How Much RAM is Enough?

How a computer works can be a confusing topic for the average user and its random access memory, or RAM, is no exception. Essentially, RAM is the space in your computer that stores data related to everything your computer is currently doing, from word processors, web browsers, and games, to the operating system itself. The more applications you use at any one time, or the more space they need to run, the less space there is available for anything else. Of course, that means that more RAM is always better. That being said, how much is enough depends on what you use your computer for. The bare minimum nowadays is 512MB of RAM on computers running Windows Vista Home Basic and 1GB for other versions. For Windows 7, depending on the version, you’ll need up to 2GB of RAM. That amount will cover the basic expected computer functions such as web browsing, Microsoft Office applications, playing music and the like. For those among you who intend to play the latest and greatest games, 2GB of RAM will usually be sufficient. While there are always a few exceptions, developers recommend 2GB for most of today’s games. However, the gaming industry does have a reputation for rapidly driving technology requirements upward, so it’s entirely possible that this number could be made obsolete in a couple of years. For that reason, 4GB is often quoted as good value for money taking your needs in the foreseeable future into consideration. While that’s certainly something to think about, if you don’t expect your computer needs to change any time soon, the average computer user will find 1GB of RAM to be the minimum, with 2GB providing enough room such that you don’t have to worry about anything for a long time. Of course, if you’re using very memory intensive programs, doing heavy multi-tasking, doing 3D design or using your computer as a server, you’ll want to go over that. If you’re doing these things though, you probably already know exactly how much you need. For the rest of us, the main thing to ensure is that you consider the programs you’re likely to be using on your computer, and check the information on system requirements provided by the developer or manufacturer, to find how much RAM is right for you.

Should I Buy a Dehumidifier?

The purpose behind a dehumidifier is relatively simple to understand. It lowers the air humidity by condensing and removing moisture from the air. While this might seem to be a rather unusual function to some, the effect this can have on our homes is great, especially during the warmer months. It’s quite common for people to get a dehumidifier purely for comfort reasons because humidity plays an important part in how we perceive the temperature. Since we are cooled by sweat evaporation, if the amount of moisture in the air is high, then that process slows down considerably or could stop entirely. Removing that moisture, then, gets our natural cooling systems working more effectively, reduces that “muggy” feeling, and makes a sweltering day far more bearable. There are some cases, however, where your home might need a dehumidifier. Too much humidity can cause all kinds of effects on just about anything in your home. Wood products (including the house itself) can warp, paints can peel and some metals can accumulate rust. If you see any of these things happening in your home, a dehumidifier may be a good investment simply for the upkeep of your belongings. Regulating the humidity level can also be necessary for health and hygiene reasons. Moulds and fungi generally thrive in high moisture environments and may prove a serious health concern if you or someone in your household is prone to allergies. Many pests prefer an environment with higher humidity – in particular, cockroaches, mosquitoes and spiders are all turned off by low moisture environments. With a dehumidifier you can prevent mould and fungi growing and unwanted visitors showing up in the first place. It’s worth saying, however, that having too little moisture in the air can also be problematic. As well as causing some materials to become brittle, low humidity can irritate the throat or cause dry skin. You should check for humidity-related problems before deciding whether you should purchase a dehumidifier, but being in control of the environment in your home will always be a substantial advantage.

Benefits of Digital Photo Frames

With virtually all mobile phones nowadays featuring some sort of camera, it’s no secret that digital photography has become the new standard and has made it much more convenient for us all to capture those special moments. Of course, that means that the way we showcase our photos is also changing rapidly. If you’re looking to display your photos with a more modern touch, a digital photo frame is definitely the way to go, with a range of advantages over prints.

Always Crisp and Clear

Fading, damage and wear-and-tear are bound to happen to printed photos. Even simple exposure to the sun will make them lose their lustre over time. digital photo frame with backlit screens and full colour displays mean your memories will always light up a room.

Ease of Use

If you’ve ever uploaded your photos to a computer, uploading them onto the digital photo frame will be no problem at all. Without any need to get them developed, printed and framed for each one you like, thousands of your photos are ready to be displayed in a matter of minutes. Often, you won’t even need a computer. Simply remove the memory card from your camera, insert it into the digital photo frame and you’re ready to go.

