Posts Tagged Computer

Computer Diagnostics for Your Mac

Diagnostics software can help you identify problems or potential problems with your Mac. Such packages allow you to test your system, memory, software and even the external hardware attached to your computer.

One of the most common problems occurs when your Mac is low on resources, whether it be RAM or disk space. These are common conditions that can result in your Mac running slowly.

The best way to resolve the former issue is to purchase more RAM, if possible, and for the latter issue you should clear up some space on your hard drive, if it is starting to get full. You may also wish to consider defragmenting the hard disk.

Different diagnostic software programs for the Mac will offer different features. Drive Genius 3 by Prosoft Engineering, Inc. focuses on maintenance of the hard drive, allowing you to reformat it, defragment it, repartition it, monitor it, clone it, repair it and obtain information on it.

TechTool Pro by Micromat, Inc. promises to run a complete diagnostics check of your Mac with what it calls a SMART test of your hard drive to detect impending drive failure, a RAM test, analysis of disk directories and more. These programs offer a wide range of tests providing full diagnostics and covering a wide range of software and hardware issues.

Some common tests that diagnostic software runs are tests of your Mac’s audio circuits, casche, clock, components, file structure, Internet, and checks of the correct operation of your Mac’s mathematical processing hardware and software routines. Other tests include tests of the PRAM, processor, RAM, ROM, hard drive surface integrity, VRAM and even tests of external components such as scanners.

The software will offer you the choice of diagnostic tests to run. The full system scan will run through your entire Mac hard drive and display any problems that it might find. If it can fix them, it will give you the option to do so.

There are some problems that diagnostic software will not be able to help you with, however. These include hardware failures such as hard drive crashes. Diagnostic software may be able to report such issues to you, but complete hard drive failures often occur suddenly and with very little, if any, warning.

This is why maintaining a good backup strategy is essential. In the case of serious hard drive issues, you will need to take your Mac into an Apple Store or other qualified service center.

Normally, your Mac will run fine, and if it fails to do so, your instincts will usually tell you whether the problem lies with hardware or with a particular software program you are using. In addition, diagnostic software cannot find certain problems, such as corrupted files or software conflicts, but it can sometimes narrow down the options and rule out certain possibilities.

However, for those times in which you are not quite sure where the problem may lie and you don’t even know where to begin with troubleshooting, running a diagnostic software package can be a good way to find and prevent problems with your Mac.

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By: Timothy Arends

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Fujitsu developing new supercomputer

TOKYO: Japanese computer makers Fujitsu Ltd. said today his firm is developing a new supercomputer to succeed its K supercomputer built with the state-backed major research institute Riken, which has lost top spot for computing speed to a US supercomputer.

Masami Yamamoto, President Fujitsu Ltd, told a shareholders’ meeting in Yokohama that he hopes to regain the top slot in the world rankings in a few years, after Japan dropped to second place having topped the previous two rankings, according to the announcement by the US-European TOP500 project.

However, he declined to talk about when the new supercomputer will be available or its expected performance.

The K supercomputer, now at Riken’s facilities in Kobe, was the first to log a computing speed of over 10 petaflops per second.

Its name draws upon the Japanese word “kei” for 10 to the 16th power, representing the system’s performance goal of 10 petaflops. One petaflop is the equivalent to 1,000 trillion operations per second.

The Sequoia supercomputer at the US Department of Energy achieved 16.32 petaflops per second, taking the top slot in the world rankings as of June.

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‘Accessing FB via smartphone more than computer’

The average time spent accessing Facebook via smartphone in the United States was 441 minutes in March, compared with 391 minutes via computer, according to comScore, underscoring the increasingly high-profile role of mobile in social networking.

comScore’s new Mobile Metrix 2.0 report showed US smartphone users spent 441 minutes per month, or 7 hours and 21 minutes, on Facebook in March. That compares with 391 minutes, or 6 hours and 31 minutes, for people who tapped into Facebook via a computer.

In filing documents for its initial public offering, Facebook highlighted the importance of mobile while noting it does not generate meaningful revenue from mobile users.

“If users increasingly access mobile products as a substitute for access through personal computers and if we are unable to successfully implement monetization strategies for our mobile users,” the company writes in its filing documents, “our financial performance and ability to grow revenue would be negatively affected.”

Beefing up its mobile strategy was part of the reason Facebook in April agreed to spend $1 billion to buy Instagram, a photo-sharing mobile app, analysts say.

Historically, Facebook hasn’t shown ads to mobile users, although in March 2012 it started including “sponsored stories” in users’ mobile new feeds.

March marks the first month comScore measured mobile usage — for Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android and RIM’s

Blackberry — on sites like Facebook. Facebook commands the lion’s share of smartphone users’ time, comScore data showed. The next-most popular services were check-in services Foursquare, with 146 minutes; microblogging service Twitter, with 114 minutes; and blogging-service Tumblr, with 68 minutes.

Facebook likely racked up more minutes because people like to stay on to craft updates, read friends’ updates, and respond, said Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities. By contrast, “it doesn’t take that long to tweet,” he said.

comScore previously reported that Facebook computer users spent 422.8 minutes on Facebook in December.

But it says the March figure of 391 minutes doesn’t represent a drop because it is now calculating the data differently after learning it had been double-counting users in some limited instances due to certain sites alerting servers twice when users got on the sites and used Facebook plug-ins. It has now fixed the glitch, a spokesman said.

The March numbers represent a rise of six minutes over February, when computer users spent 385 minutes on Facebook, comScore said.

Facebook’s rich valuation — approaching $100 billion at the high end — is in part based on high levels of user engagement. Facebook cautioned in its filing documents that as growth in its numbers of users slows, its “business performance will become increasingly dependent on (its) ability to increase levels of user engagement in current and new markets.”

comScore said Facebook has about 158.9 million unique US visitors who access the site on computers and 78 million who access it via mobile phones, although there is overlap between the two groups.

Facebook declined to comment on the study.

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