May 25, 2007
Aloha CNET members,
I'm back in the saddle again after a week's worth of being on the Big Island of Hawaii. There are two words to describe Hawaii: lava rock--and lots of it. I'm not going to lie to you; it's tough being back to reality--especially when you recently left paradise, surrounded by beautiful landscapes, beautiful people, and the aloha island life, but it's also wonderful to be back with the community. I don't have pictures from my trip ready yet, but when I get them together, you bet I'll share them with you! Now, let's get going with John's concerns of being ripped off when sending his PC in for repair or an upgrade.
This week's topic is a good one. If you aren't intimate with your computer's innards, how does one know when you send your computer out for upgrade or repair that not only did the parts you bought get upgraded to the ones you paid for, but also the current hardware wasn't swapped out with inferior hardware? For the most part, I personally believe there are many more honest technicians out there than dishonest ones, but there are no guarantees. Go with reputable shops and ask around before deciding who to go with. And as a reminder (and this does come up quite a bit in people's responses), make sure you back up your personal data before taking it out for repair or upgrade. Better safe than sorry because you never know what can go wrong.
We received a great deal of very informative answers to John's question from our members, and as you can read, there are many methods of taking inventory of your PC's hardware, ranging from software utilities (many members recommended Belarc Advisor), taking photos, to making distinguishing marks on your hardware. Whatever the method, do what is comfortable to you. The bottom line is some inventory is better than none. I have selected a few answers for you to start from. But read through all of them because you can learn a lot about your machine's hardware, not only to prevent being ripped off, but also to get to know exactly what is inside your computer. Also, if you've ever been ripped off in this manner, please share your experience with us. Thanks for your participation! Have wonderful weekend!
Member Question of the Week
My question is: When you send your computer off to a local or
even big brand store to be upgraded, how do you know the
items you chose (like new graphics cards, RAM, motherboards,
etc...) were installed, instead of an inferior product? Also,
how can you tell that your existing hardware is still the
original and not swapped out by cheaper or different
hardware, once it is returned from the shop for
repair/upgrade? Is there something that I can do to make
sure I don't get ripped off?
Vote for the most helpful answer
Which answer below would you consider the most helpful? Click on the title to see the answer by the member. To vote, click on the button next to the answer to weigh in on the decision.
Here are the selected submissions grouped in one post.
Answer by Wolfie2k5 (Read submission)
(Note: these answers selected below are not listed in any particular order,
so please read the answer before casting your vote. Thanks!)
Answer by John.Wilkinson (Read submission)
Answer by OLD BLUE (Read submission)
Answer by tech_no_man (Read submission)
For the member whose answer was voted the
most helpful by our community, we will send
this member his or her choice of any
CNET Learning CD.
Previous week's Q&AThe votes are in! Below is the answer voted most helpful by our community to last week's question.
I've been using a point-and-shoot digital camera for years,
and I'm ready to take the next step and move on to a digital
SLR, but I really have no idea where to start. What I want in
a dSLR is the ability to capture multiple shots quickly so I
can capture an entire sequence of the subject's actions--
which requires a good automatic focus and no shutter lag. In
addition, I would also like to take landscape photos and
close-up photos of flowers using manual zoom for close and
distant subjects. I believe most SLRs will do this, right?
What I'm looking for is something for a beginner--so it won't
cost me an arm and leg (I have a $500 to $700 budget) and
isn't too fancy, enabling me to experiment and see if I want
to go any further in this new hobby. I need advice on what
brands are recommended, and what to look for and avoid in a
dSLR camera. What additional lenses are possibly needed? I
know there is no one answer that will fit all, but I would
like to see what you have to recommend for me. Thank you.
Hi Stefan, you are going to love shooting with an SLR. It really affords you a whole new world of freedom, control and creativity in shooting. In fact, it's really the difference between just taking a picture and "creating" a picture. Here's my summary of what to look for...
Congratulations to the winner!
Each week we take a look at topics discussed in the forums.
Have fun and enjoy!
More from the forums
Check out next week's question:
My paid security suite is up for renewal soon, and I'm not too sure as to whether I should renew it or not--because I hear about the many free antivirus, spyware, and firewall programs available out there. Is what I'm paying for going to do a better job of protecting my PC? I'm hesitant to believe that free software will do as good of job as a paid one or am I wrong for this belief? After all, I've always been taught that nothing is free. Please help me, as I really want to know the facts about paid versus free security programs? What benefits do I gain or lose by going free? How do these types of freely distributed security program companies make their money anyway? There has to be a catch and I would like an answer. Any help in demystifying this will help me tremendously with my decision in the next security software I pay for or receive for free. I love this newsletter, and the people who are always so helpful. Thank you!
We feature a new question every Friday, and if you have the answer for our member, you can submit it above. If your submission is picked by our members as the most helpful answer, you'll receive a free CNET Learning CD of your choice.
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