Monthly Archives: May 2018

The Amazing Quad Core Computer

Let us discuss the two main quad core computers launched by Intel and AMD. Intel was the first one to launch this computer under the name of Kentsfield, which is also called Core 2 Extreme quad-core QX6700, and it is no less than 80% faster than Conroe or Core 2 Extreme X6800.

The chips of these quad core computers are based on the latest `Core` micro architecture technology. It is not just low powered but also gives high performance. But don`t be fooled into thinking that Kentsfield is a power-saving computer by any means.

This computer with a 2.66GHz chip having a 1066MHz front-side bus (FSB) is ideally suited for those users that require heavy or highly accurate scientific calculations. It is generally used in the fields of actuarial sciences, digital content creation, financial applications and engineering analysis, like CAD. The director of Intel`s operations for digital enterprise group, Mr. Steve Smith, has claimed that this quad core computer will be 58% faster for crating digital content system, and for video, digital audio and photo editing.

To talk in simple words, Kentsfield and other such computers are not meant for ordinary people`s desk. They are more suited for high-tech workstations and desktops. It will not be wise to think that the average customer who needs a computer for general applications like word, PowerPoint, games or internet and etc., will go for a complex, complicated and expensive computer like this. For these purposes, there are many other types of products made by Intel. Apart from this, as you must have guessed by now that this high-tech computer needs a lot of power and this feature makes it practically useless for people on the go. Perhaps it will take some more research and modifications before the quad core computer becomes popular as a laptop.

Intel has launched the mainstream and commercial version of these computers. This computer is known as Core 2 Quad Q6600. It runs at 2.4GHz and it is currently priced at around $210. This budget quad-core computer is estimated to have a somewhat smaller thermal envelope, and will be at 105 watts as compared to 130 watts of the Kentsfield Core 2 Extreme quad-core QX6700.

AMD`s Quad Core computer is built on a 65mn process. They are using a new technology called Silicon-on-Insulator process. It allows faster transistors that have lower power leakage to be easily used and this unique feature helps greatly in reducing wasted heat and power. For more energy saving, each core of this computer is allowed to run at entirely different speeds or can be turned off totally with the help of the new `Enhanced Power Now` feature. This computer is also packed with an enhanced `Crossbar Switch` that enables the users to access different parts of cores at the same time. Some other vital features include the integrated memory controller along with the latest `Direct Connect Architecture 2.0` that allows much faster `Hyper Transport` speeds.

Choosing the Right Computer Repair

Every now and again I have customers come to me with computer problems that have been made worse by the previous “tech” they used. The last person who came to me had called a “computer repair engineer” he found in the small ads of a local newspaper after his PC became infected with a virus. Instead of cleaning the virus the tech guy performed what we call a “Nuke & Pave” which is a complete reinstall of the operating system, when he did the reinstall he used an illegal Windows license key and to make matters a lot worse when he installed the OS he managed to get it assigned to the “D:” drive letter instead of the “C:” drive.

These unscrupulous tech engineers often work for “cash in hand”, have no ethics, would not think twice about installing illegal software on their customers computers, and do not posses technical qualifications or enough experience to have any chance of repairing the problem to the customers satisfaction.

Often their customers are left with no comeback and end up turning to a qualified technician to correct the problems they created and sort out the original issues. The result is additional cost the customer and the possibility of their data being lost forever.

So how do you avoid these fly-by-night computer repair people also known as “Pizza Techs” (computer techs offering to repair computers for enough money to pay for their beer and pizza!)? Check out this YouTube¬†video¬†for a classic example of what I’m talking about.

I would follow these key points when choosing an engineer:

    • Recommendations are key! We get most of our business from recommendations, we do little advertising because we don’t need to. If you know someone who has used a computer tech and had a good experience then you should consider using the same person.

    • Query the techs qualifications and experience. Do they have vendor certifications? Can they show you them? Can they show you a CV? Can they provide you with multiple people willing to vouch for them?

    • Do they provide a land-line number and registered business address? Do they have a website address? Would you really give your computer over to a person who just provides you with a mobile number? Are they willing to provide proof of identity?

    • Can you pay by bank transfer or cheque? I would not recommend dealing with anyone only willing to accept cash.

    • Are they willing to provide a receipt for payment or any hardware they need to take away to work on in their workshop?

