DVI & VGA – What is the difference?


If you have ever looked at all the cables that plug into your computer you probably would have noticed the one that connects the monitor to the computer it’s self. Chances are that this cable, on older machines is a VGA cable or more commonly these days, a DVI cable. (Pictured Left)

The question is what is the difference between them? Continue reading “DVI & VGA – What is the difference?”


HP Printers – A Warning For Potential Buyers

HP’s C4599, straight from hell?

Normally when I write about a product on my blog it is because it is a great product and I make personal, unbiased recommendations, this will be the first time I am going to advise against purchasing a product. Specifically the C4400 and C4500 series of All-In-One printers from HP.

I am not sure what HP is going to think of this article if they see it but there is no laws against me offering my opinion, so please note this is all this article is. My own opinion. Continue reading “HP Printers – A Warning For Potential Buyers”

Internet Explorer 9: An Overview

Microsoft is currently working on developing the next installment of Internet Explorer. The beta of the 9th version of Internet Explorer will be released on the 15th of September. Apparently development began not long after Internet Explorer 8 was released and suggestions for features were taken from users using Microsoft Connect. Continue reading “Internet Explorer 9: An Overview”

Must have Feature for GMail Users: Image Uploader

Do you use Google’s fantastic GMail service? If you do you have probably in the past tried to insert pictures into your e-mails only to discover that you needed to upload them on to the internet and provide HTML links to them and all sorts of other complicated silliness that can be a little overwhelming for the average user.

Do you use Google’s  fantastic GMail service? If you do you have probably in the past tried to insert pictures into your e-mails only to discover that you needed to upload them on to the internet and provide HTML links to them and all sorts of other complicated silliness that can be a little overwhelming for the average user.

Fortunately Google realised this and released a ‘Lab’ plugin for the web interface in G-Mail that allows you to upload and insert images straight from your computer into your e-mail. Continue reading “Must have Feature for GMail Users: Image Uploader”

How To Create PDF Documents (For Free)

Article first published as How To Create PDF Documents (For Free) on Technorati.

Have you ever needed to create your own PDF documents? You probably thought that you needed Adobe’s Acrobat software to do it but when you saw the $700 price tag you cringed and gave up on the idea.

Yes, you can create PDF’s using the software but who wants to fork out that much cash when there is a perfectly functioning piece of software that can convert virtually any kind of document, image or spreadsheet into a PDF quickly and easily without spending a cent? Continue reading “How To Create PDF Documents (For Free)”

Reasons to move your business from Exchange to Google Apps

Consider Google Apps

I work for a company which is the parent company for about four other companies. The four other companies all access their e-mail from an Exchange 2007 server which is administered in-house by me. Up until a few months ago this had been working great but as the businesses grew it became increasingly difficult to administer the Exchange Server and keep on top of backups and the complex nature of routing multiple domains all while still doing the rest of my work as well.

The implementation of the Exchange server admittedly wasn’t very well planned and ran on a very underpowered system, this made administering it even more of a headache and just to make it worse we also ran our own SonicWall spam filtering appliance which costs $3,000AUD per year to license. Continue reading “Reasons to move your business from Exchange to Google Apps”

Exchange 2007: Listing All Mailboxes & Associated E-Mail Addresses

Command for Exchange 2007 Management Shell to list all mailboxes and e-mail addresses.

This post may be a little obscure but this command helped me out a lot today at work. I was asked to provide a list of all the mailboxes and their associated e-mail addresses that are on our Exchange 2007 Server.

To do this you simply need to open up the Exchange Management Shell and type in the following command:

Get-Mailbox | fl UserPrincipalName, PrimarySMTPAddress, EmailAddresses

You can then right click in the Management Shell window and click on ‘Select All’ and then press the ‘Enter’ key to copy the contents to your clipboard. From there you can do what ever you want with it.

What are ISO files and how do I use them?

An ISO image is an archive file (also known as a disc image) of an optical disc in a format defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). This format is supported by many software vendors. ISO image files typically have a file extension of .iso.

