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Saturday, January 29, 2011

7200 RPM Notebook Hard Drives


7200 RPM Notebook Hard Drives


Five hundred, 640 and now 750 GB. Three quarters of a terabyte are now available at the most important 9.5 mm height on the 2.5” format. This is the form factor that is utilized in more than 95% of all laptop and notebook designs, including most netbooks. The latest 7200 RPM drives from Samsung, Seagate and Western Digital.

With the entire buzz in storage gravitating around SSDs, everything seems to be quiet in the hard drive space. While solid state drives have, in fact, long overtaken hard drives in terms of high performance and low power consumption, mainstream buyers are still a long ways away from swapping over to large SSDs. The cost per gigabyte is simply too high still. Moreover, they do not provide sufficient storage capacity for consumers (or at least for what consumers many times believe they should be able to store). The truth is that 500 gigabytes look far better than 64 or 128 GB to folks who think they have, or will have, gobs of digital data. But the truth is also that a notebook with a hard drive may very well provide sufficient performance for non-enthusiasts.

Making that choice always requires a balance between what you need and, more importantly, what you expect. More folks are familiar with common performance limiters, like insufficient memory, too-slow of a CPU, or an inadequate graphics processor. The issue of limited hard drive performance is less-easily diagnosed. But once you spend some time on a system armed with an SSD, you won't want to switch back to mechanical storage. Unfortunately, this remains but a wish for many folks, as price tags are great for forcing us back to earth.

In this light, conventional notebook hard drives that spin at 7200 RPM are still quite a good choice, as the throughput of almost 120 MB/s (~60 MB/s minimum) is not bad in the greater scheme of things. As long as you have a decent amount of system memory (4 GB or more nowadays), the number of heavy-use situations where a hard drive limits performance should be kept to a minimum. And in exchange, you get access to a lot more free space: 500, 640, or 750 GB on the latest product generation.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Nvidia GeForce Launches GF114 Rises


Nvidia GeForce Launches GF114 Rises

The GeForce GTX 580 and 570 both center on GF110—a reworked GF100 with improved texture filtering, better Z-cull efficiency, and a number of transistor-level optimizations that facilitate higher clocks at comparable power use.

Similarly, GeForce GTX 560 Ti centers on GF114, the re-spun version of GF104. Before you get too excited, though, remember that GF104 already incorporated the texture filtering improvements that didn’t make it into GF100. That is to say 64-bit FP16 texel throughput doubled from two/clock to four/clock, per texture unit. GF104 has this capability, GF110 has it, but GF100 did not. What’s more, Nvidia decided not to carry over the Z-cull improvements from GF110, instead choosing to leave the raster engine unchanged.

The net effect is that GF114 is functionally identical to GF104. In fact, Nvidia even cites the same 1.95 billion transistor count. And we’re still looking at TSMC’s 40 nm process here.

The reworked silicon can clock higher at lower power levels, yielding more performance, but it’s still an improved GF104. Of course, the main difference is that, while Nvidia turned off one of GF104’s Streaming Multiprocessors to create GeForce GTX 460, GeForce GTX 560 Ti sports an unshorn GF114 (I challenge you to use that word in a sentence at some point today). Compared to the 460, that means higher clocks, more CUDA cores, theoretically higher geometry performance due to an eighth PolyMorph engine, and eight additional texture units. All of those factors combine to create a card that doesn’t end up replacing GeForce GTX 460 at all; it instead is fast enough to eclipse the GeForce GTX 470.

Difference Between Notebook & a Small Laptop


What Is the Difference Between a Notebook & a Small Laptop?

Words that denote small and portable personal computers, such as a "notebook" and "small laptop," are often used interchangeably. However, there is a key difference between the two computers' structure.

Function
Portable computers allow users the freedom of movement with their device. As technology has advanced, so has the ability to shrink components down to a manageable size to fit within notebooks and small laptops.

Features
The main difference between the two computers is the CDROM. Notebook computers do not have a built in disc drive, but have the ability to allow one to be plugged in as a peripheral. In contrast, the laptop is slightly larger than the notebook, and has the CDROM installed within the body of the device.