    • Do they have valid insurance? At a minimum they should posses Public and product liability. Ask to see a certificate.

    • Are they offering software or charging rates that seem to good to be true? It’s not wrong to shop around for a good price but there are factors other than price to consider. Would you employ a builder to build you a house just because he was the cheapest?

    • Do they offer a guarantee on any work undertaken in their terms & conditions?

  • Do they offer to back up your data prior to working on your computer? Pizza Techs will often just wipe your hard drive by reinstalling windows. You should never have to lose data unless your hard is faulty or your data corrupt prior to repairs being undertaken.

I’ve seen quite a few examples of “Pizza Tech” work brought to me, by following the points above you can help reduce the risk of being caught out.

Computer Hardware Devices with Scent

Indeed, I am not sure if you have been following the tech news recently, but apparently the concept of smell-o-matic which was originally conceived in the 1960s seems to have a new digital application. That’s right computers, living room gaming, and even laptops, tablets, and eBook Readers. Imagine you are playing a computer game and you can detect “the smell of napalm in the morning” or you are reading an eBook where the characters go to the Strawberry Festival in Sunny Southern California and that strawberry smell tickles your nostrils, you can almost taste it.

In this case your eBook comes alive, or your video computer game makes you feel like you are really in the action fighting the “bad guys” in a warzone. How would all this work you wonder? Well, since smells are nothing more than chemicals mixing, the digital sequencing would determine the mixtures and release small amounts or large amounts depending on the “volume” setting, just like for sound basically.

Okay so, not long ago this topic came up at our think tank, and fellow think tanker Troy LaClaire was quite intrigued by the concept and then he stated; “The trick with this would be to have your device be able to release the scent in a time to allow for it to be processed by the watcher at the correct scene. If someone is 10ft away it would have to be released earlier then someone who is only 5ft away.”

Ah ha, oh, very good point, and perhaps the iPhone will also take into consideration the airflow in the room. If you are outside at a bus stop, and there are other scents, such as diesel fuel, carbon dioxide, etc., therefore your computer hardware device, whether it be an iPhone, iPad, or tablet might put a little more out, with less of a time delay because the wind is blowing.

Otherwise, the device might be on to the next scene, and then the person is spelling chicken soup from the last scene, while the news scene has people walking through a field of daisies. As more folks have these devices, and they download their movies from the cloud, it might eventually also change the types of scenes that Hollywood produces, and they will produce more scenes which will inherently have strong odors, generally positive, as not to turn off their viewer.

This means screenwriters will tie in more smells, and scenes with scents into their movies as well. Still consider that no one wants to smell dead rats decaying, and therefore scary movies may have all of the murder scenes in places with positive scents? Otherwise if you are in public at a Starbucks or on a city bus, you’d probably be thrown off, because you smelled, or rather your personal tech computer hardware did.

Indeed, that would be interesting because it could actually totally change the way, Hollywood movies are made, and influence screenplay writers writing for this multimedia with smell involved completely differently. It’s hard to say how all this will unfold in the future, but it will make a difference. Please consider all this in the future.

Studying Computer Science in Rajasthan

In the present era of access to communication and information being the order of the day, a degree scroll in Computer Science (B.Tech or MCA) is a prized asset. Youngsters who had opted for PCM (physics, chemistry and mathematics) as the main subjects aspire to earn a degree in this engineering stream.

This is the prevailing scenario of higher education across the state of Rajasthan. Bright scholars wish to further supplement their academic qualification with a post-graduate degree of M.Tech. For instance M Tech Computer Science courses in Rajasthan have been much sought-after by such students.

An M.Tech in Computer Science is similar to a passport to El Dorado since engineers from this branch command a premium as per the latest market dynamics. They are hired by both government and corporate entities for varying high-tech tasks. These range from core engineering, R&D, manufacturing and quality control to consultancy and software solutions.

Rajasthan has scores of academia imparting top quality education in engineering. These colleges function under central, autonomous or private universities. There are around 33 institutions which offer M.Tech in Computer Science. Almost all the engineering colleges are periodically monitored by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC).

Although criteria for admission to M.Tech degree in these colleges as prescribed by respective university may differ, minimum 50 to 55% marks is a must in the state of Rajasthan. Besides the written-test, certain colleges conduct personal interview and counselling to assess a student’s overall calibre.

