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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Computer 101: The Disk Operating System or DOS command.

In this time of the GUI or Graphical User Interface, everything the we do with our computer is click here and there or double click here ad there, also we drag items from one open window to another if we want to copy certain items or a whole folder. For some who uses the keyboard than the mouse using the shortcut key is very important. But still all the things that we do today is inside the advanced form of GUI whether it is Windows, MAC, Android, Symbian and Linux based to name a few operating system that run in all electronic  devices that we used today. Which kind of remind me of the old days wherein everything that we do with our computer involve a good basic knowledge of the command line based system we all called the DOS commands or the Disk Operating system.

The Personal Computer Disk Operating System or PC-DOS and Microsoft Disk Operating System or MS-DOS or both off just called the DOS there is a number of basic standard system commands were provided for many common tasks such as listing files on a disk we use DIR which stands for directory list or moving files. Some commands were built-in or is internal to the command interpreter, others existed as transient or external to the commands loaded into memory when required. Back then the good old floppy disk was the number own storage medium that function mush like a Flash drive of today, wherein we kind put almost anything on the floppy disk by typing a few DOS command that command prompt. Let’s take a closer look at the few internal or built-in command for the DOS. This command was the most commonly used command back then. 

First there was the DIR; it functions by listing the contents of the directory. Type it in its basic form and the screen will display the image below.

DIR command
Add a few switches to the DIR command like /P and we get the image below. The /P option stand for PAUSE. If the directory is big and we need to see all the files and folder in the directory then we add the /P to pause the listing as it reaches the full length of the screen. As it reaches the full length of the screen the last line of the screen said “Press any key to continue” by pressing any key the next batch of contents of the directory will be display. 

Next we add the option /W which stands for a wide screen format. Please image below for the result of the DIR/W command.

To see all the complete option for the DIR command just type at the command prompt DIR/?, the question mark denotes the help function for all command, when added to any DOS command it will display the complete option of the requested DOS command.

Another most used DOS command are the following copy which is use for copying file, another is CD which stand for Change Directory, we just type the CD and then we type the name of the directory which we need to go to and press the enter key to execute the command. All DOS command are executed by pressing the enter key after each command has been typed. Another dos command that is use widely is the MD which stand for Make Directory, this one when executed create the directory with the file-name indicated, like MD FILE then we press the enter key to execute. The result is that the directory named FILE will be created. How do we know if the indicated directory has been created? To verify the command execution we simply type the DIR command to see the newly created directory. Another commonly DOS command back then is the CLS command which when executed will clear the content of the current screen. With only the command prompt displayed at the top part of the screen.

Over the several generations of DOS commands were added for the additional functions of the operating system. In the current Microsoft Windows operating system a text-mode command prompt window can still be used. Also DOS command is classified into two types, there the internal command as stated above and there is the external DOS Command which is located in a separate storage location such as a floppy disk. When we need to use some external DOS command we need to insert that particular floppy disk unlike a internal or resident DOS command wherein it is loaded into the memory and we do not need to use a floppy disk to execute.

How about you any DOS command that you know and would like to share it?

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Computer 101: File format converter for Microsoft Office 2003.

By these days most of use is using MS Office 2007 version in our workplace but in our home we might still be using the old reliable MS Office 2003 version. Now if we create a document in MS Office 2003 in our home and later when we got into our workplace we open the document in MS Office 2007 there should be now problem at all. But if save it using the MS Office 2007 template or formatting styles then when we got home we try to open it again using the old MS Office 2003, we would assume that it will be open again in no time. But when we double click the document to open it in the MS Office 2003 version it would not open anymore. The reason for this is that the document styles and formatting information between these two Office suites is completely different. Since the MS Office 2007 version has more feature that the older Ms Office 2003.

How do we solve this kind of problem? How can one open a document created in MS Office 2007 when using a MS Office 2003 version? Well there two solution for this problem. The first is get a new MS Office 2007 version and upgrade the old MS Office 2003, which would cost more. Or use the second solution of installing a File format converter on your old MS Office 2003, to help it easily open document created in the MS Office 2007. I think every body would choose the second option since it not cost any penny to do and it is very to install it on your computer. But first we must download the Fileformatconveretre.exe from the internet so that we can have it installed in our computer. The file format converter add-on is very easy to locate in the internet and is very easy to download. The file size of the utility is just 37 MB. To download a copy of the converter just go to the Microsoft website or in the internet type the name of the utility in your search engine and it will display link on how to find and download the utility.

Once we have downloaded it, we can now begin to install it on our computer. Just double click the icon to begin the installation process. Read and follow the instruction for the installation. After successfully installing the utility, we can now test whether the file format converter works. Look for a document created in the MS Office 2007. What to look for a document created and save in MS Office 2007 version? Well first the icon for the Ms Office 2007 version is different from the old version. Also the document extension is slightly different from the old, whereas the old document extension for MS Word 2003 is filename.doc while the new extension for the MS Office 2007 is filename.docx yup there is an X added at the last part of the file-name extension. So look for that file type and double click to launch it in Ms Office 2003. We can verify that the file format converter utility is working if a dialog box will appear saying file format converting and then the document has been able to open successfully in the MS Office 2003 version.

