FacebookMySpaceTwitterDiggDeliciousStumbleuponGoogle BookmarksRedditNewsvineTechnoratiLinkedinMixxRSS FeedPinterest

iTechBlog

What's The Difference Between Micro And Mini USB?

Lately, many people have noticed an increasing trend to use Micro USB cables where, previously, companies would have used a Mini USB connector. There are a few different reasons as to why this makes more sense from a business perspective - smaller parts means less expense, for instance - but is it a good thing or a bad thing for the consumer? Well, rather than a simple yes or no answer, it's best to give a full explanation of the differences between the two standards.

First of all, let's get the obvious difference out of the way. Micro USB is smaller than Mini USB. The Micro connector is roughly half the size of its Mini counterpart. It is a similar width when viewed straight on from the top but much slimmer when viewed from the side. This has a benefit of decreasing the size change from cable to connector which helps prevent a somewhat serious problem. Cheaper Mini cables would, if used frequently enough, actually experience wire breakage inside the cable at the point where the cable and connector meet. The reason is a bit involved but the short version is that the size difference led to a stress point on the wire at the meeting point. The smaller size of the Micro's connector decreases this stress which leads to less wire breakages.

Micro USB connectors also have another significant advantage over Mini connectors. If you have a Micro connector nearby, take a careful look at it and you'll notice two small, thin strips, almost like hooks, on one of the flat sides. Mini connectors didn't have these which is a shame. You see, these small pieces of metal are actually there to help keep the cable securely in place inside whatever device they're plugged into. Due to their small size and particular shape, however, they manage to keep the cable secure without causing any problems with removal or insertion of the connector. If you've ever tried to plug in a power supply or data cable that uses a piece of plastic that must be pushed down to remove it, you'll instantly understand how nice a feature it is to keep the ease of insertion and removal without sacrificing connection security. Another design advantage that Micro has over Mini is simply the different shapes of the connectors. Mini, much like the original USB connectors, can sometimes refuse to go inside for whatever reason, regardless of whether it's right side up or not. With Micro, however, as long as the connector is right side up it will almost always slide in easily the first time, assuming no obstructions or debris are on the connector or in the slot.

For these basic reasons, it's easy to see why Micro is replacing Mini as the USB cable of choice for such frequent use devices as cell phones, bluetooth headsets, and the like. That's not to say, however, that Mini is going away any time soon. Mini is a perfect choice for devices that use thicker cables and aren't being frequently moved, such as external CD, DVD, and hard drives. That being said, the choice to switch from Mini to Micro isn't just good for the companies making that switch. In the end, it's also a good move for anyone who uses their products.

About the Author

Michael Alvarez has been working in the electronics and technology field for over 20 years.  He enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise of micro and mini usb cables with others; while continuing to grow his knowledge.

What to look for in an affordable gaming laptop?

Gaming laptops are easily the most powerful laptops alongside those for video editing. Affordability in a gaming laptop is much sought-after quality but is fraught with a few compromises. As a benchmark, the best gaming laptops are those that can play the latest and most demanding RPG and FPS games at their highest game settings and at default resolutions, usually at full HD (1920 x 1080) resolution. When we say “it can play” that means no stuttering or temporary frame freezing caused by reduced frame rates that can cause a gamer to miss a hit or lose a point when aiming for the score to get to the next level. The best gaming laptops are often above the $2,000 price point. But with some compromises, you can have a rewarding gaming experience on laptops less that this price point. Here are some things to consider:

Processor

Just about all laptops today have dual-core CPU from either Intel or AMD but a quad core can provide future –proofing that will allow you to play the newest games well into the next 2 years as newer games are increasingly making use of multiple hyper-threading. The Intel Core i7 3960X lords it over in the performance benchmarks among quad core engines but any laptop that uses it is also at the highest price points. The lower i7 engines like the 3630QM down to the 3210M can do just as well for gaming but at lower prices. Even Intel i5 quad cores can do the job and cost significantly less. Quad core AMD engines such as the A10 series may not be as powerful as their Intel counterparts but they also provide the muscle for serious gaming. In addition, the L2 and L3 cache in these CPUs, is usually 6MB to 8MB, aid in boosting gaming performance.

