Posted by: flavman | October 16, 2008

Computer Preventative Maintenance

As I am continuing my A+ Technician studies I came across a suggested computer maintenance schedule. I thought it was interesting and I would like to share it with you.

Daily Activities:

  • Backup important data from the unit
  • Check computer ventilation to make the unit’s airflow is not cut
  • Check for other sources of heat buildup around the unit (sunlight, heaters, piled up books/papers)

Weekly Activities:

  • Clean the outside of the computer and it’s peripheral equipment
  • Clean the display screen
  • Run CHKDSK/f (or comparable disk checking/fixing utility)
  • Run a virus checker (this should probably be on all the time)
  • Backup revised data files on the hard drive
  • Inspect/Clean peripherals (mice, keyboard, etc.)

Monthly Activities:

  • Clean the inside of the system (remove dust, etc.)
  • Vacuum out the keyboard
  • Clean the mouse track ball rollers (does anyone still use track ball mice?)
  • Clean the inside of the printer (where applicable)
  • Defrag the hard drive
  • Check for hardware driver updates and general software updates
  • Backup entire hard drive

Six-Month Activities:

  • Apply an antistatic wash to the entire computer/peripheral work area (wow… is this really necessary?)
  • Disconnect power and signal cables from the system’s devices and reseat them
  • Clean the inside of the printer
  • Run the printer’s self-tests (I think these should be run sooner if the printer is used a lot)
  • Use a software diagnostic to check each section of the system (check for pending problems)

Annual Activities:

  • Reformat the hard drive and reinstall drivers and all necessary software (ie: backup and do a high-level reformat)
    (this PC is for sure running Windows…. is the reformat really necessary if you CHKDSK and Defrag on schedule?)
  • Check all floppy disks in the work area for viruses (more like USB sticks these days)

The best way to deal with problems is to actually prevent them all together. This Preventative Maintanence check list will help you with keeping on top of the possible problems that might show up in the computer’s daily operations.

Posted by: flavman | August 30, 2008

“Catching some sun”

Have you heard of the expression “catching some sun”. If you’ve lived in North America for more than a few years I’m sure you’ve heard it before. When people use that expression they mean that the color of your skin has darkened because of your exposure to the sun (ie. getting a tan).

Besides English I also fluently speak Romanian.  In Romanian the expression “te-a prins soarele” means the same as “you’ve caught some sun”. There is one slight difference though. If you were to translate the Romanian expression literally it would sound like “the sun caught you”.

I lived for 13 years of my life in Romanian before I moved to Canada. I saw a big difference in how people are in North America vs Romania. I will go ahead and say that people in North America seem to be more ego-centric than Romanians. Everybody seems to care only about themselves, their goals and their ambitions.  I know that this is just an opinion and it’s also exaggerated to some point but I found it quite interesting to see that even the North American English language seems to reflect traces of this “ego-centrism”. Now please don’t hate me as I’m not trying to insult North Americans (me being one of them). I am just stating an observation.

I’d be curious to see if people that speak other languages have similar expressions to English that exhibit similar behaviour. Please let me know what you think.

Posted by: flavman | August 21, 2008

SRAM vs DRAM

The topic that I was studying today is very interesting. The advancements that have come in the last decade to RAM have been astonishing. Today I learned what is the difference between SRAM and DRAM.

First things first:
SRAM = Static Random Access Memory
DRAM = Dynamic Random Access Memory

Both of types of memory perform basic storage functions their methods of doing so are different.

The diference comes from the technology that each type uses to store information.

SRAM uses Transistors to store data while DRAM uses Capacitors to store data. (Click on the links to see their Wikipedia entries)

A transistor is a semiconductor device commonly used to amplify or switch electronic signals. A transistor is made of a solid piece of a semiconductor material, with at least three terminals for connection to an external circuit. A voltage or current applied to one pair of the transistor’s terminals changes the current flowing through another pair of terminals.

A capacitor is an electrical/electronic device that can store energy in the electric field between a pair of conductors (called “plates”).

SRAM

DRAM

  • Stores bits in a manner so that they will remain valid as long as the power to the chip is not interrupted
  • Its transistor structure makes SRAM memory much faster than DRAM
  • The structure used to store a bit of information takes up more space than an equivalent DRAM
  • Tends to be more expensive than DRAM
  • Stores bits data bits on rows and columns of capacitors
  • Because capacitors loose their charge over time DRAM requires data refreshing operations even if electrical power is applied to the chip
  • Cheaper to produce in larger quantities then SRAM
    • All RAM systems have the disadvantage of being volatile
    • Both types of RAM have the advantage of being fast and are capable of being written to and read from with equal ease

    I thought that was pretty cool.

    Posted by: flavman | August 14, 2008

    Summerland

    I decided to take a few days of from work an study. It just happens that I’m now updating the blog from Summerland, BC, Canada. It’s a town that’s very close to Okanagan(I think that’s how you spell it) lake.
    I can here with the youth group from my church. The weather is quite hot and we’re all enjoying ourselves.

    Here are some picks of how we setup the tents between a small orchard of apple trees.

    Posted by: flavman | August 11, 2008

    A+ IT Technician

    In order to live up to the name of my blog I have decided to continue blogging about what I learn everyday.

