Friday, September 24, 2010

Product Key

The Picture on the left shows What is called in the software industry the C.O.A. Certificate of Authenticity. This sticker indicates that the operating system on your computer whether it be Windows XP, Vista or 7, should be genuine and was legally purchase.

The sticker also carries the product key for the installed operating system which is a 25 character string of numbers and letters. This product key is required when installing the operating system and is unique to the computer.

I recommend that upon purchase, this number is recorded and stored in a safe place (email for example). the sticker will fade and degrade with time and in the event you need to reinstall your operating system your gonna need the product key. This product key is even more important than the disc it self. 

If you should lose that disc but still have your product key then any oem operating system disc corresponding to the product key can be installed using your COA and will be genuine.

Desktop should also carry this COA and should be looked for when purchasing a computer to ensure you are purchasing genuine software.
Usually on a laptop the sticker is placed on the underside, where as on desktop it maybe placed anywhere convenient to the manufacturer.

Monday, September 20, 2010

UPS Batteries

if you UPS battery is at an end you can get a replacement or have your ups repaired @
ACCUpower jamaica limited

Tell them Dean sent you ... u definately will not get a

A Computer is Not a fridge

I am sick of hearing people say how could my mother board burn or how could my pc power supply burn out ...
its on the same surge protector like the fridge and the fridge alright.

First of all your fridge uses AC (Alternating Current) current straight from the socket, your pc uses DC (Direct Current). This basically means that your computer and all electronic devices in general are more sensitive to variations / fluctuations in voltage. So surges or low voltage that may affect your electronic devices (LCD TV, GAMING CONSOLES, COMPUTERS) will not necessarily affect your microwave, washing machine,refrigerator.

Optimally you should run your PC on a UPS and for those UPS which have plugs which are not attached to the battery, ensure they have AVR (Automatic Voltage Regulation). A fancy way of saying that the UPS will maintain a Constant out put of say 110v regardless of the voltage coming from your supply company...(ours popdown). So if the supply is 90v or 135v the AVR feature will constantly output 110V.

A standalone voltage regulator or line conditioner is the next best thing to the ups. If you still insist on getting a surge protector for your 100k investment (LCD TV) then pay attention to the following.  Ensure that it says UL certified (L-N, L-G, N-G) and transient voltage. provides better protection against lightning strikes. The joule rating needs to be as much as the devices connected to it or higher. Basically do not plug a 400w device into 200w rated surge protector.

Response time is also very important . You could have the best features in a surge protector but if it has a slow response time it will not do you any good. If the surge protector is too slow in responding to a surge then the equipment will get damaged by the time the surge is able to activate its protection. so you want response time in nanoseconds the lower this number the better. (ANY THING LESS THAN ONE NANOSECOND IS GOOD).

Have fun. Stuff is expensive. Our power company ain't replacing shit.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Overheating Laptop

Chances are that if your laptop has started running very hotter than usual or starts shutting down after its been running for a while, its because its overheating. Main cause of which is usually a blocked heat sink vent :
This is a typical heat sink and fan assembly for a laptop.

                                                                               Further disassemble of the heat sink components shows that the vent is completely blocked by dust and debris.  The computer still works but was on a cooling pad to prevent it shutting off. So the cooling pad was substituting for the internal cooling mechanism.

A closer look clearly shows the blockage. This will eventually kill your laptop from overheating, whether or not your on a cooling pad. It is causing the internal components of  you laptop to run at elevated temperatures constantly which it was not design for.

Started clearing away the accumulated dust and debris from the heat sing fins.

after final cleanning you can now see the fins clearly
air can flow freely through the heat sink to cool the processor and the graphics chip. Can you see the difference.

So if your laptop starst running hotter that usually don't wait for it to die. Get it to a techriffic technician and have it checked before it dies.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Retrieve information from blackberry backup files ( *.ipd)

when you back up your blackberry to your computer, the files are saved as an *.ipd file and cannot be read by you.

But if you want to extract say a text message or address from your contacts or just be able to see what was backed up then you need a program called  MagicBerry. Its opensource so its free
and works like a charm. you can extract messages so you can print them or have a hard copy of your phone contacts.

