Does Your Child Need Their Own Computer For School?

Every day, our society becomes more and more dependent on technology and computers. It seems inevitable that at some point, your child will need to learn computer skills in order to produce homework, and ultimately, to enter the workforce. Knowing that your child will need these skills and that most of their higher level schooling will require computer produced documents, you will have to decide if or when to get a computer for your child.

More and more schools are beginning to provide computers at school. However, due to budget restraints, most schools only have a computer lab that is a shared resource for the entire school. Depending on your child’s situation at school, the time they receive on a computer may not be adequate to learn the skills necessary for the future.

Computer knowledge will undoubtedly be a large part of your child’s long-term future. It is this inevitability that has resulted in schools building computer classes into their curriculum. As mentioned above though, the time that most students actually receive on this vital skill are likely not sufficient. Because of this situation, as well as the dependency on the Internet for many other aspects of family life, most households already have a home computer. However, if you have a large family, and computer time is already at a premium, it might be time to consider getting a separate computer for your child or children to use for school purposes.

This decision is often not taken lightly as the expense is quite substantial and having one computer, let alone a second machine for your child is not practical. If this is the case, and you’re concerned your child is not receiving enough computer orientation at school, try to speak to their teacher and work out a time where your child can use the school computer, either before or after regular school hours. As well, many local libraries have computers available for use and are provided free of charge. Not only is this a good option but it also a great, not to mention quiet learning environment.

So if you do intend to get a computer for your child, there are a few questions you should ask yourself and a few rules you’ll want to establish before jumping right in.

Where do you want the new computer located?

You should decide where the new computer will be setup prior to purchasing it. Do you want to be able to help and supervise your child when on the computer? Will they need privacy and quiet to complete homework properly? Once you’ve decided where the computer will be, you’ll need to ask a few other questions. For example, do you have room for a new computer? Depending on available space in your home, you may need to purchase a laptop instead of a desktop. As well, you may require a new desk to house the computer on.

Will your new computer be requiring Internet access?

If you do need internet access, will you require a parental safety program to monitor access to certain sites? This question should be asked in conjunction with computer location since the best way to monitor what your child is doing is to have them in the same room as you. It would be a good practice to discuss the dangers of the Internet with your child as well to make sure they understand the concerns you have and the threats the Internet can pose. Also, you’ll need to determine how you plan to connect the computer to the Internet and whether the room you choose is wired to accommodate this. If not, you will need to ensure the computer is wireless compatible.

Be sure to set time constraints

Discuss average homework expectations and time requirements for assignments with your child’s teacher. You can base your time limitations loosely on this number. There are a number of other things on the computer that can occupy your child’s time such as games, social networking sites, and instant messaging. Once your child has completed their necessary computer time, you can allow them some flex time but be sure to enforce this time limit. If the computer was purchased for school needs, make sure that your child understands that. Any other use is a reward, not a right. Also, by enforcing these rules, you can encourage your child to pick up a book and read, or get together with friends at the park for some exercise.

Determine your family’s computer requirements

Before purchasing your new computer, discuss what specific needs you and your children will have for it. For example, if your children will be using the computer primarily for school purposes, you will need a writing program of some sort. Older children may need software to create presentations or artwork, requiring you to purchase more full-featured software programs relevant to your child’s needs.

In all likelihood, your child will require a computer during their school years. With this information, not only will you be able to determine the best way to go about selecting a proper computer to fit your needs but you’ll also be able to determine the best way to monitor online safety and maximize family time well ensuring that your child develops the computer skills they will require for the future.

Eronne Ward is a mother of three, guardian to kids in need, activist for the protection of children online and runs a children’s entertainment and education website – []

If you want some great resources to reward your child with, make sure to check out Eronne’s parenting club where you can receive access to free stuff for your kids and more helpful parenting tips – The Cackleberries Club []

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Ever Asked How to Connect a TV to a Computer? Here’s the Answer

Nearly all modern TVs (Plasma, LCD or TFT) maybe connected to your Computers (Laptops, Laptop computers or PC). This can be done almost immediately with a range of cables or connections like VGA, RGB, DVI, HDMI, S-video or RCA straight out of the box. The most common of these connections is the VGA it is probably the easiest way to connect a TV to a computer. VGA has been used to connect monitors or screens to the Central Processing Unit (CPU) of computers for many years now. If you have a Laptop it will be the cable used to connect an external monitor.

There are other ways to ask the same question when connecting Computers and TVs so if your have thought of any of the following:

o    How to connect your TV to your Computer?

o    How to connect TV to computer?

o    How to connect a TV to a computer?

o    How to connect your computer to your TV?

o    Is there anyway of connecting TV to computer?

o    How to hook up computer to TV?

