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Category Archives: Computer

Build Mini PC

Nevertheless, if you are not a super power-user and care more about having a fully-functional and accountable PC, then it would probably be better to invest in a ready-to-use mini-computer. Apart from the obvious plus that you can start using it right after the unboxing stage, there are a few other advantages to it as well:

  • Reliability. Of course a mini-computer assembled by professionals is bound to be more accountable than one you have built yourself. And although replacing a failed part may not be that difficult, what about the data in your machine? Without a doubt, it would be safer in a machine that’s been properly experimented.
  • Warranty. If you buy a fully-functional mini-computer from a reputable brand, you will receive some sort of warranty providing you with the priceless peace of mind.
  • No compatibility issues in the hardware. Unless you are super knowledgeable about PCs, assembling a machine from a barebone is a huge liability, since some of the components may not be compatible with the motherboard, or may not perform as expected.
  • Saving time with operating system and application. Though not all fully-functional mini-PCs come with a bundle of useful application, most mini-computers come with the operating system pre-installed, saving you a lot of time.

Summing up, building a mini-computer from a barebone may appeal to some people, but oftentimes it is not worth the effort. The few dollars you may save through this route are not enough to justify the extra work such an endeavor will take, plus there is no price tag for the peace of mind that you have when opting for an out-of-the-shelf solution. So unless you are a Steve Wozniak kind of individual, it would probably be better to stick with the fully-functional mini-computers that you can find online.

Compatible Toner

Firstly, the most significant advantage of using non brand name products is the fact that they are often significantly cheaper. Ink can be very expensive, and therefore the savings of these alternative products are often greatly appreciated by shoppers.

When looking for these alternative products, search for ones that offer quality as well as affordability. Unfortunately, this is often quite hard to judge. There are many companies offering alternatives to brand-name cartridges, but, as mentioned above, not all of these cartridges are made equal.

With this in mind, look for a company that has very good customer testimonials. Positive customer feedback will tell you whether the company’s products are actually worth the money they are asking for. A great deal of authentic, positive feedback is a good sign that you will be getting value for money.

Another advantage of alternative printer cartridges is the fact that they are often eco-friendly compared to their brand name counterparts. There are even some companies that specialise in producing recycled printer cartridges with printer ink inside.

These eco-friendly printer cartridges can be just as good as the brand name ones. They are also the perfect option for those people who are very conscious about their use of plastic products and do not want to fill up landfill sites with their used packaging.

On the other hand, even some of the most value printer cartridges can actually be more printer friendly than brand name products. The reason for this is that they often useless packaging or recycled packaging as a way to make their products cheaper.

You may have noticed that some alternative printer cartridges can look less sturdy or have less substance to them packaging-wise than the original brand. This is often because they are economising on packaging for costs’ sake. This means that you can make significant savings and be eco-friendly, often regardless of the compatible toner that you buy for your printer.

Another advantage of buying these less expensive products is that there is often far more choice on the market. When you buy a brand name product there is often only one key choice for your particular kind of printer. This is not the case when you buy alternative options.

What this means is that there are many different companies who are selling alternative cartridges. This means that you have a range of choice in colour, texture and appearance of ink on the page compared to the original product. This may or may not be a positive thing for you.

It could be a positive thing if you are not satisfied with the original quality of the brand name products. Sometimes, the quality and colour of ink that is provided by alternative brands is as good as or even better than the original product. This is of course, entirely subjective.

However, this does mean that there is ultimately more choice on the market. If you are not satisfied with your original brand name product, you might as well try a compatible ink cartridge, and see what the results are like. If you like the product you can continue with it, if you don’t you can try another brand and see if you get better results the next time.

These are just a few of the main benefits to using alternative printer ink cartridges. From saving money to saving the planet, there are several compelling reasons why you should consider this option next time you want to replace the ink in your printer.

