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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Understanding Mp4 Players

Understanding Mp4 Players
By: Roberto Sedycias
Mp3 audio format became available back in 1993. Shortly after it became the standard internet audio format, and it is still very much used world wide. Recently another format has been introduced, the mp4 audio-video format which allows video capability, so that users can watch movies, TV shows, music videos along with mp3 songs.

As the industry of mp4 player devices evolved, more features such as fm tuner, voice recorder, email, internet browser capability and others were added to mp4 devices, making them a desired product among electronic users.

Differences between mp4 and mp3 format, relies basically that mp4 devices holds both audio and video files. As for the mp3 it only holds the audio type file. So, one could think of mp4 as being the next step in this evolution file format that started with mp3.

Due to the capability of delivering audio and video at the same time, mp4 devices can offer a wide range of interesting features, such as web browsing, email, instant messaging, video and music download, bluetooth wireless technology, digital camera and others. Also game capability and multiple language options are features that made mp4 devices so popular. Other features, such as voice recording, enabled mp4 devices to be used for professional purposes, besides entertainment.

Another important mp4 feature is the storage capacity, that can start from 256 mega bites up to 40, 60 and up giga bites. Usually a small hard disk unit is used to hold several giga bites of data. For smaller storages, an internal electronic flash memory may be used.

As a music player device, mp4 may offer a 7-band equalizer which will allow the user to change the sound category according to the music style. These sound categories are Pop, Jazz, Rock, Soft, Classic and DBB. Also mp4 player device will support various format files such as Mp3, AMV, ASF, WAV, WMA, WMV and others. As far as the supporting video formats are concerned this device proves to be able to convert file in the AVI, MPEG, Windows media format into the AMV thru the use of software.

Since mp4 devices is compact, it is safe to say that its small size, light weight and good user interface menu, make this device portable, easy to control and access no matter where one can be.

As mp4 format became more popular, several internet audio-video download sites started to offer services, so that mp4 users can download their favorite music or video at affordable prices. There are sites that offer music file download for only 99 cents each, and one has to only pick his favorite song, not the entire album.

Also available in these internet sites are files called Podcasts, which includes information programs, news broadcasts, comedy and entertainment programs. Podcasting is quickly becoming a buzz word among the techie crowd. So what is podcasting, anyway? Podcasting is online audio and video content that is delivered via an RSS feed. Although Podcasting is new, it should become a mainstream communication medium in the near future.

Being basically a container, mp4 player devices are able to provide multimedia solutions with its audio-video file format. Because of that mp4 players became very popular and as it becomes more sophisticated with new features being added in new models, people become more eager to own these device players. After all most electronic consumers do have a wish to keep up with modern time.






Author Bio
Roberto Sedycias - IT Consultant for PoloMercantil
This article is under GNU FDL license and can be distributed without any previous authorization from the author. However the author´s name and all the URL´s (links) mentioned in the article and biography must be kept.
This article can also be accessed in portuguese language from the News Article section of page PoloMercantilRoberto Sedycias works as IT consultant for PoloMercantil.

Article Source: http://www.ArticleGeek.com - Free Website Content

A Purchase Guide to Budget Notebook

A Purchase Guide to Budget Notebooks
By: Roberto Sedycias
Since it became commercially available back in the early eighties, notebooks called the attention of computer users because of its small size and portability. Not much of a commercial success back then, it only took a short time before the computer industry improved this item, up to a point that is now considered to be one of the best selling computer consumer products.

For one who intends to buy a budget notebook, he may have some difficulties in picking the right one, since there are several notebook manufactures offering so many models. Budget notebooks are in a class by itself with basic features but capable of delivering full solutions for computer related tasks.

For an easy guide to budget notebooks, check the following major manufactures:

SONY
Sony VAIO notebooks are fashioned products targeted to consumers who demand flexibility and power without compromise. It is expected to find features such as 15.4`` WXGA, duo core processor and 100 gb hard disk. Although not the cheapest of budget notebooks, it compensates the higher price by offering more technological features.

Most common features one can expect from Sony budget notebooks: 1 - Intel Core Duo Processor T2250 1.72 Ghz; 2 - Windows Vista; 3 - 1 gb DDR2 ram; 4 - Widescreen XGA display type; 5 - Intel graphics media accelerator 950; 6 - 100 gb SATA hard disk 5400 rpm; 7 - CD-RW/DVD rom; 8 - wireless lan 802.11 a/b/g; 9 - Modem and Lan port 10/100; 10 - USB connectivity; 11 - It weighs around 6.5 pounds; 12 - Lithium ion battery up to 5.5 hours; 13 - One year limited warranty. Price starts from U$ 929.00 and up according with optional accessories.

