Archive for the ‘Personal Computing’ Category

How to clean your computer, physically

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

A hard key on your computer keyboard or some volatile mouse can be a nuisance when working on your computer and also a waste of time. This means that your computer needs a great amount of regular maintenance and care so that it operates properly and so if you can spend a few minutes every week on cleaning your computer can actually make a great deal.

The first common problem when it comes to cleaning the keyboard is dirt and dust accumulating between the keyboard keys. In this case you can turn the entire keyboard upside down so that you gently shake it and remove the large particles. This should be done at least once a week to avoid the particles get blocked. Then with a soft brush you remove the dust sticking to the keyboard, and then wipe it with either dump cloth or some special dust removing spray. Using the wipes soaked in clean solution, gently wipe between the keys. Make sure you never spray any solution on the keyboard any other part of the computer hardware as they can be damaged.

When  you clean the mouse, firstly turn the mouse upside down and using the pre-dampened cloth, wipe the base of it. It is a roller-ball mouse then remove the ball and clean it in water mixed with a little dishwashing liquid and then wipe it dry. You can use a small cloth bud dipped in Methylated spirits to clean any dirt inside the mouse ball casing. Make sure you specially clean the three small contact rollers which touch the mouse ball.

Hidden dust can be really bad for computers. The fans that are designed to pull in air to cool the processor and other items also cover up in dust, which can even settle over some components as an insulting blanket causing it to either overheat or to malfunction. You can us a can of compressed air to remove the buildup of dust while also holding a vacuum cleaner to suck up all the dust particles. However before you open any park of the computer make sure to first disconnect the mains and you don’t touch anything wit the vacuum cleaner nozzle.

Make sure you have a collection of basic cleaning materials for your computer always handy which should include lint-free cloth, a can of compressed air, cotton buds and a cleaning solution which all can help you easily clean and maintain your computer. There are also ready-made computer cleaning kits available at computer outlets and at large departmental stores and some even include a mini vacuum cleaner.

Here are some more tips about cleaning your computer. Reading on a dirty computer screen especially when light strikes it from different angles can be difficult and can slow down your work. In this case remove all the finger marks and dust with a clean and soft cotton cloth and take good care with an LCD screen as they are prone to scratch sooner. A little clean water is generally enough to clean computer screen but you can even use any clean solution to get rid of stubborn marks. The scanner glass should also be cleaned in the same way as the computer screen. Your computer CD writer or reader can also accumulate dirt and dust and so it is also important to frequently clean the CD player optical lens with a special cleaning material.

Holiday PC Maintenance Guide

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

Holiday PC Maintenance Guide 

Well, if you are having weekend off then one of the best methods to utilize your time is by taking care of your personal computer. Most of the people do not have any idea on how to maintain their PC. Actually, there are five main aspects which everyone must consider when they want to maintain their PC at home. Most of these methods does not cost much and are even very easy to perform these include cleaning your screen, cleaning the junk from your PC, backing-up your data, cleaning-out your programs and adding extra memory.

 

