Have you tried these best PC games of 2019?

Looking for something to do during the school holidays – if you’re lucky enough to still be on holidays. Check out some of these great games from yesteryear for you to get gaming on with this great read from Den of Geek on some of the best PC games of 2019!

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Due to a relative lack of high-profile releases, many of the best PC games of 2019 came from indie developers and other surprising sources. As a result, the games on this list are truly unique. From detective games that are secretly elaborate psych tests to a puzzle game that plays by its own rules, the best PC titles of the year offered an experiences we didn’t expect but absolutely loved.

As an added bonus, you can run most of this year’s best games on even the humblest of gaming PCs. One of them was even first released 15 years ago…

Here are 10 of the best PC games of 2019 in alphabetical order:

Best PC Games 2019 - Baba is You

Baba Is You

March 13 | Hempuli Oy

Most great puzzle games are defined by a series of rules that help govern the experience. In Baba Is You, though, the rules are anything but defined. Actually, you’re able to change them by simply interacting with a few key blocks in each level that not only change the layout of the level but can alter how you win the game.

It sounds strange, and it is. However, the ability to manipulate what can and can’t be done in each level makes Baba Is You is one of the cleverest, most inventive, and downright challenging puzzle games in recent memory. There’s nothing else quite like it.

Best PC Games 2019 - Disco Elysium

Disco Elysium

October 15 | ZA/UM

One part isometric RPG in the style of Baldur’s Gate and one part gritty detective adventure, Disco Elysium combines genres and ideas that we never knew we wanted to see on the same plate. Yet, we can’t help but go back for more. 

Disco Elysium‘s “urban fantasy” setting is a compelling enough reason to give this game a look, but the real draw here is Disco Elysium‘s deep RPG mechanics. Not only are the game’s playable characters fully-customizable, but Disco Elysium asks you to determine what kind of cop you’re going to be in this rough world. It may be easy to position yourself as a righteous lawman, but the moral line in this dark universe may be too tough to see. For the intelligent ways it evolves the idea of discovering who you are in a video game through your actions and decisions, Disco Elysium deserves to be experienced. 

Best PC Games 2019 - Hades

Hades

December 2018 Early Access | Supergiant Games

Supergiant Games, the studio behind  Transistor and Bastion, has always done things a little differently, and Hades is no exception. After all, it’s not every day that you play as the prince of the underworld as he tries to escape to Mt. Olympus with help from the gods.

Based largely on feedback its developers received from their other projects, Hades is a brilliant isometric action title that combines the best of role-playing and dungeon crawling. This addictive roguelike will have you carefully considering how you upgrade your character as you work towards the seemingly impossible. It highlights why Supergiant Games is one of the best in the industry when it comes to simple, refined, and ultimately clever PC gaming experiences. 

Best PC Games 2019 - Islanders

Islanders

April 4 |  GrizzlyGames

We all need a break from high octane AAA games once in a while, and Islanders may prove to be one of the best breaks from the same old same old released in 2019. Combining elements of SimCity, Tetris, and other city builders, Islanders gives you a small collection of buildings and has you build the best settlement possible.

Be warned that this an almost cruelly addictive game. Islanders masters the art of “easy to learn, tough to master” like few other city builders ever have. Its puzzle-like mechanics ensure nobody feels overwhelmed while its surprisingly deep late game will thrill genre enthusiasts. It’s the kind of game you lose hours to while the more technologically demanding games on your powerful gaming PC go untouched. 

Best PC Games 2019 - Risk Of Rain 2

Risk of Rain 2

March 28 | Hopoo Games

The original Risk of Rain is one of the best roguelike games ever made. Defined by its simple looks and accessible action gameplay, developer Hopoo Games took a tremendous…err…risk in converting the game to 3D, but Risk of Rain 2 manages to brilliantly re-imagine the incredible original.

Risk of Rain 2 features everything that made the original so notable, including unique characters, skills, and weapons, while addinga third dimension that greatly enhances the fundamental appeal of the original experience. It’s quite simply one of the best multiplayer games of the year and a tragically underrated expansion of the roguelike genre and its many compelling trappings. 

Best PC Games 2019 - Slay the Spire

Slay the Spire

January 23 | Mega Crit Games

This is a bit of a cheat considering that Slay the Spire has been in early access for quite some time, but the game’s official release was in January. As a roguelike deck builder, Slay the Spire is a unique experience. Even if it had more competition, though, we’d have a tough time imagining a game that can equal its brilliant strategy gameplay.