All about USB Flash Drives

Memory

The memory capacity of the USB flash drives is in the region of 1 to 128 GB. The 1 GB units are very cheap and a practical choice for light storage and simple file transfers. For those planning to back up a hard drive or run a program, the higher memory capacity is required. The drives with 32 GB or more are useful for the high load jobs. The largest size opens up plenty of data storage options, such as the ability to store music, movies, or photographs.

Transfer speed

The USB 3.0 device is rated to transfer data at a speed of 4.8 gigabytes per second. This is a quite impressive speed and better than other storage options such as the SD memory card which has a transfer speed of up to 312 MB per second.

Compatibility

The USB interface is the standard option to connect electronic or storage devices to all types of laptop or PC. Most desktops, laptops and netbooks are built with multiple ports for accepting USB devices. Also, there are the dual purpose USB flash drives that even have the ability to read memory cards.

Low power

With no motors or moving parts, the USB flash drives are built to consume very little power. They have a lot lower power consumption compared to hard-disk drives which have the writing and reading heads to operate.

Purpose made applications

There are plenty of programs and applications that are built to run directly from the USB flash drives. Software applications like games, web browsers, image editors and other office software can easily be booted directly from this type of portable drive.

Get Benefits use Wireless 4G Routers

Take a look at the benefits that you can enjoy once you switch to the 4th generation:-

  • The download speeds are considerably faster and can be as much as 7 times that of the old 3G model.
  • The upload speed, unfortunately, remains more or less the same but tech professionals hope to resolve this issue sooner than later.
  • The latest Internet protocol i.e. IPv6 does not duplicate the IP addresses unlike the IPv4.

Staying connected 24X7 has become the catchword now and the young generation along with every business owner wants Internet accessibility no matter where they are. Using a GSM Router has proved to be extremely advantageous therefore. Some of the plus points of this wireless router are as follows:-

  • Internet Accessibility Outside – You can set up a wireless network via your mobile phone wherever you happen to be without having to depend on a Wi-Fi enabled area like your office or home. Enjoy chatting or working in a park or a picnic spot with ease courtesy your cellular router.
  • No Local ISP Required- You do not have to locate the Internet service provider in your area to be online. Simply use the router and stay in touch with the world without any hassles.
  • On The Move- Use the Internet easily via the GSM router without accessing the network in diverse locations whenever you are travelling. This will help you to keep your expenses in check too as you do not have to pay different rates for the data used in different places.
  • Second Internet Connection- You can definitely use it as a reliable backup at home or office, if your primary service is disrupted temporarily for any reason.

Opting for a Long-Term Evolution Modem is yet another move that is going to be worth your while. It is thought to be the best data transmission option in the recent times. You as a user can certainly be in advantage by using the LTE Router for gaining access via the Internet. Check out the associated benefits first:-

  • It can transmit voice as well as data
  • LTE supports multiple input-multiple outputs (MIMO) giving you the benefit of higher data rates.
  • You get to experience high-speed file downloads
  • The process of streaming data is smooth without any interruption midway.

Making Electronic Equipment Last Longer

Whether you have a range of different equipment in your office or simply need to extend the lifespan of equipment at home, there are several useful tips to bear in mind to make your electronics last longer. Following these pieces of advice can help you ensure longevity and therefore get the most out of your electronic equipment budget.

Firstly, it is essential to make sure that electronic equipment does not overheat or is not subject to frequent temperature changes, as this can negatively affect the workings of the electronics. There are numerous solutions to ensure that does not happen.

One of these is ensuring that you invest fully in a complete cooling fan system, which may include a 100mm or 120mm fan grill, fan tray assemblies, fan filter units and much more. These are especially useful for individual items such as laptops and computers, as well as electronic components at the heart of business and IT environments.

Putting in place a fan system like this will ensure that electronic devices do not overheat, meaning that its components will have a reduced chance of suffering from heat damage or from extended wear to its own internal fan system.

In addition to ensuring that you invest in an efficient cooling fan and 100mm or 120mm fan grill system – or the size that is relevant for you – it is important to make sure that the environment too is well ventilated and remains at a steady temperature.

