Q. My son is stationed in Okinawa. He has a Japanese cell phone plan. What is an inexpensive way to make a voice call to Okinawa?
A. You can make free calls if both of you have computers with Skype. You can also get a Skype app for many smart phones. However, in both cases you need a decent Internet connection. You can also use Google Voice for inexpensive international calls. Calls to Japanese mobile phones are currently 11 cents a minute. Visit Komando.com/news for links to Skype and Google Voice. Finally, you can use a prepaid calling card. These usually offer inexpensive rates. Just make sure to check the maintenance fees. And be sure you can place calls to Japan with the card.
Q. I want to build a gaming computer. But it should cost less than $1,500. What components should I buy?
A. You will want a high-end Intel Core i5 processor. A mid-range Core i7 will work as well. You also want at least 4 gigabytes of RAM. Get Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium or Ultimate. The graphics card is also important. Either an AMD or Nvidia card will work. A mid-range card is fine for most games; expect to spend about $150. A card in the $250 range will be more future-proof. Your power supply will need to handle all of these components. Get at least a 550 watt supply to be on the safe side. Other components will depend on your budget and needs.
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Kim Komando hosts the nation’s largest talk radio show about consumer electronics, computers and the Internet. To get the podcast or find the station nearest you, visit: http://www.komando.com/listen. To subscribe to Kim’s free e-mail newsletters, sign-up at: http://www.komando.com/newsletters.