Significance
With no CDROM drive, the notebook computer can be the size of a typical paper notebook. It also has the benefit of being lighter than a laptop computer.

Types of USB Bluetooth Adapters


Types of USB Bluetooth Adapters

With a USB Bluetooth adapter, computers can pick up Internet signals in different locations or connect to other computers, cameras, printers and office networks. Several different companies market USB Bluetooth adapters, some of which have specialized proficiencies.

Kodak Wireless 2.0 USB Bluetooth Adapter
Best known for its film and cameras, Kodak makes a wireless Bluetooth adapter for use in offices. This adapter accepts JPEG images from camera phones, PDAs, PCs and digital still cameras. It has a wireless range of 33 feet and supports files up to 8 megabytes in size. With this adapter, high resolution photos can be transferred from a camera to a computer or printer.

D-Link DBT-120
The D-Link DBT-120 is a lightweight, 6-gram USB adapter meant to connect all types of wireless products in the everyday workspace, such as printers, cell phones and computers. These adapters are ideal for computers that don't support Bluetooth technology. They support networking, allowing files to be transferred from one device to a number of different computers on the same network. However, this adapter must be used with Mac OSX version 10.2.8 or later or an Intel-based PC.

Linksys USB Bluetooth Adapter
Known for wireless modems, Linksys has used this same technology to create their own Linksys USB Bluetooth adapter. It can connect up to 7 USB-compatible devices at once, as long as they are also compatible with Bluetooth technology. The Linksys creates a personal area network when it is plugged in, allowing Bluetooth equipped computers and devices access to the network when they are in the area.

Replacing Laser Unit on Brother MFC 8500


The toner laser drum assembly unit has a fairly long life cycle, as it lasts through 20,000 pages before it must be replaced. Even so, certain factors will affect its true usage limits. For example, the quality of the toner, the ambient temperature and paper type used most often in print jobs can either increase or decrease the average length of service. You will know when the laser unit's time is really up when the "CHANGE DRUM SOON" message appears on the control panel display and degraded quality is evident on your printouts.

USB to Serial Port Circuit


USB to Serial Port Circuit

Universal serial bus (USB) and serial ports are two different connection interfaces used with computers. Though they cannot connect directly with one another, they can be adapted to work together.

Serial Ports
Serial ports used to be the standard type of connection for computer hardware. You may still have a serial port interface on your printer or monitor. Many desktop computers still have a serial port available, while most laptops have done away with them.

USBs
USBs were designed to solve the problem of having no standard interface for external computer hardware. Almost all computer accessories (including Webcams, monitors and printers) have a USBinterface.

Adapters
Computer users who find themselves with an older piece of hardware that still uses a serial port interface can connect it to a USB port with a special adapter. This sort of adapter is extremely easy to hook up and can be found at most electronics stores.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Facts about Power supply connectors



   

     computer power supply connectors can be pretty confusing for the newbie when setting up a new PC.

Get these connections wrong, and you'll have some funny LED lights or behaviors in your PC. In this article, we'll take a look at power supply connectors so you have an idea of what they are and how they function.

1. Best Source Of Information

First up, what's the best source of information to learn about computer power supply connectors? It's definitely the motherboard manual. Most motherboard manuals have specific instructions on how to hook up the computer power supply connectors to the motherboard. Review the manual carefully to make sense of those connectors.



2. Types Of Power Supply Connectors

What are the types of computer power supply connectors, you ask? Well, here they are:

    * Power to hard disk drives There are connectors which power the hard disk drives - you hook these up directly to the power suppy unit using the power cables supplied.

      

    * Power to the CPU The CPU is powered by a power supply connector hooked up to the motherboard. This is usually a small little connector you need to be familiar with your motherboard manual to ascertain what connector this is.

      

    * Power to graphics card Most of the heavy duty graphics cards in PCs have a separate line to power them. The power supply connector to graphics cards might come from the power supply unit, or the motherboard.

      

    * Power to computer beeper Notice how your computer 'beeps' when you first boot it up? That beep sound is powered by a computer power supply connector. You usually hook that connector between the motherboard and the power supply unit.