Check it out.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Companies Using Open Source

Now if these companies and countries and governments can see benefits of using Open Source software, then why can't our goverment be forward thinking and adopt some of theses ideas. They are always talking about cost cutting and operating efficiently. Well stop talking and start doing.

  • Amerada Hess Corporation - Oil Exploration Supercomputing - Amerada Hess Corp is a $7.4 billion petroleum company, but the supercomputers traditionally used to analyze oil exploration data are rather costly even for a company of this size. No longer a problem. Amerada Hess now uses a large Linux cluster for the job. - Article -
  • BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) - Light Rail Metropolitan Transit System - This system tracks the flow of electricity from the high voltage DC power lines of Pacific Gas and Electric to the distribution of electricity via the third rail. If an emergency required the evacuation of a train, this system would be used to turn off the electricity to ensure the safety of passengers as they exited the system. - Article -
  • Boscov's Department Stores - special invoicing, server consolidation, Web site, etc. - Boscov's, America's largest family owned department store chain, has been steadily moving it's back office operations to Linux, and will probably eventually migrate POS (Point of Sale) systems as well. - Article -
  • Burlington Coat Factory - Entire Systems - Burlington Coat Factory is a "Factory Outlet" retailer with 280 stores in 42 states. Initial Linux installations at their new distribution center and a few new stores proved highly successful, so roll-out to existing stores began. An order for 1,250 Dell computers preloaded with Linux was placed to support the effort. The Linux systems are used to run warehousing and distribution, the gift registry and back office functions such as ordering and general desktop. The chosen office productivity suite is Applixware Office, which allows a very high degree of customization. - Article -
  • Conoco - Oil Exploration Supercomputing - Conoco is one of several major petroleum companies that have chosen to use inexpensive Linux clusters instead of costly supercomputers to analyze oil exploration data. - Article -
  • Cisco - Worldwide Printing System - Cisco, a $21 billion maker of routers that tie the Internet together, signed a major agreement with Microsoft regarding support for Active Directory. As part of that deal, Cisco management declared Cisco an "all Microsoft" company. Unfortunately, Cisco's IT staff couldn't get network printing services to work right through NT servers (and you can't say Cisco engineers don't understand networking, now, can you?). Cisco's worldwide printing services now run on Linux.
  • Digital Domain - Visual Effects Supercomputing - Digital Domain is a major visual effects studio. In particular, they did the visual effects for Appolo 13 and Titanic. The effects for Titanic were particularly demanding, too demanding for their SGI Inigos, and would have normally required a supercomputer costing millions. Digital Domain was able to do the job on an inexpensive Linux cluster instead. - Article -
  • Ernie Ball Inc. - Entire Operation - Ernie Ball was one of those unfortunate companies turned over to the BSA (Business Software Aliance) by someone with a grudge. While few "infractions" . There's hardly a small business anywhere that has all the paperwork together for their software, and while few "infractions" were found, that was enough to be very costly. Ernie Ball decided this would never happen again and made a very successful migration to Linux. - Article -
  • Garden Grove California, City of - major operations - The City of Garden Grove began moving operations to Linux in 1995 with central data systems running Samba and the Pick database. The initial deployment was so successful and saved so much money the city has been gradually moving other operations to Linux, including some desktop systems. - Article -
  • Google - Search Engine - The wildly popular Google search engine simply would not be possible without a customized version of Linux fit exactly to its needs. - Article -
  • Just Sports USA - A fast growing chain (now 50 stores) selling sports items - All Stores, Back Office functions, Inventory and eCommerce systems run on Linux. All functions are integrated together using a PostgreSQL database. The eCommerce system runs on Linux / Apache Web servers and is also integrated with the inventory database. Postgre and Apache are also Open Source products. - Article -
  • Kaiser Aluminum - Manufacturing Control - Kaiser, one of the world's largest producer of aluminum, aluminum sheet and foil, has chosen Linux for many applications on the manufacturing floor. It works side by side with Unix, Windows NT and specialty "real time" operating systems. - Article -
  • Largo Florida, City of - City office desktop systems. - Largo has about 400 thin client workstations running the KDE Desktop from a Linux server. Database workloads were migrated from SCO Unix, AIX and Windows NT servers for a multi-million dollar savings. Largo figures its IT budget is about half that of other cities its size. Using thin clients provides a low cost, very low maintenance, uniform and easily administered computing environment for all city users. At peak, there are about 230 simultaneous users. - Article - Article
