Category Archives: Chiro Computer

The Computer Memory Terminal

COMMUNITY MEMORY is the name we give to this experimental information service. It is an attempt to harness the power of the computer in the service of the community. We hope to do this by providing a sort of super bulletin board where people can post notices of all sorts and can find the notices posted by others rapidly.

We are Loving Grace Cybernetics, a group of Berkeley people operating out of Resource One Inc., a non-profit collective located in Project One in S.F. Resource One grew out of the San Francisco Switchboard and has managed to obtain control of a computer (XDS 940) for use in communications.

Pictured above is one of the Community Memory teletype terminals. The first was installed at Leopold’s Records, a student-run record store in Berkeley. The terminal connected by modem to a time-sharing computer in San Francisco, which hosted the electronic bulletin-board system. Users could exchange brief messages about a wide range of topics: apartment listings, music lessons, even where to find a decent bagel. Reading the bulletin board was free, but posting a listing cost a quarter, payable by the coin-op mechanism. The terminals offered many users their first interaction with a computer.

Among the volunteers who made up Loving Grace Cybernetics and Resource One was Lee Felsenstein, who would go on to help establish the Homebrew Computer Club and who played a number of other pioneering roles in the nascent personal computing industry. For Felsenstein, Community Memory was important for, among other things, opening “the door to cyberspace.”

Adding New Fonts to the Computer

Q. I want to buy a new font online for my Mac, but how do I get it on my system?

A. The Mac operating system includes a utility called Font Book that you can use to add, remove and organize the fonts on your computer. You can find the program in your Mac’s Applications folder.

After you download a new typeface from an online font shop, double-click the file you received. Font Book should open automatically and display a sample alphabet or character set in the new font. Click the Install Font button at the bottom of the box to add the font to your Mac’s type library.

Font Book checks the fonts it installs to make sure there are no problems or incompatibilities with the new files. The program should also alert you if it finds duplicate fonts on the computer and fixes the issue for you. If you want Font Book to remove a font you no longer use, click All Fonts on the left side of the window and select the name of the typeface in the Fonts list. Go to the File menu and choose the Remove option; fonts used by the macOS menus, dialogue boxes and other system functions cannot be removed.

Windows users can install a new font by right-clicking the downloaded file and selecting Install from the menu, or by double-clicking the font file and selecting the Install button. Fonts can be managed in the Windows Font control panel. To get there from the desktop, go to the Start menu, type “fonts” in the search box and select “Fonts — Control Panel” from the results lists. When the control panel is open, you can add fonts by dragging them into the window. Selecting a font in the window and clicking the Delete button removes it.

Career related to internet

Florian Michahelles has run Siemens’ Web of Things research group—which investigates the application of Semantic Web technologies to the Internet of Things (IoT)—since 2013. Having worked in the fields of ubiquitous and wearable computing for more than a decade, Michahelles’ current focus at Siemens is leveraging Web and semantic technologies to enable new business opportunities, particularly in the fields of wearable sensing and human-robot interaction. He wrote “Internet of Things Reality Check” in IEEE Pervasive Computing’s April—June 2017 issue. We asked Michahelles about IoT-related careers.
ComputingEdge: What IoT-related careers will see the most growth in the next several years?
Michahelles: Any career bridging the disciplines of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, design, computer science, interactive design, and communications will be in high demand because IoT reaches across these disciplines.
ComputingEdge: What would you tell college students to give them an advantage over the competition?
Michahelles: Go beyond your major and think about also taking non-tech majors, such as by combining computer science and psychology, business and electrical engineering, or material science and sensors.
ComputingEdge: What should applicants keep in mind when applying for IoT-related jobs?
Michahelles: Be an expert in one topic. While breadth is welcome, depth in one topic is key. Breadth then helps you effectively apply your expertise.
ComputingEdge: How can new hires make the strongest impression in a new position from the beginning?
Michahelles: Listen and learn, get your hands dirty, be bold and courageous in proposing new ideas. Play with technologies you haven’t used before, and quickly build demos and prototypes to convey your ideas to others.
ComputingEdge: Name one critical mistake that young graduates should avoid when starting their careers.
Michahelles: Don’t be afraid of failing. Instead, be brave enough to fail often, but avoid failing twice at the same thing. Keep improving.
ComputingEdge: Do you have any learning experiences that could benefit those just starting out in their careers?
Michahelles: First, find your passion and develop it. Passion is the prerequisite to being successful at something. Second, learn how to deal with people. How do you present your ideas? How do you explain your ideas to others? These days, it’s really hard to create something innovative all by yourself. Therefore, it’s important to learn to work with others. And third, get a sense of what is required. Find out what’s needed, where the opportunities are, and adjust your passion to this need.

