What Computer to Buy?

Should I buy a Mac or a PC?

2014-12-13

Should you purchase a Windows PC or a Mac? What is the difference? What is better?

Apple has always had a reputation for being more reliable than Windows. However, that is because Apples are a high end machine and they are usually compared to cheaper Windows PCs that do not have the same quality. If a Apple was compared to a higher end Windows laptop, then the performance and reliability would be desirable in both machines.

Both Apple and Windows can be used for many different types application. Apple leads in arts and graphics usage though. Windows tends to lead more in business/office and gaming use.

Personally I have a Apple Macbook and a Windows laptop. For programming, editing websites and internet usage I always use my Windows laptop. I only use the Mac when I need to create/edit videos.

So the final question . . . Should you purchase a Mac or a PC? . . . Ultimately the choice is up to you, you need to decide what you are going to use it for. I cannot make the choice for you. If you are going to use it for just internet and office use, then I would recommend getting a Windows PC. If you are going to plan on using it for photo and video editing, I would recommend getting a Mac.

Jordan Matthews
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Secure Your Laptop at Public Wi-Fi Hotspots

2014-04-08

There are many public Wi-Fi hotspots that do not use any encryption. Many users use these public open hotspots, to do their personal internet surfing. I know I have done it. You should assume that anyone can see your Internet traffic unless you take precautions. All these steps can be done easily and free, in a couple minutes.

First and most important verify that the hotspot you are connecting to is the valid one. Some hackers have apartments next to public places and provide free Wi-Fi with a name that looks legitimate. If you happen to get on one of these "fake" hotspots and surf the internet the hacker can see and record your every move on the internet using their Wi-Fi. If you happen to put a password in a site that isn't correctly encrypted, the hacker will have your log on information for that site. You may think that you are safe, if it is just a blog or some other site that doesn't have any of my personal information. It won't be terrible if a hacker gets that login, what can they do with that? Yeah, that wouldn't be to profitable for them. . .Think again if you are like most users, you have the same username/email and same password for a lot of sites. Or if the hacker gets your email address and your password, they may get your method for your password. Say, the hackers get my password for this one site, which is my name backwards, 'nadroJ'. The hacker tries my email in PayPal, with that password, it doesn't work, then he tries 'swehttaM', my last name backwards, it works. He now has access to my PayPal. Now I never use those for my passwords, but working it IT, I have seen passwords like that used so often. I use to work in a small company and everyone would tell me their passwords. I had the server set, so that the users were required to change passwords every 90 days, after a while I knew the method how most employees created their password. I could try a couple passwords and could almost always get into everyone employee's account after 5-10 tries. Enough with passwords for now, you get the point. I think I need to create a post on password security later.

Verify that your laptop's firewall is turned on, and Windows' file-sharing feature is turned off. To verify this, go to Control Panel and choose 'Windows Firewall'. In XP, select the Exceptions tab, and look in the Programs and Services to make sure "File and Printer Sharing" is unchecked. In Vista, click Change settings, then select the Exceptions tab and follow the instructions for XP.

Never send bank passwords, credit card numbers, confidential e-mail, or other sensitive data unless you're sure you're on a secure site: Look for the lock icon in the bottom-right corner of your browser, as well as a URL in the address bar that begins with https. Such sites build in their own encryption.

Always turn your Wi-Fi radio off when you're not at a hotspot: Hackers can use it to create peer-to-peer Wi-Fi connections with your computer and access it directly.

Follow the previous steps to secure your laptop now and save yourself from getting your personal information confiscated.

Jordan M Matthews
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Free Computer Tune-Up

2014-03-28

Is your computer running slow? Computers loose performance after years of use. There are sites you can go to, that say they will boost your computer speed. I have never tried a site like that, but I think most of them are scams. However; there are some free tools available for download, that can help you improve the speed of your computer. Here are some tools I use on a regular basis to keep my computers running faster and without problems:

