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Monday, December 02, 2013

6 Tips to Save on Your Printer Ink Cartridges

Buying a printer is a one time cost, but since printer ink cartridges need to be bought on a regular basis, the cost of operating the printer and maintaining it in proper condition can add up. Each print command, however small, makes your printer use ink, but with some easy tips, you can actually save a lot of ink and use a cartridge for a longer period than usual.

1) Print only what is necessary

Lets begin with economizing. Most often, we end up making unnecessary printouts and in the process waste precious ink. For instance, you might need to print only a small portion of a web page instead of the whole page. Instead of simply printing the whole page, complete with its heavy graphics etc, be specific on what you want to have in hard copy and print only that portion.

Text always consumes less ink compared to graphics or images. If textual information is all that you need then you can make sure that you don't print the graphics and images. If it is a web page you need to save in a printed form, check for its print version. If there is no print version, you can copy and paste the text in a word document and take a printout of that.

Also try to do a bit of planning and double check what you are printing before hitting the print button.

2) Go for a quick print preview

Most branded printers such as HP, Canon, Dell, Epson or any other printer come with a printer driver which has a very useful print preview function. With this function, you can have a prior preview of the copy you want to take a print out of.

This function is especially handy when you are directly taking the print out from the Internet. At times, what you see on a site is totally different as compared to the printed version. A quick preview can help to get the printout of the material that you specifically want.

3) Make sure the power is turned off

Just as you never switch off your computer without properly shutting it down, the same rule applies to your printer too. If you don't shut down the printer properly, the print heads will remain directly exposed to air causing the ink to dry in the nozzles which, in turn, could affect the quality of printing adversely. Make it a habit to check the position of the print heads before cutting off the power.

4) Use good software

There are various ink saving software options available online. These software applications are designed to reduce the consumption of your printer ink. With these applications, you can get good quality printout copies with less ink consumption even during high resolution printing.

5) Use printer ink cartridges smartly

If you don't do printing regularly, run a small printing test at least once a week, to avoid the ink cartridges from drying up. This little precaution will help you to increase the life of the cartridge.

6) Never expose your printer to extreme temperatures

Too much variation in room temperature is bad for printer ink cartridges. You must avoid keeping your printer in too hot or too cold a temperature as the cartridges can dry up. For lasting printer performance, make sure the room has a normal and stable temperature.

With these small but important tips, your printer ink cartridges will get a longer life. It is easy to buy good quality printer ink cartridges at excellent prices from online shops.

Repairing a damaged CD

Why compact discs get damaged. Compact discs are all plastic. Compact discs are even not sensitive to magnetic fields as in case floppy disks, which never used to retain data when even a slight magnetic field is crossed with floppies. Then what is the reason why CDs get corrupted?

CDs work on the principle of reflection of light. CD drives have a built in laser that is used to read data. When laser is focused on to the CD the beam get reflected to a point when there is some data on that are i.e. 0 or 1 the points where light beam lands back is different which symbolizes the bit value.

When something on the CD breaks the path of the laser light, something like dust particle or something else like a FINGER PRINT!!!. Finger prints are nothing but natural oil from skin that sticks to the surface in contact with the skin in a pattern of skin cells. This oil or say fingerprint helps in refraction of light and loss of data to the reading source i.e. laser.

When CDs don’t run the reason is because something is interrupting the laser to read the shinny side of the CD. But I have important data what should I do now?

Most of the times it is because of dust or fingerprints, you need to clean the CD.
You can clean your CDs with plain water or a bit soapy water. And it is better to clean the CDs after some time. But this doesn’t mean you should start putting your CDs in dishwasher or washing machine every week.

All you need to do is to wipe the shinny side of the CD with a clean moist cloth and try running it again make sure the CD is dry before you run it.

People say about using all different sorts of things to clean CDs like toothpastes, wax polish etc. but I would recommend you to buy some CD cleaning kit. But if you still want to go try, do let me know the results.

And one thing I must add is that DVD work on the same principle and are bit more sensitive to dust and fingerprints. You can also use the above mentioned procedure for DVDs. But you need to be careful with DVDs

Search and Recover Lost Microsoft Word Documents

If you type a lot and are using Microsoft Word as your text processor, you’ve made the right choice. Microsoft Word is arguably the most powerful, feature-rich and handy to use by complete beginners and advanced professionals altogether. It has unparalleled strengths in creating, formatting and modifying all types of documents, from simple memos to complex reports. When you save a document in one version of Microsoft Word, it can usually be opened in a different version without problems.

But what if the document you’ve spent so much time on just disappears? What can happen to it? First and most possible, you can simply delete it yourself by an accident. You might think that this would never happen to you because there is the Windows Recycle Bin, and even if it’s accidentally emptied, you’ll just go to the Internet and get a free undelete utility. Well, it does not work this way…

Here’s what happened to my wife a couple of weeks ago. She was working on a chapter for her Ph.D. thesis, and sent it to a professor for review. Usually, she gets back a document with embedded comments by email. She saves an attachment from the email, overwriting the old one, and deletes it from her Hotmail account. But this time, things went the wrong way. She received her chapter by email and replaced the old document with the new one, only to find out that her supervisor got a copy of the old one! She opened the Recycle Bin and found out that the document was never deleted but instead, it was replaced, so it wasn’t even in the Recycle Bin. She tried to find an email that she had sent earlier, but Hotmail does not store sent messages. She asked me to do something to recover the document, and I downloaded a couple of free undelete programs, only to find that there were several dozens of deleted documents with that same name. So, I failed to recover the most recent revisions.

This story did have a happy ending, as my wife’s supervisor discovered the latest version of the document on her computer. But one thing that I learned from this story was never to rely on the Recycle Bin and free data recovery tools. To prevent this kind of things from happening, I decided to look for commercial alternatives.

I quickly discovered that there are many data recovery offers on the market. Most products mention recovering deleted or corrupted files and documents, and some tools promise recovery of files even from crashed or damaged hard drives. There are basically two types of data recovery products. They are different in how they find the lost files, and what they do to recover them. Simpler products, such as those free undelete utilities that I tried in my quest, deal with the file system. They simply scan the file system looking for records of files that are marked “deleted”, and clear the mark. This is a fast and easy way to recover lost files, and it works sometimes, especially if you deleted a file just a minute ago.

These products, as I discovered from my own experience, fail to do their job if you have a complex case or if you are recovering a failed hard drive, or if the file system is damaged. If your document has been deleted some time ago or overwritten with another file, chances of successful recovery using these tools are slim.

The other type of products deals with your hard drive directly instead of scanning the file system, but such products are slow and expensive. I also found them extremely complex to use because they don’t show the names of the deleted documents, let alone their content. These tools don’t have access to the file system, and are unaware of the files’ names, showing documents as “document_001.doc” at best, but more likely you’ll see something like “~ocume1″ instead of a proper name.

Then I found DiskInternals Word Recovery. It does an amazing thing by combining the best of the other data recovery products, while offering unprecedented efficiency dealing specifically with Microsoft Word documents such as .DOC and .RTF. It scans the file system and learns about the files that were deleted the way the free undelete tools do. Then, it goes further and scans the hard drive directly to locate Microsoft Word documents that are not shown in the file system. It uses a list of file signatures to detect the beginning and end of Microsoft Word documents, and extracts their contents and metadata on the fly. This method is said to work even if your hard drive is half dead!

DiskInternals Word Recovery synchronizes the results obtained with the file system scan with the results obtained by accessing the hard disk directly, presenting the most complete list of recoverable Word documents along with their file names, metadata and contents, and yields the best ratio of recoverability.

If I wanted to get the latest version of any Word document, I would simply use “On the Fly” filters that allow to only display files with specific title, written by specific author, or the files that contain certain text, are of a certain size, or are last saved on a specific date. The free version of DiskInternals Word Recovery allows full file preview to ensure you recover exactly what you want, and that you can recover the document in full with no garbage or missing parts.

DiskInternals Word Recovery if not free, but I for one am done with the free recovery tools. You can download and try an evaluation version for free from http://www.diskinternals.com/ , and only purchase if you see that DiskInternals Word Recovery does indeed deliver what others just offer: the complete recovery of your lost Microsoft Word documents.

The Solution To Finding Your Lost Files – Data Recovery

The Solution To Finding Your Lost Files – Data Recovery Companies

When the worst happens to your computer and all your files disappear, never worry! There are a number of quality data recovery companies that are able to restore your critical files quickly and easily.

Instead of tearing out your hair over a stubborn computer that is holding that essential file hostage, let the worries slide away and send off your hard drive to a data recovery company. These companies work their magic and recover files of all sizes in a remarkably quick turn around time. This service is essential for any individual or business that has fallen onto hard times with their computer.

Most data recovery companies operate over the internet and occupy cyberspace as they would a store front. If you find yourself in need of a quality company to find your files, look no further than the World Wide Web.

A simple search of search engines will produce hundreds of quality companies eager to solve your every problem. Before you send off your hard drive, carefully evaluate the chosen company to ensure it is legitimate and reputable. Using an incorrect company may result in further headaches and a loss of money for services not rendered.

Upon your search for a data recovery company, investigate their capabilities and services. Choosing a company that will best serve your needs will ensure the greater success in the end. You may need to compare services versus charges for these data recovery companies.

