your old drive could serve as an emergency backup if you ever got a virus that made your laptop not function.

Now, solid state drives offer a tempting option. There are expensive, but offer several features. They are silent, since there's no moving parts inside. Also, if you drop your laptop, the drive shouldn't be damaged. If the computer itself is too badly damages, your hard drive could be taken out and put in another laptop, so you retain your data and programs.

"Toaster" hard drives (they look sort of like a toaster with a piece of bread sticking out) offer a convenient way to back up data. They are a cradle that you can plug a standard internal hard drive into; this connects to your computer via a USB cable. You can then make extra copies of important data, or back up the entire computer. Then you can physically disconnect the hard drive, and even lock it up somewhere safe. Then if your PC is lost of stolen, or it's hard drive fails, or you get a virus, well, you have a complete back up drive to use. You should even be able to back up more than one computer with some brands of toaster drive. Or, you can just leave it connected, and have an additional, extra large capacity drive to store stuff on.

How about adding TV to your PC? You can buy TV tuner cards and USB tuners. The latter will even work with a laptop. You just plug in your cable wire, the software scans for available channels, and it works a lot like a TV. You can even record programs. Some models let you plug in a video camera feed, which can let you set up a security camera or a baby room monitor camera.

A clip on web cam can add a lot of value to a laptop that doesn't have a web cam. You can video chat with your friends across the country or across the world free of charge. Good video chat software is available free from providers like Yahoo and MSN.

A higher capacity battery can give you significantly longer running time on a laptop. Many laptops come with four or six cell batteries. By upgrading from a four cell to a six cell, or from a six cell to a nine cell battery, if it's available, you may change a laptop that's frustrating to use to one that's fn to use. Batteries slowly deteriorate over time, so what may have originally been a 2 and a half hour charge may now be a one and a half over time. Getting a larger capacity battery might give you as much as four hours of use. Of course, batteries with more cells  are heavier and sometimes stick out from the laptop in weird ways (particularly some of the 9 cell batteries), so it pay to do a little research.

A way to charge your laptop in your car can be handy. One cost effective way is to buy a small inverter. This provides a 120 volt outlet. You don't need a big inverter to provide power to charge a laptop; a 150 watt model should do fine

If your computer can't burn CDs or DVDs, it's easy to add an external drive that can. These have the advantage that they can be used on more than one computer, such as a home computer and a laptop. They just plug into a USB port. You can get one that can make DVDs for as little as about $60.

New products are coming out all the time, so you may be surprised at how much you can transform your older PC into something really enjoyable to use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
 





2002 - 2005 David Walls. All rights reserved.