Slay the Spire has you maneuver through a series of branching levels as you try to build the best deck of cards possible and defeat all who stand in your way. This insanely addictive game is simply one of the best games on Steam and the type of game you can recommend to anyone who has a few (dozen) hours to burn.

Best PC Games 2019 - Sunless Skies

Sunless Skies

January 31 | Failbetter Games

It’s a bit too easy to describe Sunless Skies as a Gothic horror sci-fi version of The Oregon Trail on a massive scale, but that description does a fairly good job of capturing just what makes this game so compelling. Sunless Skies takes what made Sunless Sea such a fascinating take on the role-playing/strategy genre and amplifies nearly all of it.

This is a game of discovery in which you must make some difficult choices and rely on the aid of some potentially unsavory characters in order to have a chance of surviving the horrors that lurk in the skies. Whether you see the best of what the game has to offer depends on how much you’re willing to sacrifice.  

Teamfight Tactics

June 2019 | Riot Games

2019 saw the rise of the auto-battler genre, with a few different competing for the top crown. While Hearthstone and DOTA‘s takes on the auto-battler concept are certainly worth your time, it’s the League of Legends-themed Teamfight Tactics that ends up being the best overall example of the genre.

Like other auto-battler games, Teamfight Tactics benefits from a simple, yet deep, core gameplay design that sees you draft units and strategically arrange them on a board in order to see if they can beat an opposing army. However, Teamfight Tactics separates itself with a brilliant item system, clever units, and constant updates from Riot Games that have kept the title’s meta fresh as new tactics constantly emerge. 

They Are Billions

June 18 | Numantian Games

Available via Steam’s Early Access program since 2018, They Are Billions finally received its official release this year. Along with the full release comes a new story campaign, new technology, and more. However, the draw of They Are Billions remains the same as it ever was.

With its horde mode-like gameplay and expansive base-building options, They Are Billions is one of the most exciting and addictive real-time strategy titles of the last decade. It forces you to think on your feet while also planning ahead in order to survive some of the most daunting, zombie-filled strategy scenarios imaginable. More often than not, the thrill doesn’t come from “winning” (which many will find to be a nearly impossible prospect) but in finding a way to hold out just a little longer. 

World of Warcraft Classic

August 27 | Blizzard

World of Warcraft is hardly a new game, and that’s especially true of this Classic edition, restores the game to its original vanilla state and 2004 glory. World of Warcraft Classic was certainly one of the most anticipated games of 2019 and arguably of the last few years. As it turns out, the hype was worth it. 

Whether you simply long to relive your memories of first playing World of Warcraft or you want to see what the game was like before 15 years’ worth of expansions and updates, WoW Classic shows why World of Warcraft is considered to be one of the best games ever made. More than a nostalgia trip, WoW Classic is an epic adventure that rewards its most dedicated players with a grand-scale RPG that leaves even the largest modern titles feeling thin. 

Watch out for Microsoft tech support scammers

Unfortunately Local Computer Help often receives calls from clients that have encountered this specific scam and in some instances fallen for it. Here’s a great little article from Tech Advisor to help keep you safe.

If you receive a phone call from a security ‘expert’ at Microsoft offering to fix your PC – it’s a scam. Here’s how to avoid the Microsoft phone scam, and what to do if you fear you have fallen victim to it.

Despite having gone on for years – since 2009 in fact – the “I’m from Microsoft and you’ve got a problem with your PC” scam phone calls haven’t gone away. Here’s everything you need to know about protecting yourself should you receive one.

Does Microsoft tech support call you?

No. Microsoft will never make an unsolicited phone call.

But the scammers hope you don’t know this. They call you, and ask for you by name. They say they are a computer security expert from Microsoft (or another legitimate tech company or a Microsoft ‘partner’). The caller is plausible and polite, but officious. They say that your PC or laptop has been infected with malware, and that they can help you solve the problem.

What happens next depends on the particular version of scam with which you have been targeted.

Some crooks will ask you to give them remote access to your PC or laptop, and then use that access to get hold of your personal data. Others get you to download a tool which they say is the “fix” for your problem, but is actually malware.

The other version is a more straightforward scam: they simply ask for money in return for a lifetime of ‘protection’ from the malware they pretend is on your machine.

