Monthly Archives: August 2015

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Fix A Scratched CD

Ever had some archived data on a CD and get errors? That precious DVD with family photos have a scratch in it? Trust me. We have all been there. Here is how to fix it.

In this article I will be showing you four little known tips to fix scratched CD or DVD and recover the data within. Every user has had trouble with a scratched CD or DVD. The theory goes like this – A CD/DVD reader or player uses a laser beam to read the data on the disk. This laser beam crosses the protective plastic layer and reads the real recording metal layer. If the protective plastic layer is scratched, the laser will be unable to pass resulting in non-readable disc. In the case of data CDs the CD/DVD reader is unable to read the CD/DVD properly resulting in reading errors while in case of audio/video discs, the CD player skips when we play it.

If somehow we manage to re-smooth this protective layer then the laser will reach the data and read it, now there are many ways we can achieve this using common household item’s as discussed below:

1). Toothpaste – Yup! Toothpaste is our very first scratched CD/DVD fixer, you can use any non-gel based toothpaste for this, just put a very small amount of it on the scratched area and polish it gently using a cotton swab, sometimes the paste may cause new minor scratches but they are just superficial. Now just wash the cd using water.

2). If the above trick does not work try some metal polish like Brasso gently wiping with a soft cotton ball followed by application of Vaseline.

3). Baking Soda – make a small quantity of baking soda paste and apply using a soft cotton cloth buffing the bad scratch. Clean the baking soda before using the disc.

4). You can also try using some oil as a polishing agent this also works many times.

There are many daily use products that can be used to get the cd working just keep on experimenting, please note that you must take special care while using the above tips, be sure to try and preserve the rest of the cd that is not damaged just in case the cleaning process scratches it some more.

So that is some tips on how you can make a CD or DVD reusable after it has been scratched!


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How to Prevent Computer Power Failures

Category : Hardware , Projects , Tech Tips

Power loss is bound to happen sooner or later. Whether it be a thunderstorm, power outage, or brown out, all of these power abnormalities can cause data loss and corruption. And if you are anyone who knows anything about computers, you know data corruption is bad. I advise that you should adopt anti-melt down measures for PCs, laptops, and servers.  I have experienced data loss because of high temperature brown outs and thunderstorms causing power outages, and the results are not pretty. I wrote this article to help others prevent data loss like that which happened to me.

First off, There are some rules that should be followed when arranging the computers in a home or office to prevent data corruption. The computers should be placed in cool and dry areas to prevent overheating. It is also highly recommended that not too many computers to be running off of one power supply. This will overload the circuit on the circuit breaker and increases the chances of a power failure or brown out. It has become almost a necessity to have a surge protector installed between the power socket and the computer’s power cable. These protection devices should be checked regularly to avoid premature failure. Computers should not share power with air conditioners and fans but dedicated circuits should be used.

These are general rules that should be followed in order to protect your computers, but there are some tips that I am offering for special cases such as thunderstorm and blackouts. During thunderstorms PCs should be turned off and disconnected. Another good measure in a bad lightning storm is to remove the uplink cable from the modem jack. This cuts off internet, but if a lightning strike were to occur, your modem would be fried on the spot.  The best solution to avoid losing data during a blackout or brownout is to invest in some form of uninterruptible power supply, also known as UPS, which regulates the voltage to the power supply and features backup batteries to keep servers running during power outages. This is highly recommended especially for the offices that have network servers.

In conclusion, these are just some of the ways that you can prevent data loss. You can take all of my advice, some of my advice, or none. This article is to prevent what is bound to happen sooner or later: Power failure.


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How to Pick Parts When Building A New Computer

Picking the parts for your computer is one of the most important things in building a computer, because you can’t assemble a computer without the parts! Picking parts for computers has become much easier than before, because form factors have been standardized; however, you still need to make sure everything will fit together properly. The first thing to think about when choosing the components for your computer is what you are going to be using your computer for. If you are creating a computer for just checking your eMail and using Microsoft Word, you are going to need different parts than a computer that you are going to be using for gaming.

CPU
The first thing you should pick out about your computer is what CPU you are going to use, because it determines what motherboard you are going to get, which determines what other components you get, et cetera. There are two main CPU manufacturers, Intel and AMD. Both have their Pros and Cons, but they are pretty similar. I would suggest using Intel, because they make notable processors like the Core i7 or Xeon processors. If you are spending below $500, I would suggest a budget processor like a core i3 or i5, Between $500 and $1000, midrange and $1000 and above I would suggest a high end processor, like any higher clocked i7.

Motherboard
Choosing the right motherboard is vital to building your computer. First, make sure you find a motherboard that has the right socket type for your CPU. Then, check the different features of the motherboards you are looking at. If you aren’t going to buy a video or sound card, make sure your motherboard has onboard video and/or sound. Other things to check for on your motherboard are the hard drive interface, graphics card interface, expansion slots, the memory size and speed. Also, check for the chipset. There are too many to talk about, but generally Intel and nVidia chipsets are better than the other ones. Now that you picked out your motherboard, you know what to look for in your other components.

