Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tips On Buying A Desktop Computer


A desktop personal computer is a most popular mode of personal computer. The system unit of the desktop personal computer can lie flat on the desk or table. In desktop personal computer, is usually placed on the system unit. A Purchasing a home or business computer can be a big and sometimes costly decision. Below is a listing of helpful suggestions for what to look for and ask when purchasing a home or business computer new or used.


Today there are two options to buy a computer, a new or used computer. Used computer are some time out of date, but you can buy it with very low price as compare to new computer, but I think branded or used computer are much stable than a new computer. Before purchasing a computer consider if you should purchase a new or used computer. Many individuals sell computer before they are out of date allow you to purchase a relatively decent computer. Before purchasing a new computer from a computer manufacture look at what is available and review the below precautions when purchasing a computer.

More Considerations

When purchasing a computer it is likely that you will have a general idea of what you may like in the computer or how you would like to configure the computer. Below is a listing of the various components likely to be found in a computer and recommendations and tips when considering any of the following components.

  • Case
Generally there are two types of Computer Case are available in market, for Example Tower case and desktop case. The system unit of the desktop personal computer can lie flat on the desk or table and the monitor is usually placed on the system unit. An other model of the computer case is known tower. The system unit of the tower PC is vertically placed on the desk or table. But purchasing a computer case is generally not an important consideration when you are going to buy a Computer. However it depends upon the user needs and choice to building a computer case may find it important to consider the following considerations.

  • CD Media
CD-R -always will be an important consideration to think about when purchasing a new computer or used computer. A CD-writer or recorder (or simply CD-R drive) is used to write data on CD-R disks. Usually, a CD-writer can read information from CD as well as write information on CD, The locally produced CD-R disks are created with CD writer. The speed of these drives is up to 52X or more.

CD-RW - You must have a CD-RW drive to write date on the CD-RW. These drives have read and write speed is up to 52X or more but the re-write speed is 10X or more. The CD-RW drive is advanced and more expensive than CD-R drive. It can write data on both CD-R and CD-RW discs and also read data from them

DVD - DVD stands for Digital Video Disk Versatile Disc. DVD-ROM is an extremely high capacity optical disc with storage capacity from 4.7 GB to 17 GB.

  • Hard Drive
Hard drives have and always will be an important consideration to think about when purchasing a new computer or used computer. Hard disk is most commonly used storage device in personal computers and laptop computers. Most application programs and operation systems require hard disk for installation and operation.

  • Processor
The computer processor is and will always be an important consideration when purchasing a computer. Processor is considered the brain of the computer. The CPU fetches instructions of program from main memory and executes them one by one. The speed of the CPU is measured in Mega Hertz or Giga Hertz and speed from 500 MHz to 3.4 GHz, it depends upon a user needs, that is why purchasing a processor is an important consideration when building or buying a computer. There are several considerations and additional information about what to ask and look for when purchasing a processor directly or already installed into a computer.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Technology and Market Structure of Virtual Network Games

We cannot see the future, of course, but there are a number of technological innovations that are relevant to gaming, that are also fairly easy to see coming. Currently, access to gaming involves some sort of access to computing technology, and access to gaming that can earn money involves access to a shared, persistent, physical computing environment, specifically a virtual world . The technology supporting virtual worlds is advancing so quickly that it would be foolish to describe the next generation in any detail. Suffice it to say that there are large, lucrative industries working energetically on different dimensions of the environment that virtual worlds thrive in.

These industries produce three items of interest, namely, connections, interface and content. Developments in connections include the internet and, increasingly, wireless communications. Development of interfaces includes voice command, head-up displays and body motion detection (computer-controlling gloves, gaze readers). Developments in content include the supply side of the market for games, where annual revenues have grown beyond Hollywood box office revenues. All three industries are expanding at a rapid rate. Whatever emotional experiences people seek, it may become possible, in the near future, to effortlessly connect to a virtual world that provides that experience at fairly low cost. Kurzweil argues that the explosion of computing power alone may be sufficient to change the daily course of life.

Since these developments all involve networks, they may seem to suggest a monopolistic market structure. If economic life online involves getting your email and hanging around with friends, there will be positive externalities with respect to the sheer size of the virtual world one visits. If I spend my time on Rubi-Ka, while you spend your time in Albion, we cannot talk to one another, and we cannot do things together. Thus, our time in virtual worlds is more valuable if everyone we know is in the same world. Moreover, if two worlds compete and one has more players than another, wouldn't everyone have an incentive to join the larger world, so as to enjoy the larger network of society, communication and entertainment that it affords? Might such network externalities lead to a domination of this market by one player? For example,some network games such as lotro gold,runescape gold,guild wars gold etc.