  • Lawson Inc. (Japan) - In-Store Consumer Web Ordering System - Lawson, a giant convenience store chain (7,600 stores) in Japan, will be placing two Linux based computers in each store to implement it's new Web ordering system. The over 15,000 computers will be purchased from IBM pre-configured with Linux installed. - Article - Article -
  • Mexico City - government of - Everything! - The government of Mexico City have concluded they can no longer justify the ever rising cost of Microsoft Windows when the cost of Linux software is very low. Linux has already proven itself in the city's motor vehicle licensing agency and in the Mexican school system. Money saved will be used in social welfare programs. - Article -
  • Mobil Travel Guide - Major Consumer Web Site - This Exxon division found Linux ideal both from a cost/performance standpoint and for scalability as the division grows. - CIO Insight.
  • Omaha Steaks - On-Line Commerce - Advertisements for this mail order company can be found in the back of most up-scale home oriented magazines. They were running their internal systems on an IBM AS/400 and outsourced their Web site, but they wanted to tie the on-line ordering directly into the AS/400. A cluster of Linux servers now runs the Web site and connects to the AS/400. - Article -
  • Panasonic - Major Electronics Manufacturer - Panasonic's popular DBS business telephone system included a voicemail system based on Windows NT, but it was a bit pricy. To be more competitive in smaller businesses, Panasonic developed a system incorporating 1CTI's Linux based voice mail software. The Linux based system has been so well accepted by the customers the Windows based system is being discontinued.
  • Raymour & Flanigan - Furniture Chain (50 stores in Northeast) - The store chain has trnsferred most of its servers to Linux, and is replacing Windows 98 PC with Linux based "thin client" workstations in its service centers. Inventory and other databases are now being migrated from Microsoft Access running on Windows servers to Oracle running on Linux. - Article -
  • Royal Dutch/Shell - Oil Exploration Supercomputing - One of the world's largest petroleum companies, Royal Dutch/Shell could certainly afford the supercomputers traditionally used to analyze oil exploration data, but why do that when your competitors are using inexpensive Linux clusters to do the job. Royal Dutch/Shell has decided to set up a bigger Linux cluster than the ones it's competitors have. - Article -
  • Tommy Hilfiger - Clothing Brand - Note: website designed by idiots won't let you in at all without Flash plug-in. The company is installing three Linux based portals running on IBM xSeries servers. The first provides remote access to data on the company's IBM iSeries (AS/400) datacenter computers. The second provides access for clothing manufacturers to designs and specifications. The third provides B2B eCommerce access to retailers and a company store for employees. Company officials say the Linux systems provide the required performance at a lower cost than any other platform. - Article -
  • Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. - Dealer Communications System - Toyota is installing a Linux based system connecting all its car dealers to it's factory. This is a Web based system from the ground up, and will be handling 30 different functions including parts ordering, warranties, sales transactions and repairs. A 30 dealer pilot roll-out was highly successful, extremely reliable, and easily maintained, so now the system will be rolled out to all 1,200 dealers. - Article -
  • Travelocity - Travel Agency - Travelocity is the back-end system for the travel services offered by AOL, Yahoo and US Airways. It's Web site gets 11 million page views and 170,000 email transmissions a day. The system is being migrated to Linux and Java. - Article -
  • U.S. Army - major military organization - The U.S. Army's Land Warrior program, the first stage of a far reaching battlefield information and communications system, leads a general move to Linux. The Army says that "Evidence shows that Linux is more stable". Apparently the Army has issues with Microsoft's "blue screen of death". - Article -
  • U.S. Federal Courts - case management, case tracking, finance and accounting, probation and pretrial services - A support contract has been awarded (Nov-03) to PEC Solutions for migration of the Federal Judiciary to a Linux based system. = - Article -
  • U.S. Postal Service - OCR Supercomputing - The Postal Service had declared itself an "all Windows NT" house, but you can't use NT for what it simply can't do - so they now sort all the bulk mail on over 900 Linux clusters scattered around the country (at less than half the cost of the next cheapest solution (and that wasn't NT either)). The OCR (Optical Character Recognition) system uses scanners that were already in place. The Linux system consists of 5 rack mounted PCs, one to handle the scanners and sorting equipment, and 4 to share the computational tasks.
  • WesternGeco - Oil Exploration Supercomputing - IBM has built a Linux based supercomputer for analysis of seismic data. This machine is built from 256 IBM eServer xSeries. This is the second largest Linux cluster IBM has built for oil exploration, the largest being the 1024 xSeries cluster for Shell. - Article -

Open Source Software in comon use

Open source software is realy the only truly free software out there.
We all use them everyday without ever even knowing or thinking about it.

