5 Things to do Before Selling Your Computer

Selling your PC is good to make a few bucks but here are some things you should do for the sake of greater good.

Selling your PC is good to make a few bucks, here are some things you should do for the sake of greater good. Whether you are planning to build a new PC or just buying one, selling your old computer or just giving it to someone is not a bad idea. You can sell your old computer using any online classified service or just to your neighbor. It all sounds good, but will it still be good if they find some of your “nasty stuff” or Office Files? whether these are your raunchy photos or sensitive documents, you need to prepare your PC well. You should treat your old PC just like your child first time going to kinder garden –he needs to have manners, etiquette and cleanness. In this guide we will discuss steps you should take before handing over your old PC to someone.

Get backed up before selling your PC

Stupid advice huh? Nope. Before you proceed to next step you should always make a complete backup of all of your files, downloads and every other stuff. There are many paid software available for that but you don’t need to spend money on backup software, just grab some writable DVDs or a Portable Hard Disk and open Backup and Restore in Control panel, then you are good to go. You may not thank us now but you will do that later.

Get your Personal stuff Erased

You have your documents, photos, downloads and other stuff in user folder right? Erasing them is important before selling your old PC. They are usually located on Users folder in C drive. You should always backup and then delete them in case you are giving your PC away. Also you probably have saved your passwords and other personal details on your web browser, you may have set up sync with Dropbox, OneDrive or Google Drive and you surely don’t want to give any other person access to these. Although you can erase all of that manually –by removing browser, deleting every file from personal folders and sighing off from all syncing services. It seems a horribly long process. We have a quick solution for that.

You can delete your user account instead. Doing so will delete all your personal data, downloads and will sign you off from all other things. To do that you need to have more than one user account in your PC. First sign in to the other account and then fire off Control Panel. Click on add or remove user accounts from here you can easily delete the other account.

5 Things to do Before Selling Your Computer

However if you have only one account, you will have to create a new account and then enter that account, after taking that step you can delete your old account. Word of advice: always create an administrator account for that because you cannot delete another user account using a standard (should be called Limited) user account.

Remove all Shareware

We spend a lot of money on software –office productivity apps and antivirus are to name a few. Will that be good for you that new user enjoys these software free of cost? A big NO. Also as most of software are licensed to be installed in only one PC at once, technically it will not be legit if you keep software on your old PC and install it in a new one.

After erasing your files and other stuff, head to Uninstall a Program section of Control Panel and remove every single paid software. We would advise you to remove freeware too, as it is not necessary that new owner will use that program.

5 Things to do Before Selling Your Computer
Revo Uninstaller

Although Windows uninstaller works fine, you can use Revo Uninstaller (Free, http://www.revouninstaller.com/ ) to remove any trace of software. If used, it will scan your PC throughout and remove any file belonging to the particular software.

Clean your recycle bin

There are strong chances you may forget that unless specifically reminded. You will sure delete a lot of stuff from Hard Disk partitions and all of that will shift to recycle bin. If you forget to delete it from there, restoring these will just be one click away for new owner of machine.

Use a mop on your Hard Disk

No I don’t mean a physical wet mop, instead I mean to wipe all the data on your hard disk. You should always understand that all deleted files and folders can easily be restored using any third party utility (Recuva, as an example) if you want to prevent anyone from restoring these you have to overwrite the deleted data from the disk.

5 Things to do Before Selling Your Computer
Secure Eraser

You can always paste something useless on your storage device, but it will be a lot easy if you use a software to do that. Download Secure Eraser (free for private use, http://www.secure-eraser.com/ ) and run it to delete all the data securely. Secure eraser will overwrite all your deleted files with random data so that you can hand over your old PC to new hands with peace of mind.

Do you have any tip about taking steps before selling old PC? If yes, do share with us.


Image Credit: Maurizio Pesce on Flickr

 

Get Windows 10 like Task Manager for Windows 7

Windows 7 is a really good OS. Released in 2009 it is now out of mainstream support, still it is most used operating system on the internet. The successor (Windows 8) was released in 2012, it introduced a new task manager, that offered better control over running apps and better visual representation of performance data. Task manager on Windows 7 is old and looks exactly like Windows XP’s task manager. Folks at DBC Studios have made a small Tool that looks and feels exactly like task Manager included in Windows 8 and it works pretty well on Windows 7. The program is called DBC Task Manager, you can download it from following Here.