RAM
Getting the right speed and amount of RAM is vital to the speed and stability of your system. If you are running Windows 7, you will probably need at least  2Gb of RAM. If you are going to be doing anything memory intensive, gaming, rendering or just want a faster computer, you should get 4Gb or more. I reccomend maxing out the amount of memory your motherboard can handle. To see this number, refer to the motherboard’s website or user manual. Make sure your motherboard has enough DIMMs and the right type of DIMMs for your RAM. Also, be sure to check the speed of the memory

Hard Drive
Now its time to pick your hard drive. There are few variables in picking a hard drive. The first, and most important is size, 250Gb is usually enough for most people unless, you are going to be storing alot of pictures and video. Also, make sure you get an HD with the right interface that fits your motherboard. Almost all motherboards have the SATA (Serial ATA) interface. Sata is a much faster hard drive interface and uses a thinner cable than older IDE drives. Having a thinner cable helps with airflow in your case. There is even SATAIII now, which allows for transfer speeds for up to 6 Gb a second. Also look at rotation speed, almost all desktop HDs are 7200RPM and Cache, most are 16Mb, don’t buy a HD below those standards. If you want to spend some money, you can get 2 smaller HDs and run them in RAID which increases performance. RAID is connecting a series of drives to work as one with greater write and read speeds. This is because different parts of data are stored in different physicasl drives rather than a different location in one drive.

Video Cards
If you are going to be doing any gaming, be sure to buy a video card, if youre not, onboard video is fine. The first thing to check for is the interface, most are PCI-E. I personally like nVidia cards better. If you are going to be doing graphic intensive games or video rendering, I would suggest at least a GTS 250. If you have alot to spend, go with a GTX 980.

Optical/Floppy drives
Another thing you are going to need sometine is a DVD drive, these are IDE or SATA. The optical drive is almost defunct nowadays, but it is a great thing to have when you need to install the operating system from a DVD or want to watch a movie or play a CD. This should not cost you much; it should be only $20.

Power Supply
Make sure you have a sufficient power supply!! If you have a high end computer, you should get a 650W or greater PSU. Otherwise, 350W should be fine for most people. If you need any help figuring out what power supply you need, just do a google search for “Power supply calculator” and that should answer your question.

 

Case

Most cases are ATX, but make sure it is the same type as your motherboard (ATX, MicroATX, BTX, etc…). This is crucial to connect the front panel and fan connectors found inside of the case to the motherboard. Also, look out for package deals where a case is bundled with a power supply. Even though these power supplies are not as good as a main branded one, they do the job.

 

So that’s all of the parts you need to make your computer! A final word of warning: Be sure to make sure all your components are compatible! You don’t want to accidentally fry something or void the warranty on your components. Please do as much research as you can before ordering parts. It will make your life a whole lot easier once you get the parts and are ready to assemble your computer.


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Happy

Category : Music , The Arts

This was a doodle I made with a new program I got and I just wanted to see how the program workds… What I got was pretty interesting! Check it out!

 


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To A Better Place

This was a song that I thought would remind someone of being out in the carribean or somewhere similar. Check it out!


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Chemistry

Category : Music , The Arts

This was the first song I wrote to illustrate my struggles in chemistry class. This was my first endeavor into composing music, so please bear with me, because the audio quality isn’t that great. Hope you like it!

 


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Laser Printers

Like with many other things in the world of printing, laser printers have come a long way in the past few years. They have gone from being found almost exclusively in offices to being offered at $100 for a home user. Although they are better for a lot of people, some have a hard time imagining themselves buying a laser printer for their home. A lot of people have the idea that laser printers are just the big clunky machines in their offices where the toner cartridges cost a fortune. However, if you are someone who prints out a large amount of documents and is tired of always having to buy new black inkjet cartridges, laser printers can be the solution. Once you get past the initial sticker shock of buying laser toner cartridges, you will realize the numbers for an entry level laser printer versus an inkjet printer look something like this:

Typical toner cartridge – $20-$60
Page yield – 2,000-3,000 pages
Average cost per page – 2-2.5 cents per page

Typical inkjet cartridge – $20-$30
Page yield – 400-500 pages
Average cost per page – 4-6 cents per page

Although these are just averages and may not seem all that different, in general if you are printing documents, it will probably cost you twice as much to run an inkjet printer than a laser printer. It is better to think of things in the long term when it comes to laser printers, because only then will you truly appreciate their value. If you buy a laser printer and then a backup toner cartridge at the same time, by the time you will have finished that second cartridge, you would have gone through roughly 10 inkjet cartridges.

So if you aren’t into printing color, then you are probably better off going with a laser printer over a standard inkjet printer. You will appreciate the speed and low maintenance of a laser printer, while also saving money on printer ink in the long run.


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What is a Pen Drive?

