In these days of data breeches and identity theft, counterfeit fraud seems quaintly old-fashioned. It’s not. The U.S. Government estimates there are millions of dollars of counterfeit bills in circulation. And unlike credit card fraud, there is no way for businesses to recoup the losses caused by counterfeit fraud. Continue reading
Ever wonder if there’s any difference between copy, multipurpose and inkjet paper? You know, besides the price? Well, there is. You won’t get great looking printouts if you use the wrong paper. It boils down to two factors:
- What are you printing: all text, all pictures, or a mix of both?
- What type of machine are you using: a laser copier or a little desktop inkjet?
This Office Ink Terminology Guide will show you when you should spring for laser or inkjet paper, and when you can get away with cheap copy or multipurpose paper. We’ll use the most popular office paper at On Time Supplies as examples: Universal Copy Paper UNV21200, Hammermill Inkjet Paper HAM105050 and Hammermill Laser Print Office Paper HAM104604.
When it’s time to reorder ink and toner cartridges, do you reflexively order name brand — Brother cartridges for your Brother Printer, HP ink for HP machines? Not so fast. You could save a lot of money by choosing what are known as compatible toners and ink. Of course, you’ll want to weigh the costs and the benefits. We’re here to help with our guide to OEM and compatible toner and ink. Continue reading
Need a new hard drive? Now is the time to buy. Thanks to the recent floods in Thailand, there’s going to be a major hard drive shortage. Several tech companies have been forced to suspend manufacturing amid the worst flooding in 50 years, including Western Digital, one of the world’s leading hard drive suppliers.
“Given the severity of the situation and the extensive supply constraints caused by the disruption … the effects on our industry are likely to be substantial and will extend over multiple quarters,” said Western Digital CEO John Coyne.
Thailand is the world’s second largest exporter of hard drives, so Coyne isn’t the only one sounding the alarm. “I’m virtually certain there will be an overall industry shortage of disk drives as a result of the disaster,” said Apple CEO Time Cook. Industry experts expect hard drive production to drop by about 30%.
If you know you need a new computer hard drive, get it today. OnTimeSupplies.com still has computer hard drives in stock, and offers free shipping and 1-2 day delivery.
Public speakers, teachers and office professionals need reliable presentation equipment. Office Ink shows you the best PA systems, digital projectors and other awesome gadgets to use in your next presentation or public speaking engagement. Continue reading
I’m one of those people who thinks my PC runs on magic and wishful thinking, but even I know that too many files and unused applications suck up loads of RAM and slow down my machine. I try to delete old and temporary files from time to time, but sometimes, you’ve just got to snap on the rubber gloves and do some serious deep cleaning. Knowing what is safe to delete can be hard, but that’s what patient and generous computer nerds are for — explaining PC maintenance to the rest of us.
Stephanie Vaughn Hapke is practically the queen of the computer nerds. She’s the President and CEO of GeekGirl Consulting LLC, a computer consulting company. In an article in the Huffington Post, Hapke shares some startling statistics on just how much time workers waste wading through the digital files clogging up their computers. Thankfully she also shares some tips on how to better manage your files. Check them out here.
PC World is another great resource for us overwhelmed Luddites. They feature a series of articles with step by step instructions on clearing unwanted files from your machine. In “Reduce Windows Clutter, Improve Performance,” Steve Bass explains how to cleanup your desktop. Matt Lake’s “PC Workout” offers a few easy steps that will have your computer running as smooth and as fast as it did when you bought it. Lincoln Spector uses his Answer Line column to identify the mysterious running applications listed when you hit Ctrl+Alt+Del, and tells you which you can close and which should always be running.
I get nervous futzing around with anything on my PC. That’s why I’m glad people like Hapke and publications like PC World exist. Nothing soothes an anxious technophobe like easy to understand advice from a certified computer nerd.
The Wall Street Journal has an interesting quasi-investigative piece on whether or not a big-box store can adequately fix your computer. They basically take in a bunch of computers with various maladies and provide anecdotal evidence of how well their issues are addressed:
Our first stop was Staples, where a repair for a problematic desktop dragged on for about a week and involved four visits to the store. When we first brought in the machine, which was essentially not running, we were told by one of Staples’ “EasyTechs” that it shouldn’t take long to evaluate. True to her promise, the tech got back to us that night with word they needed to do an operating system restore, and that we needed to bring in the system disk to proceed with the repair.
But after that, things went awry: A different tech said repairs were delayed because they were very busy. And when we came to pick up the supposedly fixed computer, we were told it was now on the fritz again. A day later, we got the final verdict: The computer was hopelessly broken. Although the desktop could now boot up, it still had problems shutting down, and a bad motherboard was the suspected culprit.
The article goes on to list tech tests from Office Depot, Best Buy, and a mail-order company called IResQ. Not exactly hard-hitting, and nothing new to anyone tech-savvy, but overall, a very interesting read.
When writing my last article, I was searching for a good link to printable DVDs. I noticed that they came in both DVD-R and DVD+R variations, and realized that despite having seen both terms before, I was unclear on the difference. In the event that you feel the same way, I’ve compiled the results of my research here.
DVD-R is the first recordable DVD format, developed by Pioneer in 1997. It is officially recognized by the DVD Forum, an international organization composed of hardware, software, media and content companies that use and develop the DVD and HD DVD formats. The Forum was initially known as the DVD Consortium when it was founded in 1995.
DVD+R was developed in 2002 by a competing collection of companies, which was known after-the-fact as The DVD+RW Alliance. DVD+R was made a direct competitor to DVD-R, which caused the DVD Forum to not recognize it as an official format until January of 2008.
Here’s where it gets weird: the differences between the two formats are highly technical and mostly negligible. The main difference is an incredibly small difference in how much each disc can hold, measured in GiB, or Gibibytes (a shortening of “giga binary byte”), with DVD-R claiming 4.38 GiB and DVD+R offering 4.377 GiB. Hardly a difference that matters to the average consumer. Other small differences include the way data is archived on each disc, with each format offering slightly different technology which is, again, basically invisible to the traditional user.
Since combination drives that burn and read both formats have been commercially available for years now, there is not much reason to choose one over another. DVD-R has been around longer, so if you are burning a disc and are unsure of who will be playing it, DVD-R may be the best choice as it will work in older drives (both computer and home video player) than DVD+R will. Other than that, it’s simply a case of two competing companies offering a product and the industry never setting a standard. If you’re working on a highly technical project, find out the technical details and choose the one that best suits your needs. Otherwise, either should be fine.
It’s important to note that CDs do not suffer from the same problem of nomenclature, and one CD-R will be comparable to the next. There is no such thing as a CD+R, as far as I can figure out.
The addition of RW to any of these brands (including CD-RW) means that the disc is re-writable and can be burned over with new data more than once, while regular CD-R and DVD-R (or +R) discs are write-once and need to be “finalized” (meaning no more data can be added) before they will work in most players.
Hopefully this breakdown shed a little light on an otherwise baffling subject. It was interesting to learn about the history of these products and I’ll continue to demystify office and tech terms in the future.