Then continue reading.

If you do not posses any of the connectors mentioned so far you can buy them from any Electrical or Computer shop. With any of the cables connections you will be able to easily bridge the gap between your Laptop/Computer and TV. If your Television (TV) is not equipped with either VGA or DVI then the process will not be as straight forward but it still should not be too difficult to connect a TV to a computer. You could consider using RCA or S-video as a way to hook up computer to TV. All is not lost, so do not get down heartened if your TV does not have any of these connections. All that is needed is a VGA to TV converter which will give you either an S-video or RCA to connect to so you will be up and running in no time. Yet another way of connecting your computer to your TV is with HDMI. The only draw back is your TV must be HDMI compatible, this should not be problem as it is becoming more common these days. So to connect a TV to a computer will be as easy as pie.

Once you have all the required connections it maybe necessary to set your TVs to accept the output signal from your Laptop/Computer. You will find the instructions to achieve this within the menu of your TV, if it cannot be found then consult your TV manual for instructions. If all the connections are firmly in place and the TV is setup correctly to receive the computers signal you should see your computer screen on your TV.

If you would like to make this connection as seamless as possible you could purchase a switch to change from Computer monitor to TV screen without disconnecting any of the connections. I must stress that this is not essential so you do not have to buy one. If you feel it is needed it is available at most Computer or Electrical stores.

For those of you who are a little more adventurous you could go a little step further and tap into the audio of your Computer/Laptop. Again to accomplish this Computer connection to TV audio you might have all the connections you need. This can be done with a Mini Stereo plug/jack to a Phono lead (RCA composite audio). The Mini Stereo plug goes into the audio output normally at the back of your Computer or into the audio output of your Laptop. The Phono ends goes into the audio input of your TV. This would mean there is no connection output to your Computer or Laptop speakers to get audio output to both the Computer/Laptop speakers and your TV your need a mini plug splitter, which is self explanatory to install. You will now have both Audio and Video signals from your Computer/Laptop and your TV.

That was the basics of how to connect your TV to your Computer. To go further still you can reconfigure and or purchase more equipment to enhance your Home Entertainment System.

You have had a good start so never will you ask yourself any of the following questions again.

o    How to connect your TV to your Computer?

o    How to connect TV to computer?

o    How to connect your computer to your TV?

o    Is there anyway of connecting TV to computer?

o    How to hook up computer to TV?

o    How do you connect your computer to your TV?

If you still need more information on whether it is possible, how to connect a TV to a computer or just other configurations or how to get a better discount on a lot of these purchases then click the link.

Want more information? Click Here. If you need more information on How to connect TV to computer?

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Save Money With Preventive Computer Care

Computers are an everyday part of life in the modern world. However, computers require special attention and care in order for them to function properly and to operate safely. Here are some basic guidelines to help you maintain your computer equipment and to keep your equipment functioning for a long time. After all, keeping your equipment running will save you money.

What most people do not know or often overlook;

  • Keep computer equipment away from direct sunlight to prevent overheating.
  • Keep computer equipment away from direct exposure to water or humidity to prevent damage.
  • Keep computer equipment in a clean and dust free area.
  • Always use surge protectors to prevent electrical surge damage to your system.
  • Place an anti-static mat in the area where you are operating your computer to eliminate or prevent anti-static damage to your system.
  • Have your system’s interior cleaned at least once every year to keep it running smoothly and to protect your investment.

Prevention is the key
The most important activity that you as a computer user can do is to keep your computer as clean as possible. Your system’s user guide is the best source to find specific information about how to clean your system’s outer components; but here are some basic tips you should always follow.What you should NEVER do;

  1. NEVER eat or drink while operating your computer. Food crumbs can easily damage your computer.
  2. NEVER place an open container containing water (or any other liquid) on or near computer. Accidental spillage can damage your computer or give you an electrical shock.
  3. NEVER use your computer’s keyboard with dirty or sticky hands (wash your hands before using your computer).
  4. NEVER allow your pets near your computer. Dust and hairballs can accumulate inside the computer’s case and cause your system to overheat.

Computer maintenance
Basic computer maintenance should be part of your regular routine. Keeping your computer dust and dirt free, will guarantee that your computer will last and will give you years of reliable performance. Please consult your user’s guide for more specific maintenance practices and intervals.How to clean your computer system
Computer systems require cleaning of internal parts especially when used outside of a clean environment. However, only an authorized technician should open the computer case and clean sensitive electronic components. Consult your user guide to determine the best interval for internal cleaning and take your computer to a certified technician.

