• Computer,  Technology

    Save Money by Building PC

    Work Tasks/internet/Office

    The least demanding PC, simply used for tasks that don’t really require much recourses, is obviously going to cost the least. In this case, the PC can cost as little as a few hundred dollars, but of course, there are factors to consider as well.

    You should take into account that technology gets old very quickly, and that even tasks like browsing online or working with Office programs can become more demanding in the future. So if you’re buying a PC that’s already using out-of-date hardware, you might need to upgrade much sooner than you’d like.

    Recommended Specs

    You don’t really need to splurge on an expensive motherboard, in fact, a simple Intel Graphics HD card will more than suffice for watching movies or anything of that nature.

    However, investing in an Intel i3 or i5 processor is a good idea because it simply makes everything a lot more efficient. Since RAM got much cheaper, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t get 6GB of RAM, even if you likely won’t be needing as much.

    Finally, the Solid State Drive (SSD) has revolutionized the PC industry, so it’s one of the most important computer accessories nowadays, since it dramatically increases load speeds.

    Potential Savings

    At the low-end of the PC market, the savings of assembling your own PC might not be as significant – many companies buy older discounted computer parts in bulk and are able to sell them at relatively low prices. Of course, if you dig around, you can also find amazing deals and save even more.

    Mid-range gaming/entertainment PC

    The next level is a PC that just a few years back might have passed for a high-end PC, but has now succumbed to the ever-growing demands of the newest and hottest game releases. Of course, you can still use it to play most of the games, but for the most demanding ones, only medium graphics settings will be possible.

    Recommended Specs

    When you want gaming, the very first thing is the Graphics Card – many stores selling pre-built PCs try to pass off NVidia GT series graphics cards as gaming cards, but they really don’t stand a chance against current games, so if you plan to play any of the newer games comfortably, you should always look at the NVidia GTX series graphics cards. Also, you can check out the AMD Radeon R9 series, as they have some budget graphics cards with a lot of bang for the buck.

    As for the other specs, an Intel i7 is always nice, but as far as gaming goes, it doesn’t have that much of an impact that would justify the increase in price. A SSD is also a must, and 8GB of RAM might be a good idea as well.

    Potential Savings

    Gaming PCs are a huge market, and even in the mid-level, stores often jack up the prices significantly, so if you assemble the PC yourself, you can often save up to 30 percent, if not more.

    High-end gaming PC

    If you want a PC that will give you the ultimate gaming experience no matter what crazy-realistic graphics the game might have then buying a PC with the cutting edge technology is your only viable option.

    Recommended Specs

    If you want the best, you have to pay for it, and there’s no going around the fact that in order to play the best game in high graphics mode, you’ll probably have to invest in one of the newer models of the NVidia GTX cards, which won’t come cheap.

    An i7 processor is also recommended at this level, as well as 8, or even 16 GB of RAM. Also, consider opting for both a SSD and an optical drive for storage, as that increases your options, since those games can take up a lot of space!

  • Gadget

    Really Need a Smartwatch

    The first thing to consider is the fact that smartwatches work in collaboration with your smartphone, meaning that even though you sport a wearable tech device on your wrist, it will only work when connected with your smartphone located within a specific range. Smartwatches are designed to provide you with basic notifications such as calls, texts, emails, and most even allow you to reply to them.

    But the chances of you writing or reading an email or reading a long article on a smartwatch are highly unlikely. Unless of course you’re stuck in a dire situation and the only chance of survival is through reading info on the screen of your smartwatch. You may however do these tasks on your smartphone though, and get rid of the extra device you have to haul around on your wrist.

    On a brighter note, there are a few situations where a smartwatch might prove handy such as using it to pay at the gas pump, open your car doors, identify yourself at the bank, or buzz open the door to your school or office. This would eliminate the need to take out your keys, wallet and your ID.

    With notifications on your wrist, you know immediately when you receive an email, text or calls so you don’t have to dig onto your pocket, giving you the ultimate smartphone freedom. And if you’re thinking your wrist will constantly vibrate with frivolous notifications, it’s not rocket science that you can turn on and turn off these notifications as you want.

    You are usually prompted to choose the type of notifications and how you’d like to be alerted – vibrate or beeps or both during the smartphone setup process. Another selling point of smartwatches is their health and fitness tracking capabilities, meaning there are some devices that provide you with several health related metrics including heart rate. They not only track these metrics, but also advise on what to do next such as letting you know when you’re stressed out and how to combat it.

