Monday, June 30, 2008

How to Stop Spam in your Email

by: John Chan

Spammers commonly find email recipients by using a spambot by searching for addresses on websites, forums, or Usenet groups, for example. Another way is to use a name generating type of software which produces likely common words, names, or numerical combinations of email addresses for the sole purpose of sending spam. The more popular an ISP, the more spam is mailed to its members.

If you currently receive unsolicited email on your desktop, you can get it filtered out through settings at your Internet Service Provider’s gateway, the network email server or email gateway, or through your own antispam software or filter on your computer. You have the option of purchasing a wide variety of spam blocking or filtering software---or you can download freeware or shareware as your solution to the spam problem. The problem is that with some of these software options the quality can be quite low and the filtering not really effective. You will find that a combination of strategies, such as using a separate email address, adding some recommended antispam software by experts to your computer, for example, will go a long way toward reducing levels of spam in your mailbox.

For example, the use of content based filtering based on the header of the email is somewhat helpful, but spammers are now changing spelling or some phrases in order to escape the phrase detecting spam filters. Content filtering can be put into action by analyzing the spamming URLs in the body of the email. The URL cannot be concealed as it must have a domain name. The list of these links and reporting them to a list of spamming websites is a good way to stop the much of the spam.

Sometimes many email users use a disposable email address, which is a temporary address that forward mail to your real account. A few services do offer disposable address forwarding. Addresses can be eliminated, or have an expiration date after a certain time period, or can expire after a certain number of messages are forwarded to the address. Or you can use that address to receive email and that you can close or abandon the email address whenever you want.

Another tip is to steer clear of responding to spam, even by responding negatively or complaining about the spamming email. By responding, you are informing the spammer that you have a valid email address. This is probably one of the worst things you can do as it could lead to even more spam as a result. So the last tip is don’t ever respond to spamming emails.

Cisco CCNA Exam Tutorial: Password Recovery Procedures

by: Chris Bryant, CCIE #12933

It might happen on your CCNA exam, it might happen on your production network - but sooner or later, you're going to have to perform password recovery on a Cisco router or switch. This involves manipulating the router's configuration register, and that is enough to make some CCNA candidates and network administrators really nervous!

It's true that setting the configuration register to the wrong value can damage the router, but if you do the proper research before starting the password recovery process, you'll be fine.

Despite what some books say, there is no "one size fits all" approach to Cisco password recovery. What works on a 2500 router may not work on other routers and switches. There is a great master Cisco document out on the Web that you should bookmark today. Just put "cisco password recovery" in your favorite search engine and you should find it quickly.

The following procedure describes the process in recovering from a lost password on a Cisco 2500 router. As always, don't practice this at home. It is a good idea to get some practice with this technique in your CCNA / CCNP home lab, though!

The password recovery method examined here is for 2500 routers.

An engineer who finds themselves locked out of a router can view and change the password by changing the configuration register.

The router must first be rebooted and a “break” performed within the first 60 seconds of the boot process. This break sequence can also vary depending on what program is used to access the router, but is the usual key combination.

The router will now be in ROM Monitor mode. From the rom monitor prompt, change the default configuration register of 0x2102 to 0x2142 with the o/r 0x2142 command. Reload the router with the letter i. (As you can see, ROM Monitor mode is a lot different than working with the IOS!)

This particular config register setting will cause the router to ignore the contents of NVRAM. Your startup configuration is still there, but it will be ignored on reload.

When the router reloads, you’ll be prompted to enter Setup mode. Answer “N”, and type enable at the router> prompt.

Be careful here. Type configure memory or copy start run. Do NOT type write memory or copy run start!

Enter the command show running-config. You’ll see the passwords in either their encrypted or unencrypted format.

Type config t, then use the appropriate command to set a new enable secret or enable password.

Don’t forget to change the configuration register setting back to the original value! The command config-register 0x2102 will do the job. Save this change with write memory or copy run start, and then run reload one more time to restart the router.

This process sounds hard, but it's really not. You just have to be careful, particularly when you're copying the startup config over the running config. You don't want to get that backwards! So take your time, check the online Cisco documentation before starting, get some practice with this procedure with lab equipment, and you'll be ready for success on the CCNA exam and in your production network!

Laptop Batteries and Laptop Battery Care

by: Angela Oliver

Laptop Batteries are essential for keeping a laptop running properly. In many cases, businesses, whether personal or corporate, depend on laptops for business dealings day to day. There are a number of ways to properly care and maintain a laptops main power source, the battery. Battery construction of laptop batteries is very different from other traditional electronic device batteries. A brief overview of the construction of laptop batteries will help provide insight into factors that affect the life and care of laptop batteries.

Laptop batteries are constructed with a number of crucial components to regulate charge and power supply to the laptop. A thermistor measures the charge of the battery and regulates how much charge the laptop sends to the battery. When the battery is fully charged, the thermistor tells the laptop to stop charging. Safety fuses and breakers in the laptop battery also help prevent overcharging and aid in overall functionality of the laptop battery. So there is an essential communication that must occur between the components of the laptop battery and the laptop itself to ensure proper function of both the computer and the power supply.

Laptop batteries are becoming more advanced that other types of batteries. In the past they were constructed of NiCd or NiMH which provided less power and did not recharge well. Lithium polymer batteries are the newest revelation in battery technology and they are leaps and bounds beyond old metal batteries. They provide the right amount of power and charge in a fraction of the time of metal batteries. The advantages of lithium batteries make new laptop batteries more practical. Lithium batteries therefore help improve the life of laptop batteries and also make them a more valuable battery for the money.

There are a number of precautions to take to ensure safe and practical function of the laptop battery. Some laptop batteries can become overheated from charging which can create a fire hazard. It is important to place the laptop battery in a location that is free of flammable objects such as paper or furnishings. In general, it is good to avoid extreme temperatures for proper optimal function of a laptop battery. Battery life of a laptop battery depends greatly on how the laptop is used. A laptop battery will not last very long without being charged. A useful method to extend battery life is to close as many unnecessary programs as possible. By closing programs that will not be needed will save useful battery life.

These are just a few pieces of information about laptop batteries that will help the user understand how to care for laptop batteries and how to manage laptop battery life. There is much more information about laptop batteries, including battery construction, battery charging and much more.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

How To Choose Voice Recognition Software?

by: Gray Rollins

Voice recognition software allows the user to use their voice as an input device so they can dictate text directly into the computer as well as give the computer commands such as open, save or close. Current software has come a long way from the first voice recognition software that was available.

The older software used discrete speech which meant distinct pauses had to occur between words. Current software uses continuous speech voice recognition and is capable of recognizing speech up to 160 wpm. It uses what is called a neutral net to learn to recognize voices. Accuracy has improved a great deal in the past few years.

When shopping for voice recognition software be sure to have the answers to these questions:

1. What operating system is the software compatible with?
2. What amount of memory is required?
3. What speed of processor is required?
4. What type of learning curve does the software have?
5. Will it work with existing word processing software?
6. Does it come with a microphone?
7. How fast is it?
8. Will you need a USB microphone?
9. Is it macro capable?

There is quite a variety of Voice Recognition Software packages currently on the market. Here are just a few to check out.

1. Conversa Messenger – A desktop messaging system for small businesses that allows you to access your voicemail, e-mail, and faxes by voice. It’s easy to use and has continuous speech recognition.

2. Dragon Naturally Speaking Essentials – For ages 9 and up; it provides an introduction to continuous speech recognition with a vocabulary of more than 250,000 terms and 160,000 active words.

3. Dragon Naturally Speaking Professional – Allows you to dictate up to 160 words per minute, launch applications, complete forms, and do other complex tasks. Dragon also has specialty programs such as Medical Suite and Legal Suite.

4. Eloquently Started – Designed for physicians for producing medical records. It comes complete with a sophisticated database and is designed for producing detailed medical reports quickly.

5. Realize Voice – Uses the Whisper speech recognition engine that requires no training, although you can train it to improve its vocabulary. It can open and close windows and carry out basic task functions.

6. Interactive Voice Assistant IVA – This assistant will not only let you talk to it, it will talk to you; and you can tell your assistant what to do in English. It is capable of dictating email, sending, replying, searching the Internet and carrying out other basic computer tasks.

7. Micro Intro Voice II – A complete voice input and output system with an accuracy rate of more than 98%. This is a powerful piece of software and it’s available for large or small networks.

8. ViaVoice Millennium Pro – It uses continuous speech and is capable of desktop navigation; inputting, editing, and formatting text; proofreading; and direct dictation. There are also legal and medical dictionaries available.

These are eight of the voice recognition software choices, but there are many other excellent programs. Do a quick search online and you’ll have lots to choose from. Do your research and ensure the voice recognition software you choose will meet your needs.