WordPress -         most popular blogging sofware (220 million )
Firefox -               second most used web browser
Apache -             most widely used web server
MySql -                most widely used database (used by google)
Oscommerce -      Popular ecommerce platform
Zencart -              Out of box eccommerce website
VLC Player -       multimedia cross platform player
Filezilla -             ftp client and server
Audacity -           music production suite (popular in europe)
VNC -                   remote access software (most commercial products are based on it. Teamviewer, showmypc etc.)
OpenOffice -      only real rival to microsoft office (microsoft now train sales rep how to counteract openoffice)

Open Source

Simply put, Open Source refers to the practice of allowing the public full and unrestricted access to software created by an individual, group or any entity including the original programe code and all subsequent revisions.

The tenets of the open source license is as follows:

Open source doesn't just mean access to the source code.
The distribution terms of open-source software must comply with the following criteria:
1. Free Redistribution
The license shall not restrict any party from selling or giving away the software as a component of an aggregate software distribution containing programs from several different sources. The license shall not require a royalty or other fee for such sale.
2. Source Code
The program must include source code, and must allow distribution in source code as well as compiled form. Where some form of a product is not distributed with source code, there must be a well-publicized means of obtaining the source code for no more than a reasonable reproduction cost preferably, downloading via the Internet without charge. The source code must be the preferred form in which a programmer would modify the program. Deliberately obfuscated source code is not allowed. Intermediate forms such as the output of a preprocessor or translator are not allowed.
3. Derived Works
The license must allow modifications and derived works, and must allow them to be distributed under the same terms as the license of the original software.
4. Integrity of The Author's Source Code
The license may restrict source-code from being distributed in modified form only if the license allows the distribution of "patch files" with the source code for the purpose of modifying the program at build time. The license must explicitly permit distribution of software built from modified source code. The license may require derived works to carry a different name or version number from the original software.
5. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups
The license must not discriminate against any person or group of persons.
6. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor
The license must not restrict anyone from making use of the program in a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the program from being used in a business, or from being used for genetic research.
7. Distribution of License
The rights attached to the program must apply to all to whom the program is redistributed without the need for execution of an additional license by those parties.
8. License Must Not Be Specific to a Product
The rights attached to the program must not depend on the program's being part of a particular software distribution. If the program is extracted from that distribution and used or distributed within the terms of the program's license, all parties to whom the program is redistributed should have the same rights as those that are granted in conjunction with the original software distribution.
9. License Must Not Restrict Other Software
The license must not place restrictions on other software that is distributed along with the licensed software. For example, the license must not insist that all other programs distributed on the same medium must be open-source software.
10. License Must Be Technology-Neutral
No provision of the license may be predicated on any individual technology or style of interface.

Bill Gates : Real World

    Love him or hate him, he sure hits the nail on the head with this!
    To anyone with kids of any age, here's some advice. Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about 11 things they did not and will not learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.
    Rule 1:
     Life is not fair -- get used to it!
    Rule 2:
     The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.
    Rule 3:
     You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.
    Rule 4:
     If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.
    Rule 5:
     Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping -- they called it opportunity.
    Rule 6:
     If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.
    Rule 7:
     Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you are. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.
    Rule 8:
     Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.
    Rule 9:
    Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.
    Rule 10:
     Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
    Rule 11:
    Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Certification VS Bachelors

I have often said to persons if i knew then what i know now, i would have never gone to Utech to study Electronics and telecom. Instead i would have done Professional Certifications in the computing field.

Professional certifications are developed by people in the actual industry to satisfy specific needs or to cater to specific goods and services. A bachelor's degree is designed to provide you with a base set of skills set to groom into a more advanced set of skills. As a result persons with certifications are more technical and hands on in there respective fields.

