Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Establish connection with a second computer

Hey folks its me back at it again!

Today's topic focuses on making a network link between two computers using various methods.

Important to note that this article is primarily for windows xp users. Oh and a side note the more modern your OS (operating system) is the easier it is to make a network connection. For example with windows 98 before you could make a connection using a network cable you had to make sure the correct protocols were installed on both machines before they could talk to each other and it was just a mess. Nowadays with vista and windows 7, you basically just plug your chord into your computers and are good to go.

The first method for making a connection we will discuss is via Ethernet cord plugged into the Ethernet port on your computers if your computer is running windows xp then you most likely have this port and it looks like a bigger version of a female end of a telephone connector. So slap that bad boy into your computers (probably located at the back of your computers) and prepare for the next step. Now as i mentioned before about network protocols and stuff, windows xp should automatically take care of that stuff by itself which makes life alot easier. All you have to do is make sure that your drives are shared on both computers and then map a network drive.

WHOA WHOA what ya say?! Haha don't worry about that fancy terminology, I will walk you through it!
After plugging your cable into your computers, click on the "my computer" icon either on your desktop or you can find it by clicking on the start button. Once inside "my computer" find the icon labeled "local disk C:" (if its not called C then just find local disk). Now you want to right click on that icon and then click on "sharing and security" what comes will talk about understanding the risk of sharing the root drive blah blah. just click on that that text. Now you will see a couple of different things the first is "local sharing and security" and the second is "network sharing and security" you want the second one. Now inside that second topic is a check box which says "share this folder on the network" check it. When you do some more options will become available to you such as "share name" and then a letter next to that. Check the box that also says "Allow network users to change my files" (otherwise you can see files on the other computer but cant change them) then click on the ok button. The computer will then start the sharing process and when all is said and done you will see a little hand under neath your local disk icon. Make sure you do this to both computers if you want to share files from both computers.

When you're done with that in the same window that you see your local disk with the hand under it, you should see at the top a button called "tools" click on that then click on "map network drive"  Don't mess with the Drive letter option that comes up just leave that default (most likely "z") now in the folder box type in \\computername\local disk letter. Alright first things first you need to find out the name of the computer you want to connect to in order to do that go to the computer you want to connect to and right click on the "my computer" icon then select properties then click on the tab at the top called "computer name" the name of the computer is the "full computer name" write that down or memorize it or whatever and put it into the folder box on your other computer. So for example it might look like this \\jjish-13 keep in mind all computer names are unique. next step is put in your drive letter. the drive letter is the letter that's next to "local disk" on your other computer (its usually c) so then your finished work looks something like this \\name\c and that's it for that. Next step is to hit the finish button and when you do the computer will try to connect to the other computer and if it is successful a window will come up with a bunch of different folders in it from the other computer and you're done. Now you may need to enter a username and password to before it will allow you to connect successfully. All you do is click on the "connect using a different username" which will then give you the option of typing in the user name and password of the other computer your trying to connect to. If you are unsure what the user name is you can go to the other computer and click on the start button and then the second button up from the bottom will say "log off" and then the username.

That pretty much takes care of connecting your computer through an Ethernet cable using the map network drive method.

Now I should say that alot of modern routers these days make network connections between computers very easy as well... if all your computer are connected to the same router using either a cable or wirelessly then AS LONG AS THE LOCAL DISK DRIVES ARE SHARED they should all be automatically connected to each other and allow you to change or transfer files. So really if you are using a router you just follow the steps mentioned above to turn on sharing and then once that's established and you see the little hand under your drive icon you go to your desktop and double click the "My network places" icon (or you can find it by clicking on the start button) and then after a moment or two the icon displaying the local disk of your other computer should come up and all you have to do is click on it!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Internet Speed

let me start off by saying this will be my last blog for about a week or so since i will be out of town(maybe)

