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Computer and electronic shopping guide


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  • 1. Holiday Computer Shopping Guide!
  • 2. Confused by all the technological jargon and lingo? Processor??? Ram??? Optical Drive??? Wireless Network Card??? Operating System??? Hard Drive??? Wi-Fi??? 3G Network??? Gigabytes??? MP3s??? eBooks??? LCD Monitors???
  • 3.
    • Learn the basics of what to look for when purchasing computers and electronic equipment.
    • Learn how to read and decipher computer and electronic equipment ads you see in the papers.
    • Get safe online & in-store buying tips.
    • Find the right computer for you and your family.
    • Find out about the different types of computers, laptops, and other electronic gadgets.
  • 4. How can I shop safely online?
  • 5.
    • How do you tell if the Internet connections are secure?
    • Many web sites use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology to encrypt the credit card information that you send over the Internet.
    • These sites usually inform you they are using this technology.
    • You could also check if the web address on the page that asks for your credit card information begins with "https:" instead of "http:"; if so, this technology is in place.
    • You see the icon of a lock on the status bar (Microsoft Internet Explorer®).
  • 6.  
  • 7. Other Tips for Online Shopping
    • Know whom you’re dealing with.
      • Check business info. at or at
    • Know exactly what you are buying.
    • Check the privacy policy.
    • Pay with a credit card.
      • Most companies give the option to handle transactions over the phone.
    • Print records of your online transactions.
    • File a complaint at if misled or deceived.
    • If the security alerts of Internet Explorer don’t bother you, leave them turned on.
    • If you use a password to log on to your network or computer, use a different password for online orders.
  • 8. Desktops and Laptops
  • 9. Basic Computer Terms You Should Know
    • Processor
    • The RAM
    • Optical Drive
    • Network Cards
    • Operating Systems
    • Hard Drives
    • Gigabytes
    • RPM
  • 10. Processors
    • The “brain” of the computer.
    • Speed, measured in GHz (gigahertz), determines how quickly it can process information. The higher the speed, the faster the computer will perform.
    • Most computer advisors will recommend that you have a dual-core processor.
    • Processors with multiple cores can process more data at the same time.
    • The lower number of processors the longer the battery life on laptops.
    • Intel and AMD are the dominant manufacturers of processors.
  • 11. Which Processor is right for me?
    • Single Core Processors ( Celeron, Sempron, Atom )
      • Low cost processors best for general web surfing and email. Ideal for netbooks.
    • Dual Core Processors ( Pentium, Core 2 Duo, Phenom )
      • If you plan to use your desktop or laptop for entertainment like watching videos or playing games.
    • High End Processors ( Intel Core i7, Phenom II )
      • If you're a hard-core gamer or plan to edit high-definition video.
      • In conclusion: Make note of the type and speed of the processor and determine what is right for you.
  • 12. RAM (Computer Memory)
    • Used to temporarily store data while in operation
    • Memory is measured in GB ( Gigabytes)
    • Computers with more memory tend to be faster than those with less
    • It is advised to have at least 1 GB of RAM but most computers come with 3 GB
    • DDR2 (Double Data Rate) is the standard in memory interface.
  • 13. Optical Drive
    • Allows you to read and write CDs and DVDs.
    • A DVD can hold about 4 GB of data.
    • Newer formats like Blu-Ray and HD-DVD that allow you to burn and watch high definition videos or store even more data.
    • A Blu-Ray disk can hold a whopping 25 GB in a single layer and 50 GB if the disk is dual layered.
    • If you enjoy watching movies on your PC. Make sure you get a Blu-Ray compatible drive.
  • 14. Network and Wireless Cards
    • Network Cards allow you to access the Internet.
      • Your computer should have an Ethernet port on it. This port will allow you to physically connect to the internet or your internal network by plugging it into your router / modem.
      • Speed is measured in megabits.
    • Wireless Cards can access the Internet without a wire connecting you to a router/modem.
      • Wireless cards are rated by their speed.
      • The lowest speed starts from A and goes up through N. You will want to buy a computer with a 802.11G or 802.11N wireless connection.
  • 15. Operating Systems
    • This is the software that makes your computer go.
    • There are two main types of operating software: Windows and Macintosh (also known as “Mac”).
    • The most updated operating systems are Windows 7 and Snow Leopard, respectively.
  • 16. Hard Drive
    • Where your programs, documents, music, photos, and videos are stored.
    • Size measured in gigabytes (GB) and commonly range from 160 to 1,000GB.
    • Speed is equally important and is measured in RPMs (revolutions per minute).
