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An idiot's guide to absolute PC upgrade

Worried about the health status of your PC? Thinking about upgrading your PC but don't know which upgrade is right for you? This Idiot's guide will explain all the various types of hardware upgrades possible in the PC and the advantages that they will they bring.

CPU or Microprocessor - If you feel that the speed of your computer has bogged down to the level of tortoise on a long hibernation, then the best upgrade for you is to change the processor. Buying a faster CPU will make your PC perform wonders and enable you to play all the latest games. But check with your motherboard manual to see which processor upgrades are compatible with your motherboard.

Motherboard - change the motherboard if your system faces repeated crashes when booting or cannot recognize various connected hardware. Changing a motherboard might cause you change almost all other peripherals connected to it. Specially if your slow old motherboard was made in the Stone Age (5 years or earlier). However, check your CPU, RAM, Graphics card etc. and then buy a motherboard so that it is compatible with those devices that you still plan on using.

Hard Drive - If you seldom find yourself looking for spaces in every nook and cranny of your hard disk just to copy a 100 megs of your favourite album mp3, then its time to change or add a hard disk to your PC storage repertoire. Keep in mind that there are two different types of Hard disk types available these days, the PATA and the SATA. Find out which type your motherboard supports before buying one. When you do decide to buy one, spend a few extra bucks and buy one with a bigger space than you intended to, you are going to need it later and thank me for it.

Optical Drive - Most of the CD or the DVD drives that we have become almost useless within 3 years due to heavy usage, so it is usual to upgrade periodically. The best optical drive upgrade at the moment is to buy a DVD writer. These are quite cheap nowadays. DVD writers can also burn CD's. Always get the latest with maximum read-write speed. Present DVD writers support 16X DVD write and 4X DVD R/RW.

Video/Graphics Card - It is time to change or upgrade a video card when you can no longer play the latest games in your present graphics cards or built in graphic adapters. Graphics cards are of two types, the AGP card and the PCI Express (PCI E) card. Check your motherboard for which type it supports. Usually, only the older motherboards support AGP standard. PCI-E's are much faster than AGP based cards. Nowadays most of the latest games require DirectX 10 compatible graphics cards, so choose a DX10 based card if you want your upgrade to play games in the next few years or if you are planning to shift to windows Vista. The Nvidia 8 series and ATI Radeon x2000 and up series of cards are DirectX 10 certified and are Vista Ready.

In addition, you can extend your computer monitor to use as a television monitor by adding a TV tuner, either external or internal. With internals, you have the option of capturing video and watching TV along with working in your computer.

Sound Card / speaker - Although most motherboards come with built in sound support, if you want to use a 5.1 or 7.1 speaker system for surround sound support for gaming and home theatre like experience while watching movies, you need to upgrade to a sound card. Go for SoundBlaster Audigy series card for excellent sound quality and immersive gaming. Remember good sound cards also require good speaker system to deliver. So dump your old two front speaker for a 5.1 or immersive 7.1 sound system with sub woofer.

Memory - Sometimes even with a good CPU, Windows or various other software programs may feel sluggish to respond. Chances are you need to upgrade your available memory. Add an extra 512 megs of RAM for a big boost. If you are planning to shift to Vista, 1 GB of RAM is a must. There are two types of RAM available, namely DDR1 and DDR2. Check your motherboard to see which type it will support.

CPU Cooler/ Case fan - CPU's produce a lot of heat which slows down the performance after several hours of continuous gaming or usage. In this case, change your standard CPU cooler fan and upgrade to a premium quality fan or a liquid cooling system (expensive!). This may keep your PC stable and CPU healthier for a long time. Similarly, Case fans work to keep away the dirt and dust which settle inside and maintain the overall temperature of the casing and its inner peripherals. Add one more Casing fan (if your casing allows) to keep things tidy inside.

