Meet Your Monitor

Most people are familiar with using a monitor, be it for the personal computer, a gaming module, or whatever else is relevant. However, very few understand exactly how monitors are made, how they work, and how their manufacturers talk about them. This article will be a little intro to the world of monitors.

A monitor is the display of a computer. It’s the most-used output device for computers and provides feedback by showing you the text and image graphics that relate to your work or play.

resolutionYou’ve probably heard of an LCD screen. LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display. There are also CRT screens, and CRT stands for Cathode Ray Tube. Most laptops use LCD technology because LCD screens are so much smaller and use so much less energy. LCD is also what’s referred to when you hear of “plat panel” or “flat screens.”

You’ve also probably heard people talk about a screen’s resolution. The resolution is the amount of pixels contained on a display. The resolution usually looks like a multiplication equation (i.e. 800X600) where the numbers in the equation represent the amount of pixels on the horizontal axis and the number of pixels on the vertical axis.

As years go by, technology advances and allows for larger screens to be created. Also, the same sized screens can now hold more pixels, meaning they have a higher resolution.

To discuss these aspects of a screen, people utilize something called the aspect ratio and the screen size. The aspect ratio refers to the shape of the screen. If the ratio is 4:3, the ratio of the screen’s width to the screen’s height is 4 to 3. That means widescreen monitors have aspect ratios like 16:9 or 16:10.

measuring_sizeWhen measuring a screen’s size, one number is generally used that represents the length from one corner of the screen to the corner diagonally across from it. This method was apparently adopted by TV manufacturers in an attempt to make the TV seem a little larger than it actually was (because people assume the measurement is the horizontal). With the aspect ratio and the value of the diagonal, the width and height can be mathematically deduced, but generally the numbers are provided.

It’s important to keep in mind that the measuring system for CRT monitors differs from that used for LCD monitors. CRT monitors have screen size measured from the outside edges of the display casing, while LCD monitors have their screen sizes measured diagonally from the actual beveled edges of the projection surface (screen). This is a much more accurate way of measuring screen size.

Keeping in mind resolution and screen size, it now makes sense to assert that an image on a 19-inch monitor with an 800X600 pixel resolution will look less sharp than the same image on a 13-inch screen with an 800X600 pixel resolution. Put simply, the pixels themselves are smaller on a smaller screen with the same resolution as a larger screen.


quantum computing

Quantum Computers

You may have heard of them, but it’s safe to say you don’t understand how they work. No one does, and they don’t exist yet except in extremely basic forms. If you’re wondering what they will be, or at least what scientists hope they will be, and why, here’s a little overview on the concept.

The further engineers get in creating powerful computers, the more uses emerge for incredible processing power and speeds. The human race’s ability to explore space, cure disease, and solve the larger questions of the universe seems to be pretty contingent on their ability to use computers to collect and process data.

gordon mooreThis isn’t a horrible predicament to be in; Gordon Moore was mostly right when he predicted that the number of transistors that engineers can fit onto a computer’s microprocessor would double every two years or so. In fact, it’s been doubling every 18 months for decades.

So where does that leave us in 2020 or 2030? If Moore’s Law holds up, scientists should be able to create a quantum computer within the next decade.

But what is a quantum computer? A quantum computer is a computer that harnesses atoms and molecules to perform processing tasks and read and write memory. Currently these tasks are performed by microscopic silicon-based transistors, but these have their own drawbacks in size and efficiency that scientists hope to improve on by using even smaller particles for the job.

The concept originated when Argonne National Laboratory physicist Paul Benioff applied quantum theory to computers in 1981. He believed that it would be possible to create a quantum Turing machine.

(FILES) This file handout picture releasA Turing machine, which was invented by Alan Turing in the 1930’s, is a theoretical device that consists of a tape of unlimited length that has been categorized into little squares. These squares can either hold a 1, a 0, or be left blank. A read-write device then reads these symbols and blanks, which gives the machine its instructions to perform a certain program.

You may recognize this process as a warped version of the one responsible for storing data and running programs on your personal computer or mobile device.

