When To Buy A New Computer

September 29, 2010

I know you are wondering what a cement block and a bungee cord have to do with buying a new computer, right?

Well they have a lot to do with it.
Let me explain.
Processors and associate hardware double in power every 18 months while it takes on the average 6 years to write software for the new processors and associate hardware. So there is a major gap; how big a gap?
From the Pentium 3 to the Pentium 4 was a doubling of power and from the Pentium 4 to the core 2 was another doubling. Then from the Core 2 to the Dual core was yet another doubling! I know my words just don’t seem to convey the reality.

For illustration purposes lets say the Pentium 3 is a car that travels 20 miles in an hour, can you visualise that?  Great , now then the Pentium 4 travels twice that, doubling the power, going 40 miles an hour. Now the following year the Core 2 comes out and it is double in power and to continue our illustration it is traveling at 80 miles per hour! Now then what is the speed of the Dual-Core processor in this illustration? 160 miles per hour! With the Quad-Core processors what is the speed? 320 miles per hour!

Does this help?

Pentium III

 

 

 

 

Remember this all takes place in less than 6 years!

Now comes the part about the cement block and bungee cord!!

Now remember hardware double every 18 months while it takes about 4 years to write the Operating system that can utilize the new powerful components. So what take place between these four years? Updates and patches.

Picture your Operating system as the cement block and the bungee cable the updates and patches which is tied to the bumper of your car (computer) . As the new hardware comes out they use the older operating system which will require advanced drivers to link with the new processor and chips and major software updates. So as time goes on the core of the operating system doesn’t really change just like the cement block. But the updates and drivers get pulled greater and greater like that bungee cord getting stretched until finally the cement block takes to the air and comes crashing down! Average time to the flying cement block 4 years!

This is why there was Windows NT then Windows 2000 then Windows XP then Windows Vista then Windows 7

Are there alternatives?

Yes, get a different cement block (operating system) with a longer bungee cord (updates and drivers) like Linux but 8 years is the MAX before the flying cement block. 🙂

Did the hexa-core (six core) processors come out yet?

Yep the first months of 2010.

When is Windows 8 coming out?

Late 2012 or 2013 or ….

In the mean time there are going to be a TON of updates  🙂

 

by R. Frank Tulak

 Related articles for further reading:

The Real Beanstalk

Computers in Cars?


Did You Feel It?

January 9, 2010

February 28, 1999 Astronomers at the Siding Spring Observatory in Australia stared with bone chilling shock at the resent photos taken of the sky.  They were comparing the objects in each photograph for size and velocity. One faint object was growing in size but was not  moving in any direction. Measuring the change in size with the time of each photograph, the speed of the object was calculated at over 43,000 miles an hour. Within hours other observatories searched and verified the objects size at 100 feet long with a trajectory that crossed our orbit putting it on a collision course with earth in less than 36 hours. Within 24 hours, with all observation positions around the globe tracking the asteroids course,  the  final calculation showed the asteroid would pass between the earth and moon on March 2nd at 13:44 universal time (8:44 a.m. ET)  Everyone who knew about it could not sleep that night, if their calculations were wrong it could be a disaster similar to a nuclear explosion. I believe everyone one held their breath the last seconds from the 43rd minute to the 44th minute of what was either going to be a miraculous flyby or a deadly,  devastating impact.  On March 2nd at 13:44 universal time (8:44 a.m. ET) asteroid 2009 DD45 at 43200 miles an hour, like a monstrous bullet,  shot between the earth and  moon. Many gave silent prayers, others hugged their children and loved ones while no one else really noticed nor did the news agencies give it any attention.

Did you feel it?  Did you feel the impending doom when the asteroid was approaching?

If not you will be given another opportunity.