There are reasons to expect, however, that this market is not likely to be monopolized. First, there seems to be a great diversity of tastes for the different features of a world. Mr. Bird may want to be on Pluto, while Mr. Castronova prefers medieval Britain. One of the major attractions of life mediated by avatars is the anonymity it affords, and anonymity requires a person to have exit options: other worlds to escape to if one's reputation in this one gets unpleasant. Perhaps a savvy game developer could make a world so large and varied as to provide the essential minimum level of entertainment and anonymity to a sufficiently large number of people, so that membership in that one world becomes optimal for all. This seems unlikely, however, given that there is a marginal cost to creating and maintaining game content. Moreover, there are no economies of scale on the supply side to match the increasing returns on the demand side (Liebowitz and Margolis, 1994). Production of game content and its maintenance are both labour-intensive activities. One could perhaps increase production of content by allowing other producers (say, by opening game code to the public), but continued control of the world being created would be problematic. On the whole, it seems very unlikely that one developer could produce a world big enough to monopolize the market.

A second reason involves congestion. Virtual worlds are virtual because they are online, but they are worlds because there is some physicality to them. Avatars take up space. If a world has a certain amount of entertaining content in it, that content will almost always be subject to some kind of congestion effect. The cool monsters are in the Dungeon of Befallen, but if tens of thousands of us go there to hunt them, none of us will have a good time. Sometimes the only way to reduce congestion is to add content, but this, again, is labour intensive. There will also be congestion effects related to connection speeds and bandwidth.

A third reason that the market will probably not be dominated by a few companies can be found in the many competitive strategies that are available even now, but have not yet been exploited by new entrants. For example, the current set of developers have managed to impose huge switching costs on players by structuring gameplay around the time-intensive development of avatar capital. A player starts the game with a weak avatar, but gameplay gives the avatar ever-increasing powers. As power increases, the avatar is able to take more advantage of the game world, to travel farther, do more things, see more people. A person with a high-level avatar then faces a high hurdle in switching games, because in the new game he will start out poor, defenceless and alone again. This situation definitely locks in the game's player base, but it is also open to defeat by any number of schemes to reduce the switching costs. Surprisingly, no competitor to a current game has offered new players the opportunity to start their avatars at a higher level of wealth and ability if they can provide evidence of a high level avatar in another game. On the other hand, two games (Ultima Online and Dark Ages of Camelot) now offer methods to effectively start out ahead: in Ultima, you can directly buy your levels; in Camelot, you can start a new avatar at level 20 if you have already gotten one to level 50. These strategies help companies discourage the buying and selling of avatars outside the game, perhaps at a cost to the atmosphere within the world. In sum, what appear to be strong lock-ins and switching costs in the game market today may not be as strong as they seem; when savvy competitors appear, the player bases will generally be at risk. For example,some network games such as lotro gold,runescape gold,guild wars gold etc.

A final argument against a monopolization tendency comes from the nature of the content itself. Games are art, for the most part, and markets for artistic output exhibit a great deal of churn due to herding effects and the star phenomenon (MacDonald, 1988). If a company designs a better game, it will attract players. And while it is true that development costs can be significant, it will always be possible to produce a fun virtual world for a tiny amount of money and then scale it up as it becomes more popular.Whatever network externalities, supply-side returns to scale, and barriers to entry may exist in the market for virtual worlds, they seem insufficient to produce domination by a single company. The distribution of populations in virtual worlds is perhaps less like a natural monopoly market than a club goods market. Populations will sort according to the services, ambience, and fees of the various worlds. Virtual worlds will compete, as clubs do, but their size will be limited by congestion effects and by the marginal cost of increasing the scale of the world.

This analysis allows a tentative answer to the first question of the study: in the medium-term future, the online multiplayer gaming market will probably consist of a number of large, densely populated worlds, with varying degrees of portability between them. The worlds will generate large revenue streams and will occupy many hours of human time, some of it considered play, some of it considered work. The hours that people devote to games will result in the accumulation of stocks of digital capital goods. These objects will have considerable economic value. Given the expected growth in connectivity, interface technologies and content, there is reason to believe that this digital capital stock may eventually become quite large.

These considerations then lead to the next set of questions: If virtual worlds do become more important, how will this affect the real Earth economy?

About The Author

David ZHENG is the CEO of http://www.gamegoldmoney.com . A company specialized in buying and selling all kinds of game gold such as lotro gold,runescape gold,guild wars gold etc.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

How to log off, restart and shutdown, connected computer from one location?