There are additional benefits to certifications;

  1. They usually require less time to complete
  2. They usually cost less than a degree
  3. They allow you the freedom to progress in stages 
  4. Persons with certifications are in high demand and are held in high regard
  5. The salaries of Certified professionals are usually the same or higher than those of persons with degrees
  6. Certifications often allow you to work in the field while getting certified so providing practical applications to compliment your learning process
  7. Most certifications are recognized worldwide in contrast to degree's
  8. You can study on your own at your own leisure
  9. Certification is usually an on going process as technology evolves
  10. Certification can count as credit towards a degree later on if you wish
Three of the most sought after certifications in the computer industry now are :
MCSA/E - Microsoft Certified System Administrator/Engineer
CCNA - Cisco Certified Network Associate
CISA - Certified Information Security Auditor

Any of these certification by themselves is a US$40k per year salary, combined they are worth US$60k - US$80K annually and they don't require four years of study. In fact the MCSA is four exams at US$125 per exam. CCNA is one exam @ US$250 and CISA is US$545 and all can be completed in one year.

There are many other fields outside of computing to which this information also applies. so if you are fresh out of high school with no money for a four year degree THERE ARE OPTIONS



Certified Document Imaging Architect (CDIA+)
Certified Technical Trainer (CTT+)
Digital Home Technology Integrator (DHTI+)






Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Scrapetorrent + utorrent

Tuesday, September 07, 2010
9:03 AM
First of all what is this "torrent" thing .

A torrent is a file sent via the BitTorrent protocol, (BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing protocol designed to reduce the bandwidth required to transfer files. It does this by distributing file transfers across multiple systems). It can be just about any type of file, such as a movie, song, game, or application. During the transmission, the file is incomplete and therefore is referred to as a torrent. Torrent downloads that have been paused or stopped cannot be opened as regular files, since they do not contain all the necessary data. However, they can often be resumed using a BitTorrent client, as long as the file is available from another server.

Torrents are different from regular downloads in that they are usually downloaded from more than one server at a time. The BitTorrent protocol uses multiple computers to transfer a single file, thereby reducing the bandwidth required by each server. When a torrent download is started, the BitTorrent system locates multiple computers with the file and downloads different parts of the file from each computer. Likewise, when sending a torrent, the server may send the file to multiple computers before it reaches the recipient. The result is a lower average bandwidth usage, which speeds up file transfers. So individual computer users who run bitorrent clients act both as servers and clients.

 So to use this particular site here are the steps to follow
  1. Download and install a torrent client (utorrent recommended)
  2. Go to the website scrapetorrent
  3. Type what it is your looking for in the search bar (it does not have spell check so learn to spell)
  4. You click on one of the results of the search
  5. Click the '+' to the right of the file you want to download
  6. It will take you to the server hosting the file (I like btjunkie the icon that looks like an N)
  7. Click download torrent icon
  8. Utorrent should automatically open  the file and start the download

The result of the search will be displayed using a tabular arrangement with columns with different headings. The headings are: Name, size, S, L and two columns without headings, the first of which is an icon representing the sever hosting the file and the second is telling you which category the file was posted under.

  1. "S" is short for seeding - and tells how many other users or persons have the complete file available for download. lots of seeders good. Pay attention to what community members say about files.
  2. "L" is for leeching - and represents the number of persons currently downloading the particular file without uploading any. Many leechers = slow download.
  3. Remember to leave the file for a couple of days on your pc so other persons can download it as well.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Computer Training

For my first post on my brand new blog i am going to be answering the question i get asked the most. Where did i learn all the computing stuff floating around in my head.

Simply put the Internet. No i did not go to college to study computing, i studied electronics and telecommunication. While there i realized i spent more time in the computer labs and reading my computer texts than anything else. From then on its been an natural progression.

To say the internet is tricky because there is so much information out there it can get overwhelming to a newbieThe internet an dthe way it operates has changed much since i started using it ten years ago. A lot of the stuff that were free back then are not now; and a lot of the places you could access easily no longer allow you to do so.

So a few years ago when i notice the change i started downloading, collecting and storing information. So for you newbies i am gonna list a few sites which still allow unrestricted access to quality information and resources on various topics. If there is something specific your looking for and can't find, use thee ask a question gadget on the right side of the blog to post your question or request and i will see what i can do.

List of my most important resources:

Hope it helps u as much as it helped me.