National Computer Repair

Experienced in computer repair, data recovery, and a love for all things geek.

PC Gaming Equipment for Beginners

New gamers often face a steep learning curve after their initial introduction to the world of PC gaming. Taking the first steps in acquiring your own gaming equipment can be daunting and confusing, but this blog, along with our hands-on experts are here to help. Whether you’re investing in an entirely new gaming PC or plan to upgrade an existing one, follow along below as we discuss the four main components to look for when shopping around.

Central Processing Unit (CPU)

The job of a CPU is to collect, read, and process instructions provided by applications, then act accordingly. Essentially, a CPU is the brain of a PC and is responsible for carrying out all of the essential tasks that allow it to function properly.

While this component is important for general computing needs as well, it’s an especially critical component for optimal gaming. It’s important to note that replacing or upgrading the CPU later down the line will generally require you to also switch out the motherboard.

Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) or Graphics Card

What would gaming be without the graphics? A graphics card is the ruler of the visual experience because it’s what accelerates your PC’s creation and rendering of images, video, and animations. Your GPU and CPU work as a team to harmonize the graphics with basically everything else.

Random Access Memory (RAM)

RAM is a piece of hardware responsible for helping a PC run programs more efficiently. The more RAM a PC has the more information can be simultaneously accessed and translated by the CPU. Gaming PC’s require more RAM than non-gaming PC’s because these programs need more space, or memory, to operate properly and at full speed.

Storage

The amount of storage a PC has directly affects how fast or slow it will load programs and read data. PC storage typically comes in the form of a hard disk drive (HDD) or a solid-state drive (SSD), the difference being that HDDs are cheaper and come in higher capacities while SSDs are best for achieving the fastest speeds.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day as long as new gamers invest in enough system memory and storage space to meet the minimum requirements of their games, the overall performance will mostly come down to the CPU and graphics card. At National Computer Repair in Madison, TN, not only will you find high end gaming PC’s, hardware and accessories, but trusted advice from local tech and gaming experts as well. Contact us via our website or in person any day of the week!

Iconic Early Laptops

When we look back in history, it’s amazing to see how far we have advanced in terms of technology and innovation. We have gone from clunky and heavy early laptop bricks to slim and sleek laptops that you can take anywhere. We even have nearly the same capabilities in our tablets and phones. So what were the first truly portable laptops and how have they influenced us today? Continue reading to learn more about the very start of laptop innovation.

Image credit: “Osborne 1 open” by Bilby, licensed under CC BY 3.0

Osborne 1

Widely considered as the very first portable laptop, the Osborne 1 was created in 1981 by Adam Osborne. It had a 5-inch screen, 2 floppy drives, a battery pack, a modem, and a built-in keyboard. At the time, it costed around $1,795 and unfortunately, it also wasn’t very popular. It was also heavy and bulky. Although it wasn’t successful, it demonstrated the potential of carrying around your own laptop to work or for traveling.

Grid Compass 1101

Image credit: “GRiD Compass 1101” by jmdo, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Made in 1982, the Grid Compass 1101 introduced the clamshell design which allowed its screen to fold against the keyboard when closed. This design allowed a safer travel and an easier carry because it was protected. It featured a 384 kilobyte bubble memory and a 320 by 200 pixel electroluminescent display (ELD). Costing around $8,000 to $10,000, it was mainly used by the military and was also used by NASA on the space shuttle during the 1980s.

Its innovative clamshell design was one of the most influential and successful aspects of it that is still seen in many of our modern devices today. However, it wasn’t truly portable due to the lack of an internal battery and it had to be plugged into an outlet.

Compact LTE

In 1989, the Compact LTE was regarded as the first “notebook” laptop due to its smaller size similar to a notebook. It was much easier to carry around compared to the larger and bulkier laptops before its time. It had a built-in hard drive and about 20MB of storage space.

Apple Laptops: Macintosh Portable & PowerBook Series

Image credit: “Apple Musuem (Prague) Macintosh Portable” by Benoit Prieur – CC-BY-SA

Apple created their first laptop in 1989 called the Macintosh Portable and it featured a decent battery life and screen for its time. However, its size and heavy weight did not add to its popularity. Although it did pioneer in including a built in trackball.

Image credit: “Apple Macintosh PowerBook 180c” by diskdepot.co.uk, licensed under CC BY-SA

Moving forward to 1991, Apple released the PowerBook series which were extremely successful in their design and features. The keyboard was moved back so users can rest their palms and it also featured a track ball positioned towards the front. This is now equivalent to the touchpads we see now on modern laptops. Apple continued to further innovate the PowerBook series and its features set the foundation for more technological development that we are able to use today.