There are around 50 top institutions offering M. Tech Computer Science courses in Rajasthan. Some of these colleges enable the students to reinforce their knowledge in PCM, basic engineering, social sciences, management and humanities. With this as the foundation, the course focuses on the core subject of computer science engineering (CSE).

Deserving brilliant and also economically poor students are granted scholarships in their quest for M.Tech degrees. Some of these institutions provide ample opportunities for the students to undertake consultancy projects as case studies. In addition to a study tour, they are also given an exposure to the corporate and industrial environment that could last from four to six weeks. To top it all, potential employers scout for talented engineers by holding ‘On-the-Campus’ interviews.

Every year, in the month of March, admission notices from different reputed colleges and universities appear in all the major newspapers of the state of Rajasthan. Interested students can appear for an entrance examination which is taken to assess the concerned student’s capabilities, calibre and aptitudes in computer engineering.

Solar Panels Provide a Green Energy Solution

Solar cell technology has been in existence for over 60 years. Solar modules, commonly referred to as photovoltaic panels, have been used to generate electricity from light ever since the silicon based semiconductor was invented. No longer a laboratory curiosity, solar cells are an industry unto themselves and are as common in energy generation as conventional power generation methods such as steam turbine driven generators and nuclear power plants. There are many solar energy collection methods in use and available today. We will investigate the more common electricity producing solar energy devices: photovoltaic cells and PV modules.

How does a PV module generate electricity from light?

Solar Cell

Solar cells are made of materials that are electrically activated when light strikes their surfaces. This unit, a solar cell, operates without moving parts and never wears out! Add many cells together and you have a solar array or a photovoltaic module. The more cells, the higher the power that is possible to generate from the modules.

Cell Layers

The top layer of the solar cell or wafer contains a silicon layer which has free electrons which are negatively charged particles. A boron enhanced bottom layer contains spaces or holes, that let electrons move into the open spaces. The manufacturing process creates this electron imbalance between the two layers within this semiconductor material. This imbalances is responsible for the operation of the solar cell which creates the electrical current and voltage.

The Sun Strikes the Solar Cell

Photons from the sun hit the outside of the photovoltaic cell. This activity excites the free electrons in both silicon layers. Some electrons in the bottom layer travel to the silicon layer at the top of the cell. Electron flow moves through metal contacts located on the solar cell’s front and back which creates electricity. Electrons flow in a closed loop or electrical circuit. Combining multiple solar cells has an additive effect on voltage and current depending on how they are “strung” together. Think of each cell as a battery. Stringing the cells in series (negative to positive) will add voltage and keep amperage the same as for one cell. Stringing the cells in parallel will keep voltage the same as for one cell but add the amperage of the cells.

Powering With Solar

Solar panels generate electrical current which is transmitted to an inverter. The inverter changes direct current into alternating current which matches the electricity that your power company provides. Appliances and power equipment operate with AC current. In the United States, power is generated at 60 hertz whereas in Europe, 50 hertz is the norm.

The solar electrical power feeds into the wiring of a house, business or power plant and into the electrical utility’s power grid. An independently operated power system also can act as its own utility. This “off-grid” system requires batteries to store power when the solar panels produce more power than the load needs and is discharged when the solar modules cannot capture enough energy from the sun to offset the electrical loads from the home or business.

Converting Silicon Wafers Into Photovoltaic Cells

The computer chip industry has made the low cost production of the solar cell possible. The strides in yield, processing and quality have made the photovoltaic cell manufacturing process current state-of-the-art and scalable. While the process is matures for silicon wafer production, the techniques are time consuming and important in achieving the desired performance outcomes. The silicon wafer starts out as an ingot of silicone material and then is sawn into the characteristically round wafers that you see on a solar module.

EtchingA Wafer

The part of the solar cell process requiring a clean room incorporates chemical and heat treatments that convert the greyish silicon wafers into live, blue colored cells. A chemical etch removes a tiny layer of silicon. Underneath this layer, a crystal structure reveals a pyramid shaped surface that absorbs more light.

Diffusing

Silicon wafers are placed into ovens where phosphorus is diffused into the wafer surface. This step deposits a molecular sized deposit as the wafer surface is exposed to phosphorus gas at a high heat. This step gives the surface a negative potential electrical charge. This layer and the boron-doped layer beneath the surface create a positive-negative, or P/N, junction which is the basis of a PV cell. This is also how a semiconductor chip is made.

