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Home Theater Systems

Home theater experts state that the most important consideration in setting up a home theater system is the size of the room where you will set up the home theater system. The most important component of the home theater system, which is the television, is dependent on the size of the room. Although, the recommendation is 27 inches television set at a minimum is necessary for your home theater set up. It is also a recommendation that a flat television is good for a home theater system because it exhibits fewer glares and produces a crisper image. Another major component of a home theater system that depends on the size of the room is the speaker. The number of speakers for your home theater system is dependent on the size of the room. You may add up to six speakers from the basic three speakers if you want a more lifelike sound. Adding a subwoofer may also be good to achieve a complete surround sound like in the movie theaters. Three speakers should be the minimum; you may go up to six if the room is big.

Another major for your home theater system is the DVD player. It is a recommendation that DVD players with progressive scan will be the best choice. This is because progressive scan produces sharp and flicker-free pictures. This however points back to the choice of television unit; you may need to check if the flat television set supports progressive scan signals. You may also acquire a five-disk carrousel DVD player. This will avoid having to stand up from your seat to change discs every so often. A minor consideration is the power rating that will determine how loud your speaker can be. Of course, almost all these depend on the size of the room to where the home theater system is going to be set up. Small room requires from few types of equipment, bigger rooms may require more and adding home theater furniture to your home theater system may be best. A bigger room thus requires more investments. A smaller room might require fewer but of good quality equipments to avoid the too basic feel of the home theater system.

Finally, you may acquire a beautifully designed home theater system if you consider hiring a home theater expert. If you can afford this, it will be best for you because the home theater expert will be able to effectively design and set up your home theater system. Your home theater designer may also add some features like home theater seating and other home theater furniture to be able to give the complete home theater package that closely resembles a real movie theater. Having the finest and high-quality home theater system will give you the most sought after set up that you could flaunt and enjoy to the max.

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Blu-ray Technology

New technology is now making it possible for viewers to record and store high definition programming onto DVDs. Blu-ray Disc is one method of recording HD content onto an optical disc. A blue-laser optical disc (MPEG-2 or MPEG-4) is used. Systems that use this technology will be able to play traditional DVDs, but the goal of Blu-ray is to create an image that’s as close to the HD format as possible. The name Blu-ray comes from the blue laser that decodes and copies information to each disk. Blu-ray technology may very well revolutionize the world of high definition programming. The Blu-ray disc format offers greater potential for storage, usually 25 gigabytes, which exceeds that of a standard DVD (15 gigabytes). One single-layer Blu-ray disk can hold about four hours of high definition content. A two-layer disk can contain eight hours of HD content. Four- and eight-layer disks are now in the works. These disks would have storage capabilities of 100 and 200 gigabytes. The Blu-ray recording system utilizes a shorter wavelength for recording information than traditional CDs and DVDs, and this is part of what allows it to hold more content on a single disk.

Blu-ray has also influenced the computer industry, specifically in terms of data storage capability. A number of major companies have come out in support of Blu-ray, including Apple, Dell, Hitachi, Pioneer, and Sony. Hewlett Packard plans to market desktop computers and laptops that utilize Blu-ray technology. Sony has announced that it will introduce a Blu-ray component in PlayStation 3, which is expected to appear in November of this year. Microsoft has also said that it may add a Blu-ray component to its Xbox 360. Currently, Blu-ray is only available in Japan, but it will appear in the United States in May, in video games and a DVD system that recreates a high definition effect on a viewer’s TV.

Many movie studios have Blu-ray films planned for future release. In 2005, Sony Pictures cornered the market on the first Blu-ray feature-length movie disk, which was none other than Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle. Studios that support the technology include Walt Disney and Twentieth Century Fox.

Competing with Blu-ray in the area of HD storage is HD DVD. HD DVD disks have less storage capability, but they’re cheaper to produce. Other big-name companies are showing their support for this option, including Microsoft, Intel and Toshiba, as well as Universal Studios. In what may be the smartest move, some companies are backing both types of technology, ensuring that their products support both Blu-ray and HD DVD. These companies include Samsung, Paramount and Warner Brothers.

