USB 8x DVD+/-RW DL Notebook SATA Burner Drive for Toshiba Satellite L305 L350 L355 L555 L455 L455D L555D
Your computer has two HDMI ports, one is standard HDMI, which would be in use now with a DVI adapter to your screen, the other is for a 2nd Monitor or Display Port so that the computer can distinguish if it's the main screen with the Start Menu, or another screen (TV) over a long HDMI for viewing only, such as like for watching a movie. You'll need both the $7 adapter and the cable which should be under $50.
This could be very useful if you're needing to recover data, do a virus scan, or even clone the hard drive of computer that has an mSATA drive.
The iPhone 4s is a great choice for a smartphone, but finding an good price on one without a contract may prove to be a challenge. If you're not picky about the carrier you can get one (for $99) from MacMall below made for the Verizon network;
Macmall is a great place to buy older Apple equipment outside the regular Apple Store, and is an Authorized Apple Reseller (availability on that offer is limited to Verizon contracts, and there is not always stock). If you are patient, you can create the order and wait to see if the stock is replenished. Fortunately there are several other online stores. Using an iPhone with a local carrier such as Verizon is an option, particularly if you can purchase the phone from a reputable store with current stock, such as Amazon ($289), see below;
If you do not plan on going with a local carrier at all, you're going to want a completely "unlocked" phone. The best option currently is below from Amazon ($350) and is under the "used" section;
There are some general Windows 7 Folder options that will help you better understand what's going on with your PC's file system. These options are not new, but just a little difficult to find if you're an inexperienced user. Under any open Windows Explorer Window, select the "Organize" Menu, select "Folder and Search Options". Go to the "View" tab, in here you'll be presented with three default options that really hinder your ability to troubleshoot a computer. The first one is "Don't Show hidden files, folders, or drives". These are hidden for a reason but if you accept this and don't go immediately to delete this files when you see them, you'll discover where Windows stores many of the settings and files your programs use. It's best to "Show hidden files, folders and drives" if you are cleaning up a computer or looking to backup settings and other files.
Another option I like to uncheck is "Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)" This really helps you to be familiar with the files that are supposed to be on a properly working system drive. There are situation where you are dealing with spyware or other programs that require you to be able to see files at this level.
These first two options are probably more of a preference and a minor aid in troubleshooting. The last option you should always have unchecked is "Hide extension for known file types". It is so rediculous to allow Windows to determine what extensions to show and which ones to hide. This promotes a lot of ignorance on the part of the end user. Often times they are unaware that files still have a three letter extension as a result. The only way to learn what types of files are opened by which types of programs is to better understand the creator types that are out there, and then being able to associate those files with a particular program you have on your computer that will open them.
It's kind of the general feel that the traditional size of a desktop pc is wasteful and has been for some time, but many people still think they have to have the full size box. There actually is no good reason the size of the home PC hasn't shrunk since everything else has (laptops, tablets, phones etc.). The advantages with the old style desktop was;
1. The larger 3.5" which traditional drive desktops can fit is cheap and readily available
And below are the points about each;
1. The 2.5" drive has been used in laptops for over 10 years and meets or even exceeds the sizes for traditional 3.5" drives. As a comparison we sell a 1TB 2.5" drive for $99 and a 1TB 3.5" drive is the same price or in some cases more online. A spinning drive is completely on the way out anyway, the moving parts, heat and failure rate is too high. Solid State Drives (SSD's) have been approaching the price/GB and larger sizes of traditional spinning hard drives in the last 2 years and well worth the investment and speed increase.
2. The processor is the most oversold specification in a computer. There is no discernible difference from an i3 to an i5 to the end user in general usage. The most common reasons computers are slow is due to a failing or slow spindle speed drive. Or because of software/driver issues, not the processor, so a processor upgrade is nearly never going to help an old slow computer, new processors change socket types so it's very rare to put a "new" processor in an "old" motherboard.
3. A motherboard replacement seldom ever happens. Most computers are replaced before a motherboard or processor is ever upgraded. The renewal cycle on hardware now is so quick (three years or less) the advancements you give up by not moving to a new form factor or hardware type keeps you tied to pouring more money into an older computer, rather than seeing the desktop as a complete computing unit (commodity) of Intel processor, RAM and hard drive which are all consumable items, using up most of their value in that amount of time. So it's only useful to completely replace the computer with a modern version after that time, the labor and cost factor are just not there for component level replacement. (Example, it's $100 for a new hard drive, I don't know about anyone else, but I charge $40 to clone it and install, at $140, you're half way to a new computer if the $100 flat screen and everything else is still good.
