Tag Archives: Running

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 version 5 and Vista version 6.The more astute among you may notice that Windows XP, possibly the most common Operating System on the market, doesn’t seem to feature in this numbering system so I am therefore assuming that Windows XP must have either been considered unworthy of its own version number or that Microsoft cannot count.

Anyway, back to the point, Windows 7 (although I argue it should be called ‘Windows 8′) will be the next Operating System release from Microsoft.Penned in for a Beta (test) release in early 2009 with the final product becoming available in 2010 I thought it would be worth looking at some of the features they have planned:

Sensors - Windows 7 will include the ability for applications to obtain information through a number of different sensors and act on the information accordingly.An example would be using a GPS sensor so that the OS could establish that you were at work and change your profile accordingly or a proximity sensor that could determine that with no one close to the machine that it could enter power saving mode.

Multi-touch - Windows 7 will include integrated support for multi-touch displays.Conventional touch screen has never particularly excited me but with multi-touch, rather than simply allowing you to crudely point at something you want to click you are able to use multiple fingers from both hands.An example of a practical use would be to select multiple items on screen simultaneously or select an item with your left hand whilst flicking through windows to find somewhere to drop it with your right.Alternatively you could use it in a photo application to resize an image by pulling or pinching either side of it with the index fingers of either hand until you get it to the size you desire.

Speech and Handwriting Recognition –Unfortunately speaking to your computer is embarrassing and writing by hand is usually slower and more laborious than typing although there is the very real need for speech recognition to continue to improve for those with disabilities who cannot use a keyboard.That said, there are those that do see a future in these technologies so they will no doubt be delighted by their inclusion.

The graphical interface has reportedly been tweaked and the user interface is very much customizable with support for ‘gadgets’ (small lightweight applications) that can be added to areas of the Operating System such as Windows Explorer or Media Centre.Of course, a lot of what is being planned is ‘under the hood’ so to speak with Microsoft claiming that Windows 7 will have improved performance on multi-core processors, improved boot speeds and extensive kernel improvements.I will bring you more information as and when I get it.

 

About the Author – Chris Holgate works at the UK based supplier of cartridges, Refresh Cartridges. They supply a range of compatible and original Kodak 10 Cartridges at a low price.

Web OS

goowy

It was suggested to me this week that perhaps I should do an article on the fairly recent developments in the field of web Operating Systems although I’ll be honest that I started out not really understanding the point of such a concept and even after researching this article I’m afraid to say that I still don’t.

A WebOS is a virtual Operating System that runs in your web browser.The term ‘Operating System’ is a little misleading as a WebOS is in fact a set of applications running in your web browser which together either mimic or supplement your existing desktop environment.

Obviously a WebOS is unable to replace your existing Operating System as all the existing functions present in an Operating System such as Windows are required in order to boot the PC and get it to a stage where you would be able to launch an Internet Browser.This in itself is enough to instantly put me off the concept as if you have to use Windows anyway then surely you would just be better off continuing to use it rather than going to the additional effort of launching an Internet browser and then loading your considerably slower WebOS?

The premise is that a WebOS would be ideal for people that are always on the move; traditional Operating Systems are designed to be used on one computer only but with a WebOS you can supplement your existing set up with a system that can follow you around wherever you have Internet access.Once you set up the system you can then log in using any computer with Internet access and then you would immediately have access to any of the documents, e-mails and files present in your WebOS desktop.

For the purposes of this review I took a look at what I would consider to be one of the best Web Operating Systems, Goowy which can be used completely free of charge at www.goowy.com.Written in Flash you will find it pretty speedy to use on most Internet connections but don’t be expecting blisteringly fast speeds.

Within the desktop style OS you have instant access to a file uploader, e-mail client, RSS reader, instant messenger, calendar and so on.I personally feel pretty sorry for the programmers who are given the task of creating a web Operating System because we immediately demand that any of the applications included within are up to what we have become accustomed too.Unfortunately the inbuilt applications, whilst good are nowhere near as good as those that I use on a daily basis and whilst it would be unfair for me to expect them to be up to the same standard this is still one of the main reasons I couldn’t recommend using such a system at present.

The premise of a Web Operating System is an interesting one and so I would recommend visiting the Goowy website just to take a look but at present I just don’t think any of my readers would obtain any real benefits from such a service.If you need your files on the move then I would recommend using a laptop, a pen drive or a free online file storage website as these in my opinion are much more viable alternatives at present.Having said all of the above, this is a new concept and so no doubt over the coming months improvements in the technology will be enough for me to completely change my mind.

 

 

About the Author – Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges, a company that supply a range of media with free delivery.

Google Adsense

Obviously running your own website can be a time consuming and sometimes slightly costly affair and so it is only fair that you should expect to get something back for your efforts. Google Adsense is a program designed to allow webmasters to make a little bit of profit out of those that visit their websites by exposing them to targeted text based adverts.

