Essential Web Hosting Tips for Small Business

Having a dynamic website is essential for any type of business. Websites help service providers reach their current and gain new customers in a fast, effective and professional manner. Smooth running of your website guarantees customer satisfaction and sales. Therefore, you should take selecting a web hosting provider very seriously. Read more

Easy Bitcoin Mining – Get Started With CEX.io

March 21, 2014 by  
Filed under Computers, Finance, Software

Bitcoin mining isn’t as daunting as it may seem at first glance. Whether you’re an experienced miner who joined the network ever since the Bitcoin launch, or you just get your feet wet in this industry, your chances to earn a living from BTC mining are equally high. It all depends on your goals, thirst for knowledge and the right tools of course :). Read more

Implement Windows 8 App Guidelines Faster with Advanced UI Tools

April 30, 2013 by  
Filed under Programming

Implement Windows 8 App Guidelines Faster with Advanced UI Tools   

Developing software for the Windows operating system used to be fairly simple in the past. You could put your software out there, and it could be downloaded and installed by anyone. Now with Windows 8 the approval process has become quite stringent. Your apps must be approved by Microsoft in order to be uploaded to the Windows App store, from where the users can purchase and download them.

Why guidelines

The windows 8 UI is completely different, from the previous Windows version and other desktops. It is more efficient in displaying information and gets work done easily, in a simple and efficient manner. Microsoft has therefore published strong guidelines, in order to help you get your software accepted into the app store.

Some of the things that the guidelines make clear for developers include:

  • Adapting your application to the new Windows user interface
  • How to optimize your app for touch interfaces
  • The size of various elements of your software, including controls
  • How to change content based on screen size
  • How to use actions and gestures for menus (sliding, pinching, tapping, turning etc.)

Content consumption apps

A vast majority of apps on modern operating systems are meant for content consumption such as live scores, latest news, blogs, articles, video and podcasts. The user interfaces for such apps on Windows 8 are quite simple and you can design a good UI with a little effort, because:

  • The menus contain fewer controls, so spacing is not a problem
  • The content is central to the app, so there is not a lot of manipulation
  • Updating the apps is easy,  because the design is usually minimal

Business apps

This is where the problem for developers begins. Business apps are quite a bit more complex than your usual consumer apps.

Some of the differences from regular apps include:

  • More functionality in a single app in order to provide value to business users
  • Greater number of options to fit into various screen sizes
  • Advanced content manipulation techniques that take time to develop
  • Many more UI elements can be organized, based on the screen size

The Windows 8 application development guidelines are not clear for complex apps. As a developer you have to figure a lot of things about the UI by yourself. You still need to make the app easy and simple to use, otherwise your app may not gain widespread use.

Microsoft has guidelines for a number of UI elements that you will need for your Windows 8 apps including:

  • Date and time picker
  • Fly out menus
  • Rating
  • And many more

Developing applications faster

The guidelines published by Microsoft for complex applications are not quite adequate. Fortunately, there are number of RAD development tools that will help you make those decisions faster. This way, you can focus on the core functionality of your app and complete the development process faster.

If you don’t like the controls on Windows 8 apps, you won’t have to build a new one from the scratch. There are a number of UI control tools which are designed to help developers work on new and existing apps. They adhere to all the Windows 8 guidelines and the users will not face any issues while using those apps. Such third party tools can speed up your development process a lot, and also ensure that you are still complying with the app store rules.

Perpetuum Software is a brilliant example of what additional third party tools can do for your Windows 8 application development. It brings various Microsoft technologies such as ASP.NET, VB, C#, and Silverlight under one control. You can also build your UI with HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript quicker with tools such as SharpShooter

At Perpetuum, we help you to build Windows 8 software faster. Our tools will ensure that your apps adhere to the guidelines published by Microsoft. So it will be accepted into the Windows 8 store faster and with fewer problems.

Choosing Computers For Your Office

April 23, 2013 by  
Filed under Computers

Choosing computers for a business environment isn’t easy and it’s easy to find yourself with inadequate machines. This should help you make the right decision.

It is the hardware inside a computer that makes it so valuable so when shopping for a new PC or laptop you shouldn’t be concerned with the way it looks but what’s inside. Nowadays computers are a huge part of everyday life, especially in the business world so it’s important for them to last which means that quality is of prime importance.

If you’re out shopping for computers for your business then it’s important to know what you’re looking for and the kind of machines that your employees and colleagues will benefit from. The kind of computers that you need will depend solely on what you use them for, if you only spend time on the computer to surf the internet for research and to write letters to clients then you’ll only require something that’s pretty basic but if you’re a media professional creating adverts and films then you’ll need a top of the range machine that has is capable of meeting your demands.

