So you finally made the plunge to a TiVo Premiere (or two). If you haven’t yet, maybe you are just looking for that last bit of information that will push you over the edge and cause you to break out the credit card and order one up. For the last article in our Hello TiVo series (see Related Articles below for previous posts), I bring to you a list of “Accessories” that can make your TiVo ownership a truly rewarding experience (not that it was lacking to begin with). These accessories aren’t what you’re thinking. I’m not trying to sell you expensive gadgets here, but educate you on some low-cost tools that will help you get the most out of your DVR.
Posts Tagged ‘wireless’
Does your WiFi occasionally cut out for, what seems like, no reason at all? Do you feel like your wireless internet connection is dragging and you just know it should be faster? Both of these issues might be the result of interference caused by other electronic items in your home and/or around you. As simple as it sounds, a simple channel change in your router might fix the issues.
Several weeks ago, we brought you the article Your Keyboard is Dirtier Than a Toilet Seat. For some of you, cleaning that old keyboard became a top priority and the Clorox wipes probably made an appearance. For others, it might just have been easier to toss that old keyboard and purchase a new one. After all, if you’ve been using the same one that came with your computer 5 years ago, you may have other issues that needed attention, like broken or sticking keys. Or maybe you belong to another group of PC users completely. Maybe you are just looking for a change or upgrade. No matter which group you belong to, you should take a minute and read this guide for buying a new keyboard.
Buying a new keyboard my seem like a simple task, but you might be surprised to find that not all keyboards are created equal. In a recent trip to Micro Center here in Houston, I found myself on an aisle full of these necessary components and honestly, a little overwhelmed. There were close to 100 different options that ranged from $9.99 to almost $200.00. I needed a new keyboard to replace my aging, frustrating hunk-of-junk that required 40 pounds of force to press the “a” and “e” keys. Where should I start? Why hadn’t I already researched this? Oh, the choices!
Before stepping foot in an electronics superstore or hitting up Amazon.com, you should go through a checklist of needs and double-check your bank account balance. Determine what you want and how much you want to spend, then get in and get out. Here are some helpful topics to narrow down your choices and speed up your decision-making process:
Several days from now (May 1st) CLEAR will begin a huge advertising campaign in the Houston area. The city will be “covered” in the bright green (their company color) and CLEAR logo. Electronics retailers, like Best Buy and Micro Center, will have displays and sales people demonstrating the CLEAR 4G high-speed internet service and answering questions. Some of your friends, family and co-workers will sign up and begin using the product. The entire city will be exposed to CLEAR in some way and some of us will take the next logical step, research.
If you are anything like me, your research will encompass several resources and a large dose of skepticism. After all, when something sounds this good, there must be a catch. What are they not telling us about the product? With this article, I hope to provide you with something that you will not get anywhere else, a personal look at the product and the service here in the Houston, TX area.
Over the last few years, you’ve slowly upgraded your existing setup to include high-speed internet and Wi-Fi. You can take your laptop anywhere in the house and surf the internet with ease. Unfortunately, your old printer still has you tied down. You bought it before Wi-Fi was available in everything and you’ve since stocked up on ink, so you really don’t want to invest in a new printer. Luckily, there are some options that make it easy to “cut the cord” and begin printing wirelessly at home.
We’ve talked about ways to speed up an aging computer. We’ve highlighted some quick and easy ways to troubleshoot a problem with your PC. What if there was a way to accomplish both of these things and get some added features without spending a dime? Driver updates could be the solution to a problem that you didn’t even know you had.
Here is an example. I have a 2 year old Dell laptop that I am working on currently. The owner was having an issue with their wireless internet connection (Wi-Fi). The connection would drop regularly on the laptop, while all other computers in the house continued to function properly, and the only viable solution was to run a cable from the router to the laptop, which was in a different section of the house. Not only is a cable like this expensive, but there was now this horrible eyesore running across the floors of 2 rooms and a hallway. Needless to say, the owner was not happy and wasn’t sure where to turn. After about 30 minutes of testing, restarting, changing settings and getting frustrated, I decided to check for a driver update. Bingo! Problem solved.
Have you ever used your television as a monitor for your computer? Have you wondered about the possibilities of connecting your PC to your home theater, for watching movies and surfing the web? These are examples of the natural progression of entertainment technology. Over the last decade, computers have become much more than word processors and televisions have evolved to sleek, high-definition devices capable of playing media from almost any device with a cable attached to it. The two are starting to merge into one device, but we are only beginning to see this in the newest displays.
If you have ventured down the “computer+television” path, or are thinking of doing so, one hurdle quickly prevents itself. How do you control the computer from the couch? You need an input device of some sort and a keyboard with a super-long cord is really not an option (safety hazard!) There have been some great wireless keyboard/mice combos released over the last few years, but they are often costly options and are only useful for that one purpose. At $100 or more, this is not the kind of cost-effective resolution that most are looking for. So, why not use a device you already have as the solution? Your smart phone is just the thing and we have a quick rundown on two applications that can get you up and running today!
You’ve had high-speed internet access at home for years. It’s never been as fast as your connection at work, but you just got a new computer and/or router, so it should be faster, right? Not necessarily. The article “Unshackle Your WiFi,” posted this morning on Switched.com by Jon Chase indicates otherwise.
“If your home Wi-Fi network sometimes seems to drag at a snails pace, check if all the PCs on your network have the same speed wireless cards (Wi-Fi or 802.11 comes in three main speeds: in order of slower to faster, b, g and n). It turns out that Wi-Fi routers run only as fast as the slowest device on the network. So even if you have a new “n” router, a new desktop PC with a speedy 802.11n wireless card, and an old laptop with an 802.11b card, the router will only transfer data at the “b” speeds when both are connected at the same time. So if any of your machines are stuck with old 802.11b cards, the only option is to upgrade them with new internal or USB wireless cards, or to make sure to turn off your slower devices when you feel the need for speed.”
This was news to me. Fortunately, I don’t fall into this category. I have a new laptop (capable of connecting to 802.11n) but I am still rockin’ the old 802.11g router. I have thought about purchasing a new router, but now I am hesitant to make any adjustments to my home network setup. I would have to “upgrade” my other computers to new wireless cards and/or external USB connections in order to get the most out of my new connection speed.
What else connects to your home network. Don’t forget about game systems, phones that use wi-fi, iPods, etc. Anything with wi-fi capabilities could be the “weakest link” that is slowing your connection speeds. For now, it seems as if the safest bet for new PC and/or router owners is to disconnect all other devices when looking for that ultra-fast connection.