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The Universal Serial Bus (USB) has been around for a number of years, and its creation has solved the problem of a lack of or incompatible connections available to link computer peripherals to a computer. Before USB was available, most devices were required to connect to a computer by using parallel and serial ports. These two ports have been around for 2 decades, serving effectively in linking computer peripherals to a computer. Unfortunately there was a problem: a standard ...

The Facts Of USB And USB Cables

The Facts Of USB And USB CablesThe Universal Serial Bus (USB) has been around for a number of years, and its creation has solved the problem of a lack of or incompatible connections available to link computer peripherals to a computer. Before USB was available, most devices were required to connect to a computer by using parallel and serial ports. These two ports have been around for 2 decades, serving effectively in linking computer peripherals to a computer. Unfortunately there was a problem: a standard computer has only 1 or 2 serial ports and one parallel port. This severely limited the number of computer peripherals that could be attached to a single computer. Thus, if a user wanted to connect a joystick, printer, and scanner, they might require the use of every port installed on their computer. Since these ports also require the computer to be powered off before any connections can be made or broken, switching peripherals was inconvenient. Even more problematic was that the data transmission rate between these devices and the computer was prohibitively slow for any but the oldest devices.The first USB version released is called USB 1.1, and transmits data at the rate of 12 Mbps. Later USB 2.0 was released, a product of the joint effort of leading computer and electronic companies like Microsoft, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Apple Computer, and Lucent. It allows data transfer speeds of up to 480 Mbps, 40 times faster its predecessor, while maintaining backward compatibility with USB 1.1 devices. This has generated significantly increased efficiency in terms of data uploading and downloading.Modern computer peripherals use USB connectivity as the industry standard. Nearly every newer device is built for USB 2.0, though devices with 1.1 USB are still widely in use. Rather than increase the complexity of connecting devices to a computer, both versions utilize the same type of USB cable. When a consumer buys a regular USB device the USB cable is normally included. The USB cable is the tool that links the device to the computer in order for it to function.A regular USB cable has different plugs on each end, known as the A plug and the B plug. It is easy to differentiate between these plugs: the A plug is flat overall, and rectangular in shape, while the B plug is normally square shaped. The A plug is the end that is inserted to the USB port of the computer, while the B plug is the end reserved to connect to the various devices. There are some devices which use and require specialized B plugs, usually due to size constraints that prevent them from accommodating the larger standard plug. Plugging in a USB cable is simple, as the plugs will not fit in the wrong slots.USB cable receives and transmits data, which requires the conduction of electricity. Since many devices rely upon this cable for their power source as well, two additional wires are included to supply this power. There are 2 wires (twisted) inside the USB cable for data lines, and 2 more wires (untwisted) for power. The first wire (red) carries 5 volts, while the other wire (black) is for the ground.It is also possible buy an individual USB cable. While they can be used to connect two computers, a special adapter is required to do this in order to prevent damage from occurring. The USB standard prohibits using A/A USB cable since if it is used to connect two computers both machines will attempt to supply the 5 volt power, causing an array of problems within their power supplies.The USB and USB cable work hand in hand to make modern devices fact and functional. Every computer user should take the necessary steps to ensure this system is properly safeguarded and maintained so that it will provide a long life of convenience and speed.

Computer Consultant Skills: Do You Have to Have 20 Certifications?

Computer Consultant Skills: Do You Have to Have 20 Certifications?

I've had more than one person tell me, "Well, Im a MCP or Im a CNA and Ive got this one cert but Im working on like 15 more certs and as soon as I get my 19th cert, five years from now, Ill be all set to be a computer consultant." Thats just a hunk of bologna. Know why?Small Business Aren't Using Cutting-Edge TechnologyMost small businesses dont care how many certifications you have. Small businesses are usually at least 12-18 months behind the curve from an IT standpoint. Sometimes theyre as much as two years behind the curve. There is no ego-driven CEO or corporate salesperson in small businesses advocating upgrading every 12 months just for the sake of upgrading. Some Small Business Technology is OutdatedAs a "computer consultant" , what kind of hardware and software and peripherals and infrastructure would you be working with in a typical small business? A lot of their equipment will be just fine and some will need updates and upgrades. But theres very little stress among small-business technology to keep up with the latest and the greatest bleeding edge. So that removes a lot of the early-adopter stress out of the equation for you, the beginning computer consultant.Do You Have the Skills to be A Computer Consultant?Do other people come to you for computer advice? Do people ask you for help with their software and hardware and getting their PDA to talk to Outlook or sync up their wi-fi, etc.? Are they coming to you for help because its part of your job or simply because youve developed a reputation as the kind of guy or gal that knows a little more about PCs and notebooks and software and the Internet and viruses than the average person? Are you already perceived as a good resource person for these kinds of problems? If so, you'll make a great computer consultant A Computer Consultant's Skills Vary It really doesnt matter how junior or senior your skills are, theres definitely a place for you in helping small businesses with IT problems. Just like theres are entry level and senior staff within a corporate IT department, theres all also different levels you can perform in as a computer consultant. Copyright MMI-MMVI, PC Support Tips .com. All Worldwide Rights Reserved. {Attention Publishers: Live hyperlink in author resource box required for copyright compliance}