Regular cleaning of computer system’s exterior involves the following:

Monitor screen
Your computer monitor is likely to be the component that will require the most attention, because computer monitors tend to get dirty from regular use and from dust. To clean your computer monitor or LCD, you can use special chemicals design to clean computer monitors without damaging them.

To clean your computer’s screen you can use OPTECH CTR Screen Care. This special cleaner is an anti-static cleaner and coating which safely removes fingerprints and smudges from computer display screens. This cleaner also leaves the surface treated with an invisible dust repellent film, which contains an optical ingredient which fills-in minute scratches eliminating surface distortion and reducing eye fatigue.

How to apply a computer screen cleaner
First, NEVER spray the cleaner directly onto your computer. Instead, spray a lint-free cloth lightly with the computer screen cleaner, and then clean your screen. Be sure to hold the cloth away from your computer when spraying the cleaner to the cloth.

Keyboard maintenance
During everyday use, a keyboard can get pretty dirty and sticky. Dirt and other debris can fall or accumulate between the keys and cause damage or prevent the keys from functioning properly. To clean your computer’s keyboard you must use either canned air/gas or a small computer-specific vacuum cleaner. NEVER apply any cleaner or liquid directly to your keyboard. If the keys are dirty, use a lint-free cloth that has been sprayed with computer cleaner to lightly and carefully clean your computer’s keyboard. DO NOT clean your computer while the computer is operating, and avoid using your computer till the cleaner has dissipated to avoid possible damage to your equipment. Consult your user’s guide for precise instructions on your particular machine.

Case/Tower maintenance
Your computer case will require maintenance. You should remove dust and grime from your computer’s air vents and your computer’s case. YOU SHOULD NEVER spray any type of cleaner into your computer’s air vents or you could damage your system. ALWAYS use canned air/gas to clean your computer’s vents or air intakes. Canned air/gas cleaners are idea for cleaning air vents, keyboards, disk drives and computer case crevices. The exterior of your computer’s case can be cleaned with a lint-free cloth sprayed with an anti-static computer cleaner. When in doubt about how to clean your computer system, ALWAYS consult your user manual or call your system’s technical support department.

Safe and clean computing will save you money!
Following these basic computer care guidelines should help you to take good care of your computer system, and keep it running for years. Preventive maintenance will keep your system from having problems and will save you money in the long run. For specific questions about your particular system, you should ALWAYS check your user guide or contact technical support.

Jerry Rochman is the marketing director and co-owner of BestValueSupply. BestValueSupply is an online janitorial, cleaning, safety, medical, restaurant and work gloves supplier. BestValueSupply is an online leader in industrial and janitorial products at low discounted prices. Visit our site at

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Computer Running Slow? Here’s the Most Common Causes

Remember when you brought your computer home from the store and it was blazing fast?

But over time, it has gotten slower and slower; and you’re not really sure why. If evolution moves a little faster than your computer, you need to take a few steps to turn your slow computer back into the screaming machine you originally had.

Having a slow running computer is not only inconvenient, but can just about drive you insane as well. A slow computer is not only maddening; but it can be costly if you work from home as well.

The usual culprits of a slow computer are spyware, viruses, or some other Windows house cleaning issues like a bogged down registry, bad drivers, or a full hard drive. And these issues are surprisingly easy to correct.

People believe that the only way to fix a slow running computer is to take it to a repair specialist. Actually, with the right tools and the knowledge of how to use them, troubleshooting a slow computer is a lot easier than you think.

Why Is Your Computer Running Slow?

One of the main causes of a slow running computer is registry errors. The registry in a Windows PC is where Windows keeps all the options and settings for each piece of software and hardware that has been installed on your computer.

Keeping your registry clean will help keep your computer running smoothly. The registry must be routinely scanned and all the fragmented, useless bits of temporary files must be deleted in order to keep it from breaking down. All it takes is a buildup of errors and obsolete files in the registry, and your computer will slow down to a crawl.

Computer Running Slow Because of Spyware

Another reason for a slow running computer is an infestation of spyware or adware.

Malicious spyware, viruses, and other related issues can decrease computer performance and your productivity. They can not only give you a slow computer, but some of them can actually track your every move and send information back to whoever sent you the spyware, including user names and passwords.

Once your computer becomes infected with spyware it is very difficult not only to get it removed; but to keep these malicious programs from coming back. To fix a slow computer and to keep your computer safe, you need to install an anti-spyware program to work with your antivirus program.