Conclusion

As you can see, we have definitely come a long way from our humble technological beginnings to high-speed devices that has connected the world. While we don’t do repairs on laptops from the late 1900s, we do provide expert repair services for modern laptops! National Computer Repair is your one stop tech support for virus removal, upgrades, data transfers, and much more. For more information, please visit our website or call (615) 826-7550.

What Are Cryptocurrencies?

The California Gold Rush was considered the largest mass migration in American history. By 1850, more than 25% of California’s population was born outside America. Nowadays, the new gold rush is digital, and many people are swarming to earn money by mining cryptocurrencies. Many people around the world are investing their hard-earned cash into different cryptocurrencies. But, what exactly is a cryptocurrency? In this blog, we are going to discuss what a cryptocurrency is and how it’s created.

Digital Money

            Cryptocurrency is virtual or digital money, which is symbolized by tokens or “coins.” Most cryptocurrencies are intangible, but they’re a few cryptos that ventured into the physical world with credit cards and other projections. The virtual currency is secured by cryptography, making it almost impossible to counterfeit or double-spend. A cryptocurrency is a kind of digital resource founded on a network dispersed across many computers. The term “cryptocurrency” derives from the encryption methods safeguarding the network.

How is Cryptocurrency created?

The word “crypto” inside the term Cryptocurrency denotes intricate cryptography allowing for the making and processing of digital currency. The crypto transactions can be across decentralized systems. This decentralized structure permits them to be existent outside the manipulation of governments and central authorities. Cryptocurrencies are technologically advanced as code by groups who construct mechanisms for issuance through a process called “mining” and other controls. Together with this significant “crypto” feature, these currencies make a mutual commitment to decentralization.

Conclusion

            Cryptocurrency is taking the world by storm, and there are 10,000 and counting different cryptocurrencies in the world right now. The most prominent one right now is Bitcoin where it equals approximately 34,000 USD for one coin. With fractional stocks, you can purchase a piece of it for only one dollar. Here at National Computer Repair, we have made buying and “mining” Bitcoins available to our customers. We give you your Bitcoins within minutes and make the process simple and easy. For more information about Bitcoin, visit our website.

Comparing PC vs Mac

PC stands for personal computer, but when people reference PC, the Microsoft Windows operating system is the one that most often comes to mind. Windows is one of the most popular and most commonly installed OS for PCs. In fact, it holds the largest market share worldwide for OS. Linux is also another well-known OS for PCs. On the other hand, Macintosh runs macOS and is solely developed and marketed by Apple Inc. Although PCs and Macs are both computers that can be mostly used for similar purposes, they differ in function, build, and power. In this month’s blog, we will discuss the unique strengths and weaknesses between the two competitive computers.

Price

In general, the majority of PCs are much more budget-friendly than Macs and are available in different price points from a variety of manufacturers such as Dell, HP, ASUS, Acer, and much more. Most PC towers for office and work use can be found for the half the price of Macs and that’s not including the monitor and other accessories. However, pre-built and custom PCs for gaming tend to lean towards higher price points due to the components that allow it to run high performance games and programs. It’s no secret that Apple products can be more expensive than other brands and manufacturers. However, Macs are very high quality and known for their sleek and modern designs.

Hardware

The hardware in a PC can easily be upgraded by simply switching out the parts in your PC tower when you want something better. For example, you can swap out an old graphics card for the latest one and instantly upgrade your visual experience and performance. The ability to customize your PC is what makes it so popular and enticing and if you’re knowledgeable about the parts, you can build your PC yourself right at home. Overall, PCs have a wide array of hardware choices to choose from in different price ranges. You can choose the hardware based on what best fits your needs.

On the other hand, Macs are very limited in the customization of their hardware and are not really designed to be upgraded by the user. What you buy is what you get. However, Macs come with high-end, expensive components that can run programs very smoothly and seamlessly. In addition, since Apple is the sole manufacturer of all Mac hardware, it offers greater stability and performance. Custom-built PCs can run into issues such as incompatible drivers that can affect its performance.

Software and Gaming

Mac computers are part of what is called the Apple Ecosystem. This ecosystem encompasses all Apple products and devices and creates a seamless network where you can be connected to all of your Apple devices. For example, you can leave your iPhone somewhere else and still easily answer text messages from your Mac. You can even share documents and files through AirDrop or iCloud and easily open it from any device. This integrated ecosystem offers convenience and if you already own an iPhone or iPad, choosing a Mac over a PC can be a very tempting choice. The software and optimization of Macs are also a popular choice among professional creatives, including apps such as Sketch and Final Cut Pro. For the majority, Macs are considered an industry standard for designers but now with more creative software being available for Windows, it makes it a competitive match.