Blu-ray is facing challenges from other competitors in the HD market: the Enhanced Versatile disk, the Digital Multilayer disk, and the Holographic Versatile disk are a few alternatives to Blu-ray.

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Advancements In Computer Technology

With technology progressing as fast as it is at the present, it is a wonder we do not have a new mass-marketed gadget appearing every few minutes. Personal computers, once predicted to be owned by a mere handful of individuals, are everywhere nowadays. If you are a student a personal computer is virtually a necessity. Accompanying the ever-increasing popularity of the personal computer is a plethora of gadgets and technological advancements. Though it may not be every few minutes, it seems as though every couple of months we hear about a computer with more storage space or a new device that one can connect to their computer.

Some devices that appear on the market are either completely superfluous or not so accessible to the entirety of the population, whether it is because of their cost or their limited supply. The costly devices are reserved to those who can afford them, until some new gadget replaces them and the price of these machines decreases, much like any new technology that appears on the market. Those gadgets, which are unnecessary, are not overly practical and the market for these creations is comprised mainly of those with an affinity for such devices. Inventions like webcams, while they are certainly fun to play with, are essentially unnecessary as they have no bearing on the actual operation of the computer and are used largely for leisure computer activities.

The more purposeful advancements in computer technology revolve around those, which increase the computers ability to manage certain tasks and those, which increase the storage space of the computer. Many personal computer owners find themselves craving more space to store songs or various other files and often wishing that their computer were faster. Though many computers produced today have a excessive storage space, that is, it is nearly impossible to fill a personal computer to capacity, these types of advancements permit a much speedier and more efficient functioning computer.

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2 Common E-Mail Problems and What To Do About Them

When it works well, e-mail can be great.  It’s hard to beat e-mail for everything from staying in touch with family to requesting information from businesses or other organizations.  Want to send the same message to several people?  Communicate with someone across the continent?  Transmit photos, manuscripts or other information?  For speed and efficiency, this virtually instantaneous medium is one of the most convenient features of modern life.

But e-mail is not without problems.  If you key in the name of an intended recipient but your message keeps bouncing back, you might not be singing e-mail’s praises.  Ditto for attachments that won’t open or other such nuisances.  With just a little patience, though, you can readily overcome most e-mail problems.  What follows are 4 common e-mail problems along with solutions for overcoming them.

Problem – Returned Messages

This may be the most frustrating of all e-mail problems.  After taking the time to create a message, you click on the “send” button and consider your task accomplished.  But the next thing you know, the message pops up in your in-box with a heading that it did not reach its intended recipient.

Solutions

First, take the simple step of checking to see that the address of your recipient has been entered correctly.  This may seem obvious, but sometimes the only thing wrong is a misplaced letter, the use of “com” instead  of “net”, or some similar error.  If you know the correct address, this is a straightforward matter of double checking each character.  If not, you might need to experiment by sending multiple messages, or by entering alternative addresses with slight variations.  Under this approach, you simply keep track of which messages are bounced back and compare them with the overall list of addresses you used.  If you sent four variations but only three were returned, you have solved the problem by the process of elimination.

Sometimes the source of your problem lies with the recipient.  If messages to other addresses go through but fail here, try to contact the intended recipient by other means and report the situation.  The cause may range from a temporary problem with the recipient’s server to a switch to another e-mail provider, to a full in box.  In this case, simply waiting may be the best recourse.  Or a phone call or other communication may be required on your part to obtain the correct e-mail address.  If all your messages are being returned, you may have a connection problem.  See below for more details.

Problem 2 – You Have Lost Your Connection

Sometimes a failure to send or receive e-mail can be traced to a lost connection with your Internet service provider.

Solutions

If you see a “failure to connect” or “no response” message or have otherwise determined that you have failed to connect, double check to make certain there are no physical problems.

First, check your cables and connections.  If you use a dial-up modem, listen to make sure it produces the normal high-pitched dialing sound.  If not, the problem could be a loose connection.  Locate the phone cord that runs from the back of your computer to the phone jack, and then make sure that each end is plugged in snugly.

