Archive for January, 2009

Successes and regrets when Mac hit 25 years old

Friday, January 30th, 2009

Technology has come an incredibly long way from the early finder and system, but still a Mac user of 1984 is brought in from of a modern Mac world would not find it much different. There are still icons, menus, windows and several other interface elements which have not yet changed. Similarly both under the hood and the way it connects to outside world Mac operating system X is a completely different thing. There is a lot you can expect from the operating system X in the nest on or two years where a short answer is the core technology of Apple which is likely to change significantly in the future.

Apple has already announced about its next version of Mac OS-X would be Snow Leopard and it will mainly focus in improving performance and reliability. The OS would also add support for multicore computing and Microsoft exchange; provide faster JavaScripe executions, access to the computing power in graphics chips and also with high RAM ceilings. However it really represents a time out in the quest of Apple to add main new features to every new release of its operating systems. In previous releases of OS-X you received several features but they generally suffered from rough spotlights and edges. Hopefully, the new OS Snow Leopard would make using a Mac feel pleasurable without wanting to purchase new Mac systems. However new OS system will include some integrated applications like safari, iChat, mail, iCall and address book but it might also include twitter style microblogging that becoming more popular.

There are questions whether the application store would offer a glimpse of the future when distributing Mac software, but this is likely not. The huge success of Apple iPhone application store has led several people to consider that Apple might also try the same thing for Mac software to build a Mac application store into the iTunes and in OS-X. This can actually be much easier and if given the 30 percent cut on application store sales it would also be very profitable for Apple. However this does not seem much obvious as Apple might even break the iTunes application store because of its high bandwidth and server cost. Although there are several misconceptions among the developers and their policy restrictions make sure that you don’t stay reliable for Mac application store.

The MobileMe is the new tentative step of Apple into cloud computing. However Apple is still on its way to fully embrace what is called as ‘cloud computing which is just another term for internet, with modem concepts like open APIs, social networking and software as a service. This service is slowly approached by Apple by utilizing internet connectivity and different services to extend its applications and platforms but would not open them up radically. The Syncing of MobileMe for instance would help you manage your information among several Macs but is does not provide remarkable new ways to connect with other Mac users. The bottom line is that most Apple users would surely want to seen refinements with some new applications in its new OS. Additionally the Mac OS 11 is yet another great story to hear about.

New Windows virius variants cause increased infections

Friday, January 30th, 2009

According to the study conducted by Microsoft, there has been a worm virus which is infecting computers since the month of October has now spread to nearly eight million computers throughout the world which has also created fears which this infection would reach huge new levels by the year 2009. this virus worm is called as Kido, Downadup and Conficker can actually be transferred through different ways that include through the commonly used flash drivers which makes it difficult to protect against it even though your computer system is efficient with current updates. However this does not mean that nothing can be done stay away from this virus as you can use a reliable anti virus software and also secure all your passwords which would be hard for any of such programs to break through.

Graham Cluley who is a senior technology consultant of the computer security company named Sophos said that Microsoft has done a great job by updating the home computers of people by it is found that virus still continues to infect business who did not bother to use the patch update. He also said that the shortage of IT staff during the holiday bread did not help much while also the rolling out of the patch update over a large number of users and companies was very touch. He again added that if any of the business computer users use week passwords like QWERTY or 12345 then this virus attach can easily crack them within a short time. This harmful virus mainly works by making its way through the ‘services.exe’ files that are the most important for windows functions and after merging with it the virus lets itself to cover-up as a driver while also copying itself until the virus has modified your computer registry.

After this is done the virus would create a particular server that lets different malware from the website of a hacker to be automatically downloaded to your computer system which would reset all the restore points to make is almost impossible to regain complete control over your machine. As this virus also generated thousands of rotating websites it also makes it impossible to track the original site files and it would bury it in different URLs any of which can be one of the hacker. Although Microsoft is working hard to identity and combat this new virus, some new versions of malware make it difficult.

