Category Archives: Tips & Tricks

Don’t buy an HDMI cable in a physical store

Don’t buy an HDMI cable in a physical store

HDMI Cable

You have probably wondered before if that $12.99 eight foot HDMI cable your looking at in the store is worth it. Well guess what almost certainly without a doubt it is not. With the advent of the internet it is really easy to find HDMI cables for almost nothing.

Take for example this 50 Foot HDMI Cable that I bought recently that sold for $23.99. A 50 foot cable in a physical store like Walmart usually will run you well over $50+.

Yes the company you buy your cable from does matter when buying online. Generally in stores like Walmart they stock brands that don’t suck so you don’t have to worry but that is no reason for you to pay for your ignorance.

If price is not a big deal for you than think about this!

  • Ethernet over HDMI (Good luck finding this in Walmart)
  • HDMI 1.4 (In my experience the only way I can tell if a cable can do 1.4 is via an item description online not an in store box).
  • Generally anything over 50 feet is not sold in store (From experience).

With the advent of Ethernet over HDMI this means way less clutter. So if you want an advanced cable you will WANT to buy it online. Amazon pretty much is the go to website for things like this. Especially if you’re an Amazon Prime member you will want to take advantage of the 2 day shipping.

If you are still having doubts about buying cables online versus in store than go out, go to the store whichever it may be, and look at the cables prices. Compare those prices to the ones online and be amazed as you realize the prices online even with shipping cost beat the store prices.

We hope you enjoyed this MD5Live.COM article!

PCI WiFi Adapter VS USB WiFI Adapter

PCI WiFi Adapter VS USB WiFI Adapter

pci-wifi adapter
Image of a PCI-E WiFi adapter card.

 

Likely you want to enable WiFi access on your desktop or laptop without wireless adapter to eliminate the need for so many cords. Well it is good your here to learn the difference.

PCI WiFi Adapter

I’d like to start this one off by saying if your getting a wireless adapter for your laptop stop reading and just buy a USB dongle you can’t add PCI devices to a laptop.

If your wanting to add wireless to a desktop though that is a different story. PCI devices are much faster than USB devices, and can achieve much greater speeds, and allow for more stable connections. Their raw power, and ability to transfer data is much higher than a USB dongle.

While I say PCI don’t worry if all you have are PCI-E slots most if not all WiFi adapters have this port option available.

Usually these kind of adapters are best if you do a lot of bandwidth intensive task, and game a lot. Their price is not bad either considering they range from $10~$100 dollars. The more you pay the better off you are though. At $10 your probably looking at B/G wireless adapters which will max out at 54mbps which for more people is good enough, and perfectly fine for gaming or YouTube. If you need more though be ready to pay more.

Doing a quick Amazon search you can see the prices aren’t bad. PCI devices are really easy to install too. All you got to do is open the side of your computer see which slot it fits, and than identify that slot if it exist on your motherboard. These days they are usually marked on the board as well in white text. You can also look online using Google image search.

USB WiFi Adapter (Dongle)

Depending on who you go with, and what speeds your looking for these range from just a few bucks to $40+ according to Amazon. The main thing with USB Wifi Adapters is that they are convenient, pretty fast, and very portable. If your laptop’s WiFi adapter burns out a cheap USB Wifi Adapter is the best option rather than getting it repaired.

USB Adapters are great for space too. Usually people who are working on small projects with Raspberry Pi devices use these to give their devices WiFi capability.

The downside to USB WiFi adapters are signal range, and the fact they usually max out at 300mbps on the market. Anything above 300mbps starts to get expensive.

Conclusion

If your looking for convenience, or need a laptop WiFi replacement than get a USB WiFi adapter. If your using a desktop than I would recommend a PCI or PCI-E WiFi adapter card which are relativity cheap, and easy to install.

Don’t forget to bookmark us, and come back and visit at http://www.prenticenetwork.com/

If you feel like supporting us, and want one of these devices you can also follow one of the two below links for either one of the above devices.

PCI/PCI-E WiFi Adapter

USB WiFi Adapter

How to view hidden files, folders, and display extensions

How to view hidden files, folders, and display extensions

hidden files

This is actually a lot easier than you might think. Their are a lot of reasons to enable these options and view these hidden files, folders, and extensions. If you work with CODE or graphics often times you might find yourself changing extensions or looking for something you can’t find. Starting below we have a step by step guide on how to do these things.

View Hidden Files, Folders, and Extensions:

Step 1 go to control panel by clicking the start menu icon than clicking “Control Panel”. After that you will than click “Appearance and Personalization”.

control-panelStep 2 click folder options

folder-optionsStep 3 click the view tab

view-tab

Step 4 (This does not require a picture)

As you see on the above picture you can click “Show hidden files, and folders, and drives”. Once you click on that you can view all those hidden files, and folders on your computer.

