Will a new Roku buffer less?

Will a new Roku buffer less?

I get a lot of questions about Roku buffering. As time progresses, buffering becomes the most annoying thing about them, for sure. But will a new Roku buffer less?

Replacing an older high-end Roku with a new low-end Roku won’t necessarily mean less buffering. But generally speaking, replacing an old Roku with a newer version from a comparable price point to the original probably will buffer less.

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Why Intel stopped making motherboards

Why Intel stopped making motherboards

For nearly two decades, Intel was a go-to brand not just for CPUs but also for motherboards. Then, in 2013, Intel pulled out of the market, ending an era. Here’s why Intel stopped making motherboards.

Intel saw motherboard production as a way to protect its brand identity more than as a profit center. Once the industry had several other companies producing motherboards that met acceptable quality standards, Intel had little reason to stay. The key to understanding Intel’s motherboard business is understanding Intel’s mindset. Intel will introduce products just to sell or protect another product, then leave that market when the product no longer needs that support.

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VGA connector doesn’t fit? Here’s why.

VGA connector doesn’t fit? Here’s why.

I dusted off my 486 the other weekend because I had some 90s nostalgia. And just like the 90s, I immediately ran into some trouble. The VGA connector didn’t fit on the 15-inch 4:3 LCD monitor I wanted to use. If your VGA connector doesn’t fit, you probably have the same problem I had.

VGA connectors used to leave out pin 9 as a key pin, to keep you from plugging the wrong kind of cable into the connector and damaging the connector. Modern VGA cables use pin 9, so if your cable doesn’t fit, check to see if the port has 14 pins or 15. A 14-pin VGA cable is almost a must-have if you travel and give presentations a lot, or are into retro computers.

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How do emulators work?

How do emulators work?

Emulation is the black art of running software designed for one computer or game system on another system that normally wouldn’t be compatible. Emulation has existed since the 1970s, but is much more practical today. Here’s how emulators work.

Strictly speaking, emulators work like a translator, sitting between hardware and software and translating between the two so the software doesn’t realize it’s running on something else. Just like a human translator, there’s overhead involved in this, but modern computers are fast enough that emulation is more practical today than it was in the 1980s, even though plenty of emulators existed even then.

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What does a Sound Blaster do?

What does a Sound Blaster do?

There was a time when the Sound Blaster, and its manufacturer, Creative Labs, were household names. Today the product is a bit marginalized, even though it’s historically very significant. What does a Sound Blaster do, and should you care?

A Sound Blaster provides audio capability for a PC, usually slightly better than what comes built into modern PCs. Before sound came standard, Sound Blaster was the most popular and best supported type of sound card.

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How long does a power supply last?

How long does a power supply last?

People ask me all the time what the most important part of a computer is, after they find out I work with computers. And I always surprise them when I say the power supply. Your computer is only as stable and reliable as the power supply. But how long does a power supply last? Of course it depends.

A good name-brand power supply can last many years. Cheap power supplies, in my experience, typically start giving you trouble within three years. Paying double for a power supply doesn’t necessarily guarantee double the life expectancy, but the odds tend to be pretty good.

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Is a 4GB 32-bit computer OK for web browsing and word processing?

Is a 4GB 32-bit computer OK for web browsing and word processing?

I got a great question last week. Is a 4GB 32-bit computer OK for simple tasks like web browsing and word processing today? Or are 32-bit computers obsolete? The answer, of course, is that it depends.

A 32-bit computer with 4 GB of RAM can handle simple computing tasks, but at the cost of speed. If you’re willing to not multitask a lot, you may be able to get by with a 32-bit machine.

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Super VGA vs XGA

Super VGA vs XGA

The distinction between Super VGA and XGA matters more when you’re talking projectors than when you’re talking monitors. In the 90s, we didn’t talk about XGA much. XGA was a semi-proprietary IBM thing, available for high-end PS/2s, while SVGA was the open standard.

On projectors, XGA means a 1024×768 display, while SuperVGA or SVGA means an 800×600 display. Vintage CRT monitors didn’t make that distinction since CRTs don’t operate at fixed resolutions. While LCD monitors care about the difference, they automatically negotiate the resolution with your computer so they hide the distinction.

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