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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Computer 101: Don't be Afraid to Do it by Yourself

Yes that's correct do not be afraid to explore and do things on computer. Do not just be a passive user of that wonderful machine that has help you a lot in so many ways. Understanding the inner working of your computer is the at the first and foremost important. How do you start to learn what's under the hood of your machine. Well there's the big INTERNET where you can find all sort of information about almost anything this days. Other of information is your group friends maybe one of them is in the information technology world and he or she just might  be able to help you out. Now why do we need to blog about this, this is just to remind everyone that it is important to get to know your computer, what are it's inner working. Okay you ask, what the heck em i must need to know, well there' a whole of them. First have ever heard of the word PROCESSOR, Central Processing Unit or CPU, then there's the memory, hard disk, graphics card, web cam, printer and a whole lot more of other words that pertains to the inner working of your computer. If not and you'd been using a computer for more than half of your life. Then i suggest you get started to learn about them. How they work together so that you can enjoy the usefulness of your computer for a long time and what will you do if somethings go wrong with your machine.

CRT monitor

First use the Internet to get a good picture of this pieces of devices under the hood of your machine. Just the the word on the search bar of your preferred search engine then select the IMAGES option on your search engine and then click the button or just press the enter key of the computer to begin the search. Let's say you type the word CPU or Processor, then it should display what a CPU or processor look like. I'm so busy i don't have the time to do all this stuff. Hey there is no rush in learning. Take it one at a time. I'm sure somewhere in time you'll fine you free time and maybe you'll be able to begin the learning process. It doesn't have to be structured learning.

System Unit

 Make your learning fun so that you will be able to absorb it better and you'll be able to do it again in again until before you know it. You now now more compare last week or last month. Also it is cool to learn about this technical stuff. More people will look up to you for help in almost aspect of the computer. You'll be surprised on what they are expecting that you should know.The important thing is to take the first step to learning but not at all at once but one at a time. Focused on one topic and learn everything you can about it. Another is do not be afraid to ask those who know this things. Yea the tech guy in your company or your neighbor. They just waiting for you to ask and your be surprised to the answer they give you. No sale's talk just pure information and a few tips and trick if they know your interested in what your asking about.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Computer 101: Using the Windows Back-up Tool - 2

Greetings, to continue on this back-up thing; let’s review what we have talked about, first there’s your checklist of item on what do need before you start the actual back-up, second the option whether what to use in the actual back-up which is whether to use a third party software or use the windows native back-up system. Again i must state that this information is applicable only to Windows user up to the Vista version. What only up to Vista, what happen if i have a windows 7 version on my laptop or desktop.  Well in windows 7 there is a slight difference compared with the old windows back-up user interface. Take a look at the image below. They the same user interface right.

Now after clicking on the back-up now button, this is where the new user interface suddenly shows itself. Remember only the user interface that is different from the rest of the other previous windows system the function is still the same. Now if you press the Back-up Now button you will the picture below.

Yes folks the clever guy back at the windows HQ has change the old user interface if your familiar with the old one. The picture below present a more challenging option than the old ones atleast for most people. Now where do we go from here? Which option should i choose in order to start the back-up process. Dont panic its right therein front of you, see the text that said SETUP BACKUP, click that and the next screen will appear to guide on what to do next.

Now the picture above appeared after you click the setup backup this interface will for a few second and after that the next picture will appear.

Tada, what does this mean? Well this will bring us back to the requirements we talked about. Notice that on the picture there several items worth investigating. First there is a question asking SELECT WHERE YOU WANT TO SAVE YOUR BACK-UP then the second lines said WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU SAVE YOUR BACK-UP ON AN EXTERNAL DRIVE. What does this first two instructions and question means. Let go back remember i mentioned that we have several choices of what back-up device we need to use. One of those device is the External drive. But i don't see any external drive on the picture. This is because the external drive it is not yet connected to the laptop or desktop. I will connect my external drive to my computer show you what will be added to the picture below if your preferred device for back-up is connected before you start the back-up process.