If you will don’t hear the expected dialing sound, check to make sure your phone cord is undamaged.  If it seems worn, replace it with a new one.  Other steps include making certain the line is plugged into the right port, and checking the phone jack by plugging the cord into a different jack.  If you hear the dialing sound after any of these steps, you have made a successful connection.

Connection problems may be more common with dial-up modems than with broadband connections, but the latter are also dependent on physical connections.  A loose wire or poorly connected cable can easily be problematic.  Sometimes a glitch occurs that can be best addressed by repeating portions of the initial set-up process.  A simple fix touted by Verizon technical service reps for some DSL (digital subscriber line) customers is to disconnect the three lines from the back of the modem and then reconnect them in a specified order.  When this action is taken, the online connection is immediately regained.

If you are online but keep getting bumped off, the lost connection can be the result of an unintended software command.  In Outlook Express, for example, you will find the command “Hang up when finished.”  If the box in front of this phrase is checked, the connection will automatically be severed each time you send or download e-mail.  Sometimes a misdirected click of your mouse will cause you to place a check in the box even though you do not realize it.  Simply click on the check mark to make it disappear, and the hang-ups will cease.

These 2 common e-mail problems are quite easy to determine and when rectified will make your emailing experience more enjoyable.

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Types Of Notebook Computers

Notebook, notebook computer, laptop, and laptop computer are different terms for a small computer, which is mobile, and weighing about 1 to 6 kg or 2.2 to 18 pounds, depending upon the model. In 1979-1980, Bill Moggridge of GRiD Systems Corp. designed one of the first laptops and named it as the GRiD Compass 1101. It featured the clamshell design where the flat display folded shut on the keyboard. In May 1983, Gavilan Computer Corp. introduced and first marketed as a laptop, known as Gavilan SC. About this same time, Sharp Corp.Ltd., announced their laptop Sharp PC-5000.

In 1989, Compaq introduced Compaq LTE, which was a laptop of a smaller size, about the size of an A4 paper notebook, and it popularly came to be known as a notebook computer or notebook. Thereafter the terms laptop and notebook began to be used interchangeably. Nevertheless, the terms, notebook and laptop are incorrect terms, as due to the heat, many laptops cannot be placed on top of the lap, and most notebooks are not the size of an A4 paper notebook. However, what manufacturers usually call as a notebook, end-users prefer to call it as a laptop; hence both the terms are used.

According to the functions and the models of notebooks, they are generally classified as: Ultraportables (screen is diagonally less than 12 inches, weight is 1.7 kg or less); thin-and lights (screen is diagonally from 12 to 14 inches, weight is from 1.8 to 2.8 kg); medium-sized laptops (screen is diagonally from 14 to 15.4 inches, weight is from 3 to 3.5 kg); and desktop replacement computers (screen is diagonally from 17 to 20 inches, weight is 4 to 6 kg).

The concept of laptop was to make a device that could use the same software of a desktop computer, but much smaller in size to enable mobility and support mobile computing (ability to use the computer while in transit). Thus, further innovations have introduced transportables (which can be moved from one place to another without supporting mobile computing); tablets (which feature touchscreens and support mobile computing); ultra mobile PCs (which are very small and compact tablet PCs); internet tablets (which support internet and mobile computing); personal digital assistants (PDAs), which are pocket-sized and support mobile computing; handheld computers, which represent expensive tablets or PDAs; and smartphone, which is a PDA or a handheld computer with cellphone integration. Over the development phases, these classifications got blurry at times, and many machines fused functionalities of other categories.

Notebooks can be used for various purposes. Commercial purposes like attending phone calls, receiving and sending emails and faxes, typing out letters and printing them, making presentations with pie and bar charts, and taking data from one place to another can be achieved by any standard notebook. However, high fliers prefer thin-and-light notebooks and for regular office work, ultraportable notebooks are preferred. Both are wireless notebooks so they can be remotely accessed. Scientific purposes are best suited with a notebook that features fast computing speed, good 2D and 3D graphics display, and a large memory, like desktop replacement notebook, and a thin-and-light notebook. Artistic purposes require animation, 2D and 3D drawings, interior & exterior designing, arranging music compositions, post-production audio-video work, etc., which can be fulfilled by desktop replacements, gaming notebooks, and mainstream notebooks.

