Monthly Archives: April 2015

What to Look for in Anti-Malware Software

Malware can be harmful, if not prevented.

Malware can be harmful, if not prevented.

Malware Is Dangerous to a PC

Malware is a type of software made to damage or infiltrate a computer without receiving consent from the owner. Malware is otherwise known as, malicious software. Malware can be found in several forms. Having anti-malware protection software. helps keep your computer safe from malware.

What Malware is Capable of Doing

A surprising amount of PCs get infected with malware. Out of ten computers connected to the internet, nine will be infected. Without this protection, you are opened up for identity theft, hard drive corruption, personal information exposed, and your usernames and passwords stolen. Malware can find you even when being careful.

Functions and Features Needed in Anti-Malware

You may have anti-malware software installed on your PC already. Knowing what key functions and features are needed for adequate protection, will help in the decision of what software should be used. Look for these when browsing for Anti-Malware software:

  • Automatic updates for malware. The program you choose should be able to connect automatically to the vendors website, and download any available updates.
  • Automatic updates for the program. The program should be able to automatically check for updates to the program and install them.
  • Real time scanning. You want the malware stopped prior to entering your PC. Real time scanning can accomplish this.
  • On demand scanning. The user should be able to choose a folder, file, or drive to be scanned when initiated.
  • Access Scans. Scanning for malware should be done when any files are accessed or opened.
  • Compressed Files Scan. Many times malware is embedded in files that are compressed. The program needs to have the ability to scan these files.
  • Scheduled Scans. Malware software should have the capability for the user to program regular scans of PC.
  • Script Blocking. At times, script languages in websites are used for the execution of malicious software codes. The program should be able to block malware found in such languages as Java, ActiveX, or other language scripts.
  • E-mail Protection. Anti-Malware software needs to have the ability to monitor the e-mail traffic, including attachments, and block any malware from entering your PC.
  • Interface Easy to Use. The program should be easy to configure for even the novice PC user.
  • Heuristic Detection Ability. With this ability, recent threats are able to be detected, by analyzing characteristics and behaviors of files that are suspicious.

Preventing Malware Infections

Besides the use of anti-malware software, there are some precautions the PC user should take. Use anti-virus software and a firewall, as well. Security setting in the browser should be increased. Use of public computers should be used with caution. Using these precautions and having adequate anti-malware protection, will help keep your computer clean.

Having a computer free of Malware can be beneficial, since there are no harmful damages being done. If you suspect that you have Malware on your computer, and do not have the time or means to fix it; speak with us here where we can take a look and get it working as good as new.

What Maintenance Should I Be Doing, and When

Clean up your computer with weekly maintenance.

Clean up your computer with weekly maintenance.

PC Maintenance is Important

You need to have regular computer maintenance performed to ensure it runs smoothly. Some maintenance needs to be done weekly, while others monthly. These tasks are not hard, even novice computer users will have no problems completing them. If you do not use your computer often, these maintenance steps can be performed less often.  Sometimes this tasks can be automated which eliminates the chance of forgetting to do it.

Weekly Computer Maintenance

These steps should be performed on a weekly basis. Make a habit of doing this on the same day each week, making it easier to remember.

To prevent loss of data with a hard drive crash, or if some reason the drive is destroyed, backup weekly. No matter what type of computer, or operating system you may have, this needs to be done.

Remove temporary files, and old compressed ones, program files that were downloaded, offline web pages, and empty recycle bin by using disk cleanup. This utility is located already on your computer, no download needed. Access it by going to Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup.

Check for updates for your antivirus software, for the program itself and definitions, as well. Now to ensure your computer is free of any viruses, Trojans, or malware, run a full scan.

Monthly Computer Maintenance

When powers is lost, program crashes along with some other issues, cause error on the hard drive. There is a way to check for such errors. This also is already on your computer, and no download needed. Checking your hard disk for errors can take awhile. Plan on doing this when you will not need you PC for approximately an hour, depending on the hard drive size.

