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Category Archives: Computer

Types of Databases

Analytical Databases
Analytical databases are read-only type of databases. These can be mostly seen online, on the web; wherein you can see a collection of items present, but you cannot modify them. You can consider this to be like inventory catalogs. The best instance would be any online shopping site that jots down the available products and data about them. The information stored in analytical databases is mostly extracted from operation databases or external databases. This is mostly screened and edited data which is often used by the management of the organization. It is expressed as a summary of the organization’s or employee’s performance or sales, marketing records, etc. The main purpose of an analytical database is to allow the user to analyze the data, depending on which a management policy can be formulated.

Relational Databases
It is a digital database that stores data into tables in the form of rows and columns. Each row has a unique key (its identity, mostly primary key). This helps linking one table to another (which is referred as foreign key). In general, each entity has a table―the row being its instance, and the columns are the values attributed to the instances. In this type of database, all the data is stored and retrieved with the help of ‘relations’, which are nothing but collection of tables; hence the name ‘relational database’.

Operational Databases
Operational databases store information needed for the operations of an organization. This is mostly a detailed information about a particular person or an employee, department, or subject. Therefore, they are also called Subject Area Databases (SADB). Thus, these databases are based on functional lines of an organization.

Centralized Databases
These databases store the entire information in a single location―the centralized computing facility. Users at various locations can access this data through a computer network. Examples can be a mainframe computer, the server CPU, etc. The advantages of this type of database are its cost-effectiveness and preservation of data all at one place, thereby increasing data integrity. However, the transactions depend highly on network connectivity.

Distributed Databases
Distributed databases are the databases of an organization that are distributed at various geographic locations. The database can be either common to all the sites, or it may be specific to that local site only. Distributed databases are remotely accessed from the respective local site. The reason this type of database was developed was parallel execution of work, division of tasks, thereby reducing the overall time.

End-User Databases
End-user database is the database which results out of various operations that the user performs on different databases. These contain information about the end-users of an organization. Such databases are used for deducing summary information about all the transactions in an organization. These are faster than operational databases, though the latter ones can serve the purpose too. The example of this is spreadsheets, word documents or downloaded files.

External Databases
External database refers to an online access to an external, privately-owned data. This access is mostly free and available from commercial online services. Hence they are also called ‘commercial databases’. These databases are usually for external users who cannot afford maintaining huge databases. The examples include access to information of wealth regarding a particular individual or his address/phone number through online directories.

Hypermedia Databases
When you surf online, you come across a number of web pages that contain images, video clips, links (or hyperlinks as we call it), graphics, media files, etc. This information has to be retrieved or ‘called’ from somewhere―the hypermedia database. These comprise a set of interconnected multimedia web pages, wherein the information is stored online and the data can be accessed by several users at a time.

Data Warehouse
As the name suggests, data warehouse is a large collection of data extracted from various other databases. This data can be used by anyone from a management personnel to an end user. The data is mostly expressed as an edited and screened information.

Depending on the scope of data, databases can be classified into three major types.

General Interest Databases
General interest databases are the databases that offer information on myriad subjects. The purpose of these databases is to provide all the necessary information to the user on any topic that he searches for. They are mostly used for research work.

Discipline-Specific Databases
Discipline-specific databases are similar to general interest databases, however, information is more streamlined here. This type of databases are useful for professionals in a particular field.

Subject-Specific Databases
Subject-specific databases are devoted to a particular subject only. They are mostly used for academic purposes. The information is usually in the form of research papers from journals etc.

Way to Connect a Laptop to a TV

Using RCA Connector
The RCA standard was originally designed for transmitting analog audio and composite video signals between devices such televisions, satellites receivers, VCRs, etc. It comprises three separate ports and cables: the red and white colored cable stand for right and left analog audio respectively. The yellow cable is used for composite video. Most laptops and computers do not have the RCA connection feature. But you can use an RCA to S-video converter for getting the RCA connector hooked onto your computer. The picture quality that you will get in this technology, compared to the other options out there, is acceptable at best.

Using S-Video Connectors
S-Video or Super Video is another method of connecting the laptop to a TV. Though not very good, this technology will still give you a sharper picture quality as compared to composite video. It is also one of the most feasible methods, as the S-Video port is available in almost all televisions.

The S-Video connector-cable is usually bundled along with a laptop. If not, then you will have to purchase it separately. These cables may have either a 4-pin or a 7-pin connector. If the number of pins on your computer and those on your TV don’t match, you can use a converter.