According to Benioff, in a quantum Turing machine, the tape exists in a quantum state, as does the read-write head. Instead of only reading and writing the 0, 1, or space state, quantum computers would encode information as quantum bits (called qubits) which can exist in superposition. A qubit could be an atom, an ion, a photon or an electron and their respective control devices that allow them to work as computer memory and as a processor. Because a quantum computer would be able to work with these multiple states simultaneously, it would have the potential to be millions of times more powerful than the best of the best of today’s computers. The superposition of its qubits would allow for it to work millions of computations while your laptop works one.

Quantum computers would also utilize an aspect of quantum mechanics known as entanglement. Recall that simply giving attention to subatomic particles can change them. That means simply looking at a qubit in superposition could knock it down to a value of either 0 or 1, making it on the same level as your laptop computer. Luckily, the principal of entanglement implies that the application of an outside force to two atoms can cause them to become entangled so that the second atom can take on the properties of the first atom. If left alone, an atom will spin in all directions, but if another atom is added to the company, the entangled atom will spin the opposite direction of the first atom. Scientists can follow this pattern to know the value of the qubits without actually looking at them.

caching stuff

What is Caching?

You hear the word all the time but you’re not quite sure what it means. Let’s see what this article can do to help:

cpu v memoryLet’s start out by explaining a developing problem in system design: at our present moment, scientists have found ways to greatly increase CPU (computer processing unit) clockspeed and performance, but the technology regarding equally speedy memory remains a bun in the oven. That leaves scientists scrambling to find a way to make sure their CPU speeds make a difference in overall computer function.

A common analogy used to explain the problem and solution involves a downtown furniture workshop and a lumberyard that keeps moving further and further out of the city and into rural land. That movement represents the increasing divide between the speeds of the CPU and of the memory (the memory is the lumberyard). No matter what size the trucks are that ship lumber from the lumberyard to the furniture shop, they’re going to take longer and longer to arrive after the furniture shop files its order.

Ok, conflict understood. Possible solution: rent out a smaller warehouse in the city and have it act as a cache for the workshop; it could have a driver on-hand who could drive out and get whatever the furniture shop needs whenever a need springs up. The bigger the cache, the better, because it will store more of all the raw materials that the furniture shop could possibly need.

Now think of that city warehouse as the level 1 (L1) cache. The L1 cache can be accessed extremely easily by the CPU, so it’s a sensible place to store of all the most relevant and predictably necessary data. The L1 is able to be so quick because it’s made of the fastest and most expensive type of static random-access memory (SRAM). The 4 to 6 transistors that make up every SRAM trump the one-transistor-per-cell of dynamic random-access memory (DRAM), but they also cost quite a lot more, so engineers generally want to be conservative with them.

When the processor reaches for data that isn’t in the L1, it’s called a cache miss. This is definitely a situation worth avoiding seeing as people that pay for an ultra-high-clockrate processor like the P4 don’ expect to be forced to wait for the time it takes for data to load from the main memory (it’s not a simple matter of waiting for something to load; the time that that takes may keep a program from functioning properly).

lumberThe solution is to build a second cache. Expanding L1 is only an option so much as you’re willing to pay for more and more of those expensive transistors. If you want faster access to memory but don’t want to foot the bill, you can build an L2 cache that sits between L1 and the main memory. Hence the cache (or memory) hierarchy begins to form. The L2 isn’t as fast as the L1, and the L3 isn’t as fast as the L2, but each slower tier also holds less relevant information. At the end of the day, data is still transferred more efficiently with the tiers than without them.

big data

How Big Data is Changing the World

When most people think of Big Data, they generally think about data collected for the sake of business incentives. It is true that Big Data is revolutionizing the way the businesses operate, but the ability to collect massive amounts of different varieties of data is more than a money maker; it’s changing human society on multiple fronts in ways that are exciting to everyone, not just big business.


Big Data Helps Environmentalists to Monitor Deforestation

One of the chief environmental causes aided by Big Data is the effort to limit deforestation. Environmentalists and policy makers are able to be constantly updated on the statuses of forests all over the world with the help of satellite imagery. Global Forest Watch, a service provided by Google that uses high-resolution NASA satellite imagery  to analyze over 700,000 satellite images, is informed and updated with the use of Big Data. Now environmentalists can map the change of annual forest cover over the past few decades and in “near-real time.”


Big Data Helps with Weather Prediction

Scientists utilize Big Data technology to predict the weather, enabling them to forgo disasters by taking informed, precautionary measures. Weather  research companies like Riak NoSQL use thirteen data centers to capture 2.2 million weather points from all over the globe four times every hour.