5 Tips For New Internet Surfers

by: Franck Silvestre

When you are new to the web, trying to start a new business to make a living online, you need advices to make your surffing life easier...

Everyday, thousands of new surfers open their browsers for the first time, it is confusing in the beginning, but if you have some good advices in the early beginning, you can surf easier and faster with a friendly browser...

Tip 1: Surf in security.

The first action that you will do if you are new to the net is to open your browser to surf. If you have a PC, like most of the Internet population. You will have Internet explorer installed in your computer, but it is not the best browser available on the net, and it is in fact limited. You may think that it is hard to surf on Internet.

When you will discover Mozilla Firefox, you will be even more happy to surf on Internet, for sure.

One of the first reason you should use Firefox is the integrated Firewall, which protect you against spyware and other adawares.

Tip 2: No need to tape all the time.

The second reason to choose Firefox is that you save time; for instance, when you went on yesterday, you wrote: with Firefox, you just tape “e” in the address bar of your browser, then will appear in the drop down menu, it's like magic, and it's fun too.

Tip 3: See all your pages in only one window.

I really love this one; you can surf in tab. That is really powerful.

For instance, with Internet Explorer, whenever you click on a link, you have 2 choice: open the page in the same window, or open it in a new window. Firefox enable you to open several pages in one window.

Let's explain: you are now looking, and you want to see the news, you just right click on the link, select open in a new tab, and you have now two pages in only one window. To switch between your pages, you just need to click on anyone of the page you want to look in, all that in the same window. You can open fifteen windows in one time if you want.

Better, you can bookmark(in Internet explorer, bookmark is favorites) a tab, and open it later. It is a very intelligent way of surfing. It is very efficient when you are doing some researches on a subject, on google for example.

Tip 4: All your downloads at the same place.

The fourth reason to choose Firefox is that when you download a file on your computer, sometimes, you want to open it, but you face a problem: Where did you save that file? With Firefox, just click on tools, and then you select download, and a pop up window appear. You just scroll to find your program. It will save you time and a lot of headaches.

However, it is recommended, for the first time, to save your download on your desktop, then after save your file in the folder you choose. You can download firefox for Free. You just type firefox in and you're done.

Tip 5: Don't forget a good anti virus,

While you surf on Internet, some hijackers will attempt to damage your computer, by introducing a virus in it. If you don't take your precaution, you may loose all that is stored in your hard disk. You can download AVG, which is excellent at

There is a lot to learn when you start on Internet, but take your time. And everything will go smoothly.

Getting Started With Your New Printer

by: John Sollars

If you have recently bought yourself a new printer, follow the directions in the manual for setting up cables. Put the installation CD into the CD drive and follow the set up instructions.

If you are using Windows 95/98, select Start Menu, then select Printers. Now select Add Printer, select Local Printer. Choose your printer (If your printer is not listed, choose the one closest to yours and select OK).

For the Mac, select go to server, (or chooser) and then select printer. Then choose your printer. (If your printer is not listed, then select the closest one.) Then select install.

If you are using Windows XP, then the PC will prompt you for the drivers and install the relevant one from the CD itself (if the appropriate driver is not in the database already).

If you have any problems printing, first check your cable connections. If you get repeated error messages, then reboot your computer and redo the steps above.

If you would like to upgrade the driver of your currently installed printed, then follow the steps given in the next sub-topic.

Installing Printer Drivers

A printer driver is a piece of software that allows the computer to communicate with the printer. Without this software, the printer would be hopelessly lost since it does not speak the same language! Printer manufacturers often update the drivers and these they can be easily downloaded form the company’s website for free. It is a good idea to keep a check on your printer driver version and upgrade if it is too far out of date.

Here is how you can check your print driver version number:

Windows XP

1. Click the Windows Start button, choose Control Panel, and then choose ‘Printers and Faxes.’

2. Right-click your default printer and choose Properties. (Your default printer will have a checkmark within a black circle above the printer icon.)

3. Click the General tab, click the ‘Print Test Page’ button, and then click OK to print the test page.

Windows 95/98

1. Click the Windows Start button, choose Settings, and then Printers.

2. Right-click your default printer and choose Properties. (Your default printer will have a checkmark within a black circle above the printer icon.)

3. Click the General tab, click the ‘Print Test Page’ button, and then click OK to print the test page.

Look on the test page for Driver Version.

All major printer manufactures have web sites that allow you to freely download their printer drivers. To do so, you will need your printer’s manufacturer and model number. When you go to the web site, look for words such as ‘Downloads’, ‘Drivers’, ‘Software’, or ‘Support’ and shortlist your model.

Given below are the website URLs for the popular brands:

Hewlett Packard —

Canon —

Epson —

Lexmark —

Xerox —

Brother —

Troubleshooting Printer Problems

In this section, you’ll find some of the more common problems that cause 45 percent of the help centre phone calls.

If nothing has occurred since the last time you used your printer, chances are the problem is quite straightforward. As obvious as it sounds, check to ensure that the printer is turned on. It is quite possible that somebody might have turned it off while you were away from your desk or computer. Make sure the printed is connected properly and there is power to the printer. All printers have some kind of LED that lets you know if it is powered up.

If the printer is turned on but has some flashing lights, then check with your owner’s manual to see what the lights mean. Most of these indicators will be related either to paper, ink, or toner.

Make sure there is enough paper in the printer. Refill the paper tray if it’s empty. Make sure you ‘fan’ the paper stack before putting it in the printer. When the paper stack is cut and packed at the factory, it sometimes causes the pages to stick together. Fanning the paper simply involves flipping through the paper stack with your thumb. This ruffling separates the paper, thereby reducing paper jams.

If the paper is stacked well, then check for a mis-feed or paper jam. Remove the paper stack and check the feed area for jammed paper. You may have to open several panels to make a thorough examination. Even a small piece of paper stuck inside the printer can cause problems. You might have to use tweezers to remove small pieces. Be careful of any contact of the tweezers with printer parts to avoid any damage.

If everything listed above is in place, then check the wire that connects the printer to the computer. You may be using a parallel or a USB connection. Make sure the cable is connected properly. Turn the equipment off and remove and re-insert the connection on both the printer and the computer to ensure a solid connection. If you are at work and your printer is connected to what appears to be a telephone wire, then you should call your resident network expert.

If the printer is functioning but only seems to print illegible garbage, then that is a good indication of a printer driver problem. Try re-booting the computer and turning the printer off and on before making any changes to the driver. If after re-booting you still have the problem, it's probably time to replace the printer driver. You can download the driver from the website URLs listed earlier in this articles. Follow the instructions given by the manufacturer to install your driver.

Scanner can also sometimes interfere with printers. Try re-installing the software for both but install the printer driver first, and the scanner driver afterwards.

If nothing listed above results in a solution, then perhaps it might be time to call the printer manufacturer. Make sure that you are near the printer when you call and have all your warranty information available at hand.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

4 Ways To Make Your Word File "Slim"

by: Isaac Chu

This time we will talk about some related to your office daily work. Did you encounter the following situation? You want to send an email with a Word file attachment, but the email cannot be send out cause the Word file is too large. And you waste many efforts in making the file slim. You can try the following methods, which can reduce the size a lot.

1. Save as

In Menu, choose "File > Save As", and save the file with a new name. You can compare the new file with original one; you will find that the file size of new one is much smaller.

You can also work in this way. Select the whole content of the document, copy and paste it to a new blank document and save it. Again, you will that file size of two documents is different.

2. Delete old versions

If there are many old versions kept in the file, the file size will be larger. In Menu, choose "File > Version", check to see if there is any old version saved. You can delete those versions with no value to make the file slim.

3. Insert picture wisely

"Insert Picture" is one of the main reasons for the word file get fat. Try to insert a smaller picture. You can use graphic editor to reduce the size of picture before insert into the file. The file format should use GIF or JPG and do not use those high-resolution graphic, like BMP.

4. Don't "Embed True Type Font"

"Embed True Type Font" will increase the size of word file. In Menu, choose "Tools > Options", switch to "Save" tab page. Confirm that your word file have no true type font, and cancel the "Embed True Type Font" option. If you embed true type font, then choose "Embed characters in use only".

Try the above four methods, you will see your word file getting slim.

Easy Audio And Video Conferencing Solutions

by: Conference Webs

Businesses and individuals that find themselves operating on ever-enlarging circles of influence can now cut costs and hassle by incorporating the use of conferencing solutions.

Conferencing software has developed in response to the widening global economy, wherein businesses and other types of international organizations must maintain frequent contact with individuals widespread across nations and the globe.

Conferencing solutions include video and audio conferencing. They are both large and small scale, and can entail as many aspects as might be needed given the situation.