Using VGA Connector
VGA is the abbreviation of Video Graphics Array, which is a video transmission technology that can be used for connecting a laptop to an HDTV. Ordinary televisions do not have a VGA port. However, this can be found in newer ones. It is also present in almost all PCs as the basic standard.

The picture quality that you get on connecting a laptop to an HDTV using a VGA connector is definitely superior to what you get when using an S-Video connector.

Using DVI Connector
Many computers and laptops are equipped with Digital Visual Interface (DVI) connectors. This technology was developed to convert analog signals into digital signals, to work with both analog and digital monitors.

For connection, it is necessary that your TV should have the DVI port as well, which most LCDs and LEDs nowadays do. DVI connectors and cables are only useful for transmitting video. For transmitting audio from your laptop to your TV, you will need to use a separate audio cable. The video quality obtained from a DVI connection is cleaner and sharper than VGA.

Using HDMI Connector
There is nothing that can beat the picture quality of this mode of connection. Most HDTVs come with the feature of connecting an HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface). However, not all laptops have this feature. A way around this is to use an HDMI to DVI converter or adapter for establishing the connection. The cost of an HDMI connector is definitely more than that of any other connectors, but the picture quality that you will get with this technology is definitely worth it. It is far superior than any other method.

Note: There are chances that, in spite of making the necessary connection, you may not get the output on your TV screen. Under such cases, try reducing the screen resolution of your laptop. This is one of the most common solutions to such a problem.

Thus, using one of the above technologies, you can easily connect your laptop to your TV. While some of the technologies will give you a better result than the others, albeit at a higher cost, one thing is for certain – all of them will give you a bigger display than your laptop, and thus, let you enjoy a better viewing experience.

Types of Computer Motherboards

There are different ways to classify motherboards, which are:

Classification Based on Assembly

Integrated Processors
Video, graphics, sound… such facilities involve components. Peripheral device slots, serial parallel ports and input output ports are other physical components or parts that are involved in the working of a computer. When such components are provided for by the motherboard, i.e. they are built into the motherboard, the motherboard is called integrated.

For example, to make a computer capable of connecting to networks, a network card is integrated onto the motherboard itself. So you do not need to buy a network card. This sort of motherboard allows for better air flow within the computer’s case. Integrated motherboards cost less to make but their downside is that, if even one component on the motherboard fails, the entire board might have to be replaced. Repairing or replacing this sort of motherboard, is expensive.

Non-integrated Processors
With non-integrated motherboards, electronic components and parts are fitted individually and as needed. Input output ports, connectors, RAM etc. are fixed to the motherboard using expansion slots. So you can add one or more components as needed. This allows for greater customization and freedom in designing a PC. Gamers, for example, could fix a high-end graphics card of their choice, using the expansion slot, instead of settling for an average video card on an integrated motherboard.

But customizing a motherboard can get expensive and this is the problem with non-integrated motherboards; the initial cost is high as components need to be bought and fixed. Plus, there should be enough expansion slots to accommodate the multiple components. However, if a single component fails, then only it has to be replaced or repaired, which is a cheaper operation as opposed to replacing the entire motherboard.

Classification Based on Processor

This way of differentiating computer motherboards is based on motherboard socket types. The CPUs that are available in the current market, are compatible only with specific motherboards.

Socket A Motherboards
These motherboards are meant for AMD and Durons processors. The Socket A motherboard is also known as Socket 464 motherboard. The CPU socket in the motherboard has 462 pins and it comes in a PGA (Pin Grid Array) packaging. The bus speed of this type of motherboard is 100 to 200 MHz.

Socket 370 Motherboards
Meant for Intel Pentium III and Celeron processor, this motherboard comes for CPUs with 370 pins. It can also support VIA Cyrix III and VIA C3 processors. The bus speed for this type of motherboard is 66 to 133 MHz and it also comes in a PGA package.

Socket 378 Motherboards
This is meant for Pentium 4 processors. It also comes in a PGA package and has 478 pins. The bus speed is 100 to 200 MHz. This motherboard can also support Intel Pentium 4EE and Intel Pentium M processor. This type of motherboard is also known as Socket N motherboard.

Socket T Motherboards
Also known as LGA 775, this motherboard is meant for Intel Core 2 Duo, Intel Core 2 Quad and Intel Xeon processor. Of course, this motherboard can also support other Intel processors such as Celeron, Pentium 4, Pentium D, Celeron D and Pentium XE processor. Its specifications include 775 pins and a very high bus speed of 1600 MHz. It also comes in a PGA package.