DELL
With features such as 15.4`` WXGA, duo core processor and ATI Radeon Xpress graphics, Dell budget notebooks offer a flexible combination of power, mobile productivity and entertainment at a good price.

Most common features one can expect out of these notebooks are: 1 - AMD Turion 62 X2 1.8 ghz/1mb cache processor; 2 - Windows Vista; 3 - 512 mb ram; 4 - Widescreen XGA display type; 5 - ATI Radeon Xpress 256 mb video graphics chipset; 6 - Up to 80 gb hard disk; 7 - CD-RW/DVD rom; 8 - It weighs around 6 pounds; 9 - 9-cell lithium ion battery; 10 - One year limited warranty. Price starts from U$ 549.00 and up according with optional accessories.

TOSHIBA
All Toshiba budget notebooks feature an 15.4`` diagonal WXGA display, DVD optical drive which reads and writes up to 11 formats, high speed wireless lan (802.11 b/g) for easy connection in networks.

Most common features one can expect out of these notebooks are: 1 - Intel Celeron processor with 1+ Ghz; 2 - Windows Vista; 3 - 512 mb ram; 4 - Widescreen XGA display type; 5 - Radeon Xpress 200M video graphics chipset; 6 - 60 gb hard disk; 7 - CD-RW/DVD rom; 8 - wireless lan but no Bluetooth connectivity; 9 - Modem and Lan port 10/100 mbps; 10 - USB and firewire connectivity; 11 - It weighs around 5 pounds; 12 - 4-cell lithium ion battery; 13 - Tv-out s-video; 14 - One year parts and labor warranty. Price starts from U$ 599.00 and up according with optional accessories.

HP
HP Budget notebooks with features such as 15.4`` display screen, AMD Sempron 3500+ and a sophisticated black resin finish, offer an attractive mix of style, mobility and performance.

Expected features one can find in this HP notebook category: 1 - AMD Sempron 3500+; 2 - Windows Vista; 3 - 15.4`` WXGA Widescreen; 3 - 512 mb ddr2; 4 - CD-RW/DVD rom; 4 - Wireless connectivity 802.11b/g wlan; 5 - It weighs around 7 pounds; 6 - Nvidia video graphics chipset with 256 mb; 7 - 6-cell lithium ion battery; 8 - USB, lan and modem port; 9 - Integrated stereo speakers; 10 - 60 gb SATA hard disk; 11 - Tv-out s-video; 12 - One year warranty in parts and labor. Price starts from U$ 569.00 and up according with optional accessories.

A while ago portable electronics devices were a luxury at an expensive price. Nowadays it became an affordable must have kind of product for lots of people. Notebooks are in this category for sure! And basic notebooks are the best option for those who are in a tight budget. So, if portability is a must for your personal or professional computer related tasks, waste no more time. Get yourself a budget notebook!





Author Bio
Roberto Sedycias - IT Consultant for PoloMercantil
This article is under GNU FDL license and can be distributed without any previous authorization from the author. However the author´s name and all the URL´s (links) mentioned in the article and biography must be kept.
This article can also be accessed in portuguese language from the News Article section of page PoloMercantilRoberto Sedycias works as IT consultant for PoloMercantil.

Article Source: http://www.ArticleGeek.com - Free Website Content

Is Notebook A Better Choice Than Desktop?

Is Notebook A Better Choice Than Desktop?
By: Roberto Sedycias
If internet made the world a global village, then we might as well say that notebooks made it a global colony. With desktops, things were a click away from us; notebook shorted the distance. Now we can carry the global colony on our shoulder. High-end technology at your lap, perhaps, we need nothing to conquer the world of convergence.

The great advantage of notebooks is that it gives us a sense of portability and mobility. Looking critically, portability is the only feature, a notebook has over desktops then why do we choose to go for a notebook? Notebooks can let you carry your work conveniently and you do not have to worry about all the wires, hardware and space required to keep a desktop. Also it's a matter of choice between work and home. You may want to work from home, when your baby or wife is ill. A notebook comes in handy then.