Cold temperatures can damage electronics as much as excessive that, and therefore creating a stable environment should be top priority. This can be done by the controlled use of a thermostat and air conditioners, depending on the natural temperature or climate of your environment.

After this, it is important to ensure that regular maintenance is carried out to make your electronic equipment last longer. This is often something that people avoid doing as it is an investment of time and money, but a regular servicing can add years to the life of any electronic equipment.

It is important to check with the manufacturer as well as ask an independent professional about the recommended frequency of servicing, as this will serve as a basis for routine maintenance schedule that you can put in place and abide by.

It is also advisable to check if there are certain components which will need to be replaced on a semi-frequent basis. As with all equipment, certain components can wear down more quickly than others, and taking preventative steps to ensure that worn equipment does not have a negative effect on the whole is important.

Again, it is important to check with your manufacturer and retailer on any regular replacements that you can make that will help your electronics last longer. Whether this is a fan grill, an inductor, a resistor or something entirely different, putting in place a preventative replacement schedule will also help you ensure the maximum longevity of your hardware.

IT Obstacles

As my team reviewed the system, I sat down with the system owner and called the vendor. They had been paying an excessive amount of money each year for support and I asked the vendor a simple question. “If the system goes down with a hardware failure, will you guarantee it will be repaired?” There was a pause, and then the answer came back. “Our SLA is we will have a technician on site within 4 hours.” I smiled, waited, and asked the question differently, “Can you guarantee you will be able to bring the system back online”, and the answer came back again, “Our SLA is we will have a technician on site within 4 hours.” We had some additional discussions but after the call I looked at the system owner, a non-technical person in charge of a major area and asked if they understood what had just happened, they were very thoughtful, and simply said. “I think we need to look at some additional options.”

We replaced that system with a newer box and worked towards replacement of the software. By utilizing virtual techniques we moved the system to a more resilient platform, ensuring the system would be online as necessary, and ensuring the solution would not be a tech onsite within 4 hours, but instead a system supporting 400 workers that would be online even in the event of a disaster.

So why did we make a good decision? It is easy. First, if the entity had gone down for even 1 hour, the 400 workers effected would cost an excessive dollar amount. Even if it is a minimum job at $10 an hour, which it was not, that is $4000 dollars an hour. If an outage was experienced it could have become a massive dollar amount in operating expenses in time lost that overshadows any other cost. Second, if the data had been lost, there would not have been alternate operating systems or hardware to bring the system back online and the cost of losing the data could be immeasurable. Third, the system itself, being out of date for so long had numerous security issues and could easily have been a breach of data that is protected by regulation. This alone can destroy both credibility of a business and business finances with minimal opportunity for recovery. Fourth, the system itself was impacting users and becoming less and less usable, causing actual workers to find workaround to do their work that was even more costly.

Of course there were many more reasons, but how does this matter to small and large businesses alike? Well, as the age of a system goes up, we add risk to that system and potential points of failure including replacement issues. The bigger the system, meaning the more moving parts, the more possible it is to run into issues as the systems can be affected more easily and impact users more easily.

Projector Jargon Buster

• DLP (Digital Light Processing): DLP projectors first appeared in the 80s and rely on a DLP chip, made up of over 2 million tiny mirrors, each less than one-fifth the width of a human hair. Each mirror moves independently to create a light or dark pixel. This information is then fed through a spinning colour wheel to another chip, which can create up to 25 trillion colours on the most advanced models. The image is then fed through the lens and out onto your projection screen.

The advantages of such a system relate primarily to maintenance, requiring less maintenance than LCD projectors thanks to a filter-free and sealed chip design. However, most DLP projectors aren’t compatible with zoom lenses or lens shift functions, making them best suited to smaller environments rather than expansive screen set ups.