The old adage, you get what you pay for could not be truer when it comes to regaining your lost files. If you are taking the trouble to send off your hard drive in an attempt to reclaim critical files for business or personal reasons, then you should be prepared to spend the appropriate amount of money to get the job done. However, just because one data recovery is more expensive than another one does not mean the pricier company is more successful.

When choosing a data recovery company to reclaim your files, consider contacting individuals who has used their services in the past. This recommendation to use or to avoid the company may be an excellent method to choosing a company.

Also, contact the company directly and explain your specific situation. A representative for the company will be able to discuss the possibility of the recovery of your files and the estimated cost of their services. You should be sure to inquire the expense if the company is unable to recover the lost files. Many companies offer to return your hard drive without charging for their services if they are unable to deliver your compromised files.

Whichever data recovery company you entrust to regain your lost files, be sure to keep the companys contact information if you are pleased with the services rendered. Having this resource can be invaluable if a similar fate befalls your files in the future and you need a reputable source to recover these files as quickly as possible. If you are pleased with the data recovery company, be sure to tell other individuals in your predicament.

A Safer Way to Recover Damaged Partitions

Repairing damaged partitions on is a risky business. Even if you use the best toolkit and are absolutely sure in what you are doing, you are still risking your files shall something go wrong. Changes made to the damaged partition are irreversible; it is just too easy to overwrite an important system structure that holds vital information about your disk, files and data. Bottom line: it’s good to backup before performing data recovery. But is this really the best way to do it?

There is a different approach to do data recovery that is even safer. No need to backup and restore during the recovery. Instead of making a backup copy of corrupted data, you can simply take a binary snapshot of the partition being repaired, and attempt the recovery with different settings as many times as you need on this snapshot instead of the actual disk.

SoftAmbulance Partition Doctor by http://softambulance.com/ is one of a few data recovery tools that allow recovering a virtual image of a damaged hard drive instead of repairing the hard drive directly. The data recovery tool lets you create a binary image of the damaged hard drive, and works with the binary image instead of the real thing. The binary image is a big file stored on another hard disk, CD, DVD or other media. The technology is similar to making an .iso image of a CD or DVD disc, only SoftAmbulance Partition Doctor extends it to partitions or even entire disks.

The hard drive copy may be virtual, but any data you save from it is for real. SoftAmbulance Partition Doctor can recover your files, documents and other data from the binary image and put it on a healthy media. After that, you can attempt fixing the damaged system structures of the corrupted hard drivewithout taking any risk at all. Any modifications will be performed on the virtual image.

Don’t rush the recovery. Don’t take the risk of losing or corrupting your data. Create a virtual snapshot of the hard drive being repaired, and work on that snapshot instead of accessing the corrupted hard drive. This procedure keeps your original data safe, and ensures the highest level of safety during the recovery process.

I'm in no way affiliated to SoftAmbulance Partition Doctor.

Can USB Data Recovery Be Recovered?

When you store important information on a USB device, you take the chance of losing that information. Losing data on a USB can be kind of a mystery, but there are companies out there that can help you get that data back. These companies use engineering that can recover your lost data over ninety six percent of the time. These companies can even recover data that has been stored on a damaged USB device. So when you find yourself in a situation where you have lost valuable information you should not assume that this data can not be retrieved.

There are some companies that specialize in repairing damaged USB memory devices. In the process of retrieving your data, companies can also repair your device. Types of the problems they can repair broken solders, loose plugs, and broken internal connections. Some of the devices that they can fix are USB ports, USB sticks, USB drives, USB thumb drive, and Flash memory devices. These companies use a type of recovery called a jump drive recovery. They can recover any files from any type of USB drive or memory stick. Sometimes the chips inside the devices will be damaged, but don’t fret; there are some companies that can fix that problem too.

So the conclusion on USB data recovery is that just because information seems to have disappeared, doesn’t mean that it is lost forever. There are companies that can find and retrieve lost data on a damaged or removed USB device. In the process of finding data, the problems that caused the data to go missing in the first place will be fixed. This is helpful because it insures that it won’t happen again. There are programs out there that can help you retrieve your data by yourself, but the problem might be bigger than you know, so you should always seek professional help. There could be problems inside your device that prevent your device from working properly.

The Hidden Benefit Of Computer Certifications

The web is covered with stories regarding the benefits of professional computer certification, and most of them are backed up with salary surveys and the like. While there's certainly nothing wrong with making more money and having better job prospects, there's one benefit of certification that many candidates forget about.

Confidence.

You cant pay your rent with confidence you cant pay for gas with confidence you cant pay for ANYTHING with confidence, right? So who cares, right?

Wrong. The confidence you build from truly earning a certification, whether its an MCSE, CCNA, or CCIE, cannot be purchased, borrowed, or stolen. It has to be earned.

What do I mean by truly earned? First, I'm referring to those little documents out there generally referred to as brain dumps. If you buy one of these things and happen to skate by a certification exam, did you learn anything? No. Did you learn anything? No. Are you going to be effective on the job? No. As I tell my students, when you're standing in front of a server or router that isn't working, and all eyes are on you to troubleshoot the problem, the correct answer is not B. There is no multiple choice.

Secondly, I'm referring to the hope that the certification you earn was earned by taking a demanding exam.

Now, you're probably thinking okay, Chris has lost his mind. I should HOPE the test is demanding?

Yes, you should. There's nothing more useless than earning a certification that's easy to get. There's no feeling of pride, of achievement furthermore, if everyone else has that certification, what value does it have?

I can speak from experience on this one. Those of you relatively new to the field may never have used NT 4.0, but the MCSE NT 4.0 was the certification that ended up causing a lot of damage to the value of professional certifications. EVERYBODY had one. The tests were repetitive and far too simple, there were no simulation questions, and the exams required no real hands-on experience.

As a result, my MCSE NT 4.0 had little value. I also felt no sense of pride in achieving it.

Thankfully, exam vendors and authors seem to have learned their lesson. Cisco exams are not easy to pass, and the initial Cisco certification, the CCNA, demands hands-on knowledge and experience. Microsoft is (finally) adding simulator questions to their certification exams as well, and the MCSE exams have gotten tougher as well.

So if you should happen to fail an exam along the way to the top and almost all of us do just keep in mind that if the exams were not demanding, they would have no value.

After all, if it were easy, everyone would be doing it!

The Value of IT Certifications in Career Development

Information technology (IT) is the branch of engineering dealing with the use of computers and telecommunications, developing and maintaining systems as well as retrieving, storing and transmitting information. Therefore, any person wanting to develop a career in IT should be aware of the value of IT certifications.

Through education and certification, professionals gain the skills, knowledge, and validation needed to be recognized as an expert in diverse products or technologies. MCSE Certification, CCNA Certification, A+ Certification, and SAP Certification are just a few of the many credentials an IT professional may achieve.

Microsoft certification programs are considered to be the major advancement to gain both professional and education background. There are several Microsoft certifications currently available for both onsite or offsite training; being MCSE Certification, one of the most frequently requested certifications.

The Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) certification prove an individual’s expertise in designing and implementing the required infrastructure for any type of business solutions based on the Microsoft Windows 2000 platform and Microsoft Windows Server System.

Demand for the network administration job function is another branch of IT, which has grown significantly, the same as candidates applying for this certification, particularly CCNA Certification.

The CCNA certification (Cisco Certified Network Associate) indicates a foundation in apprentice knowledge of networking with certified professionals able to install, configure, and operate WAN, LAN, and dial access services for small networks with 100 nodes or fewer

Operation and configuration services also includes but are not limited to use one but several of the following protocols: Serial, Frame Relay, IP RIP, IP, IGRP, VLANs, RIP, and Ethernet, Access Lists.

IT Certifications in career development add valuable credentials for IT professionals in a competitive industry where a certification for jobs like these is needed at the same time that learning is necessary due to the constant changing business environments

A+ Certification prove the competency of entry-level service technicians in the computer industry and it is an internationally recognized testing program sponsored by the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA)

This certification is different from the others because it is not promoted by one company only, but by a whole group of PC manufacturers and other companies in the hardware market and its acceptance as an industry-wide credential offers additional benefits.

The ultimate goal of all IT certifications is in the development of your professional career is validating a specific experience required by the network and systems administrator job role for any small, middle or large company.

SAP Certification is one of the few credentials in the world of business with additional value only issued to those professionals who demonstrated their abilities by passing demanding, process-oriented exams through rigorous study or direct experience.

What kind of backup you need?

For years now, we have learned to develop our business using computers and advanced technologies. Even though computers have turned out to be an immense help, they have also contributed to data insecurity and difficult protection for information that is vital. The last affirmation was especially valid for those of us who are regular enterprise users, those who need the Internet to transmit information, while taking advantage of advanced PC or laptop backup.

Using a computer on a regular basis has taught us that such technologies need to be taken care of. This is why we have programs that improve the functionality of our computers, while adding security and virus protection. Backing up a computer or a laptop is no longer a new concept; on the contrary, every day more and more people are becoming interested in laptop backup solutions. There are also millions of people (including enterprise users) who have not discovered yet the advantage of enterprise laptop backup; they suffer each day from loss of valuable data and they should be informed about the existence of such innovative solutions.