A notebook has a different role to play for different people, but it gives an incredible sense of freedom. Gone are the days when people walked around with pen and paper. All you need to do today to make notes it to buy a notebook. You may want to quickly write a email to a radio station, which is making noise in the name of music. You may want to sit in your neighborhood coffee shop and write a book or letter. But if you want to carry your notebook everywhere you go, you have to consider the weight of the machine too. A notebook weighs between 5 to 10 pounds; an ultralight model is even lighter. Whereas, a desktop computer, with its standalone CPU, monitor, and keyboard, weighs in at about 70 pounds. A notebook takes much lesser space too and is very convenient.

Some of the most famous notebooks are Sony Vaio, Apple MacBook, Dell Latitude, Toshiba, HP. Also there are many affordable versions of notebooks marketed by companies like Fujitsu, Panasonic, IBM, Asus and etc.

Let's look at a scenario where at a school, students are quietly seated at their desks and working on a class assignment with no teachers to guide them. It's real, and is happening in many schools around us. Now, we don't have to mourn looking at our tiny ones carrying pounds of baggage in their backs. Notebook has it all, from their books to assignment copies.

When we look at the productive side of the picture, we would promptly realize that a notebook is always a wise choice for an employer too. It makes his or her employees to achieve more productivity at work. It saves critical office space. At any crucial moment, a notebook can help you to do the work, even when you are not physically present in the office. When the traffic is high, and your boss is waiting for presentation in a conference room, a notebook comes to the rescue. A desktop PC does not give all this freedom for a good worker.

A research says that employees with notebooks work more than those companies with desktop PCs. A notebook enables you to work from anywhere, while traveling, from a beauty parlor, or while waiting for someone at a shopping mall. And the only disadvantage a notebook has is its safety, unless you doubly assure it from theft. It's easy to pick and elope for anyone at a busy commercial place. So, ensure the safety of your costly gadget that makes you feel the world is at your feet and enjoy the power of technology.





Author Bio
Roberto Sedycias works as IT consultant for PoloMercantil. This article can also be accessed in portuguese language from the News Article section of page PoloMercantil

Article Source: http://www.ArticleGeek.com - Free Website Content

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

How To Select The Notebook That Meets Your Requirements?

How To Select The Notebook That Meets Your Requirements?
By: Roberto Sedycias
For the past ten years there has been a tremendous growth in the usage of notebook or laptop computers. The impact is that the notebooks are slowly replacing the traditional desktop computers from home as well as from office. There are so many varieties, technologies and brands of notebooks available in the market that it has become very difficult for a regular user to identify the best fit for his or her needs. This article will help you in getting a few tips on how to select the right notebook and make the most out of your investment.

A notebook offers several advantages. The most important being the trouble-free mobility. This is enhanced by the easily available wireless internet connections all over the world. It is very convenient to carry all your work with you anywhere you go. Advancement in technology has brought down the weight and size of the notebooks significantly, making it even more comfortable for a regular user.

What are the things that you should consider before purchasing your notebook? Start with doing an analysis of your needs. Ask questions like: For what purpose will I use this notebook? The answers could include -- for internet browsing, chatting, high-end graphic designing, gaming, business or official work, programming, application development, etc. The type of notebook you choose will depend on what you need it for.

When you do your research, make notes on the prices, technical features, configuration, guarantees, and performance that each notebook has to offer. You would need to decide whether you want a notebook from an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) or from a brand. It is believed that brand notebooks offer better post-sales service, and guarantee, while OEM notebooks are cheaper and offer the same hardware quality as the brand ones.

If you need a notebook that is small and light and should be carried around easily while you are traveling, go for the ultra-portable range models. These notebooks have screens smaller than 12 inches and weigh up to 5 pounds. Some models of such notebooks include Sony Vaio PCG-U3, Fujitsu Lifebook P1510, Toshiba Libretto U100, Panasonic R4, Dell Latitude X1 and many more.

If you are a business professional looking for a thin and light notebook that offers durability, security and all important features necessary for your office, then you can select from a wide range of business notebooks. These include Apple MacBook, Dell XPS M1210, Sony VAIO FJ, and Dell Latitude and etc.

If you are addicted to gaming you would need a notebook that has the capability to present high-end graphics performance. These would include notebooks with the latest processors, increased RAM and hard disk storage space, faster CPUs, top-of-the line graphic display capability, great wireless connectivity and a host of other compatibility features. Some of the best gaming notebooks include Alienware Aurora, Dell XPS M170, and Rock Xtreme CTX PRO and etc.

