Saturday, December 12, 2009

moving announcement

We have > > >>> MOVED

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Retail PCs: Intel or AMD?

Does it matter whether you buy a machine with an Intel processor or one with an AMD processor? Both companies will tell you it does: Intel would stress the better performance it claims to offer, and AMD would talk about better integrated graphics and better value. But with a new crop of machines designed for Windows 7 now on the market, I wanted to take a look for myself.

When you see a review of a PC online or in a magazine, it's typically a review of a machine, and particularly the configuration set by the manufacturers. Sometimes these are what you would get if you bought a machine at a retail outlet, but sometimes they aren't. So I decided to check out what performance would be like on two relatively inexpensive retail computers. I ended up with two Hewlett-Packard notebooks from Best Buy. I ran a variety of tests, and found notable differences in some things, but not in others.

The first machine is an HP dv4-2045dx with a 2.2-GHz AMD Turion II X2, ATI Radeon HD 4200 Graphics, a 320GB hard drive, and a 14.1-inch screen (1280 by 800); it weighs 5.4 pounds and cost $579.99. The other is an HP dv6-1355dx with a 2.2-GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, an Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD, a 500GB drive, and a 15.6-inch screen (1366 by 768); it weighs 6.3 pounds and cost $679.99. These aren't the thinnest, lightest systems you can buy, nor are the most powerful, but both seem like great values for the money, and are the type of notebook computer most people are buying.

But both came with 4GB of memory, writable DVD drives, and a Web camera, and all sorts of ports. Obviously, the machines aren't identical—for $100 more, you get a larger display, a bigger hard drive, and an Intel processor on the dv6. The question I wanted to answer was whether that made a difference.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

PC hardware - Built your own Computer

For more write up on the steps to follow below are the step by step details on you tube - Click here

1 - Choosing a CPU

2 - More on CPU's

3 - Choosing a Motherboard

4 - More on Choosing a Motherboard

5 - Choosing RAM

6 - More on RAM

7 - Choosing the Hard Drive

8 - More Stuff About Hard Drives

9 - Choosing an Optical Drive

10 - More on Optical Drives

11 - Choosing a Case

12 - More on Cases

13 - Power Supplies

14 - The Motherboard

15 - Installing the CPU

16 - Installing CPU Fan

17 - Installing the RAM

18 - Preparing the Case

19 - Mounting the Motherboard

20 - Installing the Optical Drive

21 - Installing the Hard Drive

22 - Installing the PSU

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Power Supply

So, tell me, has your computer ever made a noise that sounds like one of your fans is dying? I'm sure you would know if it has, because it can be pretty loud and it usually just sounds awful! Well, either way, I'm willing to bet that your fan really isn't the culprit here. Nope, it could be your power supply instead. If you have a noisy fan, you smell something burning or you see smoke or flames shooting out the back of your computer, you may very well have a problem with your power supply. And I assure you, that's a whole lot worse than a dead fan if you don't catch it right away. Keep reading for more on this!

There are many different things that could cause your power supply to go bad. For instance, the fan that runs next to your power supply could get clogged up with dust and dirt and start to run much slower or the fan's bearings could start to wear off. When those things happen, your power supply is at risk of overheating and it will eventually fail. Or, it could have nothing to do with your fan. Perhaps the power supply itself was faulty from the get go and it only took a matter of time before it failed completely.

Even more so, if you're having trouble with your computer shutting down and restarting itself at random times, that could be another indicator that your power supply is going bad. And since your motherboard, CPU, disk drives, etc. all work off of the power supply, it's not a good idea to take a chance on it getting any better. If you do, you'll just have more trouble down the road. Don't worry though, replacing a power supply is rather easy to do and it's fairly cost friendly. So, if your computer is experiencing any of the symptoms I mentioned above, you'll want to check into getting a new power supply. It's a small price to pay for the safety of your computer!

~ Erin

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Choosing Computer Speakers

It used to be that choosing speakers for your computer was an easy task because there weren't really any options to choose from. Sound was typically an afterthought and most speakers made for computer use weren't exactly what you would call "ear candy".

That has all changed now. Many well-respected audio/video speaker manufacturers have gotten into the computer speaker game. It is not uncommon to see well-known names like Klipsch, Bose, Polk & JBL on either side of computer monitors now.

When it comes to picking out computer speakers, the same rules that you would use to choose speakers for your stereo or home theater system still apply. Obviously, unless you are very lucky, there will be budget constraints. While cheap, no name speakers are never a good deal; there are many inexpensive entry-level models from reputable manufacturers that will do a great job of accurate sound reproduction.