The program is small in size and looks exactly like Task manger in windows 8 and 10, Here are some screenshots of DBC Task Manager:

DBC Task manager - Graph view

DBC Task manager - Graph view

History of Windows In One Infographic

No doubt you use PC or a Mac, you know about Windows very well. The platform has grown from messy Windows 1.0 in 1985 to a sleek, cool and fast platform in 2015 with Windows 10.

Over the years of History of Windows, Microsoft has made many changes in the design concepts, UI and UX.

Not all releases were successful, however Microsoft has managed to stay on the top of OS market share war. With Windows 7 being the most used OS in the world and WIndows 8/8.1 being there as the second most used OS, Microsoft dominates the OS market by having 95% Share.

Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 will be the last version of Windows History. There will be no Windows 11, the reason being said that Microsoft will now add features regularly using Windows update. Instead of upgrading OS every few years, users will have the latest features only by enabling Windows Update.

The Following infographic carries some important information about the history of Windows
history of windows
via Microsoft Training

Wonder How Much People can earn on YouTube? This Will Surprise You

Apart from being a blogger or an online publisher people have been using other ways to earn money online. YouTube offers monetization by giving content publishers (video publishers) an option to show advertising on the beginning of their videos. Folks at WhoIsHostingThis did some research to find out who are the biggest players at YouTube monetization and came up with an infographic.

Here take a look on these people:

Wonder How Much People can earn on YouTube? This Will Surprise You

Source: WhoIsHostingThis.com

Which is the Most Secure Web Browser

Web Browsers have been around for many years, and you are using one right now. do you think that they are secure? if yes, you are going to be shocked.

Web Browsers have been around for many years, and you are using one right now. Do you think that they are secure? if yes, you are going to be shocked. Security researchers are consistently doing their research on Web Browser Vulnerabilities and it seems that we are not always secure online. Here is an interesting infographic which will help you in picking most secure Web Browser.

WHICH IS THE MOST SECURE WEB BROWSER

Source: WhoIsHostingThis.com

Windows 10 Review : It is perhaps the best OS

Microsoft expects One Billion copies of Windows 10 installed in some years. Let’s see how Windows 10 stacks up on our expectations in our Windows 10 review.

[su_dropcap style=”simple” size=”5″]M[/su_dropcap]icrosoft has had a habit of messing up with every other Windows release. Windows Vista was a huge disappointment later came Windows 7 was a huge improvement, I think the same about Windows 8.x and Windows 10. Microsoft has made many changes and has found new ways to test and get feedback from users. New CEO Satya Nadella has made some changes on How the company works by giving away free upgrade to users. Microsoft expects One Billion copies of Windows 10 running on PCs, Tablets and smartphones in some years. Let’s see how Windows 10 stacks up on our expectations in our Windows 10 review.

windows 10 review
Unlike Other releases, Windows 10 matches the name with version number

Installation, Updates and Performance:

Installation was pretty straight forward and simple. I made a clean install which did not take much time. After Installation all the necessary drivers were installed automatically and I did not have to mess with anything. Although you have option to use Windows 10 via a local user account, Most of Microsoft apps such as OneNote and OneDrive require you to sign in using a Microsoft account. Users running Home versions of Windows 10 will get all Windows updates as they don’t have any option to ignore or disable windows updates. Users running Pro version of Windows 10 can defer updates for 8 Months. Torrent like technology called Peer to peer connections is used by default for downloading windows updates, you can opt out if you wish. Performance wise Windows 10 is good, even if it is not magically faster than Windows 7  or 8, still feels snappier on the same system.

It ain’t boxy but looks Modern ( and Minimalist )

Windows 10 looks and feels a lot modern than any other version release. Coming from Windows 7 I actually missed Transparency in title bars and other windows Aero stuff. Still UX is better than ever. Default Theme is good and users have options to customize it a little bit.

Windows 10 review
Not as good as Aero, still better than Windows 8

Desktop sideshow which allowed wallpapers to be changed automatically is now only able to switch wallpaper after 1 minute  ( at least ) comparing to 10 seconds in Windows 7. Start Menu is transparent and also has a blurred background. Clock and Action center also have blurred transparencies although you have option to turn these off.