Educational institutions normally do not prefer notebooks due to its high chance of being stolen. Additionally, they prefer that their assets do not move around within the premises in the hands of students who may be careless. However, to keep up with the times, and to be considered as techno-savvy, they do invest in notebooks. The types of notebooks best suited for educational purposes are mainstream notebooks, and desktop replacements. Students need a notebook to do projects, prepare study notes, and to play some games in their spare time. They need to take the notebook wherever they go, hence, size and weight are major considerations. The type of notebook that fulfills student needs is a thin-and-light notebook with locking facility so that they can lock it with their backpack. Most students report late submission of projects due to their notebooks being stolen.

So no matter what the purpose one might have for using a notebook, it seems that mobility will always seem to be the main reason for such a product purchase. Nowadays with so many models being offered with affordable prices, it seems that notebooks will always be a product in demand. After all it is one of the best selling computer hardware for quite some time. And that says it all.

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Best Passwords

No sane person would ever like someone else reading her email. Or for that matter some other person using her password and breaking into a financial institution. You should, therefore, choose a strong, secure password in such a manner that would be a hard nut to crack for others and easy for you to remember. The more random and mixed-up you make it, the harder it is for others to crack. Mind you, if your password is compromised, the password crackers will even take over your identity.

A password, if too short, is vulnerable to attack if an attacker gets hold of the cryptographic hash of the password. Present-day computers are fast enough to try all alphabetic passwords shorter than seven characters. We can call a password weak if it is short or is a default, or which can be rapidly guessed by searching a subset of all possible passwords such as words in the dictionary, proper names, words based on the user name or common variations on these themes.

On the other hand, a strong password would be sufficiently long, random, or which can be produced only by the user who chose it, so that ‘guessing’ for it will require too long a time.

For maximum security, the user should follow some simple guidelines:

1) Passwords should preferably be at least 8 characters long and not more than 14.

2) Passwords should contain a mix of numbers, letters, and special characters (%&3ac_ht4@m7).

3) Passwords should not contain a dictionary word from any dictionary, be it French, Spanish, medical, etc.

4) Each password should be different from the user’s User-ID and any permutation of that User-ID.

5) New passwords and old passwords should differ by at least 3 characters.

6) Avoid picking names or nicknames of people, pets, or places, or personal information that can be easily found out, such as your birthday, address etc.

7) It’s wise to stay away from common keyboard sequences, such as dfgh678 or abc345 .

8) Never form a password by appending a digit to a word. That can be easily guessed.

9) Avoid writing your password down or storing it on your computer.

10) Never share your password with anyone else.

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Bluetooth In Action

In the United States, Bluetooth gets positively no
esteem. Bodily is however, becoming new and added
accepted in notebooks, PDAs, and especially cell
phones. Bluetooth will give wireless users a
conduct to transmit inconsequential amounts of data over short
distances.

Soon, Bluetooth is diverse stiff competition from
unseasoned wireless technology. Referred to in that UWB or
Ultra Wideband, true promises data transfer of up
to 480 MB a second – bout most current Bluetooth
devices transfer data up to 721 KB a second.

For the stage being, Bluetooth devices are just so
cropping up. Below, we will regarding at some of
the accessories offered stifle Bluetooth technology.

Language to the dashboard
When pairing legitimate squirrel a cell phone, the CCM Dispirited
Gi joe car utensils becomes a tremendous speaker phone that
plugs into the turn adapter of your vehicle. The
din cancelling microphone will lower inwardness
din efficiently, hole up the sizeable buttons forging
adaption the speaker country a snap. Although
the Glum Gi is far from blue or sleek, corporal ‘ s
veritable practical.

Embryonic tuning box
Part MP3 actor and fraction hands for free phone, the
compact and lightweight Sony HBM – 30 is an attractive
gadget that lets you accept calls lie low little
traverse of your tunes. When you amuse an inpouring
call legitimate will automatically discontinue your tune, therefore
you speak into the built in microphone that you
boundness lethargic around your glance or pair to your garb.

