New or Used Computers?

When it is time for a new computer do you go with a used model or a brand new one? The experts will tell you that first you should know what you will do with the computer. Are you using it for work? For high end gaming? For checking social media accounts and emailing? Because computers get more and more powerful all the time something that is a few years old just won’t be able to compete with something brand new unless you don’t need or anticipate needing it for anything full on fancy.

Old computers are behind in a lot of things, the operating system is a big one. While the new ones will have the latest OS on board, the older ones won’t and if you get a computer that no longer updates then you could be in trouble.

Another thing to consider when getting an old computer is what will you need to buy to make it work the way you want? Will it need a new battery? Will you need peripherals? What do all these things cost? Maybe getting new is the way to go. You can use it out the box, it has all the latest and greatest features and you won’t be spending more for add ons (unless of course you want to).

If you do go with a used machine make sure you check it over well for damage. This means are there cracks? Is there a haze on the screen? Are the ports in good shape? You should also be cognizant about the keyboard, does it work? Are there missing keys? How does the trackpad work? And of course does this used machine come with any software that works or are you on your own? Will it need upgrading the minute you try to turn it on?

Basically, know what you are buying. Do your homework. Look up what comparable models are selling for on online stores and resale sites. Look to see what original owners liked and disliked about a certain model and when all else fails, look for a new one within your budget.

Of course new computers have some problems of their own, but they will have a warranty and other things to protect you should you need work done on your unit within a certain time frame. Getting used to a new operating system may take time, but it may be worth it in the long run.

So You Need a New Computer?

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they realize that they really do need to bite the bullet and buy a new computer. It may be a scary prospect as there are a dizzying array of things on the market all the time, but keeping in mind what you actually want and what your budget is can really help you find the best machine for your needs.

The first thing you will have to decide is do you want a laptop or a desktop computer? If you want to be comfortable in your work space and have a dedicated work space already you may want a desktop. Sure they take up more room than a laptop and they’re not at all portable but they usually give you more performance for the money and they are cheaper to repair should anything go awry. You will get a larger screen with a desktop, better speakers and an all around better product should you want to sit in the same place day in and day out to do your computing.

A laptop of course is more practical for when you need to take your computer with you. It can be set up anywhere and all you have to do is periodically recharge it. On the downside, you may find yourself computing on the floor or the couch which may give you a back or neck strain. Laptops usually have smaller screens and less performance for the same price as a desktop.

Once you have chosen between stationary or portable you will have to understand the processor and RAM that each computer will come with. For this to matter you really need to know what you will be doing with your new computer. Do you want to do high end gaming or is it mostly for writing articles and checking social media accounts? The higher the numbers for the processor and RAM the more power and storage your computer will have.

For the fun stuff computers, especially laptops now come in a variety of colours so you can rock a bright red or purple machine or just stick to basic black. However you cut it, looking for a new computer can be time consuming so do some homework before you set out to the store and keep your budget in mind at all times.

Top 8 Benefits of Barcodes

When it comes to saving cost and time, barcodes play a great role. Unfortunately, they are not being used to save costs in the here and now. The fact of the matter is that these tools are a great way of helping businesses improve efficiency and cut down on overhead. In other words, barcodes are both reliable and cost-effective.

Human error

With barcodes, the chances of human error are reduced. Entering data manually increase the chances of error since humans type the information. On the other hand, barcodes are a lot more efficient. Scanning a barcode takes less time than typing the data manually.

Training time

A barcode system helps businesses reduce the time spent on training employees. You need a couple of minutes to learn to use the barcode scanner. Aside from this, employees don’t necessary have to be familiar with the pricing or inventory procedure. As a result, businesses don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on employee training.

Designing and printing

As far as designing and printing goes, barcodes don’t cost a lot. Typically, they don’t cost a lot of money if you want to customize them based on a lot of materials and finishes.

Versatility

As far as versatility goes, barcodes are on top of the list. So, they can be used for all types of data collection, which includes inventory and pricing information as well. Apart from this, since barcodes can be used on any product, they can be used for tracking products, equipment and outgoing shipments as well.