Windows XP has a built-in feature (shutdown tools) that is used to shutdown any connected computers from any one computer. Using this feature, you can log off, restart and shutdown any computer in your network. This tip is very useful for you, if you are a Network Administrator at your company, because if you have experience to shutdown all connected computers daily in your local area network one by one, definitely that job is annoying responsibility for you. Follow the given steps to configure shutdown tool on your computer: To use this feature, you will need to be logged into your computer with administrative rights. To perform this task, first make sure your both computers are directly connected or connected to network. Click Start button then type shutdown -i in Run option then press Enter for next.

A small windows dialog box will appear with the title "Remote Shutdown Dialog". Here first click on "Add" button to add computer, a small Add computers window will open, here type the name or IP address of the computer (you can add many computer for same action) that you want to turned off, then press OK for next.

Now select the action "What do you want these computers to do (log off, restart or shutdown)". If you want to warn your users about this action, select the check box "Warn users of the action" then set time, display warning for 30 seconds or more. Now select the option that describes the reason to shutdown the computers and also type some comments for users.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Protecting Children Online With Internet Parental Controls

The World Wide Web is a fascinating place. It has obliterated geography in terms of education and business. It facilitates learning by allowing kids to see things and experiences aspects of different places they may never get the chance to see in the non-virtual world. The Internet can bring people together who otherwise would never know each other and create a virtual universe that is totally cohesive, with every kind of information imaginable literally available at your fingertips. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Unfortunately, the Internet has a dark side. It is full of material that is inappropriate for children and all kinds of predators. Leaving your kids alone to fend for themselves on the Web is exactly as dangerous at leaving them in a crowed airport or shopping mall. You don’t know where they’re going or who with. The news is filled with horror stories about kids who have been taken advantage of on the Internet, but you don’t want yours to miss out on all the positive aspects of the technology. The first line of defense in keeping your kids save on the Web is to teach them how to use it safely.

A lot of online dangers can be dodged simply by reminding kids of one of their earliest learned lessons: don’t talk to strangers. The kinds of people who want to harm kids have all kinds of tricks up their sleeves. They may try to lull your child into a false sense of security by pretending to be someone she knows. Make sure your child understands that it isn’t a good idea to give out personal information such as their address, phone number or the name of their school. The less information a potential predator has, the harder it will be for him to actually locate a victim. It might be a good idea to establish a secret password and share it only with friends and family so your kid has a way to identify people who are safe to chat with.

Chat interfaces and instant messaging are great tools for keeping in touch with friends and conduct business, but they are also direct connections between your child and possible pedophiles and other predators. Most instant messengers have settings that will only allow people on a pre-approved list to approach your child. That way you can let the kids chat with family and friends while keeping the bad guys out. You can visit http://www.internet-parental-control.org to find more information on online child safety measures.

You can’t watch your kids every minute they are online, and you can’t always count on them to do what you have taught them to do. Parental control software is a great back up. Most browsers will allow you to customize age-appropriate settings for each child in your house. You can choose what kinds of Web sites you want your kids to access and block them out of the ones you don’t. It’s a great way to provide a virtual safety net for your family. If the parental controls supplied by your Internet Service Provider, check into installing additional software that will evaluate each site your child attempts to access. You set criteria by which the software judges each Web page and assigns a rating, much like a movie rating. Your kids will only be able to look at sites with ratings you have deemed appropriate.

About The Author

Kelly Hunter operates http://www.internet-parental-control.org and writes about Internet Parental Control.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

VoIP Phone System - Do You Want These 5 Advantages For Your Business?

New technologies such as IP Telephony don't just replace previous ones but allow much greater functionality, increased productivity, enhanced customer service and lower costs than prior technologies. Here are just a few ideas for you to ponder.

Your IP Telephone System provides the following advantages:

* Seamless extension dialing between all your locations on your private network, or even over the public Internet, is relatively easy and much less costly than traditional means. All your offices can be "tied together" to act as one large office no matter where in the world they are located. This also provides the advantage of eliminating long distance charges between your locations.

* IP Telephony creates lower cost and greater functionality advantages from carrier services. With IP Telephony you can connect all your offices together on your own private network. Or you can use the "quasi-private" network of a carrier.

This means you use one service provider to provide the voice trunks at each office. Your voice traffic between offices stays on the private network of the carrier. Your voice traffic never has to travel through the public internet.

If done correctly you have the advantage of carrying your voice traffic over the same network that carries your data traffic between offices but through the service provider you have Quality of Service to give voice priority over data. This will also give you a lower cost than the traditional means of a totally private network connecting your offices.

* Easily and economically connecting home based workers. Your home based worker can be easily connected to your office phone system with a high speed connection such as DSL or cable Internet. Your worker takes a phone from your office and connects it to that Internet connection. Or your worker uses a "soft phone" which is software on their computer at home that functions like a telephone.