The pen
With Nokia ‘ s SU – 1B digital pen, you albatross conception and
cause hand written notes in ink on a major pad
therefrom transmit them from the pad to your Bluetooth
phone. Being an option to typing on a cell
phone keypad, the pen is bona fide handy, although a
pricey tool from MMS fans.

Snapshots
If you hunger to throw together slide shows salt away your camera
photos, the Nokia SU – 2 double viewer will lease you
disply your pictures on a TV or projector. Aptly
hook this square gray device to your TV ‘ s input
shroud the built in cable, then beam the pictures
to the SU – 2 from your Bluetooth enabled phone and
the photo fest will begin.

This device is a snap to set up and use, although
it displays resolutions of up to 640 by 480. If
you have a newer phone that takes high resolution
photos, you won ‘ t be able to use the Nokia SU – 2
image viewer.

Keep in mind, the 640 by 480 pixel photos will
appear blocky on TV screens, no matter what you
do. If your phone can send batches of photos, you
can create a slide show – although Nokia claims
you can use sequentially beamed shots as well.

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10 Steps To A Safe, Smooth Running PC

These ten steps will help you increase your computer’s security. From discovering viruses to learning how to avoid them, this article is a must read!

Windows password This is the easiest way to make sure you know who is using your pc. Choose a lengthy password that contains capital and lower case letters. Including a number or two will greatly increase your security. Having a Windows password means that the only people that can log onto a Windows session are people that you have granted access to.

Password manager You should never write your passwords down. Using the same password all the time will also make it very easy for hackers to reach your personal information. So if you can’t write it down and you’re not
supposed to use the same one – how are you supposed to keep track of all of your passwords? The easiest way to do this is to use a password manager. We prefer to use Roboform. Roboform is an easy to use password and profile manager that docks neatly into your Internet Explorer toolbar and keeps track of all of your passwords for you. Roboform also uses a master password system. You will have one password that accesses all of the passwords in the program. This way you can keep all of your information safe and secure. You can download Roboform for free by http://www.roboform.com.

Spyware Remover Next to spam, spyware is the internet’s biggest annoyance. By definition, spyware is “any software that covertly gathers user information through the user’s Internet connection without his or her knowledge, usually for advertising purposes. Once installed, the spyware
monitors user activity on the Internet and transmits that information in the background to someone else. Spyware can also gather information about e-mail addresses and even passwords and credit card numbers.” The amount of spyware that exists on your pc is dependent on the amount of internet surfing you do. A good rule of thumb here is to scan for spyware once per week or whenever poor system performance surfaces. If you don’t have a spyware scanner, we recommend http://www.webroot.com.

Antivirus This should go without saying, but if your computer is connected to the internet you need antivirus software. With weekly scans and program updates you should be protected from most threats. For added protection, we
recommend using more than one anvtivirus scanner.

Firewall A firewall will keep unwanted visitors out of your computer. You can obtain a firewall either by using software application like ZoneAlarm or Black Ice Defender, or by using a router with your internet connection. For more information on routers plese visit http://www.Linksys.com.

File sharing Basically, file sharing programs are the single biggest security risk you will come across. This is because the only facts you have about the files you are downloading are the file name and the file size. It is quite simple to change a filename to dupe someone into downloading a virus or other malware like keystroke recorders. Our advice – stay away from file sharing at all costs. If you need to use it, make sure you have updated antivirus software installed and running.

Research In a sentence – know what’s out there. http://www.Symantec.com  has a section on their website  that will serve you well. Knowing what types of viruses exist  and how to avoid them will make you a much smarter internet user.

Email protection Most of the antivirus applications available offer email scanning. If yours does not, you will want to get one that does. Email scanning will make sure all of your incoming and outgoing emails are safe for both you and the recipient. Email viruses spread very quickly by using your address book to propagate. Never read email from people you don’t know and always make sure your email scanner is active.

Network security Another way that viruses spread is through computer networks. We have a few quick tips to keep your network safe. Always scan any files that come in from other computers. Even if it’s a file you have brought from home. Never allow a file to be placed on your network until it
has been scanned. The main server should be the only computer with file sharing enabled. By not allowing computer users to transmit files, you can quickly neutralize a threat.