Anyone Can Speed Up A Slow Computer

Whether it is for work, school, or play, a slow computer is time consuming, frustrating, and something you simply do not have time for. The truth is that computers do not get slower as they age; instead, a slow computer is a sign that something is literally holding your PC back and affecting its performance.

With the right tools, as well as the ability to use those tools correctly, anyone can speed up a slow running computer. Since you now know the two most common causes of what slows down a computer, you can begin to take the steps necessary to speed it back up to it’s original state.

Who else wants a lightning fast computer without having to shell out $100s at your local computer store every month?

If you computer has slowed to a crawl, then here is a quick and easy solution that will get your computer running as fast (if not even faster) than when you first brought it home…

Fix a Computer Running Slow.

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How to Get a Green Computer

Are you running a green computer? You might think that a computer doesn’t take much power. It’s just a little box. You might be surprised to learn that a desktop PC consumes 200 to 400 watts of power. Add a 30-inch monitor, and you add another 750 watts. A refrigerator only consumes around 725 watts. Surprised? Running a green computer isn’t just about power consumption. The EPA warns consumers that the short lifespan of the average computer combined with the toxic chemicals used to construct parts means that the toxic effects of computer disposal are extremely high.

80 Plus Power Supplies

The first way to run a green computer is to look for an 80 Plus compliant power supply. These power supplies deliver only the power required to run. For example, if you have a 600-watt power supply but your computer requires only 250 watts to function, an 80 Plus power supply will provide 250 watts.

Most conventional power supplies provide more power than a computer needs in order to run. This wasted energy adds up to significant electrical bills, so using an energy-efficient 80 Plus power supply saves a ton of money over the course of a year. As an added bonus, 80 Plus power supplies conform to the Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive and contain no lead. Other manufacturers are beginning to follow suit and release green power supplies, so check the market often to see what’s available.

Choose Lead-Free Components

Building a green computer is not just about choosing a green power supply. Lead and other toxic chemicals are found in nearly all computer parts manufactured in the United States, although the European Union has developed a set of regulations governing toxic materials in computer products. Intel released its first lead-free microprocessors in late 2007, followed by lead-free Ethernet adaptors. Unfortunately, many of the other manufacturers who provide computer parts to the United States have not yet followed suit, and it is still extremely difficult to build an entirely lead-free computer.

Until manufacturers make the transition to lead-free components, running a green computer means recycling the materials used in construction. Make sure you properly dispose of and recycle your lead parts. Contact your local officials or waste-management specialists to find out about recycling computers and hazardous waste disposal in your area. One great way to build a green computer is to buy refurbished or remanufactured parts and components. Instead of going to waste, those products can go to you, the consumer, at a reduced cost. You get a green computer and you save money, compared with the cost of buying new components.

Look for Green Manufacturers

With increasing calls for energy efficiency, many computer manufacturers now offer green computers with energy-efficient power supplies and energy-saving components. Computer manufacturers that advertise energy-efficient computers and laptops include Dell, Fujitsu, HP and Lenovo. Until lead-free components truly take off in the United States, the most green computer you can get is an energy-efficient model from one of these manufacturers.

Power Management

One easy way to green a computer is to use its built-in settings. Both Windows and Macintosh computers include power-management features that prompt the computer, hard drive and monitor to go into a low-energy sleep mode after a preset period of inactivity. For optimal energy efficiency, choose power-management settings of 15 minutes of inactivity or less. When you move the mouse or press any key on the computer, power-management mode is deactivated and the monitor, hard drive and computer are ready for use within a few seconds. Look for this feature on monitors as well to maximize energy savings.

Going smaller is another good way to green a computer. Laptops use significantly less energy than desktops; 40 to 50 watts compared with 200 to 400, respectively. A smaller flatscreen monitor also contributes to a green computer, since energy consumption grows rapidly with monitor size.

Look for the Energy Star

The Energy Star program run by the US government provides guidelines for power consumption of most electronics. To earn an Energy Star, a computer must offer the lowest power consumption available in sleep, standby and full-use modes. For monitors, a formula based on screen size is used to determine power consumption, but all qualifying monitors must use 2 watts of power or less in Sleep mode and 1 watt of power or less when turned off.

Looking for the Energy Star will help you choose a green computer and monitor, but you’ll find a limited number of choices available. Most of the current computers and monitors available aren’t eligible for the Energy Star, but manufacturers are working to lower power consumption. You may pay more up front for a green computer, but the investment will pay for itself over time in energy savings and the knowledge that you’re helping to care for the environment.

For more information on green computer, visit the technology section of

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