Long term data storage

I’ve had a few people ask me just recently what method I would recommend when planning a long term backup strategy.  One elderly gentleman in particular was creating a family time capsule that he wanted his children and grandchildren to be able to view many decades from now.

The question isn’t as easy as you may think.  You may imagine that the data could be burnt to CD, locked in a cupboard and that it would last forever however unfortunately this isn’t the case.  There are literally hundreds of suitably stored but physically decayed CD’s from my teenage years which I could use as testament to that.

Therefore I’ve made a list of common formats one would usually consider for archiving a large amount of data so you can pick the most suitable one for your needs:

Hard Disk – When used on a regular basis a hard disk will typically last for around 5 years before it starts to decay and if it is being used as an infrequently accessed backup drive then we can assume that this can be at least doubled.   Unfortunately degradation of the discs metallic surface, along with the inevitable seizing of parts would still occur over an extended period of disuse.

Optical – Standard optical media includes CD, DVD and BluRay.  If choosing this media type ensure that you go for the highest grade money can buy you; a premium brand such as Taiyo Yuden may well last a decade but a more budget brand such as Memorex may only last half that time before the aluminium starts separating from the plastic.

Flash Media – Clearly you would expect that since Flash Media has no moving parts it would be ideal for a long term backup strategy.  To an extent you would be right but the published data retention of a unused flash drive is only around 10 years and unfortunately once the device has reached the end of its life it is likely that it will go out in style, taking with it all of the information stored within.

Paper – Rather obvious this one – if left in a dark, dry place then paper will last for many decades; we recently recovered a number of newspapers from 1964 from below the flooring of a building we’re doing up and aside from being a little yellowed they’re in perfect condition.  Primary problems do of course include having to find a safe place to store them along with the physical limitations relating to the amount and type of information that can be stored on sheets of paper.

Tape – This may come as a surprise, but Tape backup actually holds one of the best data retention rates hence its continued use in banking and government sectors.  Typically a manufacturer will warranty a tape for 30 years with an expected life expectancy beyond that.   Although the tapes themselves are affordable and the capacities typically high (between 72GB and 1TB compressed), the actual drives themselves are relatively expensive, starting at £250 for a basic model.

Long term data storage-SSD, Internet, Magneto Optical

Last week I spoke about a gentleman I met who was creating a family time capsule and had come to me to ask the most effective way of achieving data that he wished to be available past beyond his lifetime.

The question is an interesting one as when you look in to the technology available you realise that many forms of media are simply incapable of storing important data for more than a couple of years.   By way of example, a couple who videotape the early years of their child on to a DVD disc may be disappointed when ten years down the line the data has been destroyed by way of natural degradation of the media.

The last article already discussed the pros and cons of Hard Drives, Optical Media, Flash Drives, conventional Paper and Tape drives and so this week conclude with the remaining options I would consider:

Solid State Drive – An SSD uses solid-state memory (similar to that used in a flash drive) to store data and is most commonly used as a direct alternative to a hard drive, especially in notebooks where their small weight and size along with fast access times make them ideal.  Unfortunately, they suffer the same major problems as flash drives in that JEDEC, the leading developer of standards for solid-state storage specify that data retention of an idle drive should only be considered to be around 10 years.

The Internet – The Internet is theoretically the most robust way of backing up data; an online server is typically backed up daily, monitored 24/7 and in the event of a problem with the hard drive housing your data, a redundant mirrored backup drive would immediately take over.  If looking to store data that will be used in your lifetime this would be a suitable option however if the intention is to preserve data for future generations (such as the time capsule idea that inspired this article) then this method could be ill-advised.  For example, if you backup data using a free online storage account then there’s nothing to say that the company won’t either go out of business or begin charging for the service in the future – these are both circumstances that would lead to the deletion of your data.

Magneto Optical – Although it is certainly a niche product, Magneto Optical might be your best solution if long term data storage is your goal.  Originally introduced in the 1980’s, MO drives are slow and currently have a maximum capacity of just 9.1GB however with their slow speed comes a ruggedness that allows manufacturers to provide their discs with a 100 year data retention claim, often with a warranty to match.  High end drives are expensive but you could enter the market with a 1.3GB drive for around £100.

Of course, when devising a long term archival strategy we assume that hardware will be available at the time that it needs to be played back.  This is a serious consideration when we’re talking about storing the data for best part of a century but in our own lifetime it won’t necessarily be a problem – the first video camera my family owned used the 8mm Video8 cassette tapes and although 20 years down the line I don’t own a compatible reader, I could obtain one if necessary.

