Your Local Channels Right on your Computer Screen

Even with the convenience of modern computers and internet technology, there is still charm and appeal in the 20th century technology of the television. Being able to flip through numerous channels and discover new shows as you go along is something that is hard to give up on, despite all of the new innovations that you can acquire over the World Wide Web. However, there is a way to get the best of both worlds, and that is by getting the television into your computer.

First off, there are online streaming services that can make your favorite local TV channels available on your computer screen. Some of these channels are free while others are paid services. The drawback with the free ones is that you don’t really have a say on what gets streamed, which is something you won’t experience with paid services since you’ll get to choose your shows. If you’re adamant on watching TV on your computer, then it shouldn’t be much of a problem to pay for a streaming service that won’t cause you more than subscribing to your average cable company.

Watching TV on Computer

Those who are looking for cheaper opportunities can consider sticking an antenna or cable to their computer, although you’ll need some special hardware courtesy of TV tuner capture cards. These special cards that can be installed in the PCI port of your motherboard should have ports for various cables like coaxial and RCA component. You can then connect your coaxial cable there and use the software included with the card to start streaming television on your computer.

Also, there are also external versions of capture hardware that can be plugged into USB ports, and they can be just as convenient if you know how to use them. If extra hardware is too much of a hassle for you, then you might as well go for on-demand services as they’re the next best thing to actual television. With such services, you can call up programs whenever and however you want. Not bad at all, right?

Now let’s move on to the HDTV, which is something that eliminates the need for any sort of conversion since it’s already in digital format. All you really need to do is to find a service provider that allows HD digital television to be accessible both to your TV and computer. Because this format does make use of HDMI cables, you have to take note that while you don’t want to get cheap cables for the job, there is absolutely no need to spend big on those premium cables that are said to be the best for HD signals. Remember that it’s all the same with transmitting zeros and ones whether you use expensive or the middle-of-the-road cables.

Go with any of these options and you’ll have your favorite television channels right on your computer screen. Depending on the method, you should get your money’s worth as long as you get to enjoy your shows while still making the most out of your computer.

5 Secrets to Avoid Astigmatism from Prolonged Computer Usage

Prolonged computer usage can greatly contribute to eye strain. Also known as asthenopia, eye strain is an ophthalmological condition that results when the eyes are subject to serious fatigue for a long period of time. This symptom, together with photophobia (eye sensitivity to light) and headache, are some of the main signs of astigmatism.

Astigmatism is a fairly common eye condition that’s closely associated with blurred vision. The cornea of a person with astigmatism is not curved properly – one half is usually flatter than the other. Though not considered a disease and is congenital in nature, astigmatism can develop from an eye injury or an eye operation. The causes of astigmatism are yet to be fully understood and not all degrees of the condition are easily detected. Moreover, astigmatism can increase over time; therefore, a thorough examination by an optometric physician will greatly help. If you already know that you are suffering from astigmatism, here are some tips that should help you take better care of your precious eyes.

Eye Strain due to Computers

1) Wear the right corrective lenses.

If your job requires you to work in front of a monitor for long periods, consider getting lenses that are designed for computer use. Moreover, get your eyes checked to get the right corrective lenses. Take  these necessary precautions if you are planning to purchase a brand new computer because, well, its natural for people to spend a lot of time with something we just bought. Forcing your eyes to work without protection will only pressure them to work harder, causing further unwanted stress.

2) The 20-20-20 Rule.

Look away from your computer at least every 20 minutes and stare at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. And use artificial tears (eye drops) to refresh your eyes every time they feel dry.

3) Give your eyes some break time.

Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes, and relax. Do not squeeze your eyelids. Breathe deeply and easily. Allow your eyes to rest for 3 to 5 minutes to let your eye muscles relax. This alleviates eyestrain.

4) Have a proper diet.

Yes, eating the right food will improve your eye’s health, but all of this will be futile if you continue to abuse your eyes to endless strain. Green leafy vegetables, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, blueberries, apricots and salmon are examples of food that contribute to healthy eyes.

5) Sleep well.

I cannot emphasize this point any further. Our body repairs itself during sleep, including our eyes. The right amount of sleep gives our eyes the time it needs to relax. Apply a washcloth soaked in warm water to relieve tired eyes.