Graphics

Without a doubt, the graphics card determines what you can play on your laptop and is, for all intents and purposes, the main hardware component that defines if your laptop is for gaming or not. There are broadly three classes of GPUs based on performance and while we recommend Class 1 cards if you want to play the most demanding games released over the last two years at their high settings, very few of them can be had at affordable prices.. The MSI GT70 0NE-609US for instance uses an i7-3630QM GPU and is paired to one of the top ten most powerful single-card GPUs, the NVidia GeForce GTX 680M, which costs $2,800. On the other hand, the Lenovo Y500 can be considered the most affordable gaming laptop at slightly less than $1,000. It is powered by the same i7-3630QM CPU and is paired to two Class 2 GeForce GT 650M configured in SLI which puts the GPU tandem among the lower end Class 1 graphics engine.

A mid-range GPU in the Class 2 category is often found in affordable gaming laptops, starting with the NVidia GT 750M and the AMD Radeon HD 8850M. These cards provide smooth graphics for the most demanding games but only at reduced medium game settings at low to medium HD resolution. Some of the better ones, even in the Class 1 category get a boost in performance by using GDDR5 video RAM instead of the usual DDR3 VRAM.

Display

The largest laptops can only offer 17-18 inch displays and they are the most expensive with all other things equal. Laptop displays are now mostly using LED backlit TFT screens that come in three HD resolution levels – 1366 x 768, 1600 x 900, and full HD at 1920 x 1080. Given the fact that class 2 graphics cards in the affordable range of gaming laptops can’t play many of the most sophisticated games at full HD resolution, it often doesn’t make sense to choose a laptop with full HD. A 15-inch display with 1366 x 768 resolution is often found in affordable gaming laptops, though a few great buys like the Lenovo Y500 has full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution on its 15 inch screen.

Don’t bother with IPS (In Plane Switching) LCD displays found in expensive laptops. They benefit two or more people watching movies on a laptop, thanks to its ability to maintain consistent color accuracy at a wider viewing angle. On the other hand, gamers are always smack centered on the display when playing games, so the ordinary and cheaper TFT TN (Twisted Nematic) screens are just fine.

Memory

RAM prices are relatively low these days, and most decent gaming laptops have at least 8 GB RAM. And if you are using a 64-bit OS, having a 16 GB RAM is advantageous. While system RAM matters a lot for CPU intensive apps, the video RAM mentioned above matters more in a gaming laptop.

Data Storage

This is a major component in the affordability of a gaming laptop. Most laptops today have 1TB SATA drives running at 5400 rpm as standard. Unless you want to store all your games in your laptop, hard drives don’t matter much to a serious gamer unlike having a solid state drive (SSD) as this improves the speed in loading game data. But these are expensive. A 512GB SSD, the highest capacity SSD to date, costs around $400. If you play games online, SSD is not necessary. But if you play games where you notice that going from one scene to the next pauses the game and you can hear the hard disk whirling to fetch texture maps or data, then an SSD is a secondary drive bay that can be advantageous.

Speakers

The only way for laptops to deliver adequate sound is through a good headphone or powered external speakers. You can’t expect those tiny speakers even if advertised as coming from Bang & Olufsen or other HiFi speaker companies to deliver full-bodied sound which can only add to the price tag.

Data Connectivity Features

Wireless (WiFi, WLAN, Bluetooth v2 and 3) and wired data connectivity (USB, Ethernet, monitor ports like VGA, DVI, HDMI and Display Port) are pretty much standard in most laptops and will often vary in terms of how many ports are offered as you go up the price ladder. If you are going to connect to a large 42-inch HDTV or monitor, be sure it has an HDMI 1.3 port. The most important is WiFi and USB, allowing you to go online in WiFi Hotspots for online gaming, and transferring data wirelessly to other USB-equipped devices.

Conclusion

The serious gamer looking for an affordable laptop should first know what game or games he wants to play and what compromises he is willing to accept when playing them on a laptop. If he wants to play Metro: Last night at the highest possible game setting and screen resolution, only best laptop under 500 laptops with the top 10 Class 1 GPUs will do, and that means top dollars. But can he be happy paying it at low to medium game setting and resolution? If so, he can be successful in finding an affordable gaming laptop using Class 2 GPUs.

About

Kathrine Copeland is a real gamer. She is passionate about laptop and gaming gadget. You can read one of her cool article that is called: . She made a nice chart comparing the top gaming laptop under 500.

Ways to Recover Files From a Dying or Dead Computer

Are you worried about the booting issue and on top of that, your important files are trapped inside? We have made an attempt to help you out in recovering those files. However it cannot be assured, as the cause of booting could be a hard disk failure and in this case, it would be hard to get the files recovered. Probably, you can seek the help of some professional data recovery service.

