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A Baker's Dozen Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Mac

Whether you're a recent convert, ambivalent veteran or one of those hardened Apple fanboys, let us remind you: a Mac, like any other computer, needs to be maintained. No, you probably don't need anti-virus software (yet), you may never have to fiddle with registry editing, and you'll likely never need to reinstall the operating system. But you may face a kernel panic, a raft of mysterious app...

What's the Best iMac for Basic Creative Tasks?

Question: I'm finally ready to move to Mac, especially with Apple's latest iMacs. I really like the design and simplicity. But which one should I get? I was thinking I should get the base model for $1199, but the big 27-incher is pretty tempting, too, even though it's another $500. Or should I spend the extra money and get the upgraded versions of the iMac? So confusing -- I thought Apple was...

5 Essential Tips to Keep Your PC Safe

One of the most important things everyone -- even Mac users -- needs to do with a computer is to make sure it is as secure from viruses, phishing scams, and other 'net threats as possible. No matter how often you practice safe browsing habits or think twice before clicking on a random link in your e-mail, you'd be surprised how often even the most cautious of folks can be caught off guard, which...

Classic Computer Keyboards Revisited

Okay, this is our last post from that Vintage Computer Festival, we promise, but we thought there was something kind of beautiful about all those retro keyboards we saw, especially after seeing them through the lens of Matthew McMullen Smith's camera. Take a look at the gallery below and let us know if you agree. (We call first dibs on the all-turquoise and PET computer keyboards!) ...

Retro Logos From the Early Days of Computing

Last week, we showed you the biggest exhibitions we saw at the Vintage Computer Festival East 2009. Still, we also became mildly obsessed with all the logos we saw on those retro PCs. So, we asked our photographer, Matthew McMullen Smith, to shoot some close-ups of as many retro logos (and vintage fonts) as he could find on the various restored computers that were on display. If you're a...

Vintage Computers Get the 'Classic Car' Treatment at VCF East 6.0

We trekked down to the New Jersey shore a couple of weeks ago to attend the Vintage Computer Festival East 6.0, an annual gathering of serious computer enthusiasts who prepare and exhibit working, restored computers from '50s, '60s, '70s and very early '80s ("essentially nothing later than a 186," says festival organizer Evan Koblentz). The festival is run by the Mid-Atlantic Retro Computing...

What Are the Best Budget Computer Speakers Under $100?

Question: I use my computer for most of my TV and movie watching and music listening, but my machine's built-in speakers sound bloody awful. I want a set of computer speakers that sounds good whether cranked up loud or turned down soft. And I don't want to spend a fortune. Advice: The underpowered speakers built into laptops and desktops can suck the life out of any video or song. They're too...

8 Ways to Back-Up Your Computer (and Keep Your Stuff Safe)

If there's one important task computer users regularly ignore, it's backing up their data, including important items like their office documents, music, videos, and photos. Things go wrong sometimes: Computers get viruses, hard drives fail, and ex-girlfriends launch belongings out of windows, leaving you in a bind. One of the biggest reasons people forget backing up is that they don't know...

Five Things to Consider Before Buying a Computer

So you're buying a new computer? Well, you're in luck, because there's never been a better time -- they're faster, smaller, and more powerful than ever before, and they don't necessarily have to cost you an arm and a leg (in fact, plenty of decent desktops and laptops can be had for less than $500). But should you get a Mac or a PC? Laptop or desktop ? Specs-wise, what difference does...

Mac vs. PC -- Which Is for You?

Mac or PC – it's the perennial debate for anyone looking to buy a new computer (or win an argument). Passionate and valid points exist in both camps, but it ultimately boils down to your personal tastes, needs, and budget. We played around with all shapes and sizes of Macs (Mini, iMac, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro) and PCs (Gateway One desktop, Gateway M-Series laptops, Lenovo x300 laptop,...

Best Free Downloads For Your Computer

The first thing you should do when you get your new laptop is uninstall all that free trial crap that gets loaded on by the manufacturer. Six Months of Earthlink, two weeks of Adobe Photoshop Elements, McAfee Anti-Virus, one month of MusicMatch... who needs it? Not you! (Besides eventually charging you money, a lot of these programs you didn't ask for can slow down your computer.) Now that...

Top Net Threats Right Now

While it may not feel quite like the Wild West anymore, the Internet is still full of people looking to rip you off -- the anonymity and secretive nature of online dealings makes them much more prone to fraud than in the real world. We've compiled a list of the top threats to your security lurking around the Internet -- and what you can do to avoid them. The threat: The upcoming presidential...

Dell Goes Sexy With New All-in-One Computer

"Give in to the power of the tea," the male model, Hansel, whispered as he seduced the overcome reporter in the epic comedy, Zoolander. That's what we thought of as we entered Armani/Casa, an ultra-hip interior design locale in SoHo where fashionistas shop for their postmodern couches and Eastern-influenced coffee tables. It wasn't a home makeover mission that brought us to Never Neverland,...