I mean we can read the file content correctly instead of different characters being displayed on the content of the document to which we cannot seems to understand. By installing the utility on the old Ms Office 2003, we gave it the capability to open document created in the MS Office 207 version.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Computer 101: Google 2-Step Authentication for All your Google Accounts.

Everyone that have internet access or uses that internet regularly for gaming, research, business and many more have an email account, this email account can be a corporate or an organization based or the paid email accounts from different providers and the most common of all the free email account which is available everywhere in the internet. One such provider of free email accounts is Google.com which is a very big internet based company. They have a free email account service called the G MAIL or Google Mail, aside from that they also have a lot of free services being offered like blogger.com for creating your own personal blog in the internet. All this free account is link within the Google system, if you lo-gin to one account then you can access another by configuring a few option without typing a username and password again and again. This setup is very useful if you’re going to jump from one account to another within Google.

Now how do we use our email account? Well we use it for personal communication and transaction over the internet, some sensitive information has also been stored in our email. Now is this free email account really secure? Well yes they are secure because if not, in the first place no one will use them if they are not secure. The first level of security for these email services is the password. Yup that all important passwords, the things that we always keep forgetting is not used frequently or we have already to many password to memorize. Also the user name we used in combination with the all important password, the more complex the password the more secure it or the longer the password the more secure it also. Now nobody can access your accounts if they not know the username and password. But wait what if those two important information has been stolen form you? You say what, how they got my information?

An example of a phishing e-mail, disguised as ...Image via Wikipedia
Well every heard of the term hacking and Phishing? Simply put it, theses terms means to get or acquire in this case sensitive personal information from one account. There are many ways on how to implement this technique. One is using software another is using link from email send to your email accounts from some one you though you know. Please click the link to see a more details and historical explanation for Phishing and for hacking. To cut it short, rather that securing your email account with just the username and password why not use another layer of security. Well this is where the Google 2-step authentication process comes in for all Google accounts users. This process although will take longer to access your G mail account is very important in keeping your account safe. It will add another layer of security. When we log-in to our email account the first thing that we do is we put the username and the password then we wait for the contents to display on our screen.

But with added feature security the second step for verification or authentication is it will send a code to your very own personal phone, via text or voice call. And you will encode the code on the box provided to verify that you’re the real owner of that account. After verifying the code is correct it will proceed in displaying the content of your G mail account. Also there is an option on the verification process that the computer that you are using can be remembered for 30 days. This feature allows the user to enter the verification only once within 30 days for the same computer. This is very helpful if you are using your own laptop or PC we don’t have to type in that code every time we log-in to our G mail account. This second layer of protection is also very handy while we access our G mail accounts from public computers.

Now the next questions are how do we activate this G mail verification process? To activate the process on your G mail account please click the link provided, it is the official blog for Google Email protection.  For other email service pleas check if they provide for free accounts. 

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Monday, August 8, 2011

Blogger Buzz: Latest updates, August 1st

Blogger Buzz: Latest updates, August 1st

Additional information for Newbie blogger using blogger service, before you can change the favicon of you blog, one must create a self made logo and save it in GIF or JPEG format then use a free favicon generator service on the net. There are a lot of free favicon service creator, just type it on your search engine and explore each. Or you could just click the link http://www.justskins.com/design/favicon-ico-generator/1575 for a list of favicon generator.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Computer 101: Hiding the Mouse Properties in the Control Panel

Before we begin the solution to this require in-depth knowledge of the registry or the policy editor of Windows Based system. The purpose of this method is to give network administrator and /or computer technician who are handling computers in not so controlled environment like internet cafes, public network and others who might need it. Sometimes it is better if some feature of the Windows OS is not reachable by person who have no idea what they are doing, they think changing a few color here and there is a showcase of how good they are at manipulating this windows feature. Let say you are working on an internet cafe where the computer is not very secure, the person using it can sometime do things which they think is good for them, but keep forgetting that it may be bad for the next person who is going to use them.

An example of this is our topic for today the mouse, yes that faithful old pointing device we called the mouse, which is very helpful in every way possible. It would be very difficult for anyone to use the present system of computer programs without the help of the mouse. This is where the problem begins since it is very easy to manipulate the mouse properties, just go the control panel and look for the mouse properties and double click to get an in-depth look at the basic and advanced of a mouse. We can change its color and appearance; the mouse can have tail while we drag across the screen and a whole lot more. Now if every person renting a computer on the internet cafe would do this change the mouse according to his liking, and then we would have a problem here. While this seems okay for some but it irritate most us, to most of us changing the appearance of the mouse to a running horse is a distractions from the things that we do while were on the computer. If you own the computer and you are the only who uses you computer then by any means go ahead and do what you like with it. But not in an environment where it is for public use with pay of course.