Now as you can see on the picture above, it is highlighted a red box a next item is added to the choices where only the DVD RW drive is present now after connecting the external drive and pressing the REFRESH button the other options now appeared on the interface. Also it is good to know that the people at Microsoft out a guidelines for choosing the backup destination feature. If you want to explore it just click the link below to see the guidelines. Now i mentioned before that it is important for you to connect the backup device or media your going to use because the back tool will look for it. And the tool will not allow you to use your hard drive as a backup destination. You need a separate device for your backup.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Computer 101: Using the Windows Back-Up Tool

Now to continue after clicking on the back-up now the picture below will appear. But before proceeding to back-up your file make sure that the back-up destination drive is currently attached to your computer. This will make it easier for you and your computer to determine were to put your files once you started the back-up process.After the back-up now button wait for a while for the welcome page to load.

Back Up Tools Welcome Page
Notice on the welcome page that a check mark has been put on the wizard mode, this means that if press the YES button the back up tool will start in wizard mode. Wizard mode is the easiest way and faster way to create your back-up. It is for beginners like us to used and to understand. While the advance mode is for the technical guy who needs to fine tune the options before proceeding with the back-up. Its is recommended to used wizard mode if you are new to kind of stuff. Okay after clicking the NEXT button the next picture below will appear.

Back or Restore Wizard

Notice there are two options on this picture. The Back files and settings and the Restore files and settings. Also note that the default is set on the first option which the Back-up files and settings. You do not need to change the setting for this one just press the NEXT button to proceed to the next instruction. Which is the what to back-up options. Please see picture below for detailed information.

What to Back-up Option

Int this options we have several to choose from. Now how are you going to choose which options is the right option for you. First determined where all you files are located. Check and double check everything so that when you select the correct option all you important files and documents will be included in the back-up. If you are the type of person where you only save all your files in the My document folder of your computer then i suggest choosing the the first option which the My Documents and Setting. Now after selecting this options press the next button to go to the next part of the back-up process.

Back information

Now on this picture you can see that there several options as well, namely the select the back-up type which is disabled. It is in grayed colored and you can click this one. The other options is the one your going to configure.The choose a place to save your back-up and the Type a name for this back-up. More on my next post.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Computer 101: How to Create a Back-up of your files. Windows Native Back-Up

On my post we blog about the need for back-up and the needed things for back-up. Now lets blog about how to back-up you files on your own. First for Windows user, windows system has already a native back-up system in place so you don't need to use another software or tool to back-up you files.Yes they are generous enough to place a back-up tools for the individual user like us. Please see picture below for more information.

Windows Back-up Location
Please note the red encircle part, it's said "This option will back up files in volume." Okay what was that? Don't be scared by it. It just telling us that this is the back-up tool for you files. Also the volumes means all your files will be back-up at the same time even the ones you are using. Now how do you get to this part. well its basically easy. First step go to the My Computer  and click or double click it, either way you'll arrived at the same spot. Next the picture on the background will appear. That the inside of the My Computer. Now for the third step choose the hard drive you going to back-up and do a mouse right click. Now to make it clear i have inserted another picture to guide you.

Note pull down menu after the Right Click mouse event
Now do you see clearly on the image, my apologies for the smaller images previously. See the pull-down menu, on the bottom part click the Properties tab and the first picture above will appear. Now click on the Back-up Now Button to begin the back-up process. You can play with it if you are not yet comfortable in using the this tool. Playing with it also enhances your knowledge on what to select on the different menu and options once you started the back-up process. Try to setup a group of files for test back-up so you will know all the options, before you start on your real file back-up process. Don't be intimidated by it, once you learn how to do it, then you'll begin to use it more and more. Go ahead and try it.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Computer 101: Self File Back-Up

On my post we blog about how important it is to save your file as often as possible, especially when you are working on it. Now i'll blog about how you can create a back-up for all your files and documents.You may ask, But i do not have the technical knowledge or know-how to do this stuff. Well this is understandable, because using something deeper on your computer is very scary and unsafe for a regular user. Also the first step is the hardest part of it. If you make that first step on this task then the rest of the next journey will become easier for you to do. Now to get you started, first of all having a back-up files is very very important, because if somethings happens to your original files, then you the resources to fall back. Also the back-up files must be regularly updated, so it pays to back-up as often as possible.

