Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tid Bit - Browser Speed

In a recent study, pcworld.com tested browser speed and Google Chrome still is the fastest browser with an average page load of 1.699 seconds, followed by Firefox with 1.762 seconds…not a lot of difference, but still there is a difference. Internet Explorer has an average page load of 1.833 seconds and Safari 1.964 seconds followed lastly by Opera. These results are based on site visits to eight sites with Google coming in first in five of the eight sites. If you are interested in the details of this test such as how the test was conducted, visit (converted really long link to a tiny URL) http://tinyurl.com/mh7e9w

As always, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together!

In His Service,
AvaByGrace


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Today in Computer History

On this day
… in 1997 – Dell introduce their 400 Workstation, which led their entry into this market. The cost of this more powerful computer desktop, the 400 Workstation, ranged from $3000 to $8,000.


Sources:
Computer History Museum
http://www.computerhistory.org/tdih/

In His Service,
AvaByGrace
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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Microsoft's Office Web

Microsoft has plans to make a free Web version of Office which they plan to release in 2010 along with Office 2010. This Web-based application is Office Web and it will encompass lightweight Web browser versions of Excel, PowerPoint, Word and OneNote. It is geared toward the consumer, but as with pass innovations, will eventually be enterprise ready. When available for public use, Web Office will be accessible from Microsoft’s Windows Live portal via your browser. Documents will be stored on Microsoft’s SkyDrive service, a 25 GB of free storage and sharing files and photos, which is a component of Microsoft Windows Live strategy. SkyDrive makes them accessible from computers, mobile phones and browsers via the Internet while preserving the documents.

I pray this information is of help to you and as always, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together!

In His Service
AvaByGrace


Link:
SkyDrive
http://skydrive.live.com/

Reference:
McDougall, P (2009, July 20). Cloud Plan: Free Office, And Per-Use Pricing.
InformationWeek The Best Value of Technology, 1,236, 12.



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Monday, July 20, 2009

Today in Computer History

Today in Computer History
On this day
… in 1969 – Apollo 11, known as the greatest technological achievement of all time took place and we celebrate its 30th anniversary today. Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon communicated with us here on earth saying his famous phrase “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”.

…in 1976 – The first robot on Mars, Viking 1, landed there seven years after Neil Armstrong’s maiden flight. The Viking 1 and its predecessors returned information and pictures of the planet giving us a glimpse into “life” on Mars…even if there was no actual life.

Sources:
Apollo 11 30th Anniversary
http://history.nasa.gov/ap11ann/introduction.htm

Computer History Museum
http://www.computerhistory.org/tdih/

In His Service,
AvaByGrace


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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Gmail's Mail Fetcher

If you are like most people you have a few email boxes and it takes some time to check mail in all of the accounts. Gmail created by Google has the solution to this tedious task via Mail Fetcher. If you do not have a Gmail account, which is free, you can ascertain one at http://www.gmail.com and set up Mail Fetcher once the account has been set up. This feature can be enabled to handle five email accounts. Once you sign into your Gmail account you have access to all the email accounts you added via Mail Fetcher without having to sign into them individually. The email accounts you would like to fetch the mail from must support POP (Post Office Protocol – a protocol used to retrieve email from a mail server1) access. If it is a Gmail account you must have POP access enabled under Settings in the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab. Bear in mind also that some free email accounts do not allow POP access so this may not be a viable option for you. Contact your email service to find out if POP is enabled for your free account if you are having problems configuring the settings.

To set up Mail Fetcher, follow the below steps:
• Sign on to your Gmail account and click on Settings in the top right hand corner next to your email address
• When you are in settings click on the Accounts tab next to the General tab
• In the Get mail from other accounts section, click on Add a mail account you own
• In the pop up window, enter the full email address of the account you would like Mail Fetcher to fetch the mail from and click Next Step
• Mail Fetcher will populate the fields of POP Server and Port and what label the incoming mail will have. If you get an error, check with your email provider to get the correct server name and port.
• You have to decide which of the options, which are self explanatory, available on this screen you would like to enable. If you do not enable any, at least select Always use a secure (SSL) connection when retrieving mail
• Click on Add Account
• Once your account has been added, you will have the option of setting this new account as Custom From Address which allows you to create messages in Gmail and have them appear as if they were sent from your other email account. Isn’t this neat. Click Yes to set up this feature.

