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Archive for the ‘I’ve Always Wanted To Know…’ Category

Have you ever been told to get a malware scanner? Ever received the threat of a virus? Have you been advised not to use a specific program because it has spyware? What is the difference? Do you need a separate program for each, or does one cover them all? A lot of questions need to be answered, so we’ll cover them one by one. Continue reading

Why Do Manufacturers Run Out Of New Products?

Saturday, December 15th, 2012

It seems that more often than not, the latest product announced is out of stock for weeks and sometimes months after the official release date. If you want to own it, you have to pre-order it or wait in line during the early AM hours in hopes of getting one of the few received that day at a store. So why does this happen? Why is it a manufacturer can run out of a brand new product? Is it bad planning? Is it something else? Continue reading

Does Dust Really Damage Computers?

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

I’ve Always Wanted To Know: Does Dust Really Damage Computers? Have you been told that if you don’t keep your computer clean you’ll damage it? Can dust and dirt really hurt a computer or is this an old tech tale? If it does cause damage, how and what can you do to prevent it? Are there any signs of damage and is any of it repairable? Continue reading

How Do Wireless Chargers Work?

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

Wireless charging is a popular new feature included on some cell phones and availible as an add-on to many others. How does the charger work? Does it require special batteries? Is it safe? I’ll go through each question step by step. How does the charger work? Wireless charging works… Continue reading

Are LED Holiday Lights Really Better?

Friday, November 23rd, 2012

With the festive time of the year the question comes up if the new LED style lights are really better or just a way for light manufacturers to increase profits. LED lights use an electronic circuit printed on a semiconductor which when electricity passes through it emits light. LED’s normally produce a single color and can have a lens over the circuit to color the light though some newer LED’s… Continue reading

I’ve Always Wanted To Know:Extended Warranties: Deal Deal or Waste of Money? Have you ever been in a retailer and after picking out the item you want to buy you hear the following line: “Did you want to go with the extended warranty?” Everything from a $10 calculator to a $3000 ride on lawn mower seems to have the ability to buy an extended warranty these days. Should you buy one if it’s offered? Some people swear it’s the best deal while others claim they are totally worthless so what’s the truth? Continue reading

What Is Quality Control?

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Quality control is the process where manufacturers verify that an product conforms to the standard and construction they requested. Almost all factories and manufacturers have some form of quality control but why is it you still receive defective merchandise? Do they quality control employees and systems fail? Is quality control a lie? Is there some other secret to why it always seems like if there is a bad one you’ll end up with it? Continue reading

Why Do Cell Phones Cost So Much Money?

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

In this weeks “I’ve always wanted to know” we explore why cell phones cost so much money. What makes them expensive? What components cost the most? Is that free phone really free? The answers may surprise you. There was a time not too long ago when the idea of having a phone that was always with you and always connected sounded more like science fiction then something you would be purchasing every 2 years. Since the dawn of the cell phone…. Continue reading

If you’ve went car shopping in the last few years you’ll see a number of cars now come with the option of a keyless system. The odd part of these keyless system is you still get a key but it’s just a remote control to lock/unlock the car it has no physical key that you must put in the car to open it or start the engine. How do they work though? Is it secure? Can someone walking by record your key number and then open your car using a generic transmitter? Continue reading

In today’s “I’ve Always Wanted To Know” Melanie & Tim talk on camera about the differences between a Tablet and an eReader and why you would choose one over the other. Which is better for books? Which lets you check e-mail and download apps? Want more facts: Check out this… Continue reading

How Does A Surge Protector Work?

Friday, October 12th, 2012

I’ve Always Wanted To Know: How does a surge protector work? If you own a computer, a television or any other piece of expensive electronics you should already own a surge protector. A surge protector is a key part of protecting your gadgets from damage but how exactly does it work? When you buy one what should you look for and what do the various terms mean? Continue reading

Are Incandescent Light Bulbs Illegal?

Friday, October 5th, 2012

You may have heard that incandescent light bulbs are illegal but that does that mean? Can you still use them? Can you buy them? Are companies making them. Well, the simple truth is… Continue reading

Can Static Electricity Damage My Computer?