If you are looking for just an economic replacement for your desktop and you do not want to spend on a high-end notebook, then you can select from a variety of models offered by Acer, Apple, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba. These notebooks are fashioned to be used at a fixed location and weigh up to 13 pounds, so they are not very convenient if you have to travel a lot. They generally have bigger screen sizes and lower battery life.

Apart from the notebooks mentioned above you can also pick tablet PCs, transportables, high-end personal digital assistants (PDAs), handheld computers, or smart phones. These are mobile devices that you can carry with you wherever you go, if mobility is all you are looking for.





Author Bio
Roberto Sedycias works as IT consultant for polomercantil. This article can also be accessed in portuguese language from the News Article section of page PoloMercantil

Article Source: http://www.ArticleGeek.com - Free Website Content

A Brief History Of iPod

A Brief History Of iPod
By: Roberto Sedycias
iPod is a digital mp3 / mp4 player developed and marketed by Apple Inc., an American consumer electronics multinational corporation.  During their research, Apple found that in comparison to available camcorders, digital cameras, and organizers; digital music players recorded poor sales, primarily due to their awful user interfaces.  Apple wanted to do something about it and so Jon Rubinstein, Apple's hardware engineering chief brought together a team comprising of Tony Fadell (who dreamed of a hard disk based music player), Michael Dhuey (hardware engineer), Jonathan Ive (design engineer), and Stan Ng (marketing manager).  In less than a year, they designed a hard disk based music player, that had a 5 GB hard drive and capable of storing 1000 songs.

Apple's iTunes software is utilized to operate the iPod (m3 / mp4 player).  The software is compatible with all Mac systems.  The operating system is stored on its hard disk.  A boot loader program is contained in a NOR flash ROM chip (either 1 MB or 512 KB) which instructs the device to load the operating system from the hard disk.  The iPod has a 32 MB of RAM, a portion of which is used to hold the operating system from firmware, and the rest is used to cache songs from the hard disk.  Apple also invented a technology whereby the hard disk of iPod could spin up once and about 30 MB of upcoming songs could be cached into the RAM.  This did not require the hard disk to spin up for every song and thereby saved battery power.  Apple also introduced a Windows version of iPod, at a later stage.

The audio files that iPod (mp3 / mp4 player) supports are MP3, AAC/M4A, Protected AAC, AIFF, WAV, Audible audiobook, and Apple Lossless audio file formats.  MIDI and WMA files can be played only after a convertor accomplishes conversion, for non-Digital Rights Management (DRM).  Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, and other open-source audio formats are not supported at all.

Apple wanted an extremely user friendly interface and thus adopted the minimalist interface, which features only five essential buttons, namely, Menu (to access functions and to toggle the backlight); Center (for menu item selection); Play/ Pause (this also works as an off switch when held for few seconds); Skip Forward/ Fast Forward; and Skip Backwards/ Fast Reverse.  An additional Hold button is provided for accidental button pressing prevention, and it can reset the iPod if it has frozen or crashed.  Functions such as volume control, scrolling are handled by the usage of the rotational click wheel.  Later models have some minor changes in the functions of the buttons but overall the number of buttons has remained at five.

To market this path-breaking mp3 / mp4 player, they needed a suitable futuristic name and so they hired a freelance copywriter, Vinnie Chieco, and other writers to give a name.  Inspired by the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey and the dialogue "Open the pod bay door, Hal!" with reference to the context of the Discovery One spaceship and its white EVA Pods, Vinnie Chieco proposed the name of the product as iPod.  The management of Apple accepted the proposed name and on 23 October 2001, the iPod was officially launched.  The rest they say is history.

To enable customers to access songs of their choice, Apple opened up an online media store The iTunes Store on 29 April 2003, where individual songs could be downloaded at prices less than a U.S. dollar per song.  The purchased songs can be played only on iPods.  Subsequent versions of this iPod (mp3 / mp4 player) also featured video capabilities, and thus iTunes Store started selling short videos from 12 October 2005.  From 12 September 2006, full-length movies were also available at the iTunes Store.

iPods have come a long way from their inception, and now the latest fifth generation iPods possess multimedia capabilities and are available in both Mac OS and Windows OS versions.  Usually, if a new iPod is plugged into a Mac OS computer, then the hard disk of this mp3 / mp4 player is formatted as per the HFS+ file format, and if it plugged into a Windows OS computer, it is formatted as per the FAT32 file format.  From being a digital music player, the iPod has now transformed into a digital media player.