    It just happens that for the next couple of weeks I will be immersed in my self study of the CompTIA  A+ Certification course. Therefore I will post something that I learned from the book everyday.

    Today I learned that:

    With newer computer systems, there is a 5Vdc(5 volt direct current) level present on the system board even when the system is turned off. On these boards, the power supply and the battery in the RTC(Real Time Clock) module work together to keep time and date information correct.

    So that means that even when the computer is turned off but remains plugged in … it still draws 5 volts of power. I know that’s not much but if you have a bunch of computers in the house doing the same thing it could still add up over the course of a year.

    Keep reading for other computer tidbits of information in the upcomming weeks.

    Posted by: flavman | July 27, 2008

    Celebration of light

    I went to the fireworks show in Vancouver last night. It wasn’t the best I have seen but it was still nice.
    Here are some pics that I took with the iphone.

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    Posted by: flavman | July 25, 2008

    iPhone 3G Crashes

    So I wanted to give an update on how the iPhone has been for the first week. Please note that I’m not saying that everyone had or will have the same experience as me. I just want to give my opinion on the matter.

    I am very satisfied with my new iPhone. Really! I’m not lying! It is a great piece of technology. It is the best phone and the best mobile experience I have ever had. A week has passed by and I notice how the novelty feeling and excitement are wearing off. But that’s ok, I’m really starting to look at the phone with sharper eyes and clearer mind.

    Here are some things I really like about the iPhone:

    The App Store is amazing. My iPhone will always be something new. It is a platform where new applications can live thus it will never be just a plain old phone. I think it has the potential to rise above that. My professor at College always said that it’s all about software these days. The hardware will only get faster and better so the difference between devices will be what applications we run on them. My favorite app on the iPhone is reQall.

    It looks great. Despite picking up fingerprints the phone is a piece of art.

    The Storage. I know this is a little lame… but I never had a “phone” that can hold 16gigs of multimedia on it. I can hold all my media on it and with plenty room to spare. (I don’t have much music)

    And some things I don`t like about my iPhone:

    It crashes! Yes you heard me…. since I`ve had the phone it has crashed multiple times. I try to run an app or read some e-mail and BOOM… it crashes. I get to see the wonderful apple logo. It kinda reminds me of the blue screen of death for windows. I had uninstall all my apps because none of them were running at one point and then I reinstalled each and every one of them manually.

    No Flash support! This really kills me…. I mean i know they can do it since I`m watching YouTube vids on the phone but why won`t they let me see other pages made with flash.

    I must use ITunes! Come on…. really…. I do not like iTunes to be my media player. I never liked it. But now I am FORCED to only use IT. What the front door….lol

    Anywho…. Leo Laporte from Twit.tv correctly mentioned that the iPhone is like a mini computer. Really!!! Because you can do so many things on it and also because you now allow other vendors to program on your platform you introduce errors that you never expected to have in your software. We never used to have problems with phones crashing before because they were mostly simple machines. The more complicated you get and the more software you have to be compatible you take the risk of making your software less stable.

    If you have an iPhone let me know what you think….. and if you don`t have one…. let me know what you think! 🙂

    Posted by: flavman | July 22, 2008

    So i gave in

    Yup….I am now writting this blog entry from my new iPhone. Despite rogers being a little unfair with their customers, they Gave us a “deal” by allowing us to buy from them a 6gig plan for “only” $30/month. This will get added to your current existing voice plan. So far I am pretty satisfied with the phone.

    I’ll post some more about this at a later time.

    Posted by: flavman | July 8, 2008

    Petition Rogers for Better Data Plan!

    So after my “ranty” post yesterday (found here) about Rogers Wireless’ Data Plans I came across a petition site that anybody can sign. The goal is to get enough people to sign it so Rogers gets the message…. “We want Unlimited Data!“….. “or at least a better data plan” :).

    Go to: http://www.ruinediphone.com and please sign if you agree with the rest of us. So far 52,540 people have signed it. And by the time I finished writing this sentence another 11 people joined the cause.

    Power to the People!!! LoL!!

    Posted by: flavman | July 8, 2008

    Rogers – come on!!!

    So I’m on the market for a new phone. Since I heard that the new 3G IPhone is comming to Canada I was jumping on the walls. This was all good until I found out the the carrier will be Rogers. And to make it worse their data plans suck. There is no unlimited data plan with the IPhone on the Rogers network.

    When I heard that I was about to cry and then storm the Rogers headquarters and knock some sense into the people that made that decission. What’s the point of having an iPhone if you can’t download pages and YouTube vids as much as you want? I mean Rogers is giving you a measily 400MB with their $60 package. OMG are we still in the 90’s?

    So Rogers, I will NOT get the iPhone because of you crappy packages. Also Apple take note since I’m not the only one taking this route.

    Now I still want a nice phone and I might have to settle for second best when it comes to screen size and storage capacity, but I will have unlimited bandwidth.

    I am looking at Telus’s “HTC Touch Diamond“. It looks amazing and I’ve only heard good things about it.

    My other choice is Bell Mobility’s “Samsung Instinct”.

    The only reason I will take a smaller screen is because Telus offers UNLIMITED data for $30/month. Wow!! That’s sweet! Did you hear that Rogers… I said it’s sweet!

    Just like these sweet potatoes:

    I’ll keep ya’ll posted on what I decide.

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