That physical phone or soft phone, located anywhere in the world, is now a phone on your office phone system with all the individual settings that worker has on their phone at the office. Someone calls your office and the call automatically rings the phone at your worker's home. The caller doesn't know where the person they're calling is located. This arrangement can even work for a small one, two, or three person branch office.

* Easily and economically connecting traveling workers. Imagine you're traveling and staying at a hotel with a high speed Internet connection. You have a "soft phone" on your laptop computer. You can use a headset on your laptop or a handset that plugs into a USB port on your computer. The handset acts just like the handset on your phone at the office. You can now receive and make calls through your soft phone just like you're at your office. Callers will ring through to your soft phone.

You can be located anywhere in the world and the person you call or calls you won't know where you are. If you're going to be away for an extended period of time, you may even want to take a regular office phone and set it up on your Internet connection. This arrangement makes use of IP Telephony for your office combined with VOIP using the Internet. IP Telephony makes all this easily possible at a lower cost than traditional systems.

Home based and traveling workers can also go into your office, in fact any of your office locations, and simply "log in" to your phone system just like they log in to your computer system. Once logged in all their phone settings are automatically provided to the phone in which they log in. This just wasn't easy or feasible to do economically prior to IP Telephony.

* Software upgrades are much easier and can be performed by you instead of paying the telephone equipment vendor to do them.

There are many more benefits to IP Telephony. This brief overview should be enough to peak your interest to continue your investigation. You don't need to make a total swap out of your current phone system. It is possible to gradually introduce an IP Telephone System into your organization and interface it to legacy systems.

Don't just improve the way you currently do business! Explore the strategic business applications and implications of IP Telephony. New technologies such as IP Telephony don't just replace previous ones but allow much greater functionality, increased productivity, enhanced customer service and lower costs than prior technologies.

Expand the possibilities of conducting your business in ways you never thought possible. All major phone system manufacturers are investing their research and development dollars into development of their IP Phone Systems. Thousands of companies have already converted to it. There must be a reason or two or twenty.

Specifically, we consult on IP Telephone System Decisions, Service Provider Decisions for Voice and Data Services, and Services Audits to Inventory All Services and Discover Unused Services. We do all this within a framework of Vendor-Neutral Consulting.

Copyright 2007 Mass Strategic Communications, Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Reprint Rights: You may reprint this article as long as you do not edit the article in any way. You must leave all of the links active and include the full author name credit with company profile.

About The Author

Ed Mass, President, Mass Strategic Communications, Inc., a telecommunications consulting firm since 1993. Visit http://www.voip-telephone-system.com and http://www.masscom.com. The firm specializes in Transforming Telecommunications from a Tactical Tool To a Strategic Business Resource.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Computer Tech School Tutorial: Your Most Valuable Resource

Making the decision to attend a computer tech school can be one of the best decisions of your life. Another great decision is to tap a hidden wealth of knowledge that is right before every student at schools such as ECPI and ITT, but very few students take advantage of it.

When you're attending a computer training school, you must avoid the mentality that some other students will have - "I gotta go to school, I gotta be here, I can't wait to leave and go home". When you're preparing for a career working with computers, you've got to take advantage of every learning experience you can get, and that includes getting to know the most valuable resource at your school - your teachers!

Your teachers have busy schedules, but it was my experience that every single time I asked for help or had questions outside of class, my teachers went the extra mile to help me. I’m sure yours will do the same for you, but you have to let them know you want that help!

At your tech school, you must develop the skills and work ethic that you will use to succeed in the IT field. By staying after class, working overtime in the computer labs, and getting to know your instructors, you'll be astonished at the additional knowledge you can pick up. Almost any good teacher is going to have real-world experience, and you need to draw on that knowledge. Having lunch with an instructor is another great idea, as it allows you to get to know them away from the classroom.

Part of success in any field is making contacts for the future. You may not be in the IT field yet, but you should already be getting to know people with IT experience - and who better than your teachers? Besides, they hear about job openings all the time from friends, and the more you stand out from the crowd, the more likely you are to be remembered for such opportunities!

About The Author

Chris Bryant, CCIE #12933, is the owner of The Bryant Advantage (www.thebryantadvantage.com), home of free CCNA and CCNP tutorials! For my FREE "How To Pass The CCNA" or "CCNP" ebook, visit the website and download your copies. Pass your CCNA exam with The Bryant Advantage!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Touched By A Tablet - Choosing The Right Graphics Tablet For You

There you are: you have finally decided to purchase a graphics tablet. Whatever your reasons may be for purchasing one, you are now faced with a very major decision: amongst all the numerous graphics tablets out there, which one would best suit your needs and your budget ?

