How to speed up your PC, and prep it for Windows 8!

first of all, Happy Windows 8 day everybody! it’s a great day today is it not? I for one am super excited for Windows 8, I may be a bit speculative of it tho which is why I shall only install it on my laptop and then once I’m comfortable with it I shall install it on my pc. Over the past couple of months my laptops been giving me a hell load of problems, it’s a great laptop no doubt, great specs, 8GB of RAM and it’s still slow as hell. So I downloaded some software, cleaned up some stuff and voila, it’s ready for Windows 8. First I’ll be taking you through the things to do to speed up your PC, then I shall tell you about the methods of updating from windows xp, vista and 7 to windows 8 and finally an alternative for the lazy people.

1. Speed up Your PC!

one disadvantages with PC’s is the amount of clutter you end up installing over the years, the amount of temp files that are stored and cache files, all of this collect over time and slow down your computer quite a bit. The worst part is that windows doesn’t let you easily access these files and even when you access them you can’t tell the difference from the important ones and the unimportant ones. That’s why you should download CCleaner. With one click of a button it deletes all the unnecessary temp and cache files and really helps in increasing you’re computers speed and performance, it cleaned up 13GB space for me! There are many softwares you could use for uninstalling software but in my opinion the built in one for windows works fine, but if you don’t like that then CCleaner has one as well which works quite well. Another thing you should do is browse through your files for unnecessary junk that’s taking up space on your pc, this really helps free up some valuable hard drive space. Once again doing this manually works great but if you want to do it in a “prettier” way I suggest you download DiskSpaceFan. [Sources: LifeHacker]. Some people say that with windows 7 you don’t need to worry about defragmenting your hard drive (google defragmentation if you don’t get it) but I still feel that it does increase performance. My favourite tool for this is Auslogics Disk Defrag  This concludes my guide for speeding up ypu’re pc, now windows 8 time!

2. Different Upgrade options

There are two types of Windows 8 (normal and Pro) and they’re not really that different. Pro just adds various options for businesses and power users, if you don’t know what a power user is then chances are you aren’t one and the normal version of Windows 8 should be fine for you. If you’re on windows 7 pro or ultimate then you have to update to windows 8 pro. Any other Windows 7 types have the option of upgrading to Windows 8 or Windows 8 pro. Upgrading to windows 8 from windows 7 is a breeze, just click upgrade and all you’re apps, settings and data(files you’ve stored on your hard drive like documents, movies, songs) will be automatically transferred for you, no hassle. If you’re upgrading from windows Vista to 8 then only you’re settings and data will be moved. From XP to 8 only data and nothing else will be moved. One thing to note is that to upgrade from Vista you have to update to SP1 first and from xp you have to update to SP3 first. This can be done from within windows and don’t worry, it’s free. Chances are it automatically updated for you already so you may be good to go. To check just go into Control Panel, System and Security, System and see what it says next to Operating System.

3. Easy yet Hard yet Easy way Out

Do a fresh install. A fresh install is when you get the windows disc and empty you’re hard drive and install from scratch, giving you the feeling that you’ve just bought a new PC. I used to be a big fan of fresh installs, I used to love doing them. I never minded backing up all my data and software and stuff and starting from scratch everytime, it was actually quite fun. The reason I called this easy is because there’s no need to clean your cache and stuff, since you start from scratch, there’s no nonsense stored on the pc, thus letting it perform to it’s full potential. Doing this will even give you bause speeds on 1GB of RAM… for a while.

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Get a better Music Listening Experience

Hey there, how many of you love music but want to take your music listening experience to a whole new level? or are you just sick of listening to low quality BS and don’t know how to go beyond that? well you’ve come to the right place, cause I’m here to give you tips on getting a truly snazzy audio listening experience.

1. Quality is crucial!!

Where do you download your music from? do you use mp3’s? The main ingredient to good audio lies in the bit-rate. That is the speed at which the song is transfered from your audio player to your oh so lovely ears. Also, the file format and compression rate plays an essential role. For example,  songs downloaded from youtube have a bitrate of 64kbps and are 94%compressed. this is terrible. Normal mp3’s downloaded of iTunes, Amazon, mp3skull, 4shared, etc. range from a bitrate of 192kbps to 320kbps and are 73& compressed. word of advice, if you’re going to use mp3’s, please use only 320kbps, below that just doesn’t feel good anymore. Now there are levels higher than mp3, which are lossless formats such as FLAC and Apple Lossless. FLAC(Free Lossless Audio Codec) and ALAC(Apple Lossless Audio Codec) have bitrate’s ranging from 700kbps to 2000kbps and have a compression rate of 37%! Amazing right? This lets us listen to the audio at blazing fast speeds, think of it as HD MUSIC. It’s kind of hard to find FLAC and ALAC files on the regular site’s but you can check out less legal sites to download them such as thepiratebay.se or other torrent sites.

