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Gadgets How To Guides Technology

Looking after your gadgets

Gamers, office workers and tech fans who lead a busy lifestyle might not rate tidying up their technology as their highest priority. However, there comes a point where all the wires and cables become so intertwined that they become almost impossible to prise apart. This is where keeping all your tech in check could prove useful.

It doesn’t have to involve hour after hour of moving your devices around or untangling cables. With a combination of hi-tech and low-tech solutions, you can make your tech at home or in the office look a lot cleaner and easy to find, use and transport when you need to access it.

Cable management

Messy cablesFor gamers in particular, this is essential. The problem of cables becoming tangled is common for many console owners. The best thing to do to avoid this problem is to use a series of cable ties. They’re cheap, easy to use and help to keep numerous cables bound together behind the back of your TV screen.

At the same time, you’ll want to make sure that all your gadgets are well-ventilated. Keeping the holes in your computer, consoles, TV and other devices clear from obstructions like wires or cables will ensure that they’re less likely to overheat. This should extend their life and help keep them running fast.

All-in-one charging

Many of us own quite a few gadgets, many of which have mains chargers. In some cases, e-readers, smartphones and tablets can be powered up using the same charger, but to save space and energy when two or more of them need recharging, a multiple docking station could be helpful.

They’re relatively good, but they’re not too expensive, plus they can work well in the office as well as at home. If you own a range of Apple products, you’ll surely want one in order to reduce the stress of trying to find the right charger for each device. It could also become an important addition to any office desk, especially if you need access to all your gadgets at all times.

Smart labelling

Labelling your technology is a simple but effective idea, especially in the workplace. If, for example, you work in a large office, you’ll want to be able to find your computer/laptop straight away. Putting a label on it could save you time in trying to find it, especially if you feel like you’ve mislaid it somewhere after a meeting.

Asset labelling is useful too. It can be used to track your tech if it goes missing or gets stolen. As seareach.plc.uk point out, it’s useful for devices other than computers as well. It could be used to keep track of printers, scanners, tablet PCs, photocopiers, monitors or even items of furniture such as tables, chairs and sofas.

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Business Computers Tablets Technology

Which tablet works best for you?

With the holidays fast approaching, tech companies are readying new products to woo people looking for the latest hot item in the tech industry. Games consoles, flat screens, and smartphones have had their time in the sun as popular holiday purchases, but this year belongs to the tablet.

Apple dominated the tablet market last holiday season with the introduction of their revolutionary iPad, a wild success with consumers. Since then competitors have tried to emulate the magic of the iPad in an effort to cash in on the new tablet market, but to little avail: HP’s tablet failed to impress consumers, while Motorola’s Xoom tablet has struggled to establish a solid consumer base since its release in January.

But Apple now has two serious contenders to face in the tablet arena: Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Tablet. Amazon and Barnes & Noble, are both wildly successful companies in their own right, are looking to transform the popularity of their digital reading devices into sleek, user-friendly tablets. Now that there are at least three viable tablets to choose from, it’s time to determine which would be the best buy for the holiday season.

Price

We can separate the tablets from each other right from the beginning by looking at their price ranges. The Apple iPad 2 starts at $499, while the Kindle Fire Starts at $199 and the Nook Tablet is priced at $249. Now the disparate prices may be enough to determine a consumer’s purchase; the $300 price gap between the Kindle Fire and iPad 2, for instance, will likely drive many consumers to choose the cheaper tablet.

An iPad 2
An iPad 2 showing off how ‘amazingly thin’ it is

But of course these tablets are priced according to their features. The Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet are much closer in price, and analysts expect that consumers will transfer their digital reader loyalties to the tablets — Kindle users will go to the Kindle Fire and Nook users will likely follow suit with the Nook Tablet. Both tablets will be optimal for digital reading, web browsing, and multimedia functions.

Part of Nook’s more expensive price tag can be attributed to the better hardware: the Nook Tablet has 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, compared to the 512MB of RAM and 8GB of storage on the Kindle Fire.

While the iPad 2 stands as the most expensive tablet on the market, it also boasts more attractive components than either other tablet. With a larger screen (9.7 inch), built-in 3G, and access to hundreds of thousands of apps from the Apple store, the iPad 2 certainly offers a host of features that would make any tablet competitor blush. Is it expensive? Yes. Do you get what you pay for? Yes.

Stand-Out Features

There are certainly stand-out features to consider with every tablet. The Kindle Fire may not have the hardware on par with the other two tablets, it will have optimized internet usage through Amazon’s cloud service based browser, Silk. In theory Silk will allow the user to perform multiple functions online at once without overburdening the tablet because part of the computing power will be done via Amazon’s cloud system. The Kindle Fire also has the Amazon name in its favor, one of the most trusted names in online retail.

The Nook Tablet has the distinct advantage of being sold at brick and mortar Barnes & Noble stores. A consumer can walk into a store and purchase a Nook Tablet on a whim, something that the Kindle Fire simply can’t compare to.

Barnes & Noble have also hinted at creating spaces similar to Apple’s genius bar, built solely for the maintaining and assistance for all things Nook related. If there’s any credence to that rumor, it could help jettison the Nook Tablet to the top of the market.