A Pen Drive is a removable storage device that plugs into a computer’s USB port. Small enough to carry on a key ring, Pen Drives are great for transferring photos, music, documents and any other data from one computer to another. Different manufacturers over the years have named their Pen Drives with many different names causing constant confusion.
As a result of this the Pen Drive can also be known as Pocket Drive, Thumb Drive, Jump Drive, USB Flash Drive, USB Flash Memory Drive, USB Key Drive, USB Memory Key and USB Memory Stick among many others!

Although none of these names are either correct or incorrect, one of the names cause a huge amount of confusion for people, this is when someone referring to a Pen Drive, uses the term “Memory Stick”. This is because “Memory Stick” is a Sony trademark and refers to a type of memory card used in Sony’s electronic devices, it is therefore a completely different product, which will not plug directly into your computer’s USB port!

Pen Drives were invented by IBM in 1988 as a replacement to Floppy Disks but were never patented by them, M-Systems who were later contracted in by IBM to manufacture Pen Drives actually own the patent. So think of a Pen Drive as a modern day floppy disk. The main difference being that a floppy disk contains moving parts which can make the data stored on it vulnerable, a Pen Drive is solid state meaning there are no moving parts inside, making it resilient to dust and everyday magnetic fields and so a safer storage option. Also Pen Drives can hold much, much more data than the floppy disk.

Once connected to a computer’s USB port the Pen Drive appears in Windows as a “Removable Drive” alongside your C Drive, CD ROM Drive etc. You can simply drag and drop photos, music, documents and any other type of data on to the “Removable Drive” just as would with any other folder on your computer (no complex recording like CD or DVD is required). The Pen Drive can then be removed (see Safe Removal of Pen Drive below) from the computer and plugged into another computer’s USB port giving you access to the information you copied to the Pen Drive.

The compact size, robust nature and low cost of the Pen Drive has made it a big hit and an indispensible tool for many. It is ideal for transporting personal, or work data from one location to another, i.e. from home to school or office, or for carrying around data that someone may want to access in a variety of places. An insurance company in the US loads customer bio data and policy details on a tiny Pen Drive and advises policy holders to wear it with a neck strap in case of emergencies, another company is doing the same with policy holders who go Sking. Another company videos their conference and records it onto the Pen Drive so that the delegates can refer to it in future. Pen Drives can also be used to back up your important documents.


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What is Adware?

Category : Software

Adware is advertising delivered directly to your computer. Generally, a program puts ads on the screen at some regular interval. In some cases, this program can be installed without the user’s knowledge, but not always. Many programs clearly state on install that “this program is supported by advertising, and if you turn off the advertising, you also shut down the program.”

Adware tends to be a “grey area” in the malware family. Yes, it can run without the user’s knowledge, and yes, it can bog down the system (especially when the adware program goes online to retrieve new ads to display). At the same time, adware is generally more open about what it does, giving the user the choice to install the program the adware is attached to.

Adware is most often tied into Internet Explorer somehow. The ads that appear are browser windows.

When it’s installed above-board, adware is generally accepted by the internet community as a valid marketing system, even though it can include elements of spyware (ie, it tracks information, and uses that information to deliver targeted ads to the user). If one user of a system installs adware on a system, and another user is then tracked, then the program crosses the line from adware to spyware–because the second user is being tracked without their consent.

Some other forms of adware have used sneaky programming tricks to hide or cover website advertising. For example, an adware program can read an incoming website, and learn the location of a banner ad on that page. Then, the program can use that information to put an ad of it’s own in the exact same spot, hiding the legitimate ad. This deceptive use of adware is often called “stealware” because it steals the advertising space from the original website.


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How to Apply Thermal Paste to A CPU

Ever wonder how to apply thermal paste to a cpu?

Here’s your answer!

 

To Apply thermal paste to a cpu, here is what you need:

  1. Thermal Paste – don’t have some? See our article on how to make your own!
  2. A CPU
  3. Isopropyl Alcohol
  4. A heatsink to mount on top of the CPU
  5. A fan can’t hurt either

 

Here’s how you do it

  1. CPUs are designed to have most of the head concentrated in the center of the metal plate that you see. The sides of the CPU are there to redirect excess heat and also allow for mores surface area contact with the heatsink for the most efficient heat transfer
  2. Be sure to clean off old thermal compound or other debris with isopropyl alcohol. You can use a cotton ball for this. Just dab the cotton ball with the alcohol and rub it around on both the CPU and heatsink
  3. Make sure the processor is properly seated in its slot.
  4. Take the thermal compound and make a quarter inch x in the middle of the processor
  5. Put the heatsink over the processor, making sure you have properly inserted the heatsinks with the proper securing mechanisms in place.
  6. Secure the heatsink to the CPU
  7. Put the fan over the CPU.
  8. Plug the fan power connector into the motherboard’s pin headers for the fan.
  9. Wait an hour for the compound to set.
  10. After the hour has passed, use your computer and have fun!