Socket 939 Motherboards
The Socket 939 is meant mainly for the AMD family. It can support AMD processors like the Athlon 64, Athlon 64 FX, Athlon 64 X2 and Opetron. It has 939 pins and can have a bus speed from 200 to 1000 MHz. Just like the types described above, it also comes in a PGA package.

Socket AM3 Motherboards
Socket AM3 is among the most recently developed motherboards. Introduced in 2009, this motherboard is meant for AMD Phenom II and AMD Athlon II processors. It has 941 pins and a bus speed range of 200 to 3200 MHz. The packaging for Socket AM3 motherboard is PGA.

Socket H Motherboards
The Socket H or LGA 1156 is meant for Intel Core i3, Intel Core i5 and Intel Core i7processors. It has 1156 pins and comes in LGA (Large Grid Array) packaging.

Classification Based on Dimension

The dimensions of a motherboard, also known as the form factor, is another way of distinguishing between different motherboard types.

ATX Motherboards
The ATX (Advanced Technology Extended) motherboard has a length of 12 inches and a width of 7.5 inches. The I/O ports and USB ports meant for the motherboard are integrated directly in it. The bus speed in ATX motherboard is 100 MHz. This board is mainly meant for Intel processors.

Full AT Motherboards
This was the first type of motherboard, which was 12 inches wide and 11 inches long. This motherboard suffered from a lot of problems, like cumbersome access to components and overheating.

Baby AT Motherboards
With a dimension of 10 by 8.5 inches, this motherboard is meant for classic Pentium processors. The DIN keyboard connector at the top right corner of this motherboard, makes recognizing this motherboard a relatively simple task.

How to Determine a Motherboard Type?

Normally, the documentation that accompanies the motherboard, is the best way for determining your computer’s motherboard. If in case you do not have access to those documents, you can go to the System Devices tab located in the Device Manager and try to find your motherboard type. You can also run msinfo32 to find information about the installed hardware. There are various other third party programs too, which you can use for determining the motherboard. You can also simply open the cabinet of your CPU and look for a label on the computer’s motherboard. It is usually present in the upper left or right corner of the motherboard. Another way of finding out the motherboard is, if you can locate the FCC (Federal Communications Commissions) identification number of the motherboard and perform a search on the type of motherboard using the same.

The type of motherboard used for your computer is also used for determining various other factors. For example, DDR SDRAM is the fastest of all the different types of RAM and only Socket A motherboards can be used for the same. Similarly, SDRAM is compatible with Socket 370 and RD RAM with socket 478. Similarly, the type of motherboard determines various other factors too.

The Computer Output Devices

Output devices of computer are types of peripheral hardware connected to the computer either using cables or over a wireless network. An output given by the computer can be in the form of a display on the screen or a printed document or a song that is played. Immaterial of whether you have desktop computers, laptop computers or supercomputers, you will require at least one output device.

Monitor

A monitor is also called video display terminal (VDT). The users can view the visual display of the processed data on the monitor. Computer monitors come in a variety of screen sizes and not to forget, visual resolutions. All monitors have a video card, which processes the data into images, to be eventually displayed. Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) and flat panel displays are the two types of monitors. CRTs are cheaper, and have good viewing angle. They are also bulkier and consume more power. On the other hand, the flat panel displays have no magnetic interference and lighter. They are also costlier.

Printer

Printer is an external hardware device, which takes processed data from the computer to generate a hard copy of the same. After the monitors, printers are the most used peripherals of computers and they are commonly used to print text data, images, etc. There are three main types of computer printers, namely inkjet, laser and dot matrix printers. The dot matrix printer is an impact printer. It uses striking pins against a ribbon to produce the characters in order to print the data. The inkjet printer uses magnetized plates that spray ink on the paper to produce the data. On the other hand, laser printers use a laser beam to produce the data.

Speaker

A speaker is a hardware device, that is connected to a computer’s sound card, which outputs the sound generated by the card. Audio data generated by the computer is sent to the audio card that is located in the expansion slot. The card translates the data into audio signals, which are then sent to either the speakers or the headphones. In the initial phase, computers had on-board speakers, which generated series of different tones and beeps. When the popularity of multimedia and computer games grew, better quality computer speakers known for higher quality sound effects and music came into the market.