Freedom to Do More

Speaking of which, forget having to pick and choose which photos deserve to be displayed. How many photos do you have sitting in albums that nobody ever sees for years at a time? The sheer number of photos you can store means your selection is no longer limited by the amount of space on your wall or shelf. You can even get creative with it. Jazz up your photos with an editing program, take many at a time to create a mini-home movie slideshow or have a visual presentation running 24/7 at the reception area of your business. A lifetime isn’t made of a handful of key moments. From yesterday’s barbeque to bringing home a new member of the family, a digital photo frame is an easy, versatile and just plain classy way to relive those special moments. Whether big or small, a whole lifetime of memories is at your fingertips.

Bing Lee Welcomes Beko to Australia

Bing Lee is delighted to be able bring Beko, recognised as one of the world’s leading brands for consumer whitegoods, to homes throughout Australia. Known for exceptional quality and high energy efficiency, the Beko brand is one of the top 10 whitegoods brands in the world and the bestselling whitegoods brand in the UK. The new range of Beko products available in Bing Lee stores include fridge-freezers and freezers, washing machines and dryers, dishwashers, and upright cookers. We warmly invite you to come into your nearest store to view these exciting premium appliances, where our friendly and knowledgeable product specialists will be happy to demonstrate the benefits of choosing Beko.

Leading the Way with Exceptional Quality

Backed by efficient European engineering, Beko’s award-winning designs have a well-deserved reputation for excellent quality. Every appliance is precision-engineered for ultimate convenience and functionality. A few examples of how Beko leads the way in building superior quality appliances:

  • Refrigerators that feature self-closing doors, spill-proof shelves, temperature-controlled multizone compartments, and inbuilt ionic antibacterial protection. Thanks to Beko’s active fresh blue light technology, the process of photosynthesis continues right in your fridge to keep fruit and vegetables fresher for longer.

 

  • Fridges and fridge-freezers renowned for being able to function in unheated exterior buildings such as garages and sheds. While other brands require that the appliance be used in temperatures no lower than 10 degrees Celsius, Beko fridge-freezers and freezers can be used in areas with temperatures as low as -18 degrees Celsius.

 

  • Washing machines that automatically adjust water levels to suit the type of fabric and size of load. You can choose from wash cycles specific to pet hair removal, allergy sensitivity, dust mite elimination for bedding, blanch-resistant for jeans, cold and quick wash options, and more.

 

  • Dryers that can dry up to 4kg of laundry in just one hour, saving you valuable time. Advanced sensors know exactly when to stop the machine once clothes have reached your desired level of dryness, and the anti-crease capability of Beko dryers can deliver wrinkle-free laundry for many fabric types – no need for ironing.

 

  • Dishwashers that include the quickest ‘A’-rated model in the world. Featuring active-fan drying that dries your dishes right in the machine, anti-bacterial seals for superior hygiene, and Aquaflex sensors that regulate wash intensity according to the level of cleaning required, Beko dishwashers are serious high performers.

 

Saving Energy with Efficient Engineering

Beko has earned a stellar reputation for creating energy and water efficient appliances. In fact, the most energy efficient washing machine in the world was designed by Beko! Beko appliances come with water and energy star ratings of at least 3 (Excellent), and in many cases higher. Because they are smart-engineered, Beko appliances intuitively use the minimum amount of water and energy required to clean, wash, chill, freeze or cook. Fantastic for the planet, appliances with energy and water efficient design are great for you as well, since they have lower running costs and power bills. Excited to learn more? The full range of Beko products can be found in all Bing Lee stores, with some products available online. Look around our website or your nearest store to see what Beko can do to make your home more convenient and efficient. And remember, at Bing Lee, “Everything’s Negotiable”.

Should I Buy a Robot Vacuum Cleaner?

