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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in desktop accessories

Everything You Wanted to Know About Hard Disk Drives

What does a hard drive do?
Information storage is the hard drive’s main responsibility. Think the electronic version of the old office filing cabinet. Everything you keep on your computer is on a hard drive. Not just documents, emails, contacts, favorites pictures, music and videos. Your programs, your preferences, your printers, your settings, even your operating system—they’re all stored on your computer’s hard drive.

If your hard drive is damaged or fails, you can lose it all. This is the sad truth and unfortunately we still see this 10+ times per week. Which is why most smart people have a backup system. They get another hard drive and copy all their important files onto that.

 

How big of a hard drive do you need?
Everything that can be saved on a hard drive is measured in terms of its size. Text is very small, pictures are larger, music is even bigger, and video is the biggest of them all.

A hard drive is like a scale. It doesn’t know the difference between things that are on it; it only knows their size. But instead of kilograms, a hard drive measures things in terms of megabytes (MB), gigabytes (GB) and terabytes (TB.)

Roughly speaking, a megabyte is 1 million bytes, a gigabyte is 1 billion bytes, and a terabyte is 1 trillion bytes.

What does this mean for you?

If you need to transfer files between computers or a drive to back up just some of your files, you can get by with a smaller drive (such as a 500GB External Hard Drive).

If you want to back up your entire computer, or even several computers, or if you store a lot of video and audio files, you’ll want a larger drive (such as a 1TB or larger Network Attached Storeage System - NAS for short).

 

Will your drive work with a PC or a Mac?
Most Hard Drives PC Pitstop sell works with either a PC or a Mac. Some drives are already formatted to work with one or the other. But any drive can be reformatted to work with either type of computer.

IMPORTANT: If you reformat a drive, every single file on that drive is erased. So make sure you copy your files somewhere safe before you reformat.

It’s more difficult to use the same drive on both a PC and a Mac. The short answer is, they’re not really compatible. The more detailed answer is that, in a few specific circumstances, you can do a few specific things. 

What are the different types of hard drive connections?
There are four basic ways to connect your hard drive to your computer:

USB
This is the most common connection type. There’s no set-up at all. Just plug it in. The computer recognises the drive, and you’re able to read and save files almost instantly.

FireWire
Plug-and-play like USB, Firewire 800 is significantly faster, making it popular with those transferring video files.

SATA
This is the standard connection for internal hard drives. Offers the highest file transfer speeds of any format.

eSATA
A less common, high-performance connection most commonly found in PCs. An eSATA connection performs at speeds that most closely resemble an internal drive.

 

How important is hard drive speed?
When you start your computer, open a file, listen to a song, or do just about anything else, you use your hard drive. The discs inside the drive spin. The faster they spin, the more quickly your computer can find the file you want.

So a drive rated at 7,200 rpm will be faster than one rated at 5,400 rpm. What that means for your day-to-day use will vary. With external drives, you’ll hardly notice a difference. With internal drives, the difference will be slight with smaller files and applications, but will be obvious with larger files and applications - and all of this adds up.

Should you choose internal or external?
An internal drive provides built-in storage at top speeds. An external drive gives you greater flexibility and expanded storage whenever you need it.

Each choice has its benefits and drawbacks.

Internal drives have to be physically installed and configured by a PC Pitstop Trained Technician opening up your computer. But your files and programs are stored directly on your computer; they’re always there whenever you need them.

External drives are connected to your computer via plug-in cables. This lets you take files with you, transfer them to other computers, or instantly add storage to your computer or network without too many technical hurdles.

 

How much can I store?

Here are some averages to give an idea of what you can store on which size drive.

  Digital Music (MP3) Digital Photo's (JPG) Digital Video's (MP4)
500Gb 25,000 Songs 160,000 Photo's 500 Hours
1000Gb (1Tb) 50,000 Songs 320,000 Photo's 1000 Hours
2000Gb (2Tb) 100,000 Songs 640,000 Photo's 2000 Hours

 

 

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PC Pitstop Computer Manual & Service Planner :: Making IT Easy for YOU

manual-planner

We are so excited to finally have our PC Pitstop Computer Manual & Service Planner in store for everyone who receives any service from PC Pitstop! So many of you have been wanting something like this and it will definately make life easier for a lot of businesses and families! We've been working on this handy guide for 12mths and it's jammed packed with over 30years experience in computer repairs, computer builds and everything in between.

It features an entire section dedicated to Customer Care Guides - 22 simple 'How-To' guides for navigating your computer, your devices and the internet. The Preventative Maintainence Schedule at the back of the booklet details exactly what service is recommended for your computer at various points in it's life and can even be stamp certified that you were looked after by a PC Pitstop Trained Technician.

We love providing extra value and this Manual is the perfect tech-education and tracking tool for all our customers!