The above steps are quite easy and don’t take much time to set up this time saving feature. In the accounts tab you can see when your other account was last checked for mail. There is also a link where you can view the history of Mail Fetcher listing the date, and activity performed. Next to the View History link is a link Check Mail now where you can check for mail manually.

If for any reason you need to disable Mail Fetcher, follow the steps below.
• Sign on to your Gmail account and click on Settings in the top right hand corner next to your email address
• Click on the Accounts tab
• In the Get mail from other accounts section, click on delete next to the account you would like to disable and Mail Fetcher will now stop retrieving mail from that other account

Gmail has a Help Center where you can search the database if you have any questions not covered here. You can also check out the various other features Gmail has to save you time in using their email client at the links below.

I pray this information is of help to you and as always, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together!

In His Service
AvaByGrace


Links
Help Center

http://mail.google.com/support/?ctx=about&hl=en

Help Forum
http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/gmail?hl=en

Gmail Blog
http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/?utm_source=us-en-gmnav&utm_medium=et&utm_content=gmnav





Reference:
1What is POP? (2007). What is POP? -a word definition from webopedia           computer dictionary. In Internet.com. New York, NY: WebMedia Brands,           Inc. Retrieved July 17, 2009, from
          http://webopedia.com/TERM/P/POP2.html

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Today in Computer History

On this day
… in 1968 – Intel was founded by Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce in Silicon Valley and is now the largest employer in Santa Monica. There is also an Intel Museum where you can see how Intel technology is changing the world through exhibits and interactive learning for all.


Sources:
Intel
http://www.intel.com/community/california/santaclara/index.htm

Intel Museum
http://www.intel.com/museum/visit.htm


In His Service,
AvaByGrace


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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Google Docs

A request for more cloud computing applications was received in my mail box so I decided to write on a long overdue application which is widely in use. This application is from Google and is called Google Docs which is an open source application and falls into this requested area of cloud computing. It allows you to create documents, spreadsheets and presentations online; share and collaborate in real time; safely store and organize your work and control who can see your documents. This type of application for home computing is very effective in sharing/collaborating on school work and projects such as family and group events and has numerous possibilities for the home office and small business entity. The feature of always available is also important in this information persistent society and if you already have a Gmail account you already have access to Google Docs. Below are some of the benefits of using this free Web based/cloud computing application from Google.

Creating documents – this can be accomplished from scratch or use a template. The type of document you can create as well as existing documents to upload are DOC, XLS, ODT, ODS, RTF, CSV, PPT etc. The toolbar buttons in Google Docs are similar to those you already use in creating your desktop documents so this familiarity makes getting started easy.

Share/Collaborate – This aspect of Google Docs allows you to choose who can access your documents by entering their email address and sending them an invitation. This is similar to using Windows Office Live Workspace (OLW) http://www.webbytesblog.com/2008/11/microsoft-office-live-workspace.html. Unlike OLW, Google Docs allows for real time collaboration with multiple users and editing as well as an online chat window to show who changed what and when on spreadsheets and documents. This makes ever having to share information via email passé with it’s back and forth time delay.

Safety online/organizing – This is a cloud application so there is no downloading to access your documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. All you need is a computer with Internet access and a browser to view and create your documents. This aspect of Google Docs also saves storage space on your PC and is a plus in the event of a hard drive crash or power failure since all is in the cloud. You can also organize your documents by placing them in folders for easy finding when needed.

Publishing – In publishing your document, you have choices in who can access your document --- allow all to see, a few people or only you…you decide. You can also stop publishing the document on the Web at any time. Google Docs allows you to post a document to your blog and within your company or group.