Projector

It is a hardware device with which an image and text is projected onto a flat screen. Image data is sent to the video card by the computer which is then translated into a video image and sent to the projector. A projector is often used in meetings or to make presentations as it allows the display to be visible to a larger audience. Ceiling mount projector and table mount projector are the two types of projectors available in the market today.

Plotter

Plotters, like printers, create a hard copy rendition of a digitally rendered design. The design is sent to a plotter through a graphics card and the image is created using a pen. In simple words, plotters basically draw an image using a series of straight lines. This device is used with engineering applications. Drum plotter uses a drum, on which the paper gets wrapped. The plotter pen moves across the drum to produce plots. The other type of plotter is the flatbed plotter. The paper is placed on the bed and graphics are drawn on it. This kind of plotter is used for larger drawings.

Braille Embosser

It is nothing but an impact printer that prints braille output by punching dots on the paper. A few embossers also emboss graphics. Before printing, the data should be first translated into braille by using braille translation software. There are two types of braille embossers namely, single-sided embosser and two-sided embosser. Interpoint printers or double-sided printers, print on both the sides of the paper by lining the dots in such a manner that the dots do not overlap.

Braille Reader/Display

Specially designed for visually impaired, it is an alternative for a monitor. It is connected to a computer via a USB connection. This device displays the output braille characters by raising nylon or metal pins on a flat surface. The data that is highlighted on the computer screen will be automatically displayed on the device by converting the text to braille.

7 Ethical Codes of Computer

The term ‘ethics’ refers to the set of standards and rules that one is expected to follow. They are designed to help us regulate our conduct in a group of individuals or a society. Respect for one another, refraining from violence, treating everyone with civility are a few of the common ethics that we all follow try to follow everyday.

In modern times, computers and Internet have become a common medium for interacting and socializing. They allow us to put forward our opinions and suggestions, communicate with other users, and even carry out a number of our entertainment and work-related activities. For smooth functioning and for avoiding conflicts, it is essential that the users perform all these activities in an ethical manner wherein, they communicate and interact within the boundaries of a given set of guidelines and rules.

However, since computers and the Internet are accessible to anyone these days there is no way to check what kind of people are actually using it. Also, many of the rules relating to computer and Internet usage, are not defined in the older systems of laws that many of us are familiar with. Though today there exits an organized structure of laws to govern the world of Internet known as ‘cyber laws’, few are familiar with it. Some of the common unethical practices which many people conduct knowingly or unknowingly include the following:

Sending unsolicited e-mails such as those for advertising, is known as spamming and falls under the category of unethical practices. Though most Internet browsers and email portals facilitate the user’s account so that he/she receives a minimum amount of spam, this practice still continues.

Many of the times people tend to use the information available over the Internet without realizing that it might lead to a copyright violation.

There are many other practices that can fall under ‘hacking’, copyright issues, and privacy and censorship issues. Some of these can be very difficult to classify as there is only a slight demarcation between the ethical and the unethical.

Adhering to computer ethics can help us avoid unethical practices and prevent any legal issues such as privacy invasion, copyright infringement, etc. from cropping up. The following are a few important ethical codes that we must all try and follow, while using the computers and the Internet.

Code of Ethics

  1. Information stored on the computer should be treated seriously as written or spoken words.
  2. Privacy should not be violated. In case of academic use, it is known plagiarism, which must be avoided.
  3. Information for public viewing should not be modified or deleted or be made inaccessible, since these are considered as destructive acts.
  4. Creation and usage of intrusive software such as ‘worms’ and ‘viruses’ with malevolent intent is illegal and must not be practiced.
  5. Congesting somebody’s system with a lot of unwanted information is unethical.
  6. Sending obscene and crude messages through mail or chat is forbidden.
  7. Sending sexually explicit content, messages, or pictures is forbidden.

Tips for Choosing Wireless Keyboard and Mouse

When choosing a wireless keyboard and mouse, it would be better to buy them as a bundle, because it will be a little cheaper that way. Of course, please remember that these are slightly more expensive because of the technology used to transfer the signal to the computer. Infra red and Bluetooth are the two main technologies used to transfer signals to the computer; Bluetooth is much more expensive than infra red.