Deciding on your business needs will help you to work out exactly the type of machine that you need along with how much you’ll have to spend to get the computers that you require.

Once you know what you’ll be using the computers for and you’ve decided on a budget you’ll have to make the choice between a desktop computer and a laptop. A lot of people think that the two machines work in exactly the same way but this isn’t the case; laptops are generally more expensive and not as powerful however they are much more convenient. Desktop computers though are cheaper, generally faster and bigger so they definitely have their advantages. Laptops are a great choice if you and your employees spend a lot of time away from the office whether it’s working from home or at client meetings, however, if you can be sure that the majority of your time will be spent at your desk then a desktop is probably the way to go. A lot of companies who spend the majority of time in the office will equip their desks with desktop computers but also have a few laptops on standby for the occasional times when people have to work away from the office.

The hardware is the expensive part of your computer and it’s also the most important so it’s essential you know what you’re looking for. When you go out to buy your machines you’ll be bombarded with information about hard drives, memory, processors and monitors and a lot of people are put off by this and choose the first machine that they see. It’s important to take an in depth look into each of these if you’re going to be sure that you’ve chosen a set of computers that will last.

Karl Nicholson is a manager of a film making company that requires the highest quality computing equipment which is why they had their systems specially made by Trizo.

Touch Screen Technology Facilitates Growth Of Capacitive Sensors

April 2, 2013 by  
Filed under Computers

Have you ever thought how the touchscreen technology works in your mobile phone?

Consumers don’t think about the technology behind their touch screen phone, with most phones using some sort of capacitive technology. Because of this, capacitive sensors dominate the touchscreen market, as they’re cost effective and reliable.

The growth of capacitive sensors

Just a few years ago consumers were not as aware of the touch screen technology. It first came to the forefront with the introduction of Apple’s first iPhone in 2007. This major development has led to a proliferation of touch screen phones coming onto the market.

Capacitive sensors work by detecting where someone has touched the screen. This then reacts like pressing a button to select an application or contact on the phone. The one main downfall of this type of technology is that it can be adversely affected by changes in temperature, dirt or dust, stopping the position sensors from working correctly.

Mobile phones are still the biggest market for capacitive sensors, with the touch screen industry as a whole worth around $14 billion. It is estimated that within the next decade 100% of mobile phones will have touch screen capabilities, this will further increase the use of capacitive sensors. This could in turn help to drive down the costs for all end users. After mobile phones, tablet sales are growing, which also utilise position sensors. They’re currently running at sales of around 100 million units and this is expected to continue increasing in the next few years.

 

The Future of Touch Screen Technology

Within the next decade the consumer use of touch screens is expected to triple. Uses will extend into emerging markets of ebook readers, games consoles, sat navs, laptops and TVs. We are already seeing the first high end products available with this technology. However, as more companies start to develop these, the technology will obviously improve and the price to consumers will start to fall. It’ll then become available to the more mainstream consumer.

Capacitive sensors will still remain the leading form of technology in this area. As it can be produced in high volumes and at a relatively low cost, whilst remaining durable and sensitive to touch, it is appealing to electronics manufacturers. Working in consumer markets price is a driving factor in how popular a product is.

Whatever the future holds it will undoubtedly be dominated by touch screen technology. It has grown in sensitivity to a level that is accepted by general consumers and it remains an easy and effective means of accessing data quickly.

Michael Brown writes for technology websites and blogs. His particular knowledge includes mobile phones, laptops and tablets. Further information on capacitive sensors and associated products can be found at micro-epsilon.co.uk.

What Is A PCB And Why Should I Care?

March 31, 2013 by  
Filed under Computers

Printed circuit boards (PCBs) are at the heart of today’s electronic devices and our modern world is heavily dependent on them.

The earliest PCBs date from the beginning of the 20th century when foil conductors were applied to laminated insulating boards. Electrical pioneer Thomas Edison was experimenting with chemical methods of plating conductors onto paper as early as 1904. The modern PCB though didn’t really start to emerge until the 1930s, initially in radio sets and to make proximity fuses during World War II. Printed circuits didn’t start to become common in ordinary items until the 1950s. Originally all components had wires which necessitated holes in the PCB so that they could be soldered in place. From the 1980s there has been a move towards surface mounted components which make manufacture simpler but make it more likely that a faulty board will need to be replaced rather than repaired.

Design History

In the early days of PCBs the design process was done manually onto clear sheets usually several times the actual size. The design would then be photographically reduced and used to print what is known as a resist layer on a blank copper-clad board. This was a time consuming process, however and has been replaced by the use of CAD tools which allow circuits to be designed much more quickly and accurately. Using CAD for PCB design also makes it easier to make changes to accommodate updates to the equipment without the need for a complete redesign.