Windows 10 Review: pre-installed Apps and software:

Windows 10 comes with some apps preinstalled mainly Groove Music, Xbox app, New Edge browser (more on that later) Music and TV app, A weather, calendar and A mail app along with some others. In games department Microsoft has included candy crush saga (which I removed the first) and a few others.

[su_pullquote align=”right”]Removing Candy Crush Was the first Thing I did on Windows 10[/su_pullquote]

New Music app looks and works just fine, still it lacks many important features such as equalizer and auto playlist. Windows Media Player is still here without any change. Default Calendar app is good enough for daily use. You can sign in using your Google account in calendar app which is nice because many people use Google Calendar for their day-to-day planning. Windows 10 also includes OneNote app which is fairly basic compared to Microsoft Office OneNote 2013. However it looks neat and works just as fine. You do need a Microsoft Account to use it. Other apps are also improved compared to the default apps in Windows 8.1. A Phone Companion app is included which helps users installing Microsoft Made apps on their Windows Phone, Android or iOS smartphones.

Edge: Not so cutting edge but better than IE

 

Edge is  browser based on an engine forked from Internet Explorer’s Trident engine. During my testing it crashed  a few times, still for most of the time it is stable enough. Edge works well with Cortana and gives suggestions and answers of some queries right in the search recommendations which is useful.

[su_pullquote]Edge does not currently has support for extensions and that sucks.[/su_pullquote]

Such as to know the weather you just need to type “weather” and current temperature will be shown to you on the screen. Cortana is also able to give you directions to an address given in the webpage. Edge does not currently has support for extensions which sucks and this is why I am still using Maxthon as default browser on Windows 10. During the review I also found that Microsoft has annoyingly made it really complex to switch default search engine on Edge. To change the search engine you have to go the website and then only from there you can add it as a default search Engine. Mozilla has already criticized Microsoft over Default browser options on Windows 10.

Windows 10 review
Edge Browser

Hello Cortana

It is a new intelligent digital assistant included in Windows 10. Cortana is not officially available in India and in order to use that I had to dig in region settings and change my region from India to United States. From that point it worked as expected. “Hey Cortana” command was disabled by default so if you want to make her listen every time you say “Hey Cortana” you will have to enable it in settings. In addition for setting reminders, Cortana now also handles all kind of searches either local file search or Internet queries. As obvious it uses Microsoft Bing Search engine by default. By Default you will have a big fat search box always on your taskbar, though you have option to change it just to an Icon or turn it off all the way.

Windows 10 review
Cortana

Windows Shell just got a lot better:

 

Windows 10 review
Finally, Virtual Desktops are here.

Windows 10 has several cosmetic and functional changes in the shell. First and most notable is the return of the start menu. Start Menu is back and it is completely overhauled. Hit the start button and you will see a windows 7 like most used pane on the left side and Windows 8 like Live titles on the right side. Search box is not visible, however typing anything starts searching. Metro Apps are now not full screen on Desktops and run in windows just like traditional software. Virtual Desktops are now included and enabled by default. By pressing Win+Tab or clicking task view button on taskbar you can access them. To move to previous or next desktop CTRL+WIN+Left or Right key can be used. A new  feature called Snap Assist now suggests you open apps to snap on the other side if you snap any app to any side of your display.

Windows 10 review
Snap Assist suggests Windows to snap on the other side of the screen.

Some Disappointing things

Windows 10 is pleasant to use for most of the time, it feels like a modern OS without slapping an ugly UI and that is good. Anyone coming from Windows 7 will feel like home within a few hours of use. Sad thing is that not everything is perfect. Some things feel incomplete at the moment with Windows 10. For an example, Settings apps is now a lot better that it was on Windows 8; still we have to dig in control panel to make some system wide changes.

Windows 10 review
There are still two panels to change user account settings.

Having More than one app to change settings is sometimes confusing.

 [su_pullquote]We still have to dig to control panel to make some system wide changes.[/su_pullquote]

Microsoft could have made settings app more better and removed the control panel altogether to make things straightforward.