The most convenient forms of conferencing are those that are available through the internet. Both businesses and individuals can hook up with others miles away through their personal computers, for a large meeting or a private conversation.

Audio conferencing entails just the vocal aspects of the meeting. Audio conferencing over the internet is cost effective, as it does not entail the exorbitant costs that are put out by long distance carriers, and this is even more true for businesses. There are many application that are available for audio conferencing, both as software purchases through companies such as Microsoft and applications available for free on the internet that can be used by the individual or small business owner, such as Skype. All the different conferencing packages have their advantages and disadvantages in terms of security, privacy, and reliability, and theses are usually dependant on cost.

Video conferencing is also available through the internet, in real time. Video conferencing usually involves more equipment than audio depending on the size of the meeting. Sometimes, a single monitor is enough to accurately depict several individuals, but more often than not businesses purchase large flat stand-up screens for video conferencing purposes, in order to have each individual at a desk or table visible for the duration.

Video conferencing often includes components that make for easy illustration, such as projected charts and graphs. It can also entail animated components, making the information easy to follow and understand. Video conferencing also offers detailed transcripts of proceedings for later review and other records.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Hotkeys for Google

by: Dennis Nazarenko

Just select some text, press the corresponding key combination and the search results are in front of your eyes. This is what the new free program Hotkey Search Tool can do for you.

An advanced Internet user searches from 8 to 30 times a day. In the case of specialized search systems, such as on-line translators, dictionaries, and references, this value increases and totals from 10 to 60 requests a day.

Often, you had to start the browser and enter the search phrase to get the search results. But if the text is already typed, why should you have to type it again?

Suppose you want to search an encyclopedia for some unknown word or find the site of some product by its name. All you need to do is just select the text and send a command to Hotkey Search Tool. The program will copy the selected text to the clipboard and open the browser with the search results. If you do not select any text, the program will select the string typed before you pressed the hotkey.

A lot of users have already come to know Google Desktop. It is a convenient system for searching your local computer and it can work with additional plug-ins too. To perform a search in this system, you have to press windows+G or ctrl+alt+G and after that type the text you want to search for. As you have already guessed, with Hotkey Search Tool, you just select the text you need, press the above key combination and get search results right away.

It should be mentioned that the program is easily customizable and you can use it to search information in any on-line system that gets the text of requests in the URL.

The program does add one more icon to the system tray. So, we can only wish Google developers integrated the features of this program into their developments.

Internet Security - How Safe is Our Worldwide Web?

by: Marguerite Pickett

Are you aware that behind the scenes a depraved snake is watching, slithering through Internet security loopholes, ready to strike at any moment? Despicable, swindling crooks prey on unsuspecting victims every second of the day via our wonderful Internet.

Ahh, the Internet! What would we do without it? Need a quick answer to a question or a solution to a problem? Look it up on the Internet. Have some shopping to do and don’t want to hassle the crowds or search from store to store? No problem. Order off the Internet. Need to relax and unwind? Browse the Internet. No doubt about it, the Internet has impacted the lives of almost everyone.

A Look Behind the Scenes

Did you know when you log into the Internet, a fraudster can gather enough personal data on you to conduct monetary transfers from your banking account in a matter of seconds? You don’t even need to be browsing.

The keylogger computer virus has become one of the most serious and dangerous attacks on the Internet. It silently sits in your computer illegally recording key strokes of user names and passwords. While bank and credit card information is transmitted to the hacker, you may not even be aware you have a virus.

Computer virus attacks are increasing in frequency and complexity. Everyone who uses a computer, whether at home or at work, is exposed to more security risks than you can imagine. According to an FBI report, 90% of companies have detected Internet security incidents in the last year. Online attacks have become so widespread that unless we know how to protect ourselves, we are most certainly vulnerable to some type of personal destruction.

How to Defend Yourself

If you seriously want to be in command of your security and privacy, you need to follow these steps:

1. Get rid of any malware (virus, Trojans, worms) that lives in your PC now.

2. Protect yourself against future attacks.

3. Be aware of the tricks these hackers, scammers and snoops play.

4. Keep your personal information away from prying eyes.

It is imperative that you take some time to educate yourself. Putting it off is putting yourself at a high risk. Take advantage of our almighty worldwide Internet. You will find tons of information about spyware protection and even free downloads to see if your computer is infected. What you learn could save you from upsetting losses.

Clean up and secure your computer now. Don’t become a victim!

For more information please visit:

Spyware Protection - It's Not An Option Any More

by: Marguerite Pickett

The next time you nonchalantly browse the web, think about this: Someone could be watching you! If you have never felt the need for spyware protection on your PC, you may want to reconsider.

Spyware and adware are universal terms used for software that performs particular activities such as advertising, collecting personal information, or altering the configuration of your computer, generally without your knowledge or consent. Millions of advertisers are using spyware products with total disregard for your privacy. Did you know that some spyware programs are among the most popular downloads on the Internet?

What You Need to Know

Any information you enter through the Internet can be intercepted.

Illegal sites can append themselves to your desktop, bookmarks and browser.

Your browsing activity can be recorded and monitored.

Your personal information can be sold to other parties.

Your default homepage, files and settings can be hijacked so you can't change or remove them.

It seems as though your hard drive space has been taken over by aliens. Your computer is experiencing browser instability and exasperating slowness. You are exhibiting dangerous signs of computer rage. Does this sound familiar?

The scariest part of all is that any or all of the above can happen to you without your knowledge or your consent.

Who is at Risk?

Everyone who uses a computer, whether at home or at work, is exposed to more security risks than you can imagine. Most of the time it is some form of a virus, trojan, or spyware that causes a PC to slow down and not perform the way it should. If you are in business, you face the same dangers of Internet security to an even greater degree. A business owner is legally liable for the protection of personal information held about employees or customers.

How to Protect Your PC

The obvious safeguards are: Do not download software from unknown sources on the Internet. Do not open attachments to unknown emails. Only share your primary email address with people you know. But, are these precautions enough to protect you from malicious spyware? In my opinion, no! It’s too easy to become complacent and let your guard down.

It’s time to fight fire with fire. Invest in some good spyware protection. Defeat those spies! There are a lot of anti-spyware software programs available on the Internet. Take advantage of a free download to determine if your computer is infected. If you do not have current, up-to-date anti-virus, firewall, and anti-spyware software installed on your computer, do it right now!

Use trusted software from reputable companies. The Internet is full of software for little or no money. Use caution before you download any software that does not come from a well-know, trustworthy source. The actual cost is sometimes buried in the malicious software that can come concealed in these programs.

Until these evil hackers become smart enough to apply their fraudulent talents into something constructive, the Internet is a place of caution. Protect your computer and your peace of mind.

For more information please visit:

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Internet Security and You - Take Action

by: Anthony Norton

It amazes me that for whatever reason people tend to overlook this problem time and time again. With the expansion of the Internet comes more threats. There are people in this world that want to cause harm to your computer, just because they can. You may not know when or where these attacks will occur, but it can happen to you at a moments notice.

When you are online you are sharing a vast network with millions of other users from all over the planet. Some of these user like to abuse the Internet by sending you spam emails or even worst, these people can be hackers and those who create viruses meant to harm your system.

You may have received an email from an unknown sender with an attach link or file with the sole propose to cause havoc to recipient. This file could be an Trojan, keylogger, adware, spyware or a number of the thousands of harmful viruses that can damage your computer, and the time and hard work you spend to customize your system can be wipe clean.

Some of the more well known viruses have been the:

Anna Kournikova virus

This arrives as an email attachment. Opening this attachment infects your machine. Once infected, the virus mails itself to all recipients found in the Windows Address Book.

Lovsan Worm virus also known as "Blaster" or "MSBlaster"

Has quickly infected computers throughout the Internet. The worm takes advantage of a flaw in Windows operating systems to drop a malicious program on your computer.

Unlike typical computer viruses, which usually arrive as email attachments, Internet worms attack communication ports on vulnerable computers, often without the user's knowledge. By taking advantage of a vulnerability in Windows, the worm is able to spread without requiring any action on the part of the user.


Infects web servers and local files. Its main goal is simply to spread over the Internet and Intranet, infecting as many users as possible and creating so much traffic that networks are virtually unusable.

The "I Love You" Virus

This virus is pernicious, using Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express to send itself to everyone on a Contact List from these programs, and destructively replacing files. The subject line of the infectious email reads "ILOVEYOU", and the message of the email reads "Kindly check the attached LOVELETTER coming from me." The attachment, which has the destructive Visual Basic script, is named "LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU.TXT.vbs"

If you receive this email attachment, DON"T OPEN IT!!! Your computer will not become infected unless you open the attachment on purpose. Reading the email won't infect your computer.