Here’s the important bit: no legitimate IT security company – certainly not Microsoft – is ever going to call you in this way. For one thing, they can’t even tell that your PC is infected. They’ve got your name from the phone book, or any one of the thousands of marketing lists on which your details probably reside. They know nothing about your home computing set up – they’re just chancers.

Basically, somebody is sitting in a room calling number after number hoping to find a victim. It’s not personal, but it is ultimately dangerous to your financial and technological health.

What should I do if Microsoft phones me?

  1. Put the phone down. Get rid of the caller and move on with your life. It is not a legitimate call.
  2. During your conversation, don’t provide any personal information. This is a good rule for any unsolicited call. And certainly never hand over your credit card or bank details. Just don’t do it.
  3. If you’ve got this far, we can only reiterate point number 1: get off the phone. But whatever you do don’t follow instructions to visit websites, download software or change a setting on your PC.
  4. If possible get the caller’s details. You should certainly report any instance of this scam to Action Fraud.
  5. Finally, change any passwords and usernames that could plausibly have been compromised, and run a scan with up-to-date security software. Then ensure that your firewall and antivirus are up to date and protecting your PC.

Oh, and there is a number 6: tell everyone about it. This scam preys on people’s insecurity about lack of tech knowledge. It is very easy to be a victim, and the best defence is sharing knowledge. It is much easier to put the phone down if you are forewarned.

What should I do if I fell for the Microsoft phone scam?

First of all don’t beat yourself up. This could happen to anyone (and does, regularly). You need to change all the personal data that you can change. As much as you might like to you can’t change your date of birth, and changing your name and address seems extreme. But you can change all your passwords and usernames, starting with your main email account and any bank- and credit card logins. Also, contact your bank to ask them to be on the lookout for anything dodgy.

Feel free to give Local Computer Help a call on 1300 883 831 for a confidential discussion if you believe you have fallen for a scam. We can provide you some valuable advise and support if required.

7 Biggest Technology Trends In 2020

We are amidst the 4th Industrial Revolution, and technology is evolving faster than ever. Companies and individuals that don’t keep up with some of the major tech trends run the risk of being left behind. Understanding the key trends will allow people and businesses to prepare and grasp the opportunities. As a business and technology futurist, it is my job to look ahead and identify the most important trends. In this article, I share with you the seven most imminent trends everyone should get ready for in 2020.

AI-as-a-service

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most transformative tech evolutions of our times. As I highlighted in my book ‘Artificial Intelligence in Practice’, most companies have started to explore how they can use AI to improve the customer experience and to streamline their business operations. This will continue in 2020, and while people will increasingly become used to working alongside AIs, designing and deploying our own AI-based systems will remain an expensive proposition for most businesses.

For this reason, much of the AI applications will continue to be done through providers of as-a-service platforms, which allow us to simply feed in our own data and pay for the algorithms or compute resources as we use them.

Currently, these platforms, provided by the likes of Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, tend to be somewhat broad in scope, with (often expensive) custom-engineering required to apply them to the specific tasks an organization may require. During 2020, we will see wider adoption and a growing pool of providers that are likely to start offering more tailored applications and services for specific or specialized tasks. This will mean no company will have any excuses left not to use AI.

5G data networks

The 5th generation of mobile internet connectivity is going to give us super-fast download and upload speeds as well as more stable connections. While 5G mobile data networks became available for the first time in 2019, they were mostly still expensive and limited to functioning in confined areas or major cities. 2020 is likely to be the year when 5G really starts to fly, with more affordable data plans as well as greatly improved coverage, meaning that everyone can join in the fun.

Super-fast data networks will not only give us the ability to stream movies and music at higher quality when we’re on the move. The greatly increased speeds mean that mobile networks will become more usable even than the wired networks running into our homes and businesses. Companies must consider the business implications of having super-fast and stable internet access anywhere. The increased bandwidth will enable machines, robots, and autonomous vehicles to collect and transfer more data than ever, leading to advances in the area of the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart machinery.

Autonomous Driving

While we still aren’t at the stage where we can expect to routinely travel in, or even see, autonomous vehicles in 2020, they will undoubtedly continue to generate a significant amount of excitement.

