TECH DEAL – I Believe I Got A Good Deal On This ASUS Desktop Computer

November 25, 2014

After nearly 8 years I decided it was time to changeout my HP computer… After a great deal of research and shopping around I ended up settling for the ASUS M51BC-US018S Desktop (3.3 GHz AMD FX-8300 Processor, 8GB DDR3, 1TB HDD, Windows 8.1) at Amazon. Pricing on this computer at the time and date of this posting was listed as $519.99 with a $60 ASUS rebate = $469.00…

ASUS makes a really nice computer and this box is no exception. I am very pleased with not only the build; but also with the performance. What sold me on this PC is the AMD -FX8300 processor which is rated equivalent to an Intel i7 processor; that the memory can be upgraded up to 32GBs; and, there is 10 USB Ports (6-USB 2.0 and 4-USB 3.0). There is room for expansion in this PC; however, when I broke open the case to insert my Hauppauge WinTV card I found that insertion of the card to be tight due to the installed video card consuming a lot of the space. I did manage to get it installed and due to the power of this computer, watching TV on this computer is a much better experience than my older PC with better clarity and video performance.

There was one issue I ran into with the purchase with this computer. Amazon had it posted to indicate that there are two $30 rebates (from ASUS).  After processing the rebates I discovered that ASUS would only honor one rebate and apparently the two posted on Amazon are the same rebate. In the end, all was good…  I contacted Amazon, reported the issue, and they immediately credited me for the additional $30. I checked today when I posted this article and they are still showing the $60 rebate. So, if you want to chance it and buy this computer; you too may be able to take advantage of the $60 return on the purchase.

If interested in this PC, which is a relatively new posting at Amazon, with myself making the first customer review, reflected below is the specs, in much more detail than what is posted at Amazon:

ASUS M51BC-US018S Desktop (3.3 GHz AMD FX-8300 Processor, 8GB DDR3, 1TB HDD, Windows 8.1)

ASUS M51BC-US018S Desktop

Product Type: Desktop Computer

Cache: 8 MB

Processor Core: Octa-core (8 Core)

Green Compliant: Yes

Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS

Memory Card Reader: Yes

64-bit Processing: Yes

Processor Manufacturer: AMD

Number of External 5.25″ Bays: 2

Chipset Manufacturer: AMD

Chipset Model: 970

Graphics Controller Manufacturer: AMD

Graphics Controller Model: R5 235X

Number of Total Memory Slots: 4

Optical Drive Type: DVD-Writer

Optical Media Supported: DVD-RAM/±R/±RW

Graphics Memory Capacity: Up to 1 GB

Graphics Memory Technology: DDR3 SDRAM

Hard Drive Interface: Serial ATA/600

Hard Drive RPM: 7200

Keyboard Type: Physical Keyboard

Number of PCI Express x1: Slots2

Number of Processors Supported: 1

Number of Processors Installed: 1

Total Hard Drive Capacity: 1 TB

Ethernet Technology: Gigabit Ethernet

Number of Total Expansion Bays: 4

Number of 3.5″ Bays: 2

Number of Total Expansion Slots: 4

Number of PCI Express x4 Slots: 1

Number of PCI Express x16 Slots:1

Network (RJ-45):Yes

Maximum Power Supply Wattage: 300 W

Audio Line In: Yes

Audio Line Out: Yes

Total Number of USB Ports:10

Number of USB 2.0 Ports: 6

Number of USB 3.0 Ports: 4

Memory Form Factor: DIMM

Memory Card Supported: Secure Digital (SD)

Memory Card Supported: Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC)

Memory Card Supported: CompactFlash (CF)

Memory Card Supported: Microdrive

Memory Card Supported: Memory Stick

Memory Card Supported: Memory Stick PRO

Memory Card Supported: Memory Stick Duo

Memory Card Supported: Memory Stick PRO Duo

Memory Card Supported: MultiMediaCard (MMC)

Memory Card Supported: Reduced Size MultiMediaCard (RS-MMC)