Inventory control

Barcodes offer better inventory control. Since these tools help you track inventory in an efficient manner, you can reduce the inventory levels. How does it benefit you? Actually, reducing the inventory levels may help you reduce overhead. Moreover, it’s also possible to track the equipment location, reduce the time invested in looking for or replacing the equipment.

Better data

Another great advantage of using barcodes is that they offer better data. The reason is that a single barcode is enough for pricing and inventory information. The access to both data sources is quick. Apart from this, they can be modified to include other related information based on the needs. They offer data that is reliable and can be used in various ways.

Rapid availability

Information and data obtained via a barcode is easily available. The information is stored into a computer after scanning, which makes the availability a lot faster. The turnaround time makes sure that data recording or retrieval won’t cost a lot of time.

Decision making

For decision making, we suggest that you use barcodes. The reason is that data is obtained in an efficient manner, which helps you make informed decisions. At the end, it saves you a lot of time and money.

How Are Brains Different From Computers?

Ever wondered how brains are different from computers? This article shows how. Read on to find out.

Brains consist of cells called neurons and they connect with millions of other neurons and information gets transferred across connection gaps called synapses. Inside the cells data are processed which gives rise to an idea, concept or understanding.

Computers are built of hardware chips and the central processing unit (CPU) processes data after receiving them from the other chips. How it processes data consists of several steps but the main outline is that software programs are fed into the CPU and processed. They provide end result information depending on how the programs are furnished with data and what the query is that is fed into the system. If some information is asked that is outside the scope of the software programs, the computer gets limited in functioning.

Brains, however, are limitless. From childhood until adulthood, the brain gets more and more developed and mature. It can process unknown data or abstract data as well and provide insights and knowledge.

The brain is more complex than the CPU and therefore, with neurons and synaptic connections, it is possible to process all kinds of information. It uses the five senses: touch, smell, hearing, taste and sight and takes in information and produces knowledge.

On the other hand, the CPU of computers takes in data from the typing of the keyboard and processes it, which is very limited. However, it is only human beings feeding data, writing software programs and making the computer behave like a brain although not quite so.

The brain is still more intelligent than the CPU of computers and has yet to train the computer to behave like the brain of a human being.

Yes, computers will be able to take over many tasks of human beings but without human beings, they are lifeless because humans have to give life to these computers, operate on them and have regular updating, monitoring and maintenance on them.

Just as a brain needs to rest and relax, computers will also need that from time to time but they can operate longer times than the average brain. While the brain sleeps, the computer can carry on with its duties of processing data and converting them to knowledge and information.

Summing up, although the CPU is sometimes called the brain of the computer, it is actually a misnomer because as I have outlined in this article, the brain is definitely different from the computer in varying ways and the brain has yet to teach the computer to behave 100% like a brain.

3-D Printing Could Make Your Next Home 40% Cheaper

My father’s dream was to build his own house.

However, building a house in India was an incredibly complicated affair.

First, you had to buy a plot of land. Next, you had to get an allocation from the government for all the materials you needed to make a house – cement, steel rebar, piping, you name it.

It was all in short supply because of India’s socialist economy, along with a quota system to dole out the limited quantities then available. And then to get your water, sewage and electricity connected… that was yet another ordeal.

Simply getting all this together was an enormous effort that took years. Of course, there was an easier way…

You hired a “fixer.”

In India, and anywhere else with a dysfunctional bureaucracy, a fixer is someone who knows all the right people. He greases someone’s palm over here and trades a favor with someone else over there to get things done.

With a fixer, what might have taken two or three years instead took just a few months.

Still, with all that, the house my father built took years to finish. However, today, a new technology is emerging that can shrink build times and make constructing a home much cheaper.

The Incredible Costs of Rebuilding

That technology is 3-D printing.

And this technology may suddenly become mainstream because of the incredible damage to housing that Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria have done in 2017.

Harvey is estimated to have completely destroyed 12,700 homes.

Irma is estimated to have destroyed 25% of all homes in the Florida Keys.

Maria is estimated to have caused damage worth as much as $30 billion across the Caribbean.