    Unfortunately however not everyone is interested in this data so if it doesn’t matter to you, then this is one feature you will likely not need when buying a smartwatch. New smartwatches when first introduced were goofy looking, clumsy gadgets, but the latest devices all look and work great. Adding to this, they offer several different customization options such as watch faces, straps and even battery life has been considerably improved and now lasts days on end.

  • Computer

    Fix Blue Screen “ADPU” Errors

    Getting to Know SYS Files

    “SYS” files are known to work with third-party device drivers. “Adpu320” is related to hardware used in controlling and configuring “RAID” adapters and channel buses installed in the computer. Fortunately, several procedures can fix this error, such as:

    Know if this File is Causing the Error

    BSOD errors have numerous causes. They’re brought about by conflicting system and program files, corrupted files, or problematic paths. Hence, solving BSOD issues properly means knowing its cause.

    Most people are unaware that crucial information can be found at the bottom part of the BSOD. Look past the confusing alphanumeric notes and focus on short word sets with “.exe,.sys or.dll” extension names. If you see adpu320.sys at the bottom part of the screen, it means that it’s the file triggering the inconsistency in the system that results to blue screen errors.

    Take Advantage of Safe Mode

    After seeing the problem, try loading your computer in Safe Mode. There’s a chance that several programs and processes running in the background triggered the error.

    Load Safe Mode by pressing F8 or F10 continuously after the motherboard’s splash screen appears on the display. Select one of the Safe Mode choices, preferably the one with Command Prompt access for additional flexibility in troubleshooting.

    Use the computer and see if it will display the same blue screen error. If not, there’s a high chance that one of the programs loading on startup is causing the issue. All you have to do now is keep these programs from activating.

    All about Trial and Error

    It really is possible to disable several programs or processes that automatically run during startup. If the error appears upon loading the operating system, then you should disable start up programs and services. To do that, type “msconfig” on the Windows 7 start menu search bar. Click on the result and see the Startup and Services tab.

    In the Services tab, tick “Hide all Microsoft Services” so the only ones that will appear are services related to other programs. Click Disable All. Do the same for entries under Start Up tab. Click Apply then OK. It will prompt you to restart your computer. Restart and see if your system will still have the blue screen error. If not, it means that the conflicting program has been deactivated. Enable programs and services one at a time until the error appears again.

    Upon finding that program, you can opt to uninstall it manually.

    Replacing Corrupted File

    In most cases, “BSOD” problems can be solved by replacing the corrupted adpu320 file. There are lots of sites that offer it for download, but it’s recommended to download the file from the developer’s website. Search for the developer associated with this file and check for an updated version.

    Do Start Up Repair

    Startup Repair can fix the issue, especially if you immediately see the blue screen error upon booting the computer. Shut down your computer and restart again. Since the computer fails to shut down properly, it will show the “Startup Repair” option, giving you the chance to solve potential issues. Select “Start Up repair” and see if the problem will resolve after completing this task.

    Check Disk for Possible Corruption

    Since adpu320.sys works with channel bus controllers in hard drives, there’s a probability that this error is due to a failing hard drive. To check the disk, open Command Prompt by typing “cmd” in the Start Search bar. Right click and select “Run as Administrator” to have complete access on its function.

    When the black box pops up, type “chkdsk /f” and hit Enter. It will scan the hard drive for possible bad sectors, which might be causing SYS file issues. Follow the instructions and see the report if there are bad sectors in the disk. Impending hard drive corruption means the need to replace your hard drive before it becomes busted.

    A Very Solvable Concern

    Adpu320.sys errorsdo not have to be stressful because such problems can be fixed. As you realized while reading this article, all you have to do is follow a few simple steps.

  • Computer

    Optimized Hard Drive

    Partition your hard drive

    It’s perhaps one of the most useful tweaks you can to a hard drive but still most people are not doing it. Perhaps they just want the maintenance simplicity of having a single volume when they open the Windows Explorer.

    Dividing the hard drive into multiple partitions has quite a few benefits and one of the obvious is keeping the OS and application files separate from other data. This makes installs and uninstalls a lot safer and cleaner because it poses less risk to the stored data files. Partitioning also keeps your page file (also called a swap file) separate from the other files, increases the reliability by reducing the chance of file system corruption affecting other partitions, and allowing you to boot from multiple operating systems and versions.

    There are quite a few free and paid partitioning applications out there. Windows has its own built-in tools too.

    Regularly defragment

    A single file can have pieces of it scattered all over a hard drive’s physical surface. And when a lot of files are stored this way, excessive fragmentation can occur. This slows down access to the fragmented files as the hard disk head had to move to across different locations to access each of the file’s fragments.