Windows 10 also raises some privacy concerns because of its so tight integration to Microsoft servers. As an example Cortana phones home even for a local file search. Edge is definitely better than Internet Explorer, still it lacks some basic features such as Download UI can be made better. Photos app keeps crashing from time to time without reason and these app specific problems are more to be seen.

Review Verdict : Should You Upgrade or Skip?

Being free for users having genuine copies of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, I find no good reason to skip. However Windows 10 users should make some changes in their Privacy settings. There are a few areas where Windows 10 can improve but it is  polished enough to keep user excited and help him in  being productive. I will recommend all PC gamers to upgrade just because Windows 10 is the only OS to support DirectX 12. Other people also should upgrade. With Time Microsoft will definitely fix some bugs and Make Windows even better. Upgrade is free if you upgrade within one year of the release, so you don’t really need to rush. Even if you are holding and staying with Windows 7 ( or 8 ) Windows 10 is still good for future of PCs.

Stop using Turbo C++: That is now stupid

Turbo C++ is an IDE that is used to write and compile code for C and C++. Sad point is that if you are a young programmer, it is way older than you.

Have you ever used Turbo C or Turbo C++? Answer is definitely “yes” if you were a CS student in past and “I am using it” if you are CS Student currently. Programing involves hard work, passion, knowledge and an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) sadly, for a lot of people who are into C or C++ programming, IDE is Turbo C++. For those who have no idea what Turbo C++ is: Turbo C++ is an IDE that is used to write and compile code for C and C++. Sad point is that if you are a young programmer, it is way older than you.

What is bad with Turbo C++

Glad that you asked, please have a look on the gorgeous program:

Stop using Turbo C++: It is stupid
See the Copyright notice?

Please don’t fool yourself I have not taken the screenshot from an Internet Screenshot Archive, instead it is running on a separate Window on my Windows 7 PC.

Turbo C++ was released on somewhere between 1990-1992 (yup, almost 25 years ago) Back then it was a very good IDE and it was used a lot to code C and C++, as on 1990 Windows 95 was not in existence, Turbo C++ ran on DOS. It was not a Win32 application and the good thing was that it never tried to be. It was a 16 Bit application and all application that Turbo C++ compiled and made were 16 bit. That was good at that point of time. Not today.

What is wrong with Turbo C++ today?

Almost everything, first of all it is not standardized with ANSI standardization. It is old, ugly, unstable and heck, it now runs on a DOSBox Virtual Machine.

No Autocomplete: autocomplete features are really helpful on longer projects and in minimizing errors related to syntax, Turbo C++ can’t even spell Autocomplete. You will have to write every bit of code and you will have to close every single function.

It runs virtually: Turbo C++ is 16 bit software and now we are using 64 bit Operating system so the only way to run it is to use it under a virtual machine. Many developers have done that. Now it is an 8 MB installer file that installs DOSBox and then Turbo C++ in the DOSBox.

Compiled Application is piece of S#it: Sorry for that, but it is true, work on a 1000000 line code project, save the CPP file, compile it and make the application. Now exit the IDE and double click the newly made app, you will be greeted by a beautiful error message (giving you the finger). [su_pullquote]Code and time moved on but not our teachers and our Education system.[/su_pullquote] The reason behind the error is that the newly built application is 16 bit, which is not compatible with your 64 bit OS.

The sad story is that Code and time moved on but not our teachers and our Education system.I can still see students using that 1990 made IDE in 2015 in my college. Some of my friends (one specially) who are taking C++ and C classes are using Turbo C++ to write and compile code. Even the teachers are encouraging Students to use that Crazy, Blue and Old IDE. They are taking enormous amount of coaching fee and still are not able to teach student how to use a modern IDE.

Better alternatives

Or should I say industry standards? Yes there are a lot of free and paid alternatives, some of them are open source. The best thing is that they use standardized ANSI code. Let’s look on some of the excellent options:

Microsoft Visual Studio: It is the best if you can afford it, IDE is slick, UI is excellent and the best thing is that you can make apps for many platforms. Visual Studio is 100 times better than Turbo C++. It provides many solutions to reduce the time and efforts. Students can get it free of cost from Microsoft.