Along with choosing the most suitable format, ensure that you keep copies on several different media types and in several different locations, thereby increasing your chances that one media type in one location will survive the test of time.  If possible, check on the media every couple of years and transfer it to  newer and more suitable media types.

A Brief History of Wearable Computers

Gone are the days when a ‘compact computer’ filled an entire room or when a laptop required a chunky external battery to be considered as a ‘portable’ option – these days, most of us are walking around with smart-phones which have many hundreds of times the processing power of the Apollo lunar landing computers, but how far away are we from truly ‘wearable’ computing technology?

Roulette à la ‘James Bond’

The earliest example of a wearable electronic computer was devised by a mathematician in the 1960s, who developed a small counting machine, which was designed to predict the results of roulette spins; this required some cooperation between a group of users in order to be effective, with one data-gathering lookout transmitting the wheel spin speed data via electronic switches hidden inside their shoes; the data in question was a coded signal, consisting of musical notation was then sent to a better’s earpiece; this system proved to be outrageously effective when tested in some of the top casinos of the day in Las Vegas.

Moore’s law in full effect

The ‘cheating’ equipment from the 1960s evolved into more advanced shoe computers which seen active use throughout the 1970s and 80s – miniaturisation became ever more advanced in all kinds of electronic devices during this era, with these type of covert activities helping to push the boundaries of what was possible when it came to hiding computers within a persons’ clothing.

Say hello to the cyborg on your street

In the early 80s, advances in camera and electronic technology meant that systems could be mounted onto a helmet, (complete with antennae) with the rest of the kit being loaded into a backpack: by the end of the 90s, these devices had become much more discreet, with the equipment now resembling a pair of nifty shades (all other components being hidden within or under the wearers’ clothing) – the purpose of such devices was to allow users to record a POV-style visual diary of their daily lives(this has become known as a ‘Cyborglog’) as well as to use the glasses as a kind of heads-up-display, when the cameras were combined with a projection device and user interface, such as a chorded keyboard.

What kind of computer would ‘Dick Tracy’ wear?

The 2000s seen wearable computing take its first steps towards becoming a tangible reality outside the academic world: Seiko and Fossil had previously launched wristwatch form-factor computers in the late 90s: these devices were essentially miniaturised PDAs, but the concept of using a wristwatch for something a lot more advanced than just reading the time was a concept straight out of a ‘Dick Tracy’ comic book!

What does the future hold for wearable computer technology?

With advances in computer technology steadily being made, processors are getting smaller as they increase in power: this is an exponentially rising trend, which is not expected to cease until the 2020s, so we have a lot more wearable tech to look forward to, as long as powerful companies and institutions continue to advance this field: with the likes of Google’s ‘Project Glass’ currently in development, we can expect heads-up displays, hands-free interaction via speech and even integration into standard eyewear to be commonplace in only a few short years.

Installing a graphics card in four easy steps

Specialist companies relish the opportunity to earn a bit of easy money from performing 10-minute fixes. Such is the demand for graphic cards and memory that businesses can make a killing off consumers unwilling to carrying out the installation themselves. The truth is, you can find out most what you need to know through a simple online search and step-by-step guides like the one below.

So, if you’re a PC gamer and need a hand introducing your new graphics card to the system, observe the following points.

Un-install drivers

First off you’ll want to disable your old graphics card before inserting the new one. Failing to do this will see your computer trying to trace the previous chip when the new one has been inserted into the motherboard. So, after right-clicking on ‘My Computer’, click on the ‘properties’ button before finding ‘Device Manager’ located within the ‘hardware’ tab. Your current card will be found under the ‘Display Adapter’ button so, after you’ve accessed the option, click the name of the card to view its properties, before un-installing it. The removal process should take around five minutes.


After your card has been fully un-installed, a notification should appear confirming this. Upon viewing the message, shut down and turn your machine off at the mains. Open the back of your computer up and search for the AGP slot, usually found directly above three thin, white PCI drives. It’s worth mentioning that all machines are different, so it might be worth scouring forums or having a quick look through the manual that came with your PC. After equipping yourself with an anti static glove or wristband – to eliminate the risk of you picking up a shock – go about unscrewing the plate guarding the drive and removing the old card.


The easiest step of the lot comes next. Simply unpackage your new card and slot it into the AGP slot, making sure it’s fully inserted. Close up the case, then switch your computer back on.


Installing your new card is a little different to un-installing, but it’s just as easy. XP and newer versions of Windows should ask you whether you want to install the new card, but if this isn’t the case, go straight to the ‘Control Panel’. The ‘Add Hardware’ button should be located in the list of buttons; clicking on this will prompt an installation wizard to pop-up and ask you to insert the relevant CDs that came with your card.

After this has been completed, restart your computer and prepare to game on another level.

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.