Some need to know info:
• Create from scratch or template
o Upload from PC or enter a URL of a file or a Web. You can email documents and files directly to the email address given after you sign on to Google Docs. This is a long and complex address, but it is a necessary security feature to this option. This emailing feature does not work with spreadsheets and PDFs.
• MS Word (.doc, .docx), Rich Text (.rtf), Open Document Text (.odt), and Start Office (.sxw)
• Presentations (up to 10 MB from your computer and 2 MB from the Web, 500 KB via email)
o Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt, .pps)
• Spreadsheets (up to 10MB)
o Comma Separated Value (.csv)
o Microsoft Excel (.xls, .xlsx) files and Open Document Spreadsheet (.ods)
• PDF Files (up to 10MB from your computer, 2MB from the Web)

This is a short overview of Google Docs and the links below will provide more information for those who would like to use this application. If you have used OLW and decide to try Google Docs, let us know your take on both.

As always, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together!

In His Service
AvaByGrace


Links:
Google Docs

http://docs.google.com/

What’s New in Google Docs?
http://www.google.com/google-d-s/whatsnew.html



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Monday, July 13, 2009

OpenOffice.org Certifications

If you have embraced OpenOffice.org suite and incorporated it into your productivity regime, there is an OpenOffice.org Certification given at Prometric Test Centers, a global supplier of testing and assessment services. This certification, which requires registration, shows your proficiency and skill in three areas of OpenOffice.org suite – OpenOffice.org Writer 3.0, OpenOffice.org Calc 3.0, and OpenOffice.org Impress 3.0. Since OpenOffice.org is gaining popularity and being used by many governments and business professionals, attaining this certification will add to and enhance your professional credentials.

To know more about this process, visit the Prometric site at the link below.
http://www.prometric.com/OpenOffice/default.htm

As always, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together!

In His Service
AvaByGrace


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Today in Computer History

On this day
… in 1992 – Chip Deal with IBM (US), Toshiba (Japan) and Siemens (Germany). IBM announced these three companies joining together to create a memory chip able to store 250 million bits of data. This collaboration will take place in one of IBM’s factory in East Fishkill, NY making this a significant stride for IBM and America as well as a new global cooperation, minimizing previous fighting for market leadership.

Sources:
Computer History Museum

http://www.computerhistory.org/tdih/

IBM in Chip Deal with Toshiba and Siemens
http://www.nytimes.com/1992/07/13/business/ibm-in-chip-deal-with-toshiba-and-siemens.html



In His Service,
AvaByGrace




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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Google Chrome Release 06/2009

For those who downloaded Google’s Chrome browser there is a new release (2.0.172.33) that protects against a critical security vulnerability of buffer overflow in handling certain responses from HTTP servers. The severity of this problem is critical as it may allow an attacker to run code as an authorized user would. Additionally, the release also fixes two other network problems relating to HTTPS where the browser crashes when accessing some of these sites and the failing to connect to HTTPS sites via the NTLM authentication to Squid proxies. NTLM (Windows NT LAN Manager) is a suite of security and session protocols used to implement some of Microsoft network protocols... referring to the authentication of the user’s right to be signed on to the network. Squid is web cache/proxy server that speeds up Internet browsing by reducing the time and bandwidth consumption because of reusing frequently requested Web pages.

As always, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together!

In His Service,
AvaByGrace


Links:
Google Chrome Release Notes:
http://googlechromereleases.blogspot.com/2009/06/stable-beta-update-security-fix.html

Squid freeware:
http://www.squid-cache.org/


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Today in Computer History

On this day
…… in 1956 – Direct keyboard input. This was the debut of keyboard entry on the computer as we know it today on MIT’s Whirlwind computer which was completed five years prior to this. The whirlwind was also the first computer with video display of real time data (text and graphics) as well as core memory for RAM.


Sources:
Computer History Museum
http://www.computerhistory.org/tdih/

MIT Whirlwind Computer
http://www.cedmagic.com/history/whirlwind-computer.html

In His Service,
AvaByGrace


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