To perform this task go to Start > computer. Now right click on your hard drive and select properties, then next tools. Select check now, underneath error checking. Next a box will appear and you will want to check both of these choices. Hit start, a message will ask if you would like to schedule this check on the next restart of your computer, select yes. Restart when ready.

Check all the programs installed, and uninstall any not being used anymore.

Windows Automatic Maintenance

There is no longer a need performing disk defragmentation unless Windows XP is still being used. The other OS will automatically perform this task. Under no circumstance defrag an SSD.

Check the scheduling of auto defray on Windows Vista 7 and 9 to make sure it is enabled and scheduled for a time that the computer will be on, but not in use. Check the Windows Updates settings to make sure they are set on automatic download and install.

Windows update should be set to check for new updates automatically. Computers can install them automatically. If you would rather be informed there is new updates to be installed before they are, you can set Windows Update to do this. This maintenance needs to be done each time new updates are ready to install. Do not wait to install them.

Maintenance is important for any computer, of any age. In order to get the most function out of any system, maintenance can provide that extra boost that is needed whether you choose to do it yourself, it is automatically done or you hire a professional to do it for you.

All About Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi provides the functionality and specs you're after.

Raspberry Pi provides the functionality and specs you’re after.

Raspberry Pi: The Pocket Sized PC

Raspberry Pi is a computer the size of a credit card, at a low price. This computer will cost you only $35. Televisions, computer monitors, mouse, and standard keyboards can be used with this device. This little computer can do everything that would be expected from desktop computers. It is capable of browsing the internet, playing games, word processing, making spreadsheets, and can play high-definition video. Raspberry Pi 2 was just introduced into the world in February 2015.

 The Beginning

Raspberry Pi was built in hopes kids would be inspired with programming. Best way to accomplish this was providing computers that were cheap enough, as well as easy to hack for kids. Coders of the next generation being nurtured, was born when Ebon Upton, Raspberry Pi designer, felt frustrated. This came about while helping to manage undergraduates at Cambridge University, study computer science. These students did not carry with them much knowledge of programming. And so the vision with Raspberry Pi came to life.

Specifications

Raspberry Pi 2 can come with some specifications that have improved quite a bit. Here is a list of specifications of the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B:

• 900MHz quad-core ARM Cortex A7 CPU

• 1 GB RAM that is shared with GPU

• 4 USB ports

• 15 pin MIPI camera interface (CSI) connector

• HDMI port, composite video (PAL and NTSC) via 3.5mm jack

• Micro SD card slot

• Ethernet port

• Broadcom VideoCore IV 250 MHz

• composite video and 3.5mm audio jack combined

 Amazing Benefits of Raspberry Pi

With the weight of only 1.6 ounces, it measures at 85.60mm by 56.5mm. Windows 10 and Ubuntu will be able to run on this new version of Raspberry Pi.

Amazingly you can overclock Raspberry Pi 2. This is done by going into what is called, turbo-mode. Overvolting/overclocking options can be changed by editing boot-time parameters or at run-time using raspi-config tool. Your warranty will not be void by changing these options.

There is no heat sink needed with this computer. The chip that is used in a cell phone is similar to the Raspberry Pi chip, and therefore does not get hot enough to use special cooling. If you desire to attach a heat sink, nothing will be hurt by doing so.

Amount of memory that Raspberry Pi comes with can not be swapped or removed. The amount of RAM installed should be enough for running anything it is made to run.

This small computer comes at an extremely low price. If you want to learn programming this is an excellent tool to use. With the price this low, purchasing and trying it out should be a fun learning experience computer enthusiasts from all over will enjoy.

 

Difference Between Traditional and Liquid Cooling

Liquid cooling is a popular cooling choice.

Liquid cooling is a popular cooling choice.

 

Traditional and Liquid Cooling

Every computer that you will encounter generates heat while in operation. Heat can be dangerous for internal components of the PC. They can die, when not cooled properly. If the PC is store-bought, most likely the cooling system installed will be sufficient. The question of cooling comes about when they are custom-built. Will you use the traditional cooling method, or go for liquid cooling? Different factors are considered before making that decision. Cooling is usually a problem some computer owners face.