Option: Use a Linux Live CD or a Windows Installation disc

Before you get started with this process, bear a fact in mind that this process will not work for a hardware failed computer. Good to go? Alright! Booting issue may occur due to a damaged Windows Installation and this doesn’t mean a dead computer, so you can make use of an installation disc to make an attempt to recover the files.

Insert the disc and it will start its work. If it boots from the disc, then it shows that your hardware is not still dead. To continue with the recovery process, you have to make use of the Linux or Windows environment. Connect any external USB device and get your files copied.

Do not worry about issues while copying the files, as you will have a Linux desktop to carry out the process. This method is awfully helpful, the moment you realize that your hard disk is on the verge of failure. Computer may not boot, but you will be able to pull all important files of your dying hard disk.

Option: Pull the hard drive out and transfer it to another computer

There are chances that the Linux disc doesn’t boot. Don’t be disappointed, there is yet another way that you can try. Chance of most of the hardware components failure is a possible cause that Linux disc is not booting, but your hard disk might not be affected. In that case, you can transfer the hard disk from the existing system to a properly working system, so that you can pull out the files. If it is a laptop, then be careful because you may void the warranty, but it is not risky to open up an old computer. Of course, opening desktops is not a problem.

It is not a daunting task to remove the hard disk from the inside of a computer. Unplug the cable from the power outlet, before opening the case. Locate the hard drive, remove the cables and unscrew it completely and pull it out of its slot.

Once the hard disk has been pulled out, you can place it in another system in the reverse process, as you did while removing it. If it is the hard drive of a laptop and you have a desktop to put it into, then you need to get drive bays, so that you can connect it to another computer. Turn on this computer, let it boot from its hard disk and copy the files from the old hard drive.

This process is simple for desktops, but you may have a tough time with the laptops, even tougher with the closed laptops. If it is a closed laptop, it is better to call over a technician.

The best thing that you can do to avoid this headache is to take frequent backups. It might be disappointing upon a computer or a hard disk failure, but it will scare you of any loss with a fear of losing the files.

About the Author

Robert R. is an avid guest blogger who writes on behalf of My Tech Gurus. He enjoys sharing his knowledge with the everyday computer user, by helping them with common errors, especially Windows installer errors and slow computer problems. Check out his articles at the Mytechgurus blog.

Better SEO through Google Analytics

There are many different methods of accomplishing effective SEO. One could easily fill hundreds of blog posts with techniques, tips and tricks for increasing your website’s ranking. Though the field can be diverse and sometimes intimidating, there is one thing that all of these methods always have in common: They are only as effective as the information that guides them.

As we all know, SEO’s generally target Google versus smaller players such as Bing or Yahoo. . Google’s vast market stranglehold means they are the first target on any SEO’s list. Fortunately, because of this they have provided a massive amount of tools to aid in the process of obtaining increased rankings, so long as those gains are legitimate. No tool is more powerful for this process than their very own software, Google Analytics.

It simply not in Google’s interests to allow artificially inflated rankings. Google wants you to be at the top of search engine result pages as much as you do, so long as you are providing actual content that is relevant to the search query. In order to facilitate this, Google Analytics gives you a massive amount of information related website traffic, queries, keywords, goals, content, and a massive host of other metrics. The amount of information available can sometimes be daunting, but with time and experience Google Analytics can be an invaluable tool.

One part of Search Engine Optimization is ensuring that your website ranks highly in search results, but converting the traffic into ROI requires an understanding your target demographic. Google Analytics reports can be used to determine what search queries are actually producing meaningful results, instead of driving confused searchers who didn’t actually have any interest in your content or products. While thousands of visitors might look impressive, if the bounce rate is enormous or there is a poor Goal Conversion Rate, it’s simply wasted bandwidth. Top Google analytics metrics include:

  • Traffic Sources

  • Audience Behavior

  • Content Overview

Traffic source reports can help you understand where time is best invested in future marketing efforts. Does Facebook drive a lot of traffic? It’s time to clean up that page and start updating it as frequently as possible. Seeing a lot of direct traffic, but very few referrals? A worthwhile strategy may be seeking out backlinking opportunities such as guest blogging or submission to relevant web directories. A Google Analytics traffic source report identify targets for Search Engine Optimization, forming a future strategy.

