Tuesday, July 2, 2013
If you run a small business, or work from home, your PC is essential to your success. So having a PC that is well maintained and operates at maximum efficiency is very important. While it’s crucial to have solid anti-virus protection and spyware/malware protection programs installed on your PC, it’s also highly beneficial to have a program that can monitor and diagnose computer issues.
Monday, June 17, 2013
The family PC undergoes a lot of use and stresses. Parents and children often use their PC for work and school, surfing the Internet, gaming, watching videos and movies, etc. Yet sustained and continual use of a PC by multiple users can often tax a computer to the point where it can slow down and even fail long before its lifespan is supposed to end.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Keeping your PC running at its best is no easy task. Yet new diagnostic software products can help users identify and help users fix issues that may slow or hinder a PC.
Friday, June 7, 2013
If you like to delve deep into the inner workings of your PC and maximize its performance, then you can benefit from having a PC Doctor on hand.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
What's happening in tech today? Trust Dr. Blip to find out!
Mac Rumors - While rumors have focused on iPod Nano and iPod Touch updates as early as September 9th, the fate of the MacBook Pros and other updates have been less clear.
Engadget - It's been at least an hour since Sony has released a new PlayStation 3 SKU, so our friends at Joystiq took the time to take a breath. In that moment, they came up with a handy -- and somewhat startling -- chart that explains which PS3 model has what, including Cell chip size (the more efficient and quieter 65nm vs the older 90nm), USB port count, pack-in freebies, and which ones have PS2 backwards compatibility.
Friday, July 11, 2008
If you haven't read about the newest iPhone 3G (meaning you live in a remote location without access to a phone, television, or computer with internet), it launched this morning at 8:00 AM, in the U.S. I've been very excited about this launch for quite some time, following the blogosphere about every leak, real or not, in regards to this highly anticipated and probably overblown release. I mean, it is one of the most beautifully designed devices I've ever seen and I'm an iPhone 2G lover, err...owner, and severely addicted to technology in general.
At first, I was gung-ho about purchasing this new little jewel and passing off my iPhone 2G to my wife (she was equally excited about this). But, now I'm not so sure. Why you ask?
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Upon arriving to work this morning, sitting in my Inbox was the following email from a one Dennis R. Mortensen, COO at IndexTools:
I hope this email finds you well.
It gives me great pleasure to inform you that IndexTools has positively agreed to be acquired by Yahoo! today. We firmly believe that our technology platform combined with Yahoo!’s extensive offering of on-line marketing services will provide our partners and clients with an unsurpassed marketing tool set.
So how does this affect you?
We would ask you to give us the opportunity to present this in more detail on Tuesday 15th April 2008. In the meantime, it is very much business as usual! Please be assured that, for the time being, our services will continue as normal and there will be no disruptions to your account.
We appreciate that you’ll have many questions and we look forward to providing you with answers to these early next week.
Until then, have a good week and look forward to speaking to you soon.
Dennis R. Mortensen, COO at IndexTools
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
What is SMF? According to simplemachines.org, Simple Machines Forum, or SMF, is a free, professional-grade software package that allows you to set up your own online community within minutes -- aka, it's forum software.
SMF is written in the popular language PHP (Andy may disagree) and uses a MySQL database.
This is an extremely powerful and easy-to-use forum, probably one of the more robust systems I've come across. Considering the price -- FREE -- you can't beat it.
Here's a list of some general features:
- Advanced permission and user management
- Supports multiple languages at once
- Open and well-documented source code
- Tracking of new and old unread topics, not just from your last visit
- Designed for optimal performance and scalability
- Multi-media output (XHTML, XML, RSS, WAP)
- Multi-language support from a large community
- Package manager that automatically installs or uninstalls mods (also known as hacks) as well as product updates
For an exhaustive list of features, visit the SMF features list here.
The minimum system requirements are as follows (most hosts will easily meet these requirements. If not, reconsider who you're hosting with) :
- Any webserver that properly supports PHP, such as Apache or Internet Information Services (IIS).