As for the iPad 2, its standout feature is simple: it’s an Apple product. The brand loyalty alone has driven millions to purchase the tablet, regardless of the high price tag. But it remains to be seen if Apple will continue to charm potential tablet users in the face of these newly minted tablets from its competitors.

Categories
Computers News Science

Is your computer damaging your eyes?

Do computer screens do any real and lasting damanage to our eyes? There is a lot of debate on this issue, which I am going to explore in this article.


A healthy looking eye

There is no escaping them, screens are everywhere. At home, many of us choose to use computers, games consoles, and televisions – although they all seem to be merging into one.

At work we often are forced to spend hours each day staring at screens in order to get our job done. Word and Excel vs the dreaded filing cabinates, it’s an easy decision for many of us! In schools, many children now use computers more than they use pens and paper. Even when we are on the go, many of us carry phone with us, to keep us up to date and in sync, whilst we are out and about.

Eyes

One must therefore consider: are there any potentially dangerous side effects of using all these devices? We all get headaches from time to time, and computers are probably the cause of some of them. Often, when working at a screen for prolonged periods of time, many of us also get eye strain.

The short term effects of using a PC are unquestionable, but are there any dangerously irreversible long term effects on our eyes? Well according to my research, no, there aren’t. However, there is the possibility for long term effects for other parts of our body.

UPDATE: This article was written in 2011, and whilst there is still no conclusive evidence that suggests prolonged exposure to screens can cause irreversable damage to the eyes, there is a growing body of evidence which suggests that looking at screens too closely and for too often may well cause eye problems in later life.


The eye of someone staring at a computer screen

Posture

Our back and neck are especially vulnerable, due to the large amount of time we spend sitting down in one position. Even with good posture, sitting in the same position for hours on end is not good for your body, that’s why we have muscles, bones and joints!

Repetitive strain injury is also a big issue. Many office workers will at some point experience this, in either their wrists or hands, due to the nature of typing and using a mouse.

In fact, repetitive strain injury is such a big issue, it is estimated that its annual cost to UK industry is between 5 and 20 billion pounds! In the US, the figures are also similar.

Despite its potentially harmful effects on the body, computers cause no proven long term damage to your eyes. Symptoms like sore eyes, blurred vision and a change in colour perception are usually only short term, and clear within hours of leaving the screen.

To help yourself avoid the short term computer-related symptoms of eye strain, my best advice is take regular breaks. Get a drink, go to the loo or just have a wander around every 30-40 minutes and you should be able to avoid such symptoms altogether.

Why not have a break now? Go on, get up from your desk and go and have a wander. 🙂 If you are using a tablet or are on your mobile, take five minutes off and then read another article. 😉

Why not? Your eyes will love you. 🙂

Categories
Computers News Science

Is your computer damaging your eyes?

Do computer screens do any real and lasting damanage to our eyes? There is a lot of debate on this issue, which I am going to explore in this article.


A healthy looking eye

There is no escaping them, screens are everywhere. At home, many of us choose to use computers, games consoles, and televisions – although they all seem to be merging into one.

At work we often are forced to spend hours each day staring at screens in order to get our job done. Word and Excel vs the dreaded filing cabinates, it’s an easy decision for many of us! In schools, many children now use computers more than they use pens and paper. Even when we are on the go, many of us carry phone with us, to keep us up to date and in sync, whilst we are out and about.

Eyes

One must therefore consider: are there any potentially dangerous side effects of using all these devices? We all get headaches from time to time, and computers are probably the cause of some of them. Often, when working at a screen for prolonged periods of time, many of us also get eye strain.

The short term effects of using a PC are unquestionable, but are there any dangerously irreversible long term effects on our eyes? Well according to my research, no, there aren’t. However, there is the possibility for long term effects for other parts of our body.

UPDATE: This article was written in 2011, and whilst there is still no conclusive evidence that suggests prolonged exposure to screens can cause irreversable damage to the eyes, there is a growing body of evidence which suggests that looking at screens too closely and for too often may well cause eye problems in later life.


The eye of someone staring at a computer screen

Posture

Our back and neck are especially vulnerable, due to the large amount of time we spend sitting down in one position. Even with good posture, sitting in the same position for hours on end is not good for your body, that’s why we have muscles, bones and joints!

Repetitive strain injury is also a big issue. Many office workers will at some point experience this, in either their wrists or hands, due to the nature of typing and using a mouse.

In fact, repetitive strain injury is such a big issue, it is estimated that its annual cost to UK industry is between 5 and 20 billion pounds! In the US, the figures are also similar.

Despite its potentially harmful effects on the body, computers cause no proven long term damage to your eyes. Symptoms like sore eyes, blurred vision and a change in colour perception are usually only short term, and clear within hours of leaving the screen.

To help yourself avoid the short term computer-related symptoms of eye strain, my best advice is take regular breaks. Get a drink, go to the loo or just have a wander around every 30-40 minutes and you should be able to avoid such symptoms altogether.

Why not have a break now? Go on, get up from your desk and go and have a wander. 🙂 If you are using a tablet or are on your mobile, take five minutes off and then read another article. 😉

Why not? Your eyes will love you. 🙂