In 2004 an asteroid 1150 feet long ( the size of the rosebowl stadium!) and weighing 23,0000 ton was discovered and unlike the afore mentioned asteroid there has been enough time to properly assess it’s threat potential and with great precision project it’s path, because it has a collision course with earth in 2029 (not 2012).  When will our orbit and the asteroid collide?  Are your ready for this?  In April.  What day?  On the 13th day and what day of the week is that?  It’s a Friday.  With that knowledge they named the asteroid “marshmallow” 🙂 (no! just kidding) They gave it the name of Apophis, the Egyptian God of death.  If this asteroid hits the earth it is going to be very bad!  How bad?  All the dinosaurs will be become extinct!  Wait, they are already extinct.  Well then if it hits the earth it will really ruin everyones day!  The good news is its not going to hit the earth!  How close will it come?  It will shoot between the earth and our communications satellites.  Do you know how close that is?  (Your Dish TV and cell phone will probably not work and it will not be wise for any aircraft to be flying that day either!) What is the bad news?   Well our earth’s gravity is going to drastically change the course of that asteroid when it flies that close to the earth, so much so that it might change it’s course and hit our earth 7 years later 2036.  Where would it hit?  More than likely it will hit in the Pacific ocean between Hawaii and Los Angeles, which will cause 5 consecutive tsunami waves radiating from the impact area; the first one being 3 MILES HIGH ( This is not a good thing! )  If this asteroid hits it will ruin everyone’s day and cause some very major life style changes for everyone who lives on the Pacific coastline!

The technical tsunami

On 27 July 1993 the requirement for EMS and a door through 1 meg memory limit in 16 bit computers was unlocked and opened with the ability to write more complex and intelligent programs with the arrival of the 32 bit Windows NT.  The impact created a technical tsunami wave that changed every computer. The ripples are still felt today with the advanced graphics editing programs using Microsoft XP and our graphic intense cell phone!  The advanced 32 bit programs allowed photo quality image capture and printing.  Where did the corner overnight photo developer and printer shops go?  Where did the public telephones and phonebooths go?  Swept away by 32 bit programing  tsunami!

Did you feel it? The twinge of unfamiliarity with the world?  The need to relearn how to make a simple phone call.  To relearn how to take a photograph with a digital camera.  To learn how to modify the image and print it out on a printer.  Where is the typewriter?  What is happening to the fax machine?  What is a website or a blog?  Have you learned to tweet and do your tweets link to your Facebook?

If you missed it you have another opportunity.

The 64 bit operating system now has the engines to really run it.  Four years ago the two-in-one processor came out.  Two years ago the four-in-one processors came on line. Now with the 32 bit operating system reaching it’s maximum limt  and the demand to do more than the 32 bit operating system can perform the technical tsunami has begun!  64 bit programs will change everyone’s day and cause some very major life style changes for everyone!

by R. Frank Tulak


The Killer Tomato, Potato and Botnet

December 15, 2009

Here are the last few seconds of this fly’s life before the lighting quick jaws of the venus flytrap leaf snaps shut and the plant begins to digest this fly, pulling the life giving nutrients from the fly to the plant. The venus fly trap (Dionaea muscipula) is labeled a carnivorous plant but not all carnivorous plants capture prey the same way. The standard definition would be “any of several unrelated plants modified to capture and digest animals, especially insects, which supply nitrogen that may otherwise be unavailable in their habitat.”

According to the standard definition; if a plant, because of it’s design, characteristics or attributes, captures and or kills an animal for the purpose of extracting nutrients to be used by the plant, it is carnivorous.

Carnivorous plants don’t digest all their victim only the nutrients it needs. Then when it opens only the structure and shell of the victim is left.

Other carnivorous plants  use nectar mixed with a sap and digestive chemicals to lure and capture the animal like the sundew (Drosera) .

While others are more passive like the  pitcher plant (Nepenthaceae and Sarraceniaceae) who lure insects into an opening that forces them to drown in a pool of water in the center of the plant. Thus extracting the nourishment over time as the animal dissolves in the water.

The problem is there are a whole group of plants that still fit the definition of carnivorous plant but because they do it differently they have never been recognized as been carnivorious.

Ladies and gentleman I introduce the covert carnivorous plants, our well-known tomato and potato plants! All this time we never recognized their carnivorous behavior. For those who grow tomatoes they have always recognised the dead insects on the plant or on the ground around the plant but have generally ignored it.  We never thought about it. I guess we all thought the insects just came to the plant to die. 🙂 The truth, recently accepted without controversy, is the tomato and potato plant lure the insects then the insects are trapped by the sticky hairs on the tomato or potato plant THEN (and here is where we missed it) as the sappy lure dries it finally releases the dead victim to dissolve on the soil to feed the roots of the plant just below the surface.

