Review: WD My Passport Ultra 1TB Portable External USB 3.0 Hard Drive with Auto Backup

wd-my-passport-ultra-1tb-portable-hdThese days no computer system is complete without an external USB hard drive. These handy gadgets are simply perfect for making local backups and for handling so many other handy mass storage tasks.

External hard drives used to be quite expensive, but their prices have now dropped to where they are easily affordable, even with today’s massive storage capacities.

I recently had a chance to check out the WD My Passport Ultra 1TB Portable External USB 3.0 Hard Drive with Auto Backup, and it didn’t take long to figure out why it’s the best selling external USB hard drive on Amazon. [Continue Reading]

Here’s a simple way to make your Android phone’s battery last a little longer

black-background-logoDoes it seem like the battery in your Android phone dies a lot sooner than it should? If so, you’re certainly not alone.

A while back I wrote a post listing 8 tips for extending your Android phone’s battery life, and they all help quite a bit. Well, here’s a bonus tip that will make your battery last even longer. All you have to do is change your phone’s wallpaper to one that’s solid black!

You’re probably wondering why using a black background can save battery life, and that’s a good question. And the answer is really pretty simple: The lighter the screen, the more current the battery must supply to keep it lit up.

Bottom line: Changing from a light colored background to a solid black one allows your phone to operate with less current being drawn from the battery.

Switching to a solid black wallpaper is easy. Here’s how: [Continue Reading]

How to never miss another post by your Facebook friends

facebook-logoHave you noticed lately that you aren’t seeing some of your Facebook friends’ posts in your Newsfeed? Well, there’s a reason for that.

Facebook uses their EdgeRank algorithm to determine whose posts are worthy (in their opinion) of showing up in your Newsfeed.

They make that determination based upon which friends you interact with the most by Liking and Sharing their posts and photos. The problem is, Facebook’s assumptions about whose posts you’d rather see are often very poor. [Continue Reading]

Q&A: Should I upgrade my Mac to OS X El Capitan?

osx-el-capitan-logoQuestion from Carla T.:  I have a 3 year old MacBook that’s running OS X Mavericks and my son has been bugging me about upgrading the OS X to El Capitan.

I’m hesitant to do that because everything is running great and I don’t want to mess anything up.

I’m really confused about what to do because I’ve heard horror stories about upgrades that go wrong and trash the system. Do you think I should upgrade or not?

Rick’s answer:  [Continue Reading]

How to choose a replacement charger for your mobile phone

phone-chargerThese days it seems like we’re always needing to find a replacement charger for our phones because they’re so easy to lose, and they “tear up” so often.

The next time you find yourself in need of a new charger, keep in mind that you have several options.

First of all, you can buy a new factory-made charger that’s made specifically for your device. If you’re the extremely cautious type you can rest assured that this is the safest option possible because your new charger will perfectly match your device. Unfortunately, it’s also the most expensive option, and in fact quite unnecessary. [Continue Reading]

Q&A: How much should I spend on a set of headphones for my laptop?

sony-headphonesQuestion from Denise R.:  I just bought a new Dell laptop because my old Acer stopped working. The Acer came with a great pair of headphones bundled with it, and I’d like to get a new pair that’ll work equally well with the Dell.

I’ve seen headphones priced anywhere from $5 to $400, and I don’t really know how much I need to spend to get a good pair. I’ll be using them mainly to watch Netflix in my dorm room. I’d appreciate your advice. Thanks.

Rick’s answer:  Hi Denise. If you like the headphones that came with your old laptop, you can always just use those with your new laptop instead of buying a new set. That’s assuming they still work well of course. [Continue Reading]

Q&A: Will counterfeit RAM damage my laptop?

ebay-logoQuestion from Hailey:  Rick, I think I’ve gotten myself into a mess and I need your advice. I recently purchased two 4GB RAM modules on eBay. They were listed and sold as Kingston chips but I just found out that the seller was busted for selling counterfeit computer parts.

The new RAM seems to be working fine in my laptop, but I was wondering if it might cause problems down the road. I’d just remove it and reinstall the old memory but I gave it to the kid next door in exchange for doing the upgrade for me. What do you think I should do?

Rick’s answer: Hailey, if you asked 10 computer techs this question you’d probably get 10 different answers, and here’s mine: [Continue Reading]

Need Christmas money? Trade in your unwanted smart phone, laptop or other electronic items at Amazon!

The Christmas shopping season is just around the corner, and like most folks you might be wishing you had a little more cash to spend on those all-important Christmas gifts.

Well, Amazon has a great way to turn your unwanted electronic items into extra cash that you can spend for absolutely anything that Amazon sells.

It called the Amazon Trade-In Program, and it’s great! [Continue Reading]

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