• LCD (Light Crystal Display): LCD projectors use the same technology found in TVs, tablets and smartphones to create projected images. Most LCD projectors use 3 LCD technology, which combines three liquid crystal displays to make your image. It begins with a light source providing a beam of white light. This light is passed to three mirrors which are shaped to only reflect a certain wavelength of light (red, green and blue). Each beam of coloured light then hits an LCD panel, which created an electrical signal that tells it how to arrange the pixels in the display to arrange in order to create your image. These images then combine in a prism to create a single image.

The advantages of LCD technology relate most commonly to cost. LCD projectors tend to be cheaper than their DLP or LED counterparts and are very efficient. They’re also less affected by colour and motion issues. On the downside, LCD displays are less capable at creating black levels and have worse contrast performance.

• LED (Light Emitting Diode): LED projectors replace the mirrors and colour wheel of the DLP projector with LEDs coloured in red, blue and green, which then shine directly on the DMD chip and are fed to the lens to create the image displayed.

LED projectors have a much longer lifespan than competing projector lamps, rated between 10,000 and 20,000 hours of continuous usage, up to 10 times more than other projector lamps. Because LEDs use very little energy and produce almost no heat, you’ll also enjoy lower running costs and almost no noise from an LED projector. The downside of LED projectors is that they cost more than competing technologies.

Other projector jargon:

Alongside the major projection types, you’ll also encounter other phrases. Here’s a few of the major ones:

– Lumens: A lumen is a measurement of brightness, so more lumens equal a brighter light (or image, in the case of projectors). For reference, a 100-watt bulb would produce about 1,600 lumens. When shopping for a projector, keep in mind that the higher the quoted lumen levels, the better the projector will perform in conditions with ambient light.

– Short-Throw: Typically, projectors are situated 8-10 feet away from the surface they’re projecting on to. However, not everyone has the space to fit a projector that far away from their projecting surface. That’s where short-throw projectors come in. They use clever mirror arrays to throw a large image with very little run up. They can be fitted either above or below the screen, depending on the model.

– Widescreen: Widescreen projectors are capable of throwing an image in a widescreen format, typically 16/9. This means you’ll see less letterboxing when watching videos and enjoy a display resolution similar to that of your computer.

– 4/3: Projectors that are described as having a 4/3 resolution are only capable of displaying an almost square 4/3 aspect ratio, which is what many projector screens and interactive whiteboards are designed for.

Laptop AC Adapter

*Voltage- This is what helps laptop derive energy from the source. Hence the voltage configuration of the adapter must be same as your laptop. A voltage too high may overload the laptop circuitry. Low voltage may not complete the battery’s energy requirement at the specified time.

*Amperage- The flow of energy in the laptop is determined by the current. In this case, higher the current, better the performance. So the ampere value may be equal or higher than the laptop’s requirement.

*Connector Type- One obviously needs to tail his laptop to a perfect fit, for charging. There are various connector types available, according to what plugs in best into the laptop

1. Cylindrical Connectors- They are also called barrel connectors and appear as hollow, insulated cylinder

2. Snap and Lock Connectors- They have 3 to 4 pins enclosed by a thin metal pin. They are mostly used for DC adapters.

3. Molex Connector- Many different insulated wires in plastic case, having 3/4/6 terminals.

4. USB Connector- This looks like a hollow metal tip with many metal pins. They are most common for smart-phones.

The above information is sufficient for knowing the difference between adapters. So, here’s are some quick steps to follow while looking for a suitable charger for a laptop.

1. Every laptop has its model number printed on a sticker placed at the bottom of the laptop. Note the model number.

2. If you have found the model number, look inside the battery case or near the charging port on the underside of the laptop for a sticker having its power information. Here shall you find the laptop’s voltage and amperage requirements.

3. Search the model number on the internet to see any available adapters showing up. Note that it is very essential that the voltage and the amperage must match the requirements specified on the adapter.

4. Look for the connector type. Compare it with your laptop adapter’s connector. They must look somewhat alike.

Tricks Renew Old Computer

1. Upgrade

Did you just install a software or game, and your computer is crawling while loading them?

Yes, it’s probably a very good to spend some money, and upgrade that tortoise. It’s definitely one of the best ways to speed up the old computer with minimum cost.

