Showing posts from April, 2008

Windows Vista - Advanced Installation

Buying a new PC may be a fast and safe way to upgrade, but it's much cheaper to just buy Vista and install it yourself- hopefully after reading our articles you will be able to! If your computer is fairly powerful and meets Vista's high standards (go here to see if your system is up to the job) then nothing can stop you from buying a Vista disc and installing it yourself. We explained the various types of Vista, but most users will choose Windows Vista Home Premium - you can get this version for around £150 or less. To save even more you could buy an upgrade edition of Vista, these can be installed on any PCs running Windows 2000 or any version of XP (incl. Media Center and Tablet PC) or even on Vista itself (though installing on Vista itself could be seen as unethical so I won't be talking about that...yet). After choosing your Vista version, yo will have to choose how you want to install it... Installing from within Windows This is the easiest way to install Vista, si

Wireless & Networking - Wireless standards, specifications and more

For the home user there are four standards to consider 802.11a, b, g and the new n. By far the most common in Europe is 802.11b. This was the first main Wifi standard, mostly because it was cheap to integrate into computers, but this standard can suffer from interference problems as it uses the same frequency as some cordless phones, microwave ovens and Bluetooth. SO a new better standard was introduced 802.11a - which is also more expensive. The next gen Wifi (802.11g) has been built into most hardware for the past four years, it suffers the same problem as the b standard but is much faster and will work with b hardware. It is an improvement over the standard, though conflict issues still exist. The newest of all standards is still in draft version - 802.11n and this will work with all existing Wifi standards. When a network finds a slow device all speeds are reduced to the slowest device's speed to not cause overloads, this is the reason why you should buy all hardware from t

Technology News - 26/04/08

Time for the latest news: Flickr has released a video sharing section to it's website, though videos can only be 90 seconds in length and the service is only available to it's pro members, who pay $24.95 a year. In the last year, Flickr's visitors have increased to 42 million unique visitors a month now. The web could be replaced by something know as "grid" which is 10,000 times faster than current broadband networks. Scientists in Switzerland are working on the next-generation service which would allow films to be downloaded in a matter of seconds. The system would even be powerful enough to allow instant gaming between hundreds of thousands of gamers and could even transfer holographic images! The grid is built from fibre-optic cables and 55,000 web server already have it installed and is expected to reach 200,000 in the next two years. Britain currently already has 8,000 of these servers so service could start as soon as Autumn 2008, the grid will be activa

Linux - Ubuntu Hardy 8.04 released!

As if the Ubuntu column couldn't have been on a better day of the week. Yesterday, Hardy 8.04 was released! It's been 24 hours now, so let me tell you my experience of it yesterday. Halfway through the day (after I thought the initial buzz had died down) I headed over to the Ubuntu website to be greeted with the new flash animation - I click download and after a few steps I discovered that my .ISO file had started downloading, after being there for over ten minutes, I discovered that my download was barely at 0.1% away fro m completion. I decided to take the long way - find a torrent version, but once I had found and downloaded the 20kb torrent, 25 minutes later at a fantastic download speed of 500kb/s I had my .ISO ready to burn, in another 10 minutes the CD had been burned and I was waiting for the CD to load up after rebooting - here's where my earlier problem started, again! The same horizontal and vertical streaks were all over the screen, rendering it useless, I atte

Windows Vista - What should you be looking for? Part 2

If you missed our earlier edition on what Processor and Ram you need as well as choosing the right version of Vista for you, you can view that article here . Now, let's move on to the hard drive, also know as the hard drive. For basic documents and web surfing a 50Gb hard drive would be just fine, if you have a collection of music, photos and other files then 100Gb would be reasonable, though 200Gb would be an even better choice as programs and files eventually get bigger and more and more files accumulate on your system. The great news is that you can purchase fantastic amounts of hard disk space from trusted manufacturers for a fantastic price. Here for examples is a Samsung HD501LJ 500GB Internal SATA 16MB 7200RPM Hard Drive for currently just £49.99. Now there are terabyte hard disks and even bigger and as they get bigger, already big 500 GB and less hard disks will get cheaper and cheaper. The graphics card - now here's what makes your computer look good, or not.

Wireless and Networking - Getting a good signal, file sharing and going wireless!

Getting a good signal - The best thing about wireless, is that, well, it is - wireless. Though wireless networking depends on your signal, even with a perfectly set up network, there will always be areas in the house which won't get the best signal, or any signal at all for that matter. You should always place your router in the centre of the house so that the signal gets to everywhere it needs to. Wireless signals can usually get through objects quite well, by either bouncing off them or going through them if they are thin enough. Though some walls are much too thick to let anything through, leaving whole rooms without wireless access through no fault of your own. Furniture and cupboards, together, can cause wireless signals to die anywhere beyond a few meters from the wireless access point. You can either move furniture (which can be impractical) or lift the router up to a higher place, therefore making the waves bounce off less objects. Also just changing the way the antenna i

Linux 1 - What is Linux?