As the Internet is a pretty good resource for information, producers of PC backup solutions have started to present their products online. They have mentioned all the features that make their products so attractive and useful to the general public and enterprise users as well, including the statement that data protection is not just a dream for the future. Laptop backup is something everyone should be interested in, including those who run just a small business to large enterprises needing protection for terabytes of data. The characteristics of such products are presented online in detail, making people understand the need for them.

Mobile and remote-office users along with enterprise users have been searching for data protection solutions for years. Today, technology has reached to a point where files can be synchronized and sent to a central server for protection. Compressed and encrypted, they can be reached at any moment and put to good use, the central server storing the good version of files and allowing you to benefit from remote web access.

Wanting to take the modern generation of laptop backup solutions even further, specialists have promised to introduce continuous data protection (CDP) facilities, innovative encryption and even full support for mobile devices, especially personal organizers. The enterprise laptop backup products are now serving a wide segment of the market, promising to gain even more popularity than it all ready gained, as the need for data protection appears more often.

The concept of data protection has always been linked with the one of data recovery. This is one of the main reasons why laptop backup products include both these two features as basic foundation. The same specialists are constantly working to develop even more advanced enterprise laptop backup, wanting to reach an even wider segment of the market. Probably one of the most attractive things about backup solutions is that they can be implemented for both PC and laptop. You are given constant sync of the data you have sent to the central server, feeling indeed the advantages of this groundbreaking technology. Without a doubt, both laptop enterprise users and PC office exploiters are taking delight in these backup products presented online, being particularly interested in the open-file/locked-file support for MS Outlook.

What Paper or Computer Files Should You Keep

Does this shock you? It did me at first, but now I subscribe to this motto and let go of all paper and information that doesn’t serve me. It’s my new mantra. If the information is important I make sure it gets filed–either in paper files or on my computer. More and more I don’t use paper files and have learned how to make new folders of important people or specific information I need to keep track of.

If you are a stacker, slinger, or stuffer, you can now expand your power by keeping only what is important to you.

How to File these Important Pieces

If in a paper file organize them alphabetically and vertically and put a complete name at the top of the manila file folder. Categorize the kinds of files too: one for household information, another for the teleclasses and speaking engagements, another for coaching clients, and another for promotion Online and off.

In a computer word folder organize information alphabetically too. “My documents” includes these and many more, but with this technique you will always know where to find the important information because it’s organized and categorized in folders Examples include: articles to submit, contacts influential, ClickBank, promotion campaigns by month and of course folders for books in word and PDF. These folders are the lifeblood of any business.

Make sure you keep only information that supports your best life. With that 20% make sure you file it so you can find it in less than two minutes!

What is a Proxy Site?

Proxy sites are web pages that provide Internet users with the ability to browse web sites that may be blocked by a content filter of some type. By making use of the proxy site as the portal to the blocked site, it is possible to circumvent the work of whatever filter is in place. At the same time, the proxy site also helps to mask the visit to the site, so that there is less evidence that the content filter was not successful in preventing the visit.

How Does A Proxy Site Work?

Essentially, the proxy site will provide the same ability to browse the Internet as any other browser. What is a little different is that instead of being able to conduct general searches for content, a proxy site allows the user to key in a specific web address and be directed to that specific page in a window that resides on the proxy site. This accomplishes two things. First, the window is coded as part of the proxy site address and not the actual web site the user is visiting. Second, any information cached on in the temporary Internet files will appear to be information related to the proxy site, and not the blocked web site.

Why Use A Proxy Site?

One of the legitimate uses of a proxy site is to get around blocked content that may contain one or two words that the filter has identified as inappropriate for viewing. Many companies make use of filters to limit the ability of employees to spend time looking at web pages that are not related to job functions in some manner. This is usually accomplished with the use of key words that programmed into the filter, which in turn blocks any page or site with those words present. While this does block access to a number of sites that have nothing to do with work, they can also inhibit access to pages and glossaries that are designed to be helpful in many job positions.

When this is the case, an employee may choose to use a proxy site to get around the block and be able to get to a page that he or she legitimately needs to view in order to accomplish a work related task. Since using a proxy site does not take much longer than using a browser window, it is much faster than calling technical support and trying to get authorization to remove a given word from the filter list.

Another advantage of using the proxy site is that the IP address of the user is not logged. This can be a great way to get around the proliferation of adware and spyware that is all too often connected to a given web site. Using the proxy site means less cleanup for the virus protection software to handle, and thus less resources required to keep the workstation clear of problems.

What is Cell Phone Tracking

Most new phones are equipped with GPS (Global Positioning System) to be able to be tracked by the provider. These type of phones can be tracked by satellites that are orbiting the earth. These satellites used to only be used by the government to help during warfare, but over the past several years, this technology has been put to use in many new different ways.

The basic principle behind the GPS technology that makes this work is the ancient practice of triangulation. If you’re not familiar about this practice, it basically works like this. You use two very distinctive landmarks to mark the center position. The thing is you have to know the exact distance between the two landmarks in order to make this practice become accurate. Once you know the exact distance between the two landmarks, you make your self become the third vector to complete the triangle.

GPS uses your cell phone with the GPS system inside it, and uses the satellite as its two basic landmarks. Based on how far the signal is away from the satellite’s relative position in the sky, a computer can figure the location of the device giving off the signal to within a few feet.

What is RAM

Anyone who works as their own tech geek on their computer system may be highly concerned about what is ram? It is a very important piece of a computer system. It is Random Access Memory which is the location where the application programs, the operating system, and data presently in use are stored. This way the computer’s processor has the ability to reach them momentarily when needed. RAM is head and shoulders above the other various types of storage inside a computer system. It’s even faster than floppy disk, hard disk, or CD-ROM. The information stored in RAM is only accessible for the length of time that a computer is begin run. Information previously stored in RAM disappears when a computer is shut down. When the computer is turned back on, information from hard disk is retrieved to bring RAM back to the forefront again. RAM is much like main memory that is accessible by programs.

How Does it Work?
RAM operates much like a human being’s short-term memory. Much like the human brain RAM is able to draw upon the computer’s long term memory for information. This is often necessary when short term memory becomes full. Most computers come equipped with at least 256 million RAM bytes plus the hard disk which has the capability of holding 40 billion bytes. Data is placed on a magnetized area that resembles a record. Computer printers also hold bytes of RAM as well. Each byte of RAM has the ability to be ascertained separately without the other bytes being accessed.

Types of RAM
RAM comes in dual forms. DRAM which is Dynamic Random Access Memory and SRAM which is Static Random Access Memory. DRAM is the most typical of the two types. DRAM requires refreshing at a rate reaching in the thousands each second. DRAM’s times for accessing information are 60 nanoseconds. SRAM is more costly, but does operate at a much quicker pace than DRAM. The interlocking of a capacitor and a transistor produces a memory cell. This is one bit of data. Also, SRAM allows access at times as quick as 10 nanoseconds.

What is Scan Disk

ScanDisk checks and repairs file systems and bad data clusters. ScanDisk is a system utility which is bundled with and all Microsoft Windows Operating Systems.

Scandisk was programmed to check the integrity of the hard disk drive to ensure that there are no significant issues which could corrupt your computer data. It is used to scan your hard disk for errors caused by improper shutdowns, viruses, etc.

It was first seen in MS-DOS version 6.2. Previous versions of MS-DOS had only a very basic, purely text-based program called CHKDSK. From Windows 95, SCANDISK added a GUI (Graphical User Interface).

The disk scanning utility bundled with Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP is also called CHKDSK and has the ability to check NTFS disk drives. From Windows 2000 onwards, it has been integrated with Disk Properties under the title of “error-checking”.

The ScanDisk utility is owned by Microsoft, which originally purchased it from Norton (now Symantec).

Scandisk can scan and correct errors in your computer and can fix damage caused to critical Windows files, thereby improving system performance.

You can find Scan Disk in Windows 95 and 98 by going to Start Menu. Afterwards, go to Programs/Accessories/System Tools/ScanDisk.

In Windows 2000 and other later versions of Windows, Scan Disk has been given the title Error Checking under disk properties.

In order to run Scan Disk in Windows 2000 and Windows XP, you need to press the Start button and click on My Computer. On the list of disk drives, select the drive you want to scan. Then, click on the File menu and choose Properties. On the Tools tab page, click on the Check Now button. As a final note, you should ideally use the Scan Disk feature once a month in order to ensure that your PC is free from errors.

3 Tips for Sending Special Messages

Staying in touch with family and friends has never been easier with the speed and efficiency of today’s technology. We live in a world of e-mail, text and instant messages and mobile conversations.

While such options make it easy to stay in touch, these technologies have also lessened the emotional aspect of our communications.

Here are a few suggestions on how to use technology to stay close to loved ones and, at the same time, bring back the personal element in your communications.

* Send a personal DVD message. Now you can give the gift of vivid, colorful memories by creating personalized DVD messages for your friends and family. It’s a fast, easy and fun way to stay in touch.

Can’t make it to your high school reunion? Use a Sony DVD Handycam camcorder to record a special message to old classmates. You can even get special Sony DVD mail envelopes to share your discs.

Encourage friends and family to reciprocate. When you receive their DVDs, just pop them into your player as you would a movie.