Manufacturing Techniques

PCBs are made using either an additive or subtractive technique. Subtractive manufacture involves a board coated with copper, the design is applied to this   usually via a silk screen printing process or photo engraving   to provide a resist layer. The board is then dipped in an acid like liquid which eats away the areas outside the circuit. Short production runs or prototypes may use a computer controlled milling machine to remove the unwanted areas of metal.

The additive method involves electroplating the circuit onto the board and is gaining in popularity thanks to it being more environmentally friendly. Boards are often double sided in which case there are plated holes called vias which allow connections between the circuit tracks on either side.

Printed circuits are an essential part of many of the things we take for granted, whether it’s a computer, a car, a TV or a more humble device like a toaster. Without them most of our electrical equipment would be more complex to produce and be more expensive to buy.

 

Ian Barker is a freelance technology journalist and wrote this piece on behalf of conceptcad.com

 

Why Choose SCSI?

March 28, 2013 by  
Filed under Software

An article discussing the advantages of small computer system interface (SCSI) over other competing technologies.

This articles looks at the advantages of small computer system interface (SCSI) over other competing technologies. It also looks at more recent versions of the SCSI system, like iSCSI.

What is SCSI?

SCSI is an acronym for small computer system interface and is used to describe a set of American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards for connecting and transferring data between computers and peripheral hardware such as disk drives and tape drives. The first SCSI standard was published in 1986, but extensions have been added to it ever since. SCSI is used by Apple Macintosh computers, personal computers and many UNIX systems.

Compatibility

SCSI I/O works independently of the system bus, so SCSI peripheral devices work with different types of computer. Indeed, all SCSI devices of the same type are similar in design, so there are rarely, if ever, any compatibility issues when it comes to replacing an old SCSI device with a new one. If you do need to replace a SCSI device, some dedicated websites offer a comprehensive range of adaptors, cables, disk drives, tape drives and anything else you need for your SCSI system.

SCSI Versus ATA and SATA

Perhaps the biggest difference between SCSI and other competing interfaces, such as Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA) and Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA), is that a processor is built onto each SCSI device. As a result, the performance of SCSI peripherals is completely independent of the specification of the computer to which they are connected and the central processing unit (CPU) of the computer remains free to perform other tasks.

SCSI Versus IDE

SCSI also offers certain advantages over another competing interface, integrated drive electronics (IDE). In systems where more than one disk drive is required, for example, additional SCSI drives can simply be daisy chained, one after another, to create a system that is both fast and scalable. In addition, operating systems that can run programs as multiple subcomponents, or threads, can take advantage of the better multitasking capabilities of the SCSI bus, compared with the IDE interface.

Conclusion

New interfaces, such as SATA /150 and SATA /300, may have become the latest industry standards, but there’s still a place for SCSI in the modern world. Indeed, extensions to SCSI, such as Internet SCSI (iSCSI) and serial attached SCSI (SAS), mean that it’s likely to be the interface of choice for high performance, industrial applications for some time yet.

Jason Walker holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science and sources SCSI hardware at scsishop.co.uk.

Why Do You Need a Network?

March 27, 2013 by  
Filed under Computers

Not so very long ago networks were the preserve of big businesses, now they’re available to anyone but what are the advantages?

A few years ago a local area network (LAN) meant having expensive cabling and a team of IT support experts to set it all up and keep it running, and be on hand in case of problems and to troubleshoot. Today it is a different story however, with every broadband deal giving you a free wireless router and other benefits so networks are widely available and inexpensive and are set up in many homes and small businesses.

Share and Enjoy

The simple benefit of a LAN is that it links all of your computers together. This means that they can all share your Internet connection so everyone can get online at the same time. It also means that your PCs can access each other’s files so that, for example, the music stored on one machine can be played on another. You can share peripherals too, the latest printers often have network capability so they can become part of the LAN in their own right. This means you can print at any time from any computer even if the PC next to the printer is switched off. You can share other devices like scanners and IP cameras too, the latter being ideal for security applications.

Keep it Central

Another big advantage of networks is that you can share storage centrally. Rather than having your important files kept on one PC you can use network attached storage (NAS) to hold them in one place. This has several advantages, because the NAS is attached to the router all computers on the network can access it at any time and you won’t be denied access to a vital file just because one machine is switched off. Network storage is also good for keeping things safe and secure as all your machines can use it as a central backup location and you can use technologies like RAID to ensure the information is safe even if a disk fails.

