Archive for the ‘ Computers ’ Category

Improve game speed and performance in Windows

Computer games are designed for certain hardware configurations and software settings. However, the users may not have a machine as stipulated by the game manufacturers. A game that requires larger system resources will get to slow down and lag under such conditions. A Windows computer has a lot of internal services that use the existing system resources, and therefore, we need to tune its features for an optimal gaming environment. In this post, we will show you how you can improve the gaming speed and performance in Windows with the selection of proper hardware and software settings.

Each game vendor will specify a minimum and recommended settings for their games. The minimum setting is that required hardware and software specs to make the game work under its basic settings. You can find the compatibility of your system for all popular games using the online tool available here. Just select the game from the drop-down box and start setting. Make sure that you install the ActiveX control (Internet Explorer) or JRE ( in Firefox)when it is prompted. The resulting page will display the compatibility of your system with the selected game, and sometimes suggestions-additional hardware/software perquisites required to run the game.

Another option is to use CPU-Z or GPU-Z to find the detailed features of the processor and graphics card used in the system. In case your computer doesn’t have the required specs as per the game manual, you can use the following techniques free up system sources and speed up games to certain extend.

Upgrade the DirectX version: Microsoft’s DirectX is a library of APIs that is used by game developers for programming their products in Windows environment. The latest version of DirectX ensures compatibility of the game with Windows and underlying hardware architecture. You can download DirectX installer here.

Update graphics cards drivers and software: Drivers works as a link between the software and hardware. If you are using a graphics card, you need to install the drivers supplied by manufacturer, for the computer to detect them and add it to the devices list. The speed and performance of the games are directly proportional to the video card and the processor so having latest drivers would improve the latency of the total system. You can use Windows update or some automatic driver update software like Driver Genius to find and install up-to date game drivers.

Use an Antivirus software that has inbuilt gaming Mode: As you might know, Antivirus software scans every single action and changes in a PC. So they might interfere with files and process initiated by games, and that would lead to slow response and reduction in overall performance. Therefore, we should exit the Antivirus software before playing a game or just switch to another product that comes with gaming mode. For instance, Kaspersky Internet security 2011 comes with gaming mode option. Here what you need is just to click ” activate gaming mode” before starting a game.

Defrag system drives, registry and optimize RAM: Fragmentation of files and registry entries would reduce the speed and performance of games to a great level. To change this the files should be arranged in such a way that the ones accessed more will come at the top of the file system, and this process is known as defragmentation. You can either use default Windows Defragmentation tool or find a freeware alternative to do this. Make sure that you clean all junk files before starting Defragmentation. The optimization of RAM is nothing but clearing unwanted processes from RAM and freeing up the resources for other apps.

Increase system page file: System Page file is a virtual memory backup that can be used at times. The technology treats a portion of hard disk as a virtual RAM in case if there is a deficiency in resources. You can increase or decrease page file by going to Computer Properties> Advanced settings> Virtual Memory.

Disable visual effects: You will find Visual Effects options in the Advanced System Settings menu. Choosing best performance will disable all animations, theme effects, etc. used in Windows interface. It will take you to the classic mode in which games would perform in a better way.

Stop unwanted services and startup entries: Check this article to find the Windows services that you can disable without any issues. Unwanted startup entries can be disabled by going to System Configuration. Press Win key+R> Enter msconfig and move to startup- then disable all unwanted stuff. Make sure to keep entries and services created by Game installers.

Use game optimization software: There are a lot of game optimization software available in the market. One of our favorite programs in this sector is Iobit’s Game Optimizer 2. The advantage of such a software is that we don’t need to perform the aforementioned tasks manually- they will have a Wizard Driven interface that does everything in a matter of seconds. You can buy Game Booster Pro for $9 from the official website or download their free version. Otherwise, just leave a valuable comment on this post. We have two license keys of the Game Booster, that we acquired through their recent FaceBook giveaway. The first and second commentators will win them.

If you are really into gaming, we advise you to upgrade your computer hardware rather than comprising it on visual quality, just for a speed boost. This because freeing up resources doesn’t help much in playing games that have 3D effects and advanced animations.

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Images SEO tips

1. Name images correctly: Be it on Blogger or WordPress platform, the most important part of the image SEO is the naming. We usually process and upload mobile, camera or web images directly to our blog without caring about how it is named. Make sure that the image includes targeted keywords with _ or – separating words. The image format is not a problem, but it seems that .JPG is widely preferred. An image with the proper name will get more preference from search engines than a RAW image.

2. Fill ALT and Captions: Alt tag means alternative tags. These tags are used by search engines to recognize images. A simple implementation of an ALT tab is given below.

