q+a I am confused whether to buy a Mac or PC as my new laptop. I prefer the MacBook Pro with Retina Display but there are many models with different configurations. Budget is not a constraint. Also, is it possible to run MS Office on a Mac?
If money is not a constraint, buy the 13-inch MacBook Pro with the 2.6 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 (Haswell) processor. Haswell processors enhance battery life and give you better graphics. Also opt for 8 GB of RAM. Yes, you can run Microsoft Office on your Mac. But in all likelihood you will not need it. Every new Mac comes with the iWork suite free. The suite consists of Pages, Numbers and Keynote. They are the Apple equivalent of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. This suite can open all Office documents and has the ability to save in a Windows readable format too. Another advantage of buying a Mac is that you will get the new version of OS X, called Yosemite, for free.
q+a How can I boost the signal for my WiFi router? I get stronger signals in my home from my neighbours than from my own WiFi router.
First try tweaking the settings of your router to reduce interference from other WiFi signals. To access the settings, open your computer browser and type in the router’s IP address. It is usually 192.168.1.1. The username and password should be in the manual.
If your router is set to channel 1, try switching to 6 or 11 and see if that improves your signal. If you have an older router, buy a new one. Newer routers have better range, faster speeds and extra features. Just make sure it is 802.11n and 802.11ac compliant.
q+a I have a Samsung Galaxy Y (Duos). Whenever I try to install Whatsapp from the Google Play store, a notification says, “Whatsapp messenger could not be downloaded due to an error (927)”. I have a Vodafone data connection on my phone.
This is a common error. See which of the solutions work for you.
First go to Settings—Apps and tap on Google Play. Force stop the app and clear the data and cache. Now download Whatsapp. If that did not work go back to Settings—Apps—Google Play and tap on Uninstall Updates. Next select the Download Manager app and clear the data and cache. Try and install Whatsapp again.
If you still face problems, go to Settings—Accounts—Google and remove your Gmail account. Go back to Settings—Apps and force stop, clear data and cache for Google Play, Google Service Framework and Download Manager. Restart your phone and set up your Google account once again. Now install Whatsapp from Google Play.
q+a I recently upgraded my computer to Windows 8.1. Now whenever I enter my username and password in Windows the screen starts to flash. Please help me to solve the problem.
When you upgraded the operating system Windows tried to load a driver for your graphics card. This created a conflict with the existing driver. To fix this you need to reinstall the driver for your graphics card. Do it this way. First make sure you have updated Windows 8.1 to Windows 8.1 Update. The two are different. If the update does not solve your problem follow these steps:
Right click on your desktop and select Properties—Advanced System Settings. Choose the Hardware tab and click on Device Installation Settings. Click on the radio button next to ‘No, let me choose what to do’. On the next screen choose ‘Never install driver software from Windows Update’. Save the changes. Now go to Device Manager and uninstall the video driver.
Now you must restart your machine in Safe Mode. Pressing Shift and F8 together when the computer starts up usually does this. Install the video driver from manufacturer’s setup program and restart the machine normally. Finally, Go back to System Properties and re-enable the auto install of the drivers.
Send in your computer- related problems to firstname.lastname@example.org with bits&bytes in the subject line