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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Computer 101: The Random Access Memory (RAM)

Ever heard of the term RAM or Random Access Memory, If have used a computer then chances are you have heard of it.  How about the following, SIMM, DIMM, DDR and many others, well they may sound different but when we asked an ordinary person on the street, they won’t know what those terms will mean. Simple put it the SIMM, DIMM and DDR have something in common, they are all RAM.  Now what is RAM and how does it work? Well let’s put it this way, without the basic RAM or memory, your high tech devices will not work, those devices include, computers, laptop, phones, and the like that need a specific minimum amount of memory to function properly. The RAM or memory has one important feature that makes it very useful and has been adapted to all almost computer based devices. The size or the amount or space for the data that can be created on a small package.

Take a look at today’s latest Smartphone and gadget. Most of them have more RAM than high end gaming computer and to think that they smaller devices compare to a regular size computer. Most high end phone has 8, 16, or 32 Gig of expandable memory installed on them. The actual size of the memory package for these devices has become much smaller compare to a memory for a regular desktop computer.

Now how does a memory work, let’s take a regular desktop computer for example purposes. Let’s say that this computer has 1GIG of memory installed in it. Now this 1 gig of memory space may be compose of 2 or more memory module package just like in the fast or for new memory module package the 1 gig memory amount is now contained within a single memory module or package. Who uses the memory amount inside a computer? Well there are a lot of users who need the memory for them to work properly. All computer software needs the space provided by the memory to work properly. Computer software includes the Operating system and the Application program.

The operating system like windows, MAC or any other OS is the first to use the memory space available to it. In pact it manages the memory space available so that not one application program has the monopoly of using the memory space. The operating system warns the user if the available memory is not enough for multiple programs being run simultaneously by the user. It’s like this, if the memory is near capacity a warning will be given and additional program will no longer be permitted to work. The OS will ask the user to close program not being use to make way for other program to use the memory resources vacated by the previously closed program.

To cope with this problem, the most common solution is add more memory module to increase the  amount space available in a particular computer so from 1 gig it can be expanded to 4 gig maximum for 32 bit system. Wait a minute what is that? Yes there is a limit to how many can be added to a regular computer notice the maximum slot available for most computer in the 32 bit architecture is 2 up to 4 slots per motherboard. This was by design way back when it was costly to produce a memory module. They design it thinking the limit for the 32 bit architecture will not be reach yet. But since the computer technology development and evolution is very fast, the 64 bit which is use initially for big business is being push for use on the regular market.

Now let’s go back to the memory, there’s a saying the bigger memory the better yes this is true, but this will also cost a lot. The more memory a computer has the more the number of program it can use simultaneously. And for single program user the more memory the faster the program will run and work for you. Example of this when playing your favorites games, or watching a movie on your computer, or listening to music while typing a document, or using editing software that requires a lot memory to work fast and effectively. In the end it’s all about what you require will determine how much memory amount you will need to satisfy that requirements.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mac Data Recovery

This article has been contributed by David Ritchie. David is a software developer and technical writer with over 10 years of professional experience. He is currently interested in Mac data recovery software.

As a Mac computer user, you pride yourself over the benefits of this platform than that of the PC.  However, whether you are a Mac computer novice or veteran, you will find that losing data on the Mac is no fun.  Worse, the Apple provides very little support for data recovery once files are deleted and overwritten from the trash bin.   Your ally in this regard are third-party software tools specific for Mac Data Recovery.

If you have not yet had the misfortune of data loss from your Mac, you are wise to be reading this article.  In addition to sudden power outage events, data loss can occur while performing files transfers to or from the Internet.   A poorly formatted file, a server failure, or your ISP provider's connection can be the reasons for data loss during Internet file transfers. 

Signs of impending data loss can associate with an oncoming hard disk failure.  If you notice your Mac slowing down you can certainly check the health of your hard disk using the installation CD or DVD to run the Disk Utility program. 

When data loss is known, third-party tools such as MacKeeper and other Mac Data Recovery tools can help you find particular files for recovery.   Finding the data recovery tool that works for you requires two things; your understanding of the operating system you have with your Mac and the file types familiar to you that will need recovery.  A bit of web research or research at an electronics store will help you determine which program would work to your greatest advantage.  Read a few product and user reviews to ground yourself in others' perspectives of one tool over another. 

Generally, Mac data recovery tools operate by doing a deep scan of your hard drive for lost file fragments with header information that is pulled together in a list for you to determine which files you wish to recover.  Common graphics, text, audio, video, and photo file formats are searched. Some Mac data recovery tools will also allow you to preview the recoverable file.  The recovery operation is then called by you for the files you wish to recover. 

Proactive steps to investigate and purchase Mac data recovery software before you need it puts you in the best position to deal with the situation when needed.   Also, you are wise to record any error messages displayed while using your Mac and do a bit of research on what each message means to ward off potential hard disk issues and data loss.   