Big Data Helps with Agricultural Development

Farmers are using precision technology (a concept bolstered by the advancement of Big Data) to make better decisions when it comes to raising crops. Precision technology involves integrating information regarding real-time weather data, soil and air quality findings, crop maturity and the costs of equipment and labor with the intention of better understanding the pro’s and con’s of any agricultural decision.

With the aid of this information, farmers are often able to increase their yields while decreasing their use of resources. This is a necessary development given that the world’s population is expected to reach 9.2 billion people by 2050.


Big Data Helps to Protect People from Getting Sick

The medical field has all kinds of uses for Big Data; it can help monitor wearable devices, predict outbreaks of infectious disease, keep track of patient information and much, much more. Big Data actually helped to fight the Ebola crisis about a year back.

IBM recently confirmed this phenomenon when it released a study showing that Big Data can help contain global outbreaks of dengue fever and malaria. The application of the findings of Big Data are saving lives all over the world.

Finally, by using modeling developed from the data gathered by social media and other online public information sources, researches have been able to predict outbreaks of infectious diseases such as the flu.

digital textbook

Big Data Helps to Improve Education

Technology is being developed to process information regarding students’ education and come up with diagnoses of problems in education systems and how to fix them.

One such application is made by Knewton, an adaptive platform that collects data regarding students’ learning habits. The company is involved in creating digital textbooks that adapt to individual students in real time. The textbooks are able to assess the students as they solve problems and adjust the difficulty of the remaining problems as needed.

In general, Big Data is allowing us to understand larger, more detailed amounts of information than ever before. There’s no telling what we’ll do with access to that kind of breadth of information, but it’s definitely an exciting time

Data Recovery is More than a Concept

Data recovering is not just a concept. It is an entire process by which lost data and records are recovered in time. In the genre of information technology recovering of data typically means the restoration of the essential information to laptops, desktops, servers and several exterior storage mechanisms from the main back up. However, the process of recovery may differ. This depends on the status of data loss and you have the software which is being used to form the back up and even the backup target media. It is easy for a laptop or a desktop platform to allow the end users to cause restoration of the lost files on their own.

Speaking about the Process

However, this is something easy. But restoring a corrupted data base from the source of a tape backup is a very intricate process and for the same one requires the perfect IT intervention. Data recovery is a kind of service and this is the service to be used in order to recover vital data in time. These are data which were not properly backed up or it may be so that they got deleted by chance from the main file system of the computer. However, the file remains as fragment inside the disk and these need to be recovered in time.

The Point of Action

In an organization any one person is responsible for the disaster recovery plan. Once the person decides for the recovery he makes a perfect plan of how to make things possible. The person provides with a plan of action how should the data be recovered and how the documents should be made acceptable. For this there is a recovery point In short you can even refer the same as RPO. RPO is the edge of the files that should be recovered from the backup storage and this is necessary for the normal operation of the organization. The RPO is better expressed in the backward time format and this happens from the exact time of the failure.

The Concept of Recovery Time

There is also something known as the recovery time. This is in short known as RTO or Recovery Time Objective. This refers to the maximum tolerable time span that the computer needs to recover after the occurrence of a disaster. The network or the application stops working in the process and this is when the recovery mechanism starts operating and for the same a stipulated time is required for the purpose.

More about the Recovery Process

There are more things involved in the process of sheer and exact data recovery. In fact, you should always have a backup system to hold on to the essential files in time so that nothing goes eradicated wrongly. In fact, you never know what you may require in future and for the same you should always store the data in style and save the same from getting deleted unnecessarily. Recovering a data takes time and you must make arrangements to help the data get retrieved within the time frame.


A Television That Listens

There is plenty to worry about already, in a time where it is normal to be feeling as if your personal information is at risk. From your cell phone to your laptop, home computer and tablet, everything you download and every webpage you look at is tracked. It may not be tracked maliciously, or with the intent of using the information, but your privacy is constantly at risk. You would feel that maybe being at home in your living room, speaking with your family, that you may be able to keep the conversation to yourself. Unfortunately, that may not be so.

