computer

Tue
31
Dec
Dennis Faas's picture

Difference between CMOS and BIOS

CMOS or BIOS? What's the difference? The CMOS (pronounced "sea moss") is a computer chip responsible for storing settings of a computer system. The word "CMOS" is actually an acronym which stands for Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor. Try and ... say that 10 times without slipping! Most users have undoubtedly witnessed a message stating "Press DEL to enter Setup", or something similar when a computer has been powered on. If the DEL key was pressed at this instance, something called a CMOS utility screen would appear on the screen. Various hardware settings can ... (view more)

Tue
31
Dec
Dennis Faas's picture

Computers with prepackaged software, Part 3

This is the third installment on a series of comments based on the following scenario: " When someone buys a new computer (either brand name or clone) that is preloaded with an Operating System (OS), is the seller obliged to give the client an ... original CD which includes the Operating System? " Last week I provided various short-but-sweet answers to the above question from various readers of the Infopackets Gazette. The gist was that retailers are required to provide Windows on a CD, whether it comes pre-packaged like Compaq, and Dell machines do -- or, if it comes with the basic ... (view more)

Tue
10
Dec
Dennis Faas's picture

Computer Gift Ideas for Under 50 Bucks

Yeah, the wallet is on a major diet this year. So, I thought I'd spread some Holiday cheer and start this week off with some cool computer gift ideas for under $50 bucks. At the end of my Top 10 list, I invite you to email your $budgeted$ gift ideas ... and I'll include them in tomorrow's issue of the Gazette. #1. Optical mouse with a Scroll Wheel: Less than $25 If I had to go back to a ball mouse, I think I'd go insane. Optical mice are very precise and don't suffer from jerky movements or get gummed up like ball mice do... plus you can use an optical mouse on just about any surface. An optical ... (view more)

Tue
19
Nov
Dennis Faas's picture

RAID = Blazing fast Hard Drive performance

Have you ever had a RAID before? RAID is a technology used to increase hard drive performance and fault-tolerance. What is fault-tolerance? The hard drive inside your computer is responsible for storing programs and user data. RAID performance ... refers to the time that it takes the hard drive to read and write information; fault-tolerance deals with the means to protect data stored on the hard drive. RAID is an acronym which stands for Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive (or Independent) Disks. Generally speaking, the word 'Array' is a techy-term which represents related information formed in a ... (view more)

Thu
07
Nov
Dennis Faas's picture

Shopping for an LCD monitor

I recently purchased a Samsung LCD (model: SyncMaster 760V TFT) for my Desktop behemoth computer. If you didn't already know, LCD stands for Liquid Crystal Display. The most noticeable features of an LCD monitor is the fact that the screen is ... perfectly flat, has an incredibly clear display, and its "backside" is very thin. Commonly referred to as a "flat screen monitors", LCD displays are most recognizably used in conjunction with a Laptop computer. Having two identical hard drives in RAID format allows me to transfer information to / from the computer 2x as fast (compared ... (view more)

Thu
24
Oct
Dennis Faas's picture

Internet Explorer 6 Spyware -- Alexa Registry Key, Part 2

I had a few people email me with regards to the Alexa Registry Key (Spyware) that Chris B. submitted yesterday. OK, So is the Alexa registry key Spyware or not? There is much debate . Let me try to outline some of the issues. 1. It has been said ... that the "Spyware" part of the tool will only activate if you choose to use the Alexa tool provided in Internet Explorer. Long story short: you can't activate the Spyware component used in Alexa if you don't use the Alexa tool. You have the ability to change this (see below). 2. Spyware software is considered "Spyware" because ... (view more)

Wed
09
Oct
Dennis Faas's picture

Can I track down a hacker?, Part 2

Yesterday's Visitor Feedback asked, " Can I track down a hacker ?" My answer to that question was a passive one -- mainly based on the fact it would take an inconceivable amount of time to prosecute each and every hacker who tries to wallow his way ... into your computer system. An algorithm for a typical Hacker might look something like this: Randomly select a computer to hack; Attempt to gain access to randomly selected computer; If access is granted, deliver a payload (send virus/trojan, delete files); If access is not granted, disconnect from this computer; Repeat process. With the ... (view more)

Tue
17
Sep
Dennis Faas's picture

How can I set up my modem to my network (ethernet) card under Windows?

Infopackets Reader - J Lerch. writes: " Dear Dennis, I have an ethernet card (network card) and external Cisco modem installed on my old computer. I recently purchased a new computer, and would like to transfer my network card and modem to the new ... computer. Could you give instructions on how to do this? I would like to do this myself (this time) because the last time cost me almost $200 dollars! " My Response: Anything to do with networking a computer can be highly involved. I will outline the steps taken, but will not go into too much detail: Open your old computer. Take out your ... (view more)

Tue
09
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft Trust, Antitrust and the Antichrist

Do you trust Microsoft? Is Bill Gates the Antichrist? While a new computer user may not know a thing or two about Microsoft, its trustworthy practices, Bill Gates, and the Windows operating system -- the usual response from most experienced computer ... users is: "no way," and "yes!" I guess the first thing that comes to my mind regarding antitrust and Microsoft is the Netscape scandal: most people refer to it as the browser war . I suppose this antitrust scandal is most pertinent because of all the media attention it received at the time. It pretty much set the wave for other ... (view more)

Tue
21
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Information Technology Abuse -- Privacy Issues (Part 2 of 2)

Abstract This article is a continuation of last week's issue of the Infopackets Gazette. This article presents an overview of current privacy issues, discusses potential methods in which an individual's privacy may be jeopardized, and examines ... specific countermeasures that can be used to protect private information. Information Technology Abuse -- Privacy Issues (Part 1 of 2) -- Third Layer: Firewalls, Web Filters, and Tracking Detection Firewalls: Any computer system that accesses the Internet should be equipped with a firewall to enable the user to detect and prevent unauthorized access to ... (view more)

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