July 31, 2012

What are People Using Computer and the Internet for?

Quick, what’s the first thing you do in the morning? For many people it’s pouring that first cup of coffee, for others, and this number is growing, they turn on the computer and get on the internet. The internet has become such a staple of our everyday lives it’s a real pain when it goes down or doesn’t work even for a couple of hours. Businesses have also depended on services like Metrofax Internet Faxing for easier communication.

So what are people using their computers and internet for?

1.    Paying their bills – When is the last time anyone bought a stamp? With the availability to pay bills with online transactions it might be years before you actually need to set foot in the post office. As internet security gets better and older people become comfortable with the technology, more and more people will use the internet to pay bills.
2.    Let’s make some money – Ever hear of Search Engine Optimization? There are many free-lance writers out there that are writing things about various products and items that people see on their computers while visiting the internet. Take a peek at some of the blogging information and see if you don’t recognize a non-expert telling you something you already knew.
3.    Marketing and Social Networking – Okay so Facebook has taken the world by storm as millions of people not get onto Facebook every day. Many businesses looking for cheaper ways to market their products have turned to the internet and other social networking venues to tell people what’s going on with their product.
4.    Education – There used to be a time where going to a 4-year college was an honor and a privilege. If you didn’t have a four-year degree you were thought of as less than someone who did. There are hundreds of online colleges now offering students a variety of ways to gain experience without ever leaving their home.

Signs Your Computer has a Virus

Computer users always act surprised when they find a computer virus or malicious software on their computer. Computer viruses rarely come out of the blue and usually there are signs and symptoms that there is a computer virus present on the computer.


If you know the signs and symptoms of a computer virus you can work to remove it before it causes permanent damage. Here’s a look at the common symptoms of a computer virus.


Changed Desktops 

Malware logo Crystal 128. 

Image via Wikipedia


If your computer desktop changes without you having made the changes it is a sure sign there is virus on your computer. Changes to desktops can range from new programs being added, deleted programs or even having icons moved around.


Computer Speed


Computer viruses often effect the speed of your computer. If you notice it is taking unusually long to upload documents, turn the computer on or off, or do normal computer functions it could be a sign there is a computer virus.


System Errors or Blue Screen


Computer viruses can cause an extreme amount of system errors to occur. If you notice you have a lot of system errors happening when you are using your computer or you experience the blue screen of doom these might be caused by a virus on your computer.


By knowing and educating yourself on the signs and symptoms of a computer virus you can avoid the shock and surprise that comes with finding a computer virus on your computer. Conducting regular virus scans can also reduce your surprise and shock from receiving a computer virus because it is caught early.

4 Most Popular Tablets

iPad con dock y teclado inalámbrico

Image via Wikipedia

The BlackBerry PlayBook is the newest tablet PC to be introduced. It has a 7″ screen, weighs 0.9 pounds, and is literally smaller in width than a sheet of paper (only 7.6″). Add to that a 1GHz dual-core processor, three GB sizes to choose from (8, 16, 32), and the fact that it works with your smartphone, and you have a good choice for a tablet PC right there.

Ultimately, the Blackberry Playbook Price varies from $500 to $750. This makes it one of the best on the market for what you’re paying for.

Next is the Apple iPad Tablet PC. You have the iPad, the iPad 2, and the iPad 3G. The iPad 3G is the latest model. It offers more features and apps than previous versions.

The Samsung Tablet PC is #3, with three models to choose from. They are the Q1, the Q1 Ultra, and the Galaxy Tab. The Galaxy Tab is the latest model, weighing in at .84 pounds. This makes it the lightest of the four tablet PCs.

The HP Slate is #4. It weighs the same as the iPad (1.5 pounds) but offers several unique features of its own. These include an 8.9″ touchscreen, a digital pen, and several different software programs that come already installed.

All tablet PCs can have a problem with dead pixels. Dead pixels cause either blank spots or white or black dots in the screen. Depending on where the dead pixel is located, it can obscure text. Also, often times they are susceptible to viruses. However, Microsoft Security Essentials is a great anti-virus program that is efficient and doesn’t bog down your PC.

Installing an Operating System

Installing an Operating System

The first thing you need to do is determine why you need to install an operating system. Is there something wrong with your existing install that cannot be fixed? Or perhaps you are doing an upgrade and would like to install a new version of an operating system. One more option might be that you have replaced your hard drive and simply need to install the same operating system you were using before. Presuming you know the whys, next ensure that you know exactly which operating system you wish to install.