As the old adage says, “The eyes are the windows to the soul”. Our eyes are definitely one of the most important organs in our body and therefore it should not be taken for granted. Follow these simple rules and your eyes will thank you for it.

Top 5 Best Gaming Laptops of 2012

2012 has paved another exciting road of ups and downs for the world of Gaming, but perhaps it was all the way up for hardware development, especially for gaming laptops that let gamers play their favorite games in most satisfying way possible. Here are five of the best ones that you can get on the market today, regardless of their price tag.

Dell XPS 15

Dell’s newest horse in this unending race to be the best is no slouch at all. The XPS 15 is classified by Dell as not just a gaming laptop, but also a multipurpose machine that has a 2.1GHz quad core processor, a 8GB of RAM, and a 750GB storage for only $1,700. That’s not bad for something that can be anyone’s workhorse in gaming and multimedia work.

Alienware M17x R4

Alienware M17x R4

The Alienware brand is synonymous with gaming power, and this laptop is probably the one that gives the most value to your money if you are looking for an elite gaming laptop. For 2.5 grand, you’ll get an Intel Core i7 3720QM 2.6GHz quad core processor, a Nvidia GeForce GT 680M video card, a 8GB of RAM, and a half terabyte storage, all weighing in at 9.6 pounds. Sure, it comes with a bit of heft, but it’s still light enough to carry around and blow people away.

Eurocom Scorpius

This offering by Eurocom is classified as a desktop replacement, and its heavyweight specifications makes it stand out in the crowd. The awesomely-named Scourpius sports an Intel Core i7 3920XM 2.9GHz quad core that’s coupled with 8GB of RAM and a Nvidia GeForce GTX 680M graphics card. What separates it from the rest of the group is its superior, robust build quality, making other laptops look like paperweights waiting to happen. Also, the sheer speed that this thing can get up to is absolutely no joke, even if compared to other high-end laptops of its class. 5,297 price tag, hat the Eurocom Scorpius is the most expensive laptop in this list.

Maingear Pulse 11

The most portable item in the list, the Maingear Pulse 11 weighs only 3.7 pounds, and although it only has an 11.6-inch screen, it does have an Intel Core i7 3912QM 2.1GHz quad core, which is quite a powerhouse in such a tiny package. No doubt that you will love its speed, but it must be noted that the Maingear Pulse 11 isn’t really something for mass file storage. For such a small yet powerful machine though, you only have to shell out $1,350, which is a pretty good price if you’re really looking for an ultraportable gaming laptop. In its form factor, this one is the best in its class.

MSI GT70 0NC-011US

The least expensive among the five and one of the high-end laptops in the current MSI product line, the MSI GT70 combines both power and value in one package. Surely, this is more than enough for even the most hardline of power users and hardcore gamers out there. With its $1,300 price tag comes the combined power of an Intel Core i7 3610QM 2.3GHz quad core processor, a 16GB of RAM, a Nvidia GeForce GTX 670M, and almost a terabyte of storage. You even get a Blu-Ray drive at that price, so it’s not too shabby at all.

5 Reasons Why Upgrading to Windows 8 is Not Advisable

No to Windows 8With prominent technology companies releasing products and services updates one after the other, everyone has something new to be excited about every time they visit an online store. Since the launch of XP, Windows has gained forefront attention in terms of operating systems.

Recently, it has released a newer OS called Windows 8 that is promoted as its most promising reinvention. However, thousands of users and numerous experts have lots of qualms about the hype as they see Windows 8 as rather the worst version of Windows to date. In this article, we will discuss five reasons why upgrading to Windows 8 is not advisable.

1) Privacy of your Data

Unlike other operating systems where data is stored in local drives by default, Windows 8 empowers your utilization of cloud computing even without you noticing. In this case, it acts on storing your files in your SkyDrive account from your computer. So if you have many sensitive files, you cannot be sure that they are well-secured.

2) Accessibility to your Location

Not only will you have your data compromised, but also your location. If you do not change the default settings in the system, Windows 8 allows websites to track you down. And other applications equipped will give your location information entirely. So try to be alert and configure the PC settings to turn off the location access.