Author Bio
This article can also be accessed in portuguese language from the News Article section of page www.polomercantil.com.br/mp3-mp4-audio-portatil.php - Roberto Sedycias works as IT consultant for PoloMercantil

Article Source: http://www.ArticleGeek.com - Free Website Content

Buying The Right Notebook Computer

Buying The Right Notebook Computer
By: Roberto Sedycias
The single most important reason anyone buys a notebook is for portability. This is something that you can take anywhere. If you frequently travel in your work, you need a notebook. If you are a student going back and forth to the university, you need a notebook. If you are journalist traveling the world and submitting articles, you need a notebook. And today's notebooks can be as powerful as most desktops with dual processors, large capacity internal drives, and other attractive features. But which one is right for you? How do you determine what type of notebook will fit your current needs plus allow you to expand for the future?

And the first part of the answer to the question of which one is right for you leads to a half-answer: "It depends." It depends on what you are going to do with the computer. Are you going to use it for work or recreation? Is it something needed for your profession or are you a hobbyist? Do you play a lot of games? What level of internet access do you need? It is also important to remember that unlike desktop models, notebook computers cannot be upgraded easily. In fact, they usually have no upgrade path so you should take the time to get exactly what you need in terms of features and performance.

One characteristic of a notebook computer one should consider is the screen size. If you need to be able to have a lot of landscape for projects you are working on then consider a wider screen. Screen sizes usually can range from 10.4 inches to 17.1 inches. If you do a lot of work on an airliner in economy class, you are probably better off with a smaller screen size (because of the reclining seatbacks in front of you). Also a smaller notebook is just easier and lighter to carry around. Some who do presentations with their notebook computers will benefit from larger screen sizes such as those that use the newer WXGA technology. WXGA notebook screens can achieve resolutions up to 1366 by 768 pixels.

Battery life in your notebook computer is very important too. If you move around quite a bit, you might want to consider buying a notebook with not only a long lasting battery (most go 2-3 hours), but also one where buying a spare battery is not very expensive. One very inexpensive solution for the battery problem is to buy an external universal battery that can last up to 3-4 hours.

Another feature you need to consider when buying a notebook is internet connectivity. You will find that a popular way for people to work these days is with a wifi-enabled notebook at a wireless hotspot (such as in coffee shops, restaurants, libraries and airports). If you are buying an older used notebook, you may have to get an additional wifi-card if you want to have the mobile connectivity provided by this technology. Also, you will find that most hotels nowadays offer high-speed internet access but it is usually through a wifi connection.

And lastly, you need to consider what other options you want for your notebook computer. Do you want a CD writer or will you need to record DVDs? Do you need premium sound? How large of a disk drive do you need? When it comes to disk space, CD/DVD writers, sound cards, memory, and processor speed, it's best to get it now as opposed to get it later. Here's why: The upgrade path for most laptops and notebooks is not very long. This is because notebooks are probably replaced every 2-3 years. They are quick becoming just as expendable as a set of tires for your car. And if you do not maximize on memory and processor speed, your notebook may not able run efficiently the new application and game software. The more your notebook is adaptable to software upgrades, the longer it will be an effective tool for you.





Author Bio
This article can also be accessed in portuguese language from the News Article section of page www.polomercantil.com.br/notebook.php - Roberto Sedycias works as IT consultant for PoloMercantil

Article Source: http://www.ArticleGeek.com - Free Website Content

Monday, July 12, 2010

Guide to Buying Hard Drives

Guide to Buying Hard Drives
By: Andrew Gates
Apart from being one of the most essential parts of your computer, hard drive storage is constantly updating, in terms of both capacity of disk space and in physical size. When it comes time to upgrade your disk storage, there are a number of factors for you to take into account. Once you've made basic decisions about size, connectivity, speed and data transfer rate, and whether you want an internal drive or external, you can search through Myshopping.com.au to find the most suitable brand, and model, and compare the prices of different vendors.

Hard Drives

How A Hard Drive Works

Your hard drive has a number of magnetized platters connected to a spindle. The spindle spins the platters at a very fast speed while a series of read/write heads scan over them both looking for and writing information. This information is transferred via a cable system, or through a wireless connection to a hard disk controller, which in most systems is built into the motherboard, or in some systems installed as an add-in card. The information that comes from your hard drive through its controller is then made available to the components of your computer. The effectiveness of your hard drive (its performance) depends on how much of its capacity remains unused, how well organised the data is (known as fragmentation) and its data transfer rate, which in turn is dependent on its connection type and the drive's spin rate.