* Make a Webcam chat date. A picture tells a thousand words, but real-time video speaks volumes. While nothing can replace an in-person conversation, you can get awfully close to the real thing with a Webcam chat.

Gather your loved ones in front of the Webcam to talk, view photos or share advice.

First time carving the turkey? Get Dad on the Webcam – he can probably walk you through it. Schedule your chat on a special occasion – perhaps on a birthday or holiday – and don’t forget to plan your next one. You can even make it an annual event.

* Create a video file on your digital still camera. Forgot your mom’s birthday or couldn’t attend your child’s school play? Send your loved ones a video clip so that they’ll know how much you care.

Be creative, shake things up and share your ideas. It’s never been so easy to “be there when you’re not.” – NU

5 Things to Know Before Going Wireless

Before you decide to go wireless or not, there are many points to consider. You may be asking yourself if wireless is for you. Well, today, many people are asking themselves the same question. If you watch the headline news, you are bound to see stories involving mergers, federal regulations, and new tax rules. This all points to the fact that VoIP has made a definite impression on American citizens and is here to stay. It may be difficult for some people to remove the telephone cords from their homes; we have depended on them for over 100 years. But once many people take the time to weigh the pros and the cons, most choose to go wireless. Here are some reasons, why you should make the switch to wireless.

1. Wireless Creates a Faster Network

Wireless networks are fast. With VoIP, you can create a network that incorporates data, audio, video, and computer web features. You can easily monitor your network for problems and troubleshooting is much simpler with web based applications rather than hardware applications. VoIP uses less bandwidth than other applications and this in the long run saves money. This is of special value to businesses. Businesses can also provide better customer service with integrated programs. Not only does this increase productivity, but also it saves time and money in the long run.

2. VoIP Saves You Money

Overall, VoIP is much more inexpensive then PSTN. You simply pay for your Internet service, and then whichever VoIP provider you choose. For a one time monthly fee, you can have unlimited local and long distance phone calls. You will need to check with the VoIP service provider that you choose for exact details on their rates. Sometimes, your VoIP service provider will allow free calls within the world to another computer, yet there may be a fee for calls worldwide to a landline phone. Always check with your chosen service provider for exact details regarding your chosen plan. Included in many VoIP service plans are free features. These features include Voicemail, Caller ID, Call Waiting, Do Not Disturb, and more. Again, check with your chosen service provider for an overview of all the features bundled with your plan. The biggest benefit is the unlimited long distance calling. This has proven to be the number one reason why most businesses are switching to VoIP. For businesses such as sales or jobs that have mobile employees, these benefits go without saying. But overall, the average cost of VoIP is considerably less when compared to the cost of PSTN.

3. VoIP Enables you to Talk with More than One Person at a Time

With VoIP, you can talk with more than one person without paying extra for services such as three way calling. With VoIP you can have more than three people on the phone at once. VoIP is the perfect solution for those who want to explore the features of conference calls. This is very important for businesses that have employees overseas. By using the video conferencing features, employers will increase their productivity.

4. Enjoy Greater Flexibility

By using VoIP, you can take your VoIP equipment with you whenever you travel. Your VoIP service provider will send you a converter that will allow you to use your converter with any standard telephone. The converter comes programmed with your telephone number, allowing you to take your phone and phone number with you worldwide. All you will need is a high speed Internet connection and you can use your VoIP phone service. This is of extreme benefit to mobile employees. No longer are outdated telecommunications systems necessary, or are employees trying to run businesses on prepaid cell phone plans. By using VoIP, an employee will have access to his/her phone number, wherever they are located. Whether out of state, in a hotel, or traveling on a business trip, customers will be able to call the same number as well as leave voice mail on the employees computer.

5. You can Save Money for Family and Friends by Choosing Your Area Code

Many VoIP service providers will give you the option of selecting your own area code number. This is a tremendous benefit to family and friend members who can call you locally, if you select the same area code number.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Understanding Spyware

Spyware is a "malware" or malicious software that is placed on your computer without your knowledge. This can happen when you visit online web sites offering free downloads of games, when you download videos or music, or any share files, such as when you download that comic e mail from your friend. Spyware programs are piggybacked into your machine at the same time you download a file. Spyware is infecting millions of home computers today.

Spyware tracks your on line computer habits. It knows each site you visit and what you have looked up on that site. Some spyware even tracks each keystroke you make, including every bit of information you fill out on a form, such as name and address, and credit card information when you make a purchase. This has some in the online world worried that this can lead to identity theft and stealing of credit card numbers. Your computer surfing habits and personal information is then sold to businesses. The spyware business is a billion dollar industry, with lots of people getting rich selling your information without your knowledge.

Another problem with spyware is that unless you run anti spyware software often, you don't know that spyware been installed until your computer starts to slow down. By the time your computer slows down due to spyware you could have as many as six or seven different spyware programs running in the background.

You can get rid of spyware by running any of the number of anti-spyware programs available on the market today. Run these programs often. Some suggest that after you run an anti spyware program that you re-boot your computer and run the software again to make sure there are no "ticklers". Ticklers are designed to reinstall spyware.

The best way to avoid spyware is to stay away from downloading freebies. Don't open unsolicited e-mail, delete it before you open it. When downloading any software, even legitimate software programs from the internet read the end users agreement thoroughly. Some of these agreements will state that they are installing spyware type software, and by you downloading their program you are agreeing to let them put spyware on your computer. If you know this then you have the ability to say yes, or no and protect your personal information.

Network Hardware Basics

Even a basic knowledge of networking is a major asset in today's world. Even if you don't want to get into the details of the subject, the ability to connect your computer to other computers, a router or a peripheral will save you a lot of headaches. It is also a good idea to have a basic knowledge of the equipment you need and what it does. In this article we look at the basic building blocks of a computer network and explain what the various pieces of hardware do.

Of course, any network will need at computers. If you are very new to the subject a good first lesson would be to attempt to connect two computers either by Ethernet cable or wirelessly so that they can share information. If you can do this, you have created your first network.

However, when you add more computers, printers, scanners and other peripherals, as well as an internet connection, things get a lot more complicated. The average home network will have most or all of these components and business networks get infinitely more complex. So, here is a basic overview of the hardware needed to build a network.

Cable or wireless?

The most basic requirement of any network is that the various components are connected to each other. Here, there are two choices. Cable or wireless. Ethernet cable remains the fastest of the two and remains an important building block of most networks, especially large business network where high data transfer speeds are essential.

That said, the next generation of wireless is set to close the gap on Ethernet cable in terms of speed, and offer a much greater range. Already, wireless is favored in smaller networks because it spares the expense and the mess of Ethernet cables, and is easier and cheaper to maintain.

Modems

Although networks can exist without being connected to the internet, it is rare in today's world. And for a network to connect to the internet a modem is required. Most modern home or small business networks will use a cable/ADSL modem. These usually provide speeds of up to 10 Mbps by Ethernet. However, in reality, very few internet service providers can provide a connection that even comes close to this speed. Ethernet modems are the norm these days, although USB modems do exist and dial-up modems are still used, though rarely for networks.

Routers

A router is essential for all networks as it provides the connection between the Local Area Network (LAN), which is the home or small business network, and the Wide Area Network (WAN), usually the internet. A lot of home network will use a combined modem, router and switch which will allow the network to connect to the internet and allow any computers and peripherals on the network to communicate with each other. In very large business networks the router (or sometimes a gateway is used) and switch will be individual hardware devices.

Switches and hubs

There is often a lot of confusion about the difference between switches and hubs. Both allow computers and devices within a network to communicate with each other, but there are some significant differences between them. Of the two, switches are by far the better, and more expensive, option. Switches are essential for larger networks because they make the transfer of information much more efficient.

When a switch receives data from a computer or peripheral it can determine which device/s on the network on the network the data is intended for, and will only send it to its intended destination. This will not be noticed on a small home network but can make a big difference on larger networks.

A hub is a simpler device that can connect anywhere between four and 24 devices. The data will pass through the hub but it the hub will not interfere with the data in any way. Therefore, data sent through a hub will be sent to, and can be accessed by, all devices on a network.

Firewalls

Hardware firewall devices are not really necessary for home networks. The firewall software on your individual computers' operating systems' firewalls, and the security options provided by your router, should be more than enough to protect your network.

However, for business networks that are storing large amounts of sensitive information a good hardware firewall is essential. All information from outside the network must pass through this before reaching the network's main switch. If properly configured by a network professional this should provide all the security a business needs. Further software firewall protection within the network is also an option to secure the network further.

Computer Repair

Owing a computer is almost essential in today’s world. With the introduction of the internet and the convenience of email as a method of communication, it’s easy to see why most people want to have a computer in their home or office.

Computers are like anything else and there are times when they don’t operate as planned. It’s frustrating to be sitting at your desk ready to play a game or work on a document only to find that your computer isn’t being cooperative.

When it comes to computer repair it’s often wise to seek out professional help. A computer technician is specially trained to evaluate the problem and offer the best possible solution.

There are certain types of computer repair that you might want to undertake yourself. These are usually minor fixes that can be handled with a bit of instruction and attention to detail.

