Computers and Electronics Category of the "Hoo-Hah!" Directory: Best tips, hardware, and programs to optimize your system performance. Wizard "Merlin the Marvelous," at your service!
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Computers and Electronics
Best tips, hardware, and programs to optimize your system performance.

Buy A Customized Computer Online :   At many online computer stores, you can configure and buy a computer any way you want it. Want more memory? A pre-installed TV-Tuner card? A customized laptop computer? Visit one of these sites and you can have a customized computer delivered to your door within days, usually free of any sales tax. The Micron site has received some of the best reviews. Quantex also has a great site, and was rated #1 for customer service by Windows magazine. They have an online chat room, where you can ask questions of tech-support operators.
  To read more, click: Quantex

Buy A High-Quality Stereo At :   Crutchfield has a great site for the audio/video enthusiast. There are over a thousand products to fill your home and car A/V needs, accompanied by pictures and full descriptions. Their Online Vehicle Selector helps you find which stereos will fit your car. You'll get the best expert advice available online from this service-oriented company. Their site has glossaries, expert tips -- more than 100 articles to help you select, install and enjoy your gear. Your satisfaction is guaranteed, or you may return your purchase for a full refund.

Buy At, A Computer Superstore :   This computer software/hardware superstore was given the highest possible rating by, 4.5 stars. You'll find an excellent selection of well-described products, at low prices.

An affiliate. Buy Electronics At : has an electronics store with everything from MP3 players to home theater systems, printers to digital cameras.  They give you a 30-day money-back guarantee, with no restocking fee (same deal as their bookstore.)  Their "100% Customer Satisfaction" policy truly can't be beat!

Buy Home Automation Products At :   Smarten up your home! SmartHome is the largest seller of home automation products in America. You can wire your home for surveillance, security, audio/video control, pet control and computer networking. For example. They have a low price guarantee and offer a free color catalog.

Create A Desktop Theme For Your Computer :   A desktop theme replaces your computer's wallpaper, icons, screen saver and sounds with a coordinated theme about your favorite subject, whether it's a favorite movie or a favored outdoor scene.

Download McAfee Virus Scan Free :   You can try this program for 30 days, free. It cleans most virus infections from files, master boot sectors, partition tables, and memory, returning them to a virus-free state.

Explore Computer/Internet Helpful-Advice Sites :   At the Newbie-U site, you can get help for all your perplexing computer problems Learn how to use E-Mail, how to download freeware, and how to chat online. They offer a free Newsletter, a computing-term dictionary, free program downloads, and more.
  A great site to go after you've gotten your "Internet Legs" is Netguide, which can help everyone from beginners to experts discover how to use the Internet for maximum personal benefit.
  Another great site: NetGuide

Find A Good Local Internet Service Provider :   Why not switch to a local ISP and get better service for a lower price? has a searchable database of Internet Service Providers. You can type in your area code, and it gives you a list of providers in your area. Get the best ISP deal from this database of over 4,000 ISPs.

Get A Free "RocketBoard" Computer Keyboard : is giving away millions of high-quality keyboards, each with 18 extra customizable keys that make it easy to navigate the Web.  These "RocketKeys" connect you to sites that offer books, music, travel services, auctions, web searches, and much more.  RocketBoard will also provide Gift Certificates and Great Savings from top on-line stores.  Their "Daily Deal" key will bring special offers only for RocketBoard users.
  The RocketBoard is compatible with most Windows-based PCs and most ISPs including AOL.  The demographic data you provide will determine whether you qualify for this offer.

Get A Free "TV Tuner" To Watch TV On Your Monitor :   You really can get a free TV Tuner Card at PlanetVille.  This will allow you to receive and play TV signals on your computer, either by cable or airwave broadcasts.  The requirements:

  • You need to be in North America to receive this offer (for now...)
  • Windows 95 and Windows 98 compatible
  • Internet Explorer 3.0 or better (with ActiveX)
  • Pentium 100 MHz or better
  • At least 16 MBytes RAM
  • Video Card with hardware overlay support (even cheap cards can handle this)
  • A free PCI slot (in other words, a standard expansion slot)
  • TV signal (NTSC: cable, antenna, or satellite.)  PlanetVille is not broadcasting the signal over the Internet.
  • An Internet connection

  So what's the catch?  Nothing major: you'll be watching TV on the PlanetVille web site, which gives them access to your consciousness.  They may plan to float some ads, for example.
  Planetville says it plans to create "a new type of interactive experience. We equip consumers with PC-based TV tuner hardware and MPEG software to allow the immediate convergence of broadcast television and the Internet. Get interactive while watching TV! By providing enhanced TV viewing functionality via the Planetville Web site, we offer unique benefits and opportunities to our 'Citizens' including geographically and topically relevant information and e-commerce capabilities."

