|Computer memory is called Random Access Memory (RAM). The information stored in RAM can be accessed randomly, rather than sequentially. This means that data can be found in any location at the same rate of speed. Other storage media, such as CD-Rom and hard drives, must wait while the drive spins to the correct location before the data can be accessed.Computer memory is simply a storage area for the program code and the data that program uses. Computer programs use RAM to write and retrieve information, allowing for fast data retrieval and manipulation.
How Much RAM is Enough?
Simply stated, the answer is, as much as possible. Keep in mind, though, once you’ve reached a certain upper limit, which is determined by the computer program(s) used, investment in more memory will see a diminished return.
Adding more memory is one of the best ways to maximize computer performance. If you compare 2 identical computer systems, the one with the most memory will over-all be the faster. More RAM allows the computer to place more program instructions into memory, relying less on the slower hard drive.
Think of 512 Megabytes (MB) as the base standard for a modern computer. With that you can multi-task (run several applications concurrently). For instance, you can check email and download MP3s, without noticeable sluggishness.
Some applications, however, are more memory-hungry than others. Graphics programs, for example, are notoriously greedy. Memory needs are further exagerated by the operating system used. Microsoft Windows is far more demanding than, say, Linux. Currently, most PCs use Windows, though.
Should you notice your computer slowing down, consider adding more memory. Before committing to that option, however, try de-fragmenting your hard drive with a utility (program) designed for that sole purpose. A fragmented hard drive is a common cause of stalled computer performance.
Types of RAM
Right now DDR SDRAM is the most popular memory module. DDR stands for Double Data Rate, which means that the memory can be accessed twice per clock-cycle. SDRAM, the acronym for Synchronous Data Random Access Memory, has been the standard for memory modules for nearly a decade.
To add memory to your computer, you must install modules with the correct contact layout. Before purchasing new memory, you must know which type your motherboard will accept. The most common form factors are 168 pin, 184 pin and 200 pin.
You’ll also need to know whether there are slots available on your motherboard. If all the slots are already in use, you’ll have to replace 1 or all of the current modules with higher capacity ones. If there is at least 1 free slot, you can simply buy a new memory module and insert it in the empty slot.
A word of caution: whereas some motherboards can accept either SDRAM or DDR SDRAM, the 2 types cannot be mixed. You must decide on 1 or the other. Check the motherboard manual first to determine which kind of memory your computer requires.
And finally, when you are ready to install your brand new memory module, make sure of 2 things: the power is off (for your safety) and you are electrically grounded (for your computer’s safety).
Registry Cleaners: Why do you need one?
|The registry is the place where your computer stores the configuration information about your computer and your installed programs so that your operating system can use them.Maintaining the registry is an important step in keeping your computer healthy. Registry problems can include slow performance, computer crashing, and the annoyingh Microsoft Windows error messages.
If any of these describes you as a computer user:
– Has old drivers on their system that have not been removed.
– Installs or uninstalls software very often.
– Have third party programs running such as Spyware and Adware (you can’t stop these from being installed)
– Remove software by deleting them from the Program Files folder.
– Installs or Uninstalls hardware.
Then you absolutely need to be repairing your Microsoft Windows registry regularly! All of the above leave traces in your registry that will only hurt your computer in the long run. If you don’t clean your computer to fix your registry than you are going to be in a whole world of trouble.
Make sure that you backup your registry before you try to clean or fix anything. Most registry cleaners have registry backup automatically for you, but be sure to check them out. Remember, don’t try to edit anything in the registry yourself unless you are very computer savvy.
Why do you need a registry cleaner? Registry cleaners are important because it protects your PC from harmful processes. Is your computer slowing down for no apparent reason? Are you having errors that are not solved by your anti-virus or anti-spyware program? Your PC might be affected by applications that are running without your knowledge. Registry cleaners are a must! Registry cleaners ensure that your registry is clean.
Some errors are just a quick registry fix, while others could be more problematic.
If you keep your registry clean, free of viruses and spyware your computer will last much longer. Spend the time or money now for a registry cleaner to save you even more time or money later down the road.
If you are short on cash then there is a free registry cleaner available that I use exclusively. The program is called Error Nuker and it is a free ware registry cleaner. Error Nuker works on Windows XP, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows NT4, and Windows 2000. Microsoft Windows does NOT come with a registry cleaner.
Are They Watching You Online?
|When surfing the Internet you probably take your anonymity
for granted, most of us do.Tapping phones, listening to confidential conversations,
reading others’ e-mail messages seems like something that
only happens in spy movies to “other” people.
However, you probably don’t realize just how much
information about yourself has the potential to get
transmitted across the Internet every time you go online.
Every computer connected to the Internet has “ports” that
allow it to connect. A “port” doesn’t mean you have a
physical hole or opening in your computer’s case or
hardware, but it does mean you have openings through which
information passes back and forth between your computer and
Depending on the type of connection (dial up, LAN, cable,
DSL), you may have several openings for potential mischief
by hackers, malicious code or viruses.
Computers with dedicated connections rate the most at risk.
If someone or something gets into one of these ports and
into your computer, they can potentially watch everything
you do and see all the data you enter, including social
security numbers and credit card information.
The easiest way to defeat this problem involves using a
firewall. Firewalls, simple and inexpensive software
available at virtually any office supply or computer store,
block the most common ports hackers use to enter your
Firewalls also help you detect and block unauthorized
transmission of information from your computer to the
Internet. This adds a significant measure of protection if
you get infected with a Trojan Horse virus that tries to
“phone home” to the hacker with your sensitive information.
If you’d like to test your connection for vulnerability to
attack, log on to http://security1.norton.com and run the
various diagnostics. I would strongly advise anyone
connected to the Internet through DSL or cable to get and
use a firewall to protect against unauthorized access.
Infected with “Spyware?”
Previously we talked about unauthorized access to your
computer. But a growing problem online with people watching
you and your activities involves using programs you
willingly place on your computer.
Commonly called “Spyware,” this refers to any program that
transmits information about you to someone else without you
knowing exactly what gets sent. The main purpose of Spyware
involves tracking your surfing habits so advertisers know
which targeted ads to send you.
Most Spyware basically comes onto your computer bundled
with other software applications, as a standalone program,
or as modification to the HTML on a web page.
Regardless of how you get it, you need to understand
exactly what information gets transmitted about you so you
can decide whether to keep or uninstall the software. Plain
and simple, these Spyware programs can potentially reveal
extremely sensitive information about you and your online
If you have concerns about Spyware and whether or not your
computer currently carries any, log on to www.lavasoft.de
and check out the free PC software that will scan your
system for known Spyware.