Review: Carbonite online backup service

carbonite-logoIf you’ve ever had a laptop stolen or suffered a hard drive crash, you already know that losing your precious photos, music, Word documents and other critical files is even worse than having to replace the hardware.

If you didn’t have a current backup, you most likely lost every scrap of your irreplaceable data. That’s why always having a current backup of your hard drive on hand is absolutely critical.

But did you know that just backing up your data onto an external hard drive isn’t enough? What happens if a fire or flood destroys your home and everything in it? In addition to your computer being destroyed, you’ll lose your backup drive too! [Continue Reading]

Q&A: How do I take a screenshot on my Chromebook?

chromebook-logoQuestion from Elisa G.:  Hi Rick! I love your site and I visit it every day to read your latest computer tips! Would you mind answering a question for me?

The screen in my old laptop stopped working and I replaced it with a Samsung Chromebook after reading about them in one of your posts. I love it because it does everything I need it to do without all the hassles that go with Windows.

Anyway, back to my question. Every once in a while I need to take a screenshot. It was easy on Windows Vista but I can’t figure out how to do it on my Chromebook. Can you tell me how to do it?

Rick’s answer:  [Continue Reading]

Skip those irritating voice mail instructions and go right to the beep!

cell-phone-keypadIf you’re like me you probably hate calling someone who doesn’t answer, especially if you need to leave a message.

Before you get to that magic beep, you first have to wait while the voice mail system plays the recipient’s personal greeting, and then you have to listen for another 10-15 seconds while it tells you how to leave a message.

If you’re wondering why all the major cell carriers require us to listen to the same boring voice mail instructions over and over again before allowing us to leave a simple message, it’s because it makes them a ton of money! [Continue Reading]

Review: ASUS ROG G750JZ-DS71 17.3-inch Gaming Laptop

asus-rog-g750jz-ds71If you’re a “gamer” you understand the importance of raw hardware performance in a gaming PC. Well, I recently had the opportunity to check out the best gaming laptops I have ever seen.

The ASUS ROG G750JZ-DS71 17.3-inch Gaming Laptop is a veritable gamer’s dream machine.

It comes standard with an Intel Core i7-4700HQ 2.4Ghz CPU, 24GB of DDR3 RAM, a 1TB 7200RPM hard drive and a 256GB SSD. Yes, that’s right. This laptop comes with both a hard drive and a solid state drive!

The screen on this computer is a very nice 17.3″ FHD (1920*1080) anti-glare display that will really bring your graphics, videos and photos to life. [Continue Reading]

How to capture a screenshot of an entire web page in Google Chrome without scrolling

webpage-screenshot-logoHave you ever needed to create a screenshot of an entire web page, but the page was too long and/or wide to fit on the screen?

If so, you probably had to “capture” the current contents of the screen, scroll to display more of the page, “capture” that part of the page to a different image file, then repeat the process until you had a photo depicting every part of the web page.

Well, if you use Google Chrome, there’s an easy way to take a screenshot of an entire web page without having to scroll or capture multiple images. All you have to do is use an awesome free Chrome extension called Webpage Screenshot.

The instructions below explain how to install Webpage Screenshot and then use it to quickly and easily create a full-page screenshot of any web page. [Continue Reading]

How to display the Task Bar at any time in Windows 8/8.1

windows-8-logoIn Windows 7 (and earlier versions of Windows) it was easy to see which programs were running and access all the active notification icons. All you had to do was glance at the Task Bar.

But while the Task Bar is still alive and well in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, it is usually hidden when viewing the Start Screen or while running a modern app. And it also tends to stay hidden when you move the mouse pointer to the bottom of the screen. [Continue Reading]

Q&A: Should I replace the fan in my computer’s power supply or just replace the entire thing?

corsair-psuQuestion from Dave H.:  Hi Rick. About 18 months ago I bought the parts and built a computer by following a guide I found on Youtube. It works great and I love it.

But now the fan in the power supply has started making a loud clunking sound and I can see it wobble when it spins. The fan has obviously gone bad.

My question is can I replace the bad fan in the power supply or should I just replace the entire thing. It wasn’t a cheap power supply (approx. $125) and I’m hoping I can just replace the fan and save some money. I’ll take your advice though whatever it turns out to be because I don’t want to ruin anything else inside the PC.

Rick’s answer:  [Continue Reading]

Is your computer acting weird? It’s probably malware.

malwareHas your computer started acting weird all of a sudden? Do web pages take forever to load or are you getting pop-ups every time you breathe? If so, your PC is probably infected with malware.

Back in the early days of personal computing, when something strange started happening with your system it made sense to suspect a hardware issue instead of a software problem.

But these days, malware is so pervasive that it should be the first possibility that pops into your mind any time something goes wrong with your PC.

Here are just a few of the problems/symptoms that are almost always caused by a malware infection: [Continue Reading]