Wacom is without any doubt, a genius when it comes to graphics tablet (also known as pen tablet) technology and is continually improving their products. Due to these frequent upgrades, this article will only touch the following Wacom models: Bamboo, Bamboo Fun (a successor and an improved model over the Graphire series), Intuos3 (the 3rd generation of Intuos) and Cintiq.

The basics

All Wacom graphics tablets are easy to install and use, thanks to Wacom’s Plug & Play technology. Every Wacom tablet is compatible with Macintosh and Windows, supports widescreen format, offers application and tool settings, provides a comfortable design and comes equipped with a detachable USB cable, and a programmable, cordless and battery free ergonomic pen. Therefore, your decision will be based on the main differences between these major models. Those include: pressure sensitivity, resolution and size.
  • Pressure sensitivity of the pen tip and its eraser( when present) is measured in levels: 512 levels for the Bamboo line and 1024 levels, the highest thus far, for the Intuos3 and Cintiq models.
  • Resolution, measured in lines per square inch, is marked at 2,540 for the Bamboo series and 5,080 for the Intuos3 and Cintiq models. Based on these two differences alone, if one needs or desires more precision and sharper results, the Intuos3 or the Cintiq are by far the better choices.
  • Size relates to the active area of the graphics tablet, which is the drawing/writing area and not the actual size of the tablet. If space is really a tight issue, make sure you take into consideration the actual dimensions of the graphics tablet. Since the active area of a tablet matches your computer screen no matter what size it is, don’t let a smaller sized Wacom tablet fool you: the smaller sizes offer just as many features as the larger ones. Size becomes a concern when considering desk space, laptop use, portability, and user preferances. Bamboo, Bamboo Fun Small and Medium, Intuos3 4x6 and 6x8 are all wonderful options for small working environments.

Bringing pen to tablet: beginners

Let’s start by comparing the three Bamboo models.
  • Bamboo standard (4x6 approx.) with its sleek black piano finish, is a wonderful improvement over the past Wacom models. It is perfect for any office, be it at home or at work and a perfect travelling companion. Specified mostly for office work rather than artistic tasks, it performs very well by working with your computer’s existing software for marking up documents, jotting down notes and writing your signature. So if you do not need any extra art related software, and the budget is as tight as your desk space, this is the perfect graphics tablet for you.
(Bamboo standard is the only Wacom tablet, of the newer models, which does not come with a matching mouse, or any software. The accompanying Bamboo pen does not have an eraser which could prove to be inconvenient.)
  • Bamboo Fun (Small) (4x6 approx.) is terrific for children and beginners with creative minds. With four colors to choose from, (Blue, White, Black and Silver) you can personalize any office, home or at work, with your preferred color. However, despite the great Wacom quality and advantages, the active area might prove to be too small for elaborate projects.
  • Bamboo Fun (Medium) (5x9 approx.) which also comes in the same 4 different colors as the Small version, is ideal for beginners and excellent for young students, digital photographers and more creative users. The new possibilities range from personalizing your work with your signature or other creations to touching-up photos.

Bringing pen to tablet: intermediate

The Intuos3 line, in its cool charcoal gray color and with an extra year warranty, replaces the Bamboo’s Touch Ring (at the top of the tablet) with a Touch Strip (at the side of the tablet for scrolling). The position of the ExpressKeys (for shortcuts) has also changed from the top (on the Bamboo) to the side (on the Intuos3). The Intuos3 also adds tilt control to the mix, an added bonus for any serious user. It even offers more pen tips for different writing and drawing results with the one accompanying cushioned Grip Pen which provides extra comfort and reduces tension. Extra accessories are available for the Intuos3 such as an array of different pen types ranging from the classic pen for a more natural, day-to-day work and feel to the sophisticated airbrush for unbelievably realistic paintings and other art designs. The whole Intuos3 series is specially designed for wide screens and multiple monitor work stations. If you are a serious graphic artist or you spend long hours using artistic software, an Intuos3 is certainly a worthwhile investment, and most graphics professionals would call it an essential tool. That said, there are still 6 different sizes to chose from !
  • Intuos3 4x6 is easily portable with more features than the Bamboo series and perfect for small desk spaces yet affordable. However, this graphics tablet is not recommended for left-handed users because the single set of ExpressKeys and Touch Strip is on the left side of the drawing tablet. (All the other Intuos3 sizes have dual ExpressKeys and a Touch Strip on both the left and right sides of the tablet.)
  • Intuos3 6x8 benefits more professional work yet is still an excellent size for cramped spaces and is a perfect travelling companion for the laptop and ideal for serious students on the go.
  • Intuos3 6x11 targets the CAD users, and technical illustrators which may desire a larger surface area and artists who are used to drawing or painting with large sweeping motions. It is also optimized for work in single screen or for multiple monitor work stations and is ideal for editing HDTV videos. Remember, the larger your tablet surface, the more you will need to move your arms which may be viewed as a disadvantage to some users.
  • Intuos3 9x12 greatly assists professional photo-retouching artists, illustrators and industrial designers with challenging endeavours, allowing for wider sweeping strokes.
  • Intuos3 12x12, the only square tablet, caters to professionals with elaborate artistic ideas and highly detailed expectations like professional technicians and designers in any industry including automobile, textile and fashion.
  • Intuos3 12x19 targets sophisticated and high-performance work involving precision and accurate results like professional digital imagery, audio-visual technicians, graphic artists, and architects. It offers optimal use of wide screen and double monitors and is excellent for creating HDTV videos.
Bringing pen to screen: intermediate and professional

