Category Archives: home computing

Protecting Your Kids Online

Desktop PC Youth“We all want the best for our children, including the ability to leverage technology. However, with technology come risks, risks that our children are often not aware of or prepared to deal with. As parents, it is our responsibility to ensure our children understand these risks and how to protect themselves. But Continue reading

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Filed under Cool Stuff On The Net, home computing, Internet Security

Managing Files and Folders

Solution and mouseHave you ever “lost” a document you created in the past, and wondered where it might be found on your computer? Good file and folder organization is a great help in storing your documents and data in such a manner that they will be easily found when you need them. Continue reading

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Filed under Cool Stuff On The Net, Education, home computing, How-To Corner

Cloud Computing: The Pros and Cons

www http gold redThe business world is moving to a concept called Cloud Computing, where programs and storage of data usually residing on the companies’ computers is stored and operated over the Internet on computers owned by companies who provide the service. In other words, companies who, in the past, have guarded their software and data with extreme security are now deciding to let someone else run their software and store their data for them. While the Cloud Computing companies “guarantee” that the software and data will be kept in high security, safe from any and all hazards; I find that hard to believe. If governments around the world, including the U.S. and Great Britain, have been hacked time and again, sensitive data exposed and stolen from parts of the government who are known for their security, secrecy, and technological strength…can you say U.S. Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security?…then how secure do you think these Cloud Computing businesses will keep a client’s technology assets? Continue reading

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Do You Surf The Net Naked?

Security Virus imageWell…do you? Okay, I’m not talking about what you wear—or don’t—while surfing the Web. I’m talking about surfing the Web without a thread of protection. Since I’ve started down this path of visuals to make the point of this article, I’ll give you a visual of how dangerous it is to surf without protection. Picture yourself walking in a prison yard, or on a street in a bad section of town, completely naked. Continue reading

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5 Important Features when Choosing a Webcam

Web imageHere is an article from guest writer Rashed Khan. It contains information on choosing a webcam, including an explanation of the features you should consider in your search.

The amount of money that you spend on your webcam normally has a direct correlation to its functionality. Should you only require a webcam for keeping in touch with friends, a lower quality, less expensive webcam will suffice. For a more professional use, a webcam that has video conferencing functionality may be more appropriate with its additional picture enhancement features.

Webcams can vary in many ways such as size, shape, specification and price; follow these 5 tips to help you choose the best webcam for your individual needs:

Megapixels – The megapixels are the tiny dots of colour that, when combined, make the resulting visual image. A webcam with more megapixels will result in a clearer more vivid image. Today, the number of megapixels is not as big of an issue as it was in the past. Most webcams now will provide a reasonable image quality; however, the general advice is to go for a webcam that has 320X240 or 640X480 pixels for a good image. If you have the functionality of HD, consider a better specification for your webcam of 1280X720 pixels.

Frame Rate – As the megapixels deal with image and colour vividness, the frame rate is what controls how smooth the video quality is. Frame Rate decides how many images per second are displayed. 30fps (frames per second) is more than suitable for a standard use webcam. Those looking for a smoother, higher quality moving image should consider a webcam with the capabilities of 60fps.

Lens Quality – the lens is the first stage in the video process therefore it is vital that you have the correct lens to cater for your needs. A webcam with a glass lens is much better than one with a plastic lens.

Continuous Autofocus – In many scenarios there can be a lot of activity happening during a webcam session, autofocus (AF) enables the webcam to keep you as the main focus rather than diverting to other movements within the frame.

Low Light Quality – If you tend to use your webcam during the evening or in low light conditions, the resulting image quality can be very poor. By tampering with the screen brightness and contrast, you create a hazy and continued poor image on screen. Logitech have developed ‘Right Light’ in some of their webcams. This enables the image quality to be optimised in these poor light conditions.

Another issue to consider when contemplating the use of a webcam is the speed of your Internet connection. The speed of your computer processor and Input/Output capability is also an issue. The faster the better is the rule because the video images use lots of your computer’s communications capacity. I recommend the fastest broadband speed you can afford, to avoid jerky, stop and start video images. This requirement pertains to both ends of the teleconference session. Many folks have purchased webcams only to be disappointed by the poor video quality due to the above communications and computer shortcomings.

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Filed under home computing, How-To Corner

Are You Using The Internet Safely At Home?

Computer SecurityMicrosoft has published a short set of guidelines for using the Internet safely at home. It contains no new revelations, but it’s a concise, plain-English list of tips that you can use as a checklist to see if you’re using the proper security practices.

Their list of Top Tips for Internet Safety at Home is as follows: Continue reading

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Cool Stuff on the Web: Microsoft Security for Home Computers Newsletter

Help and LadderMy regular readers know I’m passionate about improving the computer security of all computer users, especially the home computer user, and I try to write in least technical language in order to communicate to people at all levels of technical knowledge. So, you would not be surprised that I seek out other forums of security information who have a like objective. Microsoft’s Security for Home Computers Newsletter is a great resource for the home computer users who want to get tips on how to secure their computers, security alerts, news about security updates, and other security resources available to them. And it’s written in language that isn’t too technical for the less-experienced user. Continue reading

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Filed under Cool Stuff On The Net, home computing, How-To Corner, security