Memory Card Supported: Memory Stick Micro

Memory Card Supported: miniSD

Memory Card Supported: microSD

Processor Model: FX-8300

Memory Standard: DDR3-1600/PC3-12800

Height: 16.1″

Width: 6.8″

Depth: 16.5″

Memory Technology: DDR3 SDRAM

Operating System: Windows 8.1

Product Series: M51BC

Brand Name: Asus

Form Factor: Tower

Keyboard: Yes

Manufacturer: ASUS Computer International

Product Model: M51BC-US018S

Product Name: M51BC-US018S Desktop Computer

Pointing Device: TypeMouse

Processor Speed: 3.30 GHz

Processor Type: FX-Series

Controller Type: Serial ATA/600

Manufacturer Part Number: M51BC-US018S

Maximum Memory: 32 GB

Software Included

Anti-Virus Trial

Adobe Acrobat Reader

MaxxAudio

Microsoft Pack

Office trial

Utility:

ASUS AI-SUITE II

ASUS AI Manager

ASUS My Logo2

ASUS Easy Update

ASUS Q-fan

ASUS Vibe

ASUS AI Charger

ASUS WebStorage

ASUS Music Maker

Standard Memory: 8 GB

Weight (Approximate): 19.80 lb

Graphics Controller Model: R5 235X

Processor Speed: 3.30 GHz

Processor Type: FX-Series

Controller Type: Serial ATA/600

Manufacturer Part Number: M51BC-US018S

Weight (Approximate)19.80 lb

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I needed software to print an envelope and I found this…

November 25, 2014

If you want something that is far easier to use than Microsoft Word, to print an envelope, then take a look at Envelope Printer (at Tweaking.com) which is a FREE Windows based application developed to exclusively print envelopes.

Tweaking.com - Envelope Printer

Tweaking.com – Envelope Printer will save (and store) the addresses you input and you can even add a personal logo (or graphic) to your return address.

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I Just Changed The Way I Receive Windows Updates AND Here Is Why…

November 23, 2014

I cannot stress enough, from a computer security standpoint, the importance of the Windows Updates. Microsoft goes to great lengths to keep our PC’s safe; HOWEVER, this past week I had an experience on a brand new PC that I had customized to my liking where I believe a Windows Update caused me a lot of grief. I experienced similar symptoms, as reported at 404 Tech Support, where they made determination that a specific update on machines with the Avast Anti-Virus installed caused the following symptoms to occur:

  • Restarting or shutting down would never complete
  • Uninstalling a program would hang
  • Certain startup programs would never launch
  • Opening computer properties (Right-click on This PC, select Properties) would never open

In my case, I experienced the exact same symptoms; HOWEVER, was not the same cause(s). I did not (initially) install the update as indicated in the 404 Tech Support article and do not have Avast installed. My problem started out when I booted my Windows 81. box and was greeted with a message indicating that Windows was installing new features and telling me to wait. Of course I am scratching my head going, “What new features???  I didn’t install or ask for any new features”. Needless to say, the computer hung on that screen (and message) and did not move forward. I ended up booting into the Windows reset, refresh and restore options. I attempted a restore and that did not work properly, as well. I performed a reboot again, and the PC did start to the desktop; however, that is when I experienced the symptoms as reflected above. After a second start of the computer, the computer started to run properly (for whatever reason). I immediately ran a scan for malware and checked all areas (startup, processes, services, etc…) to make sure I was not hit with something.

The only thing that I could come up with was when I went to do the Windows restore, the restore point was showing that Windows updates KB2920189 and KB3011780 had been installed. Update KB3011780 was showing in the Windows Updates history that it had been cancelled at one point, but also showed on the same date it did install successfully. It is my thinking that this update may have caused the issues I was experiencing.

After getting things back in order and the computer running properly. I manually downloaded the update as reflected in the article 404 Tech Support had problems with (which showed as an optional update on my PC) and the update installed with no issue on my PC. Note: By the way, that optional update (KB8000850) is a large core Windows update.

