What to look for when buying a used computer

Buying a used computer that potentially has a lot of life left in it can be a good thing, especially if financially you can’t afford anew system.  Choosing the right computer for you can be a daunting task given the many different sources of used systems.  All I can say is “Let the buyer beware” when dealing with unscrupulous companies/people that are more than willing to pass off electronic garbage as a good used computer.  Also there are a number of people out there that install pirated software on the systems they sell so be aware of that as well.  See my blog post on Software Piracy.

First and foremost please do your research when you are choosing your computer.  Look up the brand and model number of the computer you’re looking at and check out what it’s supposed to come with and what the person is selling it with.  For instance if the model number you look up indicates it’s an older system then that system should not have Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 when it originally came with Windows Vista unless it has a proper COA (Certificate Of Authenticity) attached to the system.  If this same person has a number of systems for sale and the majority of them come with Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 than you can bet that they have in fact used pirated software. Another red flag is when they offer full office and streaming TV on all of their systems.  These types of people you need to stay clear of. Then there are the ones on sites like Kijiji that are selling an older computer but are asking a high price for it. Once again do your research and find out how much the computer is really worth then counter offer accordingly. 

Next, when you’re looking at the system check its condition.  Some companies will off a grading system of A, B, or C.  “A” being the best condition with very few if any scratches or damage but will cost a little more. Then there is the “B” condition which will have minor scratches or visible signs of wear, you can get some good deals on these.  Next check the fans for dust and dirt, if it’s been looked after or properly serviced there won’t be any.  If it’s a desktop open it up and look inside and if there is a lot of dust then you may want to pass on it as the constant heat build up from the dust will shorten the life of the system.  While you have the desktop open look at the capacitors in it, if any of them are broken open or bulging then it won’t last long and not worth buying.  With laptops you can’t really open them up easily so you’re taking a chance. Once again look at it carefully and look for signs of dust in the fan port or of it being dropped. 

Of course if you buy from a reputable dealer it takes most of the guess work out of buying a used system giving you a good system that should last a number of years.  But be aware that you cannot predict how long a used system will last but they can still be a good alternative to a new system.

Whoosh! Diamond Defense

Whoosh! Diamond Defence

I discovered a Canadian company called Whoosh! that has produced a product called Diamond Defense which is a liquid screen protector that makes your cell phone screens 15X stronger.  This product can also be used on tablets and laptops.   Being rather skeptical I decided to try one after purchasing several to sell.

The box contains one cleaning wipe and one diamond defense wipe, along with a very nice microfiber cloth.  The instructions tell you to first use the cleaning wipe then the cloth to clean your screen.  I noticed right away that the screen was very clean and shiny after using the cleaning wipe and cloth.  It did in fact clean all the dirt and grime off of my cell phone screen making it look like new again. Next came the two step liquid protector wipe. You use the wipe and apply it on your screen then leave it for 5 minutes to dry. After 5 minutes you use the included cloth to buff your screen then you apply the wipe a second time leaving it for 5 minutes then buffing again.  After all that I couldn’t believe the results, the screen was so shiny and finger prints weren’t nearly as bad. Any finger prints that do show up can be quickly wiped off with the microfiber cloth included with the kit.  I’m very impressed with the product and can’t wait to try their screen cleaner too.

This is what the company has to say about how it works…

“The advanced technology of Diamond Defense creates a strong, hydrophobic, nano-thin coating on screen glass that cannot be seen or felt. 

Particles that come in contact with the treated surface bounce and slide off the invisible coating, providing amazing resistance to scratches and chips, minimizing the damage caused by everyday wear and tear.

3rd party lab testing proves that a Diamond Defense treated screen is over 15X STRONGER than an untreated screen. “

 

This is an excellent product and I would highly recommend it to anyone.  Now available at Scott’s Computer Emporium

 

 

How to Use the Microsoft Sniping Tool

Taking a screen shot is much easier than it used to be with the help of the Microsoft Snipping Tool.  You used to have to Press ALT+PRINT SCREEN. Important: The text you see on your keyboard might be PrtSc, PrtScn, or PrntScrn. Then paste it in a Microsoft Word.

First decide what it is you want to take a screen shot of then open the snipping tool while that screen is still open.

To open the Snipping Tool click on the search bar (where it says Type Here To Search) on your task bar and type Snipping Tool

Then click on Snipping Tool Desktop App

A small window will open up that looks like this

At this point you can either click on Mode which gives you a few options or you can just click New.  The screen will go kind of a transparent white with a large cross hair on it.  Now you can left click and drag the cross hair over the screen you want to capture.  When completed left click on File then Save As and you can give it a file name and direct it to whatever folder you want it in.  When you click Save it will save it as a picture file (jpeg).  

Now you can go and have fun making screen captures the easy way…lol.