When you load a website, or use any other fully qualified domain name (ie, www.macfixit.com), the name needs to be resolved to something that your computer can use, such as an IP address. The service that does this is DNS, or "Domain Name System", which is essentially the index or address book for the internet. The DNS network consists of servers and resolvers that work to cache and propagate a distributed hierarchical database of internet names, domains, and subdomains. The resolved IP addresses are sent to the client system (your computer) when you make a DNS request.… Read more
Backblaze's service mimics other, more popular services like Mozy (Windows | Mac) and Carbonite (Windows). Users need only to download its uploading software to their computers and create an account. Once complete, Backblaze starts backing up the contents of the user's computer to its data center.
Backblaze backs up all files on the computer, except for the operating system, temporary files, apps, or files over 4GB in size. Uploading … Read more
In step with the release of Windows Mobile 6.5 phones, Microsoft also graduated its My Phone syncing service for Windows phones (6.0-6.5) from beta to a full release. As we reported earlier this morning, most of the new features are premium additions to help you find your phone if it gets lost or stolen. We'll get to these later on. For the most part, the My Phone service acts as we expect it to--as a small app you download onto your phone, with the bulk of the management taking place on your dashboard online.
Sure enough, after downloading My Phone and signing in with your Windows Live ID (or signing up for a new one), you'll pick from a list of data types you want to sync. These include contacts, calendar items, notes, tasks, memos, photos, and videos, songs and text messages, and documents.
Syncing took over a half hour the first time around, but we were on a terribly weak EDGE connection. Let that be a lesson to all. In the style of our times, the online dashboard resembles an e-mail in-box. From it, you can view the contents of your phone, and to some extent manage certain aspects. for instance, you can add a new calendar item and comfortably edit contact info from the desktop keyboard, but we haven't found a way to add a contact or create a new text message. You can upload songs from any desktop to remotely load onto your phone, but My Phone missed the smattering of songs we already had on the phone. The photo sharing feature is more fleshed out, with options to publish images to Windows Live, Facebook, Flickr, and MySpace.
We're bummed that Microsoft hasn't broadened the syncing and sharing capabilities since My Phone's beta days. With so many other start-ups creating fuller featured in-boxes and management dashboards than My Phone, it seems to us that Microsoft has unnecessarily reinvented the wheel.… Read more
The developer of the Moonlight software that enables Silverlight applications to run on Linux computers said on Monday that he is ready to start publicly beta testing an update to the software.
Moonlight 2.0 is aimed at achieving compatibility with sites written for Silverlight 2.0, but incorporates the media pipeline and a few other features of Silverlight 3.0, de Icaza said. Microsoft released Silverlight 3.0 last month.
The beta is available both as source … Read more
Consumers have had the option of 64-bit Windows computing since the release of Windows XP Professional x64 Edition in May 2005, four years after the release of Windows XP 32-bit. At the end of 2006, Windows Vista 32-bit and 64-bit versions were released simultaneously. Yet chances are you're currently using a machine that runs the 32-bit version of Windows.
This is about to change. Windows 64-bit has started to gain a significant foothold in the past two years as more systems ship with 3GB or more of memory. However, with Windows 7, 64-bit computing is likely to become even more common.
What's the difference between 32-bit and 64-bit computing? In a nutshell, the numbers refer to the amount of bits a computer can process in one computation. They also translate into the amount of random access memory (RAM) a computer can address. A 32-bit Windows computer can address a maximum of 4GB of RAM, while a 64-bit Windows machine can address up to 128GB and even more (64-bit applications can address theoretically up to 16 billion gigabytes of memory). So the higher number of bit means better computing, both in terms of precision and capability.
Despite the potential, the transition to the new platform has been slow. This is because of the high price of RAM and the lack of device drivers and 64-bit software applications. (Drivers are a special type of software that make hardware components work with the operating system. Without the sound driver, for example, your computer wouldn't be able to play music.)
Back when Windows Vista was released, 2GB of RAM, which is the recommended amount to make Vista run properly, could easily cost a couple hundred dollars. (This is one of the reasons Vista failed so badly as a new OS release.) There was virtually no 64-bit application then, either, other than a few game demos, and most hardware vendors didn't provide the 64-bit version of the drivers. Apart from this, 32-bit computers have been able to satisfy most of our daily computing needs. … Read more
On Wednesday, Sharpcast, SugarSync's developer, released a version of the cross-platform multimedia syncing management software for Android phones and Netbooks. SugarSync for Android lets you view and download files on your Android Netbook or mobile phone, and upload local files to your free or premium SugarSync repository.