We all love the feeling of coming home to a freshly vacuumed house but with our busy lifestyles, most of us are lucky to get around to cleaning our floors once a week. Imagine how great it would feel to come home to clean floors every single day. If you are time poor, hate coming home to a dirty house and would rather spend your precious spare time on leisurely pursuits rather than cleaning, a robot vacuum cleaner could be the home cleaning solution for you. Having your house cleaned by a robot is no longer science fiction. There are several robotic vacuum cleaners on the market offering excellent value for money. All you need to do is pop in your robo vac’s batteries and program its settings via the controls on the remote control or the unit itself and the device will then operate autonomously. Robot vacuums use multiple sensors to negotiate their way around objects, prevent them from falling off ledges and stairs, and to detect dirt, dust and hair on your floor. Their sensors also enable them to adjust their settings accordingly as they move from tiles, to vinyl, timber, carpets and up onto rugs, making them suitable for different flooring surfaces. These appliances are powered by rechargeable batteries and will return to their docking station independently to recharge when their batteries are running low. A virtual “wall” or “guard” device, projects a beam only the robot can see, creating a barrier to confine the cleaner to a particular area – this accessory is included with some models but needs to be purchased separately for others. Robo vacs can be programmed to meet your individual cleaning needs. You can set the cleaner to operate on the days and times you choose or to clean particular areas of your home. The device can even be programmed to clean in specific patterns including spiraling for spot cleaning, running only along walls or zigzagging across a room. If you have a robotic vacuum cleaner, you will need to regularly empty its dirt receptacle and remove any dust or hairs from its filters and rotating brush. Since the device is only small and may be operating almost every day, you will need to carry out this maintenance more often than you would on a regular vacuum cleaner, but this is a small price to pay for the time you will be saving on cleaning. Robotic vacuum cleaners are most effective on hard floor surfaces and are best suited to single-level homes. If you had one running in your home everyday it would definitely help to stop dirt and dust from building-up. But ultimately, robo vacs are no substitute for a thorough clean with a standard vacuum cleaner – especially on carpets and rugs. Nevertheless, these devices will help you to reduce the overall time you will need to spend cleaning your home, making them well worth the investment.

Modern Toaster Features

Toast is a quick and easy breakfast solution that everyone loves, which is why toasters are found in just about every modern home. Simply pop in a slice of bread and the toaster’s heating elements will brown it on both sides, then eject it once it has been toasted to the selected setting. The automatic pop-up toaster has been around since the early twentieth century, but since then several new features have been added, making this simple device handier than ever. Thermal sensors Early model toasters used a timer to enable users to control the degree to which their bread was toasted. The problem with this was that bread toasted in the first cycle was not as dark as those from subsequent cycles because the appliance had not yet warmed up. This led to the advent of thermal sensors that determined the level of toasting by the temperature of the toast itself. A bimetallic strip is the most common form of thermal sensor used in toasters. In addition to regular toasting, a toaster’s thermal sensors enable the appliance to provide the following conveniences:

  • Reheating setting– when a slice of bread that has already been toasted is warmed without further browning it.
  • Defrost function – to quickly and easily defrost breads and pastries directly from the freezer.
  • Lift function – allows you to check your toast at anytime during the toasting process without interrupting the cycle.
  • Multiple control settings that enable you to customise the browning level to suit your individual taste.

Capacity and Slot Size Over the years, toasters have not only become better, they’ve also gotten bigger. While 2-slice toasters were once the norm, it is now quite common to find toasters with a capacity for 4 or even 8 slices. No longer is sliced bread the only bread variety that can be browned-off in a bench-top toaster. Many modern toasters now come with more generously sized self-adjusting slots that enable you to toast most varieties of breads including bagels, muffins, baguettes, Panini and Turkish bread. Sleek and Stylish Designs The classic chrome box design toaster was once commonplace however, in more recent times manufacturers have started producing models for users looking for an appliance with a more stylish appearance. Brushed, polished and patterned stainless steel as well as coloured glasses and plastics are all now used for toaster exteriors, enabling you to coordinate the appliance with the rest of your kitchen decor. The toaster’s tradition wide-set body is also giving way to sleeker, more slim-lined designs, giving them a more modern look, while freeing-up kitchen bench space.
Digital Controls Digital controls and LCD displays are the latest additions to the modern toaster. This technology if user friendly, enabling you to monitor the progress of your toast as well as allowing for customised precision toasting.

What Are the Benefits of Using a Steam Microwave?

What is a Steam Microwave Oven?

The hottest new trend in microwaves is built-in steaming.  Many people who already use their microwave to steam food are probably wondering what the difference is between regular microwaves and the new steam microwaves on the market.  Here’s a quick run down on what steam microwave ovens are all about.

How Do Steam Microwaves Work?