What does this have to do with Computers?

If you look at a computer program as a kind of life form then you see it needs the nutrients that are available from other computers to grow. So if there is a kind of program that can grow outside its own computer it must lure other computers, capture them then extract or assimilate those computers processor and memory to grow and capture other computers.

Is there such a carnivorous program? If so how big is it?

There are carnivorous programs and they are called  botnets!

How many botnets are there? There are hundreds but there are 16 which are the real monsters and have eaten the lions share of the world’s computers.

Are they dangerous to people? Well that depends on how much of your life is dependent on computers. For illustration purposes let’s use automobiles instead of computers. What if someone could take control away from the driver of a car and completely control it remotely? Could they do any damage? What if they could take control of 100 cars at any moment could they do any damage? Look at the size of  top 5 of these carnivorous programs!

  1. Conficker           35 ,000,000 +   computers controlled
  2. Kraken                     495,000       computers controlled
  3. Srizbi                        450,000      computers controlled
  4. Bobax                       185,000      computers controlled
  5. Rustock                    150,000      computers controlled

HOW DID CONFICKER GROW SO BIG!

After it has infected a target computer (by downloading a Trojan), it tries to prevent it’s removal by disabling anti-virus software and blocking access to security-related web sites, as well as stealing personal information by masquerading as an anti-virus product called Spyware Protect 2009. How ?   The worm informs the user that his computer is infected and takes the user to a fake security Web site, asks them to pay $50 for a spyware program that actually is the Conficker worm, then keeps their credit card information, to boot.

How can you tell if your computer is infected with the conficker worm?

There is a test to see if your computer is infected click here 

Where is the infection mostly located?

 

What should everyone do? Keep their antivirus and antispyware up to date and scan regularly.

Hey I’d rather eat a potato or tomato than be eaten by one! 🙂

 

 by R. Frank Tulak


Mouse Tricks

December 9, 2009

Ah! What  you  can  do  with  a  mouse!

What I am referring to is the computer mouse and the windows environment. I get so many requests to change the graphics enviroment to 640 X 480 so they can read their email or a webpage or see the what is written in a spreadsheet.

Many people even bought magnifying glasses (sold as computer glasses or reading glasses) to be able to read the screen of their computer. Some people have bought a magnifying screen to put in front of the computers screen to magnify the image.

You don’t have to change your graphics mode, buy special glasses or buy a magnifying screen to put in front of your monitor! That  is if you have a mouse with a wheel.

Here try this while you are reading this web page; hold down the Ctrl key on the left of your keyboard  and while you are holding it down rotate the wheel on the mouse. One of two things just happened either the web page got bigger (magnified) or it shrunk (got smaller 🙂 ) To do the opposite of what you just did keep the Ctrl key pressed and rotate the wheel the other way! 🙂

Try it on your email client (Outlook)  or your spreadsheets !

Text still not big enough? Well go to Start then Programs  then Accessories  then Accessibility then click on Magnifier. Notice the top part of your windows has been moved and where ever your mouse is shows up in this window magnified.

Is there a quicker way to access accessibility? Yes press the key with the picture of the widows logo next to the Ctrl key and while pressing it press the “u” key. Click on magnify or type it in and click start.

Now you can SEE how much fun you can have with your mouse in windows 🙂

 

by R. Frank Tulak

Want more tricks? Go to EEEK! a Dead Mouse!

A Little Star Trek Magic


32 or 64? is Bigger Better?

December 1, 2009

It keeps on happening.  People buy a i7 Quad Core Processor Systemwith a terabyte drive  and max out the memory to the limit of 16 gigbyte for the motherboard. Then they have Windows Vista (32 bit)  or Windows 7  (32 bit) installed on the computer and have total shock that Windows only used 4 gig of the 16 gig of the memory installed! What is going on? What is wrong with the other 12 gig of memory?

Not a darn thing! There is nothing wrong with any of the hardware.

To make things simple let’s think about children. When you ask a three-year old child how old they are, what do they show you?

