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Helping people keep up with their technology!
With the development of digital technology for audio visual devices and the increased bandwidth required to transmit high definition signals, HDMI was introduced as the new standard interface between digital devices.
So what are some things you should know about HDMI?
1. HDMI cables carry both the video signal and the audio signal. So only a single cable is required to connect your blu-ray player to your digital TV.
2. HDMI is currently at revision 1.4a which includes ethernet cabability. This will allow future audio video devices to connect to a network through the HDMI cable. HDMI is still being developed so more revisions can be expected.
3. Thicker cables are not better. Neither are expensive cables. Thicker cables usually just have extra plastic coating applied to make them look better. Expensive cables might have a fancy braided sheath over the plastic, or gold plated connectors. None of this will increase the quality of the picture or sound.
4. If your computer or laptop has a DVI port you can use a DVI – HDMI cable to connect to a digital TV without any loss of quality due to compatibility between the two interfaces. This allows you to use a large screen TV as a monitor.
I know a lot of people who haven’t had much to do with computers. They say things like “I don’t know what a Twitter is. What’s a Myspace or a Facebook?” These people would rarely look at a social media site, let alone sign up and participate.
However, the fact that these people know these names is proof of the far reaching impact these and other social media sites have had on the global community, both on and off-line.
There has never been a more exciting time to be a part of the online community. We are at a defining moment in history where the common people are challenging and pushing the boundaries of communication. On the online world it is the users, the everyday people, who shape and change the way the web works. In recent weeks social media has helped overthrow dictators, provided instant updates on natural disasters and linked milions of people who would never interact without the social web.
I would encourage everybody, old and young, to grab the opportunity to get online and stake your claim in this rich network of content all created by users. The best way to learn about Twitter, Myspace or Facebook is to log in and see what happens. There is no harm to be done and you will be helping to shape the way of global communication into the future.
New audio visual devices such as digital televisions, blu-ray players and media players contain so many features that the remote controls required to operate them have almost as many buttons than the keyboard on your PC. But why do we need so many buttons – many of which never get pressed?
The lack of a motion sensing input device – think of your computer mouse or a Wii remote – means that a menu is the only way to change settings on these products. All the buttons are simply shortcuts to certain pre-selected menu options.
A motion sensing remote requires a graphical user interface (GUI) like Windows, and a sensor capable of detecting the movement of the remote. A GUI would provide a more intuitive way of interacting with the device. Many televisions and blu-ray players are capable of connecting to the internet or a home network, and a GUI would allow the development of better features which utilise this connectivity.
Audio visual manufacturers have so far avoided this development in favour of utilising existing (however outdated) technology. Hopefully it won’t be too long before remote controls resemble a computer mouse rather than a keyboard.
If your PC or laptop exploded right now, would you lose any data you wish you’d backed up?
Electronic devices are becoming more affordable, but the information stored on them is often priceless. Luckily, portable hard drives makes it easy to backup your photos, videos, emails & documents so that if you do have to replace your computer, all your data is safe.
When selecting a portable hard drive, work out how much storage you will need so you don’t run out of space. When backing up your files, only backup files which cannot be replaced if you bought a new computer.
A USB portable hard drive will show up as a drive on your computer shortly after you plug it in, then simply copy & paste the files you want to back up. Some portable hard drives come with software pre-installed which automates the process once you tell it which files to back up.
Keep your back up drive in a safe place and don’t use your backup drive as an everyday use drive.
At around $70 for a 500GB USB hard drive you can’t afford not to get one.
Power fluctuations and blackouts can happen at any time, sometimes without you even knowing. Electronic devices are at risk from damage when they are not receiving the correct amount of power.
Many people use surge protectors for their sensitive electronics (often in the form of a double adaptor), but there is a better level of protection in the form of an Uniterruptible Power Supply (UPS).
A UPS regulates the power from your wall outlet & provides power to your electronic device at a constant level. It also contains batteries & an inverter enabling it to continue providing power during a blackout. A typical UPS is able to run a PC for 10-15 minutes without power, giving you plenty of time to safely shut down your computer. Many UPSs come with software that will automatically shut down your computer in a blackout.
For around $100.00 for a basic UPS, it is well worth the investment.