Eddy willems who is the security expert at Kaspersky Lab said to the reporters that there is a new variant released just less than a week before and it is the one that is causing the most problems. He added that replication methods can be good way, but as it used different mechanisms like USB sticks, if anyone uses an infected USB to another company then it would infect the entire network of the company. The virus can also download a lot of content that can create new variants through the mechanism. Therefore the initial solutions by Microsoft can be best ways to stay away from this virus to keep your and your company’s machines working efficiently.

Is Windows 7 your Vista alterative?

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Most of the Microsoft users barely have a kind word to say about Vista operating system of Microsoft Corp. It has been widely reported that most of the users who had tried using Windows Vista had actually switched back to Windows XP operating system, while there are even millions of users who have not yet tried Windows Vista and are just happy with Windows XP. Therefore you can say that Windows Vista had been a failure, although you might have enjoyed it for several months before moving to some other operating system and never returned back.

However the goal of Microsoft Corp. would be achieved by their new Windows 7 operating system. This system is currently available to be downloaded in beta format from the official website of Microsoft. There are also some major changes in Windows 7 operating system and one of the most notable changes is the tolerance for low powered computers of Windows 7 operating system. It is pretty much clear that when you opt for Microsoft Windows operating system upgrades you will basically need a more powerful computer system, but it is different in case of Windows 7 operating system. Here it would just run perfectly fine on a high specification dual core computer and would be a perfect match if you have an Asus Eee PC. This would directly help in fighting the popularity of an open source operating system similar to Linux OS.

The Windows Vista operating system has not been much harmless for Microsoft users but not profitable either. The shares of the company in a personal computer system market actually fell much below 90 percent during the last year for the first time since they maintained their higher records. However Microsoft has fought back through its recent ad campaign that has also attracted a number of consumers to their new Windows 7 operating system. Although most of the people thought it to be just another type of Vista system, Microsoft would be better off in creating something that it would be ashamed to sell under their name. This is the main goal of Microsoft with their new operating system which is even available as test version. Windows 7 operating system is not like Vista operating system but is more like those extended and developed editions to make a perfect alternative.

Something what most Microsoft users would love is the tolerance of Windows 7 system for relatively low powered hardware systems. The system runs smoothly with Panasonic Toughbook laptop with dual core processor, 2.6 GHz and 2 GB of memory. Most of the notebooks of today either run on modified versions of Linux OS or the aging Windows XP systems of Microsoft. This is because Vista operating system often overpowers standard notebooks that have smaller memory bank and slower processor. This is much different with Windows 7 OS which easily gets along with the 1.6 GHz Intel Atom process or Asus with 1 GB of memory.

New virus may have infected 1 in 3 Windows systems

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

There had been a study conducted by the Panda Security regarding a new virus attacking the PCs as they came to a conclusion that the computer virus could infect one computer from every three computers in the world. The worm or virus called Conficker or Downadup had been first found out about during the last October, but there are also more powerful versions of the same that are aggressively attacking computer systems for a little more than a week. This virus is found to spread through the most commonly used memory sticks and even through unsecure computer networks and through computers that have not been updated with the latest security updates.

Additionally, Microsoft has also studied about this unique computer virus and has found that this virus mainly works by pushing itself into the codes of most windows executable files that are called as ‘Services.exe’. the virus then copies itself in the windows operating system folder where it becomes capable of creating HTTP server. After this HTTP server is created the virus also starts to download files from the website of a hacker.

However according to the Panda Security company that monitors, according to their test on virus attack have said that from all the windows operating systems that they had scanned, they found that every 1 in total of 16 computers had been infected by this virus. However it was also found that only two million machines had been scanned for this virus and this led panda to come out with an estimate that the number of computer systems to be infected would be as high as every one among three computers according to the compute world.