You may also be careful when using File sharing, Peer-to-Peer (P2P) software. This platform is great place for people to spread viruses to other people by simply creating or modifying an virus and renamed this program to a popular file name. Then once the file have completed downloading, the unsuspected user opens the file, and the destruction begins.

It can be a simply problem that hoping your anti virus will detect and alert you of a potential danger, or the virus may just completely wipe you hard drive in seconds. For those of you can use popular p2p programs like kazaa, limewire, shareaza, emule and others, please do not download any file that may look suspicious with a weird a file extension. This file may look like "britney spears.jpg.exe" or "norton antivirus.exe" with a smaller file size then usually.

If you have an antivirus software, you can simply, "right click" a file on your system and scan for viruses, before your open the file itself. This method can help you, but is not foolproof.

Don't be the next victim. Take these steps to help keep the odds in your favor of being protected:

Antivirus Software

An premium antivirus software like Panda Platinum Internet Security (which included an antivirus, firewall, spam blocker, and anti-spyware), BitDefender, or The Shield Pro is the most critical element of your Internet safety.

If you don't have up-to-date antivirus software on your PC you're asking for trouble. A good antivirus software will find viruses that haven't yet infected your computer and remove the ones that have.

Firewall Software

Windows XP comes built-in with a firewall, and if you are running Service Pack 2, it is turned on by default. Although Windows XP's firewall is certainly better than nothing, you should strongly consider acquiring another firewall to work on top of, or replace (recommended!) the firewall that comes with Windows XP.

Firewall software watches these ports to make sure that only safe communication is happening between your computer and other computers online. If it sees something dangerous happening it blocks that port on your computer to make sure your computer stays safe from the person who is trying to hack into your system.

Some of the better firewalls are Zone Alarm Pro, Norton Personal Firewall, Panda Platinum Internet Security, and The Shield Pro.

Spyware Removal

There is a good chance that if you are actively online with your computer system that in some way spyware will get installed. All it takes is just clicking on the wrong site or by signing up for some web programs. Another issue with spyware is the danger of invasion of privacy.

Remember that these programs can collect all types of data from you computer system and then send back to its creator. Spyware usually collects information that can be used for advertising, marketing to see what websites you visit on a frequent bases.

There are several spyware tools available, but many provide insufficient protection.

One of the better spyware removers are; Webroot Spy Sweeper, XoftSpySE, and AdwareAlert.

The World of Computer Game Design

by: Morgan Hamilton

A career in computer game design the absolute heaven for any hard-core gamer. Isn't it everyone's dream to do what they love and get paid for it? And how many of you out there that can show a computer games have had great ideas of how you can improve on the games that you were playing? I know I have, about a million times.

If a career in computer game design is something that you are mulling over and I have good news and I have bad. The good news is that it is a huge industry and is growing year over year. The bad news is that computer game design takes a lot of programming skills which means you had better be a very smart cookie and be prepared to work very hard in school learning the various skills that you will need.

You want to start with a degree in computer science, which is much easier said than done. Of the six friends I had in college that were computer science majors, only one of them stuck with it to the end. It is a grueling major filled with advanced math classes and seemingly endless computer programming exercises.

Some people actually enjoy programming, so if you're one of them that a career in computer game design would be perfect for you. A real affection for computer games themselves would certainly go a long way as well. My college friend that got his computer science degree is currently working for a well knowing game design company, and loves it. But he will be the first one to tell you that it is nothing like what he expected.

Some computer games that are produced today are so incredibly complex that they take years to create. In the infancy of the game industry, computer game design teams often consisted of just a few people. Today, many games have several production teams consisting of up to hundreds of different people working simultaneously on different aspects of the game. If you do prove to be a capable programmer than a here in computer game design will reward you handsomely. Veteran programmers who have already completed several game designs can pretty much call their own shots as far as salary and overall creativity. It is an art and science.

If programming isn't something that appeals to then you still can work in the design industry. Programmers themselves are the king of the hill and the most sought after, but talented artists and creative writers can be attractive employees to game producers. Graphic designers and artists contribute a great deal to computer game design. Many computer game designs also feature actors to do the voice overs of the game's characters as well. There's a whole lot that goes into making these babies.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Does The World Need Vista?

by: Onuora Amobi

Here I go again...

So, let's talk about a sacred topic. An Item that is whispered but RARELY openly discussed by the larger websites.


I'm not so sure that Vista is even necessary at this point in time. As I continue to use Vista and Microsoft continues to refine their betas (Currently at 5472), this has been a question that has been nagging at me.

The biggest reason that's offered up when I take this topic to the forums is that Microsoft needed to create a new OS because of security concerns with XP. That there is a void for a really secure Microsoft OS.

Does any mature Microsoft user REALLY think that with all the new code being introduced into this OS, it's going to be much more secure?

Ummm it's going to be different..maybe a little more secure but much more secure?? I doubt that.

Why do I doubt that? Two fundamental reasons.

1) History (look at all the releases that have come before)

2) The beta process. This open beta process has been interesting and along with all the good civil people helping to beta test, hackers now have a head start on exploring and cracking this O.S.

So we can argue security (especially for the enterprise) and Vista all day long but I would also like to explore another angle.

If you take a look at the features that Vista is offering, you'll see a lot of stand alone products.

Microsoft Mail (Basically Outlook express)
Microsoft Defender
Windows Media Center
Windows DVD Maker
Windows Fax and Scan
Windows Calendar
Windows Meeting Space
People near me
Windows Photo Gallery
Windows Movie Maker
Windows Contacts
Windows Sidebar

It can be argued that these and several other Vista offerings could have been offered as updates to XP and/or separate products. This is where the concept of Microsoft as a monopoly comes in. These products (if released separately) would probably not be able to dominate their respective markets.

For instance:

Media Center is cool but there are much better media players (WinDVD etc).
Defender is cute but there's Spysweeper, Adaware and Spyware Doctor.
Meeting Space would face stiff competition from several collaboration software vendors.

You get the picture.

BUT, if you had a new Operating System, well, instantly you have millions of customers who would not ordinarily have touched these products..

Now, I like Microsoft. I also think the idea of a new O.S. is healthy and exciting for the marketplace. It keeps Apple (the competition) on their toes and thus fulfills the mandate of a capitalist market.

I wanted Vista to be exciting and offer exceptional value but it seems to me, Vista should have had one major objective:

To be MUCH MUCH better than XP and Windows 2003.

Windows XP and Windows 2003 were really good Operating Systems and it would be hard to claim that they didn't provide overwhelming value compared to their predecessors.

Today, I use a dual boot PC with Windows 2003 and Windows Vista (5456) installed.

It's a testament to Microsoft that today I can dual boot into Vista beta and use it for days on end. It is a solid beta. It is a strong product. It is very stable. It's pretty.

Unfortunately, I know this for a fact:..... I can live without it.

Till next time...


How To Effective Search for Jobs Online

by: Mars W. Mosqueda Jr.

Gone where the days when you have to go from one office to another, or climb seemingly endless stairs in a corporate building hoping to get a job. With the advent of Internet technology, searching for jobs has become an easy, comfortable task.

If you already have an electronic copy of your CV and cover letter, sit down in front of your computer and start your search online. But before you do that, here are some points to remember when looking for jobs online.


Most companies nowadays have website or are connected online. This means most of their job vacancies are also posted on line. If you know how to use the search engine well in your search, finding the perfect job will be very easy.

There are several excellent search engines online aside from Google. and may not be at par with Google but for sure they are second bests. Using different search engines could sometimes (not really very often!) could lead to different results so it will be best to try searching for jobs in other engines.


If you want to work as Computer Programmer, use “Computer Programming Jobs” or “Computer Programmer Jobs” as your keywords. It makes a difference as against using “Computer Jobs” or “IT Jobs”. Try typing the keywords in the search box and you will see different results. The first set of keywords as being more specific. So if you are looking for writing jobs in Singapore, typing “Writing jobs” will not be as effective as using “Writing Jobs Singapore”.


There are a lot of legitimate websites that posts legitimate job vacancies. and are excellent examples of job sites online.


Some job vacancies online may be outdated because webmasters failed to delete them from the site even as the position has been filled up. Observe carefully the dates of posting and expiry dates to ensure that the vacancies are still available. If no dates are included, begin your cover letter with question on whether or not the posted job is still available.


Sometimes, because of the ease of ‘cut and paste’ method, we tend to forget that the HRD name in our letter has not been changed even if the letter is sent to other companies. Whoa! Would you expect an invitation for interview from Company A when what you mentioned in your letter is the name of the Manager of Company B? Be careful with this.