How about when they are 4 years old?

Ever ask how many months that is?

What do they do? They show you the same fingers. The number 12 does not exist! They only have 10 fingers!

How many fingers does a computer have? 4 or 8 or 16 or 32 or 64 or 128!

Let use the child’s 3 fingers like a computer would. Number 1 would be one finger. For the number 2 the one finger would be down and the finger next to it would be up.  The number 3 would be the finger that went down to come back up. So then the one finger would represent 2 and the other finger 1 equaling 3. The number 4 would be the two fingers would go down and the third would be up, representing two twos equaling 4.  This way one finger represents 1 the other finger represents 2 (two ones) and the third equals 4 (two twos).  Okay, now that we know how a computer counts using that method what is the highest you could count to using just one hand with five fingers? 31!  How does it work?  One finger represents 1 the second finger 2 the third finger 4 the fourth finger 8 the fifth finger 16!  Now the computer doesn’t have hands with fingers it has registries with bits.  But we will keep the same analogy just for fun 🙂

Pentium computers were designed for 32 bit operation (32 fingers on it’s hand) and installed with 4 gig of memory; therefore to use all the fingers what operating system should be chosen 16 bit or 32?  What is the highest that a 16 bit operating system can count to? 65,535!  How about a 32 bit? 4,294,967,295 (4 gig) So this is a no brainer right?

Okay, now lets examine our original problem. A Quad Core i7 processor with 16 gig of memory and one terra byte hard drive is a full-blown 64 bit computer!  Now what operating system should go on this system?  Should it be a 32 bit operating system or 64?  What happens if you use a 32 bit XP or Vista or Windows 7?  IT WILL NEVER SEE BEYOND 4 GIG OF MEMORY!  Why?  It can’t count higher!   It can only count to 4,294,967,295 (4 gig).

What happens if you use Vista or a Windows 7, 64 bit operating system on the 64 bit computer? It will see all the memory and use all it’s fingers for counting. 🙂

How high can it count to? 18,446,744,073,709,551,615 (18 Terabytes !)

So you see everyone should get their hands on a 64 bit computer with a 64 bit operating system, that’s a system you can count on ! 🙂

 

by R. Frank Tulak


Why is there a Blue Screen of Death?

August 12, 2009

bsod-at-building
Everyday more and more we are seeing the “Windows Blue Screen of Death” not just on our computers but on buildings on airplanes at gas pumps and at the airports. As more and more computers are being integrated into our daily lives the Blue Screen of Death becomes more visible. The other operating systems also have failure screens but because of the brilliant blue of the Microsoft Failure screen we remember it more strongly. Here are the failure screens of other operating systems.
sadMAC The “Sad Mac” of the Macintosh Computer.
ubuntu-linux-kernel-panic-500x375
The “Kernel Panic” of Linux operating system
Now that we are seeing these failure screen more frequently the big question arises;
Why is there a blue screen of death?  The answer is PEOPLE !
I know and your response would be “WHAT?”.
Let me explain.
One of the greatest “AH HA !” moments came when I was at a Programmers Conference, which are called technically a “Developers Conference”. There I had the unique privilege of meeting the people who wrote the programs and operating systems that you and I are so familiar with. What I thought was so amusing was by talking to each person I knew what programs or operating system they wrote by their personalities. It only took a little while but you could tell.  It was as if I already knew them. Then the “AH HA !” moment happened and I understood; the logic of the programs they wrote were modeled after their own logic and way of thinking!
That is the reason there are failures!
To explain it better picture in your mind a big dance party, and that the operating system is like the song or dance tune being played. The male dancers are the hardware, while the female dancers are the software. The beat or timing comes from the band musicians with their instruments, and the dancers are all moving to the beat of the music. All around the room in chairs are men and women ready to get up and dance when there is room on the dance floor.  How many pieces of hardware and software can dance depends on the size of the memory which would be the dance floor.  The faster the musicians play the faster the dancers dance. What happens when dancers collide or step on each others feet?  Then we have a program error and the dancers leave the dance floor (the program must shut down.) What happens when dancers slip and fall into the band or knock down other dancers?  That is when the music stops or a “Blue Screen of Death” everyone has to stop and the music starts over again.
You see the same problems of logic and actions that people have in their lives is the same in their programs. They model their programs after their own way of thinking!
As you watch the video think of what is going on in your computer! Remember programs and operating systems are modeled after the thinking and logic of the programmers that wrote them!