A computer repair that you might be able to take care of yourself is the replacement of the computer’s battery or fan. Every desktop computer has a fan inside of it. This fan is used to keep the computer’s components cool. It’s essential that the fan operates efficiently to ensure that the computer doesn’t become overheated.

The first sign that your computer’s fan might not be operating properly is that you’ll notice a different sound when you start or run your computer. Instead of immediately taking it to a computer repair shop, take a moment to test the fan.

Computers typically have two fans. One is used to cool the power supply and the other is used to cool the CPU. Open the cover of the computer and listen. If the sound does appear to be coming from the fan that cools the CPU you’ll want to replace it.

If the computer is still under warranty than this type of computer repair will be done free of charge. Follow the instructions you were given for repairs at the time of purchase. If the warranty period has elapsed you can either take it to a computer repair shop or do it yourself.

The very first and most important step when doing any computer repair is to unplug the computer from the electrical outlet. You’ll then need to examine the fan to see how it’s connected. It will probably be attached by a few small screws. Once these are loosened you’ll need to disconnect the fan from its power supply. This will be one or two small clips. Then take the fan to your computer repair shop and purchase a new one.

After replacing it, reattach the cover and plug the machine in. The fan should operate perfectly now and the noise that you were hearing will have disappeared.

Sometimes a computer will make noises because a piece of hardware isn’t attached properly. One of the likely culprits is the CD-Rom or DVD drive. Again for this type of computer repair, you’ll want to carefully remove the cover and listen for the source of the noise. After tightening the screws that hold the hardware in place and reattaching the cover, plug the machine in and listen if the offending noise is gone.

When it comes to computer repair it’s important to be safe and thorough. Computers are an expensive investment and keeping them running efficiently is crucial. If you are comfortable handling a small computer repair yourself, give it a try. If you’re not comfortable, take the machine to a local computer repair shop and allow the experts to do their job.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Backup Schedule: Learn How Often To Backup

 

Keywords:
backup, schedule, scheduling, dvd, hard drive, usb drive, external, flash


Article Body:
If you backup, you are one step away from a disaster. If you backup often, make it several steps. Learn how often to backup and how to make your own backup schedule.

Surely, one can backup to whatever backup medium he wants, but if one does not stick to a backup schedule, most of the efforts, aimed at storing or securing the important information will be spent in vain.

First, we need to figure out what we are backing up, as the backup schedule largely depends on the size of the backup data:

- small amounts of data (important work documents) can be backed up often, hourly, daily and at least weekly

- medium amounts of files (e-mail messages, project documents and work documents) can be backed up daily, weekly or monthly (at least)

- large amounts of data (e-mail messages, project documents, data files, settings files, etc) can be backed up weekly or monthly

- huge amounts of data (all of the above plus images, audios - mp3s and videos - mpegs) can be backed up monthly or yearly

- total backup (a backup of all the data on the computer) can be backed up weekly, monthly or yearly.

Which backup schedule to choose is up to you, but you will also need to choose a backup software to do that and set up the time when to perform a scheduled backup.

First of all, the backup software needs to support the backup medium you want to backup (CD, DVD, FTP, LAN, external USB or flash drive, etc). Next, you select the files you want to backup, choose the time you want to backup and leave it there. Some programs can run as a service and don't need to be launched, but some need to be running when you want the backup to be run. At any case, the computer has to be on at the time of your backup schedule.

Think the time of a backup schedule doesn't matter? What if it runs during your work day and slows down your work computer for an hour or two? To keep working _and_ to stick to the backup schedule, simply set the backup to run a couple of hours before or after your working time. This way you won't be interrupted with a scheduled backup.

Are You Safe From Hackers?

 

We don't use E-gold very often since most of our online business and customer sales are conducted through our online merchant account. However, we occasionally have someone who will request paying by E-gold so we keep an account there for this reason. Once a month or so we withdraw the funds and decided to do so yesterday. Imagine our dismay when we logged into our E-gold account yesterday and found our balance to be a big fat ZERO! We had checked the balance just a few days ago so we knew this was not correct. After investigating the history of the account, we found that a spend had been made to another e-gold account user WITHOUT our knowledge or authorization. We had been hacked!
 
Since we have up to date anti-virus and firewall software on our computer, we assumed we were safe. Not so! It seems this is not enough to keep away the hackers as the software does not prevent "Spyware" from being installed on your computer.
 
"Spyware" is software that gets onto your computer and literally "spies" on your activities. The spying can range from relatively harmless use of cookies tracking you across multiple websites... to extremely dangerous "keystroke loggers" which record passwords, credit cards, and other personal data. That data then gets relayed to the person who put the software on your computer.
 
Spyware gets on your computer in one of several different ways.
 
First, it rides along with software you download from the 'Net and install on your system.
 
Second, they come as email attachments (much like viruses) and automatically install themselves on your computer when you open the email message.
 
Third, hackers find an open port on your computer and use the "back door" to install basically anything they want.
 
And fourth, the more malicious types, like keystroke loggers, can even get installed by someone with direct physical access to your computer such as an employer, suspicious spouse, business competitor, or someone who wants to know exactly what you're doing.
 
So how do you protect yourself against these malicious hackers? You need a program that specifically scans your system for the tens-of-thousands of existing spyware programs along with the new ones appearing daily.
 
Below are two programs which specifically check for and remove spyware from your system:
 
"Spybot Search & Destroy" - http://www.safer-networking.org
"Ad Aware" - http://www.lavasoft.de/software/adaware/
 
You may have spyware lurking on your computer right now so protect yourself today by downloading one of the above programs!
 
As a point of reference, we contacted E-gold and informed them that we had been hacked. We provided them with the account number of the person who received the funds and asked for a contact e-mail address on the person. E-gold informed us that they could not provide that information without a "court order" and that basically there was no way of getting the money back!
 
Take action today to protect yourself from this growing threat! The bottom line is: - Keep your anti-virus program current
 
- Install a firewall
- Carefully screen software before installing it
- Scan specifically for spyware weekly
- Stay current on this growing threat.

Are computer viruses spread by the media?

 

If you believe what you hear in the media, there are an awful lot of viruses going around. No, I'm not talking about the make-you-sick kind of virus, though they get plenty of airtime, too. I'm talking about the kind of virus that enters via your internet connection rather than your nasal passages.


Keywords:
computer , computer tips


If you believe what you hear in the media, there are an awful lot of viruses going around. No, I'm not talking about the make-you-sick kind of virus, though they get plenty of airtime, too. I'm talking about the kind of virus that enters via your internet connection rather than your nasal passages.

What the mainstream media often don't tell you--at least, in most radio and television newscasts and in the crucial headlines and opening paragraphs of newspaper articles-- is that many of these "viruses" are not viruses at all.

What Computer Viruses Really Are

The main reason the mainstream media always are in alarm over viruses is that they tend to call any malicious computer program a virus. In reality, there are at least eleven distinct types of malicious software, or malware, commonly affecting computers today. The most common of these are worms, Trojans, and spyware.

So, what's the difference between computer viruses and the other types of malware? The difference is that computer viruses are just about the only ones that regularly shut down computers and cause other obvious damage. The most common of the other kinds of malware--worms, Trojans, and spyware--are usually only detectable with a special scan.

The Real Danger of Computer Viruses

If the other types of malware are so unobtrusive that they can only be detected with a special scan, then what's to worry about? For starters, these programs are called malicious for a reason: they are designed to cause some kind of damage, if not to your computer, then to someone else's.

Worms are most famously used to damage, destroy, or disrupt other computer networks than the one on which the host computer is located. For instance, worms have been used by website owners to shut down rival websites by sending overwhelming numbers of requests to the computer that hosts that website. Worms have also been used to send out viruses to other computers, often without infecting the host machine--after all, what would it benefit the worm to shut down its host computer?

Trojans, in turn, are often used to insert worms and other malware on your computer, even if the Trojan itself does no damage.

But even if you don't care what happens to anyone else, you should still be concerned about one kind of malware: spyware, a kind of malware that, true to its name, collects data from your computer and sends it back to a remote host.

Most spyware is only interested in monitoring your internet usage so it can tell other programs, called adware, what advertising to popup on your computer. However, there are criminal spyware programs that steal financial data, or perform a thorough identity theft. Don't think you have personal or financial data on your computer? Some spyware programs contain a keylogger, which is a program that copies whatever you type, usually in order to snatch passwords. Even if you keep no financial information on your computer, if you ever buy anything over the web, the keylogger would allow its owner to buy stuff using the same information you typed in to buy stuff yourself.

Why Blame the Media?

Given the danger of all these different types of malware, isn't it a good thing that the mass media are becoming hysterical about it? And can't they be forgiven the sloppy reporting of calling Trojans, worms, spyware, and other malware "viruses"?

No, no, no.

This is a classic case of bad reporting doing more damage than no reporting at all. In this case, the damage bad reporting has done is to promote a common myth that goes something like this: "The only malicious software is a virus. Viruses damage your computer. Therefore, if my computer is working OK, my computer has no malicious software. I only need to scan my computer for problems when there is a sign of problems."

Thanks to this myth, many people complacently let their antivirus software go months out of date, not wanting to be bothered with scheduling an automatic update. Just as bad, many people don't have any extra software to combat the other types of malware that may not be covered by antivirus software.