      

    * Power to LEDs and lights Your computer case will have LEDs and lights to indicate activity in the computer (e.g. hard disk drive activity). To power these lights, there are some small power supply connectors between the power supply unit and the motherboard as shown below
      

   

    * Power to floppy and optical drives Your floppy or optical drives will need to be powered by computer power supply connectors. These are usually hooked up between the drive and the computer power supply unit.


3. Be Careful With The Power Supply Connectors

Whenever you're dealing with the computer power supply, please ensure that you've grounded yourself properly. Very often, I hear of motherboards being short-circuited simply because the user forgot to ground himself or herself before meddling with the computer power supply connectors.

How to Change the Ink Cartridges for the HP 5510



The HP Officejet 5510 all-in-one printer uses two ink cartridges--black and tricolor--to print documents and images from a computer, scanned copy or fax. The cartridges rest in slots in an ink cartridge carriage inside the printer. Each cartridge unlocks from the carriage easily with nothing more than the gentle application of pressure to the front top of the cartridge, so changing an ink cartridge only requires that you unlock and pull out your low, empty or faulty cartridge, insert a new one and align the cartridges so that the 5510 can print clearly.

Overview of Computer Hardware Monitoring Tools


Overview of Computer Hardware Monitoring Tools

Hardware monitoring tools can be used to intercept, capture, analyze and decode network traffic, user activity on a local or remote system, or to audit login activity on a computer system.

Network Sniffers
Hardware network sniffers physically bridge the connections between a host and the internal network of a company or the internal network to the Internet. Major businesses and governmental organizations use hardware-based network sniffers, such as the Tern EE TCP-based embedded stand-alone capture board, to capture and sort through gigabytes of network data per day.

Keystroke Loggers
Keystroke loggers are simple universal serial bus (USB) or serial port hardware devices to monitor the keystrokes and mouse movements of a user on a single computer system. They are most often used by corporate espionage experts to steal login information or passwords to a secure system but are also used by security personnel to track inappropriate use of a system. Most devices are about as small as a USB flash memory device and can be hidden easily to avoid detection by the user.

Remote Desktop
Remote desktop tools allow a user to connect remotely to a hardware system via a network. While some remote desktop devices, such as Go2Meeting or Cisco Webex, allow two-way interaction between users, others are used for one-way hardware monitoring to establish security and accountability of computer hardware. Remote desktop devices capture the real-time use of a hardware asset and can also covertly activate hardware monitoring tools such as web cameras and microphones to provide additional monitoring capability.

Physical Security Monitors
Physical security devices, such as hardware-based access control systems, closed-circuit television systems and intrusion alarm systems, provide an additional level of computer hardware assurance and monitoring. Virtually all large-scale corporations and governmental facilities implement complex networks of these hardware information monitoring systems to collect data for real-time response and later security audit.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Software to Test Computer Hardware


Software to Test Computer Hardware

Software to test computer hardware is designed to test your computer's components for stability and dependability. It also gathers vital information from your PC, such as type of processor you use. This information will help you to troubleshoot and resolve your problems.

Signficance
Computer testing software can scan your hardware and collect and show configuration information. This software can get information such as your computer's components, system configuration and operating system. Using this software will help you repair problems with your computer.

How to Replace a Computer Processor


You've decided to take the plunge and upgrade your computer's processor. This article will explain how to replace a computer processor.

How to Upgrade a USB Drive


How to Upgrade a USB Drive

If you have a computer that doesn’t have USB 3.0 connection, it is possible to upgrade your hardware and install USB 3.0 equipment.

1). Power down the computer, remove the cables running into the system and unscrew the Phillips screws along the rear of the case.

2). Slide the case open to expose the interior of the computer. Look towards the rear of the computer. You will see the large motherboard, which has horizontal PCI card slots. These slots hold hardware cards, including the USB 2.0 card.

3). Push down the plastic levers that are located on both sides of the PCI card slot where the USB 2.0 card is housed. This unlocks the card from the computer.

4). Slide the card out and then insert the USB 3.0 PCI card. Push down on the plastic slots to lock the card into place.