Needless to say, after reading the article at 404 Tech Support and my own experience with a potential Windows Update that went wild, I now have my computer configured to “Check for updates but let me choose whether to download or install them…”.

Windows Update Configuration

I do not recommend this setting, but from a troubleshooting standpoint, I am going this route for now. There have been too many Windows 8 (8.1) updates that have caused problems and this will put me in control to monitor the updates more closely and to educate myself more about Windows Updates.

If anyone else experienced a Windows Update issue, please feel free to share your experience and comment below…

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Featured Tech Site – Scotties Tech.Info

November 23, 2014

Something NEW that I am going to try is to feature a tech site on a regular basis here on the blog. If you visit my sister site, Bookmarks4techs, you will find over 800 tech sites listed. I intend to pluck a site from the list to promote Bookmarks4Techs.com and to promote the featured site.

To start this off, I happened across a site this morning, called Scotties Tech.Info that I added to the listing at Bookmarks4Techs. I checked the about page on the site and Scottie is an Electrical and Computer Engineer that describes himself as a “jack of all trades”; which, is something I can relate to. His site is very nicely done and features a ton of “how to’s and fixes”.  Below you will find a listing of some of his most recent postings…  

Scotties Tech.Info

Sun, 16 Nov 2014 4:49:09 EST
This is one of those Windows tricks that you probably didn’t even know existed. Usually, the Explorer icon is visible on the Taskbar. That’s great for opening Explorer and navigating to whatever folder you need. But what if you want to maintain a list of commonly-used folders without clogging up your desktop with a bunch […]

Tue, 11 Nov 2014 12:20:34 EST
At some point, you’ll probably run into a problem that doesn’t seem to have an easy solution: one of your default User folders in Windows 7 (My Documents, My Pictures, My Music, My Videos, Downloads, and Desktop) will suddenly disappear. Try as you might, you won’t be able to restore these user folders, because they […]

Sun, 2 Nov 2014 8:04:10 EST
Let’s say you get a new phone or tablet, and both are running Android. You’d like to copy everything from your old device to your new one. How do you do it? Well, certainly there are more hardcore methods of migrating all your data. Most of these methods require “rooting” your device, and are probably […]

Sun, 26 Oct 2014 14:46:01 EDT
Let’s say you need to capture all or part of your puter’s screen. You’d like to grab a quick image of your browser window, or maybe you want to capture a frame from a video playing on your puter. Maybe you want to save an image from a web page, but they’ve disabled the right-click […]

Sun, 5 Oct 2014 10:49:59 EDT
If you’ve been anxiously awaiting Windows 9, you’re in for a long wait. But Windows 10 will be coming next year! You see, the official explanation is apparently that, “7 8 9″ – 7 ate 9 – so Microsoft will be going straight to Windows 10. Isn’t that cute? No, because Windows 8 still sucks. […]

Bookmarks4Techs.com

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Try this easy and powerful online photo editing application…

November 20, 2014

I have tried and tested numerous online photo (graphic) editors and the one that I am finding that is tried, tested and true is iPiccy… This editor appears to have been around awhile, with my last review being back in 2011 when it was in beta. Back then iPiccy sported over 30 creative editing tools and now it sports over 110 creative editing tools. Since then iPiccy has matured quite nicely.

What I really like about this editor is that it runs very nicely in the browser and has an exhaustive list of editing tools that is normally found in some of the higher end software based editors that you would normally install on your computer. Give it a try and I think you will be impressed. iPiccy is FREE and registration is not required (unless to want to take advantage of photo layers and the collages).

iPiccy

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What’s On My PC – Recent Articles (November 10, 2014 – November 19, 2014)

November 20, 2014
Wed, 19 Nov 2014 13:06:52 EST
I just posted an article about Checker Plus for Gmail and while at the developer’s site I noticed he had developed another Google Chrome browser extension called Checker Plus for Google Calendar. Again, this is another extension by this developer that is carrying a very high user base rating. I am a big time user […]

