Monthly Archives: February 2017

Advantages of Cloud Computing for the Home

Cloud computing not only transforms home computing, but the way we work and live. If that sounds overblown, consider how working from home and consuming entertainment have changed over the last few years. And the rise of the ‘Internet of Things’, which will co-ordinate internet connected devices, can make your home life more relaxing and enjoyable.

There are already lots of advantages to embracing cloud computing in your home, whether it’s for work, pleasure or managing your household.

Cloud Storage for the home:
One of the big early selling points of cloud computing has been the availability of cheap, plentiful storage space for photos, videos, work documents and anything else you can think of. Cloud storage providers include UK-based Memstore, along with U.S companies such as Dropbox, Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft.

It’s important to check out the various options and not just sign up to the most familiar brand names, as costs can vary depending on the storage needed. And in the UK it’s also well worth considering a UK-based provider like Memset, as they’ll be fully-compliant with UK specific laws and regulations, which isn’t the case for businesses based elsewhere.

Backing up anything valuable to you, whether its photos of your family, household documents like your insurance forms, or work documents, is essential. Many people rely on external hard drives for manual backups, which is a good idea. But these backups are often left sat next to computers, so in the event of a robbery, you lose both the originals and backups.

For peace of mind, backing up once to an external hard drive and once to a cloud service means that you have security whatever happens. And it’s low cost – Memstore is a great example as you only pay for the space you use and when you download beyond large amounts. For instance, you can store up to 100GB and download 20GB per month for just £3.95 per month.

If you check the disk space you’ve used on your computer and laptop now, you’ll probably find it’s a lot less to backup than you might think.

Cloud Streaming for the home:
Whether you enjoy music, movies or even videogames, we’re all becoming used to cloud storage and streaming.

If you just want instant access, you can choose from a variety of services such as Spotify to get access to a huge range of music, or Lovefilm and Netflix to stream movies to your tablet or TV – apps for games consoles mean you don’t need to move the computer or trail wires through your house.

But if you’re worried about relying on the cloud for all your entertainment, you can still buy physical CDs and DVDs etc. Legally backing up entertainment you own to cloud storage or a more tailored cloud service means the physical copy can be stored out of the way in the cupboard or loft, and you can now access the entertainment you own wherever you have an internet connection.

And the same is becoming true for videogames, even the latest releases, with services such as Onlive), which allows you access to all the latest games for a fixed fee.

Home Management via the Cloud:
We’re all leading business lives. And in a family home, that’s even more apparent between work, school, social commitments and more. But by using a handful of cloud applications, you can make family life much more enjoyable and less stressful.

With everything going on in our lives, it’s worth using shared calendars and notes to know what’s happening. Whether that’s via Google Calendar, or beautiful note-taking app Evernote, it means you’re not relying on Post It notes around the house, or the often-ignored calendar in the kitchen.

And when it comes to bills and managing your money, we’d all like to save time and cash without as much effort. The main option for aggregating your personal finances is UK-based Money Dashboard.

As you can imagine, the home business world is well supported, with the likes of Freshbooks KashFlow, Quickbooks, Freeagent etc.

Home Appliances via the Cloud:
Ever wanted to switch your central heating on from work when the day suddenly gets colder? Devices such as the Nest Thermostat not only give you remote access, but learn from your behaviour to learn from your energy history and turn the heating down automatically when no one is home.

Meanwhile car manufacturers such as Ford are integrating cloud technology to have your car warmed and ready when you’re about to leave home, update on traffic jams and weather, and notify you when friends have suggested locations in your area – great if you’re somewhere new and need to find a place to eat. If you can’t justify a new car, the free Waze GPS traffic and navigation app already crowd sources information from other drives in your area.

This is just the start as increasingly devices will make use of the cloud not only to function, but to aggregate anonymous data to help improve how you utilise them. No more trying to work out the cheapest energy provider, or quickest way to work, as it’s all provided for you. And internet connected devices can also tell you when they break, what needs fixing and when the repair visit fits with your schedule.

Cloud computing makes life easier:
As shown above, cloud computing offers many ways to make life easier. As home internet connections continue to get faster and technology continues to improve, this is only going to increase.

The Cheapest Computer to Date!