Cintiq is the combination of the Intuos3 technology with an LCD monitor. The result: a state of the art monitor that allows you to write or draw directly on the screen with unparalleled accuracy! The fact that it is detachable and totally adjustable to any angle and for any purpose (on your desk or on your knees) makes it the holy grail of the Wacom graphics tablets and obviously, the most expensive. The Cintiq series (which comes with an Intuos3 Grip Pen for optimal comfort and fatigue prevention) will greatly improve workflow and efficiency while providing spectacular, detailed results in any professional field ranging from industrial designers, audio-editors and animators to doctors, educators and story-board creators requiring faster visual effects. This interactive pen display, with leading edge technology, literally becomes your canvas or your easel.

Yet again, there are 3 Cintiq’s to choose from. Size is measured diagonally, from the smaller 12.1”, and mid size 20.1” to the large 21.3”. The native resolution and the total number of pixels (1.0, 1.8 and 1.9 million pixels respectively) are what set them apart the most.
  • Cintiq 12WX (1280x800 native resolution) is very light (4.4lbs) and portable thanks to an extra cable and a convertor box to keep it small and lightweight. It’s half the price of the other Cintiq models. However, due to its small size, you may want to add this to a multi-monitor set-up. If you are a very serious artist or technical designer, it is recommended that you save for the next model up.
  • Cintiq 20WSX (1680x1050 native res.) is every professional’s dream. This 20 lb unit is the preferred choice by many due to its price and size. Less costly than its larger brother, it basically offers the same features.
  • Cintiq 21UX (1600x1200 native res.) is the top of the line for pixel perfect results. Weighing in at 22.4 lbs, it’s the only Cintiq with an aspect ratio of 4:3 (standard resolution). All the others have 16:10. See it in action by going to YouTube.com and searching for Cintiq … it is absolutely incredible !

When trying to choose between all of these great Wacom contenders, wallet and desk size will always be an issue. Everyday users for home and basic office duties will delight in Bamboo, Bamboo Fun and Intuos3 4x6. Professionals at home or at the office in all fields will require and thoroughly enjoy Intuos3 6x8 and up. (Academic specials for students and schools do exist for the Bamboo and the Intuos3.) Serious illustrators, educators, technical designers and artists demanding elaborate detail and high pixel perfection will absolutely love the freedom, comfort, efficiency and convenience of drawing directly on the screen … and for many users - that is priceless.

About The Author

Article researched and written by Annie Goss for http://www.drawittablet.com, a site which specializes in Wacom graphics tablets and related accessories.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Firefox Just Got Better

The safest most secure app for browsing the internet currently available just got better and has more improvements on the way. Are you ready for the latest Mozilla release? Firefox 3 Beta 4 is available for download, but before you go running off like some half cocked Microsoft groupie notice the "beta" tag.

Hello!! The internet is a dangerous place. The Remote Helpdesk 1 Team continues to be amused (we can no longer say amazed) at people who would not dare to venture into certain parts of a city but who seemingly rush into the internet's dark corners and dimly lighted streets ill prepared.

Before you sail into a storm baton down the hatches, and before you cruise into hacker, virus, trojan, and criminally infested areas of the world wide web at least darken the windows and arm yourself. Not to take appropriate precautions will assure your computer a visit to the infectious disease controls center if not the hard drive morgue.

Firefox developers have thus far proven themselves to the best at incorporating necessary safety features into their browser while preserving user options and cruise speeds. Online PC Repair folks feel they owe a lot of their success to getting their loyal users involved in the development and testing process. These folks, like The Tennessee Mountain Man, have helped keep the programs on track and the applications minimal. For instance, if a client wants twenty-five cents - give him a quarter like Mozilla tends to do rather that twenty-five pennies as Microsoft is famous for.

