Monday, March 28, 2011

How Do Search Engines Find Information

How Do Search Engines Find Information

Do you really know how a Web Search Engine really operates? If you are like millions of people you probably type in into the search box of Google and Yahoo what you are looking for and take what it gives you. Most people will click on the one of the links in the top 10 searches and let the other thousand search suggestions fall to the wayside. Let’s explore at how things pop into the top 10 of search results and let’s look at why the large search engines pick these items to be in the top 10.

Before we go any farther lets put the myth that search engines are bias. Search engines, even the giants like Google, Bing, and Yahoo are not biased, they keep a very competitive edge and for the most part offer high quality search results for the customers. If they were bias then they would lose in ranking because the public would look elsewhere for their searches. So put this notion out of your head that the big search engine companies are bias in any form.

So how do search engines work?

Search engines come in three different forms. The first is powered by (web crawlers, spiders, robots).This is one form of search engine. The websites are crawled over like a spider weaving a web and search for special key words and meta tags and links. The information is gathered and brought back to the search engine for indexing the information. Periodically the robot crawlers go back to the site looking for new information to put in the file for the web site. By updating the site helps keep the crawlers active and finding information to help rank your web site.

Human based search engines are search engines that operate by humans when information is submitted to the search engines manually and then the information is cataloged and indexed. No web based crawlers are used in this case.

The third is a combination of both worlds. These are human based and robot/spider based.

The base idea of a search engine is to emulate the user (you). Just keep in mind that all search engines are different and it depends on what the person has submitted to what search engine and what the spiders have found depends on what your search turns up.

One key aspect to search engine searches is what is called search engine Algorithms. You ask what the heck is a Algorithm? “The algorithm is what the search engines use to determine the relevance of the information in the index to what the user is searching for”. Here is a list of types of search algorithms;

1. Uniformed search
2. Informed search
3. SQL search
4. Tree search
5. Graph search
6. List search

Spam-dexing has been hitting the larger search engines for the past few years so these search engines have been updating their technology in an attempt to discourage this type of practice. What happens in spam-dexing is that the developer stuffs the web site with keywords in order to drive up the ranking of the site. Meta tags and key words drive up the traffic to a site because they drive the site up the scale for ranking but now with this technology search engines are now looking at other forms to such as link indexing to increase the ranking of the site.

Search Engine Algorithms are one of the most highly kept secrets in the world of web design and social networking. No one really knows the ins and outs of this tool that the search engines uses. In order to rank your web site it is best for you to find someone that understand and know Search Engine Optimization (SEO). SEO is a whole language in its own and it takes someone with years of experience to truly understand this information.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Have you cleaned your computer today?

Have you cleaned your computer today?

This question is one of many that I ask my customers when I pick up their computer to work on it. Almost all the time I get an answer something like this, “I did not know I needed to clean the inside of the computer”.

Cleaning of the inside of the computer is not something that needs to be done daily but it does need to be done more often than never. Computers collect a large amount of dust, dirt and animal hair. This garbage restricts air flow to the inside and can cause serious damage to the components if left unattended for a period of time.

Cleaning the inside of your computer is a very simple process. It should be done on a regular basis especially if your computer sits on the floor. If sitting on a non-carpeted floor more little dust bunnies seem to collect inside the computer even if you are a spotless house keeper.

Cleaning of the computer should be done every few months but I recommend at least popping off the cover and checking the inside monthly and especially around the fans and air intake holes. Here are some steps that Microsoft offers for cleaning your computer.

Do yourself a favor, if you have not cleaned your computer or had it professionally looked at in a very long time take a few minutes after reading this article and unplug the computer and clean the inside of the tower. Don’t risk shorting out the mother board, hard drive, or power supply by letting it be caked up with dust and dirt. Insides of these machines are very sensitive and can short out very easily. So again, take a few minutes and clean up you tower before it is to late and it will cost you hundreds of dollars instead of a few precious minutes.

Formatting a Hard Drive

How To Format a Hard Drive

There are many times that I find it necessary to format a hard drive on a computer system that I am working on. Many of the home systems that come to our labs are in such bad shape that the best thing to do is format the hard drive and them reload the operating system and drivers and software.

