Sunday, November 21, 2010

Upper Hutt Library


Upper Hutt library has been refurbished and now sports a comfortable lounge with sofa's, tables, chairs, and a coffee machine. WiFi connection is free for general web surfing and E-mail use. Coffee is $2 a cup. My netbook boots and is on line in just under a minute. In another part of the library computers can be hired for general use.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Online Wordprocessing with 'Google Docs'

Click on Image
If a Computer, Tablet or Smartphone is on broadband or 3G then Wordprocessing without any additional software other than a modern browser and Acrobat reader is easily accomplished. Printing is done by automatically generating a PDF file for Acrobat reader and printing from that. Files are saved on Googles server but can be uploaded to your computer as well.
The Image shows that the menu structure is similar to a standard Wordprocessing package. Pictures can be edited using an Online editor as well. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Coping with 'Tablets' as PC's become obsolete in homes

Click on me
Since 'Vista' the PC needed a huge amount of resources to cope with the up and coming games and the new media centres. Looking at the latest game 'Black Ops' sales, it becomes obvious that virtually all sales were for 'Playstation' or 'XBox'. The PC has no motion controllers so the future looks bleak for games. The Media centres were also a flop as 'Freeview' and 'Tivo' type devices were much cheaper and more reliable. The large hard drives for storing movies and music have shifted out of the PC and put on as 'Portable Extended Drives' plugging into the USB port. Modern office suites such as 'Oracle Office', 'Ashampoo Office and Libre Office run quite happily in 256Mb RAM on a Pentium 3. Home drawing programs such as 'Inkscape' are a good choice for Labels and Greeting cards. The PC has now become an unreliable resource hungry machine that struggles to keep itself running without third party help. This is where the Tablet comes into its own. The biggest choice to make is whether to use a 7" or 10" screen. If you can read a paperback book then a 7" screen will suffice as these are much clearer to read than the printed word and easier to hold. The 10" screen is slightly larger than a hard covered book. The virtual screen keyboard can use 'Swyping' rather than 'typing' to make it quicker. Using voice control to type is annoying for anyone else in the room. 'Apple' and 'Android' are the only options at the moment but by the end of the year there will be many major players coming to the market. The tablet consists of a touch screen display, a basic computer with a small amount or RAM, a small solid state flash drive and a battery. Communication is achieved by ethernet, wireless or bluetooth. External memory by USB or card reader. Printing achieved by using email or network printers.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Network Printing

As many homes have more than one computer or other devices such as smartphones, Internet TV's, DVD Recorders and Tablets that can all use a printer it makes good sense to put the printer on the 'Network'. To do this effectively use a Printer that has 'PCL emulation'.  It will probably be PCL5e or PCL6. These are slightly dearer as they have a computer in them and are not relying on the host computer to build the page for printing. Cheaper GDI printers can be made to work by setting them up as a Local printer on a new Bidirectional Port but will only work for PC's and some GDI Printers. To check if the printer has PCL emulation, Google the printers model and check the specification.
Note: PCL3 GUI and PCL6 Enhanced are not normal PCL Printers. Its the 'GUI' and 'Enhanced' part that diminishes their capabilities.