Laptop users beginners page

 

Discussion of what, how & why to backup your computer at the final spring 2017 club meeting.  

My philosophy for backing up my data.  Based on some true stories and this is one of them:

  My friend Eileen uses her computer for banking, E-mail taxes & managing the family business using a tower/desktop computer that stays down here.  Most of her data is up north but after being in Florida for 5 months, she also creates important documents here.   One day the computer would not work.  The next day it did.  This cycle repeated itself.  A sign that the hard drive was failing. With a stroke of luck I was able to help her to a backup of her data. We used a 64GB flash drive.

 

  She had some choices to make at this point.

1.  Replace the hard drive with a new one?  Click here to read what's involved.

2.  Buy a new computer?  As the failing computer was 5+ years old, she opted to buy a new Windows 10 computer.  What did she buy and why?  Click here for some discussion.

3.  She could have switched from Windows to Apple.  Coming Soon:   Compare Windows to Apple:  ARTICLE will be posted winter 2019

read the rest of the article.

return to "choices for backing up your information"  

Need to purchase a new laptop battery? 

I recently purchased 2 different laptop batteries for my 2 laptops.  If you plan to replace your laptop battery then continue reading.  When mine were delivered an instruction sheet was enclosed, giving some pointers for how to achieve optimum battery performance. 

What make of battery do I buy? 

 

I am not a battery expert or claim to be one.  I find so many choices.  It an be over whelming.  I have some rules I try to follow for what to buy and where.  

RULE #1  RULE #2  RULE #3  RULE #4  

However, price and where to buy are not the only considerations.  One laptop is 7 years old.  Do I really want to put the most expensive battery in it? 

 

Do I plan to sell the laptop?  Perhaps a cheap battery for $15 is best?  

Battery usage is another factor.  How often is the laptop run on battery power only?  Is it used in the car?  At the airport?  How long do I expect the battery charge to last?  

Batteries are built with "cells".  Much like a golf cart battery, or any rechargeable battery, more cells typically means more powerful & longer lasting batteries.  My Lenovo has 6 standard cells as do many laptops.  You may find a 9 cell replacement battery, expect to pay more and expect it to last longer.  

How can I make my computer last longer on a single battery charge?   Click to see my tips for longer battery life.

INSTALLATION  

Condition your battery! 

Lastly, I make the assumption that buying online is cheaper than going to a brick & mortar site.  RULE #5 is not as much a rule as an approach to buying anything online. See my TIPS for buying online.  

 

However if you are more comfortable doing your shopping "in person", a simple google search for "battery stores in Fort Myers Florida" shows 5 stores in the local area.  **Note**  all these stores have online shopping available. 

 

Batteries Part Two:

 

If you use your laptop mostly when it is plugged into an outlet, battery life is not an issue for you.  You get what you get.  However, if you travel frequently and take your laptop with you, longer life could be better for you. 

How do you know what to buy? 

Some manufacturers give you a guide for the hourly life of their batteries in the computers they make.  Basically, in this case you probably won't get what you pay for.  Perhaps a fair comparison is MPG.  The auto maker brags "this car gets 38mpg...your mileage may vary".  This is mostly true with laptop computers.

Ask your friends.  Read the fine print.  If one laptop maker claims 8 hours of battery life and another claims 2, search on the internet.  Read what users are saying.  Check as many places a you can.  Try to confirm what you are being told. 

Check one of these to watch a short video of more beginner tips:

 

                             Why Backup my computer?

​​

You've just bought a new computer, iPad or other device (referred to an Windows or IOS below), you are probably anxious to start using it.  You tell yourself "it's new and unlikely to fail right now so I'll worry about backups later".  There's a word for that, care to guess? 

At the last JB computer club meeting several options were discussed on how to backup your computer.  

I'm not going to try to convince you in this article to take a backup. If you choose to, read on. If you lean more towards that unmentionable word from above, send me an e-mail and I'll put you in touch will 20 or 30 of my friends that have personal experience with crashing computers and loosing their data.

Decision #1:  Choose a backup method that works for you.

What are my choices?   Quite a few, actually.  Some cheap, some not so cheap.  If you have read any of my other articles, you know I am a believer in 'you get what you pay for'.  In this case however, a little effort on your part makes a cheap solution viable and every bit as good as an expensive solution.

 

High cost option:

 

This requires you to pay money to a website and they will store a copy of your data on their computer (widely known as the "cloud").  I make no recommendations but offer the following website as a starting place to read about "The Best Online Backup Services of 2018".  

Low cost option:

Using this option requires the most intervention on your part.  You decide what to backup and when.  With my help, this is what my friend Eileen did.  Click here to read the 'step by step' instructions.