  • Cleaning Your Screen – This can be done quiet easily. However, when as you last time of cleaning your PC screen? There are times when your computer’s monitor appears to look dim; this was because your screen hasn’t been cleaned for years. You must understand that when things are cleaned they appear bright to our eyes. So, if you are having a CRT monitor then you can wipe that screen by using a paper towel. Initially, spray the Windex on the cloth and then wipe the screen completely. However, if you are having LCD monitor then use pre-tested sprays specifically designed for flat screens to wipe the screen.
  • Cleaning the junk from your PC – Well, if you see any junks in your computer screen then make sure to clean it frequently. You must know that computers especially desktop usually have fans which pull lost of air and along with the air dust particles are also pulled into the fans which literally pollute your computer. However, to clean your PC you have to initially unplug the cables completely and clear the surface on which you will place your PC. Open the cover of your PC, connect the vacuum cleaner and clean the dust which is stored inside or near the fan. Make sure you perform this act carefully. Just make sure that you use the vacuum nozzle to clear the dust particles from the surface of your PC because it may fly everywhere you blow the vacuum.
  • Backing-up Your Data – There are times when your hard drive crashes and this can result in loss of several important files. This is why it is necessary to have a back-up which will perhaps save you money and even your data. Many people may be anxious to know what is backing-up however with the reduction of prices in external hard drives it has become very easy for many to save their important fields. Once you have purchased one for yourself, plug it to your PC and in the windows folder go to the users folder and drag all your important files from it and place it into the icon that represents external drive which is in the My computer. So, this will prevent your important files from being lost with the hard drive getting crashed occasionally.
  • Cleaning-out your unused programs – If you have some unused programs in your PC then it is always better to delete them in order to have sufficient space in your hard drive. You can do this by looking for these unused files in the control panel. You will get a program named Add/Remove program where-in you can select the files which you do not need and remove them.
  • Adding extra memory – This is one of the best things you can actually do to the performance of your PC. RAM modules are cheap and so adding an additional one will provide you additional space to save more data. Once you purchase the RAM, follow the instructions available on the case and install the RAM in the perfect position. Make sure that your PC is switched-off when you are adding the RAM to your PC.

These are some simple methods through which you can easily maintain your PC at home.

Vista is, after all, still loved by someone

Friday, November 28th, 2008

It was actually very hard for Windows Vista of Microsoft to perform in the market but although there have been a number of negative perceptions about this operating system right from its release the recent data and encouraging customer feedback shows that there are still people who consider Windows Vista is a better operating system. The recent intelligence report of Microsoft clearly shows that Windows Vista has proved to be more resistant to the exploits compared to Windows XP during 2008′s first half. Additionally Microsoft blogger’s expert also ran some numbers to state that vista includes a security edge compared to Windows XP.

There was another security report from Microsoft Security Technology Unit which stated that Windows Vista had been affected by just fifty percent and less vulnerability compared to other desktop operating systems for the year 2008 and additionally it also have 19 percent less vulnerability compared to Windows XP SP2 for the same year. Therefore, with the security reports from Microsoft advertising their own operating system met with an endless debate about the metrics that are used to crown Windows Vista as the most secure operating system. However, most of the IT professionals who have upgraded to this operating system is mainly due to its high end security over Windows XP.

Better Security and Better Search from Windows Vista

 

Search and security are the two key feature that you can benefit from Windows Vista operating system. The post operation rehabilitation service in Waukesha named as Kinex Medical Center has also claimed that they have recently installed Windows Vista on 90 of their desktop computers and on 22 laptops and they are currently in the process of installing and using Windows Vista for nearly 170 tablet computers. The direct of this rehabilitation service said that the security features that are built in the Windows Vista’s security center and also the User Account Control or UAC has proved to be very effective in protecting the desktops of their users. They say that by using Windows Vista they can keep all the unwanted configurations and software out of reach without the need for any third party tools and that too with less effort compared to the previous versions of Microsoft Windows. The main reason for using Windows Vista is that it makes it easier to find patient data as the search capabilities included in the operating system are more users friendly and also much faster compared to that included in Windows XP.

The ability of Windows Vista to search for files, pieces of data or any application whether it is in network shares or email or on any local drive of the computer has provided people to be much efficient. However they are also not resistant to the negative sides of using Windows Vista as this operating system lacks testing and education by users. This does not mean it is not popularly used as there are several plus points it holds. If you just take any item it will have good points and also bad points and the key for any business is to do proper testing to find out if the operating system is beneficial for their business.

Microsoft Offers Affordable Computing

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

The subscription based computing program by Microsoft that will help nearly 20 million people throughout the world to have a laptop or a personal computer for their needs. Microsoft Corporation started this subscription based computing nearly two and a half years back after they launched this program for nearly two million computers that were deployed throughout the world. The company has already combined with more than 40 companies across 33 different courtiers throughout the world.

 

This entire innovative idea to sell computer systems as subscription would surely help people from developing nations to afford a compute system very easily. This will let people to take computers to their homes as they just have to give a very low cost and should keep paying the cost as the monthly instalments. In most parts of the world this program has worked perfectly well and now Microsoft is planning to provide more resources to these areas. The company will also soon launch a software training gateway to provide software training. This software training gateway will start as the pilot program just to find out how they partner companies and people respond.