Everyone hears differently and will have a different definition of great sound, which is probably why there are so many different speaker manufacturers. Musical tastes can also have an effect on the perceived sound quality of a pair of speakers. While a good speaker is always a good speaker, rock and roll fans may have different requirements for a pair of speakers than classical fans. A gamer may also have different needs than a music listener.

When choosing speakers, there are three things that you need to listen for in your auditions. The first is tonal balance. The instruments and voices should sound natural, like they would in real life. No single part of the frequency spectrum should be exaggerated or suppressed. While speakers with an exaggerated bass or treble response might stand out at first listen, they will usually become fatiguing after an extended amount of time.

The next thing to listen for is bass response. Because of the size constraints placed on most computer speaker systems it will be necessary to have a separate subwoofer (a speaker made to solely reproduce low frequencies) that can be set off to the side or on the floor. Listen carefully to recordings with male vocalists to make sure that the subwoofer blends seamlessly with the smaller satellite speakers. The subwoofer should not call attention to itself. In fact if it is set up correctly is will seem like all of the bass is coming from the desktop satellite speakers.

Lastly, you will want to listen to how set of speakers image. Imaging is the most magical quality that speakers can possess. It is the ability of a pair of speakers to throw a sound stage. This is not only left to right information, but also depth and height. Having a huge monitor between your speakers can make good imaging harder to achieve, but with a properly set up pair of speakers, playing a good recording, you should be able to close your eyes and see where everything is positioned in the mix. The first time you hear this it will blow your mind!

This is a very basic guide, but if you spend a little time and follow the advice above you should have no problems at all picking out computer speakers that are satisfying for whatever application you need them for.

courtesy ~ Bruce Neher 

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

USB Speeds

If you've gotten a new computer in the last few years, it more than likely came with USB ports. If you're not sure, USB ports are the little slots on either the front or back of your computer that you can use to plug in certain devices, such as a flash drive or digital camera. USB ports come in two different speeds: 2.0 and 1.0, with 2.0 being faster. Most newer PCs have the 2.0 speed, but if you purchased yours quite awhile ago, you may have the 1.0 speed. So, if you've ever wondered which speed you have, keep reading to learn how you can find out!

To get to your computer's USB area, you need to right click on the My Computer icon on your desktop and choose Properties. Next, click on the Hardware tab and then hit the Device Manager button. When the new window opens, scroll down to the very bottom where it says Universal Serial Bus controllers. Click on the plus sign (+) next to that and all of your USB information will come up. You may have quite a few listings or you may only have a few. It just depends on how many ports came with your computer and if you've added any yourself.

If you see one that says something like "USB Enhanced Host Controller," that means you have the 2.0 speed. The "Enhanced" part is what sets the 2.0 apart from the slower speed. On my computer, that entry was the very last one, so make sure you look through your whole list before you make any assumptions. Also, just for your information, if one of your USB ports is 2.0, it's likely that all of your ports will be the same. That goes for the 1.0 speed as well. Most computers don't come with two different port speeds. So, tell me, how does it feel to know what kind of USB speed your PC is running? Pretty darn good, huh? Check yours out today!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Time For a New Computer?

Another reader asks: I have had my computer for quite some time now and my grandkids are always telling me I need to get a new one. They say mine is too slow and it just doesn't work right. As for me, I'm not convinced. Do you have any guidelines I can follow to see if I really should get a new one or not?

Good question! Isn't it funny how everyone's views on the same exact topic can be so different? I mean, it's obvious the person who asked today's question is being bombarded by their grandchildren to get a new computer. And why do you think they want a new one? Well, so they can have all the perks they're used to when they go visit grandma and grandpa, of course! Then on the other hand, grandma and grandpa don't agree and they think their computer works just fine.

Well, it's hard to tell who is right here. Children these days are very much into computers and they know a lot more about them than some of us would like to admit. But then again, if our computers are working good enough to do what we want on them, why bother buying a whole new one? That debate could go on and on, so I think I'll end it by giving you some pointers you can follow to see if you really should buy a new computer or not. Let's check them out!

First of all, as you all know, technology is changing everyday. There's always something new coming out and there's always something different to try. It's not always pertinent that you go along with those changes, but here are some reasons why you may want to. You need a new computer if:

1.) Your processor speed is less than 1.0 GHz (gigahertz). (On another note, if your computer is still running on megahertz, you'll definitely want to make an upgrade soon!) See, most programs and other applications that you may put on your computer require a lot more power than 1 GHz can give them. If you don't have a fast enough processing speed, your computer will run very slow and you won't be able to browse the Internet, play games, etc. with the ease you should have. You can check your processor speed by going to Start, Control Panel, Performance and Maintenance, System.