When I talk with the client in person or by phone I always ask,

  1. What is the computer doing? They usually say that it is running extremely slow, have several pop-ups appearing, wont let me download anything, take me to places on the internet that I don’t want to go.
  2. Then I will ask how long has this been going on? There come back will be for some time now.
  3. Next question, when was the last time you had the computer tuned and cleaned up, and or you cleaned the registry files and defragged the computer. 9 times of 10 they will say never.

Internal Hard Drive
It is amazing that most people think they can run a computer especially on the internet and they don’t have to do anything to it to keep running at optimum performance.

From the scenario above almost all the computers that we have come into our lab are in terrible shape. We will first check over the system and almost inevitably we will ghost copy an image of the drive and then format the drive to erase all the data that is stored on it.

Step by step directions to format a hard drive

External Hard Drive
Backup - Before doing anything to format the hard drive, back up the data from the hard drive that you are going to format. There are several ways to do this, the easiest way is to purchase an external hard drive for about $30 - $50. Most external hard drives have back up software built into them to make the process much easier to do. You want to make sure that you back up your Documents folder, your bookmarks, your email and contacts, and if possible your drivers folder. If you have documents and pictures saved elsewhere on your computer make sure you copy them over to the external hard drive. Remember, when we format everything will be erased from the drive and it will not be recoverable.

For formatting a hard drive you have some options in this area. We will now look at these options.

Format by menu – IF you are running a dual drive you can format the slave drive by going to “My computer” and selecting the slave drive usually drive “D”. Right click on the drive and select “Format” from the window that popped up. Another little window will appear and ask you to select the file system you want to use. If your operating system is XP or newer use the NTFS file system. Now select Quick Format option and then click start. After this is completed your drive will be totally erased and it is read to use again.

Using Windows Installation Disk – Again make sure all data is backed up. Restart your computer and choose the option to enter into your BIOS setup. This is sometimes done by either pressing your Delete or ESC or F1 key. It should tell you when you restart. Go into the setup menu and go into boot configurations. Choose to boot from CD/DVD. Install your windows install disk into the drive and then exit setup. When exiting it will prompt you to save and exit, choose this option. As your computer restarts it will prompt you to hit any key to boot from disk, do this. You cannot format while your operating system is running and by booting from disk it keeps the operating system from firing up. After the compute boots to windows installation it will take you through several screens before it gets to the format area. When you get to the area to format it will ask you to either format by NTFS or FAT32. By choosing NTFS it will allow the drive to run faster and more secure than FAT32. After this your hard drive is formatted and all data is gone from the hard drive. You can proceed now to reloading the operating system that you want.

Older Computers - You can choose to reformat sections of your hard drive by using the command window. Type ‘format’ at the command line, followed by the drive name. For example, if you want to format the D drive, type .If you want to do a quick format on a particular drive, you should pass the Q parameter as well, for example, 

Newer Computers - Open the control panel. You can find the control panel in the Windows Vista start menu located in the lower left corner of the screen. Select “System and Maintenance.” Click “Administrative Tools.” Select “Computer Management.” You may be prompted for a password if you are not an administrator in Windows Vista. Select “Storage” from the Disk Management section of the navigation pane. Highlight the hard drive you want to format. Right-click the drive and select “Format” from the menu. Click “OK.”


These are some options for you to try and format your own hard drive. Again I caution you that formatting a hard drive erases everything on it. So make sure that you have backed up everything onto an external hard drive, or flash drive, or CD/DVD.

Glary Utilities – Free Version

Glary Utilities – Free Version

This awesome application offers so many utilities to help optimize your computer and have it run much smoother. It offers the operator to choose easily from many different service tools to help clean up and protect your computer. The utilities will remove unwanted junk files and broken shortcuts and clean up the registry files. If these items are not taken care of in time this will really mess up your operating system. By eliminating these unwanted files it will free up much needed disk space on your system also.

From Glary 

One Click A Day For PC Maintenance, Keeps Any PC Problems Away. With millions of worldwide users, the first-rank & free Glary Utilities is an indispensable friend for your PC, with its 100% safe, thorough & quick cleaning and worry-free restoration. Glary Utilities is a freeware with registry and disk cleaning, privacy protection, performance accelerator and amazing multifunctional tools. It can fix dogged registry errors, wipe off clutters, optimize internet speed, safeguard confidential files and maintain maximum performance. It is designed for both novice and professionals. User-friendly interface shows clear & detailed directions.

