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.

Surviving Internet Connection Problems

Cable Modem 

Image via Wikipedia

An internet connection that goes bad is a really frustrating event, especially if your lively hood depends on it. Fortunately, most internet connection problems are caused by really simple things – making them equally as simple to fix. Here are a few tips that may help you next time your Internet is giving you grief.

  1. Check all cables and cords. This is one of the most common reasons that people have difficulty with their internet connection, and by far the easiest to fix. Make sure that all the cords are hooked up to the right spot, and check to see if any cables are loose or unplugged.
  2. Turn off your modem and restart your computer. Try unplugging your modem and turning off your computer before you call your current internet service provider in a panic. Sometimes, this is all it takes to fix a connection that is failing. At the very least, it will be the first thing that the service tech will ask you to do anyways!
  3. Look into a new internet service provider. If the cables and the modem are not the root of the issue, you may want to look into switching providers. Morphyone.org is a great place to start looking for up to date reviews on the latest technology trends, and will give you a good foundation for finding a service provider that will fit your needs.

The most important thing to remember when you are having problems with your internet connection is to stay calm – you will only needlessly stress yourself out and make the situation worse by immediately going into panic-mode.




Troubleshooting Common Sound Problems

It’s happened to pretty much everyone. It seems like someone always running into issues with their sound functioning. If things were as simple as playing movies in your direct tv, then running into PC sound problems would not be such a big deal. There are a number of things you can check to help you get your sound back working again. One of the first is to simply make sure your speakers are turned on, that is if they use power. You should also make sure the speaker volume is up, but not too loud so that if you get it working it blasts in your ear. If you speakers aren’t coming on make sure the power supply is plugged in.

Next you need to check the physical connection to your PC. Make sure the speakers are plugged properly into the personal computers input. Typically, this is 3.5mm green jack, although optical or coax inputs are more commonly being used to connect computers to speakers. Whatever your computer uses make sure that both ends are plugged in properly. In addition ensure that if your speakers have the ability to become unplugged from a subwoofer, ensure they have not come loose. If you have a keyboard with sound controls make sure you do not have the computer muted.

Finally you need to check your computers settings. In Windows you can double click the sounds icon bringing up the controls for the sound settings. Make sure the volume slider is up at least half way, there may be more than one depending on your version of Windows. In Windows 7 the volume sliders are application specific, meaning that each application that uses sound will have its only volume slider. Also ensure that the application you are watching video or listening to has its volume up at least some of the way.

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.

Keeping Yourself Secure On the Internet

Keeping Yourself Secure On the Internet

It’s important to keep a watchful eye out when browsing the internet. Pay attention to sites with popups and trying to sell you things. Visit reputable places and only use your credit card with them. Always remember if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Of course these are a few common knowledge steps everyone should know, but there are things you can do to protect your computer and your network at home. You can do this affordably without having to spend a lot of money.

Your computer most likely has a built in firewall, if you are on a Mac or PC. But just that is not enough you need to make sure that you keep it updated with all the fixes and system updates that are currently available. In addition using a secure browser such as Firefox, Internet Explorer 8, or Google Chrome can help you stay secure. Add-ons for these browsers can help block malicious websites from running noisy flash ads, or java exploits, or attempts to download malware.

You should also keep your network secure and you might ask yourself, how can I secure what is just some cables and a box plugged into my computer and internet modem? For starters if you have wireless, you can keep it locked down using a WPA key. This means your wireless will now require a password. Odds are good if you have WiFi you may have an external router. Having an external router, can help keep your ports closed and your computer from being directly exposed to the internet. Ensure that you change the password on your router as well, because it can help keep people out as well.

Resolving Keyboard and Mouse Issues

Resolving Keyboard and Mouse Issues

If you are on a desktop computer, not on a laptop, and you are having some problems with the keyboard and or the mouse, there are some things you can do to test and see where your problem is, or if you need to replace hardware. As your primary input devices keyboard and mice see a lot of use and abuse. It’s not uncommon to spill things on keyboards or for them to become clogged with hair and dirt. Today most mice are less susceptible to problems.

One question to ask is, do you have a wireless keyboard or mouse? If so you could have a couple issues. One might be to check the batteries in both the mouse and the keyboard. If they are low the device won’t function properly. Among other things you should check your receiver for your wireless input devices. Are they plugged in properly and is the receiver close enough to the keyboard and mouse? If not it can sometimes cause delays in typing or mouse movement.

Check and make sure that they are plugged in properly, if they are you may try unplugging them and plugging them back in. Also rebooting your computer could resolve the issue. One thing to consider is that they just might be worn out. If you have had them a while it might just be time for a replacement. If you are using a combo that came with your computer you might opt for something wireless or perhaps just more ergonomic for yourself. If none of these items work, you could possibly have serious issues with your hardware or your operating system, and at that stage it may be wise to consult some help.

Web Hosting in Today’s World

In the Internet dominated commerce scene of the 21st century, it is a very good exercise to expand your business in the computer sphere as well. For doing so, you need the help of a top web hosting service. This service allows you to have your own space on World Wide Web with the help of a Web Host server. This service allows people using the Internet to visit your website and engage in business activities with you. You can host your own website and include all the features that are required by you, but the major deterrent in this technique is that it is rather very expensive and high technical skills are required to maintain the host server. In the light of this information, many people avail the services of other Web hosts which offer the required web space and the features at lower prices. As there are innumerable hosts trying to vie for customers these days, you have to be very careful in choosing the right service provider. It is highly recommended that you use the services of a reputed web host even though it might be a bit more expensive than a local one.

