Friday, July 12, 2013

Is Your Hard Drive Crash Proof?

Its just a matter of time before you experience a hard drive problem. Are you prepared to loose your data? If your hard drive crashed right now do you have an action plan to follow?

Most people only think of backing up their data after they experience a problem. Don't set yourself up for a data loss disaster.

Your data integrity action plan should consist of the following:

1) How often you will back up your data

2) What data you will back up

3) What back up procedure you will use

How often you back up your data can only be determined by how important you feel it is. Answer this question "If my hard drive crashed right now, I would be alright if I had the data from at least (time) ago".

Of course you would want everything but if you could have the data from 1 month, or 6 months ago would that be sufficient? Whatever time is sufficient mark it on your calendar both a hard copy and set up a meeting on your PC to remind you.

You change your smoke detector batteries when you turn your clock back and when you turn it ahead right? Well back up your data then too.

If you don't change your clocks then pick some holidays or special dates that happen close to the timeframe you want to back up your data so you won't forget.

What data you back up depends on how you use your PC. Some of the key directories, if you are using Windows, are the My Documents, Favorites and Desktop directories.

Remember if you are using multiple profiles on your PC then the three directories above can be different for each profile and each one would need to be backed up.

You will also want to include your email data. Don't forget to write down the email accounts you have. You should also write down any username and passwords so they are not lost. You should look at every directory to see if it has information that you would need.

Make a list of all the software programs you are using. If you have the physical CDs put them all together in a safe location.

Don't forget the CDs for your peripherals like your scanner, digital camera, PDA etc… Collecting these CDs may remind you of additional data that you need to back up.

If you are running software that you installed from downloaded files, burn them to a CD-R and add it to your collection. If you use a CD-R or DVD-R you can update it as you download and install new applications.

What procedure you use to back up your data can be determined by the amount of data you want to back up. Your data might fit onto a CD or DVD in which case you just need to burn it and you're done.

If it spans multiple DVDs then you might want to consider getting a second hard drive to copy your data onto. If you are not comfortable with adding a second internal hard drive or you are using a laptop then you can purchase an external hard drive to back up your data.

The information you have on your hard drive could disappear in a flash. If you don't want to spend up to $3,000 to have a data recovery company retrieve what information they can from your hard drive, then take a few minutes right now and create your back up action plan.

If you ever have a data emergency your action plan will be your insurance policy. If you adhere to it, your valuable data will adhere to you!

How Does VOIP Work

VoIP was originally developed to provide voice communication between computer users in different locations. Although it still has this application, it has been further developed into a telephone network in its own right. People using VoIP can call any telephone anywhere in the world and can receive calls on telephone sets connected to the Internet or Local Area Network (LAN).


It all started back in 1995 when Israeli computer enthusiasts made the first computer to computer voice connection. In the same year this technology was developed into a software package called Internet Phone Software. All that was needed to talk to another computer user was a modem, sound card, speakers, and a microphone.

The software digitized and compressed the audio signal before sending it over the Internet in data packets. These voice connections could only occur between computers which had the software installed. The sound quality was very poor -- nowhere near the quality of standard telephone connections.

The technology continued to be developed and by 1998 gateways had been established to allow PC-to-phone connections. Later that same year phone-to-phone connections that used the Internet for voice transmission were set in place. These phone-to-phone connections still required a computer to initiate the call, but once the connection was established, the callers could use a regular phone set.

VoIP Today

There are currently many VoIP services available for residential and commercial use. Some of these still rely on PC-to-PC connections but may offer other services such as PC-to-phone and phone-to-phone.

Internet phones are available that plug into the sound card or USB port of a computer. These phones may have number pads and ringers that allow you to use them the same as traditional telephones. The computer can be bypassed completely by connecting a phone directly to a broadband modem (either DSL or cable).

How Does It Work?

The first step in using VoIP is converting your voice into digital data. This is done by 'sampling' your voice -- dividing the analog sound signal into discrete steps that can be assigned a number value. Once your voice is digitized, the data can be compressed.

