What is a “PDA” ?

May 24, 2016

PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) – A mobile device (Also known as a handheld PC, or personal data assistant) that functions as a personal information manager. The term evolved from Personal Desktop Assistant, a software term for an application that prompts or prods the user of a computer with suggestions or provides quick reference to contacts and other lists. PDAs were largely discontinued in the early 2010s after the widespread adoption of highly capable, in particular iOS and Android-based, smartphones.

Nearly all PDAs have the ability to connect to the Internet. A PDA has an electronic visual display, enabling it to include a web browser, all models also have audio capabilities enabling use as a portable media player, and also enabling most of them to be used as mobile phones. Most PDAs can access the Internet, intranets or extranets via Wi-Fi or Wireless Wide Area Networks. Most PDAs employ touchscreen technology.

The first PDA was released in 1984 by Psion, the Organizer. Followed by Psion’s Series 3, in 1991, which began to resemble the more familiar PDA style. It also had a full keyboard. The term PDA was first used on January 7, 1992 by Apple Computer CEO John Sculley at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, referring to the Apple Newton. In 1994, IBM introduced the first PDA with full mobile phone functionality, the IBM Simon, which can also be considered the first smartphone. Then in 1996, Nokia introduced a PDA with full mobile phone functionality, the 9000 Communicator, which became the world’s best-selling PDA. The Communicator spawned a new category of PDAs: the “PDA phone”, now called “smartphone”. Another early entrant in this market was Palm, with a line of PDA products which began in March 1996. The terms “personal digital assistant” and “PDA” apply to smartphones but are not used in marketing, media, or general conversation to refer to devices such as the BlackBerry, iPad or iPhone.

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Source: Wikipedia


What is “P2P” ?

May 17, 2016

P2P (Peer-to-Peer) – In computing or networking it is a distributed application architecture that partitions tasks or work loads between peers. Peers are equally privileged, equipotent participants in the application. They are said to form a peer-to-peer network of nodes.

Peers make a portion of their resources, such as processing power, disk storage or network bandwidth, directly available to other network participants, without the need for central coordination by servers or stable hosts. Peers are both suppliers and consumers of resources, in contrast to the traditional client-server model in which the consumption and supply of resources is divided. Emerging collaborative P2P systems are going beyond the era of peers doing similar things while sharing resources, and are looking for diverse peers that can bring in unique resources and capabilities to a virtual community thereby empowering it to engage in greater tasks beyond those that can be accomplished by individual peers, yet that are beneficial to all the peers.

While P2P systems had previously been used in many application domains, the architecture was popularized by the file sharing system Napster, originally released in 1999. The concept has inspired new structures and philosophies in many areas of human interaction. In such social contexts, peer-to-peer as a meme refers to the egalitarian social networking that has emerged throughout society, enabled by Internet technologies in general.

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Source: Wikipedia


What is a “Parallel Port” ?

May 10, 2016

Parallel Port – A type of interface found on computers (personal and otherwise) for connecting peripherals. In computing, a parallel port is a parallel communication physical interface. It is also known as a printer port or Centronics port. It was an industry de facto standard for many years, and was finally standardized as IEEE 1284 in the late 1990s, which defined the Enhanced Parallel Port (EPP) and Extended Capability Port (ECP) bi-directional versions. Today, the parallel port interface is seeing decreasing use because of the rise of Universal Serial Bus (USB) devices, along with network printing using Ethernet.

The parallel port interface was originally known as the Parallel Printer Adapter on IBM PC-compatible computers. It was primarily designed to operate a line printer that used IBM’s 8-bit extended ASCII character set to print text, but could also be used to adapt other peripherals. Graphical printers, along with a host of other devices, have been designed to communicate with the system.

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Source: Wikipedia


What is an “Optical Disc Drive” ?

May 3, 2016

Optical Disc Drive (ODD) – In computing, it is an disk drive that uses laser light or electromagnetic waves within or near the visible light spectrum as part of the process of reading or writing data to or from optical discs. Some drives can only read from certain discs, but recent drives can both read and record, also called burners or writers. Compact disks, DVDs, and Blu-ray disks are common types of optical media which can be read and recorded by such drives. Optical disc drives that are no longer in production include CD-ROM drive, CD writer drive, and combo (CD-RW/DVD-ROM) drive. As of 2015, DVD writer drive is the most common for desktop PCs and laptops. There are also DVD-ROM drive, BD-ROM drive, Blu-ray Disc combo (BD-ROM/DVD±RW/CD-RW) drive, and Blu-ray Disc writer drive which are not so much demand in the market.