Apply only to jobs that you are really are interested in. Sending out application letters online just for the sake of applying is discourteous and unethical. Make sure also that you are qualified for the job that you are applying to avoid hassle in the future.

Most importantly, use your common sense when using the Internet in your job search. Several scammers and fraudsters are lurking online waiting for victims. When someone asks for a fee in exchange of your application, immediately report the scam to authorities.

Monday, June 16, 2008

You Want To Sell More Software From Your Website?

by: Adriana Iordan

Selling software online is not an easy task. How do you make the client truly understand your product and trust it - and your company - enough to pay the price? Like it or not, it's very similar to selling face to face: the first impression may be decisive for the clients' future actions. Online, the website is your "face". It has to be comprehensible and easy to use.

Here are a few tips on how your website should be to sell software better:

* It has to look professional and attractive at the same time.

You don't have to show off your web designer skills. Too many colours, graphics, flash animations or drop-down boxes can only tire the visitors and make them leave faster. Less graphics will also make the site load faster. At the same time, it shouldn't be dull, so it needs to be somewhere in the middle.

* Make sure your message comes across loud and clear.

In order to sell more software, information about software products must be easy to find, easy to follow and the same goes for the order process. Since most information is in the text, make it easy to read. Some coloured backgrounds make the text difficult to read, like purples, orange and reds. On the other hand, dark backgrounds may have a depressing effect on the visitors' mood. The text colour is very important. Keep in mind that different browsers show colours differently, so don't go crazy with it. It's better to use Plain fonts, like Arial, Times New Roman, Verdana and Courier, because they're easier to read. Fancier fonts may be used for headlines, but not full text. Remember though that sans serif fonts are easier to read on screen.

* Easy navigation is law.

Make sure there's a link to the homepage at the top left of every page, except the homepage itself. Be careful not to have "dead ends" from which the visitor can't find their way back to where they came from. Place the most important links in the top part of each page. Clearly mark read and unread links, preferably using standard colours.

* Base the site's hierarchy on your customers' needs.

Don't make them search the entire site before they find information about products, prices and payment methods.

* Don't make pages too long.

A web shouldn't be more than 2 - 3 normal pages lengths, as no one likes an endless scrolling. If you have information for more than that, divide it into several pages with short information clips on the main index page leading to the second page.

* Check all the links on your website to make sure they lead to a page.

Tags from the navigation menu must be representative for what that page is about.

* Serve friendly error messages.

Don't let the visitors see a page with "404 not found" written on it. Put your creativity to good use. Error messages may include navigation to documents that do exist, a search box or a contact email address.

* Have a privacy statement and testimonials.

Potential clients must feel confident dealing with you. Having a separate page to express your policy towards their email addresses, how you accept orders and gather information, who has access to information and how you use that information will help you sell more software. Also make a separate page for comments from satisfied customers. Offer to include links to the customers' websites in return for using their comments.

* Contact information or a link to it should be on every page.

If customers need additional information about the product, contact information like a phone number and an email address should be easy to find on the website. Let people know the hours and days of operation and the time needed to answer their requests. Give a contact name

Selling Software Online: How Do You Present Your Software?

by: Adriana Iordan

The list below offers tips on what you should do:

* Have real users test your software product.

You may think you have created an easy-to-use intuitive piece of software, yet in the end it is not you who decides this. If you plan on selling software online successfully, you need to have real people test it to see how quick they understand how it works and learn how to use it. Not to mention their help in squashing the bugs you might have never noticed on your own, thus making your product as error free as possible.

* Provide an accurate description of the software product.

You need a clear and short description of what the software is and what it is used for, so that people can see whether they need it or not. Additional details should be provided somewhere else for those who really wish to know more.

* Make screenshots available.

They say a picture makes a thousand words, so screenshots are a very helpful tool when selling software online. The screenshots tell the users if the software product has a well designed interface and let them get a good look at the menu bars and toolbars, for instance, which helps them quickly assess whether the required functionality is there.

* Use a « try before you buy » approach.

Don’t just say your software is ‘easy to use’. If your software product is as easy to use as you say it is, then why not let people see that for themselves? Offer them the option to download of a copy of your software and try it before asking them to pay for it.

* Specify supported OS-es and licensing type.

A list of supported operating systems is as necessary when selling software online as when selling it in a box in a traditional store. It has to be put in an easy to spot place for potential customers to find out at a glance whether the product will work on their computers or not. Adding other system requirements would be a good idea, too. Do specify the type of licensing for your software product (i.e. freeware, shareware etc).

* Include a help file and support details.

Your software product has to have some documentation explaining users how to use it, be it in form of a help file or an online manual either included with the product or that can be downloaded separately. People also need to know where to reach you in case they need support, so do not forget to include such details (an e-mail address, and maybe a phone number, too).

Letting people see the product (by screenshots) and try it before they buy, providing help files with your software and support when necessary, properly testing it with real users to make sure it is easy to use are the things that you should have on your to-do list if you plan on selling software online and be successful at it.

Copyright © 2006, all rights reserved. This article was written by a Web Marketing Specialist at Avangate B.V. Avangate is an eCommerce platform for electronic software distribution incorporating an easy to use and secure online payment system plus additional marketing and sales tools, such as an affiliate management system, automated cross selling options, software promotion management, software marketing services as well as consultancy on how to increase online software sales.

Read more software marketing articles and learn how to sell software online.

This article may be reproduced in a website, e-zine, CD-ROM, book, magazine, etc. so long as the above information is included in full, including the link back to this website.

Magazine Subscriptions: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

by: James Brown

Looking for the perfect gift to get that someone who has everything? How about a magazine subscription? Rather than ending up in a pile of other gifts that may get stashed in a closet, or quickly forgotten, magazines will remind someone that you were thinking of them every time a new issue arrives on his or her doorstep. Purchasing magazines as gifts can be economical too, and other gifts may be included with the subscription.

Some gifts that may be included when you purchase a subscription for someone are books or CDs related to the magazine’s topic, or another related gift. For example, a subscription to a golf magazine might come with free golf balls. Or, special discounts might apply to gift subscriptions so that the person you’re buying for can get more issues of the magazine for the same price.

At, they have what they call magazine samplers, which are subscriptions to a group of magazines with the same topic, such as cooking or sports. Most magazines will send the recipient a gift card for you, or one to you for you to give, so that you have a present to stick under the Christmas tree or for the birthday boy or girl to open on their special day.

Magazines can be a great gift idea for children. There are magazines that cater to every age group, and having reading material that is current and pertains to their interests can encourage even the most hesitant readers. There are also literary magazines for children, so they can see new work by the authors of their favorite books, or they might read an excerpt of something and decide they want to read the whole book. Next thing you know, they are asking to go to the library or bookstore.

A magazine on children and parenting can be a creative baby shower gift. New parents will appreciate advice they can consult any time of day and in those small bits of time when they get a chance to read something quickly. Magazines could also be a good housewarming gift, maybe a title on home decorating or cooking. Most importantly, there are as many magazines out there as there are interests and hobbies, which means that giving a magazine subscription can be a very thoughtful and personalized gift, and those are the best kind.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Choosing The Right Speakers For Your Computer

by: John Gibb

When buying a computer, many people don’t take much note of the type of speakers they will get for sound, video and gaming. They often rush ahead and go for a computer system what meets their specific budget at the time. However, many people find that the supplied speakers are not powerful enough to bring out the best in there sound, video and gaming. For this reason, buyers look for different types of speakers to bring out the best in audio sound.

There are many different types of speakers that you can purchase for your laptop or desktop system. In this article, we will discuss three different types and what they may be best suited for.

2.1 speakers – This speaker set normally comes as 2 speakers and a subwoofer to give that extra bit of bass. There are many speakers out there in this set and they can vary in price. Normally, the more you pay the better sound will be. However, this is not always the case. It’s a good idea to test speakers if possible or read many reviews on the Internet before you choose your speaker set. We personally paid around £100 for our 2.1 set and get excellent sound from them. These speakers may suit gamers and mp3 listeners.

5.1 speakers – These are speakers that come as 5 speakers with an extra subwoofer to give an impressive sound experience. Again, price can vary with these speakers. Look to pay around £120 for a decent 5.1 set, but you want to be paying over £200 if you want a real cinema experience. The sound from these sets of speakers can be very impressive when set up on your computer correctly for optimal sound performance. These sets of speakers may be suited for people who wish to have the ultimate multi media experience including gaming, dvd, codec video, mp3, audio, and multi media application including graphic animation.

2 speaker set – This is your stand alone speaker set that normally comes included with your desktop computer. Laptop buyers normally get speakers built in. It can be one or 2 speakers depending on the laptop. Many computer buyers are often not satisfied with the sound from their laptops so they choose to upgrade to a speaker set. These speakers can still sound very good depending on the make and the price you pay. These speakers are often suited towards people who download mp3, listen to audio, and use the computer for work, business or schooling.