This compressed digital data is split up into 'packets' of about 1500 bytes that can be transferred over the Internet. As well as the voice data, the packets contain information about their origin, their destination, and a timestamp that allows them to be reconstructed in the correct order. Once they arrive at their destination, they are reassembled and converted from digital back into analog so that the receiving party can hear your voice.

In order for voice data to be transmitted without noticeable delays, a broadband Internet connection is necessary. Many households and businesses are already using broadband (either DSL or cable) so adding VoIP is relatively simple.

Why You should Adopt Data Visualization

1. Bar Charts

There is more to bar charts than meets the eye with data visualization. Bar charts is just one example of many visual tools which can be used to convey information in the most effective way. Bar charts, bar graphs, pie charts, or other charts and graphs are one of the most common methods of displaying information of various kinds. Everyone from children to adults use them in school, study, and business. Data visualization works with bar charts to create informational displays to reach virtually any kind of audience.

2. Interactive Map

In addition to bar charts, other informational tools become interactive with data visualization. An interactive map allows information to be displayed on various levels by clicking on the part of the map about which one may want more information. This is called “drilling down.” The interactive map is a method of data visualization used by many business, government, and community programs. Many airlines proved an interactive map of the plane interior so that travelers can choose their own seating. Many governments or communities create interactive maps of their countries, states, and cities. To learn more about a specific area, all on has to do is click on it. Information interacts with a user’s needs.

3. Reporting Tool

This article has already covered examples of how data visualization conveys information to various types of users for travel or education, but data visualization can also be used as a reporting tool. Imagine making a presentation for school or business come alive with an interactive map or bar charts. Information is presented in a helpful and meaningful way, often simplifying complex levels of information to become digestible to those to whom the presentation is given.

4. Convert HTML to PDF

A presentation is one thing, a handout or file copy is another. By far, one of the biggest challenges with data visualization in the past has been printing HTML information without getting it cut off on one of the margins. In the past HTML format did not automatically format itself for computer printout. Data visualization software can create PDF images of HTML displays for others to follow during the presentation or to file after.

5. Data Mapping

Research, geographical data, and other information can be effectively conveyed using data mapping. Data visualization provides a method for mapping data in a simple display, assisting the presenter in his or her ability to make important data understandable.

6. Business Mapping

Sometimes data mapping involves visual diagrams of business departments. Data visualization helps with business mapping. One example of business mapping is the creation of a department map for the shipping department of a business. Real-time information is available for inventory management and location, including inbound and outbound shipping information. Everything going on in the warehouse is visualized on a computer screen.

7. Executive Dashboard

Though information can be compiled into state of the art data visualization, the information still needs to be managed somehow. Data visualization would be incomplete without an executive dashboard with which executives can customize and manage all data visualization displays and reports.

8. Flash Graphs

Using flash technology, information can also be displayed in a state of the art format. Dashboards and data visualization displays are unencumbered by too much information all smattered on the charts and graphs. Flash chart, flash graphs, and flash maps display only what one needs when one needs it by responding to a mouse or cursor moving over it. As the mouse finds its target, information and options are immediately displayed. Web site are presented in a tidy and manageable way.

9..Net Technology

.Net technology, including .net graphs, .net charts, and .net maps is internet technology interfacing other pages on the internet with anchored text on a report or other data visualization display. In addition to .net, perl graphs, perl charts, and perl maps, as well as coldfusion charts, coldfusion graphs, and coldfusion maps, are useful tools employed as part of data visualization. These technologies can also be used in .net PDF attachments.

10. 508 Compliance

Data visualization has also made itself accessible to those with disabilities complying with section 508 which requires government and public information to be viewable by those with disabilities. Data visualization is still capable of catering to the needs of its users.

Business, communities, and educational programs throughout the country are adopting data visualization to serve the need of the Information Age. Information is now available at a new level of simplicity, even at the most detailed and complex levels.

How to Buy a New Computer

Looking to purchase a new computer? Overwhelmed by all of the options available to you? Stressed by the high cost of computers today?

For most people, purchaseing a new computer does not have to be as stressful as purchaseing a new car. Nor does it have to be as expensive. If you’re like most people, and you have a limited budget for purchaseing a computer, then you need to try to get as much computer for your money as possible. Here are 3 simple ways anyone can save money when purchaseing a new computer:

1) Shop around for best deal.