Optical disc drives are an integral part of standalone appliances such as CD players, VCD players, DVD players, Blu-ray disc players, DVD recorders, certain desktop video game consoles, such as Sony PlayStation 4, Microsoft Xbox One, and Nintendo Wii U, and certain portable video game consoles, such as Sony PlayStation Portable. They are also very commonly used in computers to read software and consumer media distributed on disc, and to record discs for archival and data exchange purposes. Floppy disk drives, with capacity of 1.44 MB, have been made obsolete: optical media are cheap and have vastly higher capacity to handle the large files used since the days of floppy discs, and the vast majority of computers and much consumer entertainment hardware have optical writers. USB flash drives, high-capacity, small, and inexpensive, are suitable where read/write capability is required.

Disc recording is restricted to storing files playable on consumer appliances (films, music, etc.), relatively small volumes of data (e.g., a standard DVD holds 4.7 gigabytes) for local use, and data for distribution, but only on a small scale; mass-producing large numbers of identical discs is cheaper and faster than individual recording.

Optical discs are used to back up relatively small volumes of data, but backing up of entire hard drives, as of 2015, typically containing many hundreds of gigabytes or even multiple terabytes, is less practical than with the smaller capacities previously available. Large backups are often made on external hard drives, as their price has dropped to a level making this viable; in professional environments magnetic tape drives are also used.

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Source: Wikipedia


What is a “Multi-Core Processor” ?

April 26, 2016

Multi-Core Processor – A single computing component with two or more independent actual processing units (called “cores”), which are the units that read and execute program instructions. The instructions are ordinary CPU instructions such as add, move data, and branch, but the multiple cores can run multiple instructions at the same time, increasing overall speed for programs amenable to parallel computing. Manufacturers typically integrate the cores onto a single integrated circuit die (known as a chip multiprocessor or CMP), or onto multiple dies in a single chip package.

Processors were originally developed with only one core. In the mid 1980s Rockwell International manufactured versions of the 6502 with two 6502 cores on one chip as the R65C00, R65C21, and R65C29, sharing the chip’s pins on alternate clock phases. Other multi-core processors were developed in the early 2000s by Intel, AMD and others.

Multi-core processors may have two cores (dual-core CPUs, for example, AMD Phenom II X2 and Intel Core Duo), three cores (tri-core CPUs, for example, AMD Phenom II X3), four cores (quad-core CPUs, for example, AMD Phenom II X4, Intel’s i5 and i7 processors), six cores (hexa-core CPUs, for example, AMD Phenom II X6 and Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition 980X), eight cores (octa-core CPUs, for example, Intel Xeon E7-2820 and AMD FX-8350), ten cores (deca-core CPUs, for example, Intel Xeon E7-2850), or more.

A multi-core processor implements multiprocessing in a single physical package. Designers may couple cores in a multi-core device tightly or loosely. For example, cores may or may not share caches, and they may implement message passing or shared-memory inter-core communication methods. Common network topologies to interconnect cores include bus, ring, two-dimensional mesh, and crossbar. Homogeneous multi-core systems include only identical cores, heterogeneous multi-core systems have cores that are not identical. Just as with single-processor systems, cores in multi-core systems may implement architectures such as VLIW, superscalar, vector, or multithreading.

Multi-core processors are widely used across many application domains including general-purpose, embedded, network, digital signal processing (DSP), and graphics (GPU).

The improvement in performance gained by the use of a multi-core processor depends very much on the software algorithms used and their implementation. In particular, possible gains are limited by the fraction of the software that can be run in parallel simultaneously on multiple cores; this effect is described by Amdahl’s law. In the best case, so-called embarrassingly parallel problems may realize speedup factors near the number of cores, or even more if the problem is split up enough to fit within each core’s cache(s), avoiding use of much slower main system memory. Most applications, however, are not accelerated so much unless programmers invest a prohibitive amount of effort in re-factoring the whole problem. The parallelization of software is a significant ongoing topic of research.