Article first published as What Is An ISO File And How Do I Use Them? on Technorati.

Wikipedia defines an ISO file as:

An ISO image is an archive file (also known as a disc image) of an optical disc in a format defined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). This format is supported by many software vendors. ISO image files typically have a file extension of .iso.

To expand on that definition further, an .iso image is much like a .zip file. You can think of it as a container that holds all the files and folders contained on a CD or DVD but unlike a .zip file an ISO is not compressed. ISO files are useful for keeping backups of CD’s and DVD’s and for storing the contents of CD’s or DVD’s on portable hard-drives or uploading and downloading them on the internet. Continue reading “What are ISO files and how do I use them?”

My PC is Frozen: How to Diagnose Faulty RAM

Article first published as My PC is Frozen: How to Diagnose Faulty RAM on Technorati.

Does your computer frequently jam up? Do you seem to be getting a lot of blue screens? You may have faulty memory.

In this article I will try to explain how to diagnose your own faulty memory modules. The process is relatively simple, can save you money and can also be a valuable learning experience if you haven’t had much to do with computer repair before.

The first part of diagnosis is of course being able to recognise the symptoms, which include:

  • The computer freezing up to the point that there is no mouse or keyboard input possible at all.
  • A ‘blue screen of death’ followed by immediate shut down or restart.
  • A failure to boot often accompanied by a series of beeping noises.
  • Crashes during memory intensive tasks such as photo or video editing, gaming etc.
  • Crashes and restarts during Windows installation.

I had the misfortune of experiencing some of these symptoms a few weeks ago when my computer began to freeze during different tasks especially while listening to music on Winamp for a while or within about 5 or 10 minutes of playing World of Warcraft or OFP: Dragon Rising. Luckily for me the fix was easy, all I had to do was remove the side cover from my PC and apply a bit of pressure on each of the memory modules to ensure that they were seated in the DIMM slots correctly. If you don’t know what a memory module or DIMM slot looks like then click on the image above left.

If you suspect that you have faulting memory then ensuring that the modules are pushed properly into the slots would be the first thing that I would try as this is normally the problem 20% of the time. Make sure you check the conditions of any warranty you may have on your PC first as removing the side cover and tampering with components may void it. Continue reading “My PC is Frozen: How to Diagnose Faulty RAM”

HDBaseT: The HDMI Killer?

Article first published as HDBaseT: The HDMI Killer? on Technorati.

Seven years after it’s inception there is finally another standard on the horizon that looks to overthrow HDMI’s reign on high-definition media. Founded by industry heavy-weights Samsung, LG, Valens Semiconductor and Sony Pictures the new standard, known as HDBaseT uses standard Cat5e/Cat6 cabling and standard RJ-45 connectors to transmit high-definition audio and video. The first specification for the HDBaseT standard has already been completed. You may recognise the Cat5/6 cables as the little blue (sometimes yellow) cables that you plug into your laptop or PC to connect to your modem.

The two most obvious benefits of using this medium is that these Cat5/6 cables are extremely cheap, easy to make and you can run them up to 100 metres in length. The standard will also support multi-hops which means if you connect your  Cat5/6 cable to a hub every 100 metres you can run another 100 metre length (up to a maximum of 800 metres!). Continue reading “HDBaseT: The HDMI Killer?”

Troll Psychology: A discussion on ‘internet bullying’

An interesting suggestion was put forward to me on Yahoo answers the other day by ‘Patricia’ who said that I should write an article about internet bullying and more specifically why the internet bullies; or trolls are compelled to purposely to post inflammatory comments on websites in the first place. Please be warned that this article does contain some strong language, if you are easily offended please do not read any further.

What is a troll?

Before we begin we need to define exactly what a troll is. According to Wikipedia a troll is “In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.”

The definition in my opinion is spot on but it certainly doesn’t tell us what motivates an internet troll. Not being one myself I can not really tell you with any kind of first person experience. I can offer you the opinions of others though.

Why so aggressive?