If we look few decades back, it was almost impossible to think of working with a computer without any proficiency of knowledge about it. Gradually, the developers made it simple by making use of a graphical operating system. Now, it is simpler yet by the invention of Raspberry Pi, it has been developed by a charity called Raspberry Pi Foundation. It is not more than the size of a credit card. The feature which makes it genuinely special is its ‘ease of use’, especially for the beginners. Another important factor is its price, which is either $25 or $35, depending upon the version. The price is good news for them who can’t afford to buy a usual desktop.

These days computers are important, as these have become important means for communicating, be it for business purpose or some personal need. We could assure you that Raspberry Pi fulfills the basic needs of all classes of people. However, you need to understand one thing clearly, from the moment you take the circuit out of the package, do not expect things to happen automatically. If you do not know how to work with Raspberry Pi, land up on Raspberry Pi’s website for online help and start working with it.

Before purchasing a Raspberry Pi, you should know certain things about it to make a better choice. We have gathered a precise info about it, here you go:

Raspberry Pi has two versions, one is Model A and another is Model B. Model B is better version than that of Model A, and it is more expensive too. Let us see few of the features of both flavors of Raspberry Pi: Model A has only one USB port, but Model B has two such ports. Unlike Model B, Model A lacks in Ethernet port. Other than few certain things, major part of the hardware is more or less similar.

Let us dig deeper into the hardware section: It has 700MHz ARM1176JZF-S CPU, it has a Broadcom Video Core IV GPU, 256MB of SDRAM. RCA & HDMI are the two video outputs that you can find in the circuit, also a 3.5 mm audio output. It is important to note here, it receives its power from a micro USB adapter, this means that this circuit doesn’t have any Switch ON or Switch OFF button; rather it draws its power from plugging the adapter into the circuit.

It is not necessary to remind you of the fact that, you will not get a capable computer with the kind of price that has been mentioned, but it is also a fact that you will not have a great multi-tasking and web browsing experience with the circuit of Raspberry Pi. All that you can run are: fundamental desktop jobs, few low-end games which can otherwise made to run in lower models of smartphones, play HD videos.

Did we mention that, to use Raspberry Pi, you need few components such as: a monitor with digital connection and compatible video cable, a USB keyboard and a mouse (if required)? Do not forget a micro USB power adapter or else your computer will be a box, which is meant for a showpiece in the drawing room.

There is nothing exciting about it, as it is just a bare board with no chassis, you have to put all the efforts to build it as a computer and the difficult part is that, you need to know little bit of Linux to have a command over it.

Cool Mouse Operations You Can Use In Windows

Here are five windows operations that you can use on some occasions with windows or associated software.

Open new links in brand new tabs on Windows Internet Explorer

If your mouse has three buttons – then use the middle one to open new tabs. Hover the mouse pointer over the link and press the mouse wheel to open up new tabs.  All you need to do is place the mouse pointer over a link and then press down on the middle mouse button (the mouse wheel).

The middle mouse button is able to roll forward or back, however, it is also able to be pressed down and clicked just like a button.  If you do this on a link then it will open up that link in a new tab.  This is a lot quicker than pressing right-click and clicking on “open in a new tab.”  It is an easier way to research certain items by simply clicking in order to open new tabs.

If you are feeling the super lazy you can hold CTRL and press Tab to scroll through your tabbed windows – or you can even hold Alt and press Tab to see a screen of windows – which shows all of the items you have active at the moment, including your tabbed windows.

You may find hidden menus within context menus on Windows

Some article and icon buttons on Microsoft Windows may be right-clicked on to reveal a context menu. Some icons you are able to hold shift upon in order to reveal an even bigger listed menu.  You should try it on your hard drive file.  This is a very nice little trick to use if you are a hardcore windows user.

You are able to select columns of text with some Windows applications

On some applications you are able to select text on a vertical level as opposed to on a horizontal level.  You do this by holding the ALT key and then dragging the mouse across the text you would like to highlight.  This may be done on some versions of Microsoft word and many advanced editors that word have created.  You will even find that you can use this technique on the fantastic code writing software known as Notepad++.

