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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in tech jargon

Everything You Wanted to Know About Hard Disk Drives

What does a hard drive do?
Information storage is the hard drive’s main responsibility. Think the electronic version of the old office filing cabinet. Everything you keep on your computer is on a hard drive. Not just documents, emails, contacts, favorites pictures, music and videos. Your programs, your preferences, your printers, your settings, even your operating system—they’re all stored on your computer’s hard drive.

If your hard drive is damaged or fails, you can lose it all. This is the sad truth and unfortunately we still see this 10+ times per week. Which is why most smart people have a backup system. They get another hard drive and copy all their important files onto that.

 

How big of a hard drive do you need?
Everything that can be saved on a hard drive is measured in terms of its size. Text is very small, pictures are larger, music is even bigger, and video is the biggest of them all.

A hard drive is like a scale. It doesn’t know the difference between things that are on it; it only knows their size. But instead of kilograms, a hard drive measures things in terms of megabytes (MB), gigabytes (GB) and terabytes (TB.)

Roughly speaking, a megabyte is 1 million bytes, a gigabyte is 1 billion bytes, and a terabyte is 1 trillion bytes.

What does this mean for you?

If you need to transfer files between computers or a drive to back up just some of your files, you can get by with a smaller drive (such as a 500GB External Hard Drive).

If you want to back up your entire computer, or even several computers, or if you store a lot of video and audio files, you’ll want a larger drive (such as a 1TB or larger Network Attached Storeage System - NAS for short).

 

Will your drive work with a PC or a Mac?
Most Hard Drives PC Pitstop sell works with either a PC or a Mac. Some drives are already formatted to work with one or the other. But any drive can be reformatted to work with either type of computer.

IMPORTANT: If you reformat a drive, every single file on that drive is erased. So make sure you copy your files somewhere safe before you reformat.

It’s more difficult to use the same drive on both a PC and a Mac. The short answer is, they’re not really compatible. The more detailed answer is that, in a few specific circumstances, you can do a few specific things. 

What are the different types of hard drive connections?
There are four basic ways to connect your hard drive to your computer:

USB
This is the most common connection type. There’s no set-up at all. Just plug it in. The computer recognises the drive, and you’re able to read and save files almost instantly.

FireWire
Plug-and-play like USB, Firewire 800 is significantly faster, making it popular with those transferring video files.

SATA
This is the standard connection for internal hard drives. Offers the highest file transfer speeds of any format.

eSATA
A less common, high-performance connection most commonly found in PCs. An eSATA connection performs at speeds that most closely resemble an internal drive.

 

How important is hard drive speed?
When you start your computer, open a file, listen to a song, or do just about anything else, you use your hard drive. The discs inside the drive spin. The faster they spin, the more quickly your computer can find the file you want.

So a drive rated at 7,200 rpm will be faster than one rated at 5,400 rpm. What that means for your day-to-day use will vary. With external drives, you’ll hardly notice a difference. With internal drives, the difference will be slight with smaller files and applications, but will be obvious with larger files and applications - and all of this adds up.

Should you choose internal or external?
An internal drive provides built-in storage at top speeds. An external drive gives you greater flexibility and expanded storage whenever you need it.

Each choice has its benefits and drawbacks.

Internal drives have to be physically installed and configured by a PC Pitstop Trained Technician opening up your computer. But your files and programs are stored directly on your computer; they’re always there whenever you need them.

External drives are connected to your computer via plug-in cables. This lets you take files with you, transfer them to other computers, or instantly add storage to your computer or network without too many technical hurdles.

 

How much can I store?

Here are some averages to give an idea of what you can store on which size drive.

  Digital Music (MP3) Digital Photo's (JPG) Digital Video's (MP4)
500Gb 25,000 Songs 160,000 Photo's 500 Hours
1000Gb (1Tb) 50,000 Songs 320,000 Photo's 1000 Hours
2000Gb (2Tb) 100,000 Songs 640,000 Photo's 2000 Hours

 

 

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It is the year Back to the Future II predicted sneakers would lace themselves and kids would fly about on hoverboards.
Technology in 2015 technology may fall short of those lofty goals but there is still much to anticipate, from virtual reality to smart motorcycle helmets and, yes, at least one hoverboard.