Types of Wireless Keyboards

  • Split Key (Ergonomic) Keyboard
    If you want comfortable typing, then this is the keyboard for you. This is because the keys on this keyboard are split into two separate sections that are slightly angled towards each other. This feature allows your arms to maintain a natural position while typing, which, in turn, reduces the tension in your shoulders and arms.
  • Regular Keyboard
    This keyboard is the regular computer keyboard, as we know it. Of course, there are new versions that are doing the rounds, for instance the ones with multimedia and Internet shortcut keys.

Types of Wireless Mouse

  • Wheel Mouse
    This term is used to refer to the regular mouse that has a wheel and is suitable for most needs.
  • Optical Mouse
    The optical mouse uses an optical window in order to determine its position. This is a wonderful feature when you think of it in terms of maintenance. This kind of mouse also shows better performance on surfaces that are too rough for a wheel mouse.

Advantages of a Wireless Keyboard and Mouse

Keyboard
The wireless keyboard simplifies life with just the absence of wires. It is because of this feature that the user has the additional freedom to make data entries without sitting in proximity to the computer system. That is not all, installation and operation become simpler too. The absence of wires also ensure uncluttered workplaces. Wireless keyboards usually use a USB protocol.

Mouse
A boon for people who yearn for freedom from wires, wireless mice certainly make it easier to move around. Tiredness and strain are greatly reduced because of this gadget too. A wireless mouse receives its power supply in two ways, one is the battery and the other the charging seat, wherein the mouse is powered to a power supply.

History And Working of Linux

A Brief History

Unix was the third operating system to CTSS, the first one followed by MULTICS. A team of programmers led by Prof. Fernando J. Corbato at the MIT Computation Center, wrote the CTSS, the first operating system supporting the concept of time-sharing. AT&T started working on the MULTICS operating system but had to leave the project as they were failing to meet deadlines. Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, and Brian Kernighan at Bell Labs, used the ideas on the MULTICS project to develop the first version of Unix.

MINIX was a Unix-like system released by Andrew Tenenbaum. The source code was made available to the users but there were restrictions on the modification and distribution of the software. On August 25, 1991, Linus Torvalds, a second year computer engineering student studying in the University of Helsinki made an announcement that he was going to write an operating system. With an intent to replace MINIX, Torvalds started writing the Linux kernel. With this announcement of Torvalds, a success story had begun! Linux was previously dependent on the MINIX user space but with the introduction of the GNU GPL, the GNU developers worked towards the integration of Linux and the GNU components.

An Introduction to the Linux Operating System

The Unix-like operating system that uses the Linux kernel is known as the Linux operating system. In 1991, Linus Torvalds came up with the Linux kernel. He started writing the Linux kernel after which, around 250 programmers contributed to the kernel code. Richard Stallman, an American software developer, who was a part of the GNU project, created the General Public License, under which Linux is distributed. The utilities and libraries of Linux come from the GNU operating system.

By the term ‘free software’, we mean that Linux can be copied and redistributed in the altered or unaltered form without many restrictions. Each recipient of the Linux software is entitled to obtain the human readable form of the software and a notice granting the person the permissions to modify its source code. In other words, the distribution of the Linux software implies the distribution of a free software license to its recipients. Linux supports open source development by which we mean that all its underlying source code can be freely modified, used and distributed. The open source method of development enables the users to access its source code.

A Linux distribution is a project that manages the collection of Linux software and the installation of the OS. It includes the system software and the application software in the form of packages and the initial installation and configuration details. There are around 300 different Linux distributions. The most prominent of the Linux distributions include Red Hat, Fedora and Mandrake. Fedora Core came up after the ninth version of Red Hat Linux. Fedora Core is a rapidly updated Linux distribution. Most of the Linux distributions support a diverse range of programming languages. Most of them include Perl, Python, Ruby, and other dynamic languages. Linux supports a number of Java virtual machines and development kits as also the C++ compilers.

Linux is a freely available OS based on the Linux kernel. It is an inexpensive and effective alternative to UNIX programs and utilities. Its open source implementation enables any programmer to modify its code. Linux supports a multi-tasking and multi-user environment as also the copy-on-write functionality. The monolithic Linux kernel handles the process control, networking and the file system. Device drivers are integrated in the kernel. The Linux operating system is equipped with libraries, compilers, text editors, a Unix shell, and a windowing system. Linux supports both the command line as well and the graphical user interfaces. It is popularly used in servers and also with desktop computers, supercomputers, video games and embedded systems. I have always enjoyed working on the Linux platform, have you?