View Extensions:

To view extensions you just have to uncheck “Hide extensions for know file types” as seen in the above picture. Once all these tasks are complete than you have completed your missions, and can move on to better things.

I hope this guide helped you guys, and as always check back here at http://www.dlprentice.com/ for more stories, reviews, tips, tricks, and more!

 

Computer Building Guide Tips

Computer Building Guide Tips

This will help you understand a computer so you can build one.

Video at bottom of guide.

First off http://www.newegg.com/ is like the best site (not amazon) for finding PC components to build a computer. Amazon is pretty good for ordering the components, but if your to look something up just use newegg their the best they are also nice to order from.

With this list of tips we & I think that you will most certainly have a higher chance of success, and won’t get the wrong parts to go with one another, and won’t miss anything at that!

1st! Have a budget!

When deciding on a budget you need to decide first how much can you realistically spend. $200~$400 for a run of the mill internet and streaming PC is about standard. $500~$1000 will get you a low-budget to medium budget gaming, media, and entertainment PC, and $1100~$6000 will get you a high end computer that can do everything including play the latest games for years to come. This is from a desktop ONLY reference.

A note on the budget this assumes that you are going from nothing to a whole computer. If you have an existing computer upgrades are easy, and can be found at this article LINK instead.

2nd! Decide on a brand

By “brand” we mean Intel or AMD. Intel & AMD make CPUs (Central Processing Units), which are the brains of a computer. Determine the “brain” will determine other components the computer will comprise of. Their a few key differences I’ll outline below

AMD

  • Cheaper
  • More “Bang for your buck.”
  • Generally more cores
  • APU Technology
  • “Mantel”
  • Good track record

Intel

  • Pricey
  • Generally out preforms AMD
  • Very efficient
  • Excellent track record
  • Highly efficient hyper-threading
  • Less Cores

So as you can see AMD is more for the PC builder wanting to watch their budget but still receive excellent performance. Intel is more for the enthusiast looking for maximum performance, and efficiency. I myself have a computer comprised of an AMD processor with the associated motherboard, and GPU (Graphics Processing Unit). All together (with an eBay deal I snagged) cost me around $1000~$1200 total. My computer can play all games with ease, and can perform excellently though an Intel i7 processor could probably outperform me even if only marginally.

APU Technology on the AMD side means that the CPU can handle operations that normally a graphics card would do. Mantel is AMD’s version of DirectX.

3rd! Know what makes a computer “work”

Okay so after deciding on a brand of processor you’l want you need to understand all of the components that will go together to make your final piece – a functioning computer. Below I’ll list everything you need to make a computer work.

  • Computer Case
  • Motherboard
  • CPU – Central Processing Unit
  • RAM – Random Access Memory
  • HDD – Hard Disk Drive
    • SSD – Solid State Drive (For Operating System)
  • PSU – Power Supply Unity
  • CD/DVD ROM Drive – For CDs/DVDs
  • Graphics Card

Now I’ll cover this list in more detail so you understand. The computer case is what will house everything and will generally cost around $20~$100 depending on the brand. The motherboard runs about the same as the case. The thing to considering with the motherboard is the socket type. For example my motherboard takes an AMD Processor. The AMD Socket it accepts are AM3, and AM3+. You don’t have to understand what that means just understand when looking for a processor that it needs to have the correct socket type in order to be used with your motherboard. So if the CPU your looking at says FM2+ it WILL NOT fit a motherboard that say it only accepts AM3/AM3+. Some motherboards are more versatile than others and will accept more socket types than others so be aware of this.

Don’t forget to get thermal paste with your CPU. Generally though your CPU will likely come with some already pre-applied, or if you get an aftermarket heatsink it will come with some as well. The best thermal paste is “Artic Silver”.

Intel & AMD CPU’s are not interchangeable, they won’t even fit eachother because again different sockets won’t fit eachother. If you somehow managed to get a different CPU forced into a wrong socket well you probably just broke your CPU and motherboard. So take things slow, and review your components specifications sheets always!

RAM is pretty easy to get, use, and install. All you need to know is the socket type that the motherboard takes for the RAM other than that it does not matter the company or brand. So if it says DDR3 than you can only use DDR3 RAM you can’t go backwards and you can’t go forward. Within DDR3 RAM you will likely incounter different speeds, and sizes. Just go with 2 medium cost 4 Gigabyte RAM sticks.

HDD stands for hard-disk drive, and is where all your information will be stored. Just make sure you get the right size at the right speed and your set. You could also consider an SSD to use as your main Windows Boot Drive, which won’t be covered in this guide.

PSU is your power supply. When your looking for one just make sure it gets at least 80% efficiency or is rated at least Bronze80. Otherwise generally 750~1000 Watts is good if building more on the high end. On the lower end 500 Watts should work.

You will likely want a CD/DVD drive for obvious reasons we won’t cover just get a cheap one in case you use or need to use a CD/DVD.