USB Hub Specifications


USB Hub Specifications


A standard ‘A’ male connector will fit into any USB hub. A USB hub is a useful piece of equipment for expanding the amount of peripheral devices you can connect to your computer simultaneously. Some desktops and laptops have inconveniently few USB ports. You may find yourself unable to charge your phone, load music onto your MP3 player, or copy files to an external drive at the same time. USB hubs function like multi-outlet power strips, splitting one USB port into more usable slots.
 
Cable Connections
Though some older USB hubs offer connectivity only for USB 1.0, most current USB hubs offer connectivity for USB 2.0. The difference between the two is speed: USB 1.0 connections provide a maximum data transfer rate of 12 Mbps, while USB 2.0 connections provide a maximum data transfer rate of 480 Mbps per second.

Ports
Hubs often contain between four and seven ports, with some products featuring 10 or 13. Most hubs contain USB female ‘A’ connector ports. The ports receive USB ‘A’ male connectors, which are flat and rectangular.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Facts about Thermal grease

        
         The application of thermal grease between a CPU and its cooler is an important step in installing a CPU.

I know this process intimidates many beginners, but it is really simple. Here are some important facts you need to know about applying thermal grease.

Thermal grease application has long been the domain of hardcore computer enthusiasts. But recently, as more people build their own computers, it is becoming more commonplace.Applying thermal grease is important for cooling a CPU



1. Why Use Thermal Grease?

Do you know why we need to use thermal grease when installing CPUs on a motherboard? Well, the reason is simple. Most CPUs come with a cooler. The contact between the CPU and the cooler is not perfect. Hence, thermal grease needs to be applied to close off the contact between the CPU and the cooler.


2. Found in Many Kinds Of Packages

Thermal grease is available in many different forms. It all depends on the brand and quality of grease you are looking for.

3. Remove Original Thermal Grease

One of the most important steps to remember when applying thermal grease between your CPU and its cooler is to remove the original thermal grease. You see, the original CPU packaging may already come with some thermal grease on them. Make sure you remove it before you apply any new thermal grease.


4. Common Mistakes

There are 2 common mistakes I can think of when applying thermal grease. One of them is to apply too much. Using too much thermal grease endangers your system because it could leak out to other components and causes short circuits on the motherboard.

The other common mistake concerns processors with seals on them. When you buy a CPU, please make sure that there is no seal on it. Otherwise, when applying thermal grease, you will have a lot of difficulty.



Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hardware firewall


Hardware firewall



Firewall is a protective system that lies, in essence, between your computer network and the Internet. A firewall may be a standalone system, a software application or a hardware device that blocks/permits traffic, prevents unauthorized users or malicious traffic from accessing a network or a system. It acts as a barrier or a membrane between two or more networks. The job of a firewall is to carefully analyze data entering and exiting the network based on your configuration. It ignores information that comes from unsecured, unknown or suspicious locations. A firewall plays an important role on any network as it provides a protective barrier against most forms of attack coming from the outside world.
Firewalls can be either hardware or software. The ideal firewall configuration will consist of both. In addition to limiting access to you computer and network, a firewall is also useful for allowing remote access to a private network through secure authentication certificates and logins. A hardware firewall is a small metal box filled with plug openings, or ports. You hook your computer network into the box then set it up on your computer, just as you would a new printer or other peripheral. Because it's not physically on your machine, a hardware firewall is less vulnerable than a software firewall.
Software firewalls give you the level of protection you need to keep safe from hackers and other unwanted intrusions because software is far easier for computer novices to customize. The features are suited to smaller home networks. Where as hardware firewalls are used in conjunction with software firewalls thus hardware firewall filters out the traffic and the software firewall inspects the network traffic thus you get pure traffic and unwanted traffic can be blocked easily.
Hardware firewalls can be purchased as a stand-alone product but more recently hardware firewalls are typically found in broadband routers, and should be considered an important part of your system and network set-up, especially for anyone on a broadband connection. Hardware firewalls can be effective with little or no configuration, and they can protect every machine on a local network. Most hardware firewalls will have a minimum of four network ports to connect other computers, but for larger networks, business networking firewall solutions are available.
A hardware firewall uses packet filtering to examine the header of a packet to determine its source and destination. This information is compared to a set of predefined or user-created rules that determine whether the packet is to be forwarded or dropped.