Internal Hard Drives

Most computers from, the most basic home models up to the most powerful servers, have an internally installed hard drive. Technology today ensures that they are all generally fast, reliable, and offer dependable storage ability. Most modern computers have installation slots and cabling to enable you to install additional hard drive. This allows you to increase your storage capacity without giving up your existing hard drive.

Internal Hard Drives

External Hard Drives

These drives are essentially the same drives as ones installed inside computers, but cased inside a protective, portable case. This is a good solution for people who work remotely and need to transport large amounts of data. If an external hard drive is your choice, make sure your computer is compatible with the interface that the hard drive uses. An add-in card, such as a FireWire card can help to increase your computer's capabilities. You can compare different brands of external hard drives simply at Myshopping.com.au and search on the connection type, or other specifications.

External Hard drives

Laptop Hard Drives

There have been many advances in miniaturization of hardware components for laptop computing, and hard drive technology is not left out of this loop. Laptop hard drives function in exactly the same way as internal hard drives on other computers, only they are designed to provide maximum storage and efficiency in the smallest possible package. For added flexibility, some laptop computers come with removable hard drives that can be easily installed and removed. However, before you buy a hard drive for your portable computer, check that the hard drive's specifications will meet the standards of your computer, as many laptop hard drives are proprietary, and are not compatible with other brands and models.

Laptop Hard Drives

Size

Your hard drive stores your operating system, its programs (games and applications), your working data, and your digital music and movies. Most new computer purchases have a minimum of 80 GB of hard disk space; many have considerably more. Hard drive space is one of those things, once you have it, you'll find ways to fill it soon enough. There is no real rule of thumb, but consider the cost per gigabyte of storage as a way to guide your purchase. If you work with large files, such as music, video and graphics, it pays to have a big storage space for your work. It may pay you to have two hard drives, one that houses all your programs and applications, and another for storing your work and projects.

You may want to compare the price of say a 160GB drive against two separate 80 GB drives. If one drive fails all is not lost. Today's hard drives however, are fairly robust pieces of equipment and providing they are not abuse, will serve you well for a long period of time.

up to 32 GB Hard Drives

32-64 GB Hard Drives

64-100 GB Hard Drives

100 GB and more Hard Drives

Interface

One key distinguishing factor between hard drives is the way in which they connect to your computer. There are a number of basic types of connection schemes used with hard drives. Each connection type has a range of differences in performance.

IDE (INTEGRATED DRIVE ELECTRONICS)

This is by the most common connection methods. Because the hard drive controller is on the drive itself rather than on the motherboard, it helps to keep costs down. There different IDE standards available. Mostly, you will want to purchase the fastest possible standard that your computer can support. Most computers will support a standard that is faster than what the computer currently supports, so you can buy a faster drive, and update your computer at a later time. The different IDE standards, in order from most basic to fastest, are:

ATA (Basic). Supports up to two hard drives and features a 16-bit interface, handling transfer speeds up to 8.3 MB per second.

ATA-2 or EIDE (Enhanced IDE). Supports transfer speeds up to 13.3 MB per second.

ATA-3. A minor upgrade to ATA-2 and offers transfer speeds up to 16.6 MB per second.

Ultra-ATA (Ultra-DMA, ATA-33 or DMA-33). Dramatic speed improvements, with transfer rates up to 33 MB per second.

ATA-66. A version of ATA that doubles transfer rates up to 66 MB per second.

ATA-100. An upgrade to the ATA standard supporting transfer rates up to 100 MB per second.

ATA-133. Found mostly in AMD-based systems (not supported by Intel), with transfer rates up to 133 MB per second.

IDE / EIDE Hard Drives

Serial ATA Hard Drives

Ultra DMA 100 Hard Drives

SCSI (SMALL COMPUTER SYSTEM INTERFACE)

This is the hard drive interface standard used by many high-end PCs, networks and servers, and Apple Macintosh computers, except for the earliest Macs and the newer iMacs. While some systems support SCSI controllers on their motherboards, most feature a SCSI controller add-in card. SCSI drives are usually faster and more reliable, and the SCSI interface supports the connection of many more drives than IDE. While SCSI drives come in many different standards, many of them are not compatible with one another. So it's important be know that your computer supports the drive you plan to install. The different SCSI connections are:

SCSI-1. A basic connection using a 25-pin connector, supporting transfer rates up to 4 MB per second.