The idea is that you sign up online and then install the code Google give you on your own site somewhere you think that it will draw attention without messing up the styling of your site. Whenever someone visits your site from that moment on Google will check out the context of the page that they’re viewing and display adverts along a similar theme. If one of your visitors clicks on the advert then you will get money for that click which is based on a percentage of the fee that the advertiser will in turn pay to Google. At the end of the month Google then sends you a cheque for the months earnings.

So far, so good; there are many readers of Click who may be bored of getting nothing back from their website and Adsense is a way to improve the situation however there are a few things to bear in mind:

1) Pages with single theme topics are highly effective.

2) Targeting effectiveness increases over time.
3) Highly descriptive website file names tend to improve context.
4) Domain names that clearly specify what you are all about tend to improve context

5) Although the adverts are targeted they don’t rotate too well which will lead to frequent visitors to your site viewing the same adverts over and over therefore reducing your click through rate.

The amount of money you earn really depends primarily on how much advertisers are bidding for on related keywords. For example, if you were to run a site talking about mens sexual health you could make an absolute killing on AdSense because of the high level of competition between companies bidding for advertising space in this market on the Internet. If, in comparison you ran a site that focused on a real niche market with little competition the advertisers would generally be paying Google a lot less per click so you in turn would receive less.

Not all websites can join Google Adsense; they do have to be approved first and meet a number of policy guidelines which dictate the number of adverts that can be placed on a specific site, the type of page you can put adverts on and so on.

The main disadvantage I can see from Google Adsense is that when a user clicks on an advert they are taken away from your site so it is certainly not suitable for a site that is already being used for commercial purposes. Not only would you be displaying your competitors adverts but in addition if one of your potential customers did want to compare products they would be immediately be taken away from yours! So to summarise, the scheme is a good way of making money for those webmasters who don’t have a commercial agenda for their site. If you wish to apply for an account or for more information you should visit www.google.com/adsense/

Keeping your computer healthy – Part 4

Keeping in line with the current subject of essential ways to care for your computer and keeping it running in peak condition this week I will answer a number of questions that I have received from our readers over the past couple of weeks.

‘Problems with programs restarting Scandisk’

“Hi Chris,

Following your article entitled “Computer Health Check” in Saturdays Herald Express I thought I would give it a go since I have no computer knowledge as such and so I rely on people like yourself for information as to what I should be doing to look after my computer. I ran the Scandisk program you suggested but after about 5 minuets I got a message on the screen saying “Scandisk has restarted 10 times” and that I should close all other programs so it can finish sooner. I don’t understand this because I was not running any other programs as I had just turned the computer on to run Scandisk.

I would be grateful to hear any suggestions you may have as to the reason for this and how I can overcome it.

Many thanks

Mike Wayne, Torquay”

Hi Mike

The message you have received is a result of any program that is currently working in memory accessing your hard disk in some way, for example to load or save a file. Obviously this is cause for concern for a disk checker such as Scandisk or a Disk Defragmenter as the contents of your hard drive are constantly changing and so it is difficult for the program to get an accurate representation as to what is on your hard drive - Image trying to complete a puzzle that it always changing.

You mention that you had only just turned on the computer and so there shouldn’t be any programs running in the background, however, as featured in last weeks article, many programs will automatically load themselves as part of Windows whether we want them to or not. I have e-mailed you last weeks article for details of how to remove these programs permanently, however here is a short term fix for you and any other readers at home that are having problems running Scandisk or Disk Defragmenter properly because of this reason. Okay then, when Windows has started up press the following keys all at the same time. ‘Control (Or Ctrl), Alt and Delete’, you should now see a small Window that lists the programs currently running in memory. Click on one of these and then click ‘End Task’, keep doing this until you have removed all programs except for ‘Systray’ and ‘Explorer’. Don’t worry, all the programs you remove will load up again when you restart your computer, now simply run Scandisk and Disk Defragmenter as usual and then reboot.

‘Cannot find the Scandisk program’

“Hi Chris,

Following last weeks article regarding using Scandisk, I went to start the program up from System Tools and the program wasn’t on the menu at all – Could you shed any light on this matter? I am using Windows 98 and have never run Scandisk before.

Many Thanks

John Wotton, Stoke-in-Teignhead”

Hi John,

First off, lets try the simple approach, it is possible that Scandisk is on your computer, but just doesn’t have an icon present in the start menu. To test out this theory first click on ‘Start’ and then ‘Run’. Type in ‘Scandisk’ and see if anything happens. If you get a message that the program cannot be found then we will have to install it, as detailed below.

If my memory serves me correctly, Scandisk is an optional part in some versions of Windows 98, therefore it is quite conceivable that Scandisk simply hasn’t been installed on to your computer. This is easily fixed; simply go to ‘Start’ and then to ‘Control Panel’ and ‘Add Remove Programs’. Click on the ‘Windows Setup’ tab on the window that will open and scroll down to ‘System Tools’. Click ‘Details’ and then check mark the box next to the text that says ‘Scandisk’ and click OK. Windows will now attempt to install and setup Scandisk; you may need your original Windows 98 CD-ROM for this.

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