Tesla chief Elon Musk has said he expects his company to create a truly “complete” autonomous vehicle by this year, and the number of vehicles capable of operating with a lesser degree of autonomy – such as automated braking and lane-changing – will become an increasingly common sight. In addition to this, other in-car systems not directly connected to driving, such as security and entertainment functions – will become increasingly automated and reliant on data capture and analytics. Google’s sister-company Waymo has just completed a trial of autonomous taxis in California, where it transported more than 6200 people in the first month.

It won’t just be cars, of course – trucking and shipping are becoming more autonomous, and breakthroughs in this space are likely to continue to hit the headlines throughout 2020.

With the maturing of autonomous driving technology, we will also increasingly hear about the measures that will be taken by regulators, legislators, and authorities. Changes to laws, existing infrastructure, and social attitudes are all likely to be required before autonomous driving becomes a practical reality for most of us. During 2020, it’s likely we will start to see the debate around autonomous driving spread outside of the tech world, as more and more people come round to the idea that the question is not “if,” but “when,” it will become a reality.

Personalized and predictive medicine

Technology is currently transforming healthcare at an unprecedented rate. Our ability to capture data from wearable devices such as smartwatches will give us the ability to increasingly predict and treat health issues in people even before they experience any symptoms. 

When it comes to treatment, we will see much more personalized approaches. This is also referred to as precision medicine which allows doctors to more precisely prescribe medicines and apply treatments, thanks to a data-driven understanding of how effective they are likely to be for a specific patient.

Although not a new idea, thanks to recent breakthroughs in technology, especially in the fields of genomics and AI, it is giving us a greater understanding of how different people’s bodies are better or worse equipped to fight off specific diseases, as well as how they are likely to react to different types of medication or treatment.

Throughout 2020 we will see new applications of predictive healthcare and the introduction of more personalized and effective treatments to ensure better outcomes for individual patients.

Computer Vision

In computer terms, “vision” involves systems that are able to identify items, places, objects or people from visual images – those collected by a camera or sensor. It’s this technology that allows your smartphone camera to recognize which part of the image it’s capturing is a face, and powers technology such as Google Image Search.

As we move through 2020, we’re going to see computer vision equipped tools and technology rolled out for an ever-increasing number of uses. It’s fundamental to the way autonomous cars will “see” and navigate their way around danger. Production lines will employ computer vision cameras to watch for defective products or equipment failures, and security cameras will be able to alert us to anything out of the ordinary, without requiring 24/7 monitoring.

Computer vision is also enabling face recognition, which we will hear a lot about in 2020. We have already seen how useful the technology is in controlling access to our smartphones in the case of Apple’s FaceID and how Dubai airport uses it to provide a smoother customer journey. However, as the use cases will grow in 2020, we will also have more debates about limiting the use of this technology because of its potential to erode privacy and enable ‘Big Brother’-like state control.

Extended Reality

Extended Reality (XR) is a catch-all term that covers several new and emerging technologies being used to create more immersive digital experiences. More specifically, it refers to virtual, augmented, and mixed reality. Virtual reality (VR) provides a fully digitally immersive experience where you enter a computer-generated world using headsets that blend out the real world. Augmented reality (AR) overlays digital objects onto the real world via smartphone screens or displays (think Snapchat filters). Mixed reality (MR) is an extension of AR, that means users can interact with digital objects placed in the real world (think playing a holographic piano that you have placed into your room via an AR headset).

These technologies have been around for a few years now but have largely been confined to the world of entertainment – with Oculus Rift and Vive headsets providing the current state-of-the-art in videogames, and smartphone features such as camera filters and Pokemon Go-style games providing the most visible examples of AR.

From 2020 expect all of that to change, as businesses get to grips with the wealth of exciting possibilities offered by both current forms of XR. Virtual and augmented reality will become increasingly prevalent for training and simulation, as well as offering new ways to interact with customers.

Blockchain Technology

Blockchain is a technology trend that I have covered extensively this year, and yet you’re still likely to get blank looks if you mention it in non-tech-savvy company. 2020 could finally be the year when that changes, though. Blockchain is essentially a digital ledger used to record transactions but secured due to its encrypted and decentralized nature. During 2019 some commentators began to argue that the technology was over-hyped and perhaps not as useful as first thought. However, continued investment by the likes of FedEx, IBM, Walmart and Mastercard during 2019 is likely to start to show real-world results, and if they manage to prove its case, could quickly lead to an increase in adoption by smaller players.

And if things are going to plan, 2020 will also see the launch of Facebook’s own blockchain-based crypto currently Libra, which is going to create quite a stir.

