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Expect to Spend At Least $1000 for a Good Computer These Days

The less you spend on a computer, the more likely it'll break. Go for the higher-end Pro/business-grade model because the hardware will be better and won't get frustrating early down the road. The computer you want is close to $1500 to $2000...unless it's a Chromebook. We all need to reset our expectations for Windows and Mac products. Overall, it's gonna cost more than you wanna pay, but it'll be worth it in the long run. If money is especially tight, a Chromebook refurbished with some DIY upgrades could also work out.

Go For a Solid-State Drive When Getting a New Desktop PC

When you are buying/building a new desktop PC with any kind of stamina, make sure it has an SSD instead of an HDD. Solid-State Drives are a massive improvement in speed and durability from regular hard drives, Best of all, prices of SSDs have fallen drastically, so getting a 1TB drive is plenty and still affordable. Also, don't get a "hybrid" configuration of SDD and traditional, it's more worth it to go all-in on solid-state.

What happened to my Windows desktop background?

Episode 1102

JR from Carlsbad, CA

JR's laptop background went completely black one day. He can see the icons and everything, but the desktop background is completely black. He tried to change the images but it's still black. Leo says that sometimes Windows will turn the background black if it thinks the copy of Windows is unregistered. It may be there's a corrupted theme or drive. He should try using the recovery disk and choose "repair."

Should I switch from a desktop computer to a laptop?

Episode 1023

Neil from

Neil built a gaming machine and he admittedly overbuilt it. So he's wondering if he should downscale to a laptop. Leo says that the ongoing trend is smaller and portable. And that's why even laptops are starting to plateau in sales as people look to tablets.

But if Neil wants to build a laptop, he can't because that just isn't available. But a good option is the Asus Transformer Laptop/Tablet. It converts to either with a detachable keyboard. And the latest version runs the Haswell chip for longer battery life. But it isn't cheap.

Why do the icons on my laptop keep moving after I set them up? (Part 2)

Episode 986

Mark from Alabama

Mark is frustrated that his icons on his laptop keep moving around after he gets them set up how he wants. Leo says if he's attached a monitor at some point, that'll happen. He suspects that the preferences in Mark's account is corrupt. He suggests creating a new profile and logging into it. If the same thing happens again, then Mark knows that the preferences are corrupt and there may be other issues as well. It may need to have Windows repaired from the install disk.

Can I get an animated background on my desktop?

Episode 878

Terry from Jacksonville, FL

Windows Vista had something called "Active Desktop", but it crashed frequently and also was a massive security flaw, so Windows abandoned it. In general, since we do have such powerful processors now, we could almost dedicate an entire processor to have beautiful wallpaper. It is possible to do this, but Terry would need to get software for it. Leo recommends a free site called Okozo.