You are able to drag and drop items into some menus

When you right click on the bottom taskbar/icon bar, a contextual menu pops up. In many cases whilst this menu is open you are able to grab certain icons and add them in there. For example if you right clicking the folder icon on in the bottom left of the taskbar (next to the start menu), you will see a list of your most recent file accesses.

Click and hold onto an icon on your desktop and drag it into the open menu to pin it to the folder menu. Every time you right-click the folder you will see two lists. One list is your usage and the other is the list you created. You can use this instead of having to search through the directories on your computer to find files.

Tips How for Choosing the Tablet PC

Tablet devices are not cheap. Even the good starter models are going to cost you over $150. So you have a moral obligation to make sure that you pick one that going to be right for you. It is in your best interest to purchase a tablet device that is going to have a clear return on investment for you in particular. The tablet must provide you with both a short term and long-term use. You must ensure that the return on your investment is more than just having another gadget to fill your drawers at home. This article has seven tips that will help you to pick the right tablet device for you. It features tips that are less about technical specifications, and more about real-world issues revolving around usability, usefulness and practicality.

1 – The feel, shape and grip of the device

This should be the most obvious factor when you are choosing a hand held device, specifically because it is a “Hand held device,” which indicates that it is going to spend a lot of time in your hand.

Why should the feel of the device affect how easy the tablet is to hold? A tablet may be heavy, slippery and wide, yet feel fine when you hold it. The trouble is that when you hold it for an hour your wrists, hands and fingers hurt. When you hold it for two hours every day then by Sunday your wrists, hands and fingers are aching.

The feel of the device relates to its size. The thicker a device is then the harder it is to hold for long periods. However, you should be aware that the size of your hand plays a part in this. Take your hand and rest the tip of your index finger on the tip of your thumb and you will make an oval shape. The distance between your two fingers (width, not length) is the ideal size for you to hold your tablet. So obviously a large mans hands is going to be able to comfortably hold a paving slab sized tablet, where a tiny 3 foot tall woman will not.

A tablet device with a good grip will mean that you will not have to grip the tablet as tightly, which is going to save your fingers and wrists from getting tired too quickly.

2 – The weight of the device

The weight of the device plays a big part when it comes to tablet use. This is because a tablet is meant to be held on one had for long periods of time whilst the other hand operates the device. This means that not only does a person have to hold the device in one hand, but also has to resist the force of their other hand pushing upon it. When using a Smartphone, only one hand is used and even then, the device is operated by the thumb of the same hand. Portable game consoles are controlled using two hands holding the device (except the Nintendo DS). A tablet device however is a one handed device unless a person is reading; therefore, it cannot be too heavy. When you are testing a tablet device, ask yourself if you would feel uncomfortable holding its weight for an hour.

3 – The processing power of the device

This is important for usability and for the entertainment value of the tablet. Many people use their tablet device for console games, and the really good ones use up a lot of CPU power. Some tablet devices do not have the RAM capabilities, the graphics capabilities and the CPU processing power to handle these games. The processing power affects your usability by the fact that having your applications stutter and freeze can become very annoying. Ideally, if you set a program a task, you want it completed quickly and without any problems. A device with little processing power may not be able to hold true to that ideal.

4 – The size of the screen

You need to ask yourself if the size of the screen really matters. You are going to pay more for a 10 or 12-inch screen, so you really need to ask yourself if you need a bigger screen. Is a big screen going to facilitate what you plan to use your tablet device for? On the flip side, is a 7-inch screen going to hinder your use of the device? You must remember that a larger screened device is going to make your tablet device harder to carry around. You may struggle to put a 7-inch device into your coat pocket, so imagine the difficulty you are going to have with a 12-inch wide screen tablet device.

5 – The position of the home screens tools and applications

If the apps and tools are in the middle of the devices home screen then it is easier to operate with one hand. This may not seem like such a big deal, but if you are planning to use your tablet a lot then this is going to matter to you.

6 – The battery life of the tablet

Ideally, you want to get at least eight hours out of your tablet. The battery is a major contributor to the size and weight of your device. This means that manufacturers have to make a compromise. They lower the battery life in order to make a smaller device, or they install a more sophisticated battery and increase the price of your tablet. If you come across a thin and lightweight device that is economically priced then there is a high probability that battery life and power has been sacrificed.