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Source: Wikipedia


CCleaner (5.16.5551) Free Edition – Freeware Review

April 21, 2016

The Rating Scale Breakdown:

  • 0  – 0.5 – Abysmal
  • 1.0 – 1.5 – Terrible
  • 2.0 – 2.5 – Poor
  • 3.0 – 3.5 – Average
  • 4.0 – 4.5 – Great
  • 5.0 – Excellent
  • Undetermined – Too soon to tell or lacking evidence to provide a solid answer
  • Not Tested – Has yet to be requested or there is some limitations to prevent accurate test results
  • N/A – Not Available and or Not Applicable to this program

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V. 7.5 D“CCleaner” Freeware Review Template

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Price: Free

A. Installation CCleaner – 5.0 Excellent” – Fast, Safe and Simple

B. Un-installing CCleaner – 5.0 Excellent” – Fast, Safe and Simple

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C. Stability Of Program – 5.0 Excellent” – Absolutely no stability Issues

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D. Cleaner

D1. Windows Cleaner4.5Great” – Works very well. Just 1 really important note a warning if you will. You will lose all your data on the items you have decided to check off. So check your list of “Windows Features” you are gonna clean first.

D2. Application Cleaner4.5Great” – Works very well. Just 1 really important note a warning if you will. You will lose all your data on the items you have decided to check off. So check your list of “Windows Applications” you are gonna clean first.

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E. Cleaner Quality Test:

E1. Windows XP5.0Excellent

E2. Windows Vista5.0Excellent

E3. Windows 7 5.0Excellent

E4. Windows 8 – 5.0Excellent

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F. Registry

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G. Speed of Analyze – 5.0Excellent – Again, it will be over in about 1 or 2 minutes at max. Unless you are running a really old rig. Then even then it is faster then most paid programs out there.

GG. Speed of Repair4.5Great – It will be over quite quickly you just maybe surprised. But be warned if you decide not to back-up your registry. Before fixing your registry ERROR(S) you’ll be doing it at your own risk / peril. I say that just to warn people. I have never had an issue and I have been using this program for about 10 + years now. Perhaps maybe even longer.

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H. Registry Cleaner Quality Test:

H1. Windows XP5.0Excellent

H2. Windows Vista5.0Excellent

H3. Windows 7 5.0Excellent

H4. Windows 8 – 5.0Excellent

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I. Tools

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I1. Un-installer3.0 Average” – This option is shaky at best. This option often leaves a mess in its wake. But be warned not all of said un-installed programs components / files maybe completely gone. I often have to run a separate PC utility like Auslogic BoostSpeed or Registry Mechanic (Both are Paidware). If you want to go freeware you can give IObit Advanced System Cleaner 8. But be careful I have had very mixed results with it.

I2. Start-up 4.5Great– This option is the king of killing start-up programs and process. But there are some that programs for what ever reason fail to yield to this CCleaner option. Be warned you can cause your computer damage if you don’t allow certain programs to run on boot up. You may also cause MAJOR security holes in your PC.

I3. System Restore3.0Average” – It would be awesome if it worked every time. But sadly I only use this option as the last last resort.

I4. Drive WiperNot Tested – I’ve never tried it and don’t plan too anytime soon. Sorry, if you want to give this option a go. By all means let me know the fallout. I’d be more then happy to post your score on the next review we do.

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J. Options

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J1. Settings4.5Great” – Simple and to the point exactly what you want. You can even undo stuff you had to choose when you originally installed Cleaner.

J2. Cookies4.0Great” – this option is only great if you know what you are doing. and my friend this will take a wee bit of Computer Knowledge and a tad bit of Internet Savvy to pull of exactly what you want. And even then you may not get the outcome you want on the first or second go at it.

J3. IncludeNot Tested – I have never used this option and have really no clue what it does. Beyond the very simplistic description it offers above.

J4. ExcludeNot Tested – Same as above. I have never used this option and have really no clue what it does. Beyond the very simplistic description it offers above.

J5. AdvancedNot Tested – Same as above. But it appears simple enough to navigate.