Dominica, an island that I’ve been to go hiking and canyoning, experienced a near 100% loss of houses and buildings. It’s unlikely that Dominica can afford to reconstruct itself using the old-fashioned, traditional way of building houses and buildings. It would cost too much money, and it would take too long.

However, Cazza, a 3-D printing company, could have a solution.

Using Cazza’s X1 robot, 3-D printed buildings like houses, villas, shelters, warehouses and commercial buildings can go up in as little as one week.

Cazza believes that using its 3-D printing technology will save as much 40% on the old, traditional ways of building.

That’s a $20,000 savings on a house that costs $50,000 to put up. And remember, the 3-D printed model gets you your house in a week instead of months or years.

The current estimate for the still-incomplete hurricane season is already as much as $340 billion.

If you assume that 30% of this damage is destroyed homes and buildings, implementing 3-D printing technology like the Cazza X1 to rebuild will save as much as $40.8 billion. That’s a big deal.

This is why I’m watching the 3-D printing technology used on homes and buildings carefully. Because, in time, the techniques used to rebuild from disasters are also going to be used to make regular homes less expensive too. And the company that makes the 3-D printing technology is going to have a stock that soars for years.

How Technology Lies to You Everyday

Ever notice the media via TV, laptop, TABs and other digital gadgets is full of negative content? How is the media feeding this negativity to us and how is it lying on a daily basis? Read on to find out.

Consider the following options and justify:

1) Murder/Crime

Murder, kidnapping and ransoming are bold news in the media which scares the death out of us and make us want to think negative about our environment and the world.

2) Theft/Robbery

Theft – trivial or big – does happen. More of it happens in underdeveloped countries. Robberies are equally rampant and sometimes they are thoroughly planned and executed so that it takes times to find out the suspects and culprits behind the action. These are highlighted in the media, making us feel insecure.

3) Bankruptcies

Once in a while bankruptcies do happen and they become hot news in the media, damaging the image and reputation of the banks.

4) Global warming

Global warming is an issue taken up since the late eighties. Chlorofluorocarbons (or CFC’s) from industrial smoke and exhaust fumes from running vehicles on the streets seems to be the cause of the problem by depleting the ozone layer much higher up in the sky, letting in UV rays of the sun to reach us, which is dangerous for us, by warming up the global temperature so that after a specific time, a situation will arise when we will find it difficult to breathe. This is the scenario given to us since the late eighties and covers a lot on the media.

5) Shortage of natural resources

One day the natural resources on this earth will run out and we will face problems, leading us to a slow death. This is also the scenario the media wants to present to us.

6) War

Bombshells, wounded people and dead bodies in war-going countries are shown on media giving us the impression there isn’t any peace in the world.

7) Rape

Rape will always be an issue where slender and beautiful women are concerned. But the media exaggerates a bit more to make juicy stories.

Summing up, none of the news in the media does us any good other than make us think in negative terms. The media is simply lying to us.

There are cases of crimes, murders, robberies and thefts all around the earth. But there is also good happening in the world. For instance, more and more people are getting interested in self-development, bettering themselves and contributing positively to the world.

Bankruptcies do happen but we do not have to fear every time we invest in banks because the governments and the good people out there are willing to help. In most cases, even if they do happen, we will get back what we deserve.

As I said, global warming is an issue since the late eighties. Why worry about it and not concentrate on positive things around us for instance, a mug of Starbucks coffee, a bouquet of roses from your latest crush or to and fro rides on a swing at the nearest local park?

So someday there will be a shortage of natural resources. That someday hasn’t arrived yet. So why bother? Instead enjoy the mojo of life by sharing jokes and anecdotes with friends and colleagues. Have an abundant mindset and tap into the abundance of vast resources of this life.

There will be unrest and war in the world. So if we have freedom and peace, so why let the news make us feel negative? Why not reach out to the world with your inspiring messages and write self-help books in addition to the books in your niche for the greater good of humanity?

The rape of young and beautiful women will occur in the harshness of this world. But they can escape it by being cautious, candid and playing safe. It is not an issue for us to worry at all. We live in a secure place on this earth. We have homes with security alarms/watchmen. So long we are careful, the thought of rape shouldn’t make us feel insecure. We can drive to places we want and mingle with people we want but we just need to know how to be safe and secure and keep our wits.