Check out the full article by Bernard Marr at Forbes by clicking here.

What is Computer RAM? Do you need more of it?

What is RAM and How it works?

RAM stands for random-access memory, but what does that mean? Your computer RAM is essentially short term memory where data is stored as the processor needs it.

This isn’t to be confused with long-term data that’s stored on your hard drive, which stays there even when your computer is turned off. Anytime you play a game from your computer’s hard drive or stream a movie from the Internet, all of the data that your computer’s processor needs to play the game or watch the movie is stored in RAM.

This is so that your processor can get to it quickly. Once you’re done playing your game or watching your movie and you close it down, the processor doesn’t need that data anymore, so it replaces it with the next task you give it. RAM can slow down your computer if there isn’t enough of it for the processor to perform the tasks you ask it to. If your processor wants to load more data than your computer RAM can handle, it has to keep going back to the hard drive or the Internet to obtain the information again. This is just like someone trying to pick up more tennis balls than they can carry; in the end, they spend more time picking up tennis balls than playing the game!

How Your Computer Processor (CPU) Works

The processor makes up a computer’s ability to think, much like the conscious parts of your brain. The faster you can answer math problems, read, and understand the words in a book, get the meaning of a joke, or accurately tell your body what to do while playing a sport, the more powerful your brain is.

Computer processors are the same way. The more powerful they are, the faster they can perform tasks with the data (games, movies, applications, etc.) that’s available on your hard drive and online. Your computer’s processor works with RAM to function as a team. RAM is like your short-term memory. If you were to bump your head and lose your short-term memory (your RAM), you wouldn’t be able to remember anything that happened more than a few seconds ago. However, you’d still be able to think perfectly well. But think about it—without any memory, you (and your processor) would have severe difficulties.

Looking to upgrade your RAM?
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See the full article here!

What is file fragmentation? and How you can speed up your computer by defragmenting them.

Fragmentation occurs on a hard drive when data is not written closely enough physically on the drive. Imagine a solved jigsaw puzzle and a solved puzzle. When the puzzle is solved you can tell what the image is at a glance. If the puzzle isn’t solved its going to take longer to figure out what it is.

Defragmentation is the process of putting all those pieces together. This allows your hard drive to work faster as it isn’t searching for each piece of a file.

Why Does Fragmentation Happen?

Fragments happen because the file system reserved too much space for the file when it was first created, and therefore left open areas around it.

Fragmentation also happens when you delete a file. When a file is deleted the physical space on the drive is freed up and used for other files/data.

This method of storing data is completely normal and likely won’t ever change. The alternative would be for the file system to constantly reshuffle all existing data on the drive each and every time a file is changed, which would bring the data writing process to a crawl, slowing down everything else with it.

So, while it’s frustrating that fragmentation exists, which slows the computer down a little bit, you might think about it as a “necessary evil” in a sense – this small problem instead of a much larger one.

Don’t Defrag Solid State Drives

Defragging your hard drives can improve its overall speed.

No, you really should not defrag a solid-state hard drive (SSD). For the most part, defragging an SSD is a wholesale waste of time. Not only that, defragging an SDD will shorten the overall lifespan of the drive.

A solid-state drive is a hard drive that has no moving parts.

As you may have already guessed, if a drive doesn’t have moving parts, and so nothing to take up time as it moves around gathering all of a file’s fragments together, then all the fragments of a file can essentially be accessed at the same time.

How to Defrag Your Hard Drives

Windows 10 – Guide by Melanie Pinola

Mac – Guide by Igor Degtiarenko

See the full article here!

How to Connect Your Laptop to Your TV

Ever wanted to sit back and watch YouTube on your tv? Its actually really simple.

Its not just YouTube you could play video games, read or even work on your TV from your laptop.

In the search for entertainment, many people have cut the cable (or satellite), preferring to get their programming off YouTube and other Internet sites for little or no cost. However people don’t always want to consume that content off the smaller screens that come with laptops and other devices. The solution? Keep that big TV working by feeding it directly from your laptop. There are several ways to do this, and it’s simpler than you might imagine.

Getting Connected

The easiest way to connect your laptop to your television is with a cable that hooks into each device. Most laptops built over the last Half-decade have an HDMI port (which stands for “High-Definition Multimedia Interface”). The HDMI port looks like a longer and thinner version of the USB port that you’ve probably used for flash drives, printers, and other devices. Most HDMI cables are inexpensive, and the port on your TV should be easy to find. Connecting the two devices is no more difficult than using an extension cord.