Mac Data recovery tools often include hard disk troubleshooting and recovery utilities. That can be especially helpful if you do not have the original installation CD/DVD for your Mac and your hard drive is inaccessible.   Emergency boot-up software will allow you to start  your Mac from the external media to your hard drive and then determine if you can recover your hard disk.   

This article has been contributed by David Ritchie. David is a software developer and technical writer with over 10 years of professional experience. He is currently interested in Mac data recovery software.

Other work of David Ritchie is posted on the link below.



Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Computer 101: Maintaining and keeping your laptop from unwanted Abuse Part 2

Good day to all I hope you’re having nice weekdays and weekends which is just around the corner. To continue, I have blog about the important of having your laptop battery fully charge whenever and wherever possible if you’re preparing for an important event that will require you to use the mobile computer. Also this will greatly help your laptop battery to have more life on it. As also previously mentioned this is my number ONE (1) rule. Now let’s go to my number TWO (2) rules which are to always make sure that your laptop is properly protected from the element and un-warranted physical hits via falling from the floor or being accidentally hit by any object. Unless your laptop is design to take such punishment. But to those of us who can only afford the regular to mid-range laptop. We should always bear in mind that our laptop are not design to take physical punishment like being dropped on the floor even if inside your case or bag. Maybe once or twice in accidental manner is enough but to do it on a regular basis then might as well get a hammer and pound your laptop. Dropping is not the only physical punishment your laptop will encounter, there is the hitting of different type of objects that the user can came across with. Another is just simple putting your laptop on the table but in a very rude or angry way. Another punishment that your laptop can encounter is liquid abuse, via the drinking water, coffee, soda and all other human consumable liquid form. One of the most dangerous habit that we have develop over the years of using our laptop is the of habit and eating and drinking with it during at work and while at school or at home.

How do we abuse our laptop physically? Well as I mentioned above aside from being dropped accidentally on the floor, there is also the spilling of liquid into the laptop. Liquid and electricity do not mix together. Spilling liquid into your laptop will certainly short-out the electronic inside. Remember your laptop contains electronic devices that are very sensitive to so. The connections of each circuit inside your laptop are very sensitive. Once enough force is applied to disrupt that connection, the flow of data and electricity will also greatly be affected thereby resulting to a malfunction system. There are only a few screws that held your laptop together. Unlike in the desktop category wherein almost all components can be tightly fixed unto a position by a screw or a locking pin. There is only a minimal of this to maintain the portability of the laptop. Ever notice why only the screw is fixed outside the laptop casing. All system are built-in the motherboard of the laptop. Applying enough force on the laptop will certainly disrupt that physical connection inside.

Also spilling a little amount of liquid will short-out electronic inside your laptop. Also another result of all this physical punishment is that the outside makeup or appearance of your laptop will not be appealing most especially to the user. A friend of mine asked to check on his laptop because some kid was able to hit his laptop with the bare hands for several times. Before she could stop the hitting it was already to late. The laptop would not operate normally only DOS both sequence would be initiated and after that nothing follow. The kid that did the hitting was a toddler. The intention was to play or press that keyboard. Another aspect of keeping your laptop from being physically abuse is the cost that comes with the repair. Laptops are not cheap to buy and so is the repair. Doing a major repair on a laptop will always cost more, sometimes those the technician will advice you that it is better to buy a new one that to repair the current laptop. Some of the reason for this is the replacement parts is more than half of the original cost of a brand new laptop.

Also it will take weeks and even a month to get your laptop back from the Service Center.  Also there is a lot of lousy costumer support on some service center. They will charge you without explaining what those charges are or they may have explained it but there is hidden charge not included in you billing. Another very important thing if your laptop goes south is all that data inside the hard drive of your laptop will also cost if what them retrieve properly and transferred to a new laptop. More headaches is the usual side effect of not taking care of your laptop properly and keeping them away from UN-warranted physical abuse ad mi-used. So next time you’re using your laptop at work, home, and school or in public places be sure to always on the alert for possible physical abuse it may encounter.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Computer 101: Maintaining and keeping your laptop from unwanted Abuse.

Hello again, wow this is my second article for this month. Pardon me, I'm just happy to be back blogging. As i mention on my previous blog, last year i just acquire my very first laptop. I've been using it to monitor and manage this blogs site. Having  my own laptop is very handy indeed. Whenever I am able to use it, I'd take the chance. Also i  have to keep in mind that having a laptop also comes with responsibility of maintaining and keeping it safe from un-wanted abuse and mis-use as I go about me daily routine. Yup if i want to make my very first laptop in top condition for a long time then i have to always keep in minds several ways to make that happen. I have come up with some very basic rule on how to maintain and keep my laptop in top form. I have come to develop this simple rule based on years of experience of talking and observing other real life people who have their own laptop.