 

About the Subscription Computing System

This computing subscription system provides an all new package of computer hardware including selected applications, Microsoft software and also a broadband connectivity, which can be easily paid off over time. The users would also have an option to include some additional hosted applications and programs which can be provided by the network operator. For instance, a single family can subscribe to the portal which will offer distance learning for local high school curriculum. There are also options for the user to subscribe to the music download service or any video highlights of their favourite sports team. If you are a small business owner then the subscription to business related services like purchasing, accounting and web site hosting can help in a great way to you’re your business.

 

Working of Subscription Computing

The subscription computing system of Microsoft helps a number of people throughout the world in gaining access to personal computer solutions. Through their ‘pay as you go’ computing system it would in lower entry costs when purchasing computers and also adds a convenient fixed payment system. You will first have to make an initial down payment which is nearly 20 percent of the entire price. You will then have to sign their 24 month contract along wit the network operator for their broadband internet service. The payments for this internet service repay the network operator for the entire balance of the computer cost. Further during the completion of the contract you will then own the computer and can choose to continue using their broadband internet service from the same network operator or can also change if needed. Your standard monthly payments will depend on the type of computer and the service you intend to use. This subscription computing system from Microsoft is literally affordable for most of the middle income families as it provides an excellent computing system for everyone.

5 Simple Tips to Speed Up Your PC

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

Almost everyone must have experienced the excitement of bringing over a new computer. However most of the people have also experienced very soon that it takes twice as long for the computer to start and additionally it also starts showing error messages and slowly you notice that your computer is has become considerably slow. The reason for slowdown of your computer performance can be due to several reasons. Therefore the first step to resolve these issues is to find out the cause for these issues. Some most frequent and common causes for low performance are

 

  • Corrupt registry or poor maintenance
  • Fragmentation, capacity issues or hard drive errors
  • Malicious processor functioning (malware, spyware, viruses)
  • Too many processes or programs running

 

It can be frustrating to deal with slow performing computers and many also end up in spending a lot of money to repair it. However there are a few steps that you can take to not just stop these issues but also enhance the overall performance of your computer.

 

Run System Maintenance Programs Regularly

This program will check the hard drive for any fragmentation or errors and will remove all the unused files. This can actually go very deep in preventing decreased computer performance when done regularly. These fragmentations means the way files are located on the hard drive and what you see as a single file is actually scattered in different drives. They are totally invisible to you and can reduce your computer performance. Defragement will basically relocate the files in a more effective and precise way. The tool to do this actually comes pre-installed on the computer but there are also more systematic maintenance programs available.  

 

Check for Malware, Spyware and Viruses Regularly

These viruses can actually cause havoc in any computer and they drastically decrease computer performance. Finding and deleting these malicious software pieces is very important in order to increase the performance of your computer. You can do this through several antisyware or antivirus programs available.

 

Check for Registry Errors

The registry basically stores all the important settings and information of the computer. As you use the computer and add or remove programs these problems start increasing in the registry. As this registry is essential for programs to run you should regularly maintain or clean your registry through the registry cleaning software available.

 

Simplify Computer Start-Up

Although you actively use a single program there are several programs running in the background without you knowing. These programs actually install themselves and even start-up automatically with you turn-on the computer. These programs can actually increase the start-up time and so decrease your computer speed. Some ways to resolve these issues is to remove all the unused programs and secondly implement start-up shields. This start-up shield lets you find and control programs running on start-up.

 

Check RAM

Hardware problems can also cause computer slowdown. The contemporary operating system available is very sophisticated and will require more RAM to run smoothly. Therefore if you have less RAM then it is very easy to upgrade your computer’s RAM using RAM chips and is also very inexpensive.

What Do You Know About Windows

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

13th of October, 2008 was a historical day for Windows Vista Team. Mike Has announced that he, along with his team had decided upon officially calling Windows’ next version as ‘Windows 7′. In fact, if seen from point of view of Mike Hash, you would get to know that he has experienced the most exciting phase of his career so far.  