SCSI-2. Uses a 50-pin connector and supports multiple devices with a transfer rate of 4MB per second.

Wide SCSI. These drives have a wider cable and a 68-pin connection that supports 16-bit data transfers.

Fast SCSI. Uses an 8-bit bus but transfers data at 10 MB Per second.

Fast Wide SCSI. Doubles both the bus (16-bit) and the data transfer rate (20 MB per second).

Ultra SCSI or Ultra Wide SCSI. Uses an 8-bit bus and transfers data at 20 MB per second.

SCSI-3. Features a 16-bit bus and transfers data at 40 MB per second.

Ultra2 SCSI. Uses an 8-bit bus and transfer data at a rate of 40 MB per second.

Wide Ultra2 SCSI. Uses a 16-bit bus and supports data transfer rates of 80 MB per second.

SCSI Hard Drives

Ultra320 SCSI Hard Drives

FIREWIRE (IEEE 1394)

The FireWire standard is becoming popular in portable hard drives because it can be connected and removed without having to reboot the computer. It supports data transfer rates of 50 MB per second, which means it is ideal for video, audio and multimedia applications. FireWire requires a dedicated add-in card and the hard drives in use require an external power source, but the interface can support up to 63 devices simultaneously.

FireWire Hard Drives

USB 1.1 (UNIVERSAL SERIAL BUS)

Pretty much all computers today include USB ports on their motherboards. (On older model, you can install an add-in card.) USB controllers can be used to connect external hard drives, and can support as many as 127 devices simultaneously either through USB port hubs or linked in a daisy chain fashion. USB controllers do delivery power to devices connected to them, but many hard drives still use an external power source. USB is limited by its data transfer speed, the maximum rate being about at 1.5 MB per second.

USB Hard Drives

USB 2.0 (HI-SPEED USB)

A more recently introduced and far better connection standard that offers backward compatibility and data transfer rates of up to 60 MB per second. USB 1.1 system can use a USB 2.0 device; it will need a USB 2.0 controller card to achieve the higher transfer rates.

USB 2.0 Hard Drives

FIBRE CHANNEL

Fibre Cabling is mainly used for high-bandwidth network servers and workstations, providing very fast data transfer rates (up to 106MB per second), and connection at long cabled distances, although it is expensive and you need to install a special interface card.

Spin rate

Data transfer rate is crucial to how well your computer performs for you. Apart from the connection types above, the performance of your hard drive depends on its spin rate, measured in RPM. Higher RPM generally means faster data transfer rate. The lowest spin speed that is acceptable in computing today is 5400 RPM. The common standard at present is 7200 RPM. But higher speeds are available in SCSI drives, and it is one area of computer system technology that is constantly being developed.

3600 RPM Hard Drives

4200 RPM Hard Drives

5400 RPM Hard Drives

7200 RPM Hard Drives

10000 RPM Hard Drives

15000 RPM Hard Drives

A larger capacity hard drive will not necessarily make your system function any faster unless you are low on available disk space with your existing drive. But a drive with Ultra ATA/100 or ATA/133 and a 7200 RPM spin rate will pretty much guarantee an improved hard drive performance.

Other considerations

CACHE

Cache (pronounces 'cash') is additional temporary memory that acts as a buffer between the system and the drive. Frequently accessed data is stored in the cache for quick access. Cache sizes vary from 512 KB up to 16 MB on some SCSI drives. The larger cache you have on your drive, the faster your drive will transfer data. If you are working with large files, such as video, images and audio files, it pays to have the largest cache you can get (8MB or more).

SEEK TIME

The data on your disk is stored in tracks and sectors and when you instruct your hard drive controller to retrieve some data, it goes looking. The seek time is a measure of how long it takes the hard drive to find a specific track on a disk. Seek times can vary slightly from disk to disk and a drive with a faster seek time will always perform better.

INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL TRANSFER RATES

These two rates tell how fast a drive actually reads the data and passes it along to the system. Internal Transfer Rate refers to the time it takes for a drives heads to read data from the platter and pass it to the drive's cache. The External Transfer Rate (sometimes called the Transfer Rate or the Burst Transfer Rate) is a measure of the time it takes to send the data from the cache all the way to the computer's memory. Naturally faster transfer rates provide better performance.