As for gaming, PC wins by a landslide in this category. As mentioned before, a PC has the capability of swapping out its parts and allows users to build their own tower. This allows dedicated gamers to have the best performing system that guarantees a smooth running and high graphics game. Macs have a very limited selection when it comes to gaming software and its components are not very compatible with running the majority of games available for PC.

Which One Do I Choose?

As discussed, PC and Mac have their own unique traits. It’s important to think about your expectations and what kind of capabilities you want your chosen device to handle. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you often multitask during work and utilize a wide variety of office programs and video conference apps?
  • Are you a programmer or designer that requires a device that can run intensive applications?
  • Do you often travel and need a system that is connected to other devices?
  • Are you a gamer and require a computer that can run high performance games on high quality graphics?
  • Do you need a computer that can be used for both casual entertainment (streaming, gaming, etc.) and work?

The bottom line is that, if you’re going to be using your computer for entertainment or a mix between gaming and work, the flexibility of a PC is the best choice for you. If you’re going to be using it strictly for professional work, PCs are still a great option but Apple products and Macs may be a more convenient option due to its ecosystem that keeps you seamlessly connected. Some consider PC best for business and office use while Macs are best for professional creative use.

Conclusion

The PC vs Mac debate has been going on for a long time, just like how people often compare Android and iOS devices. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and what you plan to use it for, whether it be for casual gaming or for work. Regardless of what type of computer you own, you need a reliable repair service in case you ever experience any difficult virus issues or damaged hardware. National Computer Repair is here to help and provide all of your repair and upgrade needs. We also offer PC parts, cases, accessories, and more. Learn more about our services and products by visiting our website or contacting us at (615) 826-7550.

Casting Your Computer Screen with Google Chromecast

 A 15-year-old once hacked NASA. Jonathan James caused NASA to initiate 21 days of operational shutdown, costing about 41,000 dollars to investigate the computer systems and fix the problem. With that in mind, casting your computer screen onto your TV should not be as hard as hacking into NASA. It’s even easier when you use Google Chromecast. In this blog, we will be helping you learn how to cast a Google Chrome tab or an entire desktop to your television with Google Chromecast.

What You’ll Need

            There are a few items that you will need before casting your computer onto your TV. An essential item is a Chromecast. Whether it is a regular Chromecast, a Chromecast Ultra, or a TV with a Chromecast built-in, you can’t do anything without this. Also, it would help if you had a TV with an HDMI slot to connect the Chromecast.

Next, you need a computer and Wi-Fi network with the minimum system requirements. Chromecast is available on all computer operating systems such as Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, and Chrome OS. However, there are specific requirements needed to cast your screen effectively. For example, Windows recommends a 2nd-generation Core i5 (2GHz+) with Windows 7 for the best performance. Yet, they require Core i3 or equivalent and Windows Vista. Each operating system has different recommendations and requirements to work effectively and can be found here

The third item on the list is a recent version of Google Chrome installed on your computer or laptop. You will need version 72 or higher to cast your screen on your TV. It is crucial to update your browser for the latest security updates and watch your favorite movies.

Lastly, you need to connect your computer and Chromecast device to the same Wi-Fi network. Chromecast and Chromecast audio devices can only input one Wi-Fi simultaneously. If you changed your Wi-Fi network recently, you might need to set up a factory reset on your devices. You need to install the Google Home app to take off the previous Wi-Fi network to connect your Chromecast and Wi-Fi correctly.

Casting a Tab

    To cast a tab from your browser, you need to open Chrome. After, look at the top right and click More  Cast. When you have done this, you need to choose the Chromecast device that you want to use. In some cases, your Chromecast will automatically cast the content from your computer on your TV. After you finished, click Cast    Stop casting to the right of the address bar.

Casting Your Computer Screen

            The best part about casting your computer screen is that you can display your entire screen using Chrome on Mac, Windows, and Chromebooks. Also, a plus of using Windows computers is that you can hear audio on your TV. To get started, open up Chrome on your computer. At the top right, click on More   Cast. Afterward, look at the top next to “Cast to” and click the down arrow. There is a statement saying Cast desktop. Click on it. The last step is to choose the Chromecast device where you want to watch on.  

            You can also cast music and videos from your computer with similar steps. Instead of clicking Cast desktop, you would click on cast file. Select a file and choose the Chromecast device where you want the file to play.

Conclusion

            When you follow these steps, you can watch YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming platforms with your Google Chromecast. You can also work on assignments on your TV. There are so many other casting devices and methods to choose from when casting your computer screen to your TV. Google Chromecast is not the only option. However, you need to make sure that your computer is updated and working correctly with any casting device.          

If you need assistance upgrading your computer or laptop, National Computer Repair can help. We have many years of assisting our clients with software and hardware issues. For more information, you can visit our website.  Contact us today so you can start casting your

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