The even more awful thing about this virus is that it has already caused a lot of havoc in England. Additionally according to the multiple reports the virus had also broken out most of the computer systems and the e-mail services within the ministry of Defense. Some of the experts of the governments from all over the world also believe that the complexity of this virus and also the growing number of mutations has lead them to believe that even the worst type from this virus is actually yet to come.  Therefore for its own part, Microsoft Corporation has recently issued a security bulletin along with a patch for this quickly spreading dangerous virus. This download of Patch from Microsoft is easily available from the windows update tool that is located in the start menu of Microsoft windows computer systems. Apart from this the security experts also give advise that you should make sure that you have a good password and not something like QWERTY or 123456 and also some other type of anti virus software to be installed in your machine. However as this dangerous virus changes it is actually the key in keeping your computer system updated as soon as the patch is available for you. These steps can help you can stay away or and avoid the virus entering your computer.

Windows 7 seems promising so far

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

The primary windows seven design of Microsoft would surely be singular that would change the negative Windows perceptions that were generated by Windows Vista. With regards to this Microsoft is off to an amazingly strong start with Windows 7. You must have not seen any beta engagements like Windows 7 since the Windows 95 nearly 14 years ago. However Microsoft has effectively engaged enthusiasts during its windows 95 beta which actually launched to what can be said as immense marketing campaign for a new operating system.

However the big question surrounding the new windows 7 is whether it would be a major release or would just be like the revamped Windows Vista. The executives of Microsoft showed off the new windows 7 to the day long series of demos, doing their best to impress the journalists with a long list of improved and advanced features. This seems a great release for windows 7. However when tested over a PC the user might find difficulty using the several new features that are included and the problem here could the machine is running the M3 windows 7 releases which actually locks down some of the features. The new and advanced features of windows 7 can be seem more certainly using the more recent builds like 6933 and 6926 which includes more significant revisions to hub windows features.

So, what’s so impressive about Windows 7? The clearly visible and new features are enhancements which streamline core windows task such as organizing a digital music collection or connecting to a wireless netw3ork. However the new operating system feature are much more than you can think as there are also improvements made to the core components as it includes an innovative method to stream music and other stored media directly to the network that is connected to media players. Some other changes to the windows interface are clearly obvious. The windows explore now features a button which toggles the preview pan off and on, but in Vista you had to dig three levels deeper into the menu to off and on the pan preview. Additionally, the much cooler feature is the new method to maximize, resize and restore a window. You just have to drag the title bar of the window t the top and it would maximize and the same to restore it to its original size and it can also resize itself to fit either side of the screen by dragging the window to any side.At your first glance the desktop of windows 7 does not look much different from other window OS. However the start menu and the taskbar look much like windows vista, but if you again look closely at the desktop of windows 7 you can find some noteworthy changes. Firstly the quick launch bar is removed and they are directly set of the taskbar, where you can directly place program icons to easily access them. Additionally when you just hover your mouse to a button that represents several running windows it would show a strip of thumbnails which can also be maximized by moving over them. Overall most of the common tasks are also greatly simplified in windows 7 which makes it much promising OS.

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.

Understanding hard driver defragmentation

Monday, January 19th, 2009

Most of the people who have problems accessing their computer files, browsing or surfing the internet or connecting to the internet will generally not be sure about defrag. If you find your computer performance slowly decrease while increase of errors then it is time you use the defrag software.
Understanding the basics of computer defrag is simple which is similar to the working of a human mind. When a computer system is newly purchased it would work at its best to satisfy the user. The computer memory would also start saving data much easily and would instantly provide access to the stored data. However as you keep using your computer system you will find it taking more and more time to store and load new data and information and you also find yourself waiting longer to access your stored data. This can eventually get worse if not action is taken to improve the process. It can actually take just a few months to fragment your system when extensive usage.

The computer files stored on your system actually leave small bits of data along their path and wherever saved. These small bits of information files are important once required for the home file. However these files are generally not essential enough to stop the file or the process fro working properly on their own. Therefore over them these small bits of file information start filling up the routes used by the files on the hard drive to even at some parts of the computer when the user can access a program of file. When these superhighways information is blocked the computer processing unit will also slow down dramatically regardless of how quick or strong it might be.