Auslogics Disk Defrag The hard drive in computers stores all your data. This data gets read and written over many times. When files grow the data gets fragmented on the hard drive, making reading the data take longer. Picture a storage unit and to the right you have all your Christmas ornaments and light right next to it you have your camping gear and so on. Then you purchase a new Christmas tree, there is no room by your other Christmas ornaments, you don't have time to move everything around, so you place it in an area with room on the other side of you camping gear. Now you purchase another camping tent, there is no more room by the camping now, so you put it in the back and to the left, not by any other camping things and so on, after time your storage unit will no longer be organized and to get all you camping gear out is going to take longer, because you need to search for everything, since it isn't all in the same spot. In a way that is the same way Windows writes to hard drives. You create a file, work on some other files, then come back to this file months later, you make that one file much bigger, there is no more room next to it, so Windows writes the new data for that file in a different section on the hard drive. so now to open this file, Windows needs to read multiple sections of the hard drive to get all the data. Can you can see how this will slow the computer down? So to Auslogics Disk Defrag, this program takes all the different parts of files and moves where they are stored on your hard drive, so that they are in the same section. Just as if in your storage you decided to organize everything, so now all your camping gear is together on one shelf, easy to grab, right after all your Christmas ornaments.

Auslogics Registry Cleaner the registry is a vital section of your Windows computer, read and written to constantly while you are on your computer. Auslogics Registry Cleaner cleans the registry to get rid of all the missing links and bad sections. As a result, this speed up your computers access speed to the Registry.

Disk Cleanup included as a tool in Windows, that helps clear out unnecessary files from your hard drive. On your C: drive, right click and go to properties, click on 'Disk Cleanup' It will pop-up a new window and 'Calculating' for a while. After it is done calculation, you can select different options to clear. I personally almost always select everything. everything is safe to select, but if you want to do the minimum I would select 'Temporary Internet Files', 'Temporary Files' and 'Recycle Bin' for sure. Click on 'OK' after you have selected what you want cleared.

These are just a few steps that can help speed up your computer. I will come back and more to this post or create a second post. As I am out of time right now.

Jordan M Matthews
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Free Programming IDE Software

2014-03-15

Of course there is always Gedit(Linux), Notepad(Windows) or Textedit(Mac OS) that all are free and by default are installed on the OS of your choice. Then there is Dreamweaver, if you want to pay $400 for it. I personally have used Dreamweaver and do not think it is worth that cost.
When I first started programming I use to be skull headed and would think I was a better programmer because I would only use simple text editors. I thought that whoever used Integrated Development Environment (IDE) applications to program wasn't a true programmer. However; over the years of programming, I started using Dreamweaver and other free applications, some which are better than Dreamweaver. I realized using those applications really improved my programming skills and the speed of my programming. Some Programming IDEs will finish the command or variable you are typing. For example, there is a command called mysql_affected_rows(), if you are working in an IDE you can type mysql_ hit enter and the rest of the command is filled in and the cursor is automatically in the parenthesis. So a programming IDE can save time and be easier to use than a basic note editor.

I purchased a MacBook and needed an IDE for working efficiently on it, searching I found Aptana Studio 3. Aptana works on Linux, Mac OS and Windows, this is a nice feature, especially if you use different computers for programming like me. Depending on what I am feeling that day I will use either Linux, Mac or Windows and I can use Aptana across all these platforms and have consistency through my work. Since I have started using Aptana I have not used any other IDEs. I should uninstall them, I haven't used some of them for over a year now. You can program with almost any language using Aptana, but the languages Aptana is specifically made for are CSS, HTML, JS, Python, PHP, XML, JavaScript, Ruby, Django, ERB, JSON, SCSS and YAML. Aptana in completely free, you don't even need to supply an email address to download it.
Previously I used CodeLobster PHP Editor, before I came across Aptana. I still have it installed on my computer, but I don't think I have used it for over a year now. I Code Lobster only works on Windows OS and works with PHP, HTML, JavaScript and CSS. Code Lobster is a great application, you need to register with an email address to use it.

Jordan M Matthews
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Windows 7 Logs Off Immediately

2014-03-10

I have received a question about Windows 7 logging the user off immediately after logging on. I had encountered this problem one time with my Aunt and Uncle's computer. They called me over and I took a look at it. I've never seen anything like it before. They couldn't log-on at all. They would immediately be logged off before even showing their desktop. I tried going into safe mode, but that wouldn't work either.

