teenagers

DIY Computer Repairs

I come from a time, as many who live at the Heads do, when most blokes (and some ladies) did their own car repairs.

DIY Computer repairsHours spent lying on cold concrete floors battling with unyielding bolts, swearing and covered in grease and dirt. Fixing the Holden or Ford us gave much satisfaction and the money (sometimes) saved helped the family budget. Once chips – silicon ones, not the dead remnants of lunch at the beach – found their way into cars, things changed. Using a strobe light to set the timing and tinkering with carburettors soon became impossible when they were replaced by electronic ignition and fuel injection and we had to rely on workshops with the right gear to do the specialised work for us. Continue reading

Broadband plans explained

by Andy Turner
Coastal Computers & Design

One of the things that really gets to me is how many of my customers are either paying too much for their broadband service or are on a ‘budget’ plan that only gives them slightly faster than dialup speed and they still pay through the nose – especially when they go over their ‘free’ monthly data limit. This article aims to explain in plain english what the technical terms mean so you can make an informed choice.

1. Speed.
The speed of your broadband connection is usually always described as two numbers separated by a ‘dash’. For example 512/128. The first number is your download speed, the second your upload speed. The higher the speed of your connection – the more you can do with it and of course, the greater the cost. The still common 256/64 plans are not really true broadband – the 64k upload speed is barely faster than dial up – and if you wanted to use say, a webcam, the experience for the person viewing it would be very jerky. I recommend a minimum of a 512/128 plan or for around $10 a month more a 1500/256 plan or higher.
I worry about companies that describe their plans as ‘fast’ or ‘superfast’ – why not just make it clear what the plan speeds are rather than confusing customers. If I was cynical I’d say that maybe that is their intention… Continue reading

A Teenager-Proof PC?

by Andy Turner
Coastal Computers & Design

I’ve been there – brought up two teenage sons through the (admittedly early) computer years and had the same frustrations with them mucking up the family computer. Reading them the riot act about ‘not going to those kind of websites or else’ etc worked for a while, but they soon get into the sneaky stage where they’ll look you in the eye and say “NO Dad, I didn’t do that – honest” Yeah sure. I must have left my tools out in the rain too… Continue reading

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