The details regarding release of Windows 7 would commence within the next few weeks. The information would get furnished at WinHEC and PDC. The team headed by Mike Hash would be sharing a ‘pre-beta’ ‘developer only release’; that too, with the attendees of two of the shows, along with having given them the 1st wide in-depth look regarding what they have been upto.

 

Initially, just for the sake of convenience, the new-fangled client-operating system was called ‘Windows 7′ by team of Mike Nash. However, now, it has been officially announced as ‘Windows 7′. It has been repeatedly said that the utilization of name ‘Windows 7′ corresponds to simplicity. Since ages, different approaches have been followed with regards to having named Windows. Version numbers such as Windows 3.11 dates such as Windows 98, or ‘aspirational monikers’ such as Windows Vista or Windows XP. Since novel versions regarding Windows don’t get shipped every year, making use of date doesn’t sound sensible. Similarly, having come up with all-new ‘aspirational’ name definitely doesn’t prove of being just with what is actually tried of being achieved. The main objective is that of staying firmly rooted with respect to their aspirations regarding Windows Vista, at the time of having evolved and refined substantial investments relating to having plat formed the latest technology pertaining to Windows Vista in to Windows’ next generation. In other words, this is nothing but Windows’ 7th release. That’s why; Windows 7 goes on to make sense.

 

The entire team of Mike is extremely excited regarding the opportunity of having told you more in correspondence with ‘Windows 7′ in the forthcoming weeks. The audience would also realize that Microsoft has continued with building-on the investments started in Windows Vista for having delivered on next release pertaining to Windows Operating System. The people just have to wait and watch now. Till then, let some light be thrown on some superficial facts regarding Windows 7.

 

Five pillars

Windows Vista is said to have been designed around 5 pillars; which are specialized for ‘laptops’, designed regarding services, completely personalized for each and everyone, engineered for each and everyone, and optimized with the objective of entertainment.

 

More componentized and modularized

Windows 7 is reported of being more componentized and modularized in comparison with Vista or even other releases through Windows. Microsoft has not said whether PC makers or users would be permitted of having opted in to having installed subsystems, as users of Windows Server 2008 can make a choice regarding specific ‘roles’. However, Microsoft has given a hint that such an approach would be considered for ‘Windows 7′.

Microsoft Office Goes Web

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

Last week, Microsoft carved a niche for itself by having launched its new-fangled ‘Windows Live Framework’ as well as novel ‘Office Web Applications’ as portion of its subsequent Office version, which has been codenamed as ‘Office 14′, for having bridged end-user experiences, as far as PC, phone, and Web are concerned. 

Ray Ozzie, main software architect of Microsoft, in keynote of his at ‘Professional Developers Conference’ of the company uttered that PC, phone, and web have all gone ahead with having become a portion of regular personalized computing experience of an individual. He said that the PC is adjusting to have become more and more relevant so as to have worked and centered on web.

 

Ozzie also said that PC is one of the unparalleled personal information, high performance management device. Through power of Web, internet is becoming a well-known meeting place for connecting, communicating, transacting, and sharing. With Web, phone, and PC having bridged together, they are much more valuable to the users in comparison with the situation when they are apart.

 

As portion of ‘Windows Azure platform and its Azure Services offerings’ of Microsoft, Live Framework was unveiled. As per David Treadwell, i.e. Microsoft’s Live Platform Services’ corporate vice-president, Framework is nothing but one of the ways for customers and developers for accessing Live Services. In fact, Treadwell has further elaborated saying that Live Services is portion of Azure Platform which goes on to work for connecting people, applications, and devices. It is a known fact that users possess data in loads of diverse places, and it is often tough to integrate these devices together.

 

The basic purpose of introduction of Live mesh SaaS, i.e. software-as-a-service by Microsoft is the simplification of process of integration of different devices. SaaS is around 6 months old. Due to Live Mesh, users can connect their personal computers as well as other devices, that too, with each other through internet. The developers can also avail of the facility of creating, building, and working with various applications which integrate on the ‘local client’, or in cloud.