- PHP 4.1.0 or higher. The following directives are required to be set correctly in php.ini:
- MySQL 3.23.4 or higher
- At least 512 kilobytes of storage space in the database, although more is highly recommended
- About two and a half megabytes of storage space on the web server, although more is recommended
Our forum, located here, currently has over 100 members, and more than 300 posts and continues to run as smoothly as the day we launched. Granted, I'll come back to you when we get into the tens of thousands, as that will be the true test of scalability. The update/package manager works like a charm and I'm surprised at how compatible my heavily modified theme has been with each update. An update has yet to break my theme. knock on wood The system notifies you when an update is available for SMF itself and any mods that you might have installed. Click the link for the update, and via FTP, SMF automagically downloads the update. Then visit the Package Manager, click the "Apply Mod" link and you're set.
Free themes are available to customize the look and feel of the forum and install with ease. Modifying a theme is also a breeze if you have any working knowledge of HTML and CSS. Knowledge of PHP is also a great benefit, but not required.
The Simple Machines website offers a ton of mods to make the forum fit your needs. They offer mods for New Features, Feature Enhancements, Themes, Buttons and Avatars, Administrative Functions, BBC, Attachments, Permissions, Postings, and Profiles. They one area that SMF currently seems to lack is the ability to monitor posts easily. As an admin you can subscribe to a board, but that will only notify you of "new" posts, not comments to existing posts. Apparently this is an issue that is to be addressed in the 2.0 version. The first beta release of 2.0 was delivered last August. According to the forums over at Simple Machines, the following is a summary of some of the new features:
- Database abstraction - with support for PostgreSQL and SQLite planned alongside that of MySQL
- Automatic installation of packages into themes other than just the default
- Email templates to simplify customization of forum emails
- Moderation center including post, topic and attachment moderation - to allow approving of user content before it is made public *WOOHOO*
- User warning system
- Additional group functionally including group moderators and requestable/free assignable groups
- WYSIWYG editor to provide an intuitive user interface to those users not familiar with BBC
- Permission improvements such as group inheritance and permission profiles to further reduce the complexity of the permissions system
- File based caching for a performance increase on all forums regardless of whether an accelerator is installed
- Mail queuing system to stagger the sending of emails to improve performance on large forums
- Advanced signature settings to allow the administrator of a forum to more tightly control the contents of users signatures
- Personal messaging improvements including ability to automatically sort incoming messages and a variety of display options
- Improved upgrade script with better timeout protection and simpler user interface
- Custom profile fields to enable administrators to add additional member fields from the administration center
- User configurable posts and topics per page; an improved calendar interface
- Option to allow guests to vote in polls
Apparently, version 2.0 has been in the works for quite some time. As you can tell, the team is very committed to the success of this open source project and their goal is to provide the next generation of forum software. They are well on their way.
Our forum is currently running on a shared host -- iPower. I did need the assistance of the host to get the application installed as it's not one of the standard apps they natively support. And, as you may well know, shared hosts typically grant very little access to the system. They are apparently upgrading to a new server platform, which will hopefully include Fantastico, giving the user a little more freedom to install software. After the system was installed we did run into an issue where, on certain systems/networks, accessing the forum would result in the index.php not being recognized as a web page, but rather a file -- a download dialog would be presented instead of the file being rendered in the browser window. In the end it was a server configuration error of "unknown" somewhere in the PHP installation. Sorry I couldn't pry more information out of the lovely techs at iPower. However, other individuals experienced this issue and it's fairly well documented throughout the forums over at simplemachines.org.
Since the forum launched, we have had very few cases of users experiencing usability problems with the forum -- partly due to the wonderful theme, maybe? :) It works like any other forum available on the market. This is my first undertaking in administering a forum, and SMF has made life easy for me. As new requirements arise, the mods have been more than helpful in addressing those new requirements. The admin section of the forum provides an abundance of features to organize, monitor, and optimize your forum.
One other bit of functionality worth noting is that of the integration of SMF into various CMS systems. They've developed four bridges to help integrate SMF into e107 CMS, Mambo, Xoops, and iGamingCMS. To further entice you to make the switch from your current CMS/forum software, they've answered the question, "What about my current content?" They've also been nice enough to develop converters, to convert your other forum software into SMF. They offer 35+ different converters.