Okay here we go my number one (1) rule is When in use always make sure that the battery does not run out of charge. In the past some of my friends and a lot of other people would ask me to check there computer there desktop computer. While doing it then they would ask me to also do a check on there laptop and based on this most the time the problem i encountered is battery failure, especially if the laptop is more than a year old. Now how come this is always the problem with laptop. This is also the problem with mobile phone, I don't care how advance your mobile phone is, If it has a battery then chances are that battery will be one of the most abuse part of your mobile phone. Why well the main way to abuse a cellphone over charging. Keeping plug-in the whole day or night when two to three hours should be enough. In laptop if over charging is also possible but the main causes of battery abused is under charging. 

MSI laptop computerImage via Wikipedia

Since the laptop is supposed to be a mobile computer a lot of people really take it the hilt that they tend to forget that the battery of most laptop when not connected to an electrical outlet has a limited charge. They keep om using it and ignoring warning that it's about time to charge the battery. I know how busy we are, but that is not an excuse to just abused the battery of our very handy mobile computer. Always keep in mind to monitor the electrical charge percentage of you battery to make sure it does not run-out on you when you will need it the most let's say during office meeting with your boss and co-worker. Take time to watch the charge percentage and do a little calculation on your own.

I mean you know your own schedule make sure that before it start, charge the battery of your laptop or better still plug it to the nearest electrical outlet the whole duration your meeting. Always under-chr\arging the battery of your laptop will using will shorten the life-span of the battery. Another unseen cause of laptop not functioning properly is the heat generated by the battery is it not plug in while in use. Since the battery is functioning and giving out its stored electrical supply to the laptop then more heat heat is generated as it is being use compare to that when the laptop is plug on an electrical outlet while also in use. Notice also that some major application needs more power than others. This will really lessen the staying power of your battery when not plug-in.

laptopImage by Ivo Sandoval via Flickr

The heat generated by the battery when in used can affect those micro-circuit inside the laptop. This will cause them to wear faster by over-heating and in the long run this will cause the affected circuit not to function properly and in the long run will affect the performance of your laptop. It's better to take the necessary measures now or to see yourself always in the service center and paying the technician for service which in the first should have been avoided if did the right thing of taking care of the battery and using it properly.

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Computer 101: Unable to Change the Desktop Picture in Windows 7 Starter

Hello again world, after more than a month of not updating this blog, I have finally found the inspiration to update it. This will be my seventh blog article for 2011 and the first for the month of March. I have no article for the month of February. Hopefully I could follow this one with many more to come. Do you like personalizing your gadget? Like your computer, phones and other devices that allow user level customization without going very technical about it? Today being personal about how your devices appear is very nice. On the internet email provider such as Google allows user to change their Gmail background picture for a more personal appeal. The same is true with their Browser the Google Chrome; you can now change the picture or put a picture that you like on your Chrome browser whenever you create a new tab or windows. This is also true for personal computer such as your desktop and laptop. For me personally one form of customization is changing the picture of the desktop on my computer, laptop or phone. Just like the background picture of my Google Chrome browser below.

Just last year to be exact November 2010, I bought my very first laptop and I also bought a new operating system with it the Microsoft Windows 7 Starter version. The reason I bought this version is because it’s the cheapest version of the current new Windows 7 series from Microsoft. This is version lack the basic featured that comes with all previous windows software that has been release. 

For one thing i cannot change the background picture of this version to make my laptop more personal. I’ve search for article regarding this feature on the internet and finds that to change the background picture of the desktop i need to do a lot of tinkering with the registry and some files that is related to the background picture. There is no article that says the background picture can be change via the normal way of just selecting the desired picture and pressing the OK button. I mean the usual way of changing the background picture of my desktop at any point in time that I like to do.

If your just a regular guy who uses the computer and do not care much about the technical stuff the goes on inside. I recommend not touching your registry just to change a background picture. You see the registry is the most sensitive part of any computer meaning you need to know what you are doing very precisely in order not to harm your computer. If you search the internet on how to change the background picture of the desktop in Windows 7 starter. You’ll notice that they all point to editing a little part of the registry and renaming some files associated with background picture or they say use a third party software to have a personalized desktop. 

Kate the Desktop ComputerImage by Gino Carteciano via Flickr

The problem with this is all program uses memory amount and space to work if you have tons of installed programs in your computer then another one will be added in the sharing of the precious memory resources. If your computer has a big amount of memory let say like 4 GIG and up then there is no problem but if your computer has a common 2 Gig amount then adding another program just for changing the desktop picture of your computer is simple not worth it.

I personally would like to make my gadget look very mine and changing the background of my laptop is one way of expressing myself through my very first laptop. In order to change my background picture on the desktop I need to upgrade my Windows 7 Starter to any higher version and my problem will be solved. 

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