 

Live Framework of Microsoft makes use of programming model and live operating environment which makes provisions for users to get an access to Live Services. It is, in reality, an open, a consistent, and an interoperable framework supporting Web, phone, and PC. All these statements have been uttered by Treadwell. Microsoft has also made use of ‘conference’ for announcing novel Web applications with regards to Office 14. As per the statements of Takeshi Numoto, i.e. GM (General Manager) for MS Office, users can communicate with one another due to these applications. Their convenience would literally know no bounds due to this technology.

 

Office Web Applications can be described as Microsoft Office Excel’s, Word’s, PowerPoint’s, and OneNote’s lightweight versions. Moreover, they are a portion of ‘Office 14′. Such applications can get accessed by having made use of standard browsers inclusive of Safari, Internet Explorer, and Firefox. Through this, users can create, access, share, and edit Office documents.

Finally, Microsoft is Going to Offer You Something Free.

Monday, November 10th, 2008

Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft has been trying hard to have answered a question almost every morning: How would Microsoft compete with ‘FREE’? He says that on server-software side, ‘Windows Server’ is doing extremely well, particularly with Exchange e-mail server, along with unheralded server having good collaboration, i.e. SharePoint. Such products have improved a lot. Moreover, they are relatively simple in terms of setting up as well as management by ‘IT organizations’.  Further, Ballmer goes on to state that Exchange component has been spectacular success, i.e. it manages contacts, e-mail, calendars, that too, for thousands of companies/organizations across the globe. Exchange has also been embraced by Apple off late. Right now, iPhone syncs properly with server of Microsoft. Moreover, OS X’s next version has promised ‘native’ ‘Exchange Support’. If put in plain English, Apple’s Address Book, Mail, and ‘iCal programs’ would sync with ‘out-of-the-box Exchange’, just like iPhone. Seeing that more than around $20 billion had been generated by Windows Server last year, one gets tempted of having thought that everything is being going on swimmingly.

 

Windows Server as well as Exchange reign for several Enterprise applications, loads of websites go on to run on FreeBSD software’s Linux. Further, such softwares have ‘Open Source’ nature which encourages various sophisticated users of having modified operating system for fitting specified hardware applications requirements or configurations of theirs. For instance, Google performs the task of designing and manufacturing its own ‘servers’. Moreover, it goes on to customize ‘Open Source’ OS run by Windows. There also has been a rumor that they go on rolling their own Ethernet switched of 10-gigabit. However, vouch for it is not known as yet. Now, you can imagine the worth of Google account if Windows Server gets used by Mountain View Company. This thing would be completely objectionable by knowledgeable readers, as they would feel that the concept of Windows Server being run by Google doesn’t seem to be realistic, that too, not for reasons of price but because server software of Microsoft is not technically suited for huge ‘server farms’ like that of Google.

 

The above mentioned dictum is not false. In fact, it would be interesting for having looked at the way used opted for Microsoft for Live Cloud of its own. Previously, Microsoft was required of having resorted to the ‘other’ server software in case of applications like Hotmail. However, putting issues of scalability aside, Microsoft has been losing against ‘free server software’ for loads of easy-going web servers going out to sprout across the globe. Moreover, as Linux matures along with its cousins, inroads in ‘Enterprise applications’ would be inevitably made. Many of you are well aware of the fact that Microsoft is a leader, as far as this field is concerned. There exist competitors with respect to Open Source. They aren’t strong threat. They, however, if manage to improve, Microsoft would soon be eroded.

 

It has been observed that Linux is troublesome on desktop. Further, such a thing would seem to be much less, if server farms are considered.

Are Personal Comptuers Becoming Too Personal?

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

Due to the increasing development of high-speed computer chips, it has brought along with it several business aids and personal facilities that range from immediate online banking to trading speedy access of compact discs data and resourceful interactive multimedia games.