To solve the problem we just need to hide the mouse in the control panel so that no one will able to change the appearance and behavior of the mouse from its regular setting. Please watch the video below on how to proceed with the hiding of the mouse properties in the control panel of windows based system.

To summarize the video above, from the start menu click the RUN command and type gpedit.msc then press enter. The group policy editor will appear then click the user configuration then the Administrative Template then the Control Panel then select and double click the Hide Specified Control Panel Applets then got to the setting tab and select the enabled option and then click show then a dialog box will appear. From here click the ADD button and an input box will appear then type the name of the control panel applets that you want to hide, in this case type mouse then click the all the okay button and apply button until you are back at the group policy window. Close the group policy windows and refresh your screen several times. Now to check if the mouse properties has disappeared from the control panel, open the control panel and look for it, if we cannot see it then we will not be able to change it. The mouse properties should be hiding or nowhere to be seen on the control panel.


Monday, August 1, 2011

Computer 101: Why Do We Need to Share Networks Resources?

First of all what is a computer network resource? Computer network resource are those item that is being used by the whole network this may include shared printer as stated in previous blog, shared disk drive or a file server with several large amount of drive, shared scanner and any other devices that can be shared over a network. Again back to the question, why do we need to share network resources? Well the answer to this question is explained below.

  1. Save on Cost or Money

All business needs financing or money to run, in fact almost all things that we do today needs money. This is true with business, if top management can save as much money as it cans then it will do it. One way saving cost in operating a business is to reduce the cost of consumable being consumed by the business an example of this is the cost of buying an ink for a printer. I already elaborated on this on my previous blog. Another cost that can be controlled or can save a sum of money the paper being used in printing document for the daily transaction and report of the business. Because we buy lots of bundle of paper for regular used to create hard copy of reports and transaction. Why not instead of a hardcopy for filing, archiving, meting and others use instead a digital copy wherein the said report can be view on the screen of each computer or laptop or devices that can display them. This will also reduce the trash the business is producing, less paper and trash less cost and more money to be saved or diverted to other important projects. Also less paper, less paper clip, staple wire and other paper accessories. For storing and archiving of reports the file server will act as the central storage of all documents with a back up copy of course for safety.

  1. Save on Time, Less Time Do More.

How do we save time, we save on time by being more productive in a given amount of time. Like if the goal was to have 50 transactions completed in five hours, then maybe we do 60 or 70 in the given time. This can be done with the used of shared network resources, like digital copy of document instead of having a hard copy one employee can request another for a digital copy of the same report without living his/her place and moving about just to get a copy of that report. By not leaving your place one do more while waiting or the time it takes for the document to arrive from an actual delivery of a person compare to a document being sent to the server and then to intended receiver of the document or just plain interoffice email is very big. In computer world a 5 minute waiting time is already to slow compare to just a few milliseconds to wait for the digital copy to arrive in your computer from the other computer where it originates. Also sharing an actual document in real time is slower compare to sharing it via the network. It doesn’t need to be distributed by hand wherein the person responsible to distribute it will have to go floor by floor just make sure the document is delivered to the correct person.

Money and time are two most important resources in a business the third is manpower or person of that organization or company. It more resources is being spent and the company is producing less chances are that company will not last longer in a highly demanding world of business. The more it can save the better for that company to keep on growing and free of debt.

Computer 101: How to share a single printer on a network without using a Print Server.

In today’s modern times, all offices is now using printer for creating a hard copy of a document. Every office can have multiple computers for every employee that needs them. But when it comes to printer, it seems strange that not every employee can have them. What wrong which this scenario? Well there nothing wrong with this scenario. Yes almost every employee in an office or institutions can have his/her own computer but no his/her own printer, the reason for this is because in every printer there is these item that needs to be replenish or change once it’s empty or if we do not change it then the printer becomes useless. This item is called the INK. Computer or PC do not have ink in order to work, it does not have a consumable part that needs to be replace every week or month to keep it working. But printer do, this item is the INK, and keeping a close watch on how every employee use these resources is very important.  

Compute these is a small office has ten employees and every employee has its own computer and printer and printer ink cost has not really gone done despite having a huge demand for it. Every ten printer needs is own ink supply, the cost factors would certainly be off the roofed just for ink alone. So having one or two printer is much cost effective by having both printer shared on a network without using a print server. Please watch the video to get a better understanding of how to proceed with this procedure on sharing a printer or two on a small network.

Again these video has no voice over instructions, just watch and simply follow the procedure as seen for a simple sharing solution.

To summarize the video instructions, on the computer where the printer is installed open the printer and fax folder. Select the printer to be share if there are many printers installed, and then right on the printers to be shared and look for the sharing tab and click it. Then when inside the sharing tab choose the share this printer option then you can leave the default name or change it, this item is completely in your control. The last step would be to click the OK button to close the sharing tab.  Notice on the printer and fax folder under the printer that you have chosen to share a hand with an open palm has appeared, these only means that you have successfully shared the printer.

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