This system utility software package is easy to use, any novice should be able to clean up their own computer system along with making it run faster and smoother. Keeping a clean running computer also with help save money from not having a technician constantly repairing your system.
Download at Glary

Take Your Business Paperless by Using HelloFax

If you are a business that tends to send a lot of legal documents and other sources of documents you may be interested in this great program. This great little program is called HelloFax. HelloFax was built and designed by Y Combinator.

“We built something we needed,” O’Mara and Walla wrote of HelloFax. “Every document was a hassle to sign. It involved a trip to [FedEx Office], printing, scanning, faxing and then being overcharged. An hour later, our document was signed. Not a good use of time.”



You can send documents to any U.S. fax number. For international #’s work is being done as we speak plus the engineers are also working on being able to send to multiple recipients at the same time.

Best of all, you can fax up to 20 pages free of charge every month, and you can send unlimited signed documents via email. If you deal with a lot of signed and faxed documents as many entrepreneurs and freelancers do you can pay a reasonable subscription fee (after a 30-day free trial, of course) to HelloFax . There are other options for faxing larger documents. Check out this awesome service that can really help your business out.

BlackBerry Playbook Tablet

BlackBerry PlayBook, RIM’s foray into tablet territory, is now available for pre-order in three different versions, starting from $499.99.

PlayBook has a 7″ 1024×600 WSVGA capacitive LCD touch screen, a 1 GHz dual-core CPU, 1 GB of RAM memory, a 1080p HDMI output, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a 5-megapixel camera on the back, as well as a 3-megapixel one on the front for video chats. The aforementioned $499.99 will get you the 16 GB variant, and you’ll have to dish out $599.99 or $699.99 for the 32 GB and the 64 GB model, respectively.

In the U.S. the PlayBook will be available at AT&T, Best Buy, Sprint, Verizon, Office Depot, Cbeyond, Cellular South, Cincinnati Bell, RadioShack, ShopBlackBerry.com, Staples and BlackBerry from Wireless Giant. In Canada, the list is even longer, and includes Bell, Best Buy and Costco, among others.

By Engadget

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tips To Make Your Person Computer More Quiet

Tips To Make Your Person Computer More Quiet

A lot of computers that come across our work stations sound like a freight train running down the tracks. The fans kick in, the hard drive fires up and all the clicking taking place inside that big box called a computer tower. I am sure that when this takes place you are almost afraid to turn it on thinking it is going to explode one day.



Here are some helpful solutions to help make your computer tower a little less noisy.

Hard Drive – If your computer is getting older sometimes the hard drive will start making unusual noises. There is not much that you can do except go out and purchase a new hard drive. What happens is the plates and arms in the hard drive get weak and old and start a clicking or clattering sound.



Clean – Many computer towers that we open up are all caked up with dust or dirt or even worse nicotine. Over time these things get into the fans and make them run terrible and start making strange noises. Take the cover off your tower and clean this garbage out of the tower and especially the fans.

Fans – Most of the fans that come with the computer are little and cheap. Purchasing new ones that are larger and better quality will help quiet the computer.

Move the Computer – By moving the computer to the floor will help. Taking it away from your work area you will not notice the noise as bad. But when putting on the floor it is a good rule of thumb to make sure it is about 6 inches from the floor. Some people use a phone book, or a little stool to sit it on. By doing this it will cut down on the dust and dirt from coming inside the tower.



More Air – Some computers don’t have enough ventilation. By not having enough ventilation it causes the fans to run at top speed to try and keep the computer cool. Make sure that there is plenty of room around the tower and that it is not in a enclosed cabinet. My self I keep the side panel off the tower so it has optimum air flow. An over heated computer will not last long.

These are just a few ideas to quiet a computer down. These items listed above can be done by any novice. If you are afraid to tackle these items call your local technician and see what he may charge to come out and see what he can offer.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

How To Clean the Power Supply of Your Computer

How to clean power supply

Your computer's power supply is one of the most important components on your machine. The power supply is responsible in converting the regular household current into the voltage suitable for your computer's use. Malfunctioning or damaged power supply can result in more costly damages to your computer's circuitry. So you need to keep your power supply clean for preventing problems. Computer components attract dust, dirt, lint, carpet fibers, pet hair, and smoke particles. However, a lot of people don't even make an effort to check their power supply boxes aft. If your computer makes a grinding noise as it powers up or shuts down, it can serve as a good indicator that you're well overdue for power supply maintenance.