Be sure to check out our site dedicated to computer speakers below this article. We feature reviews, guides and the latest news on computer speakers for helpful computer speaker advice.

How To Protect Your Computer From Viruses And Spyware

by: Donna Rivera-Loudon

I have been around computers for years. I even teach on Introduction to Computers class at a four-year university. Despite my knowledge of computers, I was not immune to the problems that viruses^ and spyware can do to a computer. My computer was attacked and it was so bad I ended up replacing my hard drive. Does that sound scary to you? If so, I apologize. At the same time, I hope that my experience can benefit you.

While many computer users are familiar with the term virus, not as many understand the term spyware. Simply put, spyware is software that performs certain behaviors such as advertising, collecting personal information, or changing the configuration of your computer, generally without your premission. Here are a few things that can happen if you get spyware on your computer.

* Pop-up advertisements will appear even when you are not on the internet.

* Your home page (the page that comes up when you first open your internet browser) changes all of sudden and you don't know why.

* A new toolbar appears and you can't seem to get rid of it.

* Your computer takes longer than usual to complete certain tasks.

* Your computer crashes a lot when it never used to.

Just reading the above list should be enough to encourage you to read on and do what you can to prevent viruses and spyware from attacking your computer. Below is a list I compiled of things you can do to protect yourself from viruses and/or spyware. Following these suggestions doesn't mean you will never have a problem. However, it should lessen the chance of it happening.

1. Everyone should have good anti-virus software on their computer. This is especially true it you use the internet. I use PC-cillin Internet Security 2006 on my computer. Before that I used Norton's Internet Security. Both are good but only work well if used properly. If you are a beginner computer user, I would recommend Norton over PC-cillin. However, PC-cillin is a good program for those who are more advanced computer users. It requires a little more patience to set up and a better understanding of computers than Norton's does.

2. While it is nice to have Internet Security software, one must make sure it is turned on and that it is updated weekly. New viruses are being created daily and if you don't update your anti-virus software weekly your computer is open to attack by new viruses.

3. Make sure you have a good firewall and that it is turned on. A firewall helps protect your computer from outside attacks. Again, a good Internet Security program such as Norton's and PC-cillin come with a firewall. However, remember they only work if they are turned on.

4. I use two free programs in addition to PC-cillin to give me a little extra protection from spyware. I run these programs once a week to ensure that my computer is free from spyware. The two programs I use are:

SpyBot - Search and Destroy

Spyware Blaster

Both these programs can be downloaded for free at

5. I use a free program that checks for advertising trackers and lets me get rid of them. You can download a copy of this program at The name of this program is:

Lavasoft Ad-Aware SE Personal

There are a few other things I would like to mention concerning viruses and protecting yourself from them.

a. When you receive an email from someone you don't know and it has an attachment. Never open the attachment. Often times these attachments can have viruses in them.

b. If you receive an email from someone you know with an attachment and you weren't expecting it, don't open the attachment. Contact them first to make sure they sent it. Sometimes a virus can send out emails without the person even knowing.

c. Be careful when you are downloading software or programs off the internet. Often spyware software will install during the installation of other software you want such as a music or video file. Whenever you are installing something on your computer, make sure you carefully read all disclosures, including the license agreement and privacy statement. Sometimes the inclusion of unwanted software in a given software installation is documented, but it may appear at the end of a license agreement or privacy statement.

d. Be careful when you use a file from someone else's computer. If someone gives you a disk, even if it is your best friend, run a virus scan on the disk before opening any files. It is possible for the file to have a virus without the person knowing about it.

I hope these tips will prove helpful to you. If you have good protection and exercise caution you have a much better chance of getting through your computer life without the headaches of viruses and spyware. However, remember there is no guarantee that it will never happen to you.

^A computer virus is a program that invades your computer system, hides there, and replicates itself. Viruses spread when you launch an infected application or start up your computer from a disk that has infected system files."

Choosing The Best Web Hosting Provider For You

by: Heris Yunora

The use of good web hosting is badly needed to secure your web site remains online, in addition to the cost that you spend become less. Currently there are so many web hosting companies which respectively have different pricing plans and different features among each other.

Following are the points that you need to observe in choosing a web hosting company:

-Web Space

It constitutes the storage capacity of the whole data as required by your web site. Depending of the type of web site you design, it is better that you also consider your future needs. For example, if you want to build an article directory website, you will need a hosting with large web space.


Bandwith is the amount of data that is transmitted from your web site. The more visitors visit your web site, the more bandwith you require. It is to be noted that your requirements for web space have not certainly comparable with the requirements for bandwith. For example, if you set up a web site with an Amazon Store script, the web space required is not big, but you need to prepare the bandwith that will possibly consume several Gigas. Keep in mind that other than web site visitors, don't forget that various search engine bots that will make effort to crawl the whole webpages.


The web hosting company you are choosing should have uptime guarantee amounting to at least 99%. In that way, the presence of your web site will be secured for 99% of a time span.


Having a web site that can always be accessed is not enough. Your web site must always be loaded rapidly. Otherwise you will be missing a lot of visitors.

-Customer Support

The presence of reliable customer support has to become one of your considerations in choosing a hosting company. A good hosting service provider must be able to be contacted anytime. This is particularly useful to overcome technical problems. If a hosting company provides an online chatting facility for communicating with their customer service, try to submit some requests and observe the way they are serving you.


So as to get the best price, compare the pricing plan from several hosting providers that have similar features. Don't forget to conduct checking to the guarantee as provided and whether or not there are other additional costs.

-Technical Features

If later on you have an intention to use certain scripts, check whether the web hosting has complied with the criteria as required. Otherwise, it is better for you to choose a hosting company that has Linux/Unix as the operating system with PHP and MySQL features. There are so many online business support programs such as autoresponder and various CMS's that need server using Linux, Apache, PHP and MySQL. Besides, various free open source programs usually need to enable them for being used. Don't also forget other technical needs, such as whether you will use Audio and Video Streaming or requiring Frontpage Extension.

-Number of Web site

If you have a plant to set up several web sites, choose the one that allow you for hosting your web sites as mentioned in one account (multiple domain hosting). In that way, there is no additional cost that must be spent every month.

Whatever web hosting provider that you choose, it depends on your requirements and the amount of budget that you want to spend. It is to be noted that cheap is not always equal to inferior and expensive is not always equal to good. Some hosting companies which are realiable and having complete enough features, it turns out that they are charging lower monthly cost than other companies which are offering equal or even less complete features. Make sure the web hosting plan you choose will fit your needs.

Happy Choosing...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Data Backup And Security

by: Elizabeth Neck

Whether your computer is for business or personal use, losing your data is tragic either way. Your data is your life, keep it protected and secure! This is why you should always have a data backup plan! There are many different data backup methods to choose from. You can use a zip drive, USB drive, a secondary hard drive or simply use a CDR/DVD writer and copy your data onto CDs. What ever method you use, your system should be backed up at least once a week.

A simple and easy method is to get 4 blank CDs and label them week 1, week 2, week 3, week 4 and also write the month and year. Then, at the beginning of each week, backup your data onto the disc labeled for that week. Do this for each week every month, so that if your computer was to crash you will only at the very least be one week behind on your data. This way it wouldn’t be so devastating and it will be much easier to recover.

Another simple method is to use an online storage service. This method is the most popular and one of the best options for data backup. Here are some of the reasons why this is the best option.

Number one is SECURITY!!

With an online storage service, you never have to worry about losing your data or your data being destroyed. You can always be sure that your most important data is stored safe and secure.

Number two is AVAILABILITY!!

With an online storage service, you access your data whenever and wherever you are. You can be sitting at your home, or visiting family and friends in another state or country. You will always have access!

Number three is SHARING!!

With an online storage service, you can easily share your data with business cliental or even your family and friends! You can share any data you may store, whether it is important documents, or simply photos from your child’s birthday! Sharing is simple and easy!

For whatever purpose you use an online storage service, make sure to pick the most perfect and secure one for you, and make sure it is always password protected in a safe manner.

You should never use an obvious password. You should never use anything like your date of birth, the city or state you live in, your name or even your social security number. One of the safest ways to make a password is to use letters and numbers and make the letters in different cases. This makes it harder for anyone to guess. And you should never use the same password for everything. Yeah it may seem easy for you, but remember, it also makes it easier for someone to access your information and accounts or, even worse…steal your identity. So make sure to always be secure and backup your data.

Did you know that 70% of businesses that lose their data never fully recover and go out of business within a year?