So all the negativity in the media via the technology of TV, laptops, iPads, TABs etc. bombarded to us shouldn’t affect us negatively too. At least we shouldn’t allow it. There is much good, hope, magic and happiness out there to make us feel positive and uplifted so that we can work with Technology in empowering ways.

Robots As Friends

This is the second article of a three part series focusing on Autism and Technology. There is an open dialogue that involves robots that empathize with us on a deep emotional level. The ultimate goal is to have created machines that serve as companions and friends. Is this the breakthrough technology we have dreamed of – or a slippery slope we will live to regret?

Part II

Sometimes a friend is just a friend. For some people with autism, friendship may not fit the traditional definition. Friends may be limited to the imagination due to social anxieties or the inability to verbalize with another person. Forming friendships for so many on the spectrum is extremely difficult, resulting in minimal social contact outside the home. The introduction of robots into society is not without controversy, as opponents of this latest trend feel socialization skills are actually inhibited from interacting with robots. In addition, some raise objections based on religious and morality concerns citing robots being used for illicit purposes. Importantly, it is crucial to note the intent of this article is to identify the positive outcomes of autistic adult and robot interactions. Surely, we can agree isolation and loneliness are debilitating factors in the lives of elderly and special needs populations around the globe.

Lifestyles continue to evolve in terms of how we communicate, work, and engage in recreational activities. Having access to a network of family and friends is something we all cherish in our lives. For many on the autism spectrum, sensory challenges override the desire to have meaningful social relationships. Subsequently, it is not uncommon to have strong bonds with a pet, a favorite cartoon or television character, or even imaginary friends. Given the propensity towards forming attachments with strangers, or even inanimate objects, having a friendship with a robot doesn’t seem like such a different idea. In fact, there are benefits of having a robot programmed to not only perform errands, but also engage in stimulating conversations. Fortunately, robots can be programmed to be much more than conversation pieces, offering supplementary health and safety advantages.

The needs of the autistic community are as broad and diverse as the people who make up this segment of the overall population. The area of personal robotics is just emerging as a viable option that offers unlimited potential for good in all our lives. The autism community could support its quest for inclusion in the job market, as well having more individuals on the spectrum living independent lives. Having an apartment to live in, while earning a paycheck, is only a dream for thousands of autistic adults who desire more. Robots can remind them when the rent is due, when their medications are about to run out, or even dial 911 in case of a medical emergency.

Moreover, socialization skills and memorization can improve significantly over time through daily interactions with a personal robot, as opposed to a pet. The activity could be as simple as planning a meal or balancing a bank account – the mental stimulation has far reaching implications. Further, having companionship moves an autistic person out of the imaginary realm to the physical reality of forming thoughts or responding to questions.

Robots are causing a lot of angst for some, as there are still so many unanswered questions. What we do know at this point is there is a chance for society to gain from this type of technology. As programmers become more creative and involved in the process, we will inevitably see robots that are more advanced and capable of performing more complicated tasks. This debate will not end in the foreseeable future, as the verdict is still out with regards to accepting robots into our homes and work places. In the meantime, we should all seek to learn more about this technology and how it will impact our future.

Computer Knowledge (Literacy)

Introduction

Advancement in ICT (Information Communication Technology, has made the world to be viewed as a global village. Regional economies, societies, and cultures have become integrated through a global network of communication, transportation, and trade), the Computers playing a major role, in this integration.

This integration of regions or nations of the world through this global network has made the world to be like a big village, where various nations are like clans in this big village, while the Presidents of the various nations are like heads of clans in this big village.

Therefore as it is any thing that affects one clan affects the other in this big village. This is what is actually happening in our world of today. A crisis in the Niger Delta of Nigeria affects the international price of crude oil, travels, etc.

This joining together of countries in the world economically, through education, society and politics, and citizens viewing themselves not only through their national identity but also as part of the world as a whole is what is Globalization.