Instructions

1. First of all, shut down and unplug your computer. Some CPU casings have a master switch for power at the back. Turn this off. Never clean the inside of your PC while it is running or plugged in; this can result in accidental electric shock or other such injuries. Let the computer cool to room temperature (at least 15 minutes) before cleaning the inside of the case. This action will help you avoid burning yourself. It is also a good idea to wear an anti-static wrist strip to reduce transferring static electricity from your body to the computer.

2. Ground yourself to your computer with a grounding tool. If not, you run the risk of burning your computer circuitry with static electricity. Unscrew and remove your computer's access panel. Make sure that you jot down where the wires go, so that you can put these back afterwards.


3. Find the power supply by looking for the place that your computer's power cable goes into. The power supply is also recognizable because of the large fan it contains. Open it with a screwdriver. Wear a dust mask if the power supply unit is dusty.

4. Use a can of compressed air or a vacuum cleaner with a nozzle to blow dust and dirt off the power supply. Hold the nozzle about 2 inches from the surface you're cleaning and always blow from the inside of the PC outward. When spraying compressed air, hold the can as upright as possible to avoid expelling moisture. Some cans contain other chemicals that can help dissolve grime. If not held upright, they can release a flammable liquid which can also cause frostbite and burn your skin. Short, quick blasts should be sprayed in the direction of the area to be cleaned. Be sure to thoroughly clean the fan, the circuitry and the wiring.

5. Make sure that you have cleaned all parts of the box before assembling it back. Place the access panel back on your computer and screw it back in.


After completion of the cleaning you can reassemble the power unit and install it back in the computer, but do not forget to connect all of its connectors to the corresponding devices. After you have done the cleaning, check if the computer is working properly. If your computer hangs or freezes, this might be a sign that your PSU is still dirty.

Source

Mozilla Firefox 4 soars to New Record

Microsoft, not without reason, boasted that IE9 was downloaded 2.35 million times in the first 24 hours after its release last week. And that is indeed a big number, especially for a browser that tech enthusiasts had scoffed at for years.
But less than 24 hours after its own launch, Firefox 4 cleared 4.7 million, according to the Mozilla Glow site that logs downloads.

That's a lot less than the 8 million copies of Firefox 3 downloaded in that version's 24-hour debut in 2008, but that event was a heavily promoted "Download Day," and it should be noted that Firefox 4's full day hasn't finished yet.
And it does signal that at least a very sizable chunk of the Net-connected population is, in Firefox's apt phrase, choosing to "upgrade the Web." New browsers bring new Web standards, new performance, and often a new auto-update ethos that likely will lead to browsers staying continuously updated. That could simplify lives for Web developers who constantly wrangle with the difficulties of supporting old browsers.
Firefox 4 brings a raft of new features--new security and privacy options, faster loading and JavaScript, support for a variety of new standards including WebM video and WebGL 3D graphics, and 3D acceleration that extends even to Windows XP.
Mozilla expects that its arrival will lead to an increase in usage. The browser maker said it has 400 million Firefox users and counting, but as a percentage of worldwide browser use it has lost share to Chrome, which now accounts for more than 10 percent of usage worldwide.

Read more from the source CNet

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mozilla Firefox Issues

Mozilla Firefox Issues.

Are you a Mozilla Firefox junkie? I have tried Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and other web browsers but there is no question that Mozilla Firefox is the best. I am sure there are plenty of people out there that will disagree with me but in reality Firefox is still the least cumbersome and has fewer errors than the other web browsers on the internet.

You ask, if Mozilla Firefox is so dam good why does it eat up so much CPU resource’s and memory? Many people complain that they have run in problems with memory issues with Firefox but issues with low memory or your web browser is freezing up is do to viewing sites that use Flash. Many sites on the web are weighted down with Flash media and it tends to make Firefox get bogged down and sometimes error out. Example would be: If you notice when you try to run video say from You-Tube or any other video site that the video tends to stall or stop and then continue. This again is an issue with the amount memory that flash is using.