Pick yours up after your next service today.

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Take advantage of the instant asset tax write-off

computer-present

(Written by David Markus for SMART COMPANY)

We have until January 1 to install new PCs, printers, storage systems and servers, update a firewall or invest in a large TV for displaying charts on the office wall.

If your business is turning over less than $2 million you can claim an instant asset tax write-off on goods up to the value of $6500 in one year. After January 1 this will only apply to goods up to $1000 in value.

With Windows XP going end of life in April 2014 you would have to have rocks in your head not to replace every Windows XP PC in your business before New Year’s Eve. Note the device needs to be installed by then so don’t wait for the last minute. There are some fantastic new devices on the market that offer the full power of a PC in a tiny form factor and it is a great time to invest in a new device. If you are in a design industry there will not be a better time to upgrade any out-of-date workstations with high speed, high end systems.

Let’s just look across an SME doing under $2 million in turnover and consider some of the bits of technology or infrastructure you are likely to have that do cost over $1000 and could be replaced if they are going to require that soon in any case.

Let’s start at the front door and work our way through the office:

  • Signage
  • Security system
  • Electronic door locks
  • CCTV for video surveillance
  • Phone system
  • Servers
  • Routers and switches
  • Firewall
  • PCs (especially those with windows XP)
  • Printers
  • TVs or digital displays
  • Office furniture
  • Carpet or other floor covering
  • Lighting
  • Kitchen whitegoods like a new fridge or coffee machine

Of course you can argue that many of these things will cost under $1000 each and so there is no rush to run out and spend money. That is fair enough but if you need some larger ticket items, now is a great time to be buying things up to the threshold to get the immediate benefit of the depreciation this year. How many items can you think of that I left off the list?

Now this is not purely technology advice, but it will apply to plenty of things in your office. Do expect some delays in delivery and some job queues with companies getting busy finishing off projects or closing of production runs in the factory by the end of December, so don’t wait for the last minute to order whatever it is that you need.

This is a great opportunity for businesses of all sizes to take advantage of and PC Pitstop can help you seize it! CALL TO ARRANGE A QUOTE FOR YOUR NEEDS TODAY :: 65 841 551

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christmas-shopping-list

Pick up an Ex Lease Desktop from PC Pitstop or PC Pitstop Online Store and tick a whole group of people of your list at once!

These sturdy, refurbished ex bank or ex government machines are great for:

  • a 2nd computer for the kids to do their homework
  • a beginners computer for nan and pop
  • a internet only computer for someone who enjoys surfing the web
  • or even for a small business POS computer

Without the bells and whistles, their specs suit those who don't like the fuss of the newest and latest.

-- Dual Core Processor
-- 80GB Hard Drive
-- 2GB RAM
-- DVD Reader/CD Burner
-- 8x USB Ports
-- Windows 7 Home Premium + Disk + License
-- HP Commercial Computer Quality. Almost Bullet Proof.

ex-lease-blog-pcpitstop-australia

>>> BUY HERE <<< OR IN STORE TODAY - Shop 13, 4 Bay St, Port Macquarie

AND IF YOU BUY AN EX LEASE 19" LCD SCREEN IN THE SAME TRANSACTION WE'LL THROW IN A KEYBOARD AND MOUSE, valued at $35 TO MAKE IT A COMBO

+

A 'DESKTOP CONNECTION GUIDE' TO MAKE PLUGGING IN AT HOME A CINCH!

**We're open until the day before Christmas, but don't leave it too late or you might miss out**

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How chic is this for a gadget hideaway and charging booth?!

pcpitstop-blog-cable-management1

pcpitstop-blog-cable-management2

I love! Add to cart >>> HERE <<<

 

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[THIS ARTICLE CAUGHT MY EYE! WHO DOESN'T WANT TO SAVE $$ ON POWER THESE DAYS, IT'S CRAZY?! HERE'S SOME IDEAS FROM OUR FRIENDS AT BIT]

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From a three-in-one charger to a switch that shuts off standby power to your computers, here are five gadgets for keeping a lid on your electricity use.

Power costs are only going one way, and that's upwards. Energy isn't a cheap matter for any business, but that doesn't mean you have to put up with high energy bills. 

Careful power management of your devices, be they office printers, shared storage, laptops or desktops can go a fair way to lowering your power bill, along with sensible practices when it comes to issues such as office heating and lighting.

You can also invest a little in gadgets designed specifically to save power in the medium to long term. Below are five gadgets to help you monitor your energy usage. There's no magic bullet here, and these devices won't pay for themselves extremely quickly at current Australian power prices - but if you're looking to stop wasting electricity, it's one way to start.

1. Belkin Conserve Switch

It's tempting to leave everything in standby mode so that it's ready to go at the click of mouse or keyboard, but that's also a great way to use a honking great amount of standby power. That's especially the case if you're not only running a desktop computer or laptop, but also possibly a small printer, switch, external monitor or additional power board from the same socket.