After countless complaints about privacy, the electronics business Samsung finally admitted that the smart TVs they have put out into the market, may actually be listening in on your conversations (if the viewer permits, Samsung has clarified). This passionate outcry started after they sent out an updated version of their privacy policy for their line of smart televisions. After giving it a read-through, many people felt that the wording in the policy dictated that Samsung has been listening in on its consumers. In layman’s terms, it says that since they owned the TV, it’s actually had the ability to recognize your verbal commands so that you may operate it easier.

They stated that if you have this feature enabled, that any spoken words that you may use that includes personal and sensitive information, will indeed be captured and transmitted via the voice recognition. Samsung attempted to calm the outrage by making a blog post in order to clarify further. They claimed that there was confusion over how the sentence was worded, and offered a more in depth explanation of the voice recognition system. There seem to be a few differences between the original privacy policy, and this newly released blog.

The people at Samsung explained that the third party that collects all of the voice recordings and data (which was previously unnamed), is in fact Nuance Communications, which is a well-known producer of voice recognition tech. They also clarified that their televisions do not collect every piece of information or spoken word in the surrounding room. For one, an activation button must be used or selected on the screen in order for it to begin working, and the user needs to speak directly in the remote itself where the microphone is located. They reiterated that voice recognition could definitely be turned off at any time, though it would result in the loss of the voice control for the television. Thankfully, this has reassured some users.

Samsung promises that they are very serious about the privacy of the consumer, and that they always create new devices while keeping that in mind. They have not, however, disclosed how users can go about deleting any previous recordings, or if that is even an option for them. They also don’t disclose how long Nuance stores the information for. While many know that Amazon’s Echo uses similar technology, they at least give the users a step-by-step guide as to how to delete recordings. Perhaps Samsung still has a few more things to learn.

Get your Hard Disk Data Recovered by Choosing Reliable Services

Everyone have their way around the computers and laptops and is becoming a professional in using them. The most crucial component of a computer or laptop is it hard drive. The hard disk is a hardware that stores all the date you store on your system. It is very essential to take care of your hard disk because if any virus or Trojan enters your data drive, it could either delete the data you stored or crash you hard drive. The biggest problem one faces with hard drives is that when it crashes you lose all your important data and if you have no back up then there is no way you can retrieve it.
harddrive1Many people go from store to store to get the data from their hard drive retrieved. Though it quite difficult to retrieve the data from a crashed hard disk however the many offered by companies makes it possible. These service companies make sure that the data you have stored in your hard drive is recovered without deleting or losing it and making the hard drive useless. However there are many companies in the market offering these services, thus its selection is very crucial. Here are a few ways you can choose the best and reliable hard disk recovery service companies.

Fees charged by the Service Companies

The service fee of recovering data from your hard drive varies from company to company. There are companies that offer cheap services but then these companies also give low quality services. However, this doesn’t apply to all the recovery service providers. Thus, it is essential to do a thorough research before hiring a data recovery service provider. This is because once you lose the data completely there is no way you can retrieve it back. Many companies only charge a fee that is required to fix the hard disk issue and the other work they do while recovering data from your crashed hard drive. Thus it is essential to read the terms and conditions before hiring their services.

Reputation in the market

It is essential to check the reputation of the recovery service company in the market before hiring their expertise. The service provider should be cost effective and use up-to-date data recovery software. It is also necessary that the experts handling your hard disk an experienced and skilled.
The service provider should be aware of the latest updates in the data recovery market and be experienced enough to retrieve it from a crashed hard drive. The company should have ample resources to retrieve your lost data from the hard drives, servers, memory cards and computers.

The companies offering hard drive recovery services should be reliable and mention their contact details on their website along with a good support system to solve the client’s query. They should offer maintenance and consider their client’s problems as priority. While looking for such services you will come across do-it-yourself techniques but if you are not skilled or have any technical knowledge then do not try your hand at it. This is because if you lose the data from the crashed hard drive, you can never retrieve it back.

Software – The Innovative Part of a Computer System

Computer software is defined as a set of programs and procedures, to perform an ordained task. Computer Software is further divided into two major categories; system software and application software.

software1Application software: These set of instructions make use of the capacities of a computer directly to accomplish a particular task. Capable of manipulating text, numbers and graphics, it can be in the form of instructions focused on a single task such as word processing, spreadsheets or even playing audio and video files. Thus, application software caters to the varying needs of professionals in different spheres across the globe matching their specific needs.

This application software makes its presence felt majorly catering to commercial purposes. While the scope of this category is rather large, gaming forms the widely used application software in the modern day.