Description of the Cooling Methods

Traditional air cooling consists of fans and a heat sink. Most PC’s have a CPU fan, graphic card fan, and case fans. The fans move the air over the heat sink. This permits the absorption of heat, from the CPU. Finally, the heat gets blown out the exhaust vent of the computer.

Liquid cooling consists of fans, tubes fill with coolant, water blocks, radiator, and a few other parts. Water blocks are basically equivalent to the heat sink.

Traditional Cooling

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A pro with traditional cooling, is the price being much lower. Another one is, the ease of installing it. The majority of system cases, come with the parts you need installed already. These pieces are the intake fan, and exhaust fan. The intake fan is located in the front of the case. Its forces outside air across the hard drive. In the rear is the exhaust fan, that throws the hot air out of the case. The processor and graphic card will most likely have the fans already on them.

A cons of traditional cooling includes the noise of the fans. Heat sinks can be big, for the powerful CPU coolers. Last con, overclocked processors, or multiple graphic cards pose an issue by not being as efficient as liquid cooling.

Liquid Cooling

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One way to have liquid cooling, is a self-contained liquid cooler. These come completely sealed and assembled. These basically should only be used cooling one component, for instance an overclocked processor. If cooling multiple components, use the do it yourself loops. A pro of liquid cooling includes, they cool components to a larger degree than fans. The sound is more quiet than traditional cooling. The space needed in the case is less. The look of liquid cooling is quite neat.

And of course there has to be cons to consider. Prices of liquid cooling is quite high, compared to traditional cooling. Another con is the homework you will have to do, about all the different stuff you need. Different sizes to make sure each piece fits. Installing it is also a con, if done yourself.

Which Method to Use

This will depend on the individuals usage need. The amount of money you are willing to spend. If your rig has multiple graphic cards, and overclocked, or one graphic card, without overclocking. If just going for the overclocked processor, try the self-contained liquid cooler. Whether you’re purchasing one to build and put together for yourself to use, or want to game the day away; one of these cooling methods can be ideal for you to use.

Making sure to check the computer’s temperature will ensure that it doesn’t overheat, and that you can use it.

What is Java and JavaScript

Java and Javascript are different.

Java and Javascript are different.

The Relation of Java and JavaScript

Some people assume Java and JavaScript are related, probably because of the similar sounding name. However, this is not true. Javascript was developed by Netscape and used the name of LiveScript, originally. While Java was developed at Sun Microsystems, by James Gosling. Nevertheless, they both are Object Oriented Programming (OOP) language.

Object Oriented Programming 

In order to understand Java or Javascript, you should have a grasp about OOP. It is a programming method not based on procedures and functions, but instead based on objects. The objects get formed into classes. Basically, classes of commands build objects. These objects will create the whole.

Explanation of Java 

Java is a programming language used for computers. The language is like C++, but simpler. This removes language features that create programming errors, that are common. The codes do not have to be written in numbers. Programmers compose computer instructions, with commands based on English. Humans can write and read this language easily. There are rules that dictate how computer instructions are written. After the program is written, the computer understands the instructions. This is because they were translated into number codes.

Use of Java

Many websites and application will not work without Java installed. Java allows you to see 3D images, chat with people over the internet, and play games online. That names just a few things. You might have received an error that a program can not run, without Java. Java is found in computers, cell phones, gaming consoles, and data centers. Basically, it is everywhere.

Explanation of JavaScript

Javascript is also a programming language. Unlike Java, this is different from C++. Objects can directly inherit differences from one another. This forms the prototype chain of objects. Many objects that are built in, are supported by this language. JavaScript makes pages on the web, interactive. JavaScript is embedded in the web pages HTML source. Web developers have JavaScript run at different times, depending on their intent. Some of the times are when the page is opened, or closed. Clicking and dragging something, typing on the keyboard, or submitting a form, are other times. All web browsers have support built into them for JavaScript.

With JavaScript disabled, several websites will be unusable. For instance, with JavaScript disabled, Gmail will not be usable. This programming language is used all over the internet. Whether you’re using the PC or smartphone, JavaScript is needed.