Instead, Belkin's Conserve Switch uses a simple one-touch switch that controls the power to eight connected devices, including two master switch devices. That means that your IT gear that has 24/7 connectivity needs - or that won't react well to a sudden shutdown - can be left on the two master switches, while six other power draining gadgets are turned off remotely when you leave the office each night.

2. Kensington AbsolutePower Laptop, Phone, Tablet Charger

pcpitstop-australia-kensington-absolute-power 

If you've got separate chargers for your phone, tablet and laptop, it can be very tempting to leave them permanently plugged in so that you've got power on the go whenever you want it. The problem there is that each and every one of those chargers is using power when it's plugged in, whether you're charging or not.

Kensington's AbsolutePower charger combines laptop charging from a small power brick along with two 2.1A USB ports, from which you can charge your phone, tablet, and anything else that'll take a standard USB power charge. As well as being handy (you don't have to juggle different chartgers), it doesn't use up power sockets in your office, or, more critically, power due to unused chargers. This one costs $149.95.

>>> WATCH IT IN ACTION HERE <<<

3. Powertraveller Powermonkey Extreme

If you're a mobile worker, it can be tempting to stow a portable battery or two in your bag when you're out and about, because there's nothing worse than your smartphone going dead on you when you've got critical email to catch up on or clients to contact.

Keeping a portable battery charged continuously can waste power though - unless you use other methods to charge it with. Powertraveller's line of solar-powered gadgets are geared more towards outdoor enthusiasts, but that's no reason why you can't turn their solar expertise to benefit your business. Keep one of these solar-chargers near your window, ready to pick up when you walk out of the office. Solar batteries don't charge fast, but you'll pay a grand total of absolutely no electricity for all the power that you'll ever use through them. This one costs $150.

 

4. Jaycar Mains Power Meter

Saving power is a grand ideal, but in order to properly save something, it's important to first be able to measure it. Now, you could take the very low-tech approach and go look at your power meter spinning over, but that'll only give you a complete power draw for the building you're in, which isn't very useful when you're trying to cut down your IT energy costs specifically.

That's where a power meter such as Jaycar's simple and cheap Mains Power Meter can pay dividends. You plug it between your devices and the wall socket, tell it your current energy price as per your provider's bill, and it will give you a live estimate of the running cost of your equipment over a period of time.

That's useful data; not only will it give you a more realistic picture of your ongoing data costs, but it will also make it easier to work out which bits of IT equipment are drawing the most power, and proportion your use of them in the most cost-effective manner possible.

 

5. 2013 Macbook Air

 

You might think we've gone insane picking a premium Ultrabook style laptop as a "energy saving gadget", but there's distinct method to our madness here.

The latest version of Apple's MacBook Air laptop runs on Intel's fourth generation Core chips (also referred to in the IT industry as "Haswell" processors), and boasts a hefty battery life of up to 12 hours on the 13 inch model. That's great and it does so by working while only sipping at the battery, because the new Intel chip is conservative when it comes to power usage.

As such, any laptop with the new Intel chip - we've picked the Air simply because Apple was first to the Australian market with the new Intel chip - will run faster than your current gear but it will also use less power while it's running.

 

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[WASTING TIME AT WORK BECUASE YOUR TECHNOLOGY IS LETTING YOU DOWN?]

Improve productivity by upgarding to the PC Pitstop Business Workstation PC today!

 

WHAT's IT GOOD FOR?

PCP Bus Work Station 2

WHAT's THE SPECS?

PCP Bus Work Station 1

WHAT ELSE DO WE NEED?

PCP Bus Work Station 3

Call or call in Mon-Sat >>> Shop 13, 4 Bay St, PORT MACQUARIE

Or BUY IT ONLINE >>> www.pcpitstop.net.au

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Norton Internet Security
Stay safe with the very best anti-virus software. Do you bank online? Then you need Norton Internet Security!

Keyboard/Mouse Combo
Choose your style, shape and colour for greater comfort and flexibility.

Speakers
Enjoy music, movies and gaming on your desktop with a wide variety of speakers from simple to subwoofers.

USB Hub
4+ ports. Increase your USB ports to connect more devices and never have a lack of USB inputs.

Backing Up
Invest in back up hard drives and automated backing up software, to avoid the trauma of losing precious photos and data.

Moisture Kit
Protect your investment against component killing corrosion. Includes computer cover and damp absorber. A must for humid climates!

norton internet security 2013 laptop essential   pcpitstop keyboard mouse combo pcpitstop moisture cure  pcpitstop speakers 

Found this handy? Read last month's post 'PC Pitstop's Essential Laptop Accessories' and Follow us on Facebook!

 

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