4. While this computer does not have a CD/DVD Drive or Blue-Ray, when is the last time you bought software on CD-ROM? All major software vendors supply a downloadable version and if you still have access to a computer any DVD can be copied to a 6GB USB Flash drive which are often given away free now or are less than $15. With the push to cloud based services like DropBox, storing and buying music in iTunes and saving in iCloud and though other online services, such as streaming music from Pandora, Spotify, etc., the need for a CD/DVD drive is nonexistant, Macbook Air's and most vendors have stopped installing them. The computers I setup are cloned and/or reinstalled from a USB Flash Drive, the read time is quicker and they never scratch. If you really need a CD/DVD drive if you price them they are about $79 or less online, the same as it would cost to buy a full internal drive for a tower.
Google: USB CD/DVD Drive
There has also been a shift in how people see their computer, it's more of an entertainment device, so when you download a movie on Netflix, or stream audio, people are more and more placing the computer in the entertainment center and using the wireless mouse and keyboard to control is from a desk or comfortable spot. By just switching the input on your remote, you can change the HDMI input from your Blue Ray player, to the computer since it's native HDMI. Having HDMI out only can be a downside if you're wanting to hookup an older non DVI compliant or VGA screen. It's less than $10 for an adapter, but they are hard to find sometimes;
Google: HDMI to DVI
This computer also comes with a remote and receiver, so if you want to take it out of sleep mode and run a long cable under your house or through a wall back to your tv, you can still change inputs that way as well. 50 foot HDMI cables are relatively cheap now;
Google: 50 Foot HDMI
With most PC users moving toward a mobile platform, the people that want a desktop really only want the experience the Desktop provides, a full keyboard, full size screen and a lot of USB ports. This chassis has 4 USB ports which could be a little low depending upon how many things you want to plug in, 2 are USB 3.0 the new standard, and 2 are USB 2.0 for compatibility. You can get hubs (or port duplicators) now that will expand any port to four. I carry a 4 port hub that I get from Best Buy for $15, Big Lots even carries a decent 4 Port adapter for about $5 now, giving you 7 or more ports total.
The mobile computing revolution has been fueled by the mass production of lightweight tablets. The most prominent leader was Apple with their iPad, Google created Android tablets, phones and now a new generation of Chrome notebooks has gained traction in the market. The Barnes and Nobles Nook with it's own OS and primarily a reader has become a player in this space, while the Amazon Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD have morphed into yet another independently developed variant. What's often missing in these devices is a standard operating system across platforms, and that precisely the disadvantage and challenge they pose to business. Google Android has a good running start with great hardware compatibility. However, tablets are a personal device designed with end user ease of use in mind, which makes the proprietary operating systems they're running naturally part of that entire user experience and less about compatibility with a wide range of software, certainly Windows compatibility is not even a consideration. Windows 8 and earlier Windows based tablets are a good direction particularly for business applications, and have been around for over a decade. It's not until recent years that lightweight physical enclosures/screens and even lighter weight operating systems built around touch screen and ease of use have propelled the tablet into mainstream usage. Below are some basic Windows Based tablets that are well suited for business use, one is a Windows 8 Version, and the other is still Windows 7 which is becoming more scarce, if that's preferred.
The HP 4200 Laser printer is a high capacity printer model made for many years of service. These printers are a great fit for environments where multiple people need to print at the same time and it can handle large volumes of printouts without ever bogging down. The frequency of paper jams is very low and typically the only long term problems we've seen with this model is a routine fuser kit or "maintenance kit" requiring a replacement after thousands of printouts. You'll also need a toner cartridge on order if you go with this printer below as it does not ship with one. Should you need connectivity to multiple users in a network environment, the HP JetDirect card would be needed and any of the three shown on the resulting page would work. (Clicking "Buy" just takes you to the site where you can buy it from)
The best Windows 7 Power Option settings for a laptop will all depends on the way a person uses their laptop, but as a general rule we like to use the "full performance" setting. You may run into a situation where a laptop is still on, and everything appears normal with it, however the wireless adapter is unable to pass any network traffic.
All you may need to do is disable the wireless adapter and re-enable it. If you have a situation where this is in a large building and you're between two access points there are some potential issues that could arise. One possibility could be, is either network changes made though the day such as DHCP adjustments, wireless configuration and/or switch changes such as configurations at the router, or in buildings or re-enabling ports had some effect on an individual laptop where the wireless adapter settings just needed it to be renewed. The other possibility is, particularly if you're between access points, the laptop may have a hard time "handing off" from one access point to the other, they may even have the same SSID name on both. Different manufacturers of wireless equipment could also be cause for a minor incompatibility. A reboot may fix it as well. Something else we always check is to see if the laptop is using the maximum Energy Savings settings in Power Options, this could also have shut off power to a wireless adapter. It's our recommendation that you set laptops to "full performance" in the Power Options control panel panel, this will prevent the wireless card from being shut off. Even with full performance settings in Windows 7, click on "change plan settings", and double-check the wireless adapter settings under "change advanced power settings" each time to be sure it isn't set to shut it off (set to to "never").