Some of you may be new to the Internet and computers. Some of you may have used the Internet for a long time, but just don’t know what’s out there. Some of you might have used computers and Internet for a long time so most of this might seem common sense to you, but who knows, you might pick up some new tricks.
I have decided to exclude all information that would lead to illegal actions, so you will not find anything about how get the best torrents or how to find anything you want on rapidshare.com or how to get pretty much anything on the planet, on the net. Sorry, I could go on for hours and give you really easy ways to find anything you want and cheat the system, but I just think those things are privileged information that come from trading my social life as a pre-teen/teen for hours in front of a computer, so I will not share those things. I lost my virginity on my wedding night ok? Enough said.
Now, where do we begin? Well first let me brainstorm for a second, and come up with a list of things, so I don’t leave out any tidbits…(currently brainstorming)…OK! Got them. I will talk about how to do the following things: Efficient Googling, Identify Any Song, Source Any Movie Quote, Find The Lowest Price On Anything, Avoiding Boredom, Efficient eBaying, How To Download Internet Videos, Recommended Hardware Brands, Smart Computer Shopping
1 – Efficient Googling:
So, you know what you want to find, and that you want to use Google to find it. Well, the trick is instructing Google on how to narrow it down to exactly what you like. The plus and minus symbol help us do that very efficiently. For example, let’s say you wanted to search for all the web-pages talking about Jacque Cousteau, but ony wanted to see the ones that talked about him as a captain and as a diver on his New Zealand expedition. Well, most soccer moms would type in…
- jacque cousteau captain diver new zealand
Well, if I do that, I get 2,190 results. I will get every page that Google “thinks” I might like to see. Do you want to sift through that? No thanks. So, to ensure that I see only the pages that have ”all” of those words, then my search must look like this…
+”jacque cousteau” +captain +diver +”new zealand”
Plus signs mean “and”, which narrows this search down to 58 results. So this search will give us every page containing all of those words. Now, let’s say that we have done this search once before and gotten some hits from a magazine site called, Tribute Magazine, that we read and found were lacking in accurate content. This would be our new search to eliminate those results…
+”jacque cousteau” +captain +diver +”new zealand” -tribute
Minus signs mean “not,” which narrows this search down to under 50 results, which is pretty low, and gives us more pertinent information on our topic, and also saves us great amount of research time.
NOTE: You do not have to put quotations around individual words, only multiple words you want to be searched as a unified phrase.
2 - Identifying Any Song:
So, you heard a song that you really liked in a department store, or perhaps on the radio, and they didn’t tell you the title when it ended…Well, you could call that horrible ’787′ radio station phone number, just to listen to it ring forever, then have them finally pick up and yell their call-sign in your ear and ask you what you want. Then you gotta look like a dufus and say “Hey, that song you played 3 hours ago that went like this ‘Do do do dooooo dee dooo.’ They say ‘I don’t know, you can see our play-list on our website.’ So you go to their website ’1071kgsrtherockyeah.com’ or something like that, and find out they only show the last 10 songs played…-OR-why not try Google! Google is our friend.
OK, so you probably remember like two or three words in a row at least from like the chorus or something right? Come on admit it, you’ve been repeating it out loud for the last 3 hours and it’s annoying everyone around you. I bet you even had one person ask you if you knew any more words to the song, didn’t ya? Ok, anyway, so you know these three measly words, and want the rest of the song. Mark my words…even after you hear the whole song, you will probably still just hum those three same words anyway. Alright, so on to the Google search. I heard this song the other day that I liked, but only heard a clip of it, because it was used in a bumper on a radio show and I never heard the rest, so these are the only two phrases that I heard the lead singer say…”show you something different” and “stop you drifting.” So I go to Google and type my search in like this….
“show you something different” +”stop you drifting” +lyrics
Why did I add ”lyrics”? Well, any site that has that song is most likely a lyrics site, or at least someone who posted the lyrics. Since the word “lyrics” is very commonly used and no other word is used in it’s place in common speech I can be sure to find my result in the first few hits using this method. Bingo! My results show that the song is called “History” by a band named “Thirteen Senses.” See, now you don’t have to go to Yahoo! Answers and try to illicit a coherent response from 12-18yr old kids who pretty much know nothing, so the entire Yahoo! Answers site is kind of ironic…anyway, on to our next subject!
3 - Source Any Movie Quote:
So, did you find yourself in a group of friends, and hear them quoting a movie you did not recognize? Well, fear no more! You can use Google to find out what movie that was, then go back and start quoting it with them. Of course by then they will probably be on to another subject, and look at your strange, but whatever! Alright, this is very similar to the above method of searching for song lyrics, except that you are going to replace “lyrics” by “movie.” So, let’s say I hear “The schnozberries taste like schnozberries.” OK, well we all know that is Willy Wonka, but if I didn’t know, this is how I would search on Google…
+”The schnozberries taste like schnozberries” +movie
And what do you know! The first search result shows Willy Wonka. Now, with less popular movies this will be more difficult, but you can always add other evaluations to your search like if it was a country-western movie add +”western” to your search. You’ll find it. If I have learned one thing from using Google, it is that if you have something to find, somebody somewhere has made already made a page about it. It;s true, really…I did a search for “picklebird” the other day. I got over 4,000 results. I have also learned that the Internet is full of knowledge and useless information…which accounts for about 1% of what’s on the net. Come on…4,000 results for “picklebird?” Gimme a break.