    • For desktops, make sure it has a 7,200RPM hard drive. For laptops, make sure it has a 5,400RPM hard drive.
  • 17. Basic Computer Components
    • Keyboard
    • Mouse
    • Speakers
    • Monitors
      • CRT Monitors, LCD Monitors, Touchscreen
    • Printers
    • Scanners
    • Webcams
  • 18. There are 4 main types of desktops
    • All-in-One Computers
    • Compact Computers
    • Full Size Computers
    • Gaming Computers
  • 19. All-in-One Prices range from $550 to over $3000.
  • 20. Compact or Slim Desktops Prices range from $300 to over $1400.
  • 21. Full Size Computers Prices range from $250 to over $1500.
  • 22. Gaming Computers Prices range from $800 to $3000. Owners often build computers with new parts over the years.
  • 23. Laptops
    • The only main difference remains portability, size, and price.
    • Has a smaller keyboard and monitor. It can be more accident prone and therefore more expensive to upkeep.
    • Laptops come in a variety of different sizes.
    • Laptops are becoming more and more powerful and functional.
  • 24. 12-13 INCHES 14-16 INCHES 17-18 INCHES MacBook Pro Comes in 13, 15, and 17 inch
  • 25. Netbooks
    • Inexpensive and portable with screens that range from 5 to 12 inches.
    • Weighing in at around 3 lbs.
    • Price ranges from $200-$500.
    • Mostly used for Internet use and light word processing.
    • Does not play CDs or DVDs.
  • 26.  
  • 27. Laptop or Desktop?
    • Laptop
    • Portability
    • Obtrusive-free
    • Less Wires
    • Energy efficient
    • Great for students on the go.
    • Desktop
    • Affordable
    • Easier to upgrade
    • More memory and space
    • Multimedia system
    • Essential for gamers or movie lovers.
  • 28. Refurbished Computers
    • Refurbishment is the process of maintenance or major repair of an item.
    • Refurbished items may have scratches, dents or other forms of cosmetic damage which do not affect the performance of the unit.
    • Stores and manufactures sell these computers at a discounted price. Some as much as half the price.
    • Many refurbished computers do come with some type of warranty as well as a limited service contract.
    • Buyer Beware. DO YOUR RESEARCH!
  • 29. Other Electronic Gadgets
    • Portable Music players
      • IPods, Zune, MP3 players
    • Tablets
      • IPads, Tablet PC, Galaxy S Pad
    • eReaders
      • Nook, Kindle, Sony eReader)
    • Video Game Systems
      • Playstation 3, Ninteno Wii, X-box 360
  • 30. Portable Music Players
    • Come in a range of shapes and sizes, use different types of memory, and support different formats.
    • Most support MP3 files.
    • Not just for music, many can play audio books and even videos.
    • Price usually depends how much you can store on device. It can range from 4gb to 160gb.
    • For every 5gb you get about 1000 songs. So 160gb is equal to about 40,000 songs!
  • 31. Apple iPod Touch (32GB) Zune HD (32GB) SanDisk Sansa Clip+ (4GB) Sony X-Series Walkman (16GB) Apple iPod Nano 2010 (8GB)
  • 32. Tablets
    • A complete computer contained entirely in a flat touch screen.
    • Uses a stylus, digital pen, or fingertip as the primary input device instead of a keyboard or mouse .
    • Mostly used for surfing the web, viewing pictures and videos, light gaming, and reading eBooks, magazines, and newspapers.
    • Relatively new to the market, therefore, prices are high and bugs are still being worked out.
  • 33. Samsung Galaxy Tab As low as $600 Apple IPad As low as $499 - $829 HP Slate Price TBD
  • 34. eReaders
    • Primarily for the purpose of reading digital books and periodicals and uses e-ink technology to display content to readers.
    • Capable of reading outdoors.
    • Different eReaders open different files. Not all ebooks are compatible with all eReaders.
    • Most eReaders allow access to the Internet through Wi-Fi or the 3G network.
    • Download audio books, eBooks, and other downloadable media for your device from the Chicago Public Library website for free!
  • 35. Amazon Kindle $129-$329 Sony eReader $179-$299 Barnes and Noble Nook $149-$249
  • 36. Video Game Systems
    • New advancements over the years.
    • Play and communicate online via Wi-Fi.
    • Store music, video, and pictures on your Video Game System’s hard drive.
    • Motion sensor technology allows for more active interaction.
    • Playstation 3 allows you to view Blu-Ray DVDs.
  • 37. Playstation 3 $299 X-Box 360 $299 Nintendo Wii $199
  • 38. Have fun shopping!