OK so Internet speeds come in all shapes and sizes sorta speak and your speed is proportional number one to how much your paying per month for it =P

alright alright your ISP also known as your Internet service provider is who you pay every month to have your Internet brought to you and they can charge you whatever they want for that service too. Now there are two important things to note when dealing with Internet speed and that is your "download" speed and your "upload speed" typically most people measure Internet speed in terms of download only and the fast download speed that is currently broadly available (not including T-lines) is about 24 megabytes per second. and the fastest upload speed is about 2 megabytes per second.

the difference in upload speed verse download speed is thus: download speed deals with how fast you can view an image on a website or how fast a website loads up when you go to it and things like that, how fast you can download a song, basically how fast another computer can give information to your computer. Upload speed is in a nut shell how fast your computer can send information to another computer. Now for most people download speed is the primary concern. However if you own a server like myself then you need to pay attention to upload speed because that's the one that will determine how fast some one can go to a website that's hosted off your computer or if you have a game server it determines how fast players can access data from your server.

if you are curious about how fast your Internet currently is then please feel free to visit
choose a location closest to you and then begin the test. the first test preformed will measure your download speed. and it is measured in kilobytes rather than megabytes. Just know that 1000 KB(kilobytes) = 1 Megabyte. The second test preformed measures your upload speed!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

When is it time to upgrade?!

I get this question from time to time and the answer is pretty straight forward. If you can still manage to do everything you want to do on your computer with out moderate hassle then you don't need to upgrade!! Even if your computer is 10 years old you don't need to upgrade. Just remember the old adage, "if its not broke, don't fix it". Or in this case if you can operate on your computer just fine to get your tasks done then don't be pressured to buy the latest and greatest technology out there.

That being said, some times it is time to upgrade =P Getting a new computer that's right for you is another one of those things which i cant help you out with unless I know what you use your computer for to begin with. For example lets say you spend most of your time on the computer browsing websites and checking e-mail, you arn't going to want to spend money on a computer that's built for gaming and comes complete with a high-end 3d video graphics card.

If you really need to upgrade then make sure you speak to a qualified customer service rep at whatever store you are planning to buy a computer and make sure he knows what you use your computer for, and make REALLY sure that the computer he suggests for you can do everything you need. Or you can solicit the services/advice of a computer repair man.

That's it for now!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Normal processes for windows xp

Sorry I haven't blogged in a while but I got a little busy.

Nothing annoys me more than for a computer to be doing something it has no business doing in the first place.

What you should know is that even if you don't use your computer or tell it to do something, your computer as long as its on is always doing something behind the scenes. Your computer likes to think....ALOT. Whenever you hear those click click sounds going at a fast rate in your computer its because its busy thinking or doing something. That's fine, I don't care about that. What I care about is it doing something useless or thinking about something completely pointless. And what I mean by that is alot of times the programs that are installed onto your computer require your computers attention even when you are not running those programs. These are known as the system processes in windows xp. Now in order to view your system processes in windows xp all you have to do is press and hold the crtl button the alt button and the del or delete button at the same time. What comes up is a little window called your task manager. Now in that window your gunna see a few tabs at the top labeled different things like "applications", "processes", "performance", "networking", and "users". Click on the tab labeled processes to see everything your computer is doing in the background. You should see a pretty decent sized list. Some of that stuff in the list is important for your computer to keep functioning right and some of it is just a waste of your computers time and energy. Figuring out whats needed and whats not is a hard task and I dare not attempt to walk you through it in this blog. Each computers processes tend to be unique from one another so with out actually seeing the list myself I cant tell you what needs to be done. Instead what I can do is give you a list of basic windows xp processes that are required to keep the computer functioning. And then from this list you can compare it to what processes you have running and get an idea of the situation. So here's the list, I will also post a picture for you to see.

in no particular order:
SVCHOST.EXE (about 9 of these may be running in your list)
EXPLORER.EXE (this is what enables you to see your desktop and click on icons)
alg.exe (i forget if this one is a core system process or not lol it may have to do with a video driver
             if you dont have it dont worry about it)
WINLOGON.EXE (if you dont have this one dont worry)
System Idle Process
Computer Repair, xp processes
I black out my other processes so you can just see a list of the basic ones