    You can easily prevent file fragmentation by using a defragmenter tool. The purpose of the application is to put the pieces of the fragmented files by copying each part and moving them to a solid or contiguous block on the surface of the hard drive. This makes accessing the files faster and also more efficient.

    Windows has a default defragmenting tool that can be accessed by right clicking on the drive in Explorer, clicking the Properties, selecting the Tools tab, and clicking on the Defragment button. You can then choose a drive to analyze and defragment. You can also opt to have your hard drive defragment automatically on a preset time.

    Regularly empty the browser cache and Recycle Bin

    Deleted files are stored in the Recycle Bin, allowing Windows to recover accidentally deleted files. But it can get big after a while so it’s a good practice to regularly check and empty this folder in case you don’t really need the files anymore. This frees up disk space that you can use for other storage purposes. You can also press and hold the Shift key and press the Delete button to permanently delete files instead of storing them on the Recycle Bin.

    To free up even more disk space, you can also regularly empty the Temporary Internet Files and also other cache-type folders that applications (like browsers) use to store temporary browsing history and information. These cache files may speed up browsing but it can also fill up the hard drive if not emptied regularly. This can be done automatically through the browser settings.

    Leave some space for your Pagefile

    In Windows, the Pagefile or the swap file is a type of a virtual memory used to store data from an idle application so that more physical memory or RAM can be freed up for other important purposes. Although the size can be set manually, it is advised that this be left for the OS to decide. Putting the Pagefile in a different partition ensures that data and applications won’t have to compete for the space that the Pagefile needs to use.

    Move the Pagefile for better performance

    For even better performance, put the Pagefile on a partition on a separate physical drive than the boot drive. This makes access to the Pagefile.sys much faster. Doing this will require a little bit more work but the improved performance can be worth the effort. This procedure also requires administrator privileges on the computer.

  • Computer,  Technology

    View Inside the Cloud

    Coughlin thinks of cloud computing as “an outsourcing for your technology assets”. He further says that “cloud computing is a service in which an internet connected machine and remote digital storage are both used to provide a number of capabilities for both business and personal uses. Technically speaking, he said that there were three types of cloud computing services that are commonly put to use: infrastructure as a service, platform as a service and finally, software as a service. With the first mentioned cloud computing service, Parsik says, clients have access to virtual servers in the third party service provider’s data centre, which can be used any way we want.

    In this case users have to install their own software and also be responsible for maintaining it. This option gives the users enough flexibility and scalability says Parsik. Another feature is that if a user needs 3-4 servers to run his systems, and needs 50 during the holiday season, he will not have to buy more servers but can just rent the additional servers on the cloud system. An example of an Iaas is Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud, which is also called as EC2.

    Paas includes all the features of the Iaas, with clients using the provider’s computing platform including an operating system, developer tools, database and web servers through which users can develop and run their software in the cloud without having to bear the cost and the complexity of buying and then managing the underlying hardware. Paas allows the user better economies of scale with the trade off being that platform provider’s ability to lock down the service so that you can not use your own tools. The Google App Engine, with which users develop and host web applications using Google development tools, is a good example of a Paas.

  • Computer

    Different Types Of Computers

    Supercomputers

    Supercomputers are the most expensive and the fastest kinds of computers. They can perform superior calculations and intensive tasks. Mechanics, quantum physics, molecular theory, and weather forecasting are best studied by means of supercomputers. Their well-designed memory hierarchy and their ability to process parallel things give the computers greater transaction processing powers. A typical supercomputer can do up to a trillion or more individual calculations every second.

    Server computers

    Server computers are at a lower level as compared to supercomputers. They try to solve complex problems, but do not focus on single problems alone. An instance of server computers would be those that Wikipedia stores its encyclopaedia on. These computers go and search the pages that you are looking for. However, it becomes a job for a server when the computers have to go and find lots of people and send them to the right place. They are usually large in size and they have many hard drives and large processors. Running on them are the programs that allocate resources and serve client requests. They are designed to be resistant to crash and fail safe. A server is a central computer, which comprises lots of programs and data.

    Personal computers

    A personal computer is also known as a microcomputer or a PC. The capabilities of a personal computer have changed greatly ever since electronic computers were introduced. The introduction of a single-chip microprocessor with all the circuitry in it became highly popular. Early personal computers were sold in the forms of kits and in limited volumes. Home computers were developed for personal use in the 1970s and the 1980s. They offered some personal productivity. Today, a personal computer is an all-round device that can be a media server, a productivity tool, as well as a gaming machine.

