Should I Or Shouldn’t I

These are a few questions I often find myself thinking about at night when I have finished contemplating the intricacies of life and planning my breakfast in the morning. It dawned on me that these are also some common questions I am often asked by family, friends and our loyal PCTechBytes readers. These are the “should I” or “shouldn’t I” questions that will mostly be personal preference and will, no doubt, have many opinions on either side.

my computing opinionShould I Completely Discharge A New Laptop Battery?

Read your laptop’s specific documentation, but as general rule, you should completely charge and discharge your laptop battery three times. This means you completely charge the battery, unplug the AC power, then run it down until you get the Windows battery is low message.

Should I Leave My Computer On All Night?

There has been no bigger question, no topic so hotly debated since the Mac or PC question. “Should I leave my computer on or power it off when I’m not using it?” Newer computers–those beginning with the Microsoft Vista era–have great power saving capabilities. The monitor shuts down, the hard drive shuts down and the computer hibernates in extremely low power-saving mode. Personally, I leave my computer on 24/7 unless I am going away for a few days.

Should I Run Two Smaller Monitors Or One Large Monitor?

This is more a matter of preference and resources. If you have two monitors, use them together to create a single, large workspace. If you only have one monitor, consider buying a single large 24-inch monitor. Having run both setups, I prefer the single larger monitor. It’s easy to arrange windows and applications in such a way to share the single, large space much easier than spanning two monitors. Another factor to consider is office space. A larger monitor will have an overall smaller footprint.

Should I Dual Boot Or Run A Virtual Desktop?

So you want to run another Operating System on your computer? But you’re not sure if you want to dual-boot or run the other OS on a virtual desktop within the current Operating System. Short answer, if you have a lot of RAM, you can run the virtual desktop without any limitations or performance hit. Specify the amount of RAM and hard drive space you want to allocate and, bam, you’re all set to install your virtual machine. The added benefit of running a program like VirtualBox is that you can run multiple Operating Systems and versions and switch between them effortlessly. If you want to get the most out of the second Operating System, setup a dual-boot system and enjoy 100% of your system resources.

Should I Run A Free Antivirus Or A Commercial Antivirus?

I have come to the conclusion that commercial antiviruses are, indeed, better than free ones. My opinion is based upon real-life experiences. Commercial antivirus programs will likely have better support, be more reliable, have fewer false-positives, no advertisements, and have better recovery options in case of infection. Spend $30 or $40 per year on piece of mind. My personal recommendation is Nod32 from Eset. Avoid full security suites–the plain antivirus package is the only option most people will need.

Let me know if you have opinions on any of these topics.