Globalization is a process of interaction and integration among the people, companies, and governments of different nations, a process driven by a combination of economic, socio-culture, politics, international trade and investment and aided by ICT (Information Communication Technology), in which the Internet pays a major role, through the network of Computers cut across the globe or world

Globalization, has effects on the environment, on culture, on political systems, on economic development and prosperity, and on human physical well-being in societies around the world.

In our world today, there are few places a person can’t get to via telephone or the Internet. Because of modern modes of communication, citizens of a nation are more conscious of the world at large and may be influenced by other cultures in a variety of ways.

Time and space matter less, and even language barriers are being overcome as people all over the world communicate through trade, social Internet forums, various media sources, and a variety of other ways.

As a result of globalization, the world is viewed as one Big Town or Village called a Global Village. And members of the Global Village are called Global Community. One major medium which has brought people of all nations closer together is the Internet. Internet is the networks of Computers all over the globe, which enable people of the world (Global Community), communicate with each other. Internet is one part of ICT.

ICT has been the major driver of globalization. Advances in Information Technology, in particular, have dramatically transformed economic life. Information Technologies have given all sorts of individual economic actors-consumers, investors, businesses-valuable new tools for identifying and pursuing economic opportunities, including faster and more informed analyses of economic trends around the world, easy transfers of assets, and collaboration with distant partners.

As you are reading this article now, minds are communicating all over the world through the Internet, to achieve their desires. Buying and Selling, School Admission and Registration, Airline Travel Booking, Research of any kind, Banking, Emails, looking for Employment, Information, etc, are all going on through the Internet.

Being Part of the Global Community

From the understanding above, no one in this present world, can succeed if he is she is not a member of the global community. To be a member of the global community, you must:

1. Be Computer Literate

2. Learn how to use the Internet

3. Own a Personal Computer (Desktop or Laptop)

Computer Literacy

Computer literacy is defined as the knowledge and ability to use Computers and technology efficiently. Another valuable component of Computer literacy is knowing how Computers work and operate. This later component is for advanced users or operators who may want to be Computer engineers. Knowing and having the ability to use Computers is mile stone into the global community.

Why Is Computer Literacy Necessary?

There are a lot of things you will need the Computer for directly or indirectly in this present age of ours. Either you use it directly or someone is using it on your behalf. Some reasons why you have to be Computer literate are as listed below:

1. When looking for job, your employers require that you be Computer literate, as Computer could be a basic tool you will have to use.

2. In most places of business, Computer is standard. For example, in the banks Computers are used for banking transactions and to look up customer’s account information. In some auto repair shop Computers are used to assess electronic and other faults in cars.

3. In schools Computers are used for student’s registration and admission, accounting, exams and records. School libraries are database of books. No more use of library cards.

4. In some Hospitals and Clinics patient information are stored in Computers. Doctors must know how to retrieve such information to treat a patient.

5. To send or receive electronic mails you need to learn how to use the Computer and the Internet or you pay someone to do it for you.

This list is endless. It is in your best interests to start learning to use the personal Computer now. It will help you get a job and it will help you advance in your career.

Computer literacy does not mean you need to know how use every single piece of software you may encounter. It does not mean you need to know how to write programs or network Computers. You just need to know some basics:

1. How to Start the Computer

2. How to use the OS (Operating System) running in your Computer, Windows, Mac or Linux.

3. How to open Application Software such as Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Create, Save and Open Files.

4. How to Exit or Close an Application Software and open another.

5. How to properly shutdown the Computer after usage.

6. How to use the Internet to Browse the Internet, send and receive email.

7. How to listen to Music and play Video in your Computer.

8. How to handle your PC (Personal Computer).

When you learn how to use the computer, you will have some sort spot for it in your mind, when you come to appreciate how easy it is to use the computer and how useful it is. Then the fear that it is impossible or difficult to learn how to use the computer would have been a thing of the past.

I remember when I was teaching a very good friend of mine how to use the Microsoft Word and the Mouse. It did not come so easy. But because she had made up her mind to learn, it did not take time for her to start using the tools. One day I went to her office to see her, just to find out that the typewriter she so much loved was under the table. Then I ask her how is the mouse doing? And she smiled. Her masters programme was on Computer Networking. This is the joy of learning how to use the PC.

