How long do laptops last? How long should a laptop last? Is there anything you can do to make one last longer? Those are all fair questions. Let’s dig in so you can make your laptop last as long as possible, and save yourself a lot of money in the process.
There is a secret to buying laptops and saving a fortune, as you’ll soon find out.
When you hear someone over the age of 50 talk about computers, or read old computer magazines from the 1980s, you may hear or see the phrase IBM compatible, or less commonly, PC compatible. What does IBM compatible mean? What does PC compatible mean? I’ll explain.
These phrases sound a bit odd today. After all, IBM made its last personal computer in 2003. And isn’t every PC just a PC? It wasn’t always. And that’s why we used to make a distinction.
Should I buy a used Chromebook? I asked myself that question for years. And argued with myself about it. Finally I decided to take the plunge and bought one. Here are the pros and cons to buying a used Chromebook, and what you should look out for to protect yourself.
Overall I recommend them. For less than the price of a year of Lifelock, you can do something that really will make a difference in how secure your personal finance is.
AT&T Internet uses its own residential gateway that isn’t very powerful or configurable. For a while I used an AT&T U-Verse connection as a failover for my home network, since I work from home and Spectrum outages meant I couldn’t work. So here’s how I configured an Asus dual WAN router with AT&T Internet, using AT&T U-Verse as a secondary connection, with Charter Spectrum on my primary. This will also work the same way with AT&T Fiber.
I switched back from Spectrum to AT&T exclusively. Here’s why. But you may want to set up failover between AT&T and another provider. It worked reasonably well for me, and it’ll probably work at least as well for you, too.
How often should you replace your router? That’s a harder question than how often you should change the oil in your car, or how often you should replace your hot water heater. Unlike a laptop, I can’t really predict when your router is going to break. And a router may go obsolete for me faster than it goes obsolete for you. But I can give you some guidance.
Sometimes your ISP will provide a router. They may or may not charge for this. It’s worth making a phone call to see. If they charge you some kind of a rental fee, it’s cheaper to buy your own router. If they don’t charge you, and keeping it running and maintained is their problem, not yours, you might as well take them up on the offer. I think the potential to save $100 is worth a phone call.
Leading Edge is a little-remembered 1980s brand of computers. Based out of Canton, Mass., it was a pioneer of manufacturing low-cost PCs in the Far East and importing them for sale in the United States. Leading Edge computers were tremendously successful in the mid/late 1980s because they undercut companies like Commodore in price.
I was in St. Louis near the Washington University campus when a billboard caught my eye. It was advertising apartments, and the key feature it touted was “fiber wifi.” What is fiber wifi? Isn’t that kind of like saying “metal wood?”
There’s a new vulnerability du jour in Linux called Segment Smack. The early writeups about it were really confusing, so I sorted it out and wrote it up for my employer. You can read it here.
The key takeaways, in my opinion: You’re almost guaranteed to have to reboot for this to take effect. Also, most of the writeups say there’s nothing you can do to mitigate except patch. Not quite true. I show you in the writeup how to block the attack long enough to free resources so you can patch. There’s nothing good you can do, but there is a quick fix available to you if you need it.
In the 1950s, Marx produced hard plastic 60mm figures of U.S. presidents. Louis Marx meant for them to be an educational toy or collectible, but the Marx president figurines turn out to be a great accessory for train layouts too. Here’s how I use them.
If you’re more interested in collecting them, I hope you’ll still read on. I have some tips for finding them and restoring damaged figurines.
The residential gateway that AT&T provides with its U-Verse, Fiber, and AT&T Internet packages doesn’t have a logon button or logon screen like most other routers you’re used to. That can be confusing. So here’s how to log into an AT&T router.