Q. Is it better to shut down my computer at night or leave it on? I’ve heard that both can make your computer last longer.
A. This is an age-old question, and the answer did use to matter. With modern computers, however, whether you shut down or leave your computer on at night doesn’t really matter. Neither will cause any long-term damage. It’s really a matter of preference.
If you want to save some power and have a fresh reboot in the morning, then turn it off at night. If you want your computer to run maintenance tasks or be able to jump right back to work in the morning, leave it on.
You can set your computer to hibernate at night for a combo of convenience and energy saving, as well.
Q. I want to buy a video game system to help keep my body in shape. Which one would you recommend?
A. Normally, the Wii would be the best option for working out.
However, Nintendo is planning to release a new version of the system, called the Wii U, on Nov. 18.
It will come with a new fitness game and make the Wii’s sub-par graphics seem almost obsolete.
If you don’t need to play games with advanced graphics, you can still pick up a Wii. It’s about $140 plus an extra $100 for Wii Fit.
It may drop in price once the Wii U comes out. If your family wants a console to work and play the latest games, look at the Xbox 360 with Kinect or wait for the Wii U.
For more details on gaming systems, check out my gaming system buying guide.
Q. My Windows 7 computer has been moving really slowly lately. Are there any tools that can speed it up?
A. PCs do tend to slow down over time, so you might just be dealing with an older machine. However, there are a few internal issues that could cause sudden slowdown. One of the most common causes is a cluttered hard drive. Windows Disk Cleanup can go a long way in fixing these problems. To use it, go to Start >> All Programs >> Accessories >> System Tools >> Disk Cleanup.
Once you’ve run that, there are some third party programs that will help scrub away any mess Disk Cleanup leaves behind. Take a look at CCleaner, Duplicate Cleaner, and PC Decrapifier.
Q. My laptop just gave up the ghost. Do you think a tablet will be enough to replace it, or should I stick with computers?
A. You might be able to live with just a tablet. If all you need to do watch movies, play games and check in on Facebook, a tablet is just as good as a computer.
It might be even better because of its extra portability.
However, if you need to edit photos, do serious browsing or write, stick with a laptop. Before you decide to live with just a tablet, try a couple of your favorites out.
Tablets have onscreen keyboards that some people won’t like much. Do some research to make sure there are apps that perform the tasks you’d need your gadget to do, too. I’ll save you some time researching which tablet to buy with my tablet buying guide.
Q. I see people making millions on Kickstarter. Is there any way I can cash in on that kind of cash?
A. Before you buy a yacht, remember that most of the money raised on Kickstarter goes to the overhead for actually finishing the project.
Still, it’s a great way to fund your dream idea.
I have four rules for Kickstarter success.
First, make your project unique. Browse through Kickstarter to see similar ideas and tweak yours accordingly.
Then, create a compelling presentation with great incentives. People aren’t just going to hand you money: You have to entice them with videos, photos and great rewards.
Now, set a realistic funding goal. To avoid going too low or too high, set a realistic amount with a little extra to cover the unexpected.
Then, once you receive funding, all you have to do is deliver. Keep your backers updated through every step of the process.
Kim Komando hosts the nation’s largest talk radio show about consumer electronics, computers and the Internet. To get the podcast, watch the show or find the station nearest you, visit: www.komando.com/listen. To subscribe to Kim’s free email newsletters, sign-up at: www.komando.com/newsletters.