Variable fan speed on PC likely normal, depending on use

HELP DESK

Plugged In

July 17, 2008|By BILL HUSTED | BILL HUSTED,The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

My computer is about two years old. I added 1 gigabyte of RAM so I would be able to play newer games on it. Normally, I use it all day for gaming, Web surfing and word processing. The internal fan is quiet after startup, but after some use it sometimes suddenly becomes loud. It may only stay loud for a few minutes or until the computer is powered down.

- Keegan Nesbitt

Many computers have fans that change speed based on the heat inside the computer. While it's possible something is wrong with your computer or fan, odds are things are operating just as they should. If anything is wrong, it's probably because your computer runs hot because of another problem or your fan blade is wobbling on its shaft, creating extra noise at times.

You might want to alert readers that e-mail is being sent out by groups that imitate the Bank of America logo and state that because of unusual usage of the bank's Web site, it is being closed down. They then ask for all sorts of personal information.

- Bernard Levine

Yes, phishing attacks are still with us. And the legitimate businesses that these phishers imitate aren't limited to a single bank, or one type of business.

The rule is to never offer any personal information - passwords, Social Security numbers or account numbers. Almost no legitimate business will ask you to do that on a Web site. If you think the request is legit, phone the bank or business and ask to verify the e-mail. Then, if information really is needed, you can safely furnish it by telephone if you choose.

I am interested in buying a new desktop computer for general home use. Can you suggest some features and performance specs I should look for? I will need software to block adult Web sites. Can you suggest a program?

- Timothy R. Hogan

Almost any new computer probably will be adequate. You might want to look for two things: at least 2 gigabytes of RAM memory and a video card with 256 megabytes of dedicated memory. Avoid computers that use memory shared between the computer itself and a video adapter.

Rather than recommend a specific program to block adult sites, here's a Web page that offers some solutions that don't require added software and also recommends programs that block adult sites: personalweb.about.com/cs/viewingsites/a/403siteblocking.htm

bhusted@ajc.com

Bill Husted writes for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

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