In fact, it's not uncommon for people who have found malware on their computers after a scan to say, "but I never had malware on my computer before!" But how would they have known if they had never scanned!

Until the biggest mainstream media--and especially television--start educating the public about the need to have their computers automatically scanned at least daily, the world will continue to have major, drawn-out problems with malware that could have been wiped out as soon as soon as the anti-malware software makers discovered it.

And until that day, the mainstream media will have many more opportunities to run hysterical stories about "viruses," thereby forcing them to sell more newspapers and broadcast to even larger audiences of people who suck at the information trough yet somehow never become full.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Get Connected To Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi, short for wireless fidelity refers to a set of wireless networking technologies more specifically referred to as any type of 802.11 network, 802.11b and 802.11a, dual band. The word Wi-Fi was built by an organization called the Wi-Fi Alliance. They overlook tests that confirm the production.

A product that undergoes the alliance analyses is given the name “Wi-Fi certified”. In earlier times, the term “Wi-Fi” was used only in place of the 2.4 GHz 802.11b.standard. It rapidly gained in fame with access points across the Unites States.

These standards are generally in used around the world, and allow users that have Wifi capable device, like a laptop or PDA to connect anywhere there is available Wi-Fi access point.

There are three standards referred to signify the speed of connection. Both the 802.11a and 802.11b are the ones capable of 54 MBPS with 802.11a additional capabilities.

802.11b are the most common of the three standards because it can transmit at 11 Megabits per Second even though the faster WI-Fi standards are quickly changing it. However, all these Wi-Fi standards are fast enough to generally allow a broadband connection.

Wireless Fidelity is an appearing technology that will probably be as common as electric outlets and phone lines in a few years. It adds great levels of convenience and high level of production for workers whose offices have a Wi-Fi access.

It is intentionally planned to be use for wireless devices but is now often used for Internet access. You can connect computers anywhere, in or out your home or office without needing wires. They are just connected to the network that uses radio signals. Even travelers can progressively equip Wi-Fi in airports, coffee shops, Internet cafes, malls, and hotels around the world.

How does W-Fi work?

Wi-Fi is the wireless way to handle networking. Wi-Fi allocates a worldwide Internet connection to be transmitted through radio waves. Radio waves are the ones that make Wi-Fi run and exist. They permit Wi-Fi networking occurs between many people. These waves are transmitted from antennae and Wi-Fi receivers are picking them up. The moment a device receives signal within the range of a Wi-Fi network, an Internet connection is produced without a chord and with the use of a Wi-Fi card that reads the signal. The user will be incited with login screen and password if needed once the connection is established between the user and the network.

How secure is Wi-Fi?

Wi-Fi maintains and continues to have numerous security issues. Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) is used in the physical and data link layers. It was planned to provide wireless security by protecting the data while it travels from one point to the other. Contrasting with the wired LANs, their networks are usually inside the building.

Even if it is protected by wireless LANs, they are more exposed due to the fact that the data travels over radio waves which are much easier to capture. One of the reasons why WEP is vulnerable, some other corporations do not even change their shared keys for a long time. The keys are too long to be used. With that much time, the key can get into other hands and use it in a wrong motive, which could be disastrous for the corporation.

Computer Repair

Owing a computer is almost essential in today’s world. With the introduction of the internet and the convenience of email as a method of communication, it’s easy to see why most people want to have a computer in their home or office.

Computers are like anything else and there are times when they don’t operate as planned. It’s frustrating to be sitting at your desk ready to play a game or work on a document only to find that your computer isn’t being cooperative.

When it comes to computer repair it’s often wise to seek out professional help. A computer technician is specially trained to evaluate the problem and offer the best possible solution.

There are certain types of computer repair that you might want to undertake yourself. These are usually minor fixes that can be handled with a bit of instruction and attention to detail.

A computer repair that you might be able to take care of yourself is the replacement of the computer’s battery or fan. Every desktop computer has a fan inside of it. This fan is used to keep the computer’s components cool. It’s essential that the fan operates efficiently to ensure that the computer doesn’t become overheated.

The first sign that your computer’s fan might not be operating properly is that you’ll notice a different sound when you start or run your computer. Instead of immediately taking it to a computer repair shop, take a moment to test the fan.

Computers typically have two fans. One is used to cool the power supply and the other is used to cool the CPU. Open the cover of the computer and listen. If the sound does appear to be coming from the fan that cools the CPU you’ll want to replace it.

If the computer is still under warranty than this type of computer repair will be done free of charge. Follow the instructions you were given for repairs at the time of purchase. If the warranty period has elapsed you can either take it to a computer repair shop or do it yourself.

The very first and most important step when doing any computer repair is to unplug the computer from the electrical outlet. You’ll then need to examine the fan to see how it’s connected. It will probably be attached by a few small screws. Once these are loosened you’ll need to disconnect the fan from its power supply. This will be one or two small clips. Then take the fan to your computer repair shop and purchase a new one.

After replacing it, reattach the cover and plug the machine in. The fan should operate perfectly now and the noise that you were hearing will have disappeared.

Sometimes a computer will make noises because a piece of hardware isn’t attached properly. One of the likely culprits is the CD-Rom or DVD drive. Again for this type of computer repair, you’ll want to carefully remove the cover and listen for the source of the noise. After tightening the screws that hold the hardware in place and reattaching the cover, plug the machine in and listen if the offending noise is gone.

When it comes to computer repair it’s important to be safe and thorough. Computers are an expensive investment and keeping them running efficiently is crucial. If you are comfortable handling a small computer repair yourself, give it a try. If you’re not comfortable, take the machine to a local computer repair shop and allow the experts to do their job.

Best Passwords

No sane person would ever like someone else reading her email. Or for that matter some other person using her password and breaking into a financial institution. You should, therefore, choose a strong, secure password in such a manner that would be a hard nut to crack for others and easy for you to remember. The more random and mixed-up you make it, the harder it is for others to crack. Mind you, if your password is compromised, the password crackers will even take over your identity.

A password, if too short, is vulnerable to attack if an attacker gets hold of the cryptographic hash of the password. Present-day computers are fast enough to try all alphabetic passwords shorter than seven characters. We can call a password weak if it is short or is a default, or which can be rapidly guessed by searching a subset of all possible passwords such as words in the dictionary, proper names, words based on the user name or common variations on these themes.

On the other hand, a strong password would be sufficiently long, random, or which can be produced only by the user who chose it, so that 'guessing' for it will require too long a time.

For maximum security, the user should follow some simple guidelines:

1) Passwords should preferably be at least 8 characters long and not more than 14.

2) Passwords should contain a mix of numbers, letters, and special characters (%&3ac_ht4@m7).

3) Passwords should not contain a dictionary word from any dictionary, be it French, Spanish, medical, etc.

4) Each password should be different from the user's User-ID and any permutation of that User-ID.

5) New passwords and old passwords should differ by at least 3 characters.

6) Avoid picking names or nicknames of people, pets, or places, or personal information that can be easily found out, such as your birthday, address etc.

7) It’s wise to stay away from common keyboard sequences, such as dfgh678 or abc345 .

8) Never form a password by appending a digit to a word. That can be easily guessed.

9) Avoid writing your password down or storing it on your computer.

10) Never share your password with anyone else.

Basics Of A Router

Router is a computer device that receives or forwards data packets to and from the Internet towards a destination in the process called routing. Router is the essential component of the computer networking that enables any sent data to arrive at the right destination.

As an illustration, imagine that the Internet is the world and one computer is one household. Other computers connected through the Internet are households around the world. Say one household will send a letter to another household in any part of the world. The letter has an address right? And that address would determine the destination of the letter. But without one reading the address, the letter would not arrive to the right receiver. The letter also would not be able to reach the intended receiver if there is not medium. This medium would be the courier. And the courier of the computer data is the router.

A router (broadband router) is also a device that enables two or more computer to receive data packets from the Internet under one IP address at the same time.

Remember that to be able to connect to the Internet, a computer must have an IP address unique from the rest of the computers. Therefore, every computer connected to the Internet has it own IP address. It is like having a fingerprint or ID as an access pass to be able to enter the web. With the presence of the router, this “fingerprint” or “ID” could be shared by two or more computer at the same time.

In simplest form, a router makes two or more computer use the Internet at the same with one access pass.

One more thing: a computer with cable modem could also be considered as a router. In this, the computer would do the process of routing like normal routers do. Other computers are then connected to the computer with Internet connection that would give it with the Internet connection. The computer with cable modem has the direct contact with the Internet and the ones connected to it are sharing the connection.

Why would anyone need a router?

For households with two or more computers who would want to have Internet connection to every computers they have, taking subscription for each would be too much. The solution is to buy a router that would enable every computer in the house to have an Internet connection. In the definition above, the broadband router would act as a hub to the existing Internet connection.

If the router is comparable to a hub, would it affect the Internet speed?

It should be taken into consideration that once a single Internet connection is divided, the connection speed is affected. But there are some broadband routers that would bring minimal slowdown to the Internet speed and the effect might not even be big.

Internet speed would also depend on the type of application used in a router. While some would inflict little effect on the speed like online games, others would terribly slowdown your connection and even hinder you to use the Internet at all.