Set your TV to the correct input for HDMI, and the laptop should automatically configure to provide the best settings. If your laptop does not automatically output its screen to the TV, go to your Desktop, Right-click your mouse, and go to Display Settings > Display > Adjust Resolution, you can also get there by going to the Control Panel. Select the TV in the drop down box that appears. 

Connecting Older Laptops

If you’re using an older laptop that doesn’t have an HDMI port, your answer might be VGA port. No, this isn’t a professional golf organization. It’s a different kind of port that is roughly rectangular with 15 pins in three rows of five. VGA cables only provide the video output, so this method requires a second cable (what’s called a 3.5mm lead), which plugs into your TV and into your laptop’s headphone port.

Of course, your computer and TV might not have the same type of connection. For example, your TV might sport an HDMI connection, but your computer has a DisplayPort. No need to toss up your hands in frustration and settle for the radio. You simply need to buy an adapter, an inexpensive device that has a DisplayPort connection on one end, and an HDMI connection on the other end. (There are adapters for most other combinations as well.) Place the correct connection of the adapter into the cable that feeds into your laptop, and plug the other end into your TV.

Wireless Options

Another way to connect your laptop and TV is with a dedicated media stream, with the most common being Google’s Chromecast, Roku’s Streaming Stick, Amazon Fire Stick, or Apple’s TV.

These devices all work in a similar manner, so let’s look at how Chromecast operates. You plug the dongle into the HDMI port on your television, and it will act as a transmitter that connects to your laptop or other mobile device over your Wi-Fi network.

Chromecast doesn’t mirror the content on your laptop like the other methods in this list. Instead, your mobile device (smart phone or tablet running Android or iOS or your computer running the Windows or Mac OS X operating systems) acts as a remote control. It directs the dongle plugged into the TV to the Internet content you want to stream.

The setup is easy. As soon as you plug the dongle into your TV, it should recognize your laptop and walk you through the setup process.

See the full article here!

What is a Keylogger? Why is it so Dangerous?

All of us have heard about viruses and malware – but not many of us knows exactly what a keylogger is and why you should do everything possible to protect yourself from this.

A keylogger is a piece of software — or a hardware device — that logs every key you press on your keyboard. It can capture personal messages, passwords, credit card numbers, and everything else you type.

Keyloggers are usually installed by malware programs and the idea is to get your personal information and credit card details.

How a Keylogger Would Get On Your Computer

Many times you can get infected when downloading files from the internet. You have heard about so called “free” software – that is actually cracked editions of commercially available software.

When a user downloads cracked or pirated software or music – there is a good chance that the software can include malware that installs itself at the same time in the background without you knowing about it.

How does a Keylogger work?

It runs hidden in the background, making a note of each keystroke you type. It then later scans through the saved file of all the keystrokes for certain types of text — for example, it could look for sequences of numbers that look like credit card numbers or website and email passwords and upload them to a malicious server so they can be abused.

How can you protect yourself?

Keylogging software is just another type of malware. You can avoid keylogging software in the same way you avoid other malware — be careful what you download and install. Never download cracked or pirated software or music.

Make sure that USB flash drives that you use in your computer are not already infected.  Use a solid antivirus program that will give protection against keyloggers.

Why is it so Dangerous?

Keyloggers are one of the more dangerous forms of malware, as you won’t realize they’re running if they’re doing their job well.

They hide in the background and don’t cause any trouble, capturing credit card numbers and passwords for as long as they can evade detection.

See the full article and video here

Think you may have a key logger? We can help!

Black Friday and Cyber Monday

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday both just around the corner. Its a great time to get your hands on new and old technology.

Brace yourself: the Cyber Monday 2019 date is December 2, which is under a month away, and as always, the first Monday after Black Friday. 

What is Cyber Monday?

As you’ve probably guessed from the name, Cyber Monday is a purely online affair, The term was coined by Ellen Davis and Scott Silverman of the US National Retail Federation and Shop.org, and it was a deliberate move to promote online shopping back in 2005 when the Internet was in its infancy.

It was intended to help smaller retailers compete with the big names who were harping on about Black Friday, although of course those big names promptly jumped on the Cyber Monday bandwagon, too.

What is the Difference?