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

Static electricity builds up quickly when you rub up against something or walk on carpeting, but regular daily activities over time can also build up a static charge. After the charge has built up and you touch something conductive the energy discharges and you feel a little shock. Continue reading

I’ve Always Wanted To Know: What’s the difference between optical and laser mice?
Answer: Computer mice come in a few different types and people are often confused by optical and laser mice. The first important thing to understand is when someone refers to optical or laser they are talking about how the mouse detects when you move it not how it is connected to your computer. Optical and laser mice can be connected either through USB cables or wireless adapters and just because a mouse is an optical or a laser will not tell you if it’s wired or wireless. To determine… Continue reading

Why Are Muli-Core Processors So Popular?

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Modern computer processors are designed to have multiple cores, basically smaller processors on the single big chip which share resources and can process multiple bits of information at the same time. Why is this design better then one big processor? Why has it become so popular? Continue reading

What Is Interference?

Friday, September 7th, 2012

If you’ve ever used a wireless device and had signal issues someone has probably told you that there must be a lot of “interference.” But what is interference? What types of interference are there? Is it even interference or something else? Let’s start by talking about how a wireless signal works. A wireless signal operates at a certain frequency (ranging from 3Hz to 300Ghz) and who can transmit at a specific frequency is controlled by the government and generally follows the… Continue reading

What Is A Browser Add-On?

Friday, August 31st, 2012

I’ve Always Wanted To Know: What is a browser Add-On? Browser Add-Ons (or Extensions) are pieces of software that change the way your browser works or adds additional functionality to your web browser. Add-Ons can be something as common as Adobe Flash Player which allows you to play flash content on the web (movies, animated banners, games) to… Continue reading

How does a GPS work?

Friday, August 24th, 2012

GPS or Global Positioning System, is a group of 24 satellites that are in high earth orbit which are used with a GPS receiver to show your location on the planet. The system was completed in 1994 and today you can find handheld GPS units, car mounted units, cell phone GPS and even cameras with built in GPS functionality. How does it work though? The answer is surprisingly simple (and complicated at the same time)… Continue reading

How Does A Speaker Work?

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Do you have a pair of headphones, a set of desktop speakers or a monster surround system? Do you know how the speakers turn the signal they receive into sound? A speaker works by converting an electrical signal into vibrations using a speakers diaphragm to produce the sound you hear. The frequency and intensity of the sound is determined by the Continue reading

How Hard Is It To Build A Computer?

Friday, August 10th, 2012

Building a computer gives you the opportunity to select the components you want and only pay for the things you need. Building your own computer, especially if you are buying a gaming or mid to high end computer, can save you a lot of money over going with a large manufacturer like Dell or HP. So how hard is it? Surprisingly… Continue reading

When it comes to computers there are two terms people are often confused about: memory and storage. The confusing thing is depending on the manufacturer or advertisement the words can be switched or replaced with other ones like… Continue reading

Are you in the market for a new hard drive or backup storage device and notice they come in two different types: solid state memory/hard drives and mechanical/traditional drives. So why would… Continue reading

How Does A Touchscreen Work?

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Touchscreens let us interact with computers, tablets, phones, remote controls and a host of other things with great ease but how do they work? There are two types of touchscreens used… Continue reading

How Does The Internet Work?

Friday, July 13th, 2012

We take it for granted that the internet just works when we go to a website or when chatting with someone but how does it work? How does typing a letter to your friend in an e-mail program get from your computer to their computer hundreds (or even thousands) or miles away? Continue reading

If you’ve been computer shopping recently there are a few different form factors a computer can come in. There are three main types and we’ll go over the pro’s and con’s of each. Continue reading

LED’s or light-emitting diodes are very small semiconductor diodes which have a unique property of glowing when electricity is passed through them. When an electron travels through a LED’s p-n junction the electron gives off a little bit of energy as a photon of light. Continue reading

Buying a TV today can involve a myriad of confusing terms so what do you need to most know about the different technologies? At it’s core a flat screen TV’s display is driven by one of two different technologies: LCD (liquid crystal display, like most computer monitors) and Plasma (fluorescent gas such as xenon or neon). Continue reading

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