3) Compatibility and Operability of Software and Applications

If you are fond of using several software in Windows 7 and the latter versions, you may be tad disappointed with Windows 8. Most, if not all, of the software and applications will not work in this latest version. In fact, you can only use those which are bought from the Microsoft Store, like Office 2013. They have many free apps in the store, but third party apps are still working in progress. So you have to wait for the applications you need, particularly for work or business. On the other hand, if you are adventurous to try new stuff, then you are very welcome to explore the newly opened app store of Microsoft.

Why Windows 8 is not Advisable

4) Changes in Media Player

Default codecs in the previous version of Windows are not available in Windows 8. Aside from that, DVD support is done away, so you can’t rip a DVD into WMV format unless your install a video converter and convert from DVD.

5) No Multi-Tasking

In Windows 7 and its older siblings, you can run many programs at the same time and place them side by side. To boost your productivity, you can watch a video and write an essay in Word simultaneously. You can even compare two photos from different software in one screen. However, in Windows 8, one of the main disadvantages is that you cannot run apps side by side. While using an app, you can only have it in full monitor view and it will have to occupy the whole face of the monitor.

There’s no stopping you from upgrading to Windows 8. But learn these hiccups so that by then, you’ll know how to work things around. Also, take note that Windows 8 is quite costly. It’s even more economical if you would opt to buy it as part of a PC than a standalone upgrade only.

5 Signs that You Need to Upgrade your Computer

For most people, spending money is probably one of their least favorite things to do. Unless you’re getting a once-in-a-lifetime deal, nobody sane person feels pleasure in letting go of their hard-earned cash, right? Right. However, keeping up with the changes in technology and usability may really dent your wallet. So if your computer still works, how do know if it’s time to upgrade it then? In this page, we’ll talk about the signs that tell you that it’s time to go hunting for upgrades.

Upgraded Computer Set

1) Life Span

Some things increase in value as precious furniture turn into prized antiques and as certain types of accessories become priceless rarities. The same cannot be said for computers, for its value decreases as it ages. Typically, a computer works at optimal or satisfactory performance only for three to four years. Once it reaches the fifth, you have to consider buying an up-to-date processor, motherboard, memory, etc. And if you PC was not well-maintained, there is a possibility that you’d have to purchase a new package altogether. Also, when you buy a computer and use it for the first time, its cost starts to depreciate. Don’t be stubborn and wait until it totally gets obsolete in the market. If you wait too long, you won’t be able to sell it for a good price.

2) Slow as a Snail

When your programs have started to open and close as slow as a snail, you know you have to upgrade your computer. It should only take you five seconds to get your applications running. Computers should offer you convenience in doing tasks faster and more efficiently, and not the other way around. Once you feel there’s something wrong with its performance, try running a diagnostic test to check the areas of concern.

3) Number of Crashes

The number of crashes that I am talking about here does not only pertain to the count of reboots you have to perform for the computer to operate as it should. It also refers to the programs running in the system. Regardless of the reason, if your computer is crashing too often, it’s obvious that you have to replace some of its parts. But make sure that before doing so, check for the presence of viruses and malwares that can be the ultimate culprit.

Outdated Computer Set

4) Change in Needs

There was a time in the distance past where you only used your computer for sending documents and performing office tasks. Now we’ve become attached to innovations in technology and applications, such as the availability of high-def games. If the game you desire is in 3D, it would require your computer to possess a faster processor, graphics memory, video card and the like, then an upgrade would definitely be necessary.

5) Discontinued Support for Parts

When your computer crashes, sometimes you just really need to get the faulty component replaced. The process itself is simple and easy, but the problem arises if you find out that the defective part is completely outdated and isn’t available in the market anymore.  So when you get the news that the provider will no longer continue supporting parts of your computer, don’t get stuck with the “old dinosaur.” It’s time to upgrade or buy a superior computer instead.

Having the necessary upgrades and making sure that it’s loaded with all the optimal parts is important. The price tag of the upgrades won’t matter more if you don’t have your computer working for your productivity. There’s always time, energy and money attached to it. So weigh the pros and cons and crunch the numbers before making your decision.