Cheap Laptops: How to Buy the Right One

Cheap Laptops: How to Buy the Right One

Cheap and inexpensive laptops are available plenty in number in the market. While buying laptops, price factor alone should not limit the purchase. Cheap laptops are made available to the consumer to suit the budget as well as specific requirements. The person buying a laptop should be very clear regarding the required features, options and then conduct a search to match his needs. The place of purchasing cheap laptops is also important. There are various sources from which a person can buy cheap laptops. Out of all the sources, Internet is considered to be the best place to purchase laptops. A same laptop model can be sold at different prices in different websites. The purchaser can easily select the one with a lesser price easily. Also it is better to avoid impulse purchase as far as laptops are concerned, since it is impossible for a lay man to comprehend the hi-tech lingo associated with laptop computers like the flat panel TFT, WiFi connectivity, wireless and many more features.Features to be considered before buying cheap laptops:Processor of the laptop: A processor is very important to run applications and to perform on-screen tasks. The processor should not be less than 1.4 GHz as it may affect the quick performance of the laptop. For day today operation using word processing, e-mail, spread sheets etc the above processor speed is enough. When Pentium processors are bought they assure a longer battery life and at the same time they are quick.Screen size of the cheap laptops should not be less than 12.1 inches. The screen size of laptops is measured diagonally. The larger the screen size, the higher the resolution, making it easy for viewing more information all at once.Laptops should have a good battery life as they are carried with the operator for presentations, or for calculations whenever and wherever they are required. A laptop with a good battery life should be able to perform jobs ranging from 3 to 7 hours of non stop work without any electrical charge required in between. Lithium ion rechargeable batteries are an ideal choice.The hard drive capacity is very important to store large amount of data on to the laptops. A cheap laptop can be chosen with a hard drive capacity ranging from 20 GB to 40 GB depending on the persons usage.The keyboards of laptops are different from those of the desktop computers. The keys on the keypad are relatively smaller and are packed closely with each other. Hence, it is very important to see if it can be handled comfortably before purchasing a cheap laptop.Touchpad or pointing stick inbuilt with a laptop can be more very useful than a mouse connected via USB port. Two USB ports are more than enough for a cheap laptop; in case more ports are required the user can use an external USB hub.The ideal weight of the laptops should be between 4 10 pounds, never go for a more weighing laptop even if it comes for a very cheap amount. In order to reduce the weight of the laptops, external CD drives can be used. For communications a built in Ethernet port is more ideal than the serial ports or infrared ports.

Get A Computer Flat Screen You Will Not Regret It

Get A Computer Flat Screen You Will Not Regret It

There really isnt any reason not to get a computer flat screen if you are putting together a new computer. The amount of money you save by choosing a CRT monitor wont be very much anymore, and youll have a bulky piece of hazardous waste to contend with as a result.I strongly suspect that CRT monitors (and CRT televisions for that matter) are going to slowly phase out of the market and it wont be long before they virtually disappear.When computer flat screens first started coming out a several years ago they were of course very expensive. Also, they had a lot of worrisome technical issues like dead pixels and such.Today, however, the technology has been improved upon a lot, and it has come down in price a ton. Getting a good name brand computer flat screen is only marginally more expensive than an equivalently sized CRT monitor.The first and most obvious difference Ive noticed is the superior picture quality in my new LCD computer flat screen. It really puts my old CRT piece of junk to shame. My new computer flat screen is sharper, clearer, and has a much better refresh rate.I used to get a lot of eyestrain and subsequent headaches for staring at my old CRT computer screen a while, but Ive yet to feel any of that with my computer flat screen.Next time you find yourself in a CompUSA, Frys Electronics, Costco, or some other store that sells monitors, check out there selection of "computer flat screens" . Heck, if you have a free minute or two just do a quick search for them online. You might be surprised on how cheap theyve become recently!Another great part of having a computer flat screen is of course the smaller size. Computer flat screens are incredibly space efficient. I had to devote pretty much the entire surface of my desk to my old CRT screen, but with my LCD monitor I suddenly have lots of room to do other things with.Its all about computer flat screens these days. I recently dumped my old CRT monitor (not easy by the way, CRT screens are considered hazardous waste and you have to use a municipal collection service to do it legally) and picked up my first computer flat screen and Im just loving it. I cant believe I waited so long to make the plunge; it has made such a huge difference for me.