How I fixed their issue:
Download Hiren's Boot CD and burn it to a CD
Boot off the CD and go to 'Mini Windows XP'
In the CD, there are many different Registry editing programs. I think I used 'Registry Viewer' but you can use what ever registry editor you prefer.
In the registry navigate to the key:
HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
Change the 2 following stings strings to the values below.
Shell=explorer.exe
Userinit = C:\windows\system32\userinit.exe
If they do not exist, right click and create new ‘String Value’
After putting changing those registry keys in their system, they were able to log-on.

As to why this happened on their computer, I have no idea, I scanned their computer for viruses and nothing showed up. I think it was Microsoft updates. My guess, the computer was powered off while installing MS updates.
If this doesn't work for you respond here

Jordan M Matthews
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Virus Removal

2014-03-03

If you don't have any anti-virus software, or it is out of date, you are bound to get a virus eventually. I have removed several different types of viruses with a couple steps.
Step 1: Download the free version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and also download the latest database version Here. Save both of them to a jump drive.
Step 2: Re-boot the computer and start it in safe mode. (Do that by hitting the F8 key while BIOS is loading.)
Step 3: Install Malwarebytes and the latest database version.
Step 4: Open Malwarebytes, but do not start a scan yet.
Step 5: Right click on the task-bar and select 'Task Manager' click on the 'Processes' tab and kill the 'Explorer.exe' process.
Step 6: Now start a complete scan of your computer with Malwarebytes and re-boot when Malwarebytes is finished.
Step 7: With the computer in normal mode now, open Malwarebytes and Update the database.
Step 8: Right click on the task-bar and select 'Task Manager' click on the 'Processes' tab and kill the 'Explorer.exe' process.
Step 9: Now start a complete scan of your computer with Malwarebytes and re-boot when Malwarebytes is finished.

Your computer should be clean of the virus now.

Tips:
If you cannot run malwarebytes, go to C:\Program Files\Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware\ copy the mbam.exe to your desktop and rename it to iexplore.exe, then open it from your desktop.
Same with Task Manager, if you are not able to run it, go to C:\Windows\System32\ copy the taskmgr.exe to your desktop and rename it to iexplore.exe, then open it up.
If you cannot get the computer in safe-mode, some viruses block safe-mode. You can run malwarebytes in normal mode with the explorer.exe process killed.

Jordan M Matthews
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Internet Explorer 9 Error 3715 Solution

2014-02-17

Do to personal matter I haven't been able to put up any new posts last week. When I finally had the time, I ran into an error trying to install Internet Explorer 9.
Have you for whatever reason wanted to uninstall and reinstall Internet Explorer 9? If you have, you may have experienced the "Installation Failed with Error 3715" error while trying to reinstall Internet Explorer 9? I had experienced this error on my laptop and had found a solution to it after hours of troubleshooting. A few weeks ago I had the beta version Internet Explorer 9 installed on my laptop and viewed my personal site. The format of my site wouldn't display correctly in Internet Explorer 9 beta version. I figured it was the beta version causing the incorrect display. So I decided to uninstall the beta version and and install the final release of Internet Explorer 9. I had no errors or problems during the uninstall. However, after uninstalling, I rebooted my laptop and tried to reinstall Internet Explorer 9 full version, I would continually get a "Installation Failed with Error 3715" error. I verified I had the correct installation files for my Windows version, tried installing it manually and through Windows Automatic Updates, made sure my computer was updated and met the requirements and also tried running the setup as Administrator. None of those previous solutions worked, so I searched Google for the error and a solution to it. From all the forums that have this error noted, it seems I was not alone and many other users have experienced this error. I had no problem finding many "solutions" to the problem. I tried all of them I could find, but none of them would work for me. After a couple hours of trying others' and my own solutions, I was frustrated and was ready to give up. I thought of something else to try, that no-one else had mentioned. I uninstalled Internet Explorer 8, rebooted, re-installed Internet Explorer 8, rebooted again and then tried to install Internet Explorer 9... No errors, IT WORKED! I didn't believe it at first, I had to verified it was installed and it was. I now have Internet Explorer 9 installed on my laptop.
As a test I uninstalled Internet Explorer 9 and tried to reinstall it and I got the same error. To fix some programs, you uninstall and reinstall them. It seems that in order to apply this fix to Internet Explorer 9, you need to uninstall/reinstall Internet Explorer 8 also.
So, after hours of troubleshooting, the solution that worked for me was to uninstall and reinstall Internet Explorer 8 also.