Microwaves cook using radio waves that penetrate food, exciting fat and water molecules to heat them quickly and evenly. In a conventional microwave oven, food can be steamed by adding a small amount of water to food in a covered dish. The radio waves will then heat the water to produce steam.

Unlike using a regular microwave where you need to use a separate dish to steam your food, a steam microwave uses the entire oven cavity to steam its contents. This one convenient appliance combines the health benefits of cooking with steam with the power and speed of cooking with microwaves.

In fact, steam microwaves allow you to cook around 4 times faster than traditional cooking methods. Steam penetrates deeper into food, removing excess fat and salt while locking in more of the beneficial nutrients your body thrives on.  Cooking with steam is also the gentlest method of cooking, preserving foods natural colours, flavour and textures. Therefore steaming not only makes more nutritious but also more delicious meals for you and your family.

Steaming allows you to prepare healthy meals with minimal use of oil.  With obesity and related illnesses becoming more widespread, the steam microwave makes cooking low-fat meals fast and effortless for even the novice home cook.

Other Conveniences of Steam Microwaves

The generous size of steam microwaves enables users to steam on multiple tiers simultaneously (2 to 4 depending on the model), without the transfer of tastes between the levels.  This means you save time by being able to cook sweet and savoury dishes in the one device all at the same time.

Many steam microwaves ovens also have convection oven and defrost functions. This means you can steam, microwave, defrost, bake, roast and grill all using one compact device, helping you to save space in your kitchen. Most steam microwaves also feature pre-programmed steam settings that intelligently select the most suitable temperature and cooking duration for particular foods, allowing you to cook with greater precision.

Use the pre-programmed menus to cook anything from vegetables, meats, poultry and seafood to rice, pasta and pastries with ease. With its versatility, efficiency and ability to help you create tasty, nutritious meals for your family, the steam microwave is a great investment for any home, particularly those with limited kitchen space.

What Does a Universal Remote Do?

Most modern homes have a number of entertainment devices including a TV set, DVD player, Pay TV receiver, gaming console as well as a hi-fi or surround sound system, each with its own remote control.   Instead of trying to figure out which remote control does what, why not just have one controller that does it all? That’s exactly what a universal remote does. Universal remotes can be programmed to consolidate the functions of all of your remote controls into one.  This means you can control a number of devices, regardless of their manufacturer, using one easy to use handset.   There are two kinds of universal remotes: multi-brand and learning. Multi-brand universal remotes come pre-programmed with the necessary codes to operate up to four standard electronic devices, saving you the complicated and time-consuming task of having to enter the necessary coding yourself. These types of remotes are generally only able to control the main functions of their associated appliances such as power, channel changing and volume control. Some features of basic, multi-brand universal remote models include:

  • A power button
  • Device selector buttons or switches that enables you to choose which device the remote is controlling, for example separate buttons labeled TV, DVD and Hi-Fi
  • A numeric keypad for easy entering of channels and information such as date and time settings
  • Up and down selectors for volume adjustment and channel changing

Learning or upgradable universal remotes have far more features than multi-brand remotes and because of this they are more expensive. Using infrared, Bluetooth or USB, these kinds of universal remotes can be connected to a computer to learn new functions and to recognise new devices. Basically, this type of remote is capable of learning all of the functions that are programmed into a device’s original manufacturer remote control.  This makes for an excellent long-term investment, saving you the hassle of having to change your remote as your home entertainment technology changes over time. Learning universal remotes also allow for macro programming, which means several commands can be programmed into a single button. So, for example if you turn on your surround sound system every time you turn on your Blue-Ray player to watch a movie, you can create a macro on your universal remote to do this all with the single push of a button.  Since the components of home-entertainment set-ups differ from household to household, so too will the commands programmed into their universal remotes. Some other features of learning remotes are:

  • Colour LCD display or touchscreen
  • PC connectivity, enabling easy programming and upgrading with guided online setup and live support.
  • The ability to access multiple devices without the need for changing modes, such as being able to adjust the surround sound system’s volume even though the remote is in DVD mode
  • Rechargeable long-life batteries

What to Look for When Buying a Digital Radio

Radio lovers can now enjoy an even better listening experience as this perennial medium goes digital.  Digital radio offer listeners an exciting range of new features including:

  • Interference-free reception and clearer sound
  • A wider range of stations – not only listen to the stations you know and love, but also enjoy up to 22 additional digital-only stations covering a variety of music and entertainment genres such as comedy, country, jazz and dance.
  • Easier to find stations as you tune your digital radio by station name rather than frequency.

