Q&A: Do I really need to buy an expensive HDMI cable for my TV?

hdmi-cableQuestion from Denise A.:  Rick, I went and bought a new flat screen TV a couple of days ago after asking the sales rep for a recommendation. Long story short, I absolutely love the TV he recommended, but something is bothering me.

He insisted that I also needed to purchase a super-expensive HDMI cable to connect my Blu-Ray player to the TV. He said the video quality would be greatly reduced if I bought a cheaper one. The one he talked me into buying was $70! Did I get ripped off?

Rick’s answer:  [Continue Reading]

How to create a System Repair Disc and System Image Backup in Windows 10

Windows-10-logoBy default, Windows 10 installs new Windows Updates automatically without any input or direction from you as to which updates to install and when to install them.

That can be a huge problem if a bad update happens to break your Windows installation in some way.

There are a couple of work-arounds that will give you a little more control over the Windows Update process, but those work-arounds can cause issues of their own for non-technical users. Therefore, I don’t really recommend them.

As you can see, it’s more important than ever to create a System Repair Disc and frequent System Image Backups in Windows 10 so you’ll be able to quickly and easily restore your Windows installation if a bad update causes a problem. Luckily, they are very easy to create. Just follow the steps below. [Continue Reading]

Q&A: How’s the best way to keep my iPhone charged up during a 3 day camping trip?

campingQuestion from Eileen J.:  Hi Rick. My husband and I are planning a three day camping trip in the Alabama woods for a little over a month from now.

I know I’ll end up spending a lot of time Facebooking and playing games on my iPhone while we’re there because I always get bored after just a couple of hours.

My problem is my phone’s battery always dies on the first day and I don’t have a way to charge it back up. Can you tell me the best way to keep it charged for the entire three days without having to spend an arm and a leg?

We’ll have a usable cell signal where we’re going, but we won’t have an electrical outlet to plug a charger into or handy access to our vehicle for using a car charger. Thanks for any advice you can give me.

Rick’s answer:  [Continue Reading]

How to reopen a browser tab that you closed by accident

ctrl-shift-tHave you ever had two or more tabs open in your web browser and closed one of them by accident, either with an errant mouse click or by simply closing the wrong one?

I do it all the time, and it used to frustrate me to no end. But now I simply work a quick bit of magic and the accidentally closed tab instantly reappears!

Well, truth be told it isn’t really magic, but rather a couple “tricks” using the keyboard or mouse  – your choice! Here they are: [Continue Reading]

Webopedia – The online encyclopedia for computer and Internet terms

webopedia-logoEvery industry has a certain amount of jargon that only people involved with that industry understand, but the computer world has way more than its fair share of it.

I’ve been using computers since the early 1980s and I still encounter technical terms and phrases on a regular basis that I have never heard before.

Luckily, there is a fantastic website called Webopedia that we can turn to whenever we need to find out what a new computer term means or how a certain tidbit of technology works. In a nutshell, Webopedia is an Internet encyclopedia specializing in computer terms and technologies. [Continue Reading]

Windows 10: Protect your wireless network by disabling Wi-Fi Sense

Windows-10-logoIf you’re running Windows 10 on your PC, you might not be aware of it but you’re probably sharing your Wi-Fi connection with literally thousands of people you don’t even personally know.

Yep, you read that right. A new Windows 10 feature called Wi-Fi Sense gives everyone on your Facebook Friends List along with all of your Outlook.com and Skype contacts complete access to your wireless network. [Continue Reading]

How to buy the best computer for YOU

touch-screen-laptopShopping for a new computer has to be one of the most confusing tasks you’ll ever have to do. With all the choices available, determining which model is the right one for you can be a nightmare.

Walk into any computer store and you’re likely to see aisle after aisle of desktop PCs, laptops and tablets, all running demo software that’s designed to make them all look as good as possible – and all the same. [Continue Reading]

Facebook: How to designate a ‘Legacy Contact’ to assume control of your account when you pass away

facebook-logoNone of us enjoy pondering the event of our own passing, but there are some things that we really should prepare for in advance such as purchasing a life insurance policy and writing a will.

While some folks might think it frivolous, it’s also important to plan for what you want to happen to your social media accounts after you pass on. [Continue Reading]