4 - Find The Lowest Price On Anything:
Some geeks and nerds will tell me I am wrong, that there are better sites to search for prices, but I have found the Yahoo Shopping portal to pretty much find all the pricing I need. Of course, you have to be careful about who you buy from, and make sure never to place an order from an unknown dealer before you check out their reviews on “Epinions.com.” Alrightly then, so you want to buy a cool gadget that you saw at the store for $299 but don’t want to pay over $150. Well, you are in luck. These two websites will help you find the lowest price out there on anything. Computers, towels, furniture, games, tools, etc… There used to be a site called MySimon.com, but I don’t use them anymore because they were being paid by big retail stores to show their results as much as possible, and they also would not show results that were not “competitive” in nature (i.e. sites that offered the item much lower than the big wigs).
So I have two sites I use now. Primarily I use “shop.yahoo.com,” but if I need to find prices on a computer item, I will use “streetprices.com.” They tend to search more thoroughly when it comes to electronics/computers.
5 - Avoiding Boredom:
Boredom. This seems to be a problem for many people in cubicle jobs who have somehow found a way to work a solid 15 minutes each week. Wow…that’s a lot of hard work! How did you do it? OK, enough making fun of 50% of the nation’s workforce. You have probably searched on Google for “I’m bored” or “Man, I’m bored!” or “Dadgum, I’m bored, help!” Well, help has arrived. Here’s how to avoid boredom…ready for the secret? OK….GET BACK TO WORK. No, just kidding, alright…here are a couple sites that might help with your dilemma. I know it is a horrible, and terrible problem to have, I feel sorry for you, really I do. Let me know if you find a cure to your lazines…*cough* I mean, boredom.
Play Fun Games: http://gamescene.com/
Watch TV and Movies 24/7: http://ninjavideo.net/
6 - Efficient eBaying:
OK, one of my fortés! (Yes, I had to go to Google, search for ”forte” and find a page that had it with an accent on the “e”, then come back here and copy/paste it into my blog post, so I looked educated…so what are you gonna do about it?!). OK, there are no specific things you can do here because it varies from item to item, so this is going to be brief, but this is the on thing to remember. Sell your product! I know that sounds stupid and obvious, but what it means is that no matter what item you are selling at the time, you need to be all up in that yo! OK, now in English…If I am selling a blue pen, would I just post “Blue Pen,” in the description then hope I get bids? Sure, go ahead, only if you want to pay eBay $1 for a listing fee and not make any money off your item. No of course not. A blue pen has more going for it than meets the eye…at least that’s what you have to think up. First your pen’s gotta have a name…otherwise it’s just like all the rest. My eBay ad for a blue pen might look like this…
The Pelican Souvenir pen’s composure is born of strength in character with an indomitable spirit. It is timelessly elegant and compellingly simple; a classic. Precision technology is married to contemporary clarity for the peace of mind to bring ideas to light. The Pelican Souvenir pen is an example of an exclusive and supreme fine writing instrument that will last through the ages.
Now, if that’s not the biggest load of BS since the Nazi’s propaganda messages, then I don’t know what is. But guess what…it not only gives your eBay post some substance, but also a name for the pen; make it personal. You’ve got to silver-tongue people on eBay if you are going to make a cent. You won’t get the smart shoppers like me who type in a part number instead of an intuitive search, and sort by price low to high and never go past the first page, but you might suck in an old cat lady or two. You know, the ones that wear rings on every finger (that they bought on eBay), have a dozen cats (that they also probably got on eBay), and talk in a raspy voice from the four packs a day they smoke? Yeah, they have computers too you know. Next subject!
7 - How To Download Internet Videos:
OK, I cannot take credit for this one, except point you in the right direction, so here it goes. There is a website that I found a while back that can extract videos from most common video sites. You just paste in the URL/link to the video you want to download, and it will give you a high-quality MP4 file. Playable on most devices, including iPhones and iPods.
As of right now it works with YouTube, Metacafe, Dailymotion, iFilm and a few more. Just go to the following site…
…And paste the link of your video in the box, then click “Download”. It will give you the option of downloading a low quality version or a high quality version. Pretty cool!
8 - Recommended Hardware Brands:
Ok, here’s the deal. Believe it or not, there are some brands of devices that work better than other brands of those same devices. No way, really?! I know, wild stuff huh? What I am talking about here is mainly computer parts like DVD burners, audio/video cards, etc…some just work way better than others. For example…if you buy a Yugo and a Honda, which do you think will last longer? Well, in the computer hardware world there are no inbetweens. There is no “decent” DVD Burner. They either bite and spit out coasters over and over or they never screw up. (A coaster is the nickname for a mis-burned CD or DVD..what are they good for now except as coasters? However, I never liked that terminology because there’s a hole in the middle, so as a coaster it would do a pretty crappy job keeping the condensation from hitting your table, but kids, that’s an entirely different blog posting.)