Usually, offices use a more sophisticated router to redirect Internet connections to the large number of computers. These routers would give better data packeting compared to a typical router used at home that results to faster Internet speed.

Antivirus Software - Protecting Your Computer's Data

When you buy a new computer you must protect your investment from malicious software programs such as viruses, worms, spyware, and trojans.  These programs can cause serious damage to your computer system by erasing data or providing your sensitive data to criminals. You can help protect your personal computer by installing antivirus software to remove and prevent nasty viruses and spyware.

There are various antivirus programs available on the market and while they all do the same job, there are several things to keep in mind when choosing a program.

First you will want to consider the ease of use of the software.  The average computer user is not tech savvy so you will want your antivirus software to be very user friendly.  Look for features such as easy configuration as well as scanning your system on demand.  The software should also automatically check for updates.

A good antivirus program will also be able to remove dangerous viruses, trojans, and worms and prevent new ones from infecting your computer.  If the program cannot completely remove these viruses, it should at the minimum be able to keep the virus from spreading.

It is also important to ask if the software is a system hog.  Many antivirus programs can use up a lot of your computer's resources slowing down your system.  This can cause problems if you plan on running your antivirus software in the background while you continue to work.  There are many good programs available that use resources more effectively.  They run unnoticed in the background while you continue to work normally.

Some antivirus programs do include spyware prevention but in order to be fully protected, you may opt for purchasing separate spyware software as well.  A separate spyware program can help ensure that your computer is safe from spyware issues that a combo program may not be equipped to catch.

A Computer And Internet Glossary

When you use computers and the Internet in your business, it's all too easy to start feeling like you're drowning in a sea of nonsense. Computer-related things tend to have a language all their own, and while you don't need to know all of it, there are many confusing words and phrases that you're going to come across sooner or later. Here's a quick primer.

Bandwidth. Bandwidth is the amount of data that your website can send each second, as well as the amount of data that the visitor to your website can receive. If either one doesn't have enough bandwidth, then the website will appear slowly. For this reason, you should choose a host with plenty of bandwidth, as well as testing that your site doesn't take too long to download on slow connections.

Browser. A browser is the software (see below) that visitors to your site use to view it. The most popular browser is Microsoft's Internet Explorer, which comes with Windows.

Cookie. Cookies are data files that your site can save on the computer of someone who visits that site, to allow it to remember who they are if they return. You will find that problems people have in ordering from you will almost inevitably be related to cookies -- they will need to have them turned on.

Download. Transferring data from a website to a computer.

Favourite. A favourite is a website that a user has stored to look at again, by choosing 'Add to Favourites' in their browser's menu.

FTP. File Transfer Protocol. This is a common method of uploading (see below) files to your website.

Javascript. A common language for writing 'scripts' on websites, which are small programs that make the site more interactive. Another common cause of problems for visitors.

JPEG. Joint Photographic Experts Group. This is the name of the most popular format for pictures on the web, named after the group that came up with it. If you want to put pictures on your website, you should save them as JPEGs.

Hardware. Hardware is computer equipment that physically exists. It is the opposite of software.

Hosting. If you've got a website out there on the Internet, then you'll be paying someone for hosting. It is the service of making your site available for people to see.

HTML. HyperText Markup Language. A kind of code used to indicate how web pages should be displayed, using a system of small 'tags'. The 'b' tag, for example, causes text to appear in bold, and the 'img' tag displays a picture.

Hyperlink. A hyperlink is when a piece of text on a website can be clicked to take you to another site, or another page on the same site. For example, if clicking your email address on your website allows someone to email you, then your email address is a hyperlink.

Programming. This is when the computer is given instructions to tell it what to do, using one of many 'programming languages'. Programming languages for the web include PHP and Perl.

Server. The server is where your website is stored, and it is the server that people are connecting to when they visit the site. If someone tells you, for example, that your server is 'down', it means that your website is inaccessible. Note that server refers both to the hardware and software of this system.

Software. Programs that run on the computer, or that make your website work. Microsoft Word is software, for example, as is Apache (the most popular web server software). Opposite of hardware.

Spider. Don't be scared if a spider visits your website! Spiders are simply programs used by search engines to scan your site and help them decide where it should appear when people search. It is good to be visited by spiders, as it means you should start appearing in search engines soon.

Upload. Uploading is when you transfer data from your own computer to your website. For example, you might upload your logo, or an article you've written. Opposite of download.

URL. Uniform Resource Locator. This is just a short way of saying 'web address', meaning what you have to type in to get to your website. Sometimes pronounced as 'Earl'.

A Brief Introduction To Fiber Optics Technology

Understanding how fiber optics are made and function for uses in everyday life is an intriguing work of art combined with science. Fiber optics has been fabricated from materials that transmit light and are made from a bundle of very thin glass or plastic fibers enclosed in a tube. One end is at a source of light and the other end is a camera lens, used to channel light and images around the bends and corners. Fiber optics have a highly transparent core of glass, or plastic encircled by a covering called "cladding". Light is stimulated through a source on one end of the fiber optic and as the light travels through the tube, the cladding is there to keep it all inside. A bundle of fiber optics may be bent or twisted without distorting the image, as the cladding is designed to reflect these lighting images from inside the surface. This fiber optic light source can carry light over mass distances, ranging from a few inches to over 100 miles.

There are two kinds of fiber optics. The single-mode fiber optic is used for high speed and long distance transmissions because they have extremely tiny cores and they accept light only along the axis of the fibers. Tiny lasers send light directly into the fiber optic where there are low-loss connectors used to join the fibers within the system without substantially degrading the light signal. Then there are multi-mode which have much larger cores and accept light from a variety of angles and can use more types of light sources. Multi-mode fiber optics also use less expensive connectors, but they cannot be used over long distances as with the single-mode fiber optics.

Fiber optics have a large variety of uses. Most common and widely used in communication systems, fiber optic communication systems have a variety of features that make it superior to the systems that use the traditional copper cables. The use of fiber optics with these systems use a larger information-carrying capacity where they are not hassled with electrical interference and require fewer amplifiers then the copper cable systems. Fiber optic communication systems are installed in large networks of fiber optic bundles all around the world and even under the oceans. Many fiber optic testers are available to provide you with the best fiber optic equipment.

In fiber optic communication systems, lasers are used to transmit messages in numeric code by flashing on and off at high speeds. This code can constitute a voice or an electronic file containing, text, numbers, or illustrations, all by using fiber optics. The light from many lasers are added together onto a single fiber optic enabling thousands of currents of data to pass through a single fiber optic cable at one time. This data will travel through the fiber optics and into interpreting devices to convert the messages back into the form of its original signals. Industries also use fiber optics to measure temperatures, pressure, acceleration and voltage, among an assortment of other uses.

Cell phones, do you really want to be available all the time?

Do you really want to be available for anyone and everyone on a 24/7 basis?  What do I mean?  A famous person once said that the more available you make yourself; the more available everyone will expect you to be. People will actually be annoyed if you are not instantly and constantly available rather than being pleased when you do call. People expecting you to be available all the time may be annoying.  Cell phone calls follow you everywhere you are including your bathroom.  Even during nighttime when you want to rest, cell phones continue to ring and annoy you.  If it is important, no problem but if it is very menial, why you need to be bothered so late.

Today in this modern society, we live in and the proliferation of cell phones we see people talking anywhere and everywhere.  If used for business, this may prove to be very effective and worthy.  However, for very menial issues being bothered in your sleep and even during your bathroom time may be quite annoying if not outright disgusting.  However, if you make yourself available all the time, you created your own nightmare.

Cell phone etiquette is getting to be a forgotten concept.  You will see people talking on the phone loudly and disturbs people nearby in restaurants and even in offices.  I am sure by now, once or twice in a meeting you will notice that when a cell phone rings, almost everyone around will immediately look for their cell phones.  If you were the one talking, and then the person in front of you talks on his phone, how would you feel?  I am sure you will feel belittled and ignored.  Rude practice, and should be changed.

It may help people who use cell phones to follow certain degree of etiquette with respect to the use of cell phones specially in places where you may seem rude if you use or even when your cell phone rings.

When you are in a place of worship, it may be necessary to leave your cell phone in the house or at least turn it off if you do not want to be away with it.  This is because ringing cell phone will not just disturb you while you pray it will also disturb others.  You do not need to show off your expensive gadget in a place of worship. 

During meetings, please turn off your cell phone; it is rude to have your phone ringing while somebody speaks.  Disruption may cause problems especially when the meeting tackles extremely important issues.  However, if you are waiting for terribly important call, you may use the vibrate mode of your cell phone to alert you when a call is in-coming and leave the meeting if you need to answer the call.  You may also inform the possible caller that you are in a meeting and that you cannot be disturbed.

When traveling and if you are on-board an aircraft, you will be required to turn off your phone.  This is because electronics devices may interfere with the aircraft’s avionics.  Thus, it is a requirement to turn of your phone for safety reasons.  However, for extremely long flights, airline companies allow cell phone usage at a certain time, if you really need to make a phone call, use this time allotted if necessary.