That is why it is very important to backup your computer as often as possible. You can even use the old-fashion floppy disc if necessary. But backup your computer as often as you can and do it now before disaster strikes and it is too late and you lose everything!

Remember 76% of data loss is due to hardware failure or simple human error!

Hurry up before it is too late!

My PC Is Slow, What Should I Do?

by: Damien Oh

No matter how good your system is, there’ll sure be a time when you face the slow pc performance syndrome. This is a universal problem every user sure to bounce into.

So when do you consider your PC slow? When you discover that the booting up time is more than the usual loading time, there is frequent hanging of PC, taking load of time to start an application or sluggish game play.

What is the cause for this? Well, it can be due to the hardware or software issue.

A lack of memory RAM is often the main cause for hardware issue. As technology advances, more and more software with heavy bandwidth are being developed. An old system with only 64MB of memory RAM will surely pants when running these heavy duty programs. Check out your motherboard maximum memory support and upgrade the RAM to the maximum. This will see an improvement. If your memory RAM is already at its maximum, then maybe it is time to change the motherboard.

Other than the RAM, the CPU is also another culprit for the slow performance. Similar to the RAM, an old CPU will not be sufficient to support new and complex applications. It might be easy to think that changing the CPU will help; however, changing CPU is not as easy as changing ram. Most of the time, the old motherboard will not be able to support the latest CPU in the market. If you are seriously considering changing the CPU, then it might be better to upgrade the whole system.

The data storage on the hard drive is based on sector allocation. Over the time, due to frequent installation and un-installation of programs, the data sectors will be scattered all around in the hard drive, making data retrieval difficult. This in turn adds up to the loading time. The hard drive fragmentation percentage refers to the percentage of the scattering of the data sector. The higher the percentage, the slower the performance. Performance can be improved by doing a defragmentation. This will arrange the sector cluster in retrieving order and also move seldom used or unused data to a remote sector.

Running of background processes and programs will also slow down the pc performance. Most of the time, these background activities occur without your knowledge and it is always the main cause for PC hanging. To eliminate this, press “ctrl + alt + del” to access the Window Task Manager. Click on the PROCESSES tab. This window will slow all the background processes. Select the application that you don't need and click ‘End Process’. Do this with care as shutting down of important application will cause your PC to hang and all your unsaved data to be lost. Next, the right bottom panel of the window task bar shows the program running in the background. Right click on the icon and shut down the unused programs to free up the bandwidth.

With these few tips, it will be sufficient to improve your PC performance. If the above technique don't works, then you might have to consider reformatting your pc or upgrade to a new system.

Losing Your Mind With Data Recovery

by: Mohamed Rabea

For nearly all computer users, losing data can be a very traumatic experience. If you use your computer for a business or for other important matters, it can be very stressful and very traumatic to lose everything you have worked months, and possibly even years to build.

Even though you may back up your data on a periodic basis, you’ll still need to check the backup to make sure that everything works. Nothing can be worse than backing something up, only to find months later that something went wrong.

No matter who you are, or what business you work for, data loss can happen. Computers are great, although they aren’t perfect. Over time, your hard drive can crash or malfunction, which will result in the loss of everything you have stored on your computer.

Whenever this happens to you, it’s always a good thing there’s data recovery. Without data recovery, it wouldn’t be possible to retrieve files, recover information, or simply get back to the data you spent years building.

To recover your data, you’ll need to send it off to a company that specializes in data recovery. They will need to run some tests on it and see what shape it is in, how bad it is damaged, and just what needs to be done to recover your data.

This process will normally take around a week or so, all depending on the problem. It can be quite expensive as well, depending on where you send it. Keep in mind though - the more experience the data recovery technicians have, the higher the price will be.

Those that are more expensive are great if you have the money to spare, for the simple fact that they are experts and are more apt at saving your data and information. The cheaper data recovery companies are great as well, although larger companies and those with extremely important data will want to put their trust in the best that money can buy.

With most cases, companies can rebuild the hard drive, providing the drive isn’t totally corrupted. In cases where the hard drive is totally gone, it will need to be rebuilt, which can take quite a bit of time. No matter what the situation may be, data recovery experts can normally find a solution to recover your data.

At some point in time, everyone will experience some type of hard drive crash or malfunction that will result in the loss of data. When this happens to you, you shouldn’t get all shook up or alarmed, you should instead make sure that you are prepared to always expect the unexpected.

Even though your data can normally be recovered, you should still back up everything on a weekly basis just to be on the safe side. This way, when your hard drive is sent off to be repaired, you’ll have the information you need backed up to keep on going as normal.

To be on the safe side, you should keep your most important documents and files stored on a CD, by using a CD burner and CD-R media. This is by far the cheapest and easiest way to back up your data, and it will keep you more than prepared for when your hard drive malfunctions and crashes when you least expect it.

If you prepare yourself by backing up your data, a hard drive malfunction won’t be as traumatic on you. You should always be prepared, and ready just in case something happens. Computers are the wave of the future - although they aren’t perfect by any means.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Your Signature File -- Give It Some Love

by: Nicole Dean

Your signature file -- the blurb at the end of your forum posts and your emails -- is prime real estate. Are you using it to the fullest?

Do you put any thought into your sig lines? I hope you are putting as much thought into your sig lines as you would a paid advertisement. Your signature file has the potential to work for you, if you let it.

Of course, if you’re posting on forums, the #1 most important thing is your actual message. Don't attach your signature file to anything that will reflect poorly on your business.

And, likewise, in emails, if you're sending around jokes that are a little risque, then think twice about attaching your URL if it's not appropriate.

Tip 1: Give people a reason to click on your URL.

How can you entice viewers to click?

Your signature file should capture attention and create interest. It should always be clear and direct in stating the benefits your program offers.

Don’t just say “We sell gadgets.” Explain how those gadgets will help your potential customers save time, money or to make their lives better.

Tip 2: Don't Write a Novel

Make your signature file short and catchy. A long, drawn-out signature file is sure to be ignored. And, a boring one will be, too. Stick to one or two URLs, even if you have 30 or 40 websites. Any more than that will dilute your branding and effectiveness.

Tip 3: Don't Confuse

When writing your sig file, remember that a confused mind always says "no". Don't go crazy in your signature file with too many links or options. Be clear and direct about the benefits of your program so anyone and everyone reading it can see exactly how your product or service can help them.

Don't assume readers know as much as you do about your business. Don't talk jargon. Some terms or ideas in your industry may be over the heads of potential customers. Oftentimes I read ads and have no idea what in the heck they are selling, or why I'd need it. Make sure to state your benefits in simple words and grammar so that anyone who isn't in your industry can understand them. For instance, everyone has skin, but not everyone knows what an epidermis is. Make it simple.

Tip 4: Nab them

Once a reader does click through your sig line, do you have a way to capture their contact info so you can stay in touch? If not, get your newsletter sign-up box ready to collect those interested visitors. Otherwise, you're losing that potential customer, possibly forever.

If appropriate, offer something free to collect their email addresses. Offering a discounted item or freebie is always a good idea.

You may be wasting PRIME opportunities to get visitors to your site if you aren't putting as much thought into your sig line as you would invest writing paid ads. Try some new wording and watch your click-through rate rise.

E-mail Tracking -The Truth Is Revealed

by: Bruno Ligutti

Have you ever wondered whether your boss, coworkers or family read your e-mails? Well, now you can track your sent e-mails.

In fact, there are many approaches to e-mail tracking. We all know the "read-receipt" system, in which you send an e-mail requesting a read confirmation. When the recipient reads your e-mail, he or she is asked by the software, "Would you like to confirm you received this e-mail?" Then the recipient may choose "No", and we will never get a confirmation. So it is an honor system, and there are some cases in which we cannot trust the recipient.

Other approaches have been implemented by corporate e-mail systems, such as IBM Domino. Recipients are not asked to confirm the reception so confirmations are always sent –provided that the e-mails are actually read-, but it works only for corporate recipients and not for external people.

The tracking system I will describe next is "hands-free" and works for almost every e-mail system. It is analogous to a package-delivery system –we ship a package, and the system gives us a number for keeping track of it. Before getting technical, let me point out that you will need a server –but in case you do not have one, you can always use our already-developed system.

Let’s assume we would like to ask our boss for a rise –that’s a common case in which the recipient cannot be trusted. So the system generates an ID for our e-mail, and stores it in the server’s database. When we send the e-mail, this ID is sent along with it.

What is the idea? Well, the ID identifies our e-mail. When our boss reads it, the ID is "passed" to our server. So the server gets the message, "The e-mail sent to the boss is being read." From there, the server may proceed in many ways, such as storing the date and time, and our boss’ IP address. It can even notify us to our e-mail address and cell phone!