The following are the different application software aimed at different purposes

1. Educational Software: Innovative attempts in the field of education brought about mechanization of the evaluation process of students. Application software aimed at conducting tests and tracking the progress of students are in vogue. Not only that, tools like dictionaries, mathematical software and others like NASA World Wind are some of the prominent uses of educational software.

2. Industrial application software: Engineering and development of products is the prime aim of industrial application software. Here software plays an important role in designing and developing hardware and software products.

3. Software in the field of Medicine: Specialty software developed for medical purposes for maintaining electronic health records, medical billing, patient scheduling software and medical accounting. Various specialties in the field of medicine have their corresponding application software for their varied needs. Simulation software is also a widely employed medical application.

4. Business Applications: Word processing application software like MS Word, WordPad, and Notepad are some of the text editors used for business as well as domestic purposes. Additionally spreadsheet software like Excel and Lotus 1-23 allow business users to perform calculations on spreadsheets, replacing paper worksheets for voluminous calculations. These are also termed as office suites, since they are used by knowledge workers.

Presentation Software too comes handy for business professionals to display information in the form of slide shows. MS PowerPoint is the widely used application software for making business presentations to an audience.

5. Gaming Software: Gaming tools are specialized application software developed for gaming buffs to derive pleasure out of video games, arcade games, console games, mobile games and PC games.

6. Media Content Development Software: Content access software is majorly used to access content without editing. However there are instances where some may include software that allows for content editing. Such software suits the dual needs of individuals to use digital entertainment and published digital content. Media Players, Web browsers and help browsers are some of the examples.

software2Business software applications which are expensive should be purchased with utmost prudence, in line with the needs of the employees to the basic features of the software. Going overboard will mean waste of capital investing in software which will never be used.

All about Hardware Vs Software

Hardware is the visible part of a computer that has a physical structure, such as keyboard, mouse or the monitor. Software is the set of programmed instructions that are given to the hardware to perform a particular task, thus acting as a guide to the hardware. For eg: MS Word

hardware1Types of Hardware problems:

Before one can address hardware issues, it is imperative to understand how hardware problems manifest. Weird error messages that flash out can be addressed with ease.

1. Dead Hardware – Simply put any unused or dead piece of hardware. A faulty audio card, a non functional memory stick, which prompt the operating system to flash error messages concerning their malfunction.

2. Hardware Functional Defects – Being the most difficult type of problem, an occasional error message from a hardware component will not help the user to address the problem in its totality as he is helpless with pertinent information to troubleshoot. This is because of occasional faults. Some errors do not lead to a functionality issue but cause data to corrupt or sometimes hamper the performance of hardware.

3. Driver issues – Usually similar to hardware malfunctions, these are much more consistent in their error messages. Bad drivers which do not correspond with the hardware sometimes can lead to serious issues like kernel crashes, blank screens, white and black screens, not to mention many more such weird effects.

The following tips help identify and trouble shoot a computer hardware issue with regard to the specific hardware components.

1. Power Supply – Computer booting (starting) problems can easily be traced to power supply connections. Identified as the most important piece of hardware that can fail in a computer, the power supply is the first to be checked for random lockups, spontaneous reboots and some serious error messages. Power supply can be tested manually using a multi meter or using a power supply tester, both of which are effective ways.

2. Hard Drive – Failure of hard drive causes files to go corrupt. Prolonged delay in accessing files or during saving a file to the hard drive are the notable manifestations. Another evident instance witnesses a complete non-booting of windows.

3. CPU – Problems with the CPU result in the computer not booting at all. An overheated CPU leads to a blue-screen when it is being used to play a game.

4. RAM – Failure on part of the short term storage RAM will lead to application crashes, blue screens, and file corruption.

hardware25. Graphics Card – Graphical errors are evident when the graphics card fails. Situations causing the graphics card to overheat will lead to crashing of the graphics driver. This may also result in computer freezing under load.

6. Fans – Failure of even one of the computer fans leads to components getting overheated manifested in the form of CPU or graphics card problems.

7. Motherboard – Problems with motherboard are believed to very tough to diagnose. Occasional blue screens or similar problems of display can sometimes be attributed to faulty motherboards.

This bird’s eye view of hardware malfunctions will aid in diagnosing and addressing hardware issues, which are at times overwhelming to the common user.