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The Shrinking Laptop

In our previous post “The Desktop PC – Still Relevant?”, we touched on how the industry is trending more mobile, and the sizes of the devices we use are changing. Laptops are cheaper than they’ve ever been. They are thinner and lighter than ever, and they are much more powerful than they were even a few years ago. With that being said, we’d like to delve into a few minor setbacks to the cheaper, thinner, lighter laptops of today.

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The Desktop PC – Still Relevant?

As the technological world of computers skews more and more toward mobile, and everything is getting smaller and smaller, the questions arises – is the desktop PC still relevant? The short answer is a resounding YES. In this article we will elaborate as to why.

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Even though more and more people are moving from the desktop to their laptops, or even tablets or smartphones, a traditional desktop computer is still arguably a great choice as a secondary computing device today. Some of the reasons to buy a desktop today range from cost to performance ratio, upgrade-ability, to more productivity considerations. Check out these items:

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Device Synergy – Your Computers, Smartphone and Beyond

Mobile devices have become an almost inseparable part of our daily lives. We stay “connected” almost 24/7 with smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, smart home automation, and even our vehicles! That pervasiveness leads to a dilemma for many of us: How do we keep the information current between our devices and computers?

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Computers and Your Health

Computers have become a nearly inseparable part of our everyday lives. We use them in school, at work, and even for play. What that amounts to is an incredible amount of time spent looking at digital screens, typing on keyboards, manipulating mice, swiping touch screens, and sitting. This leads to an ever-growing list of technology related health risks. At Geek Easy Computers we believe part of making your technology easier is providing you with information on making the physical toll less taxing.

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Video Technology

Computer technology seems to change over night at times. One aspect of that technology that confuses many people are the video connection standards. There’s a few of them and they are constantly evolving. In this post we hope to clear up a little of that confusion.

The History

Let’s go back to the beginning of consumer computing, and explore how it’s evolved from there.

 

CGA (Color Graphics Adapter) – First available on the IBM PC in 1981 as IBMs first color display card, thus the first color display standard. It only used 16 kilobytes of memory and displayed at 640×200 @ 60mHz 4-bit or 16 colors. It connected using a DE-9 (9-pin) connector.

 

EGA (Enhanced Graphics Adapter) – The next leap in display standard evolution. Introduced in 1984 by IBM, it displayed at 640×350 @ 60mHz & 16 colors. This graphics card had 64KB of onboard ram. It also connected using a DE-9 connector.

 

VGA (Video Graphics Array) – This is the video connector that most computer users are familiar with. Introduced in 1987 by IBM with the debut of their x86 computers. Connected with a DE-15 (15-pin) connector, VGA was the last of the analog video standards to be developed. It displayed up to 2048×1536 @ 85mHz and 256 colors.

Here and Now

DVI (Digital Visual Interface) – Developed by Digital Display Working Group in 1999, this standard could be configured be configured to support multiple modes such as DVI-A (analog only), DVI-D (digital only) or DVI-I (digital and analog). Featuring support for analog connections, the DVI specification is compatible with the VGA interface. DVI has a unique horizontal connector that .varies slightly depending on the configuration. It can display 2560×1600 @ 60mHz or up to 3840×2400 @ 33mHz.

 

HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) – HDMI is currently gaining traction as the de facto video connection on desktops, notebooks, and even mobile devices. HDMI is a digital replacement for analog video standards. It can transport compressed, uncompressed, video and audio, and auxiliary data. Different versions of HDMI have been deployed since the initial release but all use the same cable and connector. Other than improved audio and video capacity, performance, resolution, newer versions have optional advanced features such as 3D, and Ethernet data connection. Displaying 2560×1600 @ 75mHz or 4096×2160 @ 60mHz, HDMI uses a much smaller connector than DVI.