Comment Here if you had this error and if this solutions solved it or not for you.

Jordan M Matthews
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Start Learning a Programming Language

2014-02-10

Computer programming is writing in such a way to make the computer or application accomplish certain tasks. The writing is called code and can range from a few lines to millions of lines. The largest program I ever created ended up being 45,000 lines, which is about 680 pages of normal writing. I created this program to start a business and now don't even use it, the program works, but we never went live with the business for other reasons. That was a waste of about 300-400 hours. Do you like working on computers and want to start learning a programming language now. Before beginning you need to decide what you want to program. There are a lot of different programming computer languages used for accomplishing different tasks.
C and C++ are used mainly for games and creating/editing operating systems.
Visual Basic is used to create applications with GUIs for users and businesses; for example, Microsoft Office.
HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP & MYSQL are used for creating websites.
HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language), displays the webpage text, images, tables and style of the website.
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) are files that HTML files call for and unifies the style of the website. CSS is not necessary for creating websites, but very helpful; changing the style in the css file changes it for the whole site at once, instead of having to edit every html file.
Javascript is a tool for web developers; it is a scripting language and performs those scripts when called. For example Hover Here pops up a box when the mouse hovers over that link.
PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) and MYSQL work together to create strong dynamic webpages. MYSQL is a database and PHP is the scripting language to access the database. They do not need to be used together; you can use PHP on its own, or with other database types, like Microsoft SQL. However; to access databases you need to use a language like PHP or ASP. PHP only displays as plain text, you then need to style the text with HTML.
Java is used to create apps for Android and Apple IOS devices.
Python is a strong scripting language.
Note that the above list is not complete, there are many more computer languages not listed here and what they are stated as used for, they can be used for other tasks.

Here is a list of sites that have tutorials I personally learned from.
C++
HTML
CSS
PHP
MYSQL

Jordan M Matthews
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Old Settings There After Re-Installing Windows 7

2012-02-03

I have received a couple questions now from people saying their settings or files are still on their computer after a complete new install of Windows 7.
While installing Windows 7, there is an option to perform a 'Quick Format' or a 'Full Format'. Doing a quick format does not erase all the data on the hard drive, so some of the files, setting or even a virus could still be on your computer after a new install of Windows 7.
On Microsoft's Website click on 'What's a Quick Format?' A 'Quick Format' only prepares the hard drive for Windows 7. Data can still be there, even traces of a virus.

If you had a virus and you want to re-install Window 7, I would download Hirens BootCD(Free), burn it to a CD, boot off of it and run Darik's Boot & Nuke. This will clean everything off of your hard drive, it will take a couple hours, then install Windows 7 on the clean Hard Drive. Otherwise you can use the 'Full Format', not the 'Quick Format' in Windows 7 Setup.

Jordan M Matthews
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Select Different Operating Systems Windows 7 Startup

2012-02-03

Do you have the option to select different operating systems when starting your computer? Follow these steps to prevent it from showing up again:
Right click on 'My Computer' and select 'Properties'. Click on 'Advanced System Settings' on the left. Then go to the 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Startup and Recovery' > 'Settings'. Uncheck the box next to "Time to display list of operating systems" Click on 'OK'. Reboot and the 'Select Operating System' should not appear while booting up now.

Jordan M Matthews
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Hosting Company Reviews

2014-02-03

Looking to start a website and wondering what hosting company to go with? I have been through many hassles and some major headaches with different hosting companies.
BlueHost By far my best experience so far. Fast servers, even with PHP and MYSQL, great tools for people without programming knowledge, easy to use, and good customer service. When you sign up there is some free advertising money from Google - $75 and Bing - $25, to help you start promoting your site. This site is currently hosted by Blue Host
HostGator HostGator is second on my list. They have great service, fast speed and many site building templates. I had some sites at HostGator and have not had any problem with them at all, I just moved to BlueHost to get experience with them. BlueHost and HostGator are pretty much compareable. Just persoanl preferences differ between the 2.
GoDaddy In # 3 GoDaddy has good speed and great customer service, personally I found there control panel to be a little confusing to me.
Justhost They were good with speed. However; while while I had some sites hosted there their they were hacked. I just Googled it and it looks like they were hacked again Here. Since I have some sites that deal with personal information I ended my subscription right away after finding out they were hacked. They did refund me what was left for the year.
iPage: My personal experience - the worst. Their servers were extremely slow, especially when using PHP and MYSQL. It would take 30+ seconds to load a simple php script from a MYSQL database. I ended my subscription within the hour and they didn't even refund me my money for the whole year. So I paid around $55 just to test it out.