Security with Java and JavaScript

JavaScript and Java can be disabled in the browser, by the user. By doing this, much of the modern web would be unavailable. Google Docs, and Gmail are just a few examples that need JavaScript enabled. To watch many videos, or play certain games online, Java needs to be enabled. Keeping the browser updated, and having the latest Java version helps protect against compromises.

 

Facts about RAM and ROM

 

There is a difference between RAM and ROM.

There is a difference between RAM and ROM.

Computer’s Memory

RAM and ROM are types of memory inside of a computer. These are integrated into the computer, to gain access to the information that is stored. They differ in the way they are used. Without having these two types of memory, the computer can not function properly.

All About ROM

ROM stands for, read only memory. The user can only read, and not easily alter the information stored. This memory has the instructions already stored, for starting up the computer. One example of already stored, is BIOS (basic input output system). BIOS is used for operation of keyboards, display screen, and other fundamental things. The data stored, is not lost without electricity. The information that is stored on this, is permanent. When you power down the computer, it does not get deleted. This makes ROM, non-volatile memory. Magnetic tape is what makes up this memory. This memory is not accessed directly from the processor.

Types of ROM

There are three types of this memory. PROM is programmable read only memory. PROM uses voltages that are high, and can be only programmed one time. EPROM is erasable programmable read only memory, UV radiation can be used to rewrite. EEPROM is electrically erasable programmable read only memory. Electrically is used to rewrite EEPROM. These type of ROM can be modified slightly. None of these have to be removed, to be rewritten.

All About RAM

RAM stands for, random access memory. Most people are familiar with RAM. This type of memory is used to store data, that is only temporary. RAM can be written, as well as read, unlike ROM. This makes this memory, volatile. The speed of the processor can be boosted, by this memory. To keep the information, electrically is needed. Access from the processor is easy. This memory is faster compared to ROM. Data can be read fast, to run computer applications. This memory is inserted in slots on the motherboard. RAM is a chip.

Types of RAM

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Two of the main types of RAM. DRAM is dynamic random access memory. This type of memory can have more data that fits into a small space. Because of this, most personal computers, and gaming consoles use this type. Being dynamic, electricity is needed occasionally to maintain fresh memory. The other type is SRAM, static random access memory. Because this type is static, it does not need electrically shot through occasionally. This uses a smaller amount of power, than dynamic. Static is also faster. This is used more widely in smaller electronics, like cellphones.

When looking for a computer with 2GB RAM versus 4GB it can make it faster, but not necessarily twice as fast.  RAM is a big factor in computing speed because it determines how much information and at what speed that information in transferred within the system. RAM is not storage space like what you’d find on a hard drive, which is a common misconception.

When it comes to price, ROM is less expensive than RAM. No matter the price, both are needed for the computer. They can be replaced if they fail to work unless there is a SSD in your computer.

Nvidia or Radeon Graphics Card for Gaming

The latest and greatest on the market.

The latest and greatest on the market.

Graphic Cards are Important

If you are a gamer, the graphic card is most likely the most important piece to you. You want the richest, smoothest graphics you can find. You should have a visual experience, that puts you in the game. As you know, the games of today can put a graphic card to the test.

When shopping for a new graphic card, a gamer looks for performance and price being balanced. The two cards competing for your business for years, are Nvidia and AMD Radeon. Although these cards are quite similar, there are differences that set them apart. We will look at high-end cards from both makers, to decide the better gaming card. These include AMD Radeon R9 290 and R9 290X. From Nvidia, the GTX 980 and 970 cards.

Testing the Cards

Lets take a look first at frame rates, by testing the cards on the game Bioshock Infinite. This game is not a benchmark hog. The resolution is set at 1080p. The AMD Radeon R9 290 has 65.62 FPS (frames per second), the R9 290X FPS is 66.93. While these are great numbers, Nvidia comes out on top with their frame rate. 82.87 for the Nvidia GTX 980, and 79.51 for GTX 970. The difference is quite large. The numbers for Nvidia with resolution set at 2560, still beat AMD Radeon.