Next is to make sure that you backup all your data. Bookmarks, Pictures, Documents and even things like game saves. When you are sure you are ready to go you can proceed. Even if you are just going to do an upgrade installation it is wise to have everything backed up in case something fails or goes wrong. Also avoid making a simple mistake like backing up your things on the same drive, put your backups on some type of removable media. Now you are ready to install the operating system.

It’s advisable to have an extra computer if you run into problems so you can look on the operating system developer’s website or search the internet for tips on your issues. Start by placing the media into the CD or DVD Rom drive and then boot the computer, you may need to enter the computers BIOS and change the setting that sets the boot order, ensuring that the optical drive boots first and not the hard drive. The computer should start booting from the disks and then you can proceed following on screen prompts to complete the installation.

How to Detect and Remove Spyware from Your PC

How to Detect and Remove Spyware from Your PC

Spyware is computer software that infects your pc and typically displays pop ups, changes your homepage, inserts other ads and even could possibly be additionally malicious. To start off you have to ask yourself do you have spyware? Is your browser loading pages that you didn’t click on? Did is your PC acting funny? Does your browser have a new toolbar? These are just a few of the things you might notice if your personal computer is infected with spyware. Now you will need to work to remove it.

You can start by downloading a couple free removal tools. Hijack This will do a good job at detecting inconsistencies as well as Browser Helper Objects or BHOs. Spybot Search and Destroy and Lavasoft’s Ad Aware are two similar packages that will also help detect, protect and remove harmful or even just irritating spyware items from your personal computer. Microsoft also has a package that is a virus scanner and spyware removes called “Microsoft Security Essentials”. It works well with windows and updates regularly with Windows Update. All of these software packages are available for free and you shouldn’t use any site that asks you to pay to use them.

One options is to find all of these applications be searching for them, navigating to their respective web pages, finding the right download, then saving and downloading as well as installing. But there is a better option, all of these items can be found at a website called “ninite.com” where it allows you to build a single custom installer just by checking the software you want. You may find other items that could possibly be very helpful in the removal of spyware as well as new software that could possibly be beneficial to you. Once you have the spyware removed it’s a good idea to use a browser like Firefox or Google Chrome that can help protect you against additional attacks or issues down the road.

How to Purchase and Install More Memory in Your PC

How to Purchase and Install More Memory in Your PC

For starters you need to determine just exactly what memory will work inside your PC. You can do this by first determining if your PC is a brand name or an independently built PC. If it the computer is made by company such as Dell or HP. You can take down your systems model number and by looking on their website or in your user’s manual you should be able to determine just exactly that type of memory you require. After this, you may need to unplug your pc, pull it out and remove the case side to look inside and see how many empty memory slots you have.

After you know the type of memory you need and the availability of the slots for memory in your computer you can proceed to find the best deal. Look for brands with names you may know like Kingston, Crucial, Corsair, Mushkin and OCZ. You can search your larger chain retailers as well as your local independent computer shops for prices. Another good idea is to browse the internet for deal from places like Newegg.com to see what prices they have the memory you use. After you have found the best price order or purchase your memory.

When you have your new memory simply disconnect the cables and pull your computer out. Remove the side of the case panel and look inside the computer. Note the position touch the metal interior before touching any components. Note the position of the empty memory slots, now open your new memory and insert it into the empty slot. Press both sides firmly, there may be some resistance, but it will give a little as both of the locking mechanisms on the sides flip into place. Repeat if you have additional memory, then replace the side of your case and plug everything back in and enjoy your new memory!

Why and How You Should Clean Out Your Computer

Why and How You Should Clean Out Your Computer

These days many people leave their personal computers on all the time, even when they are not actively using them or do not plan on using them for some time. Often the computer will go into suspend or standby mode, but it does not stop all the fans from spinning or the computer from processing information along the way. The fans inside the computer move air around to keep things cool. But one issue with moving around is that it tends to move dust around and hair inside the computer. This stuff can build up and form balls of dust inside the computer. The fine particles enter the fans assembly and grind away at the bearing and will cause them to wear and make noise over time.

There are steps you can take to help maintain your PC though. One is to clean the dust out of the inside. You can start by disconnecting all the cabling from the computer after shutting it off. Then bring your computer out in the open and remove the side of the case. This may require a screwdriver. Once the side is removed resist the urge to touch the parts inside with your hands. To clean the insides use a can of compressed air available from your local computer store. Another option might be to carefully use a vacuum inside the computer being cautious not to bang or bump the components inside.