Way ensure Computer Security

Set up user accounts

One computer, many users, is a security disaster waiting to happen. Your files and data are your personal, private content and should be protected accordingly. To prevent other users from seeing or accessing your data, set up user accounts on your PC. A user account shows an individual’s specific data and not what is present on the entire system. It also specifies privileges on shared data, such as deleting/editing operations and what software can be installed on the machine.

This feature is especially useful when kids and adults use the same machine. What if your child accesses your important work files and deletes them by mistake? With a separate user account, he/she can only view certain files and cannot modify or delete them. Even if you are the sole user of the PC, set up a guest account, in case someone else needs to use the computer.

Secure your wireless network

With wired Internet access, there’s little risk of someone encroaching on your network. But wireless networks do have holes in their security, so as the owner of the network, you need to be vigilant. Setting up password-protected network access is the first step. You need to assign a network name and password to your Wi-Fi network. Use the latest wireless encryption methods like WPA or WPA2. Do not reveal your network password to others.

Arm your computer with an anti-virus program

The best defense is a good offense. One of the most basic computer security guidelines is installing an anti-virus software. Installing security programs like an anti-virus, keeps your computer round-the-clock safe against viruses, malware, Trojan worms etc. and other malicious programs. For better protection, try to install complete security suites, that provide Internet security and firewalls along with anti-virus software.

Be regular in updates and virus scans

Just installing an anti-virus program will not protect your PC. You need to keep it up-to-date with regular virus signature and threat updates. New viruses and malware programs emerge online each day. Another bad trait of viruses is that they keep trying to find new ways to enter an unsuspecting computer. The only way to counter such attacks is to update your security programs on a regular basis. You should also scan your computer regularly for dangerous programs. Schedule periodic scans, once-a-month scans, scanning new added devices and automatic full system scans, to ensure your PC is threat-free.

Install parental control software for kid-friendly computer usage

Keeping your computer secure definitely involves keeping your kids safe from cyber enemies. Aside from explicit and adult content, you need to filter and monitor what your kid is up to online. Social networking sites in particular, are fun online places to socialize but they are also preying grounds for the depraved. Parental control software allows you to set filters and block sites as well as receive warnings when suspicious activity is taking place online.

Block unwanted search results

You can even change your web browser’s security settings to block certain sites and filter out objectionable content. Such settings are not as powerful as parental control software but it helps to be extra secure. You can find this feature in the Tools option of most browsers. With search engines like Google, you can fiddle with search preferences settings.

Download wisely

Whether it is a picture, an MP3 or a game, downloaded files are an excellent way for malicious software to enter your computer. Once you download and install or use a file, there’s no telling what it will do to your machine. So be extra careful when it comes to downloading. Download files from trusted and preferably certified sites. Sites offering free, cracked versions of software programs are especially dangerous, as some cracks can contain malware.

When a download begins, you are asked to save the file before the downloading actually starts. Read the file name and its extension carefully, to ensure what you want is being downloaded. While installing a program, read the license agreement and make sure, only the program you want is being installed. Sometimes spyware and hidden programs are bundled into the installer program, and are installed secretly along with your software. Scan your PC for threats after downloading files from the Internet.

Be careful with emails

Getting and sending emails is easy, going through your inbox for mail, that is actually relevant, is not. Email inboxes are storehouses of junk mail, spam, advertisements, forwards, mail and many times, a hidden threat. You can keep your inbox sorted and clutter-free by using spam blockers and filters. Threat-wise, try to avoid opening emails from senders or addresses you don’t know.

A key sign of a malicious email is poor language. Weird, nonsensical text or poor grammar or even bogus-seeming email addresses are some signs of a harmful email. Be especially wary of email attachments. Check the file extension. Files with .exe, .pif, .com,.bin or .bat extensions, can be malicious. If you do not know the sender of the email, do not open or download such files, just delete the mail. Instead of opening the attachment from the mail itself, save the file, let it download and scan it, before opening it.

Secure your data with backups

Sometimes no matter what steps you take, you lose data. Part of being secure is having a fail-safe or backup to fall back on, in case something bad happens. So in case a virus has attacked your files or data is accidentally deleted, your data is never really lost, if you have a backup of it. Backup your data regularly, either by storing it on physical devices like CDs or by backing it up on a network. Set a system restore point for your PC, so in the event of a system crash, you can restore your PC to a particular working state with your data intact.