 

DisplayPort – A digital display interface (designed by VESA – Video Electronics Standards Association) primarily used to connect a video source to a device such as a computer monitor, though it can also be used to carry audio, USB, and data. DisplayPort was created to replace VGA & DVI, and is backward compatible with VGA, DVI and HDMI using the appropriate adapters. It can display 2560×1600 @ 75mHz or up to 8192×4320 @ 60mHz. DisplayPort uses a 20pin connector.

 

Mini DisplayPort (Thunderbolt)

If you’re using an Apple computer, new systems come with Mini DisplayPort. Mini DisplayPort is the same connector as Intel Thunderbolt technology allowing that port on new Macs to do more than just video. It’s used in Apple Cinema displays and has adapters for DVI, VGA, HDMI or regular DisplayPort. Mini DisplayPort uses a small 20-pin connector seen on Apple devices and some PCs and PC graphics cards.

 

Your Computer

Today’s computers, both laptops and desktops typically are coming with HDMI or DisplayPort as video connection options. You can still find DVI and VGA on some models but it is quickly being phased out by the new, more powerful digital standards. Flat screen TV technology has also embraced these digital standards for connecting not only your computer but other devices to your TV.

 

We hope that this information has made understanding the video connection varieties a bit easier. If you have further questions about this topic or any other, feel free to email us, call us, or contact us through the website.

 

Geek Easy Computers wants to make your technology easier!

 

me_smile Adonis Pointer is a photographer, a collector of vintage razors, and a certified technology geek!
Adonis has been involved in computer technology since well, a LONG time! He has been involved in nearly every aspect of the industry from sales to repair to training to consulting. As the Social Media Manager he writes the majority of the posts on the Geek Easy Computers blog.

 

Q & A: User Questions, Tech Answers! Windows 10 Edition

In our ongoing mission to help make your technology easier, we like to provide you with tools and knowledge to make your computer interaction more “user friendly”. This special edition of our Q & A Series focuses on Windows 10 and what’s new and/or different from Windows 7 in basic operation. We’ll delve into more advanced topics in a later post.

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Productivity for Your Tablet

The computer is still the “king of the castle” when it comes to productivity, but more and more people are turning to mobile devices out of necessity or just because it’s more convenient than pulling out the laptop. Some of our clients regularly depend on their tablets to get work done and so have asked us for application recommendations. We thought we’d pass that information on to you!

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It’s the July Newsletter!

Have you signed up for our monthly newsletter?  It’s got great information, packed with helpful tech tips, relevant news, and money saving promotions!

Here’s the PDF version of this month’s issue:
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If you like what you see, you can sign up for it here:
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Summer Laptop Sale
With two weeks left on the optional free Windows 10 upgrade and school starting back up in six weeks, we’re having a deep discount sale starting today on our stock of new laptops. If you’re looking to get a deal and upgrade to Windows 10 before the free upgrade ends, check to see what stock is still available. If you’re still not a fan of Windows 10 (or Windows 8), we do still have some new systems that have been factory downgraded to Windows 7 Pro.

Summer Hours
Due to decreasing use of our Saturday hours, starting July 23rd we will be switching to an appointment-only pickup window for people unable to make it in on Fridays during the summer. If you need to pick up on Saturday, give us a call to schedule the appointment ahead of time. We’re hoping to minimize any inconvenience this may cause to the people who come visit us normally on the weekends, so please let us know if there is anything we can do to improve the process and enjoy a little more of the sunshine each weekend.

We promise to never SPAM your inbox, and we will strive to make sure each issue has information that is useful and interesting to you!

Your Password – The First Line of Defense

It’s really not possible to overemphasize the importance of having secure, unique passwords for all of your online accounts. Your password is the one item regarding the security of your data and online persona that you have 100% control of.

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iTunes & Your Music Files

Many people have been using iTunes as their music medium of choice throughout its many iterations and changes. With the latest addition of the Apple Music subscription, many of those same iTunes users are up in arms regarding a new behavior of the application.

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