Here are the brands/companies that I recommend for each category:
CPU: Intel (Core2Duo or newer)
RAM/Memory:OCZ, Corsair, Cucial, Samsung
Hard Drive (internal): Seagate
Hard Drive (external): Maxtor
DVD Burners: Pioneer (DVR-110 or newer)
Audio Card: Creative Labs
Video Card: ATI or Nvidia (benchmarks show same performance in both, so stop fighting about it!)
Printers: Epson (HP’s are fine if you are not shooting professional photos)
Amateur Photography: Canon or Nikon
Professional Photography (DSLR): Canon
DVCProHD Video Cameras (True HD 100mbps): Panasonic
HDV Video Cameras (compressed HD 25mbps): Canon
Factory Laptops: Lenovo, Acer, Apple
Factory Desktops: Shuttle, Apple (iMac)
LCD Screens: Apple, Samsung
Now, there’s more categories that I cannot think of, but these are the main ones when buying individual parts that I would use. Please, don’t comment and say something like “But I LOVE my eMachine!!!”…#1 – I am sure it runs fine, and all, #2 – eww, eMachine?
9 - Smart Computer Shopping:
Well, building on that last segment, I would say this one goes hand in hand. Let me know if you find a computer maker that actually uses all those parts in their factory builds. The closest I have found is Apple, which is why I have run Windows XP on my last two iMacs since 2007. My Mac has a 5GB Mac OS partition, and a 245GB Windows partition. Sure I can boot into Mac OS if I want, but why? To make funny videos with the built in cam? Sorry, you only get 5GB devoted to that one feature that you do well, and that’s generous…ok ok, it was the smallest size it would let me make it, I was trying to be nice. Now, on to the important stuff.
When buying a new computer forget about all the things you think you want. You most likely have no clue what you want, and will end up buying a piece of junk that you are unhappy with 3 months down the road. Listen to Uncle Connor. Well, that sounds creepy. Just, take this advice. The things you really want to make sure of, when buying a new computer, is that you know the terminology. Ladies…have you ever walked into a mechanic shop, and re-enacted the noise that your car is making, while all the employees give you that “This woman doesn’t know anything about cars.” (For the record, I am a guy who does that, makes the noise for them and all, but I do it on the phone, so when I go in I can tell them exactly what they need to fix) Well, it’s the same way with computers, you have to be on your guard. This one applies to everyone. Most people have no clue what ‘cache’ is or why it is important, or memory ‘latency timings,’ but don’t worry. I won’t educate you on them, because it would take a few more pages, but I will tell you what you need to look for. Just print this list out and take it with you. Keep in mind, this is a good set of recommendations for current computer technology, but this list was obsolete a year ago, LOL.
Here’s what to ask the employee in the computer section (who 9 times out of 10 knows less than you do, but it’s worth a shot anyway):
- Does this computer have an Intel Core2Duo, or faster Intel branded processor? (sorry, Intel pulled way ahead of AMD in the last 2 years; I wouldn’t buy an AMD based computer right now)
- Does this computer have 2MB cache per core (CPC) or higher? (Make sure they hear “per core”, this is as important to your computer’s speed as the GHz speed itself. I have seen a 2.4GHz/4MB CPC beat out a 3.6GHz/2MB CPC processor time and time again doing the same task)
- Does this computer have at least 1GB of RAM/Memory? (The more the merrier. I won’t operate on less than 2GB personally)
- Does the video card have at least 128mb RAM? (I recommend 512, but 256MB is fine, 128MB is more than enough for standard home use)
- Does this computer come with a DVD Burner?(If they say it comes with a Blu-Ray or DVD combo drive, make sure it can burnDVDs. Chances are it won’t burn Blu-Ray, which is fine, unless you specifically want that, but I would recommend buying a Blu-Ray burner separate – will be cheaper for you.)
- Does this computer come with an official Microsoft XP/Vista disc, or just Restore discs/partitions? (This is important, because the first thing you wanna do is take it home, and wipe it! – Computers come with a bunch of preloaded junk trials these days that slow it down. You don’t want to start with a slower computer than it really is. Having the original XP/Vista disc(s) will let you reinstall Windows from scratch. Of course this is optional, some people want to leave them how they come.)
- Is the monitor’s native resolution at least 1600×1200 or higher? (If buying a laptop, desktop with built-in-monitor, or monitor separately – If the monitor is under 17″, then you do not need to ask this)
- What kind of warranty does this come with? (If you know nothing about computers, then get a warranty. If you are very computer savvy then don’t get one; because they are a waste of money in that case, since most problems take 10minutes to fix – yes, even boot problems. I had a corrupted bootsector the other day. I couldn’t even get into Windows. This is where having the OS CD (XP or Vista) comes in handy…took me 10 minutes to fix, and that’s the most serious kind or error you can get.) Call me if you get stuck
Tags: computer hardware, computer tips, computer tips and tricks, computer tricks, computers, find a song, google, google efficiently, googling, help, how to, how to google, internet, internet help, lyrics, movie quotes, search for songs, the art of googling