A computer user with general computer knowledge can plug in a firewall, adjust a few settings and have it work. To ensure that your firewall is configured for optimal security and protect however, consumers will no doubt need to learn the specific features of their hardware firewall, how to enable them, and how to test the firewall to ensure its doing a good job of protecting your network.
To test your hardware firewall security, you can purchase third-party test software or search the Internet for a free online-based firewall testing service. Firewall testing is an important part of maintenance to ensure your system is always configured for optimal protection.

Reasons for Hard Disk Drive Failure



         If you've been using computers for any length of time, you should know that one of the most important parts of a PC is the hard drive.Now, it is critical that you understand this - the hard drive is one of the most delicate components in a PC and it can fail.

10 Ways to Keep Your PC Cool

10 Ways to Keep Your PC Cool


Let us discuss about some simple ways to keep your computer from overheating. PC contains a lot of parts, almost all of which create heat when your computer is on. In a properly configured computer, much of this heat is moved out of the computer's case by several fans. If your computer isn't removing the hot air fast enough, the temperature can get so hot that you risk serious damage to your PC. Needless to say, keeping your PC cool should be a top priority. Below are the top eleven PC cooling solutions. Many are free or very inexpensive.

Allow for Air Flow



The easiest thing you can do to help keep your PC cool is to give it a little breathing room by removing any obstacles to air flow. Make sure there's nothing sitting right against any side of the computer, especially the back. Most of the hot air flows out of the back end of the computer case. There should be at least 2 to 3 inches open on either side and the back should be completely open and unobstructed. If your computer is hidden away inside a desk, make sure the door isn't closed all the time. Cool air enters from the front and sometimes from the sides of the case. If the door is closed all day, hot air tends to recycle inside the desk, getting hotter and hotter the longer the computer is running.

Clean Your Computer



The fans inside your computer are there to keep it cool. Do you know what slows a fan down and then eventually makes it stop? Dirt, in the form of dust, pet hair, etc. It all finds a way into your computer and much of it gets stuck in the several fans. One of the most effective ways to cool your PC is to clean the internal fans. There's a fan on top the CPU, one inside the power supply, and usually one or more on the front or back of the case. For cleaning the fans shut your computer off, open up the case, and use canned air to remove the dirt from each fan.

Move Your Computer

If the area you're running your computer in just too hot or too dirty, one option is to move the computer. A cooler and cleaner area of the same room might be fine, but you may have to consider moving the computer somewhere else entirely.
Note: Moving your computer can cause damage to the sensitive parts inside if you're not careful. Be sure to unplug everything, don't carry too much at once, and sit things down very carefully.

Upgrade the CPU Fan


Your CPU is probably the most sensitive and expensive part inside your computer. It also has the most potential to overheat. Large CPU fans that help keep CPU temperature lower than a factory installed fan ever could . 

Install a Case Fan


A case fan is just a small fan that attaches to either the front or the back of a computer case, from the inside. Case fans help move air through a computer. Installing two case fans, one to move cool air into the PC and another to move warm air out of the PC, is a great way to keep a computer cool. Case fans are even easier to install than CPU fans so don't be afraid to get inside your computer to tackle this project.

Stop Overclocking


Overclocking is the process of running a computer component at a higher clock rate (more clock cycles per second) than it was designed for or was specified by the manufacturer, usually practiced by enthusiasts seeking an increase in the performance of their computers. Overclocking pushes your computer's capabilities to its limits. These changes have a direct effect on the temperature that your CPU and any other overclocked components operate at. If you're overclocking your PC's hardware but haven't taken other precautions to keep that hardware cool, I definitely recommend reconfiguring your hardware to factory default settings. 

As liquid nitrogen boils at -196 °C, far below the freezing point of water, it is valuable as an extreme coolant for short overclocking sessions.