S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology)

This is a nice built-in feature in some hard drives that can help alert you to a potential hardware problem. Your computer's BIOS must support this in order for the SMART function it to work, however the drive itself will still work in a system without it.

Buying and installing a hard drive has some technical aspects that you need to take into account. Use Myshopping.com.au to compare different hard drive makes and specifications to find the drive that will work best for your needs and computer. You can compare prices and service offers from different vendors.

Author Bio
MyShopping.com.au helps you compare hard drives and buy online from top-rated online stores.

Article Source: http://www.ArticleGeek.com - Free Website Content

iPod Facts You Should Know

iPod Facts You Should Know
By: Roberto Sedycias
iPod is one of the most successful consumer electronic products in history. It is the best selling mp3 / mp4 player in the market today. The combination of sound quality, sleek design and unique user interface, made the iPod a hit, causing an entire industry of accessories to emerge almost overnight.

The Apple Corporation first released the iPod on October 23, 2001.

Presently we are now on the 5th generation of iPod.

The first generation - Mp3 player with mechanical scroll wheel and four buttons.
The second generation - It has touch-sensitive wheel, 10 GB and 20 GB hard drives.
The third generation - It has touch-sensitive bottoms and USB connectivity.
The fourth generation - It has click-wheel and only two hard disk version, 20 GB and 40 GB.
The fifth generation - Mp4 player with 60 GB memory storage and video capability.

iPod has won several awards ranging from engineering excellence, to most innovative audio product. Very often it receives favorable reviews on looks, designs and handling.

iPod was designed as an mp3 / mp4 player for people with an active lifestyle. It is compact, sturdy and lightweight enough to take with you wherever you go. It was designed to fit comfortably in the palm of your hand or to be carried into a pocket or purse for easy transportation.

It comes in many storage capacities from 512 MG to 80 GB. The amount of memory it can hold, depends on the model or on the compression rate of your songs.

As an mp3 player it was designed to provide the best quality sound. It has a powerful 60 MW amplifier so it can deliver audio as loud as you want. It also has a 20 MZ to 20 KHZ frequency response, which means you can hear distortion free music at the lowest pitches.

iPod built-in rechargeable battery provides between 8 to 20 hours of music playtime depending on your model. Using the appropriate stereo adapter your iPod will sound great on your home or car stereo system. All iPod`s come as standard with a non removable lithium rechargeable battery. The battery charge will last about 14 to 28 days without use. The lcd display shows the battery level on the upper right corner of the screen. You may charge your iPod by connecting it to an Apple iPod Power Adapter or connecting it to a USB port of a computer. A full charge takes approximately four hours while 80% charge will require at least one hour.

Apple has designed the iPod, as an mp3 player, to work with the iTunes media library software, which allows you to select your music on your computer and on your ipod. iTunes can automatically synchronize this mp3 player with specific playlists or with the entire content of a music library each time you connect your iPod to a host computer.

The first three generations of iPod used two ARM 7TDMI derived CPUs running at 90 MHZ, while later models have variable speed chips which run at a peak of 80 MHZ to save battery life. Another great feature of owning an iPod is the fact that someone can record a discussion and then post the audio file on the internet. This means people can download the file and listen to the file on their iPod. As an mp4 player, with iTunes 4.9, you can now browse and subscribe to podcasts at the iTunes Website. Podcasts are radio shows or other audio/video programs that are downloadable over the internet.

In order for you to be a more satisfied iPod customer, as to the usability and longer battery life spam of this mp3-mp4 player you should consider the following tips:

- Keep it turned off when not using it.
- Update to the latest software.
- Keep it at room temperature whenever possible.
- If you are not using the backlighting, turn it off.
-Turning off the equalizer will save you battery.
- Use compressed songs.

With the availability of compact audio format, we have had mp3 players such as iPod, which provided an unprecedented portability to eager electronic consumers. Now iPod, as mp4 players, is already able to deliver video capability and a whole new set of features and services yet to come.






Author Bio
Roberto Sedycias - IT Consultant
This article is under GNU FDL license and can be distributed without any previous authorization from the author. However the author´s name and all the URL´s (links) mentioned in the article and biography must be kept.
This article can also be accessed in portuguese language from the News Article section of page PoloMercantilRoberto Sedycias works as IT consultant for PoloMercantil.

Article Source: http://www.ArticleGeek.com - Free Website Content

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