How is the ID "passed" to our server? When our boss reads our e-mail, we just saw that the e-mail needs to "call back" the server with the ID. This is achieved by passing the ID in the source of an image.

Going back to our basic HTML lessons, the image’s src attribute specifies the image’s address. So if we insert an image in our e-mail, and we let its source be, then our boss’ e-mail client gets that image and shows it to him. That is, the e-mail client "calls" our server at and requests the image ourlogo.gif.

The trick is to have a special page on our server, which receives the ID, stores the tracked data and notifies the sender, and finally sends back an image –this is achieved by server-side scripting, offered by frameworks such as Microsoft .NET. So we insert a 1x1 hidden image in our e-mail, and let its source be ourpage.aspx is our special page, and ID=0123 identifies our e-mail sent to our boss.

The page gets the ID and checks it against the database –recall that the ID is stored in the database. Then it updates the database, and notifies the sender of that particular e-mail. Furthermore, the page can get the recipient’s IP address, which can reveal his or her geographic location and many more details. And finally, the page sends back a 1x1 transparent image, which is shown to the recipient.

This is a "hands-free" system given that the recipient is never asked to confirm the e-mail’s reception –in fact, he or she does not even realize the e-mail is being tracked. Thus, this system has been accused of compromising users’ privacy, and has caused the redesign of e-mail clients and services –which now allow users to disable images on received e-mails.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Google, Orion, SEO & You

by: Dave Davies

Every now and then an event occurs that changes how the SEO community views the way websites are optimized and structures promotions. The purchase of the rights to the Orion Algorithm by Google and equally important, the interest that both Yahoo! and MSN took in the algorithm as they vied for ownership themselves, marks just such an event.

Bill Gates said to Forbes magazine about Orion:

"That we need to take the search way beyond how people think of it today. We believe that Orion will do that."

What Is The Orion Algorithm?

There is much confusion about the Orion algorithm and much secrecy around the specifics. Here's is the "What's Been Said" and "What It Means" breakdown:

What's Been Said: Ori Allon, the developer of this technology described Orion in this way:

"The results to the query are displayed immediately in the form of expanded text extracts, giving you the relevant information without having to go to the Web site--although you still have that option if you wish."

He cited an example of the keyword phrase "American Revolution." The search would not only provide extracts with the phrase, but also additional information on topics such as American history, George Washington and the Declaration of Independence.*

* CNET News, April 10, 2006

What It Means: Most on the web take this to mean the results from Google will be displayed similar to those at where you will be able to get a sample of the site and some of it's quality content without having to visit the actual site. The part that most caught my attention however is where he cited the example and noted the additional phrases that would be considered and the impact having this technology will have on the way queries are dealt with.

From this standpoint, the Orion Algorithm, in its essence, is a whole new way to score the value of websites that appear on the Internet. Rather than determining the value of a website based on the specific query being entered into the search box, Orion may dig deeper and query related phrases as well. Now, this may not be an entirely new concept, directories have been providing a "Related Categories" option for ages however the addition of this function to standard search engines and what this may well mean for the methods required to rank sites on them is extremely significant.

What Is Relevant?

One of the main hurdles that SEO's will face in reaction to this new function is determining exactly how the additional relevant phrases are determined. There are a few possible sources the come to mind:

Directories (least likely) - The directories are already using "Related Categories". It is possible that the engines will choose the simplest possible means of determining relevancy and opt to use sub-categories of a directory listing and to use the "Related Categories" as the supplemental keyword sources.

Alternatively they could simply run the search itself on their directories and reference the categories that come up and run supplemental searches for those categories.

The main drawback to this approach is that many popular keywords would not be cross-reference accurately. For example, a search for "seo" would result in a supplemental search set of "promotion", "web design and development", Internet marketing" along with a variety of other phrases. While these phrases are related by industry a visitor searching for "seo" may well not be interested in "web design and development".

Thesaurus (unlikely) - It may be that the engines choose to reference a thesaurus for related phrases however this doesn't work for many keyword phrases. Single word phrases would be doable however multiple keyword phrases would be far more difficult and acronyms (such as "seo") would find no related words in the more common thesauruses.

Search Behavior (highly likely) - The most likely source of the relevancy data is also the most difficult to predict and this is search behavior patterns. While I have had some disagreements with members on a couple SEO forums over whether the search engines can in fact know your search patterns, the conclusion is that they indeed can under many circumstances. Search engines will be able to compile enough data based on the users they are documenting to assess overall search behavior (and here you thought all those great tools the engines come out with were just them spending their money altruistically).

If Google "knows" that after someone enters "seo" as a query they follow that up with "seo service", this is likely to then be used as a supplemental search. Similarly, if they also know that these same searchers tend to also search shortly before or after for another common phrase, say "w3c compliance" then this too is likely to be used as a supplemental search.

Agree To Disagree: Implementation

Now that we have a better idea of what the Orion Algorithm is and how it works the big question is, what will it's implementation mean to search engine users and to how websites get ranked on those engines. At this time there appears to be two main schools of thought:

What I believe, and

Everything else that's been published

I'll be the first to admit that my interpretation of how the Orion algorithm will affect search engine results is either not shared by other SEO's (at least those who have a published opinion on the topic) or has not been thought up by them. That said, my take on the Orion Algorithm did not initially include their predicted affect whereas I now believe that it is likely both implementations will be tested if not brought into full effect within the next 12-18 months (this may seem like a long time but if you want to develop a strategy to react to it this is about the lead-time you may well need). So … what are these two possible outcomes?

Where we all agree: the addition of key parts of web content in the results. This is how the algorithm is explained to function by its developer and is thus the obvious conclusion to most in regards to how it will be implemented.

Everyone else: related information displayed separately. From what I have read, the majority of people believe that the related phrases will be displayed separate from the original query (though rightfully no one seems to be predicting exactly where or how). Essentially this will give searchers the ability to view information on related topics quickly and easily.

This is certain to be included in some capacity and we have already seen similar functions added to the Google results for specific queries though not to any capacity reliable enough to be launched across all Google search results.

And then there's my opinion: integration in standard search results. To me it seems short-sighted to believe that Google will leave a technology that allows them to drawn information and relevancy on multiple related phrases to just displaying multiple options on a results page. With the processing power they have at their disposal why would they not reference a site against its ability to rank for these other phrases and base the final results on that? Let's a take a quick peek at the pros and cons of such a move:

Cons first: Processing power. That about covers the downside and I'm sure we're all aware of the fact that if this ever becomes an issue they have more than enough capital and technical know-how to get around it.

Pros: Imagine a world where running a search for a query took into consideration whether a site ranked for multiple related phrases. What do you suppose the impact on the results would be if only those sites that had content related to a number of areas of a topic ranked highly? The answer: a much more relevant set of results.


Fortunately, while there may be some disagreement in regards to how this new algorithm will be integrated into the search engine results pages the resulting actions required are the same. Whether the new functions will be added in the form on additional links and information on the results pages or whether they will be taken into consideration when ranking the site for the initial query, sites that rank well for a multitude of related phrases will fare better than those that rank for just one of the phrases.

The action required then on the part of SEO's and website owners is to provide quality unique content on all the possible areas that may be considered relevant to the main keyword target. Once this is accomplished then these areas need to be promoted in order to insure that they rank well.

The resulting web will be one that rewards websites with a large amount of quality content on the highest number of topics related to a specific issue. If one considers the end goal of any of the major search engines, to provide the most relevant results possible, this new technology is sure help promote these types of results and insure that the searcher is receiving results that are likely to provide the information they're looking for.

And let's also consider this: should you choose to be an "early adopter" and begin making changes to your site, adding new content, optimizing it and getting it ranking well, what will the results be? Even if Orion isn't implemented for another decade your website will gain stickiness and rank for more related keywords bringing you more targeted traffic and keeping it on your site. Could this possibly be a bad thing?


While I have strived to provide some insight into the Orion Algorithm and what it means to you, there is a lot of information/speculation out there regarding what it means and which also covers other implementations of this technology not covered in this article. Below you will find some of the better pieces of information.

I have included information that contradicts what you may have read above. This algorithm is sure to have an enormous impact on the way searchers find results and the way SEO's promote sites and thus, you need to have all the quality information at your disposal to make the right decisions for you website and your business.

Search Engine Watch - Danny Sullivan wrote a solid piece on the subject (as he always does) which includes some good links to related information and also a link to their forum thread on the subject where you can get other opinions on what this means to searchers and SEO's.

E-commerce Time - Jennifer LeClaire wrote a good piece on Orion which covers more on the integration of relevant listings into the results pages.

The Sidney Morning Herald - Stephen Hutcheon covers some of the basics regarding how the deal to purchase the algorithm came about, who the major players were, and a bit of the history behind Orion.