    Workstations

    Not only are workstations expensive, but also high end. They are named improperly sometimes for marketing reasons. Earlier, real workstations were never sold at retail stores, but now this is changing gradually.

  • Technology

    Need to Run a PCI Scan

    In order to know when the PCI Scan is required, we should know about the PCI DSS requirements first. The PCI DSS requires merchants to run both “Internal and External” vulnerability scans, in order to keep the credit card holder information system up to current security standards.

    External Scans: External scans should be conducted from the outside of the organization and must include all the external IP addresses. These scans will help you to know about vulnerabilities in your security system that might be breached by the hackers to get hold of the sensitive credit card holder data.

    Internal Scans: Internal scans must be performed from inside the organization’s network from multiple locations to know about the security system within the card holder data environment.

    These scans will point out flaws and will give you a review of your internal security that might get exploit by attackers, once they get their hands on it.

    When is a PCI Scan required?

    PCI scan must at least be performed on quarterly basis. To make the system extra secure the quarterly scans should be supplemented with scans in between quarters; other than this, it is necessary to perform scans whenever any changes are made to the card holder data system.

    Can I Perform the Scans?

    The answer to this question is both yes and no. You might be able to perform all the internal scans to meet the internal scan requirements; but the PCI DSS needs you to use Approved Scanning Vendor (ASV) for external scans. If you want to do internal scans on your own then do make sure that the scans are performed by qualified staff members; who are independent from the staff responsible for your security systems.

    Every single merchant, apart from being of any merchant level, having an external IP address must go through vulnerability scans as guided above. This has become quite confusing in the security community and a lot of people believe that level 4 merchants (those processing less than 1,000,000 annual transactions) do not need to go through such scans. This is not true at all as charted in MasterCard’s Site Data Protection program requirements and Visa’s Card holder Information Security Program requirements.

    What does PCI DSS Vulnerability Scans include?

    Scans conducted by Approved Scanning Vendor (ASV) must have following characteristics:

    • Should be non-disruptive and must not include Denial of Service (DOS) or abundance of buffering that might result in trouble in merchant’s business.
    • Host discovery element must be included in the scan to search for live systems in the network.
    • Service discovery element must be present in the scan to include both UDP and TCP port scans on every live system.
    • Scans should be able to account for IDS/IPS systems and load balancers and give an accurate view about the security environment of customer, even with the presence of these devices.
  • Computer

    Fix Corrupt File Errors

    Restart Computer in Safe Mode

    “DLL” errors often emerge because several conflicting files load in the computer. Know whether these conflicting files are loaded during startup by logging into Safe Mode, which minimizes the number of drivers loading on startup, which makes troubleshooting slightly easier.

    Restart your computer and log on to Safe Mode by choosing it among the Advance Startup Options upon rebooting the system. If the error didn’t show, it means that one or more of the processes and drivers loaded on startup caused the problem.

    Trace the Error’s Possible Cause

    Different procedures will help trace possible causes of the error. Among the first ones is taking note of the programs you installed or uninstalled. Think if the error appeared after placing new software or after uninstalling a program. Changes in system configuration brought by installation and un-installation process can trigger these errors. If these errors appeared after these procedures, undoing those might solve the problem.

    Disabling several startup processes and drivers using “msconfig” will also help pinpoint the issue. This, however, requires trial and error by disabling and activating one file at a time to see the probable triggers. It may take some time, but it will be beneficial in solving DLL issues.

    Replace “iisutil” File

    A corrupted and/or outdated DLL file is the common reason why these problems show up on your computer. Replacing this file is easy by downloading a newer file version from its developer. Avoid getting this DLL file from other websites because there’s no guarantee that you’ll obtain authentic and clean files from these sources.

    Register the file Manually

    Replacing the original with a new “iisutil” often repairs the problem. There are instances, however, when this procedure didn’t do anything to fix the inconsistency. To solve this problem, register the new dll file manually through its developer’s register server.

    For this procedure, access command prompt by typing “cmd” on the Start Menu’s search box. Right click and select “Run as Administrator”. Type “regsvr32 /u “iisutil”” then press Enter, which will unregister this file. After the first procedure, try to type “regsvr32 /I “iisutil”” to re-register this component.

    Scan for Virus and Other Threats

    Malware attacks are now prominent due to the popularity of the internet. Hence, the probability of experiencing malware-induced inconsistencies is high. Scan your computer using a well-known and high-rated virus protection program to clean the system from these viruses. Before scanning, be sure to update the virus protection program to guarantee that its database lists the latest discovered malwares and protect your computer from them.