Stop using Turbo C++: It is stupid
Visual Studio

CODEBLOCKS: It is an Open source IDE, so you are free to download and use it. The best part is that CodeBlocks is a cross platform IDE so you can use it on platforms other than Windows. It is not as cool as Visual Studio but still it is a lot better than Turbo C++. Many sample projects and templates are also made available with this IDE.

The Open Source Codeblocks
The Open Source Codeblocks

Which one is your favorite IDE? Have you ever used Turbo C++? Tell us your story in comments…

What is RAID: Explaining the Tech

RAID stands for Redundant array of inexpensive or independent disk. Actually it is a technology by which we can use more than one physical hard drive simultaneously to get better performance and Data redundancy.

RAID stands for Redundant array of inexpensive or independent disk. Actually it is a technology by which we can use more than one physical hard drive simultaneously to get better performance and Data redundancy.
Any user can just plug any number of hard disk in his computer and use them but using a technology like RAID increases the performance and stability of your system.
An SSD is always the fastest solution of data storage but it is not as much secure as some of RAIDs.

Based on the technique of Implementation there are many kinds of RAID available. we have shortlisted some of the most important types of RAID

What is raid?
RAIDs are mostly used in Servers

RAID 0

In this type of RAID all the data is distributed into each disk equally, Confused? Lets simplify it imagine a file, now distribute it into 4 parts, now imagine 2 RAID disks now write data part 1 in drive A , data part 2 into drive B , next Data part 3 into drive A and at last data part 4 into disk B. now writing speed and reading speed will be much more faster, but this performance will come with a risk, if any disk fails all the data will be lost.

RAID 1

It is really simple, it consists of a mirroring. All the data is written into both disks, it increases the writing time but the reading time is decreased. If any disk fails user need not to be worried. All the data can simply be recovered from other volume. In this RAID system the highest reading speed is limited by fastest Disk in RAID whereas writing speed is limited by the slowest Disk in system. There is one more drawback the total size of RAID volume will not be the sum of each disk size but it will be equal to the size of smallest disk.

RAID 5

This technique is a lot complex than the above methods, it requires at least 3 disks to create RAID of this kind. This technology uses block level stripping in the disks and in distributed parity (which means the data that can be used to recover data) .It provides protection against data loss and also slightly improves the performance. In this type of RAID if any disk fails the data is recovered from the distributed data. As this it requires 3 or more disks it us normally used in high performance servers.

 RAID 6

Last but not the least ,RAID 6 uses double distributed parity in block level striping. The major difference between RAID 5 and RAID 6 is that it can withstand the data loss up to two physical disks. That means even if two disks are damaged the data can be restored. If you want to create a RAID with a lot of disks, RAID 6 is really useful.

Which RAID should anyone use? The correct RAID type is based on the use and needs. Simply put, if you need pure performance and you don’t care about data recovery than you can go with RAID 0. If you are not so high on budget but data loss protection is your primary need you should use RAID 1. And if you are going to make a high performance server or NAS then you can use RAID 5 or RAID 6. Although there are other RAID types available. In this article we have only discussed the most widely used standards. Anyone should do his homework about RAID types first before using any kind of RAID system.

GETTING RAID: As RAID can be implemented by using 2 or more disks. There are 2 ways to make it possible :

RAID BY USING SOFTWARE

Modern age software can be used to make a RAID system in a PC. Windows servers support RAID 0 , 1 and 5 where as Windows 8 has introduced a new feature called storage spaces. Apple’s MAC OS X supports RAID 0 and RAID 1.

 RAID BY USING HARDWARE

Any computer user can implement RAID by using a RAID controller. These are supplied with proper drivers and firmware.


Image Credits : dariorug on Flickr, CWCS Managed Hosting on Flickr

 

Which Programming Languages Should You Learn in 2015

Programming Languages matter a lot for Computer Science students.Here we are with an inforgraphic which will guide you in choosing a programming language.

Programming Languages matter a lot for Computer Science students, IT professionals and for developers. Though programming works in an almost same concept for the most part, there are a lots of programming languages in Market to choose from. Each having its own strengths and own weaknesses. In programming industry the salary for a programmer varies for one language to another. Here we are with an inforgraphic which will –I hope– guide you choosing a programming language to learn.