Aside from the dates, the main difference between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is that Black Friday deals can be found online and in physical stores, whereas Cyber Monday is purely dedicated to online discounts. 

Both sales events will have plenty of fantastic tech deals, whether you’re looking for a new laptop or a pair of swish noise-canceling headphones. However, there are some instances where it might be better to wait for December 2 to make your purchases. 

Most retailers offer a continuation of their Black Friday deals into Cyber Monday, occasionally dropping prices even further – whether you wait all depends on how much you’re willing to risk the item selling out completely. 

If you see a fantastic Black Friday deal that ticks all your boxes, we’d recommend going for it – products can sell out in a matter of minutes, and you can usually return the item if you see a better deal on Cyber Monday.

How to Prepare for these awesome deals

Fail to prepare and prepare to fail; if you want to make the most out of Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019, it’s important to have an idea of what you want to buy, and where you want to buy it from. 

The best way to do this is to make yourself a wish list; it doesn’t have to be retailer-specific – just have an idea of what you’re looking to buy this November. For example, do you need a new soundbar to complement your entertainment system? Are you looking for a budget-friendly work laptop?

Most of the big retailers will publish their Black Friday deals from midnight on November 29, so you may want to stay up on Thursday night to ensure you don’t miss any of the big discounts. 

See the full article here!
Check out Tech Radars 2019 Tech Predictions here!

Why repairing your gadgets is a cost-effective way to reduce your technology costs

Choosing to fix your gadgets rather than replace them can extend the life of your laptop, tablet and phone, saving you money and reducing your carbon footprint.

Technology is an expensive but vital investment, and for businesses and individuals alike it is important to stay ahead of the latest trends so that you can enjoy the benefits of the latest software, apps, and features. 

There are many great ways to reduce your technology spend on both business and personal gadgets so that you can enjoy the best functions at a reduced cost. For those who are undecided about the benefits of repairing your devices, here are some of the key reasons why you should consider fixing your products before you go shopping.

You will be doing your bit for the environment 

Repairing your technology instead of replacing it regularly will extend its life and reduce the amount of technological waste that has to be disposed of. Cell phones, in particular, are dangerous for the environment, as their batteries and cases are made of tough material that does not decompose as easily as other waste products, so reducing the number of phones you throw away every year will benefit the environment for generations to come. Once you do eventually decide to upgrade your technology, you can find many great recycling options so that you dispose of your phone in a safe and environmentally-friendly way. 

Repairs can be made quickly and easily

It can be stressful being without your gadgets for more than a few hours, but with trusted repair experts, you can have your technology back and in working order as quickly as possible. When working with a professional repair company, you can rest assured that your technology will be back repaired before you know it, leaving you free to get back to normal with minimal downtime. 

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SSD vs HDD Tested: What’s the Difference and Which Is Better?

Whether you’re shopping for a new laptop, desktop, external drive, or even building your own PC, you’ll be tasked with a choice: SSD or hard drive (aka hard disk drive / HDD)? Either technology can store your files and software, but they each come with their pros or cons.

In general, we recommend SSDs for performance and HDDs for price. But there are a lot of other differences between these two technologies that could impact your experience and purchasing decision. Let’s clear clear things up with an in-depth look at how your experience using these technologies will differ, plus some testing to illustrate this.

TLDR

  • SSDs are faster than HDDs. An SSD will load data faster than a HDD will. 
  • SSDs are less likely to break than HDDs because HDDs are comprised of moving parts. Empty list
  • SSDs are quieter than hard drives. A PC with a hard drive will be noisier than an SSD and may even send vibrations throughout your desk space if you use an external enclosure. Empty list
  • HDDs are cheaper than SSDs. You’ll get a better price per gigabyte (GB) with HDDs. So if budget or a large amount of files is your top concern, an HDD is worth considering. 
  • In laptops, opting for an SSD can lead to longer battery life. Up to 45 minutes on average compared to HDD-equipped laptops. 

Price

One of the main reasons HDDs have remained relevant has been their price per gigabyte. We’re currently seeing SSDs sell for under $100, or just $0.10 per GB, while HDDs are roughly $0.02-$0.03 per GB.

Therefore, HDDs are appealing to those looking for bulk storage. But their days seem numbered. Considering most people only need up to 500GB to meet their storage needs, HDDs are losing market share faster by the day. Many HDD vendors are now pushing HDDs for NAS applications and selling SSDs.  

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