Power Supply - If you intend to use a lot of add-ons such as powerful sound and graphics card, lot of external USB devices, you need to upgrade a to a more powerful and electrically stable Power supply box. Get a brand power supply box with a power wattage of 50% more than you need as these supply boxes almost never really deliver up to the said wattage

Casing - If you are a show-off kinda person and don't care what's rubbish inside your PC as long as you can show it off, simply change the Casing to a more cool looking outside. My choice is one of those ultra durable transparent casing with side lights and whatnots. Or go for a visually striking alienware like look for a little more bucks.

So that's it folks, I have listen every imaginable PC upgrades that can exist. Hope you you are no longer an idiot when it comes to PC upgrades.

By Monty Python

Nokia's platform for new talent

Outside, the unseasonable drizzle rendered the chilly winter afternoon even colder. Inside Déjà vu, on January 24, the atmosphere was heated up by a sense of anticipation as Nokia geared up to launch the Independent Artists Club (IAC), a programme intended to promote new musical talent in Bangladesh.

The programme promises to provide opportunities for new artists to spread their music to a global audience, while at the same time offering music fans an opportunity to experience new music available in countries across the Asia Pacific. The growing popularity of Nokia's music-enabled devices and the introduction of the Ovi platform, with its plans for music services, Nokia offers these new artists one of the world's most compelling distribution opportunities the mobile phone.

So how does this all work?
Opened on January 15, the IAC website for Bangladesh is www.nokia-asia.com/iac

This is where artists register as members and upload their songs, pictures and profile to be seen, heard, rated, and downloaded by the listeners. Once uploaded, the songs will be published on the site after screening. Alternatively, artists can contact the local IAC scout who will help them go through the process.

Music lovers can visit the website and listen to the songs for free. After registration as members Nokia device owners can download up to ten full songs per month for free, and non-Nokia device owners can download up to five full songs per month for free (mp3 and aac formats only). Members will be able to vote for their top 3 favourite songs to push them to the top of the chart every month. The artists with the most votes for their tracks will be listed in the Nokia Independent Artists Club Chart, allowing talent scouts from the local music industry to choose from the best. Furthermore, the top-rated artists get to perform at Nokia-sponsored events and concerts, and participate in marketing and publicity initiatives for the IAC.

Attendees at the IAC launch were treated to a taste of the programme, with unplugged performances by some of this month's featured bands, as well as audio-visual demos of the ten bands for this month, which are Biloy, Cynic X, Da Mob, Demise, Germantown, Karnival, Psychovina, Severe Dementia, Throne of Lucifer, and Waterways. Prem Chand, Managing Director, Nokia Emerging Asia and Sajid Matin, Category Manager, Nokia Emerging Asia also took the stage to answer questions.

So whether you're a music lover, or a budding artist, IAC's opened up for you, a great portal for discovering exciting new music.

By Sabrina F Ahmad

Ever wanted to make your own clothes? Or at least give your clothes a simple touch that would make the whole outfit more than perfect? Well, guess what, it's your turn to get creative! I'm sure you have a t-shirt somewhere at the bottom of your closet that you're surely never ever going to wear again. Take it out and let's jazz it all up!

What you need
You'll need a t-shirt or even a piece of cloth would do (for experiments sake) and a variety of colours of fabric paint (can be found at the stationary shops). Other than that, glitters and sequins (if you're a girl) could be added too.

Getting started
Take the t-shirt (make sure it's washed) and then let your artistic side get to work. Ok, you might not be even a teeny tiny bit artistic, but so what? Just take the paintbrush and let it go. Paint weird meaningless things and use colours that go with your mood. By the time you're done, you might even end up with something that looks really nice and colourful! For girls, they can add glitters with the help of glue or they can attach sequins by sewing them or gluing them.

Let the paint dry for a day so that it doesn't come off when you wash it next time. Once that's done, go ahead and wear it! You could experiment on different clothes and make your own designs, just to your taste. Come on; tell me, wouldn't it be fun if your clothes represented what you're like? Try it and who knows, someday you might end up opening a boutique!

By Nayeema Reza




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