Make sure that you spend time cleaning the fans out really well, getting all the dust and dirt trapped in the grills of the heat sinks. Additionally clean out the inside of the power supply the best you can. With the insides cleaned out well, you can replace the side panel. Next make sure the area where you keep the computer is cleaned out and then you can put the computer, re-hook up the cabled and turn your PC back on. You should repeat this task around two times per year depending on how dusty your home gets.

How to Increase the Startup Speed of Windows

The Windows Security Center in Windows XP Serv...

Image via Wikipedia

How to Increase the Startup Speed of Windows

Sometimes the applications that you have and the processes that you run on your computer can slow down your operating system over a period of time. Luckily, there are a number of different ways that you can increase the speed of your Windows operating system. You can start by simply un-installing any programs you don’t have. There are a number of utilities that you can get in order to assist in removing all the files, including the ones that normal installers might leave behind. You may find these free on the internet as well as for sale. It can be wise to check user reviews to see if it does a good job.

Another thing you can do to help speed up your computer is to change the amount of icons that you keep sitting on your desktop and the type of wallpaper that you have. Very high resolution wall papers can increase the load time of your operating system. Reducing the quantity of icons will change what has to be read each time the desktop is loaded. This can have an impact on the starting time as well. Furthermore, most of the items are stored on the desktop typically aren’t backed up. So it’s a good idea to keep things organized not for loading times but for backups as well.

Finally a bit of a hidden secret that many people do not know about is that on any Windows operating system made since Windows XP, you can modify all the non windows programs and processes that start up when you start up your computer. Many things are loaded as to sometimes preload an application so that when you launch the application on your PC it decreases its startup time, but on items that you don’t use very often, it is often better to disable them. You can do this buy going to Start then Run and typing in MSCONFIG and pushing enter. The startup tab will show you everything you need to make changes.

Be Proactive by Using Registry Software

Computers take a lot of abuse from us. We overload them with files, photos, documents and uploads that we sometimes use, but sometimes we also forget that we have on it. When you use your computer on a daily basis, it’s going to encounter a lot of issues that any other computer that is infrequently used does not. This includes slow file loading, potential viruses that can harm it and other issues that could affect its productivity and overall performance. It’s important to perform frequent checks and scans to ensure that everything is in peak working order.

There are many tools and application software that you can place onto your computer which will allow it to scan the computer and identify any potentially harmful situations. This is necessary to remove any unwanted files that are no longer used or that may be taking up room on the system. The software acts like a troubleshooting and maintenance tool by being proactive in removing certain files or documents from your system. The tools can repair them or remove them quickly without allowing them to cause harm to your system. Applications like the PC Tools Registry Software will scan your computer, look for any potential issues, and if there are any present, eliminate them on the spot. You can set your system to run this application automatically, at designated times or you may choose to run it when you see the need.

You can also eliminate any registry problems that may occur at a later time. Your computer needs a maintenance system in place in order to provide optimal performance. Having the right tool in place will do that for your system, and if your system is problem-free, you will be able to boot it faster, start your day sooner and without frustration and have a productive day altogether.

Computers and the Internet Changing the way we Follow Sports

Imagine the scenario of you being trapped in your cubicle on the first day of the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament. Your favorite team is playing and you’ve missed too many days at work in March to be able to stay home and watch the game.

Not able to see the game live? No problem if computers and internet exist in the office.

That NCAA game that you were hoping to see is readily available to be streamed onto your computer via the internet with little or no delay to your viewing pleasure. Even if the boss doesn’t want you watching the game on your computer, you can still follow the live blog as it happens or update the scores on a regular basis to get a pulse and a feel for the big game that you are missing.

Sports is big business these days and most Universities strive to keep their constituents and former students happy be broadcasting up-to-date information on the action as it happens. The internet has exploded with activity in recent years and one of the arenas that has grown with this explosion is the watching of sports on your computer.

Have to work during the Super Bowl? No problem as the game will be streamed live around the world. Didn’t get to see the bobsledding competition at the European championships? Chances are with a little effort you’re going to be able to find the game.

Most computers these days can handle the live streaming aspect of games. It wasn’t that long ago that sports broadcasts were jerky and unwatchable but improvements in computer technology have definitely more than upgraded the product to watchable.

If you’re missing the big game it’s ok. With millions of channels out there, some type of sports broadcast will always be streaming