Be smart with your passwords

Passwords are supposed to keep your individual settings and data safe, so you need to keep their true value or the actual password safe. This means, do not write down all your passwords on a piece of paper and keep it lying around. With numerous passwords, it’s understandable that remembering them all is difficult. So you can write them down but the place where you store this info, should be secure. And once in a while, please change your passwords. If in case, they are revealed, updating the passwords can render all hacking attempts as naught. Another safety precaution is the “remember me” option in most secure sites. If multiple users access the same PC, do not select this option.

Way to Share Files Between Computers

File sharing in a network is one of the important reason why the computers are connected. But many of us who have recently setup a network, are often unable or find it difficult to share the data. In other words, the hardware part is done, the computers are connected, but how to get the network into action? Sharing files between computers is not a difficult task. Let us go through various considerations and steps that are required to undertake this task.

Prerequisites

Here it is assumed that you have already completed the hardware part for creating your network. Now, let us proceed to the other prerequisites. You need to first consider if the IP address in all the systems is set up in the same scheme. Each IP address should be different from the other, but the scheme should be same. It implies that, the IP address of the computers in a network should be in the same class. It has basically four classes: Class A, B, C, and D. In general, Class C is the most used scheme for the local area networks or home networks. It will be something like 192.168.254.x, where x can be any number. The x is the only number that you can vary and it can be anything from 1 to 255. Once you have assigned a unique IP address to all the computers, your next step is to provide a unique name to each of them.

The process is very simple for all the systems running on the Windows operating system. Just right click on the My Computer icon and select Properties. For Windows Vista, just click on the settings tab and then on ‘change’ and for Windows XP, click on the computer name tab and then on ‘change’. You also need to have the same workgroup to get your file sharing task done. Go to My Network Places and from options on the right side, select ‘Set up a small home or office network’. Now follow the steps and when you get the option for entering the workgroup name, type a common name in all the computers. Also you need to set the same subnet mask for the all the computers in a network. If you are using class C scheme, your subnet mask will be 255.255.255.0. You also need to select the same protocol for all the devices to run smoothly in the same network.

Once you are done with this, your network is ready to share files between its units. If one of the computers is connected to the Internet, then you can type in the IP address of that machine in the default gateway option and all the devices can access Internet through it. However, our primary concern here is to share files, hence let’s move forward to the next part.

How to Share Files

It is very easy to share files once you have completed your network. Go to network places and double click on the workgroup name you have created. It will contain the name of different computers. Double click on your computer name. Here you can store all the files that you want to share. Another way is to simply right click on the folder which contains the files you want to share and click on ‘Share’. However, how would you access the files that other units in the network are sharing with you? You can simply follow the same steps as in the previous case, but instead of double clicking on your own computer name, simply click on the name of the computer from which you want to access the resources. Also, if you want users to access your files, but do not want them to make any changes to, then what would you do? The process is simple. Simply right click on the file and select properties. Click on the sharing tab and set the option for not allowing users to modify any content.

How to Increase Download Speeds

Internet Connection
The first thing that you need to take into consideration is the Internet connection. If you do not have broadband Internet, then you should get it, since it is much faster than the old dial-up Internet connection. If you are already on an active cable connection, ask your Internet Service Provider (ISP) about more advanced options. The Internet speed is obviously the most vital thing; the faster it is, the better will be your download speed.

Running Programs
Shut down all the programs and applications that are running in the background, while you are downloading. This will considerably speed up the entire process. It is also advisable to set the downloads for a particular time, when you are not working on your PC; it means that there are no programs running in the background that can slow down the speed.

Antivirus Software
It will carry out regular updates and security scans. While these processes are going on, the entire machine will run much slower than normal. This is something that is unavoidable, so you must ensure that your downloads and scans are not functioning at the same time.

Prioritize Downloads
If you are downloading too many files at the same time, all of them will be running at slower speeds. You need to decide whether one type of download is more important than another, and pause the rest till the most crucial one is not completed. The more you prioritize your downloads, the faster they will be completed.

Time of Download
Sometimes, there are more people trying to download the same file as you are, during a particular time of the day. If you find out that your download speed is immensely slow, then maybe you should just try at a different time. When there is less traffic, the download speed will be noticeably higher.

Download Accelerator
There are certain free software downloads available over the Internet, that are known as download accelerators. These manage the active downloads on your machine, and increase its performance during downloading process. These programs alter the way by which the machines resources are distributed, which can help you in different ways. If you are looking to increase speed in BitTorrent, a download accelerator is surely a solution for you.