The graphics cards will determine how well your computer can render 3D and 2D images, and graphics. If your going for a cheap computer just about any card should work fine. If your going for a more high end computer you’l appropriately need a better graphics card. Also generally AMD is paired with RADEON Graphics Cards, and Intel is paired with Nvidia Graphics cards. Below is a list of their best cards currently at the time of writing this.

  • AMD/RADEON – 290X2 ($1000+)
  • Intel/Nvidia – GTX Titan ($1000+)

Well that about sums everything up. While this guide is full of tips, and information it does not include pictures. Though you should have a solid understanding now before making any purchases. Below is a video created by someone else other than us that shows how to assemble a computer after you have gotten your components.

http://www.prenticenetwork.com/

TOTD (Determining The Root of Hard-Drive Failure(s))

Determining The Root of Hard-Drive Failure(s)

I really wish I had a picture of my old PSU (Power Supply Unit) from my computer. Needless to say every hard-drive I threw at it died. The reason MY PSU was killing my hard drives is because it was spiking on the rails during certain operations. For example sometimes I felt like it would freeze on start-up, and hold the power button after about 10 minutes of waiting for it to start up on its own to force it to shut-down and start it up again. During this forceful shutdown process is when it killed my drive due to the PSU spiking voltages on the rails during this time.

The result of these voltage spikes was the click of death.

This resulted in the hard-drives I had no longer being recognized at all rendering them completely useless.

If you have internal hard-drives and want them to live a very long life probably the best things to do is never leave them on an extremely old power supply unit. 5 Years Max. Any longer and your running on lower efficiency equipment that might not be able to handle power fluctuations very well, and eventually “kill” your hard drive or drive(s).

I’ll create more post or expand on how to identify hard-drive failure.

TOTD (System Information)

Tip Of The Day!

How to identify critical system information without external programs on a computer running Windows.


This is fairly easy and requires no screenshots as such. First thing you will do is open your start menu go to accessories, than system tools, than click “System Information”.

After you opened “System Information” you will than have a summary of your system which could come in handy.

To find out what graphics card you have in your system though you will need to dig slightly deeper. On the left hand side expand the “Components” tab. The list will populate; now click display and this should list all the information in relation to the graphics card inside the system.

I hope you guys enjoyed this quick tip to help identify critical system information without the need to install 3rd party software!


5 ways to squeeze more space out of your Hard Drive

5 ways to squeeze more space out of your Hard Drive

We compiled a list of the 5 best ways we think you can improve the amount of space you have on your hard drive. While we can’t tell you how to physically increase your limit which is currently impossible. We can help you squeeze the most out of your HDD.

  1. My first recommendation is do some spring cleaning by download a program called CCLeaner. This excellent little program can free up literally over a hundred gigs on a computer if its that badly cluttered and even make it run faster by removing unneeded files. Beyond this also delete files you do not need any more.
  2. Online file storage yes its very useful. Well computer failure can happen at any moment so it is best to always have at least a backup of important files. Google Drive is the perfect solution. You install it sign in and all it does is creates a “Google Drive” folder that you place files into and they are synchronized to your online account. Files you delete are also removed so treat it as a normal folder, but the benefit is anything in this folder is also available from your Google Drive on your Google+ account wherever you go and you can be rest assured Google will protect your important data. Though if your trying to save disk space you can go into your settings and allow files to be uploaded to your account, but not deleted if you remove them from your Google Drive folder on your desktop or wherever you have it. 15 Gigabytes for free which is plenty of storage for all your important documents and files.
  3. Turn off system restore! Unless you really feel like you will need it system restore will eat up a GIGANTIC portion of your disk space, and if you have a bad virus come along won’t exactly help you fix the problem but more likely give you more headaches. I’ve use it in the past and was let down each time. To turn it off go to the start menu, right click my computer and go to properties. From here click system protection on the left hand column. From this screen you can see all your drives and if system restore is turned on or not. It likely is turned on for your main drive you can either reduce the disk space it is allowed to use or turn it off. I recommend turning it off. Your computer might appear to freeze after you click “OK” to turn it off, but its actually removing all the data it has accumulated. Depending on your computer this could free up a few gigs to almost twenty or more.
  4. Assuming you have more than one hard drive you can compress an entire hard drive to save disk space. This however will significantly reduce performance on this drive, and should only be used on back-up drives. You can do this by going to my computer right clicking the drive you want to compress than click properties and than click “Compress this disk drive to save space”. This will free up some space by compressing everything on the drive but as mentioned it will reduce performance on the drive as every file accessed will have to be uncompressed to use.
  5. Create RAR archives of files you want but don’t use often. If your like me every once and awhile you just create a folder called “Storage” and give it a date in the title or something. Than you throw a bunch of stuff in it and put it on your external or in the corner of your desktop or what have you. Well a great way to save disk space is to compress these specific archives. Depending on the types of files in the archive this can save you loads of space! You can download WinRAR from here. rarlab.com