This compute slowdown will be least at start and the user might not have trouble accessing and saving information files. However if the system is left without a repair for longer time the system can get even slower and can even freeze up most of the programs. This can be stopped from happening as you clear the file routes using the defrag software. This defrag software lets you run a cleaning process in the file routes in your computer. This process would gather up al the small files pieces and these fragmented pieces of files would be returned to the main file from where they originated. When the process if over, all the routes would be clear and your computer programs would again start running quickly and much efficiently.

This defrag software should be run at varying intervals according to the amount of computer usage. For instance, in a call center where computers are used 24 hours the computer fragmentation would just take days. However the best solution is to set your defrag software to automatic mode which will loose file pieces at regular intervals. The fragmentation process at home would take longer but it is still important to use defrag software. The defrag software can be set to scan when the computer is not in use, like at night. Defragging your computer system would generally take two to six hours or even more depending on the level of fragmentation and also on the size of your hard drive.

Your PC’s New Year resolution

Monday, January 19th, 2009

You all might be having a New Year resolution for the year 2009. However, computer users might be dreaming of their PCs to perform better. Well, such a thing isn’t impossible.

It is a known fact that every user goes on to hit speed bump sometime or the other. The bump can be a slow booting computer, dead power-supply, e-mail attachment gone in cyberspace, or an extremely wet mobile, etc. At times, technology appears to be more troublesome in comparison with its worth.

However, just as ‘flat tires’ can get patched, majority of computer-related problems can get fixed, that too, at a faster rate. There are companies making ways for simple, speedy solutions to internet, network, hardware, software, and crises concerned with mobiles. Hold on, people! Windows has not been left out. It is agreeable that speed bumps regarding higher technology can be annoying. They must, however, not prevent you from having the ride enjoyed.
One thing can be certainly said about Vista- Search capabilities on its part have put XP to shame. You would literally pity the XP user trying to locate file with such a badly-designed search tool. Luckily, alternatives exist for this: Both, Google Desktop and Copernic Desktop Search perform the task of indexing your images, e-mail messages, documents, MP3 files, and the other content to obtain lightning-fast searches. The best part is that they allow you to peek in to the files found inside without having them opened. This is, in actual sense, the proper way of making a search tool work.

No one would like to get struck up in traffic. However, that is precisely what takes place when Windows personal Computer boots: Every start-up program tries running simultaneously, resulting in some sort of traffic jam. At this time, you need a ‘traffic cop’, i.e. an application allowing programs start-up, that too, ‘one at a time’. This application should be designed in such a way that it comes in to picture at regular intervals.The above-mentioned application is nothing but ‘Startup Delayer’. This application costs absolutely nothing. It aids you in setting up delays for the other programs, thereby simplifying congestion. This is done to boot up your PC faster. Just start by having reviewed list of various startup programs for seeing which one can wait. iTunesHelper, LightScribe Control Panel, and Google Update are instances of fine candidates. They do not need to operate immediately after the system starts.

In order to set delay for the program, have it dragged to a ‘white bar’ at Startup Delayer windows’ bottom. You would observe a line which would represent the program. Drag it towards the right or left for increasing or decreasing the delay. Carry out the same procedure for the other applications as well. However, do not forget to have them staggered by a minute.

Leave the startup programs which you can’t recognize alone. A delay consisting of 10-15 minutes for certain startups might improve start-up speed noticeably.

Google, Apple and Microsoft sued all together!

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

Yes people! You have heard something strange, but right! There is a company having sued Google, Apple, and Microsoft together. This company is none other than Cygnus systems, Inc. It’s one of the networking companies (Michigan-based). Cygnus got in to the jubilant mood after suing Google, Apple, and Microsoft for having violated a patent that was recently awarded to it. This patent consists of access and navigation of files that are based on ‘representational thumbnails’. The products such as Cover Flow feature of Apple, Chrome Browser of Google, and Vista of Microsoft have been cited with regard to infringement.

Cygnus is said to have sought permanent injunction and conventional damages which would prevent any infringement taking place further. At the same time, it’s also mentioning that such big 3 might not be sole companies after which it would go.