Sounds pretty obvious. But many people don’t realize they don’t need the fastest, most expensive computer with the most “extras”. In fact, if you are already using an older computer, even the least expensive new computer will be a big upgrade. If you don’t know a lot about computers, you can learn a lot by shopping around. Ask lots of questions, compare prices, compare features, then find the best price. Shop at your local electronics store, and look for the best deals online. You’ll be surprised at how much money you can save by shopping around!

2) Install your own “extras”

Many computers you will find in a store have a lot of extra software already installed. While this is convenient, it is not always the best way for you to save money. Also, while many of these extras sound good, you don’t always need them. You can often find better deals by shopping around separately for your own software extras (such as a word processor, anti-virus, popup blocker, spyware removal, games, etc). And some of these you can get for free. So before you purchase the “fully loaded” computer, ask yourself if you really need all the extras, then shop around to see if you can purchase a scaled down computer - and get the extras yourself for much less or Free!

3) Don’t purchase extended warranty

If you are not a computer “techie”, the extended warranties offered by the computer retailers often sound like a good idea. After all, who wants to be bothered paying for service on a computer after you purchase it. But keep in mind that most computers come with a warranty, and most computer problems will either happen at the beginning (when you still have the warranty in effect) or much later (when it might be cheaper to purchase a new computer). Technology changes very quickly these days. So consider whether or not it’s worth the inflated price of the extended warranty. And, if you really feel you need the extended warranty, then ask to purchase it at a lower price. Not all retailers will negotiate on the warranty, but some will. And whether you purchase the extended warranty or not, make sure you back up all your files periodically, just in case!

If you have an unlimited budget, consider yourself lucky. And if you do business on the computer, make sure you get what you need, while trying to keep the price down. At any price, purchasing something that does not fit your needs is not a good deal.

Hope you find these tips helpful, and happy computer shopping!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

How to tap the riches that Cyber Space Promises

Everyone from industrial giants to corner flower shops currently wants to stake a profitable claim in cyberspace.

The lure of low startup costs compared to brick-and-mortar operations and the promise of high rewards draws an ever-swelling crowd of merchants to the online marketplace.

Yet despite the optimism statistics tell us that 80% of these "e" businesses will fail within their first 12 months of operation.

People from all over the country ask me what it takes to succeed in the e-commerce world once they've completed the basic steps for getting online.

The following three keys virtually *guarantee success* for any online enterprise.

The First Key:

A Quality product or service with highly evident and readily understood benefits for consumers.

If your product or service does not represent the highest quality and value possible, and if consumers don't understand exactly why they should purchase from you, the speed of the Internet will just expose your shortcomings to the marketplace that much quicker.

In the offline world a product's benefits, not the features, cause consumers to make purchaseing decisions.

A man doesn't purchase a car with a 5 liter engine because of the horsepower, he purchases it for the feeling of supremacy and control he thinks it will give him.

Kids don't want a 3000mHz computer with a Nvidia or AMD card for computing power in doing homework, they want to play the latest games. The Internet magnifies this "what's in it for me" benefits- driven evaluation by consumers.

Products or services presented with readily understood, self-serving benefits for consumers sell best online (and off).

The Second Key:

An excellent website that loads fast, provides pertinent information to targeted consumers, and allows them to make online purchases quickly and securely.

Your website should: · Load fast by making conservative use of graphics. (Go to for an excellent example.)

· Provide exactly the information your potential customers want and need.

· Make it extremely easy for surfers to navigate your site and find exactly what they want by paying attention to navigation menu layout.

The Third Key:

Consistent, targeted website traffic by consumers capable of purchasing your product or service.

Imagine purchaseing a 50 foot billboard and, instead of putting it out by the highway, you hid it in your basement. Nobody would see it!

The same thing happens if you don't actively and continuously promote your website to attract visitors.

With its incredible speed and communications power, the Internet acts as a magnifying glass for any organization's strengths and weaknesses. E-commerce, e-mail, and a website won't do the job of marketing, selling, and customer service for any company.

They will, however, help every organization perform all of those business functions better, faster, and less expensively with the real and tangible result of "striking it rich" in cyberspace!