this is about IBM-compatible PC personal computers rather than Macs, for while the latter follows set rules by Apple, the former is an incredible mix-and-match combination of every which supplier, and is a wonderous miracle things do stay in compatibility ..

do understand I cannot answer questions on individual products,
but may let you ask in case someone else can asnwer them //


you know when something is wrong from the ordinary . while some inevitably come with continuous usage without re-boot and/or Months of accumulating junk files, critical hazard can hit any time if you do NOT take prudent precautions . if you recognize eratic behaviour on your computer, chances are that it is a virus but stick to this rule-of-thumb :

Internet page freeze or suddenly close = java or security crash ;
cause = visiting premature sites or incompatible security procedures in on-line banking ;
solution = revert system to earlier point ;

gradual slow-down of entire system or frequent error message pop up = fragmented files ;
cause = computer use over 6 months without defragmenting ;
solution = defragment each drive ;

blue screen or automatic re-boot = virus (see below)

computer won’t start or beeps = hardware malfuction (see below)


[ Computer Maintenance ]

extra attention when choosing a Hard Disk when setting up a computer because it is one crutial hardware with constant moving parts, meaning : check product support terms before purchase . SamSung Hard Disk has the best support – exchange no-questions-asked . but not as good as Western Digital and SeaGate in performance and stability . both makers have ample support from their importers note on the label . Hitachi and Fujitsu hard disks are not much used in Korea with the exception of smaller 2.5″ disks for notebooks . much smaller 1.8″ disks for NetBooks are most dominated by Toshiba .

you know how things stack up when you start living in a new place and becomes double when moving out ? same thing with data on disks where information on one file may be scattered to be stored in many fitting sectors . thus “defragment” your disks at least every other Season . also for faster accesss to files . no need to purchase dedicated programs to do this . simply use the one supplied with Windows .


[ Virus and SpyWare ]

in a network nation like South Korea where your computer(s) linked to the Internet 24 hours office AND home : virus attacks within few minutes of setting up your network . so you just have to install a Virus AND SpyWare prograin from onset . earlier practice of installing Korean virus program for use within Korea do not hold true today . do your own search and try the most 3-or-so popular ones and stick to the one you feel comfortable . most important is to diagnose your main drive ( usually C: ) and then keep the program to turn on automatically on system start-up . automatic update is not necessary so check manual updates every Season .

most widely used AntiVirus program in Korea is V3 and the most known Globally is Symantec Norton but there are many, many others just as good . the only difference other than your feel-of-use is that each miss out different non-critical virus now and then .

as you visit tons of Internet sites many of them will plug leaches into your system generally refered to as SpyWare : some to make your next use smoother, others to know more about you and your habits . but this stacks up to eventually clog your system to point of sluggish performance . so install one and check your main drive, then keep it on at all times to block further tampering from those sites .

most popular virus program has spyware protection and vice versa but it is ideal to install both independently .

if you frequently use many on-line banking and shopping sites : each of their security program will eventually clog or crash with each other so keep your data files on a separate drive letter so you can revert your system to former clean date say, every 6 months – in which case you should set your data drive to NOT recover automatically – but only your main c: drive .


[ Diagnostics ]

the PC is part of your body in this technopia, and would you believe you can actually fix the parts yourself with only basic knowledge and daily routine of cyber-search ? fixing is easier if you put it up yourself . and I accentuate the importance of fixing because machines do go kaput .

you can diagnose your computer when something seems not right . and fix it the very same day (ordering appropriate parts from YongSan via same-day delivery service). when something goes wrong try to see the few parts one-by-one in order . listen for sounds that ain’t supposed to be there for starters, then a little logical thinking step-by-step .

the first step in recognizing error is to make sure you put all the cables right when you set it up . and when you finally attempt to turn on the power : BE READY TO TURN IT OFF IN A SECOND for this is when something would burn (critical if there is smoke, still noticeable from smell) then if the power don’t go on : it’s the power . and if it goes off a few seconds after trying to boot : it is most likely the RAM or perhaps your CPU . then if it seems to power up, but you see your monitor showing erratic behaviour then it is your graphic card . and once all sailing good and then all turns blue-screen, it is your software, starting with your OS or Operating System, most likey Windows .

unlike the Mac where everything is well put together and tried by a central company, when you get stuck with some of those part that simply don’t work together in a PC, not to mention when a lesser-known software comes into play .. you are looking at endless nights of trying, trying, and still with no results . the simple fact is that those lesser known, randomly distributed hardware AND software companies has not done their testing before selling, and as a result : you are testing it for them, in vain . because it really is an Edison-approach : mix-matching until you get it right .

ofcourse it would be easier to buy a brand-name PC : everything simply put together by the manufacturer, with all internal parts chosen by them . but there is no fun in this, the modern kind of fun that we can enjoy in this techno-age . moreover, the PC may have been put together with serious standards when it rolled out of the factory, but once it goes wrong, you are at the mercy of the repairman in what he puts in instead of the original one .

finally check my “Crimes & Scams” page on what to watch out for when seeking repair .


[ repairing your computer bought abroad ]

if you have arrived in Korea with your computer – notebook included – from back home : do the rounds now, first in your neighborhood and to SonIn SangGa Building 21 mentioned in my map on YongSan Electronic District page, looking for a potential repair store if – and it probably will – your machine breaks down . talk to them . doesn’t matter if in English for you will get the feel if it’s scam or one of the few who does it because they like it .. um, fixing computers !

if however you have reached this link because your computer has broken down and you are connecting from a PC-Room : I suggest you bring the machine to either of the larger stores I mention on my last paragraph and talk your way in, or perhaps better after you buy a small accessory . if it doesn’t work go into the building mentioned on my previous paragraph and look for the most decent looking clerk you can find – for you really are at their mercy, in repair as well as the cost . opposite-sex approach usually works best here so you are in luck if you are female for males occupy most technical jobs in the building (besides cell phones). if you are male, remember almost every other store in the building hires a female accountant – most approachable while running errands to other stores .

.. or, can it be God’s way of hinting this may be your time to upgrade ? in which case you can sell the unharmed parts in the building I mention on my previous paragraph – yes, they sell and buy every part here .

if you know which part of your computer is malfunctioning : the local branch of the maker here will fix or exchange it but foreign warranty usually do not apply in South Korea . ditto with most electronic products including digital cameras and camcorders . aside from SamSung and LG most domestic AND foreign computer parts and electronic brands have their product support centers (called “A/S” as in After Service) in YongSan Electronic Market . some locations pinpointed on my map in the district page .



– Korea Tech Blog, February 2009 –