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The Computer Log # 10 for January 7, 2010

Christmas and New Year’s are over and we all are thinking of all the new goodies we received under the tree. Well several years ago I purchased my laptop with a five-year warranty, and I am glad I did. Because I use the laptop quite a bit and it is on 24/7, it needs to go back for hardware repair on the average of once a year. I keep the original hard drive and memory in a specially marked static bag for just this reason. I put in a larger hard drive, and more memory into the computer, which will not violate warranty, but it keeps my data safe from prying eyes and my customer info safe. I will say that this purchase of an extended warranty paid off for me. I figure when the warranty is off, the computer needs replacing. I got an Avertec 7000 from Sam’s Club, and usually I do not get an extended warranty for stuff I get from them, but they had a special on an extended warranty. I will not get an extended warranty, except for laptops, because I have seen what happens when a hardware failure hits a laptop and usually that means big bucks to repair. Hard drives you expect that in a laptop, but motherboards cost as much as the computer did on sale. Brand and cost of the laptop will also determine if you get an extended warranty. Having a backup computer is helpful too! Thanks Mom!

Today I am going to talk about a basic need we Americans love, and that is TV, and with the threat of Time Warner dropping the Fox channels off the cable line, we all wonder what we should do. Well that is easy except in the Jamestown Area Triangle. A fair to good quality VHF-UHF TV antenna with a good amplifier will get your networks in with little problems. I have a small TV antenna here at my shop pointed at Erie and I get all the network channels with little problems; I will fix that in the spring. With the Digital switchover complete, an inexpensive converter box for the older TVs, and if your TV is newer, no more than 1-2 years old or so you should get these digital channels. I get 12-1, -2, -3, 24-1, 35-1, -2, -3, 54-1, -2, -3, 66-1 and 26-1 and -2. I do not get Buffalo direct with my existing antenna; I get them via satellite. My Erie, Pa. off-air channels are crystal clear on my TV set and in Hi-Def, I cannot see a difference in network broadcast on satellite and off-air.

The big issue in the Digital TV age, you either get the channel, or you do not get the channel, there is little in-between in the issue, and because the TV stations are not transmitting them at as high a power, so some users in the south county area may not get them at all even if the FCC map says you will. If you are one of them, contact your Senator or Representative and tell him you do not get it especially if you did before. I will not get into the underlying issues with this, you would get bored quickly, but money seems to always come into play.

Today I will include the free Web site about what you should get on an Outside TV antenna;, and if you want to see the background about DTV.

Franklin S Werren is a computer technician and runs Chautauqua Lake Hosting and Franks Radio in Sherman NY. And can be found on the web at and via e-mail at or and yes I do play the Bagpipes.

Disclaimer: “Franklin S Werren” or the “Chautauqua Star” have not received any money or promotional items in anything talked about in this column.

  • The Following links are for Canada DTV Information and were added on March 18th, 2010

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Page last modified on March 18, 2010, at 11:50 PM EST