Friday, March 25, 2011

Good Reasons to Optimize Your Speed

In my last post I wrote about souping up your computer as if it were a hot rod. It was a good excuse to post some pictures of muscle cars which is always nice but let's take a minute to talk about why it's a good idea to optimize your computer.

In one sense, having a fast computer is kind of like having a quick little roadster; it leads you to enjoy life more. Being able to surf the Internet quickly and easily is the information superhighway version of tooling through the countryside in an open top roadster, taking turns and accelerating on the straightaways. You can go where you want to, when you want to go there.

Having a slow computer on the other hand is like driving a 1969 Volkswagon bus up an incline. It's a slow, at times drudgerous process and often you feel broken down and stranded by the side of the road.

The good news is you don't need a new computer to go from feeling like your driving the '69 micro-bus to the open top Jag XKE. You can optimize your computer's speed often just by clearing the server and removing spyware and adware that's bogging down your system. Last week I mentioned and I must admit that since I ran the software my own computer feels like I just dropped a supercharger under the hood.

If you want to get out of the slow lane you need to find out what's holding your computer back. At the very least you should look into the free diagnostic they offer at MaxMySpeed and see if your computer is in need of help.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Google Joins In Relief Effort

Computers have been the least of our problems this week as we've sat and watched the country where many of them are made being torn to shreds by an earthquake, tsunami and impending nuclear disaster. It's really too awful for words and certainly for trite comparisons.

But as we've witnessed from the ongoing uprisings in the Middle East, technology now plays a supporting role in most major world events. It's no different with the current Japanese disaster aftermath and ongoing crisis.

Internet giant Google has joined in relief efforts by creating the Google Crisis Response page, which has information, links, messages, maps and other resources available in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean.

Google's efforts also involve Person Finder, a Web application that let people post and search for the names of residents who are missing or out of touch. And Google has set up a Picasa Web Album that has pictures of hand written survivor lists taken at shelters. The Crisis Response page is also providing volunteers to help non-Japanese speakers translate the lists.

In addition Google have set up a simplified version of the Crisis Response page that is configured to be run on a variety of mobile devices.

The Japanese have long been on the cutting edge with computers, mobile phones and other digital accessories. Few would have imagined them having to use their hard won tech savvy in such a dire situation as this.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Souping Up Your Computer

When people soup up cars they do things like installing superchargers, modifying the clutch pedal and in more modern cars, adding speed chips that influence things under the hood like fuel injection, engine timing and automatic transmissions. Some people take it to the next level and install nitrous oxide systems that basically turn your car into a road-bound rocket. All of this can cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars and may not be entirely legal depending on what state/country you are reading this from.

Thankfully souping up your computer is much easier, more cost-effective and entirely legal. Simple things like adding more RAM or a faster processor can go a long way towards improving your computer's speed. You can also reconfigure your computer to process information faster by changing the preferences.

But if your once speedy computer has lost its zip you may not need to do any of the above. Your PC may simply be getting bogged down by spyware and malware that you are unaware of.

Luckily there are excellent services available on the web like, which are dedicated to helping people, recover and optimize their computer's speed. MaxMySpeed offers all site visitors a free diagnostic. It's a very comprehensive service that does things like cleaning your registry to restore peak performance, removing errors triggered by spyware and minimizing risks from infected Spam and pop-ups ads.

If you want to get your computer back up and running at tip-top speed pay a visit to MaxMySpeed and run their free diagnostic. You may be surprised at what you find slowing down your PC.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The First Virtual Wedding

A California couple were married via Skype over the weekend after a serious lung infection lead to the groom being admitted to the isolation ward in the hospital mere days before his impending nuptials.

The Fullerton couple had friends and relatives traveling from as far as their native Korea and were hard pressed to call off or reschedule the ceremony on such short notice. The 27-year old groom began spitting up blood early in the week and was too nervous to inform his bride to be. However when he finally did inform her guests were already arriving in town and they had to improvise a solution on the double.

That solution was a virtual ceremony shot by four professional cameramen and beamed via split screen over Skype from the church and the groom's nearby hospital ward which was decorated by flowers his attending nurses gifted the couple.

Obviously getting married virtually was less than ideal for the young couple. But under the circumstances it was probably the best possible option available. Thankfully the newlywed's honeymoon is set to take place in the real world with the groom having surprised his bride with two tickets to Europe where they will visit Prague and Paris.

The groom is said to be making a rapid recovery and is set to leave the hospital this week.

As to whether this will ignite a craze in virtual weddings, it would seem doubtful. However it could lead to a trend in virtual divorce proceedings. While it may be a disappointing means of tying the knot, Skype would seem like the ideal way to communicate for two people who can no longer stand to be in the same room with one another.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Trade-In Madness Strikes the iPad Market

This iPad? Why it was owned by a little old lady from Pasadena who just used it to do her online shopping on Sundays.

Well, that could be the line you'll be hearing soon anyway as thousands of people are trading in their original iPads in preparation for upgrading to the new iPad 2 which was unveiled this week. Trade-in programs set up by eBay, Gazelle and Nextworth were initially offering customers a cash buy back of $550. However that amount has since been reduced as there has been a huge influx of iPad owners eager to unload last year's model in order to buy the new 2.0 version.

Additionally with the substantially improved iPad 2 due out in just a week and available for basically the same price the original iPad has been going for, their has been a near epidemic of buyer's remorse amongst recent purchasers of the popular tablet computer. Apple has responded by offering customers who've purchased iPads in the last two weeks a $100 cash rebate.

Of course the upside of all this trade-in madness is that if you're not ready to splash out five or six hundred bucks on a new iPad 2 there will be most assuredly be great deals to be had on used versions of the original model. With Apple's rebate effectively reducing the sticker price to around $350 and thousands of units soon to be available on the refurbished market, there has never been a better time to purchase an iPad.

Unless of course that is you want the latest model with it's thinner, lighter design, front and rear facing cameras, faster processor and updated graphics card. But who would want all that stuff?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Tablet Computer Title Race Heats Up

In China it may indeed be the year of the rabbit however according to tech analysts 2011 will be the year of the tablet just about everywhere else. With Apple set to unveil the next generation of iPads today 2011 may be a lot like 2010 in terms of Apple dusting the competition and dominating the market.

Apple sold some 15 million of the groundbreaking tablet computers last year and this year industry analysts are forecasting that tablet sales will top some 55 million. iPads will almost certainly make up the largest share of that market with this year's model expected to be slimmer than last year's and to contain a more powerful chip. The iPad 2.0 is also expected to be equipped with front and rear facing cameras, which will enable users to conduct the same sort of "FaceTime" videoconferencing that the iPhone 4 smartphone allows.

However most analysts are not forecasting major changes to the devices. As Ken Dulaney of Gartner Technology Research says, "The product was so good out of the shoot that I don't think there is a radical change forthcoming. "

With iPads closest rivals, the Samsung Galaxy and the Motorola Xoom trailing well behind in sales, Apple looks assured to make off with another title this year. If the tablet computer market were the English Premier League then Apple would certainly be Manchester United. The Galaxy and the Xoom may have their share of "encouraging results" and "good starts," but like Arsenal and Chelsea they will undoubtedly fall by the wayside allowing the iPad to make another strong market push and top the sales table yet again.