Audience behavior may be the first indication of a problem. It should be seen as a warning light, letting you know when current methods are working or if something is broken. For example, an exceptionally high bounce rate can indicate that the website is ranking for broad terms that are confusing searchers. Low amounts of new traffic, or returning visitors can also indicate problems. Seeing the breakdown of this can help you decide what needs to be done to improve whichever is more important to your website.

Lastly, the content overview report is like having a personal assistant, monitoring 24-7 with vital information about what’s good and what’s not good about your website.  The report will let you know what pages are getting a lot of visits and it will show which pages users are spending the longest time on.  These metrics measure user experience in an easily digestible report. The fastest way to improve this experience is to get your hands dirty in Google Analytics. While consumers vote with their wallets, Internet users vote with their time. The more time a visitor is willing to invest on a page, the better indication it is of highly relevant content.

This Guest Post Was Written by Vance Woodward at SearcherMagnet; an Adwords Certified Partner specializing in Google Analytics, SEO and PPC.

Redefining The Future With Google Glass

By now, you’ve probably seen the video showing us the potential uses of Google Glass, the technology giant’s foray into unique methods of mobile computing. With the use of a head-mounted display attached to wearable glasses, the user can activate computer functions such as take pictures, record videos or share data with peer networks.

At first glance, it sounds like just another simple tool for entertainment and social media development. However, the speculation as to its possible uses in business operations can redefine how certain processes are executed. In a nutshell, it all boils down to the following question:

What does Google Glass mean for certain business elements?

Read on and feel free to reflect on how this revolutionary gadget might help drive your business forward.

Data Mining and Documentation

One of the key contributors to having an efficient system is ensuring that data is ready to be analysed and worked on as soon as it is acquired. For visual records, management would usually employ various camera techniques to ensure that every detail is captured. With Google Glass, the assigned supervisor can walk along the different stages of development, and they can take verbal notes about the observations they see in real time. The file can then be uploaded immediately to the company’s servers, ready to be prepared for analysis and evaluation. Internet speeds have been steadily increasing, and cloud solutions have made it possible to have access to mobile storage.

Office Training and Demonstrations

Google Glass can be utilised to provide trainees with an actual perspective of what they will experience while doing their tasks in their respective department. Trainers can display a visual demonstration which will help desensitize the experience of doing the job for the first time. The trainees can also wear the equipment themselves, and management can analyse skills and expertise based on the video recorded. We may then get to see more video manuals be incorporated into products, as it would be simpler to set up a recording of instructions.

Conferences and Client meetings

During deliberations involving company wide decisions, tension is usually alleviated when visual data is available. With Google Glass, there won’t be much need to rely on assumptions and personal conviction. A representative can show the management team the conditions in warehouses or the state of equipment still kept in stock. It’s much easier to explain a concept when the viewer can watch a scene from the same perspective.

Advertising

Companies may soon be given more opportunities to advertise their products to Google Glass users. Augmented Reality has existed for a while, and it’s just a matter of time before every brand is able conjure up their own advertising strategies based on this technology. If you want a head start against competition, it is highly suggested that you do research on the subject early in order to prepare your creative team adequately.

As with most technology, Google Glass is still cruising along its early phases of social consciousness. You can expect that the response from users will drive the developers to eventually come up with a useful version—a product that will become an essential part of your business strategy.

Author Bio Anna Francesca writes about technological developments for efficient business processes and identification of enterprise opportunities. She's also a strong supporter of leading consumer trends which bring lifestyle solutions. For thoughts on latest tech news, you may follow her on Google+.

OS X Keyboard Shortcuts

Startup  
Key Effect
C Start from CD
D Start from 1st Partition
N Start from Net Server
R Resets laptop screen
S Single-user boot
V Verbose Mode
OptPR Zap PRAM
V Unix console msgs
   
Power Keys Effect
Ctrleject icon Shutdown, sleep, restart
Opteject icon Sleep
CtrlOpteject icon Shutdown
Ctrlpower Restart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FTC 16 CFR Part 255 Disclosure

Since 2006, iTechGuide.com has provided independent reviews. Our reviews, ratings and awards are not based on any incentives or commissions. Notwithstanding, to keep our service online we accept compensation from some of the companies whose products we review within and outside of the IT industry, including, but not limited to, paid advertising placements, referral fees, and in-content advertising links.

English French German Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish

Popular Content

Partners