Getting to Some Conclusions we get to know that Python is the easiest to learn and C++ is the most powerful programming language.

If you are interested in developing mobile apps you should learn objective C and Java, the former is for iPhone apps and the latter is good for Android App development.

Learning Programming Languages For Free

Coaching institutes charge a lot to teach you programming language and you are not always free to choose the programming language of your choice in college as college will stick to its syllabus. Here are some websites where you can learn programming for free.

 

Which Programming Languages Should You Learn in 2015

Source: WhoIsHostingThis.com

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Searching For Best Operating System in 2015? Perhaps Now That Doesn’t Matter

Still thinking about the Best Operating system in 2015? Maybe you don’t need to think about that anymore. All are good to live with.

Still thinking about the Best Operating system in 2015? Maybe you don’t need to think about that anymore. All are good to live with.

Microsoft is saying that Windows 10 is the best operating system ever made by them. Perhaps they are right. Windows 10 has a lot new and unique. So says Apple with every release of its Mac OS X. Linux users also say that Linux is best because it is customizable. So which party is lieing through their teeth? What really is the best operating system? And when will the hunt for that finish? Maybe one of these is better than all the competitors on show, still it is 2015, and Operating Systems have evolved. Now we do not have to worry about stability or reliability. We now need to think about User Experience (at least for normal users)

 

Unless you are a networking Professional or Computer administrator of some big corporation, you now don’t have to think about the best OS around.

OS maybe different, Web is always the same

Yes, operating systems maybe a lot different in terms of usability and appearance. Apple has close buttons on the Left side of title bar and Windows has it on the right side, still Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox (Two most used cross platform Web browsers) will function as the same. Most of us spend most of our time under tabs of a web browser. Starting from the Office suite to media conversion all of that can be done online. Add-ons for Chrome and FireFox are also don’t rely on the operating system version.
[su_youtube url=”www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntLPcVAyNPE”]
Look on Chrome OS, the bare bone OS that technically is a web browser, still it has a lot potential, web is now more powerful and so are Web apps. Google Docs (and also office Web apps) work under a web browser. They do not depend on the operating system, and that is perfectly good. Because it gives the users a common simplicity.

Performance is not an issue anymore

Still do you find performance an issue? I don’t think so. Gone are the days where we had 64MB ram and a 200 MHz processor. Now we are rocking quad core processors and many Gigs of RAM. Granted that Windows 8 is a bit faster than Windows 7 and Windows 10 is faster than both, still I find Windows 7 is sufficiently fast for everyday use, no OS has a magic stick that can give your Hardware wings. The same applies for Ubuntu and Mac OS X, all recent versions have acceptable performance. All of them are stable enough and all are updated for security and performance improvement regularly.

best operating system in 2015
Once ugly Linux is not like that now | Kubuntu 14.04 Image Source: Wikimedia

We don’t really use OS, we use software

Windows comes with a word processor called WordPad, an image editor called Paint, and a web browser called Internet Explorer, still I am typing this on Microsoft Word, I use Adobe Photoshop for Image editing and Mozilla Firefox as web browser, I can bet that most of us don’t use bundled programs.

For most of the part, we use third party software such as Kodi, avast, VLC and so on, that doesn’t matter that whether it is Windows 7 or Windows 10, they work the same way. Essentially for a lot of normal users, Operating system is just a launcher to open installed software and apps.

best operating system in 2015
Office is the software people use.

All the choices are good enough

We have choices when it comes to OS selection, there is GNU Linux, Mac OS X and also the world dominator Windows. The good thing is that no one is painful(OK, for me I exclude Windows 8 for now) All are stable enough, all are fast enough and all have a good to better software library. Startup time and shutdown time is now not bad and now software is not the bottle neck for performance. Pick any one and you can live a happy computing life.

Should you switch or stay?

Have you mastered your OS? If yes, it will be good that you stick with it. Suppose you are a Seasoned Windows User and you are lured by Mac OS X and you decide to switch, it can either be annoying or interesting, there is one thing for sure, you will again have to learn that OS and it will take some time.

If you are a windows user, moving to mac or Linux, won’t really make any better difference for common tasks. Stick with what you already know because programs on all OS are the same.