    Use a Registry Cleaner

    Registry footprints record paths going to DLLs when programs are installed. There are times, however, when paths and handles including DLLs become corrupted or broken, which results to iisutil errors. With registry cleaners, broken paths and mishandled registry entries will be cleaned. Once cleaned, it will let the registry rebuild these paths to fix the issue.

    One of the vital things to remember in using registry cleaners is to go with paid and reliable versions to assure effective cleaning procedures. Find top rated registry cleaners online then download for your computer.

    System Restore

    System Restore is like a one-step procedure in fixing DLL issues because it will undo recent changes with several clicks. System Restore will restore your computer to an earlier configuration instantly, assuring that every new file installed will be removed in the process.

    Format Drive and Reinstall Operating System

    Installing your OS is the next solution when everything else fails. Back up your documents and reformat your hard drive. If you’re using Windows XP, select regular formatting option instead of Quick Format option to ensure deep drive cleaning. Reinstall your operating system and it should be repaired.

    Replace Hardware if Needed

    In some cases, even OS reinstallation won’t repair the issues. If this happens, there’s a high chance that your drive itself is beaten up and may need replacement. It’s probably starting to fail without your knowledge, which will be problematic in the future once you can’t access your files.

  • Computer,  Technology

    Virtual Desktop

    In essence, your applications and storage are all run from a remote server that you can access from anywhere. For instance, if you are in a client’s office and want to open some files or data, you simply log on to your virtual desktop and all the information is there waiting for you. It also allows people to share and work on documents and projects without having duplicate data complicating things.

    Many small and medium size businesses are utilising it as a cost effective method of maintaining a high degree of IT capability without having to spend large amounts of money on expensive infrastructure.

    The benefits for SMBs

    Using a cloud based virtual desktop has a number of advantages that set it apart from an in house IT provision. It is more flexible, enabling you to access your virtual desktop from anywhere, 24/7 – all you need is an internet or Wi-Fi connection; It’s secure and your critical data is regularly backed up so you don’t have to worry about whether it is safe or what will happen if you lose that valuable data; It takes away the worry out of software updates, online security, server problems and other IT issues that would need a whole team employed on site if you had in house provision; You can pay-as-you-go on a monthly basis which means you don’t have to fork out a large proportion of your operating budget to get your IT provision up and running.

    How will a virtual desktop change the way I do business?

    Speed, efficiency, security. You will be able to work faster and more efficiently. You can carry your office around in your pocket or briefcase and you can be sure that all your files and data will be secure. Having an in house IT structure in place can often hinder new businesses when they are looking to grow. Because the outlay and initial overheads are small, SMBs can concentrate on the things that matter whilst being sure that all their IT needs are catered for.

    And that doesn’t just mean the usual things like your excel and word files. A cloud solution from our company can handle a wide range of third party software including CRMs, accounting and industry specific programs.

    Is a virtual desktop right for your business?

    Many SMBs are moving to cloud based virtual desktops simply because it gives them the flexibility and affordability they need to progress in today’s competitive environment. Because you are not worrying about your IT provision, you can concentrate on developing your core business whilst knowing that the you need is always there at the touch of a button.

  • Technology

    Cloud Technology

    Cost Savings

    In the present economy, businesses need low cost and high production. Cloud solutions is a step in that direction. It reduces expenses without losing productivity. With the cloud, there are no upfront investments for hardware or software. Because the cloud platform is utility based, you only pay for what you use. Cloud services can save you time and money as well as give you a competitive advantage.

    Access to your Data – Anytime, Anywhere and with Any Device

    The users can access their data and applications from any device, anytime and anywhere in cloud computing technology. Because data is accessed over the internet on your cloud provider’s servers, management and employees have 24/7 access wherever and whenever they need it. The cloud allows a user to access their vital business information while a person at a hotel, business meeting, on vacation or working in remote area as long as they have an internet connection.

    Scalability

    Scalability is the major reason for which companies move their business smoothly. There are some seasonal business processes that go through periods of extreme activity, but then this activity slows considerably when the busy season is over. Cloud-based services can expand as a business needs the resources.

    Security

    The cloud technology is secure from hackers, accidents and bugs. It can easily afford all types of defensive measures like filtering, patch management and cryptography techniques. Cloud technology protects your data and maintains you as a long term customer.

    Levelling the playing field

    Cloud computing have a significant role for levelling the playing field between large and small companies with a “pay-for-what-you-use” model. Small to medium sized companies no longer need to shell out big bucks in order to buy IT infrastructure that is comparable to large companies. Now they can just rent what they need in the cloud.