It takes a lot less resources to process one coin than it does to count twenty-five. Mozilla recognizing this has given the new "beta" release a lot of new features and improved compatibility while freeing up resources. The end result being a more nimble and faster overall browsing experience. At the same time they have enhanced Firefox's security.

Released to the public via the Mozilla website Monday, 10 March 2008, Firefox 3 Beta 4 is in the beta stage of any software's life cycle. Firefox 3 Beta 4 loudly proclaims that it is "for testing purposes only" therefore it is not for everyone. It you are a newbie or maybe even an intermediate internet user, the suggestion of the Computer Man would be that you use Firefox, the latest most stable full release until Firefox 3 is out of beta.

If you just can't wait for a better browsing experience Mozilla reports "the new release includes more than 900 enhancements from beta 3, including drastic improvements to performance and memory usage, as well as fixes for stability, platform enhancements and user interface".

But that is not the half of it... not by a long shot. "Firefox 3 is based on the Gecko 1.9 Web rendering platform, which has been under development for the past 31 months. Building on the previous release, Gecko 1.9 has more than 12,000 updates including some major re-architecting to provide improved performance, stability, rendering correctness, and code simplification and sustainability. Firefox 3 has been built on top of this new platform resulting in a more secure, easier to use, more personal product with a lot more under the hood to offer website and Firefox add-on developers improvements.", according to Mozilla.

Enhancements like these reported on the Mozilla website:

More Secure
  • One-click site info: Click the site favicon in the location bar to see who owns the site and to check if your connection is protected from eavesdropping. Identity verification is prominently displayed and easier to understand. When a site uses Extended Validation (EV) SSL certificates, the site favicon button will turn green and show the name of the company you're connected to. (Try it here!)
  • Malware Protection: malware protection warns users when they arrive at sites which are known to install viruses, spyware, trojans or other malware. (Try it here!)
  • New Web Forgery Protection page: the content of pages suspected as web forgeries is no longer shown. (Try it here!)
  • New SSL error pages: clearer and stricter error pages are used when Firefox encounters an invalid SSL certificate. (Try it here!)
  • Add-ons and Plugin version check: Firefox now automatically checks add-on and plugin versions and will disable older, insecure versions.
  • Secure add-on updates: to improve add-on update security, add-ons that provide updates in an insecure manner will be disabled.
  • Anti-virus integration: Firefox will inform anti-virus software when downloading executables.
  • Vista Parental Controls: Firefox now respects the Vista system-wide parental control setting for disabling file downloads.
  • Effective top-level domain (eTLD) service better restricts cookies and other restricted content to a single domain.
  • Better protection against cross-site JSON data leaks.
Easier to Use
  • Easier password management: an information bar replaces the old password dialog so you can now save passwords after a successful login.
  • Simplified add-on installation: the add-ons whitelist has been removed making it possible to install extensions from third-party sites in fewer clicks.
  • [Improved in Beta 4!] New Download Manager: the revised download manager makes it much easier to locate downloaded files, and you can see and search on the name of the website where a file came from. Your active downloads and time remaining are always shown in the status bar as your files download.
  • Resumable downloading: users can now resume downloads after restarting the browser or resetting your network connection.
  • [Improved in Beta 4!] Full page zoom: from the View menu and via keyboard shortcuts, the new zooming feature lets you zoom in and out of entire pages, scaling the layout, text and images, or optionally only the text size. Your settings will be remembered whenever you return to the site.
  • Podcasts and Videocasts can be associated with your media playback tools.
  • Tab scrolling and quickmenu: tabs are easier to locate with the new tab scrolling and tab quickmenu.
  • Save what you were doing: Firefox will prompt users to save tabs on exit.
  • Optimized Open in Tabs behavior: opening a folder of bookmarks in tabs now appends the new tabs rather than overwriting.
  • Location and Search bar size can now be customized with a simple resizer item.
  • Text selection improvements: multiple text selections can be made with Ctrl/Cmd; double-click drag selects in "word-by-word" mode; triple-clicking selects a paragraph.
  • Find toolbar: the Find toolbar now opens with the current selection.
  • Plugin management: users can disable individual plugins in the Add-on Manager.
  • [Improved in Beta 4!] Integration with Vista: Firefox now has Vista-specific icons, and uses native user interface widgets in the browser and in web forms.
  • [Improved in Beta 4!] Integration with the Mac: the new Firefox theme makes toolbars, icons, and other user interface elements look like a native OS X application. Firefox also uses OS X widgets and spell-checker in web forms and supports Growl for notifications of completed downloads and available updates. A combined back and forward control make it even easier to move between web pages.
  • [Improved in Beta 4!] Integration with Linux: Firefox's default icons, buttons, and menu styles now use the native GTK theme.
More Personal
  • Star button: quickly add bookmarks from the location bar with a single click; a second click lets you file and tag them.
  • Tags: associate keywords with your bookmarks to sort them by topic.
  • [Improved in Beta 4!] Location bar & auto-complete: type in all or part of the title, tag or address of a page to see a list of matches from your history and bookmarks; a new display makes it easier to scan through the matching results and find that page you're looking for. Results are returned according to their frecency (a combination of frequency and recency of visits to that page) ensuring that you're seeing the most relevant matches. An adaptive learning algorithm further tunes the results to your patterns!
  • Smart Bookmarks Folder: quickly access your recently bookmarked and tagged pages, as well as your more frequently visited pages with the new smart bookmarks folder on your bookmark toolbar.
  • Places Organizer: view, organize and search through all of your bookmarks, tags, and browsing history with multiple views and smart folders to store your frequent searches.
  • Web-based protocol handlers: web applications, such as your favorite webmail provider, can now be used instead of desktop applications for handling mailto: links from other sites. Similar support is available for other protocols (Web applications will have to first enable this by registering as handlers with Firefox).
  • Download & Install Add-ons: the Add-ons Manager (Tools > Add-ons) can now be used to download and install a Firefox customization from the thousands of Add-ons available from our community add-ons website. When you first open the Add-ons Manager, a list of recommended Add-ons is shown.
  • Easy to use Download Actions: a new Applications preferences pane provides a better UI for configuring handlers for various file types and protocol schemes.
Improved Platform for Developers
  • New graphics and font handling: new graphics and text rendering architectures in Gecko 1.9 provides rendering improvements in CSS, SVG as well as improved display of fonts with ligatures and complex scripts.
  • Color management: (set gfx.color_management.enabled on in about:config and restart the browser to enable.) Firefox can now adjust images with embedded color profiles.
  • Offline support: enables web applications to provide offline functionality (website authors must add support for offline browsing to their site for this feature to be available to users).
  • A more complete overview of Firefox 3 for developers is available for website and add-on developers.
Improved Performance
  • [Improved in Beta 4!] Speed: improvements to our JavaScript engine as well as profile guided optimizations have resulted in significant improvements in performance. Compared to Firefox 2, web applications like Google Mail and Zoho Office run twice as fast in Firefox 3 Beta 4, and the popular SunSpider test from Apple shows improvements over previous releases.
  • [Improved in Beta 4!] Memory usage: Several new technologies work together to reduce the amount of memory used by Firefox 3 Beta 4 over a web browsing session. Memory cycles are broken and collected by an automated cycle collector, a new memory allocator reduces fragmentation, hundreds of leaks have been fixed, and caching strategies have been tuned.
  • Reliability: A user's bookmarks, history, cookies, and preferences are now stored in a transactionally secure database format which will prevent data loss even if their system crashes."
Mozilla provides Firefox 3 Beta 4 for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X in forty different languages, and reports it can be removed without losing your bookmarks, web browsing history, extensions and other add-ons. Best of all - it is FREE ! Just download, install, and enjoy a whole new faster browsing experience if your computer meets one of the following system requirements.