The patent into picture is US 7,346, 850, known as ‘System and method for iconic software environment management”. The abstract of this patent goes on to describe ‘a system and method to store, navigate, and access files present within operating system via usage of graphical thumbnail that would represent video display pertaining to active document inside active application’. To put it simple, patent awarded to Cygnus describes features identical to Apple’s Finder and Windows Explorer- Such applications make use of scaled-down previews for representing actual documents which have been browsed by PC users. This patent also includes things such as file icons which dynamically update for reflecting changes to contents of respective documents, along with ‘Speed Dial’ feature of Opera. This feature presents easy-access websites’ visual dashboard. Complaint by Cygnus also cites iPhone’s ‘accompanying iconic file preview and access functionality’ and tab thumbnails of Safari browser.

There are certain discrepancies with regards to this complaint by Cygnus, however, like targeting Google, that doesn’t actually make software ‘inside the OS’. Apart from all this, its claim stating that its patent has been infringed by Google by manufacturing, selling, using, and presenting Chrome web browser of Google for sale is a bit weird. At present, Google Chrome is being offered in the form of a download with respect to Windows Vista and XP SP2, absolutely free-of-cost.

Cygnus had filed the patent on 8th of June, 2001 in the form of continuation of one of the applications which was filed on 12th of June, 1998. This patent was, however, granted on 18th of March, 2008. Since then, Cygnus has lost no time in applying a ‘lawsuit strategy’ for recovering a prize of damages sufficient enough to have compensated plaintiff with regards to infringement which has taken place. Noteworthy is the fact that Cygnus is seeking loads of retroactive damages since date of infringement.

Google, Apple, and Microsoft aren’t likely of being the sole targets of Cygnus if the lawsuit is capable of getting anywhere. Several other products and companies like Opera, iPhoto, Adobe, Windows Mobile, even web services such as Flickr might all go on to infringe upon certain broad terms within Cygnus’ patent.

Windows Vista service pack 2

Wednesday, January 14th, 2009

Recently on 2nd of December 2008, windows vista SP2 was released by Microsoft Corporation, which is for the first time in the history that Microsoft packaged a particular download which applies to both the server and the client editions of an operating system. SP2 Beta or the so called Service Pack Cleaning Tool is one of the best tools which help users in removing older versions from their system files and replacing them by new versions. This saves some of the valuable disk space of the user. However, there is one caution about this cleaning tool and that is once the user runs this tool it does not stops until it finishes it job. This means that the user cannot roll back this package without deleting the hard drive once cleaning tools performs its job. So, the user has to ensure what really is required to be done before using this cleaning tool.

It has been seen in some cases that the free space decreased a lot from 44.4GB to 43.9GB once the cleaning tool was operated. In the beginning after running the cleaning tool the free space increased to 44.8 GB and after few minutes it was reduced to 43.9GB. In order to get rid of this possibility which affects the free disk space the comp outer was restarted and then there was a further change in the free space which showed 44.0GB memory which was slight below from what the beginning memory space was. Then after restarting for the second time the memory space read 45.0GB. This is one example which was experienced by a person however you must not expect for miracles to happen by using the cleaning tool. Remember that your savings usually depend on the duration you had installed Vista on your personal computer.

Microsoft has revealed that the sidebar gadget at present uses less system resources. In a casual test the memory usage on 2 different personal computers side by side were monitored. One was a Dell Optiplex Desktop Vista Service Pack 1 and the other one was HP notebook Vista Service Pack 2, both these computers had a memory space of 2GB. In order to ensure the comparison to be accurate all the sidebar gadgets were restarted and later same gadgets were added on both the personal computers. After few hours, both the computers were operating the same task with sidebar gadgets on both of them. This was included with some actions like removing, changing and adding of gadgets quite frequently.

At the end, the Service Pack 2 showed some improvements with slight more free space compared to the Service Pack 1. This shows that the Vista Service Pack 2 is better as it improves the computer free space memory more than the Vista Service Pack 1. However, the actual difference usually depends on which kind of widgets were opened and if the user is having a personal computer which is operating for long time. So, anyone has ever tried the latest Vista Service Pack 2 Beta? Go ahead and buy one for yourself and experience the change.