In reality it is not the fault of Mozilla Firefox. Firefox is still one of the best web browsers on the market.


What can be done to resolve this issue?

Have you ever heard of Memory Fox, probably not? Memory Fox is an add-on that helps to control the amount of memory Flash is using. Another great add-on to Firefox is FlashBlock. FlashBlock blocks all Macromedia Flash when using Firefox, but if you want to see the flash it leaves placeholders on the web page that will allow you to click to download and then view the Flash content. This is a nice little tool to use when it comes to memory issues with Firefox.

Some other issues that Firefox has been having with memory is when you use the AVG Security Toolbar. When AVG did an update with the toolbar it caused Firefox to consume an extensive amount of CPU resources and memory. This problem AVG is working on taking care of and fixing.

Adobe Reader has always been a memory hawg. The adobe reader plug-in for Firefox can be turned off and you can view the PDF documents with another program or using Adobe but not while using Firefox. It seems to lock up Firefox sometimes when you are attempting to view PDF documents with the Adobe Firefox plug-in.

Technology News of the week - Gmail

Technology News of the week - Gmail

Earlier this week thousands of email account with Gmail were wiped out. Thousands of people were left with totally empty inboxes, this was done by accident. This really was bad for these people, especially if they were one that also lost their contacts that they had stored with Gmail.

Now some of the accounts were reported to be restored by Gmail, so not everyone’s accounts were totally destroyed. The company reported that engineers with Google were working feverishly to restore service to the people. In a statement, Google said: "This is affecting less than .08% of our Gmail user base, and we've already fixed the problem for some individuals."

So if Gmail has roughly around 150 – 200 million users then somewhere around 150,000 users were affected by this situation by this terrible mistake.

Google attributes the problem of this happening due to a software update. Google exec’s released this report stating:

Google VP of engineering and site reliability Ben Treynor wrote in a company blog that Google stopped the deployment of the software update as soon as the company realized that it was responsible for the glitch and reverted to the old software version.

Treynor apologized for the inconvenience and said, "The good news is that email was never lost and we've restored access for many of those affected."

"Though it may take longer than we originally expected, we're making good progress and things should be back to normal for everyone soon."

Treynor also added that despite the fact that Google keeps multiple copies of the data in multiple data centers, software bugs can still affect several copies of the data. Treynor also said that e-mails sent to affected users likely went undelivered for some time.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The New Kid on the Block Google Knol.


The New Kid on the Block Google Knol.

So you are asking yourself what is a Google Knol? Well, let me tell you. Have you ever heard of Squidoo Pages, or Hub Pages then you will know what a Knol is? If you have not heard of these then I will explain here what Google Knol is and how it can benefit you.

What is a Google Knol.

If you are at all familiar with Squidoo pages then you will be somewhat familiar to a Knol by Google. A Knol is a place where you can create an article that intrigues you and post this article to share with others. If you produce good quality content in your writings and want to share them with the world what better place to release all the knowledge in your head than on the giant itself Google. Google Knol is a term that means “unit of knowledge” again this is where you can share your wealth of knowledge and at the same time brand yourself with showing off your expertise. Another nice thing about contributing to Knol is that there are no policies in place as for regarding sources.

Make money with Knol.

One significant benefit with Knol is that you can generate a few extra dollars with this great site. Google Knol allows you to have linked to your articles your AdSense ad account. The more articles that you have posted to Knol, the more money that you could possibly generate from AdSense. Some authors prefer not to post ads on their Knols, they feel like it cheapens their articles and they want to look as professional as possible. The option is totally yours, you decide what you want to do, and this is what I like about Google Knol.

Quality Content.

If you are worried about your reputation on the internet it is vital that you produce good quality content in your writings. Your name is out over the internet if you are a web producer, a social butterfly on all the social marketing sites, or if you submit articles to all the article outlets. It is extremely important that you do your research and write with quality in mind. Remember it is your name and face that is attached to the article.

Even though Google Knol has been around a couple years it is still on the ground floor in my thinking. Now is the time to take advantage of this golden opportunity to possibly cash in on this awesome site that Google has given us. If I can be any help to you in learning more about blogging or if you need assistance in writing your articles come visit my profile page on Blogger.