The sharp eyes over at the Google Operating System blog noticed that Google quietly changed some wording in Google Docs from "PDFs" to "files." While small, this could signal that Google Docs may soon support the viewing and editing of other file types, and possibly double as an online storage service--like the fabled GDrive.
Google has long-allowed users to upload PDFs to Docs. These could be viewed in Google's online viewer, but not edited. However, the service would not allow other items such as photos and videos to be imported, despite Google offering other … Read more
Summer road trips are in full swing. But before you set out for your vacation, you'll need to remember to keep yourCar services in good shape. If you're mechanically inclined, you might be able to do that yourself. If not, check out some of these services that can help you out.
2CarPros 2CarPros might look like a simple question-and-answer site at first glance, but with some digging, you'll find it to be one of the most informative sites in this roundup.
Once you get to 2CarPros, you can immediately start sifting through the site's huge database of car repair information. Everything from an oil change to refurbishing an engine is included in its database. If you want to ask the Pros questions, you'll need to sign up for the site. But if you want to the most value, 2CarPros has a videos section, providing several clips on how to repair your vehicle. It's a really informative site.
DriverSide If you're looking to find out when you should be performing routine repairs on your car, DriverSide is the place to go.
Once you get to the site, you'll need to input the kind of car you own. From there, the service will estimate its value, tell you when you'll need to get its oil changed, and list all the other service you need to have done at certain times throughout the car's lifespan. If you can't do the work yourself, DriverSide even tells you where to find a mechanic near you. It's a neat site.
FuelClinic FuelClinic determines how well your car is managing its fuel consumption. After you sign up for the site, you need only to input your car's information, tell the service how much you spent the last couple times you filled up, and the site will return calculations on your miles per gallon and how much you will be spending on gas going forward. It's not the most advanced fuel-monitoring service in this roundup, but it's simple, which might make it attractive to some.… Read more
Portable Document Formats (PDFs) are one of those file formats that can cause quite a headache. Sometimes, you want to convert them to a Word file. Other times, you want to convert the Word file to a PDF. But doing so isn't always easy.
Luckily for you, there are a variety of online tools that can modify PDF files quickly and easily. Here are some of my favorites that work right in your browser:
Create Adobe PDF Online does a number of things well. It can convert a variety of file formats to PDF including applications and Web pages. It can also combine multiple PDFs into a single file. When you choose to convert a file, you have the option of getting it e-mailed to you in an attachment, or simply have it load up in your browser. In either case, it takes a couple of minutes for it to deliver the finished product, making it a little slower than some of the other tools in this roundup. If you can wait though, it works quite well.
Document Converter eXPress from Neevia is a feature-packed app that lets you convert files from any number of formats into a PDF. You can choose from image files like JPEG, PNG, TIFF, and BMP. You're also able to roll back the file's compatibility to be able to work with previous versions of Adobe Acrobat, dating back to version 3.0. There's also a tool to add encryption and a watermark.
Loop PDF is one of the simplest PDF conversion tools in this roundup. You have to create an account to use it, but after you do, the free tool lets you add PDFs from your computer or URLs, and combine them into a single document. You can also convert other file types into PDFs. Loop PDF easily converted files in just a few seconds for me.… Read more
I've been raving a lot lately about the importance of backing up, and it seems I still haven't done enough to get my point across.
Case in point: since my most recent backup-related post, I have received multiple e-mails asking how to retrieve files that have been accidentally deleted.
The right question is: Is it even possible to retrieve lost files? And the answer is, it depends. Once you have deleted a file (and even emptied the Recycle Bin), the information from the file is still on the hard drive. As long as the same spot of hard disk hasn't been used by another file, it's possible to get that file back. So, the earlier you try to recover, the more likely it is you will be successful.
Note that during a normal operation, a computer does a lot of writing to the hard drive, because it uses hard drive space as scrap notes for different computations. If you need to recover a lot of data from a main hard drive, where the operation system is installed, it's best to put that hard drive into another computer to do the recovery.
There are many software applications that can recover data, and I was given the opportunity to try out the new 3.0 version of Undelete Plus Tuesday. This is the update to the free version of Undelete Plus 2.93, which can be found at Download.com.
Compared with the free version, this update's new interface is much easier to use.… Read more