While it’s not always possible to do an upgrade, especially for laptops, you should still be able to upgrade its RAM and hard disk drive. RAM, also known as PC memory, can give you an extra boost in performance. And upgrading your hard disk to a solid state drive is another way to do it – not only will it boot up faster, your applications will perform better as well.

Just these two minor upgrades will keep your computer fresh and faster.

2. Steroids for CPU

While some computers don’t have the option to upgrade their processor unit and graphics card, you can always work around tweaking its processor.

Overclock it.

If you are adventurous enough, you can try overclocking your processor. It’s one of the best way to squeeze out more performance without breaking the bank.

3. Monthly Clean Up

Before you jump to conclusion, you may want to troubleshoot your computer and make sure the slowness is not caused by malware – viruses, worms, trojan horses spyware or adware.

Do a full computer scan with your antivirus software like AVG, Symantec or McAfee. Also, you can clean up temporary files, update windows, and defrag your hard disk.

If all else fails, don’t despair, you can try to reinstall your operating system from scratch.

4. Speed up Your Applications

Even when it sounds weird to be true, the truth is that some good programs are not optimized to run at their peak performance.

For example, if your web browser loads slowly, it could be due to its history size, installed extensions, or plugins.

5. The Older Versions

If your hardware doesn’t support the latest version of a particular application, like Photoshop CS5, use an older version instead. While running older software isn’t always the best idea, if it can still get the job done, you will get lesser frustration and time wastage.

Monitoring Server Room Temperature

Ensuring efficient airflow inlet and exhaust.

Placing temperature sensors on the front and back of your server racks will allow you to measure the temperature of the air going in and coming out of your servers. This is important to know to make sure that the cold airflow is not being mixed with hot air circulating in the room, as well as to ensure that the hot air exhaust from your servers is within the proper ranges. Additional airflow sensors can monitor the presence of airflow within your server racks and will alert you if it stops.

Fine tuning your AC to reduce power consumption and increasing energy efficiency.

If you are actively monitoring the temperature in your server room, you will begin to notice trends and baselines. By looking into this data, you should be able to see if your ac unit is able to keep up with the load and if there is cost savings to had. Many times room temperature will be set lower than is actually needed in-order to compensate for not knowing exactly how much is needed. If your server room is around 64º and steady there is room for you to optimize as you may be cooling too much.

Using this temperature data you can begin to test and optimize your server room temperature by incrementally increasing the temperature over time to find that sweet spot for better energy efficiency. A degree or two can make a large difference in cost when considering the 24/7/365 running times for your AC units. The mark you are trying to hit will be around 75º with relative humidity between 45-50% which is still below the 80ºF recommended high from the ASHRAE.

Make sure to take a wait and see approach, as the differences will take time to manifest and you do not want to make these changes too quickly. As you optimize, your temperature monitoring software should be able to show you the slight increases in temperature as you optimize your cooling but it should also show you a new maintained baseline level.

Server Room planning and scaling.

Using the temperature data collected from your temperature monitoring sensors you should be able to understand the cooling loads and airflow distribution of your current layout. You can now use these insights to help plan for the load of adding new equipment as well as proper layout for best airflow.

By taking into account your electrical consumption for the AC unit to cool your current server room configuration, you should be able to determine what is needed if any to scale the cooling of your room to add additional server racks and devices.

You can use the forms below to calculate the costs of running your AC unit and cooling your server room to come up with the total costs to cool your server room for the year. From there you can also use them to scale upwards and determine the costs if more cooling is needed.

Extending the Life of your Equipment

Last but not least. Monitoring your server room temperature and ensuring that it is maintained within the proper temperature range will help to prevent additional wear and tear on your equipment which means replacements are done for scalability and innovation reasons rather than breakdowns and failures. Both of which tend to happen at the most inopportune times, and may larger issues such as downtime, added labour to replace, and potential lack of service to your employees or customers who rely on these tools to be productive.