First things first we need to to some checklist on what your going to need to do your back-up files. A list of the things that you need to and have is displayed below.

  1. Organize you files and documents. Like MS word files located on one folder, spreadsheet files                    on the next folder, Picture or image on the next and other stuff on the same categories should be group together. Then place them under one main folder and put a name on it like MY FILES.
  2. After organizing your files you need to check the available medium you going to use to back-up you files like CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R or DVD-RW or even better a large size USB Flash drive which small enough to keep safe on under lock and key on you volt or safety cabinet.
  3. The method which you are going to do the back-up task. There are several method to this stuff. The most common way is to copy and paste the folder from your computer to your back-up drive or location. Another is used a third party software to back-up your files or just use the windows tools for backup. Its already there in your computer and its free, very simple to use, you can also practice using on a test files before you do it on your precious files and documents.
  4. And the last after creating your back-up make sure to verify that you have indeed created a sets of back-up off all your files.

Wow that a lot of technical stuff to do and to understands,. How on earth em i going to do all this stuff. Wait hold it. I'll try to guide you one-by-one on all this stuff. We will not tackle all of them at the same time. Remember my goal for this blog is to make the technical stuff easier for the ordinary folks out there to help them understand even if they do not have the technical background to start with. We just started on this and i will explain it all step by step and provide pictures to make it really simple and easy to on my next post.

    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    Computer 101: File Saving and Backup

    Back up your file always, how many times have you heard that phrase? This stuff is very important in all your usage of the computer. Every time you use the computer to do your task somethings might go wrong during the activity.Do we really need to back-up our files and data, and if so how often? Well the answer is a big YES and more YES. It is imperative that we back-up our computer files.And how often, as often as you can, especially if you use the computer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 12 months a year. Yup that how need to backup our stuff in the computer. I can't emphasis enough how important it is to back-up all your files. Remember if you don't back-up. There will be no chance for you to recover you data or files in the event your computer came crashing down.

    The need for back-up now is more needed than ever before because of the huge volume of data that we put into our computer everyday.A lot people has the mentality not to back-up there files, especially the documents they working until they are finish. This practice is completely wrong. Let me explain further. Lets say you are going to work on a file for several days and this file is very large, 100 pages or more and its growing everyday. Because of the heavy data encoding and lots and lots of information to put in on the documents, the saving and the backup process has been the least concern of the user. This process only happens twice or thrice during the daily activity during the typing period. What happens if and during this long process your computer suddenly hangs and you didn't save or update you files. Another scenario is that your computer is fine and working yesterday, but for some reason when you open it today, it did not start. How would you feel. This things can be very disappointing and dangerous. The scenario i mentioned are real, i have experience them during my learning days. That why when i do some encoding or word processing, i always save them as often as possible and create a back-up files for the days activity.

    Saving is the most common method of preserving newly created documents and files, from word processing, spreadsheet calculations, image editing to video editing or just simple playing with your favorite software. Some software has a feature called AUTOMATIC SAVE. It works by setting the needed time interval to save your documents on a regular basis while you work on it. It is measured in minutes, most common intervals is 5, 10, 15 20 or more minutes. This means when when you set your AUTO SAVES to 5 minutes. The document you are currently working is being save every 5 minutes. Some people don't like being disturb during the typing period by several time so they set the auto save function to longer minutes. When the auto-save activates, you will see that your word processor in reacting by temporarily not responding to your command. This can be noticeable on the status toolbar of the software where in it display the current activity. If the auto save activate this will clearly be display on the status bar of your word processor. But over used on this feature is sometimes not good, what if somethings go wrong with this feature and does not work properly. Therefore from time to time you need to manually save your work by pressing the save button on your word-processor or use the shortcut key equivalent for it like CTR L+S for most short cut key. It pays to be prudent on always updating your files and saving them, this will save you from allot of trouble and head ache in the future. So start training your selves to always save your file as often as possible.