Maintenance Performing weekly virus and spyware scans will go a long way to keeping your computer safe. Defragmenting weekly will also greatly improve performance. If you put in the effort, you will be rewarded with a safe and smooth running pc. Not to mention less headaches!

By following these ten guide lines, you will greatly improve the performance of your computer. You will also generate peace of mind as you gain a new sense of security.

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Computer Ergonomics: Keeping Your Mouse Safe

When it comes to the matter of computer ergonomics — making certain that you computer work environment is safe and healthy — many people focus their attention on such items as their chair, the desk of worktable utilized and the positioning of the keyboard. Of course, these are all important items when it comes to the matter of computer ergonomics. In this regard, many people pay little of no attention to their computer mouse when it comes to the matter of computer ergonomics and the safe use of a computer and related equipment. When all is said and done, making sure that you are using your mouse in a safe and healthy manner is vital and cannot be understated.

The basic, primary directional device used by most computer operators is the mouse. Many computer users find themselves using a mouse continually throughout the day. In the long run, if a person does not utilize a mouse in a proper, healthy manner, a person can end up seriously impairing his or her shoulder, forearm and wrist.

With these risks in mind, there are some important pointers that you should keep in mind when it comes to properly utilizing your mouse.

When using a mouse, you should rest your entire arm on either the side of your chair, on the table or some other available and level support. In addition, the mouse itself should be located conveniently at the side of the keyboard, on the same level as the keyboard. You should not have to reach for the mouse each time you need to use the device.

When using the mouse, make certain that you do not apply a great deal of pressure to your wrist. Again, it is important that your wrist and arm basically be in a comfortable and resting-like position when using a mouse.

Generally speaking, you should keep your wrist straight when using the mouse. Further, do not grip the device tightly. No matter how stressed you might feel on the job, do not use a stranglehold on your mouse.

Mouse devices come in a wide array of different shapes, styles and sizes. Take the time to select a mouse that fits well into your hand.

Finally, set your mouse speed in the middle range. In a similar vein, reduce the time that you actually use the click and drag feature of the mouse unit. There is now some software on the market that eliminates the need for this particular function all together.

By following these steps, you will avoid causing yourself harm or damage over the long term through the use of your mouse.

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3 Benefits To Owning A Refurbished Laptop

If you like having the latest and greatest, then refurbished is not for you. However, if you don’t mind minor cosmetic damage, and the fact that someone else has used your laptop, then you may want to consider purchasing a refurbished laptop. But why would anyone want to purchase a refurbished laptop as opposed to a brand new one? In this article, I will tackle this very issue, and give 3 reasons why you should own a refurbished laptop.

The first reason why purchasing a refurbished laptop may be a good idea is that they are a lot less expensive than their newer cousins. Of course, refurbished implies that it has seen prior usage, so refurbished laptops are generally older models, and you don’t always know how their previous owners took care of them. But refurbished also implies that someone has taken the time to fix, and often times replace, any broken components. Do some research and only buy from reputable sources.

The second reason why you may want to purchase a refurbished laptop is that, because of their low cost, they are more expendable than new models, and make a great second laptop. As I explained above, refurbished laptops are generally a lot cheaper than a new laptop so if something should happen to it, you’re only out maybe a few hundreds dollars as opposed to a new laptop which could cost you thousands.

The third reason why you may want to consider purchasing a refurbished laptop is that since you’ll be spending a lot less money on the computer itself, you can afford to spend more upgrading it with newer, and better components. For example, you can add memory to speed it up, or upgrade to a larger hard drive. You should, of course, make sure that your computer can support these upgrades before you even purchase it. If it can’t, then look for one that can before making your final decision.

If you decide to purchase your first refurbished laptop, make sure you do plenty of research. Refurbished means used, and you don’t kow how the previous owner took care of it. Buy from a reputable source that offers some sort of warranty. Most won’t warranty the battery or software but will provide at least a 30 day warranty for most of the hardware.

I’ve discussed three benefits to owning a refurbished laptop. They are low in cost, make a great second laptop, and you can spend more on upgrading the components.  Make sure to do your research before you buy, and owning one will be a pleasant experience.