Digital radio is a completely free service.  To tune in, all you need is a digital receiver or device containing a DAB+ chip such as a clock radio, iPod dock, portable radio or media device.  Digital receivers range from around $70 for a basic digital radio to upwards of $300 for a device for more functionality.  The more advanced features offered by digital radios are similar to digital set top boxes and personal video recorders.
If you are thinking about buying a digital radio, here are some of the features you should look for: DAB+ Logo If you are shopping online you may have noticed that there are many different types of digital radios available.  Only DAB+ enabled devices can receive digital radio in Australia.  When shopping for a digital radio, look for devices with a DAB+ logo. Electronic Program Guide (EPG) If you want the ability to scroll through and see the program schedule of your selected radio station, your device will need an Electronic Program Guide.  In general, EPGs are only included on digital radios with a recording function. Recording Function Look for a digital radio with a recording function if you would like to record programs to listen to whenever you choose.  Digital radios with this function will either have an internal memory or a memory card slot.  Check the memory capacity and find out the maximum number of programs that can be saved, since some devices will over-write previously recorded material. Pause and Rewind Radios with rewind and pause functions let you go 10 to 15 minutes back in a program, depending on the broadcast’s bit rate.  Devices with this capability will in the future allow users to download music directly to the radio’s internal memory and Electronic Program Guides. Intellitext Intellitext is a scrolling text display that tells you about the broadcast you are listing to.  If you want to be able to see useful information such as the title and artist of a song or scores and refereeing decisions during a sporting match, look for a digital radio with this feature. Presets If you want to be able to save your favourite stations so you can access them at a single touch, find a device that includes preset buttons otherwise you may be stuck having to access your favourites via a menu. Stereo Sound If you prefer to listen to the radio in stereo sound, go for a device that has two speakers or one that you can easily connect to your hi-fi.

Advantages of Baking with a Breadmaker

Everyone loves the mouth-watering taste and aroma of freshly baked bread.  Imagine, being able to enjoy this experience anytime you want to, right in your own home: with home bread making machines this is now possible. There are many advantages to baking with a bread maker rather than buying bread from the shops. Convenience Traditional bread-making methods can be messy, time consuming and hard work. Breadmakers are an all-in-one bench top device capable of mixing, kneading and baking bread, saving you the time and hassle that usually goes into making bread. The machine will mix the ingredients, knead the dough, proof the dough at the optimal temperature then cook the bread to perfection, freeing you to do other things. If you choose to use a ready-made mix instead of measuring out your own ingredients, making your own bread in a breadmaker becomes even simpler.  Just add water to the bread mix in the machine, select the cycle and push start then within a few hours your fresh, homemade loaf will be ready. Anything a bakery can produce, so can a breadmaker: Vienna bread, baguettes, Panini, bagels, sourdough, brioche, pizza bases – as long as you have the right ingredients the list is endless.  You can program your machine to produce any shape and style of bread, the thickness of the surface crust and slice size. Some machines can even be programmed to add nuts or seeds to the mix at a certain time in the cycle. Machines include a timer you can set to make your bread at the time you choose. Wouldn’t it be great to wake up to a fresh, warm loaf of bread in the kitchen for breakfast? Nutrition Unlike store bought varieties, homemade breads contain no preservatives or artificial additives.  As the bread-maker you can control exactly what goes into your loaf.  For those with allergies or special dietary requirements, this is a significant advantage, so to is it fantastic benefit for anyone particularly conscious about what they are putting into their bodies. Cost Having a breadmaker saves you money in the long run.  Bread is cheap to make and with a bread machine it is so easy to do, so why go to the expense of going to your local store and paying for something that is inferior in taste and quality? Food costs are on the rise and it seems that the more nutritious something is, the more it is going to cost you.  In this context, having your own bread-maker makes real economic sense. Bread making is no longer the exclusive domain of professional bakers.  Buy your family a bread machine today and start enjoying the homemade taste, nutrition and money-saving this handy appliance can provide.