PC Rescue Newsletter October 2008
As long term subscribers will
know, we love tinkering with this newletter. Last month, as result of
fiddling with the September newsletter, many people didn't receive it.
Our apologies to those who missed out. If you suspect you have missed
it, we post all the newsletters online on the
This month we have our regular
October review of computer specifications and budgets. This year though,
we have possibly the worst financial crisis in a generation so we focus
on how to save money on your computers. We also have a run down on the
With Christmas only ten weeks
away, it's time to revisit our buying a computer
recommendations. As always with the computer industry, the hardware
specifications have improved in the three months since we last looked
at the market, although there are some suprises in laptop pricing.
When putting together the specs,
we look at a system that will allow the average home or business user
to get three to five years use out of the computer. This means the specs
and budget are somewhat more than the cheap price systems you'll see advertised.
For desktops, we've cranked
the memory up from 2Gb RAM to 4, the hard drive we've pushed from 300
Gb to 500 and the screen size from 20" to 22". This has kept the
price for our ideal desktop system at $1800.
Interestingly, laptops have
gone up in price. This is mainly due to the memory increase. It's now
quite clear that manufucturers are recovering margins on cheap systems
by making higher profits on upgrades.
While this hasn't affected
desktop pricing, it's really made a different to the cost of the portables.
Added to this, the falling Australian dollar is pushing prices up, as
we see with the new range of Apple MacBooks.
a computer tech? We can get technicians to help you with your home
and office computer problems anywhere in Australia.
If you need a new computer
set up, a virus removed or would just like to make sure your computer
is running as it should be, we can help you.
Call 1300 798 957
and our call centre can arrange a visit or online service.
New Apple portables
One of the messages from the
computer spec study was the Apple MacBook range was getting tired and
falling behind the Windows machines in the same price points.
So it wasn't a surprise that,
the day after releasing our computer specs, Apple announced their new
MacBook range with improved screens, video capabilities and bigger hard
One noteable point was the
price of MacBooks has gone up between 15 and 20%, this appears to be to
be due to the dollar falling and we can expect similar price rises in
Quite a few pundits were predicting
Apple would announce a low cost netbook to compete with the Asus EeePC
and Dell A9, that wasn't to be and it makes sense as Apple tend not to
play in the low margin, cheap end of the market.
Overall, the new range of Macs
is welcome refresh of their product line, but right now it's hard to see
a compelling reason for Windows users to switch.If you are interested
in the new MacBooks, Apple
compare the products here.
Ask a question
Our sister website,
Queries answers common computer problems.
If your computer has a frustrating
problem, have a look for an answer at IT Queries. If you don't find
one, just ask on the IT Queries site and we'll get a solution for you.
Dell joint the
Netbooks are the fastest growing
segment of the computer market right now and Dell have been behind on
this. The new Latitude A9 is their first enty into this market. We
haven't had an opportunity to test the product out but netbooks are an
important part of the market and worth a look at if you need a cheap,
Jargon of the
The fastest growing sector
in the computer hardware industry is the netbook category. Netbooks are
cheap, light and low powered laptops designed to spend most of their time
connected to the Internet where most of their data is stored. Almost every
vendor, with the exception of Apple, now have a model on the market.
Netbooks are terrific little
units and meet the needs of many users. If these will work for you, they
are well worth look at.
We have more tech terms deciphered
on our Jargon Buster page. If you have any jargon
you need explaining, please contact us.
Who says you can't get a
good computer manual? Our Dummies
books are available online. If you
want to learn more about your computer, we have the answers.
The current version of PCs
for Dummies covers Vista computers and the earlier version covers Windows
XP. So we can help you get the most from both versions of Windows.
Microsoft and a number of security
vendors are warning about emails purporting to be security updates that
are doing the rounds. This
is a frequent problem and if you receive one of these it's best to ignore
them and good spam checkers will put them in the bin for you.
Keeping your system up to date
is importand and you should check on the Windows
Update site at least monthly for any updates.
PC Rescue's Managing director,
Paul Wallbank, can help your business or community group get more from
their technology. Contact
us for more details
office: Where will our offices be in twenty years time
The elder guru; exploding the myths of the digital divide.
Ten ways to revolutionise your business IT
What does it all mean? cutting through computer jargon.
There's the smell of recession
in the air and when money gets tight, computer spending is usually the
first thing to get cut. This usually isn't necessary and for businesses
can actually be a mistake.
It's possible to cut spending
without compromising your systems, here's some quick ideas.
Turn the things
It's so simple, yet so many
people don't do it. In an office environment simply turning your computer
off when it's not in use can save over 75% of energy costs.
Another simple trick is to
turn off peripherals like scanners and printers when the computer isn't
in use. Most modern peripherals go into sleep mode when they aren't in
use, meaning they could be using power for days without being used. So
plugging them into a power board with an on/off switch makes it easy to
turn them off.
The paperless office is still
largely a myth. But that doesn't excuse you from minimising the amount
of paper you use. It's estimated the average office worker uses 50kg of
paper a year.
Cutting that by 50% saves ten
reams of paper a year, at least $50 a year or 5000 pages. The cost of
power and consumables at least double this.
For households with inkjet
printers, the cost of consumables is even more. Reducing the use of these
helps the environment and saves costs.
Internet and mobile phone costs
have plummeted in recent years. If you haven't shopped around on what
you're paying for your plan then you are probably paying too much. We've
seen people save over $1,000 a year simply by calling their Internet provider.
Our next Sydney 702 Weekend
spot will be at 10am on October 26 where we'll be looking at the costs
of a new computer. The next Nightlife is on Friday, October 17 at 10pm
where we'll be talking about the new Internet domains.
If you'd like to offer any
suggestions about topics or improvements to the shows please contact
Next month on
In November, We'll be looking
at what to do in a computer crisis and how panic is your greatest enemy.
If you have a topic you'd like us to discuss on the websites, Smart Company
blog or the radio spots please contact
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