Jordan M Matthews
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Missing Games in Windows 7

2014-01-30

Have you been missing your default Windows games? Either they were uninstalled or not installed from the beginning. They need to be re-installed, and be done fairly easy without downloading anything. Follow these steps to re-install without having to download anything. Go to Start > Control Panel > Uninstall a Program. Once the list of installed programs comes up, click on 'Turn Windows Features on or off'. Put a check mark next to 'Games' and hit 'Next'. The games should now be installed.

Jordan M Matthews
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Anti-Virus Software

2014-01-25

With all the viruses that exist and new viruses evolving daily, on 1/24/2012 Kaskpersky detected 14,223 new viruses! Anti-virus software is a must to protect your personal data from being compromised. I have used a couple different anti-virus programs in enterprise and personal use and combatted a couple differnet viruses.

Avira Antivirus Premium 2012 ranks #1. It catches viruses in real time and does not use a large amount of system resources to do protect your computer. I have not yet seen a virus get through Avira on the computers I manage, but only about 100-150 have Avira installed on them.
In the rank for #2 is Kaspersky, I have seen a couple small viruses get through Kasperky in the enterprise, but that is with more than 1000 computers and rarely happened. When it did happen as I said they were minor viruses and most likely caused from user error.
BitDefender I have used on personal computers and have had no problem with them and it doesn't use many system resources to defend against viruses.
Norton and AVG both offer great defenses against viruses in real-time. However, my experience with them, they both use a lot of system resources to perform tasks.
I have only used Nod32 on personal computers. I have viruses get through them.
While I was a network administrator for a company, I had viruses get through TrendMicro Enterprise, conficker to be exact, and that was a fun night of no sleep. Needless to say I switched to Avira immediately after I recovered the network back from conficker.

Jordan M Matthews
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Laptop or Tablet

2014-01-14

I have been asked quite a bit frequently "Should I get a laptop or a tablet? If so what model?" There are thousands of wrong answers I could give each person if that is all they tell me. It really depends on what you would like to use the device for. If you are going to be using it just to surf the web and as a social device, such as email, Facebook and Twitter, you should get a tablet. If you need to use it for business, school and need to be writing papers/projects on it, get a laptop. I have an iPad for over a year and I've used my laptop less than 50 times over the year. Now I do have a Desktop to do all my programming and writing with. I did purchase a Bluetooth keyboard for the iPad and I used that about 5 times. Some people think tablets wouldn't be that much different to type on. Think again, if you need to type papers regularly, you would be disappointed at a purchase of a tablet.

Jordan M Matthews
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Backup your personal data

2013-01-27

I had everything backed up from my laptop onto 2 Hard Drives. I thought I didn't need a data backup company. The chances that all 3 Hard Drives fail on the same day are rare. Well my Laptop or my Hard Drives didn't fail, but one day My apartment was broken into, everything of value was gone, including my laptop along with my 2 hard drives. Years of work and digital photos I will never see agsin. From then on I still keep backups on external hard drive, but I also backup my important data to Mozy's servers. If your computer data information is important to you, backup is essential. In enterprise offices, users are set up with their own folder on the server and I always recommend users to store their information onto that, since that would be backed up daily. I have seen too many times where user's hard drive fails and they beg and plead that there must be a way to retrieve it. I've repaired hard drives, only on rare occasions I can retrieve the data. If your data isn't backed up and you hear the famous "Tick, Tick, Tick" your data is gone. There are some companies that can possibly retrieve the data, but they cost on average $100 to diagnose and more to retrieve the data, if they can even retrieve any. Mozy is a great company that costs only $5.99 a month to feel secure with your data. They offer high encryption, so no-one would be able to hack your data. Mozy also offers a Free account with 2GB of storage. Get Mozy Today!

Jordan M Matthews
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