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010

    Computer Tips And Tricks: Free Public DNS Servers from Google

    Computer Tips And Tricks: Free Public DNS Servers from Google

    Sunday, November 7, 2010

    Smart Phone Application: Video and Video Streaming

    Video, a very nice technology developed for television and now it can be found on all new models of smart-phone. Oops let me write that again, it is now a standard feature on all smart-phone whether new or old models. From your cam-coder to those big television camera to this tiny bit of lens that can be found on smart-phone.What makes this technology possible on small device like a phone is the advances on memory size and capacity. Without this technology advances the video technology for the mobile phone will not be possible because if the memory size is small then simple taking pictures and storing them on the phone will not be possible. So this technology must also be developed for small devices for the camera to work properly on the mobile phone.

    Now let cite an advance usage of this video on your mobile phone. Have seen the movie titled Bourne  the Movie and its trilogy. This movie is about a CIA hit-man and of-course the CIA itself. On the third installment of this movie trilogy. The main character is Jason Bourne a former CIA hit-man and agent. When you get to the scene where he met a reporter on the water loo station in France. The CIA is all over the place, name it and they there on this movie. How is this related to my blog, well as you can see the moment they detected that a reporter is on to them, they immediately put on the all knowing and all presence system to watch the reporter's every move. His phone is tapped, he is being observed live while walking on the street by CIA agent using there mobile phone with camera. And feeding that information to the main system onto the CIA HQ in the US. You say it's a just a movie.

    Could this be possible to used your mobile camera to send live video feed to some else or to your friend? Well the answer is yes this is now possible, live video feed not just recorded video. Okay lets go back a little first there was the video at 2.5 mega pixels. It was the standard in phone camera technology. That bask then, now it up to 5 or more mega pixels so why bother with a separate digital camera when your mobile phone has a 5 and up mega pixels with a large memory storage in the rage of 16 to 32 GB of space. The picture one can take and store is pretty immense and another technology of the smart-phone is the connectivity. This means your phone can be connected to almost anything today from printers for instant hard copy picture to computer and laptop for instant saving and uploading to the internet and direct connection to the internet for instant uploading of your photos and videos on the your favorite social media site. Pretty cool features isn't it. This also another factor why the smart-phone have dominated almost all aspect of our daily activity.

    Lets go back to the application video streaming. This feature has already found its uses today, like live reporting of sudden events where there is no big camera around. You can use this to send a report to a news network that you have agreement with to send live unfolding events from where you are. Life a traffic accident ans other news worthy events. Or just simple talk to your friend or love ones using video conference via your phone, provided both phone has camera and your network allows it, But besides that a lot of truly nice and good uses of the technology is being unfolded before our eyes. So don't be left out try your phone camera today and see what you can do with it.

    Wednesday, November 3, 2010

    Smartphone Application: Multimedia Messaging System(MMS)

    To continue on this blog series, last time i have blog about SMS or Short Messaging System. Heard of the MMS or Multimedia Messaging System. Well it not really new it been around a couple of years. Its an innovation to the earlier SMS. In SMS we can send only the message pure text only period. While in MMS they enable a feature that allow you to add an image on the text or message that you are sending, pretty cool right? Well for some it;s not but for others it a welcome change than just sending plain message. It gives the user another thing to do. In this feature, one can add his/her own created image via your phone or computer.

    You can also add simple text to this image that is if you have the time to do it. But if not there are ready made available image for you to choose. During its initial days the image were only black and white, but as the phone technology changes so does the image changes. This is needed because if you have a colored capable phone which is true today and your want to send MMS then colored images are needed or required.  Back them many people does yet used this feature because they are not familiar with it. But as the new generation of smart-phone came.

    A multimedia message on a Sony Ericsson mobile...Image via Wikipedia

    This MMS application become more and more integrated on daily activity. Everybody is now using them. If you want to send a friend a birthday message, just simple using text to do it is not enough already you need to customize your message, decorate it with lot of images, and pictures before sending it and vice-versa. Since your phone is now more capable than the earlier model then your require more from this MMS feature.

