Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Crash and the escape !

Many of you might be knowing that computers at colleges and at private net centres are not maintained properly in terms of security(anti virus softwares are not updated periodically,etc),and it was no surprise that every time I use my pendrive at my college,it would get infected with at least a dozen viruses!

Already,some of my friends computers had to be formatted, due to the usage of the virus infected pen drives in their computers.So,I was extremely cautious,and never used the pen drive which I use in college,in my computer. But alas,due to urgency I had to use my pen drive in my computer a few days ago,and the worse,I forgot to scan it.For about 10 minutes, nothing happened or I couldn't have noticed as I was browsing.Then,when I closed the browser,my computer started behaving very oddly.Even trying to open 'My computer' failed and gave error messages.After a minute,it went from bad to worse.All that I saw was only my wallpaper.No desktop icons,no start menu,absolutely nothing else!

I tried using Ctrl+Alt+Del to call the task manager,but that too didn't work.I force shut downed my PC,and restarted it,and what I saw was the same wallpaper and nothing else.I was nearly drawn to the conclusion that I had to format my PC.

As my last hope,I tried Alt+Space bar as I had installed Launchy and thank God,it opened.
Successfully,the first hurdle has been crossed.Now,I opened 'Advanced System Care',as it has saved restore points and the restoration was successful and a narrow escape!

P.S:Both Launchy and 'Advanced System Care' are free and review on them and where to download them will be in the coming future posts.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

File name extension

All files are accompanied by their respective file extensions.By default,Windows would have set in Folder options to "Hide the file extensions of known file types".That's the reason why you don't see t
he file name extension accompanying the file name.That is also in a way for safety,there are chances that the file name extension may be deleted while you rename a file.

Some of the common file name extensions are .txt(for text document), .jpeg(for pictures) etc. All installable softwares end with .exe .There are several file formats for the same type...For example, .wmv, .rmvb, .flv , .mkv , .mp4 are all video files.But,not all video players can play all of them.

A Quick Tip:

To see all the different file formats,go Control Panel-->Folder Options and you will see the following window

In the above window,unmark "Hide extensions for known file types".Now,you will see all the formats of the file,for example a common text document which earlier read "Document",will now read "Document.txt".

Don't forget to click the box corresponding to "Hide extensions of known file types" in Folder Options as it would be easier for renaming if file formats does not accompany the file name.

I think most of you might have encountered this problem:

The above error happens when you don't have the required software which supports the file format,like for example not all users would have software that would help run video files of .flv extension.( The above error occurred when I deleted 't' of .txt file extension)

Or some times the file won't open even though you know that the file format is supported,like for instance,

Let us say for example,you don't know how to open .flv file,then search in There are the file formats are arranged in alphabetical order for easier navigation or you simply enter the file name in search box.When you enter the .flv file format page,you will see a link to the site where you can get the software to play the file(Here,it directs to adobe home page,from where you can download the Adobe flash player.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tips to Make Your PC Fast – For the Layman

A computer has become a basic necessity in today’s world, not just for the techie or the gadget geek, but for each and every one of us. We’re slowly moving to a paperless society, with email and instant messaging taking over from where letters and postcards left off. But even though most people have a computer or even two, they’re at a loss when it comes to fine tuning it and making it perform the way they want it to; it’s like knowing how to drive a car but not knowing how to tinker with the engine so that your mileage and speed improve. There’s no need to be a whiz at hardware settings and technical terms to be able to make your computer faster – here are a few simple things that ordinary people like you and me can do to that effect:

1) Get your RAM upgraded. It’s simple enough if you can get someone to install the extra chip on your mother board – all you need to do is decide on the capacity you want and if your system will support it.

2) Keep one program open at a time, and even if you’re multitasking, minimize the windows you’re not using at the moment to save system resources.

3) Use a blank wallpaper as opposed to one that’s loaded with graphics to reduce startup time.

4) Don’t clutter your desktops with too many icons, especially shortcuts to various folders and files on your system. They increase your boot time.

5) Make sure your device drivers are updated at all times; newer versions, especially those that control graphic devices, are bound to increase your speed.

6) Reduce the resolution of your display to reach a compromise between speed and clarity.

7) Ensure that your system is protected with a reliable anti-virus software package that keeps out malware. Viruses, Trojans and worms can eat up system resources and slow down your computer considerably.

8) Run the Disk Cleanup and Disk Fragmenter tools (Start - All Programs – Accessories – System Tools) on a regular basis. These tools clean out the junk from your memory and help free space for your data and programs.

9) Empty your recycle bin from time to time.

10) If you browse the Web on a regular basis, remove temporary Internet files from the cache.

