Category Archives: Tips

Speed up PC performance with an SSD Hard Drive

I’m going to get a little technical here, so bear with me. Your computer can be slow for a variety of reasons; Malware, memory residents, and old age being three of the biggest reasons. One you may not have considered is the speed of your hard drive. Most home and business users have drives that run either 5400 RPM or 7200 RPM. Solid State Drives (SSD drives) run up to 30% faster than 7200 RPM mechanical drives, are noiseless and have no moving parts. Imagine tasks like starting your computer, saving and opening files, etc. taking 30% less time to happen.

The “old” type of hard drives use a mechanical (read: moving parts) head that moves across the surface of the drive to read and write to it. If the drive is jostled in any way during a read or write function it can damage the disk or the head. Over time, mechanical parts wear out. In fact, if you have gotten more than three years out of a mechanical drive, you are probably beating the odds.

SSD hard drives have no moving parts. They’re essentially a big flash memory stick like the ones you probably have stuffed in a drawer somewhere. The big reason we aren’t all using them already is their expense, but now they are dropping to less than $1 per GB, which puts them in the affordable range. Someone in my office found a 256GB SSD hard drive for less than $100. Your mileage may vary, but if the price is anywhere close to that, it is worth consideration.

The perfect candidate for this consideration would be a two-three year old PC that is clean from malware but still seems a little slow. We can procure the drive, make an image of your current hard drive and push that image down onto the new SSD drive. You might even be able to keep your old drive in your PC for extra storage.

This solution is not a “cure-all.” Some machines are too old for this to make a difference. It is the perfect solution, however, when we can determine that the bottleneck is not related to memory or processor speed. I’m always careful to tell people that increasing the amount of memory will not increase the machine’s speed, but it WILL affect the overall performance. Replacing the hard drive WILL increase the speed of your computer.

If you have a computer that you think could benefit from a new hard drive, or just have questions about hardware performance in general, contact us today.

Search the Web Smarter Using the Right Strategies

Have you noticed that you look for something on the web and find everything BUT the thing you are actually looking for? While search engines have many different ways for capturing data on the world wide web, searching their databases is something that is the same no matter which one you use. Here are a few quick ways to find what you want faster.

First, put a precise phrase in the search. Looking for Chinese food in Denver near Edgewater? If you search for Chinese food and Denver, you might get hits from all over the metro area. Instead, pick a location. Search for Chinese food 20th Sheridan and you’re much more likely to find someone in your neighborhood.

Use Quotation marks. Searching for panda bears will give you everything about pandas AND everything about bears. Search for “panda bears” and you’ll only get info on those words in that order in your results.

Use the words And Or and Not. For instance, I’m looking for info on the Louvre, but I want the history, I don’t want to travel there. Try great Louvre not travel. Or, Louvre and history. Use or if you are looking for similar things like Louvre or Paris Museum.

Try different search engines. If you ALWAYS use Bing, try Google. If you’re not finding what you want on Google, try Bing or Yahoo. Try the same search on two different search engines. Chances are, one of them is going to give you more of the results you are looking for.

Use these tips and you’ll be searching like a pro in no time. For more ways to search your own computers and networks, contact us for info on ViaWorks – a product that can make your internal network, documents and email just as searchable as the World Wide Web.