Replace the Power Supply
The power supply in your PC has a large fan built into it. The air you feel when you hold your hand behind your computer is from this fan. If you don't have a case fan, the power supply fan is the only way that the hot air created inside your computer can be removed. Your computer can heat up quickly if this fan isn't working. Unfortunately, you can't just replace the power supply fan. If this fan is no longer working, you'll need to replace the entire power supply.
Install Component Specific Fans


CPU is probably the biggest heat producer in your computer but nearly every other component creates heat as well. Super fast memory and high end graphics cards can often give the CPU a run for its money. If you find that your memory, graphics card, or some other component is creating a lot of heat, you can cool them down with a component specific fan. In other words, if your memory is running hot, buy and install a memory fan. If your graphics card is overheating during game play, upgrade to a larger graphics card fan. With ever faster hardware comes ever hotter parts. Fan manufacturers know this and have created specialized fan solutions for nearly everything inside your computer.

Install a Water Cooling Kit

In very high end computers, heat buildup can become such a problem that even the fastest and most efficient fans can't cool the PC. In these cases, installing a water cooling kit can help. Water transfers heat well and can drastically reduce the temperature of a CPU. The water is completely enclosed inside the transfer system. A pump cycles cool water down to the CPU, where it can absorb the heat and then it pumps the hot water out of your computer where the heat can dissipate.

Install a Phase Change Unit


Phase change units are the most drastic of cooling technologies. It utilizes many of the same technologies to cool or even freeze a CPU. Phase-change cooling is an extremely effective way to cool the processor. A vapor compression phase-change cooler is a unit which usually sits underneath the PC, with a tube leading to the processor. Inside the unit is a compressor of the same type as in a window air conditioner. The compressor compresses a gas (or mixture of gases) which condenses it into a liquid. Then, the liquid is pumped up to the processor, where it passes through an expansion device; this can be from a simple capillary tube to a more elaborate thermal expansion valve. The liquid evaporates (changing phase), absorbing the heat from the processor as it draws extra energy from its environment to accommodate this change.

How to Convert Headphone Mono Jacks to USB for VoIP


How to Convert Headphone Mono Jacks to USB for VoIP

When setting up a pair of headphones or speakers with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) or other audio applications, you typically insert the audio plug connected to the speakers into a compatible port on the computer. You can also use the USB port, but you must convert the audio signal streaming through the USB port into the headset using a mono audio adapter.

1). Plug the USB connector on the USB Mono Audio Adapter into the computer's USB port.

2). Insert the audio cable of the headphone or speaker into the "Audio Out" port on the USB Mono Audio Adapter. This port may have a headphone logo right next to it.

3). Turn up the volume on your headset or speakers. All speakers have a volume dial. Some headsets and USB Mono Audio Adapters also have volume keys.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Uses of a Desktop Computer


Uses of a Desktop Computer

In 2011, desktop computers are used for a variety of purposes, including graphic design, data entry, research and gaming. Whether you're in an office or at home, you've likely encountered the personal computer that sits atop many desks.


Graphic Design
Desktop computers are widely used in the graphic design industry. By using various computer software programs, including InDesign, Photoshop and Quark XPress, graphic designers spend much of their creative time in front of a desktop computer. Connected to a keyboard and mouse, desktop computers enable graphic designers to create many items, including advertisements, logos, brochures and pamphlets.

Internet
Accessing the Internet is also a common use for a desktop computer. While many handheld computing devices also provide Web access, desktop computers offer a view of Web content on a larger screen and provide easier maneuverability. Using a computer to access the Internet enables users to perform many tasks, including viewing streaming video, sending and receive email, playing games and doing research. Most newspapers, radio stations and television networks offer online material, including news, weather and sports content. You can even order food using a desktop computer, whether it's from a restaurant or online grocer.

Gaming
Playing video games is another use that has come with the progression of the desktop computer. Many games are designed to be loaded and played directly on a computer, while others require logging on to the Internet. In either case, a desktop computer facilitates the gaming experience. If playing online, gamers can play against other computer users throughout the world, via the Internet. If casino-style gaming is more to your liking, a desktop computer can help you do that as well.

Business and Finance
Most offices have desktop computers that provide workers with tools and a means to complete job-related tasks. Data-entry personnel use them to input company and client information while doctor's office workers use them to keep tabs on appointments, patient contact and medical information. Writers use desktop computers to conduct research and write while customer service workers use them to keep notes and enter payment information.

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