Tue, 18 Nov 2014 15:23:25 EST
When I see a five star rating at the Google Chrome Web Store I know it has to be something good. If you are a Google Chrome browser fan and use Gmail then you must download the Google Chrome browser extension called Checker Plus for Gmail. Before I go further, if you click this link […]

Mon, 17 Nov 2014 10:34:10 EST
I want to start off this post by stating something I tell people, especially the elderly, who came from a generation that trusted other people. “If you receive an unsolicited telephone call, whether it be a charity, a politician, an alarm company, your grandson is locked up in a jail in Canada, etc… where the […]

Sun, 16 Nov 2014 9:59:59 EST
Recently during a software install I found myself in a hurry and noticed about halfway through the install I was authorizing third party installs (of other software) that was piggy backing the software that I really wanted to install. Needless to say I do not like the idea of software developers doing this; especially when […]

Sat, 15 Nov 2014 23:22:25 EST
Originally posted on TCAT Shelbyville – Technical Blog:
Ironically I’ve seen warnings from other techs like Dawn, Mickey and more of my IT peers about fake Microsoft calls. Today, I got the pleasure of speaking with one. When these people call you, they will identify themselves as a Microsoft employee or some other prominent company.   Microsoft…

Sat, 15 Nov 2014 20:50:23 EST
Learn to tie knots for a variety of purposes at Animated Knots By Grog. As the title of the site indicates, you can select a knot of interest, and then watch an animated presentation on how the knot is made.  Really neat site…

Thu, 13 Nov 2014 21:15:34 EST
Are you familiar with the web browser called Maxthon? If so, I discovered that the developers of Maxthon are working from the ground up to develop a speedster of a browser called Maxthon Nitro. Maxthon Nitro is currently in the alpha stage of development. If you want to give it a try, no install is […]

Tue, 11 Nov 2014 10:27:03 EST
To maintain optimum cooling performance and stability of your computers and electronics it is necessary that on a regularly scheduled basis that you blow out the dust that accumulates. I have seen the interior components of computers so laden with dust that a blanket had actually developed causing the computer to overheat and stop functioning. […]

Mon, 10 Nov 2014 11:36:32 EST
If you have a Nexus 5, Moto X, or LG G2 (or other recent high-end device) that features a hardware step sensor AND you want a pedometer with the NEW Android UI (called Material Design) then take a look at Pedometer (by Ivin Liu)… What I like about this particular pedometer is that it is […]

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TECH DEAL – A Mouse With A 3 Year Battery Life

November 19, 2014

Just purchased the Logitech Wireless Marathon Mouse M705 With 3-year Battery Life and I must say I am impressed with the “smooth as butter” hyper scrolling that you can toggle (at the push of a button) to a more precise scrolling. As a matter of fact when I purchased this mouse I could not (initially) figure out what the button on top of the mouse was for.

If the battery life is what is claimed, and based on my computer usage, I may wear this thing out before the batteries expire; but, then I noticed the feet on this mouse can be changed??? The Marathon Mouse M705 uses less than half the battery power of comparable wireless mice.

So far, as all Logitech products I have owned, I am loving this mouse… The Logitech Wireless Marathon Mouse M705, at Amazon, is (at the time of this post) is approximately 30% off the regular price.

Logitech Wireless Marathon Mouse M705 With 3-year Battery Life

Logitech M705 Marathon Mouse

Extended battery life
Save time, money and the planet by practically eliminating battery changes.

Hand-friendly design
Contoured shape and finger rests poise your hand for comfortable control.

Tiny Logitech Unifying receiver
One plug-and-forget USB receiver stays in your notebook and let you connect up to six Unifying- compatible devices like keyboards and mice. To learn more about Logitech Unifying receiver click here

Hyper-fast scroll wheel
Fly through long documents and web pages with a single spin.

Precision cursor control
Smooth, accurate laser tracking, even on challenging surfaces like a polished desk

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