You must assure that your current business needs a dedicated server or not, as this type of server is expensive and similar work can be done over a shared server as well, which is usually a cheaper option. The up-time average of your web host server must be 99.9% as a lesser rate would be detrimental to your business. You should opt for a service provider which offers a money-back policy in case you decide to pull out of a particular venture. A simple practice to find out the credentials of the web host is by comparing the information given to you in the different forms of media like e-mail, telephone and fax. If there are conflicting statements, it is best to steer away from the company. The bandwidth you require for your website is also of prime importance as going in for a greater bandwidth than you actually require can prove be a simple waste of money. For an average business, a bandwidth between 500 MB to 1 GB will be more than enough. Unlimited data transfer at extremely low prices usually is accompanied with some clauses which we often tend to ignore. So you have to be careful while paying for this feature.

A company providing the best web hosting will offer a 24/7 support for your site and it is a good thing to confirm it at the time of contract signing. Moreover, reading web hosting reviews will also help you in choosing the right provider so you must dedicate some time to it before finalizing your deal. The control panel offered for your site must be simple to use for better visitor convenience. The reputation of the service provider must be carefully checked so that you don’t have to suffer later with a bad deal coming your way.

Replacing the Power Supply in Your Computer

Replacing the Power Supply in Your Computer

Power supplies are a very common item to fail in a computer. Unless you have your computer plugged into a UPS or Uninterruptable Power Supply, your power supply work very hard absorbing small fluctuations in power, including protecting things inside from things like voltage drops and minor spikes and power flicker all things that happen in a normal power grid. This can present a lot of wear and tear on a power supply and as such they fail often and need to be replaced.

If you suspect your power supply might need to be replaced, first you can do a little preliminary testing. On some computers entering the BIOS can yield information about what voltages your computer is actually getting. Look for values of 3.3v+, 5.0v+ and 12v+ and ensure the voltages that your computer is reporting aren’t significantly higher or lower than these. Also you can buy a small tester should you suspect issues with your power supply. Additionally if you have problems starting your computer or it shuts off randomly, the power supply can be the culprit in some cases.

Inside your computer, your power supply is the large brick looking item with all the cables coming out of it. You can be certain it is correct by looking to see where you plug your power cable into. To remove it, simply unplug every cable that connects to it inside the case and unscrew 4 screws on the outside and slip it out. When you are ready to install your new one, start by carefully slipping it in, then replacing the 4 screws you removed from the back and plug all of your cables back in. Replace the computer and the cabling and start it up!

Installing a New Hard Disk

Installing a New Hard Disk

Once you have spend the time figuring out just exactly what type of drive you require, and what size you would like, you can now take your time installing it. As always ensure that you are well prepared for the swap. Make sure all of your data is backed up and that you have whatever disks you need to re install your operating system. When you are certain you have everything you need and are properly ready you may proceed to the next step of physically replacing the disk.

Turn your computer off, and carefully remove all the cables, ensuring that you label any ones that you are unsure where they might go, or if you think you might get them confused with another one. Pull the computer out, and remove the side panel. Look inside, you may choose to clean out the inside of your computer if there is significant build up at this point, simply used compressed air in a can or do it carefully with a vacuum. Now find your hard disk inside and carefully remove the cables that go to it, there may be clips you need to push depending on the drive.

Now examine how the existing drive is installed, if it on slide rails push the clip inward and slide the drive out. If it is not and is screwed in like most drives are, using a screwdriver remove the screws holding it in. with some computer this may require removing the other side of the case to get at all the screws. With the old drive removed, replace it with the new drive and reinstall the screws or rails in the order you took them off. Being careful plug the cables back into the drive. You may now replace the side panel (s) and put the computer back plugging all the cables in. You are now ready to install an operating system on your new drive!

Protecting Your Bank and Debit Card Information Online

The Internet is used for almost everything. People use the Internet for shopping, to pay bills and even manage their bank accounts. The problem is that with this heavy reliance upon the Internet many people have a growing concern that their bank and credit card account information might not be safe. While the experts will tell you the only way to ensure your safety online is to not put in your bank account information at all, does that mean you cannot take advantage of the Internet anymore? So how does an online shopper pay bills or make purchases without putting their bank and debit card information online?

Online shoppers and bill payers have started to utilize the invention of prepaid credit cards. These types of credit cards allow online shoppers to put a specified amount onto the credit card. When the card is used for online purchases the amount is deducted from the prepaid amount. Instead of putting all of your money at risk, you have only a limited amount on the card.

Many online shoppers have started to use this type of credit card because it allows them to have the freedom to shop online without worrying about their credit card information becoming compromised. Should the prepaid credit card information become compromised there’s only a limited amount on the card and the crook or thief can only use what is put on it. This prevents online crooks from gaining credit card information and putting thousands of dollars onto the credit card.

Another reason online shoppers and bill payers enjoy using this type of prepaid card is because the majority of these cards offer some type of fraud protection. Should the credit card become compromised many companies will refund the money and open up a new credit card.

Through the use of prepaid credit cards your personal information is safe and you don’t have to give up using the Internet.