However, the high-tech development has come with a costly botheration —- human attachment to the machines and until today unmatched in the records of human history. In case these personal computers are not yet replaced man’s best friend the dog, then it is just because no one has still found out the right way. Perhaps one of the most convincing factors in the humanization of personal computers is the capacity to hook-up with the net. Those days are left behind when a person had to dress-up to impress someone. On the internet, you can easily sprawl your seat, have a hair-cut and can dress down however if you understand all your gigabytes from the sip drives then obviously you are the hero. On the world of internet, fast fingers are one of the biggest compliments you can offer to a friend. One of the best compliments for a woman would be like “the way you think it reminds me about my motherboard”.     

However, one of the main disadvantages of online social dome is that a person can chat with his friends for hours and not surely knowing that person’s ender. Frankly speaking, to go on a date on the internet does not cost more than making a phone call unless you would have a human company to chat with. However, this sort of crushes the great accomplishments of the latest technology.  What more do you want with the entire social globe on the internet literally surrounding the whole planet, you can now have to tackle the problems which were until now not encountered.

It was actually bad enough to convene a person who was wrong however at present you have to nominate yourself with meeting a person who is perfect for you but not at the right side of the globe. How would you like to deal with this problem? Have you ever traveled around the globe just to convene someone? What, if you would require to fly to London or Sydney for a date and then it turns to be the right place but with the wrong person? Would you say, oh no I’m having a headache I would like to go back to the airport?

There are quiet a few people who take the world wide web sociability even one step ahead by getting married on the internet. These kinds of nuptials are said to be common with fragile legalities. This kind of practice must be undertaken just by those who are completely conscious of their consequences. In this kind of net marriage, roaring your partners system constantly has to be considered as a spousal abuse. Whenever you are uploading whatever your spouse needs can be read as “incompatible differences”. So, if your spouse finds you in one of the chat rooms chatting with another woman then it may be the place for divorce.  

Will iPhone Change the Face of Personal Computing

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

New 3G Apple iPhone has been introduced to the market recently to the audience that was quite on the edge of seats for anticipation. Reviews have been in favor with many of bordering on the zealous, stated at the reviews over the web. The iPhone is thought to be a new age personal computer. It is world’s first ever real personal computer.

The iPhone also has the non-techies about the easy to use platform also a large range of applications. Pandora, a new application for music would allow the users to create their own radio stations effectively. This new application has exceeded the expectations and has proved as a popular application that the Apple has in the vast and the well-stocked stable.

The social media addicts would all be very much pleased for noting that almost all the favorite sources like Digg, Facebook, Twitter, and Flicker are all available on this new Apple iPhone too. The social networks which aren’t available presently are working too hard for changing the status. So you can definitely expect a change and the range to grow as several companies are seen to clamber on iPhone bandwagon.

The iPhone has also kept the trend for optimizing the geographic locations for all users. The new applications are all capable of putting the locations in the context, no matter where one is. You are just a click away from the nearest bookshops, theatres and restaurants with this new iPhone. If you think you need a map for locating these destinations, the
iPhone also provides with this application too.

The new iPhone just have all applications and the features which one could possibly want, except cut and the paste. Some of the people don’t seem to worry much about the readily available social networking, maps or the video capabilities of new iPhones all which concerns is that there isn’t paste and copy clipboard featured on iPhone. This isn’t a simple concern of the users but instead a burning question amongst the users of the new iPhone. The burning question which the head of Apple products, Greg Joswiak addressed by an explanation that the Apple doesn’t have long list of any priorities that features that they are aiming to introduce to iPhone  also that they have got so far that the list as they would with the 3G iPhone. Therefore, they wouldn’t get to it possibly as they have some more things which they deemed of more importance.

In the big scheme of text messaging, emailing, photo managing, picture taking, capturing videos, location mapping, and music playing, not to mention the telephone calling, who could possibly blame them for the cutting, sticking, and pasting at a lower end of to-do-list.

Seeing the various applications of the iPhone is quite eye-opening. They are quite powerful and are only getting better. Having all the personal applications and the services at the fingertips is sure to make you realize iPhone is a great useful personal computer. It is believed that the iPhone has changed the face of personal computing, remarkable page in history of technology. It is the starting of era, portable, ubiquitous, and personal computing.