Linux has a reputation of being just of techies, which might put a lot of people off even looking at this article. But guess what? That is just a common misconception. Linux is made for everyone not just companies and tech-geeks. It's made for home users, and most of the websites on the internet are hosted on Linux servers. Over the next few months I will cover every aspect of Linux in depth. This includes installing Linux, setting it up, troubleshooting and showing you how to use pretty much every feature in the Operating system. And the best thing? You can try all this for free! You can even test Linux without installing anything on your PC so you really do have nothing to lose. Linux is a complete replacement for Microsoft Windows that runs on most of the PCs on the planet. As previously mentioned Linux is an Operating System which essentially connects your software and hardware together, making it usable. Linux usually comes with a host of free applications installed, and

Windows Vista - What should you be looking for?

When buying a new PC you need the right components and Microsoft's newest operating system, Windows Vista, needs special resources. To help you out when buying your PC we've produced this guide. To get Vista you can either buy a new PC or install it yourself. Getting a new Vista PC needs a lot of thought. First, you should decide what version of Vista you want before even getting to the technicalities. We would strongly recommend not buying Vista Basic - you will miss out on most key features - 3F interface, media capabilities and much more. For most users we would recommend Vista Home Premium which should be enough for most users, as it includes the main features of the operating system. Processor - Here we would recommend no less than a Core Two Duo, that is not a Dual Core such as Pentium D - it must be a Core Two Duo. This processor is available for a reasonable price too. Memory (RAM) - Do not buy any less than 1GB of ram, anything with 512MB is not suitable for Vist

Tips & Tricks - Windows Shortcuts

There are many different Windows short cuts which can make life a lot easier, these range from going to your desktop by just pressing two buttons to switching through programs without even touching your mouse. Well, here is a collection of some of the best: Ctrl + A = Select all text on a page; Windows Key + E = Open up a new explorer window Windows Key + F = Open up the 'find' tool to search for something. Ctrl + Alt + Delete = Open up task manager and open and close programs and processes on the fly. Windows Key + D = Go straight to the desktop. Press again to go back to the program you were using before. Windows Key = Opens up the start menu instantly. Backspace Key = Go back a folder in Windows explorer. F7 (In Microsoft Word) = Opens up Spell Check Ctrl + F7 (In Microsoft Word) = Opens up the thesaurus. Alt + Tab = Cycle through programs without touching the mouse Alt + F4 = Close down a program instantly. Ctrl + X = Cut out selected text. Ctrl + Z = Undo th

Wireless and Networking - The Basics and More!

A few years back, in order to network a few computers, you'd need to run miles of cables and then connect them to a server or massive router. You could then share printers and a broadband connection. Now all this can be done at home - now all without wires flying about. Not only are wires a pain to lay and hide, they can also be a safety hazard, with a child potentially tripping over them, or they could even possibly overheat. So, now that Summer is arriving wouldn't it be nice to browse the net wirelessly in the garden in the fresh air? In practice, if the world was as perfect as that, everything would be great. Installation guides which are impossible to understand, error messages, buying and setting up all the right equipment, security, and disappearing signals are all problems but over the next few months we will show you how to get round all these problems and more! We have information ranging from beginners to advanced professionals, whether this is your first ne

Convert to a better email client?

Tired of Outlook Express? Don't want to pay for Outlook? Or bored of both?  Well, look no further - because without spend one penny, you will be able to get a fully customizable email client and not lose any of your emails!  Mozilla, the creators of Firefox have their very own email software too. Now as we know, most good things come at a price - well not with Mozilla Thunderbird. As with Firefox, Mozilla like to keep their products free. Their programs don't have any ads and Thunderbird is no exception.  A simple setup wizard guides you through the process of importing all your contacts, messages and email addresses. There are also hundreds of addons to add more features to your email client, to keep RAM (memory) usage low.  Thunderbird does not include a calendar but this feature can be added by visiting and clicking "Other Applications" then "Thunderbird" and this and many more addons can be installed without

Scripts - PHPMotion

For my first tech related post of the blog, I am going to talk about a script which I have discovered quite recently. This script is called PHPMotion  – PHPMotion is a video sharing script that is guaranteed to suit your needs. Not only is it feature rich, but it’s also free! PHPMotion has released one full version at the time of writing, and the developer is currently working of Version 2 of the script – which is currently in its first release candidate stage (RC1). The software is packed with features, in version 2 not only can you upload videos – but audio as well! As the software is free, you are required to register on the forum  to download it. This means there is no excuse for not helping others, and getting help on the forums. Another benefit of free software (nearly open source – 1 or 2 files are encoded) is that people are always contributing, it’s faster to find bugs and loads of mods (modifications) are available – many are free. For version 2, mods include: Leave c