I need a computer upgrade

I am a photographer and use Adobe Lightroom a lot.  My desktop uses Windows Vista 64-bit, an AMD Phenom 9850 quad-core 2.50 Ghz processor, and 4GB of memory.  I used to have 8GB but all of sudden 4GB of Corsair memory sticks when bad, so I was left with 4GB.  I have had this computer since 2008-2009.

I was OK with what I what I had.  My computer was getting slow though.  It seemed that Lightroom was getting more processor intensive after each update.  So a computer upgrade was in the future.

Later, I decided to install Lightroom on my laptop.  I have been on the road doing photo shoots and I wanted to see the raw images on my laptop.  (According to the Lightroom EULA, I can install Lightroom on two computers using one license as long as I don’t use Lightroom on both computers at the same time.)

My laptop is an HP bought around 2011.  It has Windows 7 64-bit, an Intel i3-2330M 2.2GHz processor, and4GB of memory.

I installed Lightroom on the the laptop and tried it out.  And I was surprised on the performance.  Lightroom seem to respond faster and smoother on the laptop than on the desktop.  So as a test, I timed how long it would take to export  694 images from raw to jpeg.   On the desktop, it took 1 hour 14 minutes.  On the laptop, it took 1 hour 4 minutes.

So it seemed that there is an advantage of using the laptop for Lightroom over my desktop.  This was a sign that I needed a computer upgrade for my desktop.  Furthermore, the latest version of Lightroom, version 5, not longer supports Windows Vista.


I bought an SSD drive for the my Vista desktop.  I reran the Lightroom test.  The desktop still had 4 GB of RAM.  This time the processing took 46 minutes.

I added more memory on my laptop to 8 GB of RAM.  The hard drive was not SSD.  I ran the Lightroom test and it took 22 minutes.  Then I replaced the hard drive with an SSD drive.  The Lightroom test took 20 minutes.

I upgraded my desktop to a Windows 8 i7-4770K 32GB machine.  I reran the Lightroom test.  The processing took 7 minutes.


Internet security on the cheap

If you want internet security (antivirus, firewall) on the cheap, check out Frys.com software weekly specials.  Go to the following link, http://www.frys.com/template/software, and click on Software Weekly Specials.  Just about every week, Fry’s has specials on internet security software for -$0.01.  That’s right, a minus penny.

Of course, there are a couple of catches.  One, you pay full price at the check out.  But, the product usually comes with two rebates, if combined, reduces the price to -$0.01.  One rebate just knocks down the price.  Everybody qualifies for that.  The second catch is the second rebate.  In order to qualify, you have to have proof of a previous installation of the same product or a competing product.  If you have proof, the second rebate knocks down the price to -$0.01.

Fortunately, I was a hoarder when it came to software.  I held onto installation CD’s of old software including antivirus suites.    All I had to do was to use those CD’s and get the second rebate.  And it worked.

You can buy installation keys of different products now and hold on to them until you use them.  For instance, I purchase a number of security suites within a year.  All I needed was one per year, but I bought quite a bit within a year.  It turned out the installation key is good until it is used.  For example, if I bought a security suite in 2008, I could use the key in 2012.  The key would work.  The latest security suite would install.

I recently purchased Bitdefender Total Security for $49.99.  Tax was $4.15.  Both rebates were $25.00 each for a combined rebate of $50.00.  So I ended up paying $4.14.

Every week, a different security suite would have the rebates.  I have bought Kaspersky, Bitdefender, Trend Micro, Panda, and I think PC Tools over the years.  On occasion, there would be a high priced product under rebate.  For instance, there was a rebate for Bitdefender Sphere.  I think this is a 5 PC/year product including Android phones and I think is usually priced at $99.  When I found out, the local store was sold out of them.

There you have it.  You can buy Internet security software on the cheap.


How to add Google AdSense on your WordPress page

I read that users of wordpress.com cannot add their own ads.  WordPress.com has their own ads.  I am not sure.  If that is the case, this post may not be useful.  But if you have your own hosting site, then your in business.  This is pretty simple.

First, get a Google Adsense account.  If you already have an account go to the next paragraph.  If you don’t, go to Google AdSense and apply.  After you submit your application, Google is going to review your application.  As part of the application process, you’ll need to add code to your web site.   Pick an ad size of 120×240 so that it can fit in your page.  At first, the code will display nothing, but you need to keep the code on your web site during the duration of the application process.  Once the review is complete, you’re going to see ads.

Once you have code, go to Appearance->Widgets.  Look for the text widget in the Available Widgets section.  Now the next step is going to depend on your theme.  On my theme, drag to the text widget to the Secondary Widget Area.  This will add a text widget to the Secondary Widget Area which represents the right side bar of the web page.  Click on the Text widget that you just dragged to the Secondary Widget Area.  The widget should expand to a title text box and an another text box, a bigger box, in the bottom.

Leave the title box blank.  In the bottom box, add your code.    Click on Save.

And that’s it.

Once you have one ad going, you can put two more ads for a maximum three per page.  Or, one 300×600 ad unit.  Basically, one 300×600 unit or three other ad units.  You shouldn’t add one 300×600 ad unit and one more ad unit.  The rule is here.  http://support.google.com/adsense/answer/1346295?hl=en-GB#Google_ad_limit_per_page .