5 Things a Child Knows About Technology That You Don’t

How do you feel about your kids? Ever felt they are smarter than you about Technology? How could you tell? Do you have living proof? This article demonstrates this fact. Read on to find out.

Here are a few examples:

1) Your kid is faster than you at figuring out and playing computer games. They know better when to hit enter, spacebar, ESC key and arrow keys. In fact, they are better than you at playing these games.

2) Your kid is better at discovering new stuff about your cell phone, which you never knew existed. Take all the help you need from your kid.

3) Your kid knows the easiest way to find information by giving a search on Google bar. They will use simple non-connecting words and yet they will find the required information.

4) They will find a way with other digital gadgets before you and work on them intelligently. In fact they can pace up with technology faster than you. So be sure to interact with them.

5) How about a toy car, train or Lego set? After you have shown them the main theme behind them, they will be more creative and discover further innovative stuff about them and show you which will surprise you very much.

So never underestimate your child. Play and laugh with them with digital gadgets or toys. You will always have a lot to learn from them. They will teach you in a way that you can never teach them.

The five ways I demonstrate here really exemplify to you how amazing kids can be. So feel great that your kids are smart and the more they grow up, the more they will outsmart you. Take it easy and as fun. There is nothing much to worry about. You just get smart too by learning and picking up cues from them.

Never belittle them or hush them away. Encourage them always their creative and bright sides with Technology and they will grow and mature in ways that you may have never imagined. It is your duty to bring out the very best in them. So help them with their curiosity and inquisitiveness about Technology. They will feel gratified and fulfilled, which in turn will give you immense joy and bliss.

Sublimation Printing and the Advantages and Disadvantages of This Print Method

Sublimation printing is the process where photo quality images, graphics or text can be transferred to a wide range of items including garments, metals, acrylics to name a few via heat transfer.

Specialised sublimation ink must be used as when this ink is heated it changes its state from a solid to a gas, without the need for the liquid phase. When this gas come into contact with polymer fibres it is abkle to pass through them, which in turn permantly dyes the fabric.

For the Sublimation process to work effectively the items to be printed must be first poloymer coated or already polymer based. (ie poloyester tshirt)

Because almost any item can be polymer coated this process alows prints onto almost anything, such as ceramic mugs, glass, metal sheets, acrylic and other unisub items like mousmats, coasters or phone cases to name a few. Sublimation printables are constantly updating, as long as the item can be polymer coated and heat pressed it is highly likely it can be sublimated.

Because of this sublimation printing is vast becoming one of the most popular printing methods within the industry.

The advantages of sublimation printing are as follows;

Sublimation method allows you to print full color images onto hard surfaces with a polymer coating.
Screen printing can be a complicated learning process and become quite messy where as sublimation is an easier process to master.
Sublimation allows the use of a full colour spectrum.
Cost the same amount to print 1 item that it does to print 1000, meaning the customer doesn’t need to order minimum order quantities, making sublimation the perfect print process for small business looking for promotional items, or the gift personalisation market.
The customer can completely customise. Sublimation printing does not require screens or specialist plates, meaning its a simple process to customise designs with any elements that change such as individual names, team numbers.
Sublimation can be a quick process depending on order which could allow companies to offer same day or in some cases, same hour printing.

As with anything there can be disadvantages, and sublimation is the same. Some of the disadvantages for sublimation printing are as follows;

The inks can be quite expensive to buy compared to other OEM ink printers, which is usually factored into the pricing of sublimated products.
The items to be printed need to be either made of polymer fabrics or coated with polymer to ensure the sublimation process works effectively.
Printables are required to be ideally white or very lightly couloured. Because the colour is dyes into the fabric sublimation printing cannot be used on dark printables such as black tshirts.
Although with the sublimation process it is possible to access the whole colour spectrum, it is very difficult to mange the colours on the printers, this has been helped over the years with the introduction of the powerdrivers.

Sublimation is really coming into its own and is a rapidly growing sector, its clear to see with the advantages raised above why this is.