Get A Free PC!? :   An article at ZDNet's AnchorDesk gives you straight talk on whether these "free" deals are really worth it.  Major companies such as AOL and MicroSoft hope that by giving you something free today, you'll be a loyal customer in the future.  You should definitely investigate these deals, but be aware that there are a few strings attached.  Read the article to see the latest news on the best "free" deals.

Get Free Computer Tech Support Online :   The SupportHelp site lets you access a large database of technical support information for many computers and peripherals. It also has lists of Usenet groups and forums where you can get further help.
  The HelpMeNow site is a free service that offers live computer help, e-mail help and a HelpMeNow newsletter.
  At the Healthy PC site, you can get expert computer advice, tips and tricks.
  Another good site: HelpMeNow, Healthy PC

An affiliate. iconGet Free Computing/Electronics Stuff At FreeShop :   At FreeShop's Computing/Electronics freebies page, you can find lots of free stuff to interest any gadget-junkie.

Get Free, Automatic Software Updates :  can update most popular software to the most recent version available.  Their "My Updates" service searches your PC and informs you of any software that is out-of-date, then lets you decide which software you want to update.   You can then request to be notified by email whenever updates became available for your specific software.  In addition, their home page lists the Top 10 Updates, gives news of recently-posted updates from the software manufacturers, and gives advice on hardware updates.
  Out of date software can be a major cause of technical problems. converts the tedious task of updating software into an automated and painless process.  Just go to and click on "My Updates".

Give An Old Computer To Charity :   If you have an old computer collecting dust around the house, you can put it to work for a worthy cause. Many charities will take your old computer, refurbish it and donate it to a needy child. You can use the donation as a tax write-off (be sure to get a receipt).

Learn How To Program Computers :   You can use online resources to acquire or hone computer-programming skills.

Listen To C/Net Tech News Online :   Brian Cooley's 15-minute Tech News Summary is broadcast online at C/Net Radio, updated 8:00 AM, 2:00 PM PDT weekdays. You need a RealPlayer program to play it, downloadable for free at

Protect Computers From Viruses And Y2K Problems :   Three major threats to computers are power problems, the "Year 2000 bug" and computer viruses. The "Y2K bug" can cause minor glitches in most computers, and severe problems in some older ones. Power problems can cause you to lose valuable data, or even physically damage your system. A virus could potentially erase your hard disk. Learn how to prevent these problems.

Protect Your Computer From Year-2000 Problems :   Avail yourself of the latest news about the "Year 2000 Bug" news at CMPnet's Countdown to the Year 2000 page, which contains continuously updated information on this problem. Make sure your computer is problem-free here.

Protect Your Files From Damage With Online Backups :   When you back up your files online, you don't have to worry about your data being destroyed by a fire or thieves. You can back up files from any location.

Read News About Laptops And Mobile Computing :   At the Road News E-Zine (Electronic Magazine), you can learn how to travel nationally and internationally with your laptop computer. Find out how at this Web site and its I-LapTop Warrior Discussion List.

Read Product Reviews From The Gadget Guru :   Andy Pargh, "The Gadget Guru", is touted as the nation's #1 new products reporter.  It's a good site to keep up with the latest advances in electronic devices and programs.  If you'd like to find a review about a new product you saw on TV or in a newspaper, chances are that you'll find one here.

Read Technology News Online At :   CNET Computer Network is an easy-to-use site with news, audio/video, product reviews, downloads and more.
  And their news page: C/NET News

Receive The AnchorDesk Newsletter :   This is one of the most popular newsletters on the Internet.  Keep up with the latest computing news and trends by receiving Jesse Berst's concise summaries and expert analyses every business day.

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