In my own opinion I do not think there is any singular reason why people feel like they need to be trying to insult others on the internet but rather a combination of a number of factors. A very nice article about exactly this came from Michael Marshall of the prestigious New Scientist publication back in 2007. You can read the full post here but here are some points that I found interesting: Continue reading “Troll Psychology: A discussion on ‘internet bullying’”

Starcraft 2: The Complete Noob’s Guide

A list of resources for Starcraft 2 beginners.

A good list of resources for Starcraft 2 Beginners at the end of the article.

After playing through the (thoroughly impressive) Starcraft 2 campaign lately I decided that I was ready to give multiplayer a go. So I fired it up, logged into my trusty battle.net account and joined the practise league. The addition of an unranked practise league was a pleasant suprise as I had a sneaking suspicion that my Win/Loss ratio would be well in the negative range after a few games.

I decided to stick with the Terran as I was already familiar with their units from the campaign missions. I was paired up with ‘Nathan’. As the timer ticked over and the game began Nathan informed me that this was his first time online and that I should go easy on him. Needless to sayI was wiped off the map in less than 25 minutes by a giant fleet of Motherships. My poor 50 or so strong batallion of Marines didn’t stand a chance.

I think Nathan may have been a bit dishonest or maybe he was just an RTS natural or Korean or something. Feeling a bit disgraced I moved on to another game. In an effort to prevent the same thing from happening again I concentrated a bit more on air defense but the next game only lasted 15 minutes after another so-called ‘first-timer’ sent a column of Siege Tanks through my base.

This brings me to my first piece of advice. Starcraft has a replay feature. Use it! If you get completely annihilated make sure you save the replay and watch it back. This way you can see exactly what your opponent did to get himself in a position to completely trample your inferior efforts. Continue reading “Starcraft 2: The Complete Noob’s Guide”

Mythbusting – The ‘Free’ iPhone Offer: A Simple Guide

Research into freebie websites. Scam or legitimate?

We’ve all seen them before, those adverts on the internet offering you completely free Apple iPhone’s, XBox 360’s, iPad’s, Laptop computer’s and limitless other types of expensive gadgetry. They seem to be everywhere. Over time I think my brain has trained it’s self to subconciously ignore ads like that out because I am a self confessed skeptic. If someone offers me something for free I ask questions.

Unfortunately we live in a society where nothing is ever truly free, there is always a catch. As this article will demonstrate there is a of course a catch with these free offers but it isn’t as bad as you might expect. With a little research you can protect yourself from the scammers and take advantage of legitimate offers. Continue reading “Mythbusting – The ‘Free’ iPhone Offer: A Simple Guide”

Every Windows Key Shortcut You Will Ever Need

Windows Key shortcuts.

The sneaky Windows Key

Tips and shortcuts for easy and efficient PC use.

Following in the foot steps of my Window’s Run Commands article I have decided to give you even more handy tips to make your computing experience much easier and efficient. These shortcuts work in all versions of Windows up to Windows 7!

Below is a list of 12 shortcuts utilising the Windows key on your keyboard (pictured). The shortcuts I have written require you to hold down the Window’s key and press once the letters in the instructions.

Enjoy!

  1. Windows Key – Opens the Start menu.
  2. Windows Key + E – Opens up an Explorer Window.
  3. Windows Key + Da.k.a The Boss Key – Minimises all Windows and display the desktop, press D again to return all your Windows to normal. (Use this when you are doing dodgy things and the boss walks in the room 🙂 ).
  4. Windows Key + F – Opens the Find dialogue.
  5. Windows Key + L – Locks your PC.
  6. Windows Key + M – Minimises all open Windows.
  7. Windows Key + Shift + M – Returns minimised Windows to their previous state.
  8. Windows Key + R – Opens the Run command box. (Read ‘100 Handy Run Commands’ article).
  9. Windows Key + F1 – Displays the Windows Help menu.
  10. Windows Key + Pause/Break – Displays System Properties.
  11. Windows Key + Tab – Cycles through open Windows (Looks cooler than Alt + Tab in Windows 7).
  12. Windows Key + U – Displays the Utilities Manager.

Have I missed anything? Let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading!