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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Computers 101 - SERVERS

Everyone's always talking about servers, but I'm still not quite sure what a server is or what it means to me. Can you please explain? Thanks!

Excellent question! Basically, a server is a service that allows clients (that's you) to be able to use programs within your computer. Servers are run through specialized computers, which are, ironically, also called servers. In other words, a server serves the information needed to a computer that it's connected with so that you can access your programs, files, etc.

Now, there are different types of servers you may have running through your system. One is a print server. That server works with the computer the printer is connected to, so when you go to print something, it's all able to work. Another server is a Web server, which you may have heard more about than others. Those are set in place so that you can visit Web sites everyday. When you type in a URL, that Web site has to send a request to the Web server in order for you to be able to view and browse through it. That's also an example of how fast servers work!

Two more main types of servers are a file server and an e-mail server. The file server is pretty self-explanatory, but it works to store the files you save and then deliver them when you need them. The e-mail server is what allows you to send out e-mail. It sends and receives the e-mails you write and get back everyday.

Servers are very dependable and you can always count on them to get you what you need while you go about your daily computing. You may have several servers running through your system, helping you to get your work done, so you definitely have to be thankful for them. They're lifesavers!

~ Erin (courtesy worldstart)

Windows Live SkyDrive

I’m always moving my files from one computer to another using my flash drive, but sometimes it’s just not practical to use it. One of my computers only has a USB port in the back, which makes it hard to access and even more, sometimes my drive gets so full, I can't fit anything else on it. Well, that's when Windows Live SkyDrive comes in handy. Let's check it out!
Windows Live SkyDrive is like a USB drive, but it’s Internet based. Simply put, you can upload your documents and download them on any computer that has access to the Internet. Want to learn more? Well, here’s how you can get the service for yourself!

1.) First, go to the SkyDrive Web site here.
2.) Next, click on the Get Started button at the bottom of the page.
3.) You’ll need a Windows Live ID to use SkyDrive. If you already have one, go ahead and sign in. If you don’t, here’s a Sign Up button on the next page.
4.) Once you’re all logged in, you'll find yourself on the SkyDrive personal homepage. To edit your profile, click on Edit Profile.

5.) Here’s how I set up my profile:

6.) Once you’re done editing, click Save.
7.) Now, to add files to your SkyDrive, click Add Files, which is located half-way down the page.

8.) Select the folder you want to add your files to (documents, favorites, etc.) and then use the upload tool to  upload to your heart’s content!

To access your files again, simply log in and click on the file you want. Easy as pie!

~ Brandon Zubek

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Stop Using Internet Explorer!

You should stop using Microsoft Internet Explorer for surfing the web. This is because:
  1. It is insecure. Many exploits were discovered in it so far, and more are constantly discovered.
  2. It lags behind other browsers in standards-compliance and so prevents web designers from using some very nice tricks in their pages. Some of this is caused by the many bugs it has.
  3. It does not have many of the usability features that more modern browsers like Mozilla, Opera, Google Chrome or Konqueror have. Use a different browser for a while and you wouldn't want to switch back.
  4. You'll need to upgrade the OS, in order to update it, as Microsoft announced that it won't be updated separately anymore.
I hereby testify that my pages will remain fully clean and standards compliant, but not necessarily viewable correctly with Explorer. This is in fact, different than writing web-sites that function perfectly in MSIE, but not in other browsers. All of this is because:
  1. Latest versions of MSIE and above are specific to a certain operating system and architecture. Mozilla and similar browsers are truly cross-platform. - as such MSIE may not be available on the development platform of the web designer. I design all my sites on Linux and have tested them on MSIE by using a different Windows computer. Now, I'm not going to bother.
  2. MSIE is not open source. Mozilla is - I cannot fix the bugs there even if I wanted to. If bugs exist in an open source project I can either fix them myself, hire someone else to do it, or blame myself for not doing either. With MSIE, I have every right to blame Microsoft for their incompetence. And I can have them eat their own arrogance.
  3. Users can always switch to Mozilla or whatever - I can always tell them to do so. On the other hand, I cannot switch to Internet Explorer if I'd like to use Linux (which I do).
  4. MSIE is not standards compliant while other browsers are - in fact, a prominent Microsoft engineer said standards-compliance is not a high priority for the MSIE team. Since I design according to web standards, I don't want the new Netscape Navigator 4 to be in my way.
  5. MSIE is not going to be maintained independently - the only prospect of getting a browser upgrade for MSIE is to buy a new OS. Buy a new OS just to get a new version of the browser? That's the joke of the month. Other browsers come with periodic upgrades with many improvements - all for free.
  6. Internet Explorer does not have a public, accessible bug tracker, similar to Mozilla's Bugzilla or what other similar browsers have. This makes bugs harder to report, reproduce, check and track and undermines the users and web developers.
So expect to see more and more non-MSIE-compatible embellishments on my sites, or otherwise pages that were not tested there. Please use a different browser to browse my sites, trust me - you'll like it. Theoretically, these pages should have looked OK, but if they don't - blame Microsoft not me.

courtesy : Shlomi Fish

Saturday, December 6, 2008

MySpace streams online video to smart phones

Thursday 04th December, 06:24 AM JST

MySpace is launching a mobile video streaming service that lets members of the global social-networking website watch favored snippets on the move.
News Corp-owned MySpace teamed with video coding specialty firm RipCode to create a way to let people use Internet-linked “smart phones” to watch videos they uploaded to MySpace profiles or mark as “favorites” at the website.
“Video is a natural next step for us in mobile,” said Mobile for MySpace vice president John Faith.
“MySpace will continue to grow our video library as we increase delivery channels in order to keep pace with our users’ accelerating desire for video consumption.”

MySpace says its new video streaming service works with most popular handset models but has yet to be adapted to Apple’s hot-selling iPhones.

Apple uses “progressive downloads” of video in iPhones, meaning digitized data must be downloaded to handsets before viewing can commence.

The free service, which is in a beta test phase, uses RipeCode technology to stream video in real time to individual mobile devices on-demand instead of calling on people to download files for storage in handset libraries.

“As the volume of video grows and the number of mobile devices supporting video continues to expand, companies have to find alternative solutions to deliver content to their customers across multiple screens,” said RipeCode chief executive Brendon Mills.

MySpace Mobile at boasts about 10 million monthly users.

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