Coloring And Printing

The cells are placed into vacuum chambers where silicon nitride is deposited onto the side of the wafer that will be exposed to the sunlight. The coating with silicon nitride is designed to reduce light reflection. This process gives the cell its dark blue color. The cell is ready to produce electricity but still need a means to collect and forward the power to the load. Metal stripes are printed on both sides of the cell so that electrical charge collection and landing areas for wires can be added to the wafer. When this step is complete, the cell is ready to produce power.

Attaching Cells Into Solar Panels

Cells are arranged to create the voltage and amperage profile of the completed solar panel. If you look at the various brands of solar panels on the market, you will notice that the cell arrangement dictates both of these attributes of home solar panels and commercial type solar panels. Consequently, the physical frame size of the PV module is set by the solar cell arrangement.

Soldering

Cells are soldered together into series strings which involves electrical bonding of the wafers together to form one module. Several strings are connected to form a rectangular matrix of cells. Each cell matrix is laminated onto glass using a robust adhesive system that ensures the completed panel will survive normal environmental loads.

Framing

The outer frame of the solar module provides protection against weather and impact loads and also includes the electrical connection which could be a junction box or a standard electrical cable connector. These are commonly used in other electrical devices.

Location, Location, Location

Siting the solar module array requires the chance to collect as much sunlight as possible during the seasonal variation in sun intensity.

Rooftop systems provide a ready platform since the surface is often tilted toward the sun and the surface is unusable for most any other device.

Ground-mounted systems are good options where roofs are unavailable or too small in area. Modules are mounted on racks which are ground anchored and accessible for service or adding additional solar modules.

Canopy systems work well in shed roof applications such as parking areas.

Utility-scale systems are normally large scale power creating units that are sized for utility grade use and not usually limited in land area.

Tracking systems optimize output power by moving the solar modules according to the sun’s path.

Summary

Solar modules are a union of solar cells and the technology that makes computer chips lower cost than just a decade ago. The inherent reliability of the solar modules used for home solar panels is due to the lack of moving parts and the high reliability parts and processes that make the solar module reality. There are virtually no limits to the types of solar electric systems that can be designed and very few limitations on location as long as there is abundant sunlight.

Computer Games Present a Delicate Parental Balancing Act

Parents of teens who exhibit signs of active addiction to computer games may find the following discussion very enlightening.

Whether anyone cares to acknowledge it, games can be habit-forming. Virtual game developers employ every possible strategy to capture players’ sustained interest.

How do you identify the point at which your adolescent’s attachment to computer games has become obsessive? Engaging in gaming to the near-exclusion of other ordinary life activities is a clear sign. In such a case, it is very important for parents to prevent rational discussion of the matter from becoming a full-scale battle of wits and verbal insult “contest.”

Many modern teens acquire a high level of skillful debating ability early in life. Thus, their adult custodians must stay completely objective and compliment positive behavior when approaching teens who have become hooked on computer games. Do not allow the discussion to be diverted into a critical comparison of other parents who permit their youngsters to play such games for endless hours.

It is often easy for parents to believe themselves to be wiser than their kids and therefore capable of directing our offspring’s behavior while attempting to overlook our own faults. Do not fall for intuitively appealing arguments that five hours in front of computer game consoles pales in comparison to the amount of time spent on your Blackberry or similar electronic devices.

Prompt intervention prior to displacement of all other important pursuits online gaming is the best strategy. This means establishing firm limits on allowable gaming entertainment and imposing additional restrictions if you observe their health, grades, or social life suffering due to excessive gaming involvement.

Employ “tough love” if you encounter strong resistance to such measures. Do not be swayed by extreme emotional outbursts or physical “tantrums” like running away from home.

Extending effective assistance to a teen addicted to online games depends upon prompt recognition of danger signs that he or she has strayed off the right path. Common symptoms include easy irritability with individuals and ordinary situations and overly impulsive reactions to common scenarios. Upon noticing an undue increase in time spent on gaming-related pursuits, it is definitely “time out” for computer games!

Always substitute alternative wholesale activities for absent gaming time in your child’s life. Rigorous physical exercise is a particularly healthy option. Popular competitive sports like ice skating, hockey, dance, or baseball are perfect replacements. Pursuits that engage the mind such as theater, music, and fine arts are also excellent alternative recreational outlets.