We peer into the crystal ball to deliver 10 top technologies to watch next year:

  • Virtual reality headsets
  • Apple Watch
  • Windows 10
  • Hendo Hoverboard
  • Samsung Project Zero
  • Fitbit Surge
  • Skully AR-1 Motocycle Helmet
  • Google Glass Revisited
  • Jawbone Up3
  • Netflix

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/technology/gadgets/top-technology-to-watch-in-2015-from-hoverboards-to-wearable-tech-and-the-gadgets-we-really-want/story-fnda1lbo-1227159730194

 

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Posted by on in Tech News

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Posted by on in Helpful Hints

Learn the Lingo :: Computing Acronyms

i3, i5, i7: Newer types of Intel Processors, i5 is Dual Core, i7 is Quad Core
ADSL: Home broadband through the phone line, currently the fastest way to access the internet
ADSL2+: A faster version of ADSL
AGP: Accelerated Graphics Port, connection on older motherboards for graphics cards
Blu Ray Drive: Will burn and play CDs and DVDs will only play Blu Ray Discs
Blu Ray Writer: Will burn and play CDs, DVDs and Blu Ray Discs
CPU: Central Processing Unit or Processor, comes in two brands either Intel or AMD. Known as the "brain" of the computer, essential for computer to run. More often than not faster processor = faster computer.
CD Writer: Will burn and play CDs not DVDs
DDR1 DDR2 DDR3: Various types of RAM (memory)
Dual Core/Quad Core: Different types of processor, Quad core mainly used by gamers/ hardcore users.
DVD Reader/CD Burner:
Will play DVDs and burn CDs
DVD Writer: Will burn and play DVDs and CDs
DVI: A higher quality computer to monitor connection, wider than VGA plugs and often white in colour
Ethernet: Cable used to connect computer to a network or modem for broadband
GB: Gigabyte, unit of measurement for hard drive or RAM size, 1GB = 1024MB
HDD: Hard Drive Disk or Hard Drive, used to store data on a computer, size measured in gigabytes or terabytes
HDMI: High Definition Multimedia Interface, the newest kind of computer to monitor cable, High definition quality, also carries audio, is usually used to plug a computer into Plasma or LCD screens and is used in Game Consoles and Blu Ray players
IDE or PATA: Older connection on motherboards for connecting hard drives or disc drives, wide flat ribbon cable
Mb: Megabyte, unit of measurement for hard drive or RAM size
MB:
Motherboard, the main part of a computer which all other parts plug into, often the most expensive part of a computer to replace
PCI: Connection on motherboard for connection Sound Cards, USB cards, dial up modems etc
PCI Express: Connection on motherboard for Video Cards
PCIMIA or ExpressCard Slot: Slot on the side of laptops for connecting an expansion card, usually wireless or extra USB ports
RAM: Random Access Memory, necessary for computer to function More often than not more RAM = more speed; comes in 512MB, 1GB, 2GB etc
SATA: Newer connection on motherboards for connecting hard drives and DVD or Blu Ray Drives
Serial/Parallel: Older connection for printers, modems etc
SSD: Solid State Hard Drive, newest type of HDD. Contains no moving parts which avoids many of the problems of standard HDDs and runs at faster speeds
TB: Terabyte, unit of measurement for Hard Drive size, 1TB = 1024GB
USB: Universal Serial Bus, used to connect devices such as iPods, Cameras, Printers, Keyboards etc. to computers, is either USB 1.0 (older computers), USB 2.0 (modern computers) or USB 3.0 (newest computers)
VGA or D-SUB: The most basic plug for connecting a computer to a monitor, the two plugs are often blue coloured
Video Card/Graphics Card: Used to send the signal from the computer to the monitor, can be either part of the motherboard or a separate card, the more powerful the video card the more graphics intensive games you can play, plus improved performance from CADD, Video Editing and Photo Editing programs
Wireless (Wi-Fi): Used to connect computers to a modem for broadband
Wireless Broadband: Internet for people on the go using mobile phone signals and networks e.g. Telstra/Optus sticks, mobile phones or other devices

Plus there are thousands more!
We try to SPEEK NO GEEK but if your PC Pitstop Trained Technician uses language you don’t quite understand, just ask him to explain the lingo and he’ll happily talk you through it!


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