Windows Operating Systems
  • Windows 2000
  • Windows XP
  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows Vista

Minimum Hardware
  • Pentium 233 MHz (Recommended: Pentium 500MHz or greater)
  • 64 MB RAM (Recommended: 128 MB RAM or greater)
  • 52 MB hard drive space
Mac Operating Systems
  • Mac OS X 10.4 and later
Minimum Hardware
  • Macintosh computer with an Intel x86 or PowerPC G3, G4, or G5 processor
  • 128 MB RAM (Recommended: 256 MB RAM or greater)
  • 200 MB hard drive space
Software Requirements
Please note that Linux distributors may provide packages for your distribution which have different requirements.
  • Linux kernel - 2.2.14 or higher with the following libraries or packages:
  1. glibc 2.3.2 or higher
  2. XFree86-3.3.6 or higher
  3. gtk+2.0 or higher
  4. fontconfig (also known as xft)
  5. libstdc++5

Minimum Hardware
  • Intel Pentium II or AMD K6-III+ 233 MHz CPU (Recommended: 500MHz or greater)
  • 64 MB RAM (Recommended: 128 MB RAM or greater)
  • 52 MB hard drive space

And, if you still have not tried Mozilla Thunderbird,

get ready to kick Outlook Express to the curb!

About The Author

Publication of Burk Pendergrass, J.D., a Cherokee Indian and Viet Nam Vet specializing in website design at http://computermanwebsitedesign.bravehost.com/ and http://remotehelpdesk1.com/ specializing in online web based computer repair.