If you’re going to be listening to flac on you’re ipod or iphone, you’re going to have to convert it to apple lossless (alac) first but thats simple and can be done with the help of software called “dBpoweramp”. If you’re going to be listening to flac on a PC, my favorite music player is winamp or winamp pro, it gives you detailed info on the songs including bitrate and also imports you’re existing itunes music library and syncs with ipods!! huzzah! I don’t use a mac but as far as I know Fildellia or vox.app are great for playing flac files.

2. Hardware Matters too!

It’s not just the software you have to pay attention to, it’s also what you listen to the songs on that matters! First and foremost, invest in a decent pair of headphones! Don’t cheap out and please for the love of God don’t use the stock apple earphones, and beats! for more detailed information on headphones check out headphonemecca.com it’s an easy to use site that has a list of headphones depending on your budget! But it’ not just the headphones you know. Headphones require a certain amount of energy or power in order to run great and today’s generation of tech does not have the capability to run these headphones properly so sound quality will be lost and you’ll get sort of a hissing noise at the back, this is known as distortion. But alas! there is a way to fix this via the help of amplifiers! Amps  are connected to your ipod/iphone/mp3player/pc to boost the power. There are a variety of amps available  both portable and desktop. Portable’s have a li-on battery in them so you can charge them for on the go use. I personally use the Fiio E6 but if you have the cash to blow definitely go with the digizoid zo2. You can also go for the Rocoo-P from HiSound Audio which is an mp3 player with a built in class A amp. Desktop amps use USB port connection and are of a higher quality as compared to portables. You can also add on a DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) to maximize the awesomeness. There are many good desktop amps so you’re gonna have to do some research if you’re willing to get one, but you can also get the HiFiMan EF2A which is a DAC/AMP, so it’s 2 in 1.

And With that we reach the conclusion to our guide to better music, so thanks for reading folks and let’s hope your audio set-up, gets snazzed!

New Phone Time?

Is that phone in your pocket rotting? is it time for an upgrade? can’t decide which phone to use, because of the dastardly large number of new phones releasing each week? well you’ve come to the right place, cause I got the perfect guide for you!

instead of making this a top 5 phones thing like I usually do, I’ll split this guide into priorities and what you need out of a phone, such as simplicity, power or nerd-gasmic experiences. that’s right, I made my own word, nerdgasmic.

Let’s start with the most thought about factor for teens and the working adult:

Communication 

BlackBerry Bold 9900

yes, it’s a blackberry. no, I’m not high. With a 1.2GHz processor coupled with Liquid Display hardware acceleration, a 2.8″ HVGA capacitive touchscreen display and the best keyboard on earth, the blackberry bold 9900 takes the no. 1 spot for communication. why? well because blackberries are excellent communication tools, with the best email integration, BBM, and heavy social network integration, BlackBerries are excellent devices for keeping in touch with your friends, families or co-workers. sure the apps aren’t that great, but honestly who needs apps? well everyone but still, you probably have a tablet or media device for those… Other than apps, the only limitation I have found on this phone is the terrible 1300mAh battery that juices this device.

WOW- Factor

Apple iPhone 4S

Sure it looks exactly like the 4 and many were disappointed with this release of the iPhone, even I was at first but it’s really starting to grow on me now. I loved the design of the 4 and was glad to see them stick with it, although I do wish they had gone with a 4″ Display. Other than that it sports very welcome updates such as a dual core processor and bumped up camera, this phone is perfect for the every day user, with its amazing ecosystem of apps, integration with your life and for the love of God, Siri! This phone is perfect for the every day user.

NERD APPEAL

Google Galaxy Nexus

That’s right, everything about this phone screams AWESOME to nerds like me, possibly the only real Android phone (read here for why) The 1.2 GHz dual core processor, 1GB of RAM, Android 4.0 and that brilliant 4.65″ Super AMOLED HD 720p display, that’s right, 720p!! it’s like having a theater in your pocket! this phone should be crowned king o’ the geeks!

