Yearly Archives: 2008

Windows 7

windows-7

If I didn’t know better, I’d say that Microsoft were trying to confuse us.

The approach for naming Windows appears to change with every release.Back when I first started using Windows we were running 3.11 which we then upgraded to Windows 95 (although NT 4.0 was also available).Next we switched to Windows Millennium Edition (although a rather similarly sounding Windows 2000 was available) then we moved on to versions named after aspirational monikers such as XP and Vista.

It seems confusing as to whether they wish to name the Operating System after the version number, year of release or an alternative name but thankfully they have decided to make it ‘simple’ by settling on Windows 7 for their next release.This however is the point where the confusion arises once again; Windows 3.11 was obviously a later release of version 3, Windows 95 was commonly considered version 4, Windows 2000 was Read the rest

Secunia PSI

secunia

News was released this week regarding a potentially serious flaw present in Internet Explorer which potentially allows a hacker to gain control of a computer that has visited a website infected with malicious code.The scary thing about this particular bug is that the user doesn’t need to download or click anything to become infected as simply visiting an infected website is sufficient.

In all reality the chance of the average user becoming infected is extremely remote but the official line by security experts is that until Microsoft have issued a patch that users should either up their security settings from within Internet Explorer or switch to an alternative browser such as Firefox or Opera.

Most people that read my column know that they should either run a half decent browser such as Firefox or if they insist on using Internet Explorer that they should keep Windows updated at all times.Whilst Read the rest

Intel Atom

intel-atom-logo

While looking for a new laptop a couple of weeks back I was quite surprised by the sheer number that utilise the relatively new Intel Atom CPU.As I haven’t yet covered this particular processor, today seemed a good day to play catch-up.

The Intel Atom has been designed to compete primarily with the ARM Processor; due to its power saving features this processor is particular popular in mobile devices such as PDA’s (Personal Digital Assistant), GPS (Global Positioning System) and Mobile Phones.Power consumption has often been a struggle for Intel who typically tows the line of creating a processor then providing a lower power version that relies on practically the same architecture; this tactic often results in a slower processor which only offers a slight power saving.By comparison, Atom uses a completely different architecture, one that has been designed from the ground up to consume very little power.

There are Read the rest

Doom

doom_logo

I got completely sidetracked when preparing this week’s article after discovering that Doom, possibly my favourite game as a teenager, is now available to play in a browser.Upon finding this link I was hit by a huge wave of nostalgia and decided to delay my article on the Intel Atom article until next week whilst I pay homage to this revolutionary game.

Released back in 1993, Doom has been recognised as a pioneer in several areas of gaming including 3D graphics, network gaming and custom expansion.You take on the roll of a space marine who has been deported to Mars as punishment for assaulting a senior officer after you were ordered to attack civilians.You work your days in a lowly security job whilst a coalition called the UAC, who are also stationed on the planet, perform secret experiments with teleportation.One day they unexpectedly transport back a wave of creatures that Read the rest

Blogging Part 2

Blog

We’re just in the process of changing over the design and functionality of the www.computerarticles.co.uk website and rather than creating our own interface again it has been suggested that a far easier and indeed more effective method would be to use the free blogging software WordPress.A blog is a website maintained by an individual or company where a series of regular entries are made relating to a specific subject matter, such as a personal diary or an opinions page.

In the past I have covered the free website blogger.com but have been suitably impressed with WordPress to feel that it also deserves a mention.In much the same fashion as Blogger, WordPress allows you to either host your blog on their website or install the open source code on to your own web server; the latter does of course require a small amount of knowledge relating to uploading files to a Read the rest

Recipe database

recipes-website

I knew that old age was finally starting to take root when I went food shopping this weekend and left with a copy of Sainsbury’s magazine.There was a point in my life when a magazine featuring a car, a scantily clad woman and something relating to general manliness would have been my publication of choice but, at the tender age of 27 it seems I may have consigned myself instead to a publication geared mainly towards the middle aged women market.

So, what was it that tempted me to pick up Sainsbury’s in store publication?Was it the free bar of chocolate, the low down of all the latest beauty products or the four page guide to becoming the ultimate party girl this Christmas?

It was in fact the pages upon pages of recipes that grace its pages as I have to admit that since moving house, I have developed something Read the rest

Virtual Network Connections

realvnc

A useful piece of software for most people who use more than one PC on a regular basis is a remote VNC (Virtual Network Connection) application which allows them access to one machine while using another.Personally I use such a piece of software so that if I’m working from home in the evening then if necessary I can access any files or other information from my office computer.Whilst some would argue that taking your work home with you in this fashion isn’t healthy, in some instances it is necessary.

For example, this article is currently being written at 21:30 on Wednesday evening and since I don’t have my e-mail account or address book on this machine I will log in to the office computer when complete and send it directly from my regular company e-mail address.

In the past I have covered RealVNC which although being a fantastic little free Read the rest

Viruses #2

virus

Last week we started looking at some of the most prolific viruses of the last decade and I finished by promising an overview of a worm called ‘Storm’ this week.It would be accurate to say that on many levels I am impressed by the capability of this particular worm hence it requiring its own article however but since it has been created for ill gain, I am of course impressed merely in a disdained fashion.

The Storm Worm was discovered on January 17th 2007 as it began infecting thousands of computers by using an e-mail message with the subject line “230 dead as storm batters Europe” and after just six waves of attack the Storm Worm accounted for 8% of all infections globally.During its life the worm has continued to primarily infect people in the same fashion by getting them to open an executable attachment (opening executable attachments is Read the rest

Viruses

computer-viruses

Anti-Virus software gets a great deal of coverage in Click because ultimately it’s a very important component of any computer system and choosing the right program to protect your computer should be carefully considered.Whilst most understand its importance, not many understand the actual effects that a virus can have on your system.To demonstrate my point I need only think back to a phone call I fielded from a gentleman last week who was convinced that a virus had caused the power supply in his printer to malfunction.I thought it might be interesting to look over some of the more realistic and prolific viruses that I’ve seen over the last decade:

Melissa: Named after an exotic dancer from Florida, this virus tempts users to open an e-mail attachment with a subject line such as ‘Here is the document you asked for’.Once opened the virus replicates and forwards itself to the first Read the rest

OpenOffice 3.0

OpenOffice

This week OpenOffice 3.0 was released and once again I found myself questioning as to why we spend good money on Microsoft Office when there is a completely free alternative available that does the job just as well.After all, it’s not as if Office 2007 is cheap; the professional version comes in at an impressive £350 and it’s not as if I even like Office 2007.

Unlike previous versions which used a standard Windows interface, I find the latest incarnation completely out of keeping with other applications which all keep to roughly the same, familiar user interface.Perhaps old age it starting to catch up with me but even after a year of usage I still find myself spending what seems like an eternity looking in vein for even the most basic of functions. Software for the Windows Operating System has always adhered to a certain menu layout so that users Read the rest

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