Engine That is Built to Last

A game that can put any system to the test, uses the Crytek engine. One of the games that used this engine, was Crysis. The visual beauty using this engine, surpasses all others. Testing with a game that has the Crytek engine, will show the cards at their best. The game the FPS test is being done on is, Ryse: Call of Rome. Nvidia comes out on top, but the difference is not as much this time. The R9 290 has 54.19, the R9 290X has 54.6 FPS. Both good numbers. Nvidia GTX 970 has 55.15, and the GTX 980 has 57.98.

Performance that Lasts

With performance, Nvidia comes out the winner. Another test that is performed for these graphic cards is power efficiency. With this AMD Radeon, loses again. They use almost twice as much power than the Nvidia, when under full load. The temperature and noise with the Nvidia graphic cards, are much lower than the Radeon cards. Through all the testing done, both cards remained stable.

AMD Radeon had lost out when it comes to noise, speed, and temperature. Now we look at pricing for the cards. The Nvidia GTX 980 comes out as the most expensive or the four, costing approximately $550. The cost of the other three are approximately $300. Check to see if gaming laptops have either of these cards in them.

The winner when you look at all these factors, would be the Nvidia GTX 970. If you are willing to pay $200 more for a graphic card, then the Nvidia GTX 980 is the way to go. Find out what to do if your video card ever fails.

Let us know your experience with the graphics card that you have in your current computer, and how it is working for you. Also! Don’t forget to let us know what graphics card you want to upgrade too! Share your insight!

10 Things Every Computer User Should Know

 

Tips for computer ownership can provide you with insight.

Tips for computer ownership can provide you with insight.

Computer Tips You Should Know

Everybody that uses a computer, should be familiar with some very basic things. Even if you use the computer daily, you might not know these things.

1) Back up your computer. This is something that most people put off doing. It only takes a few minutes to complete. This can be done by using external drives, discs, or an online service.

2) Shortcuts are the key to working faster. Here are a few: Control+F, this opens a search box on a web page. Type what you want to search for. Control+N, is for opening a new window while in a browser, or a new document, in document applications. Control+P, opens the print window.

3) Keep yourself safe from a Virus. Virus protection should be installed and up to date. Be cautious with opening links, and only download from trusted sources. If a pop up window states you have a virus, check that it is your software saying it. If it is not, do not trust it.

4) Keep your computer running smooth with regular maintenance. Some maintenance items include, install windows updates when available, and run antivirus software in the background. Clean temporary files. Ccleaner is a good program to use. People running Windows XP, need to defragment. The newer versions of Windows, does this automatically. Cleaning your registry is not necessary.

5) Make your laptop battery last longer. An old battery losing the charge fast, should be replaced. For other batteries, there are tips to make it last longer. Have your power setting on Power saver, when not plugged in. Set the display to turn off fast when inactive. The display is a battery drainer. Disable Bluetooth, if not in use. Disable services and processes, that run in the background that are not needed.

6) Protect your personal information. Use passwords that are a long mixture, of numbers and letters. Make sure you are protected if using public Wi-Fi. Keep any personal information off from files, and pictures.

7) Large files shared easily. When e-mailing them, it is slow, and possible problems with size. You can share these files using certain websites. Some popular ones are Senduit, Dropbox, and WiKiSend.

8) Keep your computer safe from a possible electrical surge. This can be done by using a surge protector for the modem and computer. There is also a UPS, uninterrupted power supply, that can be used.

9) Fixing problems with your home Wi-Fi. If your Wi-Fi is running slow, have the router placed in a location that is central, and open. Check to see if the network is encrypted. Unplug the router for five minutes, then plug back in. Call your internet provider, if nothing else works.

10) Get needed files while away from home. This can be done a few different ways. One is to connect to the computer remotely. Another way is using the Cloud to store all your files. You can access this anywhere.

Using these tips can give you the ability to be a great computer owner. Remember, if any problems need to be checked out, speak with a professional that can fix those for you. Great computer care can help your computer last for quite some time.