All Rounder 

Nokia Lumia 800

Yes, know what you must be thinking, didn’t nokia die? well no, and yes this is the best phone out there right now, according to me. Other than the completely sexy unibody polycarbonate design (look at how sexy it is) The Nokia Lumia 800 is one amazing phone. Packed with a 1.4GHz Qualcomm chip, 16Gigs of memory, An 8 Megapixel camera, 3.7″ clearblack AMOLED and windows phone mango, this is the real deal. The focal point of this phone is the OS, windows phone 7.5 is a brilliant blend of easy to use software and beauty. It has a minimalistic feel to it, so you feel elegant and classy when using it. Best of all it’s practical, it does everything you need it to, and makes day to day living just a tad more elegant. To know more about windows phone and it’s awesomeness, check out the youtube vids. One things for sure, when I go to university, I’m definitely getting myself a windows phone.

Comparison of Media Streamers

Many of you may or may not have a large library of movies and tv shows on your computer, whether downloaded of sites like itunes, RIP’ed of dvd’s or maybe your just a pirate. whichever you classify yourself as, your always looking for a decent way to watch it on a big screen like your tv, but there are way too many options, so I’ve decided to make a comparison, and in the process help myself decide wich one I should get. (I’ll be going alphabetically, not sorted by preference.)

1. Apple TV

Apple TV

Probably the most popular of the bunch, the Apple TV is an iOS based apple device that let’s you download apps, watch youtube, rent content straight from iTunes and use your iPad or iPhone with it.

Pro’s: It’s small, looks sexy, tiny carbon footprint, high quality HD, iPad mirroring.

Con’s: Have to jailbreak to be able to play non iTunes content, no hard drive space, no browser, no A/V composite support.

 

2. Boxee Box

Made by D-Link, this sweet looking box based on the awesome open source software boxee, lets you stream content from online, your pc and anywhere, you can control it with your phone, download apps like college humor and best of all, its powered by IMDb, which downloads info and album art for all your content

Pro’s: HD, USB, Composite, Great Software, Supports all media formats, integrates with Facebook and twitter.

Con’s: $250 😦

3.

Powered by Google TV, this media streamer has more capabilities then the competition, but still lacks a solid platform, which might change with the addition of android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and the ever so good Android Market

Pro’s: Integrates with your set top box(US Only), lets you stream online content, Google Chrome  web browser with flash, use your smartphone as a remote and share content, social network integration. only $99, stream from pc.

Con’s: lack of a solid consumer base, less apps compared to some ohers.

4. Roku 2

This super sexy media streamer comes in 3 editions suited to your needs, starting at only $59

Pro’s:Great collection of online apps and channels

Con’s: Only online apps and channels.

 

okay, so I’ve made it a simple as possible, now its up to you, which one do you prefer? for more info check out their websites.

Best Mid Range Android Phones

1. LG Optimus Black

featuring a gorgeous 4″ Nova display, a 1GHz processor and a 5 megapixel camera, and not to forget that its slimmer than the iphone 4, this phone is a crossover between a mid-range and high-end smartphone

2. Motorola Triumph

featuring a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, a 4.1″ display and stock android (FroYo), the only drawback this phone has is its plastic like feel and bulky design, oh and of course its tiny battery(1390 M) :p

3. HTC Cha Cha

Also known as the Facebook phone due to its dedicated facebook sharing key at the bottom, the ChaCha is the perfect phone for a business person wanting to make the switch from a blackberry. it features a 2.6″ touchscreen with a resolution of 480 x 320, an 800MHz processor and android 2.2 with HTC Sense 2.1. plus it has a beautiful design.

4. Samsung Galaxy Ace

As the succesor t0 the Galaxy 3, the galaxy ace rocks an amazing and lightweight body, an 800MHz processor, a 3.5″ AMOLED display and android 2.2 with touchwiz 3.0, and an upgrade coming in the future.

5. HTC Desire S

Yea yea I know the phone has a 1GHz processor and android 2.3 also know as those wicked robots made out of gingerbread. When I saw it I was like whoa, that’s some wicked pic right there, then I saw ice cream sandwhich’s robot and I was like double whoa! Cuz the honeycomb logo was just bleh. But that’s besides the point. Right so as I was saying, it has all the great specs, but if you have used it, you what I’m talking aboot. Yes I said it that way. No typo.