Thermal Receipt Printer Automate your Point of Sale Process

Receipt Printer is a low-cost, long-life, variant of a thermal printer. It comes as a single compact module with an integrated cutter for easy integration into your terminal or kiosk. Receipt printer generally has very high memory and work at high speed.It is an important point-of-sale device for the retail and hospitality industry. A receipt is a typed/written acknowledgement that a specified article or sum of money has been received. We have come across different kinds of receipts in modern times. For every product we purchase and every service we subscribe we get a receipt. Hence receipt printers outnumber the document printers used for printing reports, books, newspapers, etc.Receipt is a proof of a transaction for the purpose of exchanging or returning merchandise. Some retailers provide special "gift receipts" specifically for this purpose. Unlike a standard purchase receipt, the gift receipt omits certain information, most notably the price that was paid for an item. The receipt usually has a barcode at the bottom so that the retailer can call up the transaction information from a database of previous purchases, thus authenticating a return.The thermal "receipt printer" is able to print receipts in multiple colors and its paper rolling procedure is very simple and easy to use. Thermal receipt printers are designed to give the best performance in hectic schedules. They are plug and play devices compatible with a variety of software applications. Types of Receipt Printers: With your pos equipment, you'll need a receipt printer to issue receipts and slips for customer signatures. Whether your receipt printer is built in to the terminal or a stand-alone unit, you'll need to choose between the two main types of receipt printers: dot matrix receipt printers and thermal receipt printers. Consider price, speed, and reliabilityThe receipt printer line covers various models to cater to the diverse demand for receipts of the market. The thermal receipt printers can be divided into two: thermal "thermal receipt printer" s and impact thermal receipt printers. * Dot matrix thermal receipt printers: Dot matrix thermal receipt printers, also known as impact printers, use pins and an ink ribbon to print on regular paper. Fairly inexpensive, dot matrix thermal receipt printers tend to have slower print speeds, typically printing one to four lines per second. * Thermal thermal receipt printers: Thermal thermal receipt printers use heat and special heat-sensitive paper to generate receipts. Thermal thermal receipt printers cost slightly more than dot matrix [*_*]s, but offer faster performance (with speeds of 10 to 15 lines per second), less noise, and are generally more reliable because they have fewer moving parts. Over several years of use, the higher cost of thermal paper about equals the cost of buying both paper and ribbons for dot matrix printers. * Impact Receipt Printer: The impact [*_*] is a high-speed serial dot matrix printer. The [*_*] is housed in ABS plastic, a proven housing in toll applications. It includes a printing mechanism, a cutter assembly, an interface / controller circuit card, power supply, and drive mechanism. The printer uses a 3" roll resulting in less time changing paper and more time processing transactions. Printer setup is stored in an on-board eeprom and can be configured for operation off line. The unit is designed to operate between 0 c and 50 c in 90% relative humidity. * Inkjet [*_*]s: Fairly rare inkjet [*_*]s give you the ability to print in multiple colors. However, they have neither the speed of thermal printers nor the low costs of dot matrix printers.Most thermal [*_*]s have inbuilt buffer memory to store logos, graphics and other necessary items. They come with associated tools for sketching the logos, pictures etc. For security purposes, they store a second copy of all the transactions for future reference. Newer generation of [*_*]s come with inbuilt power backup features. Changing paper can be a hassle when you have customers waiting; many [*_*]s now have drop-in paper loading, which can simplify and speed up the process.

Keeping Your Computer Clean

If your computer is used a lot and keep it on for hours at a time it's a good idea to clean it every now and again, one of the main problems is dust. Cleaning out this dust can extend your computers life and make keep it running faster and quieter. If you have a desktop computer then the main place dust accumulates is around the CPU unit and fan areas. To prevent your processor from over heating there is a fan connected to a heat sink which sits on top of the processor to disperse the heat. This fan blows air down on to the heat sink to cool it down as the heat is passed up from the CPU. Because the fan is constantly blowing air it also blows the dust particles in the air in to the heat sink, over time this can clog up the computers heat sink reducing its effectiveness. Because of the dust your fan may have to blow faster making it louder and more costly to run. Normally you can see if the fan is clogged up simply by opening your computer up and looking at it. If your fans heat sink is really clogged up with dust and dirty looking it is a good idea to give it a clean. When dealing with the inside of your computer or anything electrical ensure the power is turned off and it is unplugged first. The best way to clean out the insides of your computer is by using a can of compressed air and special nozzle, you can buy these from any good computer store. The spray nozzle is useful for getting in to those tricky places. When spraying the compressed air on to your computer, make sure you don't spray it for to long as condensation may form some drops of water. After blowing away any dust from your computers heat sinks give it a gentle wipe over with an anti-static cloth. You can also use the compressed air to clean your power unit and keyboard.Cleaning the inside of your computer doesn't take long providing you have the correct equipment, and once done you notice an immediate improvement in your computers performance. The fan wont need to blow as hard so it will be quieter and thanks to the processor running at a cooler temperature your whole computer should generally run faster. I try to clean my computer every 4 or 5 months to keep it running efficiently.

Summary

The Universal Serial Bus (USB) has been around for a number of years, and its creation has solved the problem of a lack of or incompatible connections available to link computer peripherals to a computer. Before USB was available, most devices were required to connect to a computer by using parallel and serial ports. These two ports have been around for 2 decades, serving effectively in linking computer peripherals to a computer. Unfortunately there was a problem: a standard ...