2.) Your computer has less than 256 MB of memory. (Again, go to Start, Control Panel, Performance and Maintenance, System to check on that information). If you don't have at least 512 MB or 1 GB of RAM memory, your computer will not run smoothly or to the best of its ability.

3.) You're using a Windows version that starts with a 3 or a 9 (for example, Windows 3.1, 95 and 98). Those older operating systems lack a lot of the features every computer should have these days, including security features and other updates that are required to keep your computer running properly and protected. The same thing applies if you're using a Mac version that is older than OS X.

4.) Your monitor is a 14 inch or smaller. If you don't have at least a 17 inch monitor, you're not going to be able to see full Web sites, which really is a shame!

5.) You're always getting an error message of "Operating system not supported" when you try to install new programs onto your PC. Or, when you're trying to upgrade to a new operating system and you get an error message of "Hardware not supported."

6.) Your computer has no USB ports. Nowadays, most external devices (such as keyboards, mice, printers, etc.) run via USB. Therefore, if you don't have any ports, you're going to have trouble keeping up with the newer computer devices.

7.) Your PC has a 5.25 inch disk drive or even a 3.5 inch floppy drive. Floppy drives are still around, but they're being phased out as well. Software has just outgrown those two drives and they won't be of much use in the near future. Flash and thumb drives are definitely taking over.

So, those are just a few things you should look into if you're wondering about buying a new computer or not. They are all good reasons why you should fork out the money and invest in a new PC. And I'm not just saying that to make your grandchildren happy either! With a brand new computer, everyone who uses it (including you) will benefit. Now, I realize you may use your computer on a very limited basis (maybe just for checking your e-mail and playing a game here and there), but if you fall into any of the categories listed above, you should still look into getting a new computer.

Yes, I know change is hard to take, but I think once you get your new computer up and running, you will agree with me on everything I said today. On the other hand, if you answered "no" to almost all of the specifications above, you should be fine with the computer you have. And if your grandchildren still complain, just tell them once they give you enough money for a new PC, you'll go right out and buy one. That should do the trick!

courtesy ~ Erin

Thursday, December 25, 2008

What is the difference between CD-R and CD-RW?

I thought that we had already done a tip on this subject, but after doing some research for it, I couldn't find anything. We have one for DVDs, which is pretty similar, but I thought I would go ahead and answer the CD part of it for you. Good thing you asked!

Both the CD-R and CD-RW CDs look alike, but there are obviously some major differences between them. (They wouldn't have separate names if there wasn't, right?!) We've done several articles on burning lately, so you should be pretty up to par on that, but picking the CDs you are going to use is the next big step. The main difference that comes into play is the quality you will get from each type of CD.

Most people burn CDs to either back up their data or to make a music CD. The CD-R format is a more inexpensive disk with a decent amount of quality. They usually hold between 650 and 700 MB of information. These are good for saving any type of information, but they're better used for school projects, copying games, moving data from one computer to another, etc. If you're not planning on ever erasing the information, you'll want to use a CD-R.

On the other hand, a CD-RW is a rewriteable disk. They are more flexible for the mere fact that you can write and rewrite information on them. You can usually copy over them at least 40 times as well, which is pretty impressive. CD-RWs are good for making music CDs, because if you get tired of that music, you can always copy new songs over the old data. So, if you're planning on erasing the information you put on a CD, use a CD-RW, because you can get a lot more use out of them. This also makes it less expensive in the end, because of the reuse factor.

Whichever format you use, you burn them the same way. As long as you have a CD burner and some type of burning software installed on your computer, you're good to go. As I said earlier, this information is pretty much the same for DVDs, but here's an article you can read on that if you're wanting to burn DVDs instead.

Happy burning!
~ Erin

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Monitors: LCD vs. CRT

There’s a fierce battle raging in the world of computer monitors these days! It’s basically old technology pitched against a constantly evolving new technology and there's no telling who will eventually triumph over the other. It will more than likely be LCD, but for now, let's take a look at the following factors before favoring one over the other. Here we go!

Size Does Matter

There’s something to be said about Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) monitors. To begin, the size is a lot less than what is usually given. For example, if it’s a 32" monitor, it actually means 32" diagonally. However, a 17" CRT monitor will only have a 15.7" viewable diagonal image. This is where LCD monitors score, because they are measured by the actual size of the screen.

Look at the Applications

If you're really into gaming or your job is to create high-end graphic designs and animations, a larger, more advanced CRT screen is still the best bet for you. But, if you're a home user who isn’t so particular about size or application, an LCD screen would do just fine. The image quality on an LCD is excellent, the look is more contemporary and it doesn’t strain your eyes that much either. Now, if your preference is a CRT monitor, don’t buy anything smaller than a 17” monitor. Similarly, if you're going for a 15" LCD monitor, you might as well go for a 17,” because they cost pretty much the same. If your house is spacious enough, you should go for the biggest LCD monitor you can afford.

The Price Stakes

There were days when there was quite a price difference between LCD and CRT monitors. But with much of today's technology streamlined and quality controls in place, it’s increasingly becoming a business with high volumes. And the best part? The prices are going southward as the days fly by. According to the price stakes, a 19" LCD monitor can be purchased for an affordable $200. However, for LCD sizes larger than 21," the price shoots up by 50 to 100 percent. If a 21" LCD can be had for around $250, the larger sizes cost upwards of $400.

Bundled Monitors

If you're going for a branded PC, the monitors (whether LCD or CRT) come with it. However, those monitors may not score high on quality and performance. So, it’s best to choose the right brand that is good at all of these things. The way out of this is to go for an "assembled PC," where you go to a vendor and choose the brand of PC, UPS, DVD ROM, hard drive, monitor and so on. The best way to find the best monitor for yourself is to check out the entire range of monitors and go for one that suits your needs the most.

Don’t Mistake Them for Flat Screens

You can get a flat screen CRT monitor, as well as, an LCD. So, just because the vendor is promising to hand you a cheaper flat screen monitor, don’t think it’s an LCD and jump for the deal. You should always ask the vendor if it's a CRT or an LCD. That's the only way to know for sure.

Happy monitor shopping, my friends!

~ Zahid H. Javali courtesy worldstart

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

USB Storage device.

USB storage devices are relatively cheap these days, as such in order to avoid my kids from messing up my PC hard drives, i had instructed that my kids, including those from Primary School to get their own USB storage devices. They are required to a get a RM20.00 USB storage device each using their own Hari Raya Puasa money, immediately after the first day of Raya. I did this, in order to provide a psychological reason, that will make them take a better care of their own USB storage devices and educating them, to spend their money wisely rather than on some silly "mini fireworks" which is a norm for the kids here. They are free to use their own USB storage device for keeping whatever they want, downloads - songs, you-tubes, movies, games and for their school work such as for contents of their folios.

And I have regularly reminded them on how to remove their USB storage device, safely. I found out that somebody had written those reminders so I am sharing it with you.

Proper Removal

Are you one of the many who use a flash drive these days? I mean, really, how can you resist? They are so simple to use and just as convenient as can be. So, tell me, when you go to remove your flash drive from the USB port it's in, how do you do it? Do you just yank it out of there and go on with your day? If you do, that's not really the proper way to do it and if you keep doing it that way, you could end up ruining your flash drive. Well, lucky for you, I have come bearing instructions on how to properly remove a flash drive from your computer.

There are actually a couple different ways you can do this. I suggest that you read through them and choose the one that you feel the most comfortable with. The first one has a few less steps than the second, so we'll start there. When you're ready to take your flash drive out, double click on the My Computer icon on your desktop and find the drive that your flash drive is listed under. (It will usually be listed under a "Removable Disk" letter). Right click on that drive and choose Eject. You can then remove the flash drive with no risks of ruining anything.

The second way is to use your Safely Remove Hardware icon, located in your bottom system tray. Double click on that icon (it's a little green arrow with a little gray disk underneath it). Highlight the choice that says "USB Mass Storage Device" and click on the Stop button. Next, find the entry for your flash drive and click on it so it's highlighted. Click OK. You will then see a little pop up window in the bottom of your screen telling you that it's now safe to remove the hardware. Once you see that, you can remove the flash drive and go on your way. As you can see, both ways are very easy to do, but you need to make sure you do at least one of them, in order to keep your flash drive safe!

~ Erin ( Courtesy )

There is no limit to creativity (courtesy - st.bull my egroup)

Phillips Electronics in collaboration with Swarovski made the 'Active Crystal' collection of USB memory. These are really fancy.

This is platinum USB drive hand set with 350
white diamonds. It even comes with a solid
platinum chain and you can have it for $38,000.

Here are some less expencive.



There are memory sticks shaped like food...

ice cream

or drink.



teddy bear...


Disney caracters...

Human thumb

Friday, December 5, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

New Gadget - USB Negative

The latest in a slew of analogue to digital converters – think tapes and vinyl to MP3 files, or VHS to DVD – is this nifty negative scanner.

Transform forgotten 35mm negatives or slides into digital photos by loading them into the device and connecting it to your USB port. Now you can edit your images using the scanner's software. The resulting files may come in at 5 megapixels and the whole shebang is compatible with Windows XP and Vista. Let the blasts from the past begin.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Kaspersky on Threats

New IT Developments: New Internet Threats

Viruses, hacker attacks and other cyber threats are now a part of daily life. Malware spreading throughout the Internet, hackers stealing confidential data and mailboxes flooded with spam are the price we pay for computing convenience. Any unprotected computer or network is vulnerable.

All computers need internet security

Home users can lose valuable personal data with one click to the wrong website. Children trading games also exchange viruses unknowingly. You receive an email requesting an update to your payment details, and a hacker gains access to your bank account. A backdoor is installed on your machine, and your PC becomes a zombie, spewing out spam.

Address the risks

It's not just home users who suffer. For businesses of all sizes, the risks are manifold. Crucial data distorted by viruses, financial data misappropriated by cyber criminals, and mountains of spam reducing ROI on human and technological resources. An effective risk management strategy is essential for business success.

New technologies - new anti-malware solutions

As cyber threats have evolved, so has software to deflect such threats. Sophisticated antispyware and antivirus solutions capable of detecting the most complex new viruses are now available. New personal firewall programs designed to identify the stealthiest hacker attacks can hide your computer on the Internet. And the latest anti-spam products filter out up to 99% of unsolicited mail, protecting computers from malicious code and saving time and resources.

Forewarned is forearmed

In addition to providing a wide range of cutting-edge antivirus solutions, we at Kaspersky Lab believe that information is an essential element of safe computing. The Virus News section of our website (click 'about us' tab, then click 'press center' tab) offers information about all current cyber threats, ranging from basic definitions to thorough analysis and the Kaspersky Virus Encyclopedia, a comprehensive library of virus descriptions.

courtesy : Kaspersky

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

MS offers peek through Windows 7

Windows 7
Windows 7 will make it easier to view photos

Microsoft has unveiled the latest version of its Windows operating system.

It promised that it will deliver a better experience for users when it arrives sometime late next year.

Windows 7 follows Vista, which Microsoft claims has been a success, but which has been subject to fierce criticism from a number of users.

The system was demonstrated at the company's Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles.

Senior vice-president Steven Sinofsky described it as an "exciting new version of Windows" and claimed it would deliver a more personalised experience.


When Vista launched in January 2007, many users complained that it ran slowly and failed to work at all with some programs and devices.

Corporate customers have been slow to switch from Windows XP to Vista, although Microsoft said that the operating system had an unfair press, and has enjoyed record sales.

"We got a lot of feedback about Vista," admitted Mr Sinofsky, who runs the Windows business.

He said his team had responded with improvements and had learned some lessons in developing Windows 7.

Data sharing

Among the new features promised in the latest operating system are Windows Touch, which introduces support for multi-touch technology.

This will enable users to zoom in on an image by moving two fingers closer together - a technology first introduced to millions of users by Apple's iPhone.

A new taskbar aims to give more rapid access to files and programs, with each open window appearing as a graphic thumbnail.

There is also a feature called HomeGroup, allowing users easy sharing of data across PCs and other devices in the home.

And there is more support for devices such as cameras, printers, and mobile phones with a product called Device Stage offering a single window to manage tasks for each device.

Microsoft's chief software architect Ray Ozzie defended Vista and indicated that Windows 7 would be evolutionary rather than revolutionary.

"Vista is a great operating system, it's tremendously functional," he told the BBC. "Windows 7 brings it up a level by enabling it to take advantage of certain hardware innovations. PCs have evolved since Vista was launched," he said.

Microsoft also announced that its Office software will now be available as a web application, so that users can create and share documents across multiple devices.

Google already offers users online applications allowing them to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations online for free.

Microsoft's Office Web will be supplied to customers who purchase the next edition of Office, but Microsoft stressed that it will provide all the same functions online as are available offline.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Computer Hacking

Monday, June 9, 2008

IBM aims to cool chips with water

The water cooling technology was built into IBM's 3D chips

A network of tiny pipes of water could be used to cool next-generation PC chips, researchers at IBM have said.

Scientists at the firm have shown off a prototype device layered with thousands of "hair-width" cooling arteries.

They believe it could be a solution to the increasing amount of heat pumped out by chips as they become smaller and more densely packed with components. . . more