Sounds Expensive

It really isn’t, most ISPs will supply a router – the hub of the network – for free and modern PCs usually have network cards built in so you may well have most of what you need already. It’s easy to set up too, but if you do need support there are a range of companies who’ll be on hand to help. They have a wide range of experience in the field of networking and can troubleshoot system problems as well as install new networks.

 

Freelance journalist Ian Barker has almost 30 years experience in IT. He has used www.nucleusnetworks.co.uk on a number of occasions.

 

How Data Recovery Systems Protect Businesses From Natural Disasters

March 13, 2013 by  
Filed under Software

If a natural disaster were to strike your region, how would your business fare? Many businesses across the east coast learned the hard way as Hurricane Sandy left entire regions without power and caused catastrophic damage with economic losses in the billions of dollars.

Natural disasters serve as reminders that taking precautionary steps to protect assets is crucial, particularly for businesses that work with sensitive data. Even though numerous offices were destroyed, those who employed cloud computing services never lost any data.

An overview of cloud technology

Cloud technology has been in use for well over a decade but many companies are now beginning to use it for key parts of their IT infrastructure. One estimate projects growth of the global computing market to grow from $35 billion in 2011 to over $150 billion in 2020.

If you have ever used services such as Gmail or Dropbox, then you may be surprised to know that these are based off cloud technology. Instead of data being stored on local servers, they are actually stored on a network of servers that can be accessed from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.

Most businesses aren’t prepared to deal with disasters when they strike. One of the biggest appeals for cloud computing technology is that it protects against data loss in the event of unpredictable events, such as a natural disaster or a power outage.

Reduced risk of data loss

By spreading data across a remote network, you drastically reduce any risks of losing data. This is why keeping data stored on local servers is risky, particularly for those businesses that offer subscription based services to users who constantly require a connection to access them.

While migrating to cloud computing services generally offers increased cost savings and better flexibility, one of the most underrated uses for the cloud is disaster recovery management. Cloud computing providers are increasingly offering services that offer automatic backup of all data.

In the event that the unthinkable happens, there are recovery steps put in place to efficiently restore this data so that downtime and economic losses are kept to a minimum. Cloud computing becomes a much more cost effective option as opposed to having to restore everything manually with backup tapes.

Technology is far from perfect as possible downtime in cloud computing servers could still cause rare cases of data loss. Those planning on making the switch should be fully aware of the steps taken in the event that data needs to be recovered and what preventative measures should be put in place.

Attached Images:

Heather B has been helping businesses for years. She always likes to help out and share ideas with business owners.

How Parental Computer Monitoring Can Help You

March 11, 2013 by  
Filed under Software

How Does It Work?

Parental computer monitoring is a software programme that is uploaded into your child’s computer that will allow you to monitor who they are communicating with and what they are watching online. It is totally undetectable to the child user and once the software is uploaded it is not necessary for you to go onto their computer again, not even to deactivate it. The software sits on the operating system and records everything that comes in and goes out. It will then process the information and put it into a readable report that will be emailed to you to an email of your choice on a daily basis. The email can be picked up from any PC that you have access to, so you don’t have to read the report at home or at work.

What Information Will I Get?

The information is basically everything your child has used the computer for that day. It will give you the times the computer was accessed so you can see if they are using it and what they are using it for when they should be asleep or doing their homework. It will show you what it has been used for, such as, playing games and surfing the internet. It will give you the websites visited and what times they were visited and it will tell you what games were played and for how long. You will also be able to monitor who your child is communicating with as it will give you all the SMS and email messages, including content, in and out going. All social network site chats will be available enabling you to see exactly what content is being talked about and if it is appropriate. Key strokes typed will show exactly what has been typed on the keyboard so it will also give you an idea of what is going on with your child.

Real Life Case Study

A child had been given a laptop for Xmas and was quite a whiz already. The parents where quite surprised at how quickly the girl was getting to grips with the computer. They were worried that she might be looking at inappropriate websites and possibly being sent rouge emails. The situation was worrying her parents and although they had spoken to the child’s school they didn’t feel as if the school was taking it as seriously as themselves. They decided to take things further and after seeing an online advert for a private detective they called him. He was far more concerned about the situation and agreed that they needed to do something about it. He told them all about the parental computer monitoring and advised them how they could upload the software. He talked them through the software and helped them to install it onto the girl’s computer. He then assisted them with making a new email address and showed them how to read the report. Once everything was in place the parents were happy their child was safe.

Charlie Hodgson is a private detective who working to carry out investigations and surveillance operations. With children being more into technology than ever, Charlie is keen to promote safety online with the help of parental computer monitoring. For more information about this and other private detective articles please visit http://www.privatedetective-derby.co.uk

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