That's about it for the core system processes windows xp needs in order to stay functioning.
Keep in mind something else, those are just so windows can stay on and you can use your computer like normal. It has nothing to do with your ability to connect to the Internet  wirelessly or run any other programs. Some programs do need a background system process to be running on your computer all the time or they just wont work. My advice to you is unless your experienced enough to be fooling around and shutting processes off, just don't do it. Finding out which process belongs to which program and then determining if its necessary or not is an extremely time consuming thing. I recently spent about 3 hours hunting down every process by hand and looking it up on the Internet to see what program it belonged to, for a customer of mines computer. For me its important to shut down irrelevant processes because they just sit there draining my computers overall power and speed!

By the way if you are familiar enough with your own system processes, then looking at your processes list can give you a hint as to whether or not you are infected with a virus....

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

What kind of anti virus is right for me?

Thats a fair question.

One thing that should be understood before one goes and spends money on an anti virus/malware program is that there is no such thing as a perfect anti virus program. No I am serious. The way it works with anti virus programs is to do there best to stay on top of new viruses which are created daily (like hundreds of new viruses are released everyday) and the truth of it is no body is perfect and no program is perfect either. There is not one anti virus program out there that will catch EVERY virus EVERY time, its just not possible.

SO with that in persective the goal then is to find an anti virus program whichs blocks/stops more viruses than most! Now through out the years ive worked with many different types of anti virus programs. Such as Mcafee, Norton/Symantec, Trend Micro, Avast, and a few others including Spyware Doctor with anti-virus.

Idealy it would be nice to run more than one anti virus program at a time. that way if one program misses a virus, the other migth catch it and vice versa. But this however proves a little impractical as anti virus programs themselves take up a huge amount of system resources(system rescources are what your computer uses to function, its like computing power and it is measured in how much information your computer can process at once and how much it can think and stuff like that in laymens terms) and running an anti virus program requires your computer to think and process alot! so running two programs at a time is just not practical for most people unless you have a scathingly massive amount of system rescrouces =P

Now then out of all the anti virus programs i have worked with i recommend Spyware Doctor with anti-virus. Why? Well the main reason is that it has caught viruses that other programs could not even detect and that was 5-6 years ago. Thier techonology has come a long way and includes heuristic(heuristics is kind of like using intuition) approaches to solving a great deal of malware related stuff. Spyware-Doctor with anti-virus comes with an all inclusive package that handles browser defending(Internet Explorer only I beleive), inteligent protection of core system files, regular updates of course, and programming so smart that it can even block suspiscious activity even if it doesnt know what it is!(Alot of anti virus programs need to be told about the virus through an update before it knows to block it). Well it does a ton of things really. But not to discredit any other anti virus programs out there, I have only used spyware docotor with anti virus for many years now and the techonlogy of other anti virus programs would have certinly improved as well...

If you're like me then you dont like having your system resources used up all the time and you disable your anti-virus program and prevent it from running(bad idea i know...) and because of that I have regreted it more than once. But if you are hurting for system resrouces already and cant afford to run an anti virus program then there is hope for you! There is a program called "Housecall" which is created by Trend Micro and its a free browser based anti virus program which uses javascript to scan your computer and remove virus infections! What does all that mean!? It means that if you think you are infected with a virus or if you want to scan a file or program before running it or opening it, all you have to do is go to this website and follow the step by step instructions to run thier program! Once again its free of charge and pretty darn effective. I use it from time to time when im bout to run a suspiscious looking file i just downloaded and that way I dont need to fire up my spyware docotor anti virus program all the time. Of course it only works if you can infact get on the internet and go to thier website. If you are infected with a virus then its possible that the virus would prevent you from visiting certain websites.

Well thats it for now folks I think I've covered everything needs be said.