”image

Here the text filed between alt=”” gives a rough idea of the image to the search engines and they will position it accordingly. Moreover, people using a text-only browser or a screen reader can easily understand the image details by reading these tags. If you are on Google Blogger platform, you have to add ALT tags manually after uploading images. It can be done from the the HTML editor after uploading the image. In WordPress you have options to add ALT tags right from the image uploader.

3. Position the image inside or nearer to an article formatted within the SEO rules.

4. Link to the image with anchor text as the required keyword.

6. In WordPress, check your robots.txt file and make sure that your images are allowed to get indexed. If you are using Blogger, there is another step to make your images SEO friendly and available in the search engines. Many of the bloggers suing blogspot.com doesn’t know that their images are automatically uploaded to Google Picasa. Usually these images are private and held as unlisted. To make them public, go to any album on Picasa> Edit> album properties> Now select public and save. You can label each image in the album section for more search engine visibility.

7. Edit and crop images to avoid duplicates: The search engines are now powerful than it was before. Google Image Search has several options that let you choose images based on color, type and other factors. Also there are some services like Google Goggles that let you search the web by taking a photo of an object. So that means, Google knows the properties of all existing images in its search index. So when you’re copying an image from Google search, crop it and add text and other details to make it stand-out from other copies.

The above given are some of the best on-page image SEO techniques to get better rankings. However, the actual position of the images in search may vary depending upon the incoming links to page, website quality, Home page PageRank and many other factors. You can build external links by bookmarking images to Digg, Reddit, Mixx and other similar services.

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Philosophy of Data

Why Are Keyboards QWERTY?


The arrangement of the first six letters in the top alphabet row of a standard keyboard – QWERTY – goes way back. The layout was created in 1873 when Christopher Latham Sholes made improvements to his earlier typewriter models in order to design a quicker and more efficient typewriter for E. Remington and Sons.

Sholes noticed the alphabetical layout of the keys in his original models tended to jam, so he changed their order, spreading the most common pairs of letters farther apart. Sholes’ QWERTY model was named the Remington and became available as the first commercial typewriter in 1874.

Since then, many alternatives to QWERTY have been created, such as the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard (named after professor and co-creator August Dvorak) and the Colemak keyboard layout. Even though these new keyboards are designed to increase typing speed while maintaining ergonomic considerations, QWERTY remains the standard.

“The QWERTY keyboard layout was developed to reduce keys jamming on mechanical typewriters to improve typist productivity,” Alan Hedge, a professor in the Department of Design and Environmental Analysis at Cornell University, where he directs the Human Factors and Ergonomics research programs.

“These days computers don’t have keys that jam, but even though QWERTY isn’t the optimal keyboard layout, it’s not the worst and it seems that we’re stuck with it,” Hedge told Life’s Little Mysteries.

As in other behaviors, it seems, humans are creatures of habit:

“With electronic keyboards, there is no need for QWERTY, but people have become accustomed to the design and that is why it continues to be used,” explained Robert L. Goldberg, a professor at the University of California’s Ergonomics Program.

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Is the Computer Mouse Destined for Extinction?


The first consumer computer equipped with a computer mouse became available 29 years ago today. And while three decades is a good run for any technology, advances in gesture and touch technology have challenged the mouse’s dominance as the primary device for graphical interface. Although they disagree on the rate and scale of the transition, experts agree that the mouse’s days of ubiquity are numbered.

More recently, other tools have also threatened the mouse’s preeminence. The multitouch technology used in the screens of Apple’s iPhones and iPads has shown that users only need a finger to point and click. And professionals who need specialized tools for their work have already moved on from mice to other devices, such as artists and designers who create drawings using Wacom’s Cintiq tablet and stylus.

“I’ll give it another decade,” Saffer said. “The mouse is definitely in decline, if not ending. It’s already on the endangered species list.”

While no one disputes the eventual decline in mouse use, not everyone thinks the mouse will disappear quite so completely. Alternative input devices may replace the mouse in some contexts, but the mouse still performs better in many situations than gesture and touch inputs, said Bill Buxton, a researcher at Microsoft and input specialist.

In Buxton’s view, every device is the best-suited tool for some tasks and the worst-suited tool for others. He believes the mouse will become less widely used, but will not go extinct.

“I think it’s safe to say that the mouse is never going away. Multitouch won’t replace the mouse any more than television replaced cinema,” Buxton said.

For ease in switching between a keyboard and a pointing device, the mouse still reigns uncontested, Buxton said. But for other tasks currently accomplished with a mouse, users should expect an ecosystem of new devices as diverse as the tasks a computer can perform.

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