So when will we stop having blue screens?

When people no longer write programs and operating systems!
When the computers write the programs and not people!
Picture in your mind a dance party were the musicians and everyone dancing are robots, no mistakes, the whole dance is flawless!
Wouldn’t that be fun to watch?
So enjoy your blue screens while you can they won’t be around much longer. 🙂


Are the CIA FBI NSA the same thing?

July 1, 2009

bondslarge2

 

Of course not. They server different purposes and are limited in their authority and influence; but they are very vital in this day and time.

What they have in common is that they collect and act on information related to criminal activity or affects national security.
So they are filled with James Bond types right? No!
A James Bond type would never work well in either group. They may have attributes similar to the Mr. Bond of Ian Fleming’s stories but they must be team players, not lose cannons! Sorry if you are a James Bond fan. 🙂
What their focus is and their boundries are are pretty much given in theirs names.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI ) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and National Security Agency (NSA).
The FBI is primarily a law enforcement agency, collecting intelligence related to domestic security and performing crime investigation.
The CIA is an international intelligence agency which is not responsible for domestic security
In other words the FBI investigates crimes, and the CIA gathers intelligence.

What does the National Security Agency handle? The NSA handles domestic intelligence in coordination with the FBI. In addition, the CIA often cooperates with international intelligence agencies to exchange information. The CIA may pass information regarding domestic security on to the FBI.

The FBI also handles domestic law enforcement issues. The FBI coordinates national efforts to track down missing persons, complex investigations which local law enforcement cannot handle, processing of criminal evidence, and support for victims of crime. FBI agents frequently assist in the collection of evidence in major criminal cases, especially those involving a substantial amount of money or multiple homicide cases.

The CIA does not handle law enforcement. Agents working within the United States are primarily stationed at CIA headquarters in Washington. Domestically based agents interpret information and create intelligence briefings for the President and White House staff. If directed, these agents may supervise overseas agents in carrying out covert actions on behalf of the United States. (more like Mission Impossible then like James Bond 🙂 )

What does this have to do with computers? EVERYTHING!

You see foriegn unfriendly nations and groups can and do gather information through the use of your computer by way of implanting spyware and malware. This method is almost totally impercievable and very destructive. Not only can they gather intelligence from your computer but use your computer to commit crimes with out you being aware that anyone else is using your computer.
Some recent examples are the Cyber attacks on the World Bank right before the economic world crash. The attack on the White House computers. But ones that can trigger the greatest damage are the botnets.
They are malware that allows someone else to take change of your computer from a distance. As a mild threat they are use to send spam email but as a greatter threat they can be combined to crash any and all networks! Which is about what everything runs on!
Picture if you will traffic any traffic, cars down a highway, water through a pipe, phone calls through a router or just your family coming and going through your house front door. Now instantly jump that incoming traffic to 10.5 million! What would happen to our communications network, our hospital’s network or our defence and police networks? This is the concern of our agancies that guard our nation! What botnet has 10.5 million computers under its control?
The confiker worm! Here is the distributions of control the botnet has.
conficker_world_map
Picture 10.5 million computers awaiting the command of their master!

In the world of your computer it needs protection! You and your computer are part of our nations security!
Your computer needs to have virus protection (like the FBI for our nation) and anti-spyware (like our nations CIA) and it needs to be more strengthed and upadated against attacks with the operating system updates (like our nations NSA).

YOUR MISSION IF YOU DESIDE TO ACCEPT IT IS TO KEEP YOUR COMPUTER’S
ANTIVIRUS UP TO DATE AND CHECK ITS OPERATION EVERY WEEK
UPDATE AND CHECK AND RUN YOUR ANTISPYWARE EVERY WEEK
CHECK AND RUN UP DATES FOR YOUR OPERATING SYSTEM EVERY WEEK.
THIS MESSAGE WILL NOT SELF-DESTRUCT.
GOOD LUCK 🙂