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K. Updating4.0Great – Needs to be updated manually. Sometimes your promoted when there is a new version of CCleaner out. And other times your not. I’m not really sure why that is because, I have the option checked off.

L. CCleaner Support – Not Tested – Never needed it before and I doubt I will in the future. But I imagine if it’s anything like CCleaner itself. It would be pretty awesome.

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My Overall Score: 96.5/105

91.9 % = A +

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My Final Verdict Part 1-: CCleaner still remains at the top of it’s class when it comes to the freeware model of a PC Utility programs. They really don’t make freeware programs like this very often. I have never really had any real issues with CCleaner. Other then maybe it tries to do too much and it falls flat or stretches itself too thin.

Perfect examples of this are the uninstaller and restore features. Why not drop them and add that vim and vinegar in improving other aspects of CCleaner Free.

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My Final Verdict Part 2-: I have to admit at first glance CCleaner looks too good to be true in it’s freeware package. Even my score is an almost perfect, which absolutely floors me every time. As I don’t normal see that type of score or quality in most programs. Let alone a freeware version of a PC Utility.

I honestly wonder if there will be a time where there will be a small cost to even the basic CCleaner version. I hope not. But I do believe it is possible at some point down the line. That or they could strip the program down to be even more basic.

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1. http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/download (CCleaners Main Download Page)

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Till The Next Review,

Danny


Skype (7.21.32.100) – Freeware Review

April 20, 2016

AA. Cost: Free (But, there is a paid version as well)

1. Ease Of Use – Extremely easy to use. Once setup has been completed (AKA registration (Sign-up), mic, headset and or webcam have all been setup and adjusted. To you liking, it may take a little tweaking to get it just right. But once Skype has been setup. You can just leave Skype be from that point on. Unless of course you need to tweak audio and or video. Both of which can be done on the fly.)

1A. Interface – Very simple, clean and straight forward

2. Quality Of Program – Skype has improved yet again. This time with an overly dramatic blue UI (User Interface) face lift.

3. Speed of Sign-in – A lot faster then past versions. And a lot less jerky then past versions.

4. Can you run other programs while running Skype ? Yes

5. Can you leave Skype running without issue ? Yes

6. Is there adware or spyware bundled with Skype ? Yes, there is a Toolbar you can opt out of and a “Click To Call” Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox Add-on. That you can also opt out of.  There are also some ads now that pop-up. I don’t really have any big issues with them (But they are really rather large). But it can be bothersome to some user. Who are not use to thous types of ads.

7. Is Skype Stable ? Yes, there is no question Skype is a very stable program. But it does depend a lot on the stability and quality of your Internet connection.

I give Skype an overall score of 4 out of 5 – I truly believe “Once you go Skype. You don’t go back.” Skype is truly a much better option. It annihilates it’s competition such as Team Speak or Ventrillo.

On A Side Note: The only major flaw of Skype is it lack of ability to host between 6-25 people. Such as playing MMOs like WOW or other such games. Skype is more of a personal experience. But since I don’t and I also don’t par-take in Facebook. I don’t feel I need anything other then Skype.

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Major Skype Technical Stability Side Note: The Skype version and devices your using matter a lot. To learn more please read on.

*I have had some reports of Skype being choppy and audio quality being very poor. When connecting to someone with an out-of-date version of Skype. In fact, I had such a bad issue with my audio quality. I had to e-mail my mates and ask them to upgrade to this version. Thankfully after they had upgraded. We no longer had any more audio or video quality issues.

**But unfortunately stability, audio quality and video quality can vastly differ based on what Skype version you are using and what device your using it on. Again, unfortunately in this case it is trial and error.  Not all devices will work together and not all versions of Skype have the same features as say the full release of the Windows Desktop version. Even the Windows 8/8.1 version has massively different set of features then say the XP, Vista and or Windows 7 versions. I’ll also goes further on the same note by saying the Android versions of Skype lack some key features and options. That the Windows desktop version has in spades.

You honestly won’t miss many of the features until they are gone. That or are hidden in some hard to find place with in Skype. While Android seems to be missing some of the more common privacy and customization options the Windows desktop version of Skype has.

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If you wish to download Skype please use the following link: http://www.skype.com/download/skype/windows/

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Till The Next Review,

Kirbe


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