If you're looking for an easy-to-use, powerful forum application, consider SMF.
It's Simple, Effective, Powerful, and Free!
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
It's been six months since my purchase of a 17" Toshiba Satellite P100. Before purchasing this laptop I spent many months researching the different manufacturers and quizzing the guys in our QA lab. They get to see lots of hardware, as well as complete systems, and are a great resource for info when purchasing a new system and/or hardware. I looked at all the major players (in no particular order); Lenovo, Dell, Gateway, HP, IBM, Sony, and Compaq. I even looked at a few of the smaller manufacturers like Acer and Alienware.
Monday, September 24, 2007
This is the second part of a series analyzing the leading candidates' use of technology in their bid for the White House in 2008. In the first part of this series we examined Rudy Giuliani. This second part will focus on Hillary Clinton.
The 2008 Candidates - in order of recent rankings within each party by RealClearPolitics (data collected on September 21, 2007)
- Rudy Giuliani - 28.2%
- Fred Thompson - 22.9%
- John McCain - 15.2%
- Mitt Romney - 9.1%
- Hillary Clinton - 41.8%
- Barack Obama - 23.0%
- John Edwards - 141.3%
- Al Gore - < 3%
Hillary Clinton - Democrat
Hillary Clinton's website is not so different from that of other presidential candidate websites that I've seen, particularly when considering color scheme and basic layout. They all naturally trend towards patriotic red/white/blue color schemes. The layout is eerily similar to Rudy Giuliani's website; navigation links in boxes across the top, a large YouTube style video on the left side of the page, and the "action" items are listed down the right side. My initial impression to the site was that it was a bit cartoony using older XP-style icons throughout. It didn't have the same "presidential" feel to it as I got when viewing the Giuliani site.
I was pleasantly surprised when I was introduced with two features that I could not find on the Giuliani site, a blog and cell phone updates! Great, a candidate using the available technology and something us younger generations can relate with. But -- yes there's alway a but -- I find myself once again disappointed. Upon visiting the blog I found that it's not Hillary's blog, but a blog of multiple, pre-approved authors, much like the blog you're reading now. Not exactly the voice of Hillary. Nevertheless, I'm still excited about the use of the cell phone updates form located directly on the home page. Enter your cell number, hit Join, and you're off and running receiving those breaking campaign moments right on your cell phone. I'm not sure how many people actually use this, or if I would use a feature like this for the candidate that I support (to remain unknown at this time, sorry no breaking news here :) ), but it's a cool feature nonetheless.
There are a few other observations to be made. First, the site is informative, more than that of the Giuliani counterpart. Second, there is no use of social bookmarking links other than on the blog page and more shockingly, no Live Feed is available.
Another advantage for Hillary is that she has an accessible MySpace page. Her MySpace page's design is nothing fancy, but has been modified from the default MySpace look which is a huge plus when compared to Giuliani's MySpace page. Located on the page are two cut and paste HTML snippets for adding Hillary banners on your site.
I also cannot help but notice the use of the term "Hillraiser" on the Hillary campaign website. The first thing that comes to mind are the movies directed by Clive Barker, "Hellraiser". It is intended to be a program that allows users to sign up and raise money on behalf of Hillary. This system will track how much money is raised by your efforts and talks about giving "credit" for those efforts. This is a very novel idea and really personalizes the individual effort. Hillraising is a great example of melding technology with grass-roots efforts and could prove to be an effective fundraising mechanism, assuming we can all remove the images of Pinhead himself from our mind. ;)
- A blog
- Cell phone updates
- Accessible, custom MySpace page
- HTML snippets for support banners
- Facebook site
- YouTube site
- Eons site
- Hillraiser program
- Site has cartoony feel
- The blog (it's not personal)
- Lack of social bookmarking links
- No live feed
- Hillraiser (negative connotations are heavy)
- Lack of participation in other blogs
- No AJAX
(Page 1 of 2, totaling 18 entries) » next page