Cell phone have become to be a necessity nowadays, that is why most people use it and cell phone manufacturers have continuously develop different usage and functions for this very small gadget. Be globally competitive, but you should understand that being rude is not part of modernity.  Follow certain degree of etiquette; this will be very helpful to you and your business.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Internet Security: Why It’s Important

In today’s world, the internet is one of the most popular tools that you can use to buy goods and services. It is considered as one of the most useful tools that people make use of. The internet have proved to be a very good venue that you can use for communication and with this, you can now purchase goods and services from the companies you can find in the internet today.

It is also a great tool to start your own online business and make transactions. With the fast and cheap communication that the internet provides, you would definitely want to get connected in the internet to make money or make life easier for you.

However, with all the advantages of the internet, there are also disadvantages. Because financial dealings are made in the internet on a daily basis, it is also considered that millions or even trillions of dollars are being exchanged in the internet everyday. This spawned a new group of criminals that would do anything to steal money from you by just using the internet.

These cyber criminals develop programs or software that invades your personal computer through the internet, will start gathering information inside your computer that may include your financial and personal information and send it automatically to the person who developed the software.

The thought of letting a stranger look at your personal and financial information without you knowing about it can definitely make you cringe in fear. With this information, the cyber criminals will be able to steal money from you by committing a very serious crime called identity theft or identity fraud.

They will also use your personal and financial information to pretend to be you and commit cons that may get you into trouble with the law without even knowing about it.

It is a fact that many people have been victimized by identity theft which has resulted in losing a lot of money or facing criminal cases they didn’t even commit. This is why it is very important for you to secure yourself from these crimes not just in the real world, but also in the cyber world or in the internet.

You can stop these crimes from happening to you by simply installing the best kind of internet security software available. Internet security softwares are a group of programs that can combat modern day threats in the internet, such as computer viruses, spyware, adware, and hackers. It is a program that will help you protect your computer from being invaded by the malicious software circulating the internet today and gain access to your files that may contain your personal and financial information.

Today, it is considered a necessity to have this kind of software in your computer in order to better protect you and your family from cyber criminals who are looking for a way to steal money from you.

Good internet security software should include:

•    Antivirus – This particular program should be included in your internet security software to protect you against viruses that are circulating the internet today. It should also have automatic update features in order to better protect you from the new viruses that keep on popping out in the internet.

•    Anti spyware/adware – Spyware and adware are very dangerous programs that can give the developer access to your files in your computer that may contain financial and personal information. This is why this feature should be included in the internet security software and should also be updateable.

•    Firewall – This particular program will prevent viruses and hackers from entering your computer.

•    Parental control – This program should be included in your internet security software especially if you have kids in order to control their internet activities and prevent them from visiting websites that may contain violence or pornography.

Securing Your Computer System

Today, more and more people are using their computers for everything from communication to online banking and investing to shopping. As we do these things on a more regular basis, we open ourselves up to potential hackers, attackers and crackers. While some may be looking to phish your personal information and identity for resale, others simply just want to use your computer as a platform from which to attack other unknowing targets. Below are a few easy, cost-effective steps you can take to make your computer more secure.

1. Always make backups of important information and store in a safe place separate from your computer.

2. Update and patch your operating system, web browser and software frequently. If you have a Windows operating system, start by going to www.windowsupdate.microsoft.com and running the update wizard. This program will help you find the latest patches for your Windows computer. Also go to www.officeupdate.microsoft.com to locate possible patches for your Office programs.

3. Install a firewall. Without a good firewall, viruses, worms, Trojans, malware and adware can all easily access your computer from the Internet. Consideration should be given to the benefits and differences between hardware and software based firewall programs.

4. Review your browser and email settings for optimum security. Why should you do this? Active-X and JavaScript are often used by hackers to plant malicious programs into your computers. While cookies are relatively harmless in terms of security concerns, they do still track your movements on the Internet to build a profile of you. At a minimum set your security setting for the “internet zone” to High, and your “trusted sites zone” to Medium Low.

5. Install antivirus software and set for automatic updates so that you receive the most current versions.

6. Do not open unknown email attachments. It is simply not enough that you may recognize the address from which it originates because many viruses can spread from a familiar address.

7. Do not run programs from unknown origins. Also, do not send these types of programs to friends and coworkers because they contain funny or amusing stories or jokes. They may contain a Trojans horse waiting to infect a computer.

8. Disable hidden filename extensions. By default, the Windows operating system is set to “hide file extensions for known file types”. Disable this option so that file extensions display in Windows. Some file extensions will, by default, continue to remain hidden, but you are more likely to see any unusual file extensions that do not belong.

9. Turn off your computer and disconnect from the network when not using the computer. A hacker can not attack your computer when you are disconnected from the network or the computer is off.

Consider making a boot disk on a floppy disk in case your computer is damaged or compromised by a malicious program. Obviously, you need to take this step before you experience a hostile breach of your system.

Phishing For Your Identity

Who hasn’t received an email directing them to visit a familiar website where they are being asked to update their personal information? The website needs you to verify or update your passwords, credit card numbers, social security number, or even your bank account number. You recognize the business name as one that you’ve conducted business with in the past. So, you click on the convenient “take me there” link and proceed to provide all the information they have requested. Unfortunately, you find out much later that the website is bogus. It was created with the sole intent to steal your personal information. You, my friend, have just been “phished”.

Phishing (pronounced as “fishing”) is defined as the act of sending an email to a recipient falsely claiming to have an established, legitimate business. The intent of the phisher is to scam the recipient into surrendering their private information, and ultimately steal your identity.

It is not at easy as you think to spot an email phishing for information. At first glance, the email may look like it is from a legitimate company. The "From" field of the e-mail may have the .com address of the company mentioned in the e-mail. The clickable link even appears to take you to the company's website, when in fact, it is a fake website built to replicate the legitimate site.

Many of these people are professional criminals. They have spent a lot of time in creating emails that look authentic. Users need to review all emails requesting personal information carefully. When reviewing your email remember that the "From Field" can be easily changed by the sender. While it may look like it is coming from a .com you do business with, looks can be deceiving. Also keep in mind that the phisher will go all out in trying to make their email look as legitimate as possible. They will even copy logos or images from the official site to use in their emails. Finally, they like to include a clickable link that the recipient can follow to conveniently update their information.

A great way to check the legitimacy of the link is to point at the link with your mouse. Then, look in the bottom left hand screen of your computer. The actual website address to which you are being directed will show up for you to view. It is a very quick and easy way to check if you are being directed to a legitimate site.

Finally, follow the golden rule. Never, ever, click the links within the text of the e-mail, and always delete the e-mail immediately. Once you have deleted the e-mail, empty the trash box in your e-mail accounts as well. If you are truly concerned that you are missing an important notice regarding one of your accounts, then type the full URL address of the website into your browser. At least then you can be confident that you are, in fact, being directed to the true and legitimate website.

What Not to Put in Your Social Network Profile

Online social networks have rapidly increased in popularity, especially over the past couple of years.  Social networking websites are popular because they easily allow you to find, connect with, and develop friendships with other internet users, often ones that share the same interests as you. To find those individuals, you must join a social networking website and create a profile.  It is often advertised that your social networking profile is the key to making and finding friends online.

As previously mentioned, your social networking profile is important when it comes to meeting other internet users. This is because, in most cases, internet users are looking to chat with someone who has the same goals, views, beliefs, and interests as they do.  Without a personal profile, it would be difficult or impossible to tell what your interests are. That is why social networking profiles are not only important, but they are needed.

When it comes to social networking profiles, a lot of focus has been placed on what you should include in your profile or display on your profile page. It has been said that pictures produce the best responses, as well as detailed personal information.  Although a picture and detailed personal information may help to increase your page views, you may be getting views that you do not necessarily want.  Despite what you may believe, most social networking websites do not have restrictions on who can view your personal profile.  In fact, internet users, even those that do not belong to your online community, can easily see profile.

Since anyone, literally anyone, can see your social networking profile, on most social networking websites, you are advised to be cautious. Essentially, this means that instead of focusing on what you should put in your online profile, you should be focusing on what not to put.  This is one the best ways to protect your safety, both on and offline. 

As previously mentioned, pictures are often recommended with social networking websites. If you are interested in positing a personal picture of yourself in your online profile you can do so, but you are advised to carefully choose that picture.  While you will want to look your best, you are advised against posting a picture that is too revealing or seductive in nature.  Most internet users can look at these types of pictures without feeling a thing, but for others these types of pictures spell danger.

If you make the decision to post a picture of yourself in your social networking website profile, you need to be careful about the rest of the information that you post.  Although you may not necessarily think about it, a picture is just a picture, but combined with your name and address, it could be a deadly combination. You are advised to only post your first name in your profile. This will make it more difficult for anyone to try and contact you off of the internet. 

It is also advised that you carefully choose your location.  A large number of online social networking sites require that you select a city, as well as a state. If it is allowed, you may only wish to list your state and not the city.  If you are required to list the city and the state that you live in, you may want to think about using a nearby city or town, especially if you live in a small town. If an internet predator wanted to contact you and you lived in a small town, it could be fairly easy for them to find you. That is why it is advised that you carefully select the answer to the location question.

In addition to the above precautionary measures, it is advised that you do not post detailed information on your children, the location of your home, your income, or when you will be leaving for vacation.  By keeping these and the above mentioned points in mind, you should be able to enjoy online social networking without having to always look behind your back.