    Now lets go to the present day, what has become of the MMS, the next evolution of this feature is called Full colored picture, yup the kind that you take with the digital camera and the latest full streaming live feed video. This has become possible because of the evolution in phone technology. All phone now has a built in camera. This is one key feature that really boosted the sales of smart-phone, yo don't need an extra digital camera because your phone has already one built on it. From 2.5 megapixel to 5 megapixel. Hey this pictures look really good too.Most camera phone today is good enough for the average user.

    Handset configuration can cause problems sendi...Image via Wikipedia

    I say this because if your a professional user then, i assume you know what your requirements are. For average user this camera is very handy it allows instant picture on all times and this full colored picture can be send via the same phone. Using the MMS, from black and white to the full pledge colored picture. Also this technology has been around for sometime now, and almost everybody is using it. provided your network support its and you can pay for it.

    It cost more to send MMS than to sane regular SMS. This is because more data is being send via the network and requires more room and time to process this data compare to the SMS or the text only version. So if you want to use thie feature be sure you have the necessary credits for it.

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    Smartphone Application: Sending Message thru SMS(Texting)

    Good day, for this blog post we will talk about the usage of a Smart-phone application called the SMS or Short Messaging System or just plain Tex-ting. The used of this application has become more and more prevalent in this age of modern smart-phone. Instead of calling a person to used the call function of a phone we instead use the SMS application. We send the short message we want to send to a person or particular group of person listed on the phone memory book or just phone book. Now why do think most people find it more easy to use than using the call function or just calling the person if he or she wants to communicate with another person.

    Well for one the cost of using this feature is very cheap compare to the call rate another is this SMS application can be done very easily and does not require much effort for most veteran user. Also one can TEXT almost anywhere and in any location. Even on location without network signal, the system automatically resend the message by saving it on the output and labeling it pending, then when the signal is available it can resend this message automatically. Well some phone model requires the user to resend the message if the signal has been detected by the phone. You don't need to type the the message al-over again you just press the send button and away it goes. While compare to calling the system needs to dial the number of the other person and then wait for that person to acknowledge the call to make sure you get the message across, sometimes you cant just call someone because of situations. He or she maybe in a important meeting with a client or office meeting that they simply cannot be disturbed.

    While if you text the concerned person, if his phone is in the silent mode he or she can still peak and response to you without disturbing the meeting or the proceedings. This can be done discretely by the other person or by you defending on your situation. This cannot simple be done if you used the Call Function where you have to lift up the phone to call or response to a call. Even if you used a headset still the person needs to make certain movement in order to used or response to the in-coming call. Of course There situation that even texting is not applicable, for example if you are driving, you cannot just text away because driving needs a whole of attention, and simply doing another task while driving is very taxing and downright dangerous for you and everyone else on the street. Its a NONO to drink and drive just as the same is also thru for texting and driving at the same time. But if your stuck in a traffic jam for hours then maybe it safe to text and even to call.

    Another factor is the strength of the network signal. Using the SMS on low and High signal places has very minimal differences on the message you want to send. While if you are going to call on a low signal location, the your voice might not be properly heard or understand by the other party you are talking to. Whereas if you text on allow signal the text message still can be send by the network and it still can be receive by the intended recipient of the message. Also there a feature on every smart-phone called SEND to Many or Group Messaging. How do we do this? Simple you first need to organized the groupings by using your contact on the phone, for example group name FAMILY, OFFICEFREIND, FRIEND and other name you want to identify that certain group. After this assign the members for each group. Include all the necessary members for that group. After creating the grouping you can now used the feature.

    This feature is located on the SMS menu of your phone. Of course there is a cost associated with this SMS, if one standard message cost lets say $.001 then if your sending to five (5) person on that group them $0.001 multiple by 5 and you get the cost of sending 5 message simultaneously. The more the group members the bigger the cost detected to your account by the network provider of your phone. So make sure you always have a load especially for prepaid user whenever going on a trip or just passing a time to used the feature mentioned above.

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