11) Uninstall programs that you no longer use. You must use the Control Panel to uninstall them instead of just deleting the files associated with the application.

12) Use just one browser to surf the Internet and uninstall all the rest after you’ve tried them out.

13) Disable unused or unneeded applications that load automatically on start up. Do this only if you’re sure you know what the program does.

14)Delete all the restoration points except the last one.You can simply do this by going to Accessories-->System Tools-->Disk CleanUp.Click "More Options" and there under "System Restore",click 'Clean Up' to delete all restoration points except the last one.

This post was contributed by Kelly Kilpatrick, who writes on the subject of cell phone deals. She invites your feedback at kellykilpatrick24[at]gmail[dot]com

This is an updating list.Last Updated: 27/01/2009

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Internet and the Cloud

Cloud computing is the buzz word of today. This article is an attempt to elucidate the complex contemporary technology in the layman’s language. The internet which had a humble beginning has now expanded like the universe engulfing every home and office through out the world. The very success of the internet lies on the comfort it provides to its users.

There are various kinds of websites mushrooming everyday on the internet. Almost every website has something or the other to offer. For the past two decades software was available over the internet to download either for a price or free. A user will have to down load it and install the application before using it on their system. But now this have changed there are many web-based applications that could be used with out any software or hardware simply by using the standard web browser.

The apt example will be the online word processors, CRM applications, or even remote servers. Some of the famous companies involved in cloud computing include the Google, Zoho, Salesforce, and many more. In order to use the applications and software or hardware services provided by these services you will just need to pay as you go. This technology of cloud computing is a boon especially for entrepreneurs as it greatly reduces cost on initial investments and helps them to scale up their ventures with low investments and within no time.

As all of these applications, data, hardware are in remote locations and creates a hypothetical experience of working in the cloud, the technology has been named as cloud computing. You could very well pose the question is cloud computing only for industrialist and not for the lay man? In fact it was the common man that first tasted the fruits of this benevolent technology. Are you surprised? Yes if you have an account with the Gmail or hotmail then you are very much using the technology.

Would you believe if I tell you that even your money is in the cloud? Well here’s the explanation, if your company pays your salary through the bank then your employer is literally transferring the money to your account via clouds! The ATM, the credit card, all have created a cashless world, while you do not see the money you get or spend where do you think they are? In the clouds again!

This wonderful technology of cloud computing is gaining momentum day by day. One great advantage of this technology is that even a common man will be able to use the latest resources for a trivial sum. As of now only large scale companies can afford high-end applications and technology, whereas in the near future it will be accessible to all. You can use all of this technology with a standard web browser and an internet connection isn’t this amazing? This is the true power of cloud computing.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Speed up your PC

If you are using windows as your operating system and if your PC is much slower than it was before,here are a few tips to increase the speed of your system without the help of professionals.

Your computer might have been working at the speed of lightning when it was just out of the pack. However, after sometime you notice that it takes some time to open even the simplest of applications like the word processors. As time goes on you will even have time to have a coffee before your applications open. Have you ever thought that you could make your computer work like when it was new? If you do face such annoying problems a few simple maintenance strategies can make your PC perform at its best.

Space constrain is one of usual and unnoticed issues that slows down the working speed of your PC. Your operating system requires enough free space to perform efficiently. The easiest thing to do is use the disk clean up utility to clear unnecessary files present in various sections of your system, such as old downloaded program files, temporary internet files, recycle bin, temporary files, compressed old files and the like. This will certainly increase the speed to some extent.

You might have installed a number of programs with great expectations of either using it or learning it. However, you haven’t used it from the day you installed it. These can take up a significant amount of your system resources and slow down your PC’s speed. You can increase the speed of your PC by freeing the system resources used by the unnecessary and unused software. Uninstalling the programs that you seldom use will boost up the speed of your PC drastically.

One other reason for your computer to slow down is the disk fragmentation. This problem can be rectified using the disk defragmenter that comes along with the operating system. Defragmentation of your hard disks must be done on a regular basis. This too will enhance the speed of your PC.

The physical errors present on your hard disk commonly known as bad sectors too can be a reason for the slowdown of your PC’s speed. The check disk or the scan disk utility can rectify this problem by checking the surface of your hard disk and fixing any errors on it.

One other well-known problem is the spyware that not only slows down the speed of your PC but also can collect your personal data and pass it on to third parties. Use the Windows defender tool, which is free to download, to speed up your PC as well as protect your personal data.

Increasing the memory of your system will also increase the speed of your PC. If your computer is upgradeable try using RAM with a higher capacity. Increasing the virtual memory of your system too has a significant role in speeding up your system.