Posted - November 08 2011 : 02:59:50
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Question: Justin says, "My computer keeps turning off on its own. Is that a Windows or a hardware problem?"
Answer: Good question, Justin. This can be either one because if Windows bluescreens, your computer will automatically reboot and this looks like the power glitched. So, to figure it out, what we need to do is to isolate the hardware from Windows. Turn your computer off and unplug it. Then push the power button to drain the power from the system. Then plug it back in and turn it on and go into the system setup. This is usually done with the F2 key for instance; but which key to hit should be on the screen. When you get in there, that's hardware only. Let it sit for an hour or two to see if it restarts. If it does, then it's a hardware problem. If not, restart your computer in safe mode. Turn it on, then press the F8 key repeatedly until you get a menu from which you can choose safe mode. Start in safe mode and then just let it sit again. If it doesn't crash, then it's a Windows problem.
Cool Site: LiveScience.com: This week our cool site will help increase your knowledge of science. LiveScience.com is a really cool website with current news on space (my favorite), animals, technology, health (and since they cover all health related topics, there may be articles there about things you haven't covered yet with your kids), environment, culture, and history. For instance, I learned that between 2008 and 2009, Emergency Room visits increased 10%; that 85% of ER patients had some form of health insurance, and that 8% of those visits weren't urgent. I also learned that you can spot a psychopath by his speech patterns. The site has a search box and you can sign in with any number of social networks, but I didn't find anything special that was different if you did. If you need to know whatever's current about a scientific topic, check here.
Cool Gadget: Pick Punch: My son plays guitar and sometimes, he can't find a pick. This week's gadget lets you make picks out of just about anything. It's again from Vat19, and is a guitar pick punch. This gadget works just like a hole punch does on paper, but it punches out the shape and size of a guitar pick. It's sharp enough to punch picks out of old credit cards (a good recycling), plastic drink lids, although I'm not sure how good the resulting pick might be, any thin plastic items. This bad boy will set you back about $25.00. Yes, you'll have to punch a bunch of picks to make your money back, but the nice thing is that each pick you punch will be unique.
Cool App: ActionWorks: You know, one of the things I have to do each week is put my phone on silent while I'm at church. Then I have to turn the ringer back on so that I can hear when I get a call. But I can't count the number of times that Monday came and my phone was still on silent. This week's app can take care of this. It's called ActionWorks and it's for Android. What it does is let you define conditions like time, location, or starting another application. You can then define a series of actions that will happen based on those conditions. The example given at the Android Marketplace is this one: Conditions: App launched--PDF Viewer; Time--7 p.m. to 11 p.m; Location--Home Actions: Display brightness to max, go into silent mode, set screen timeout to 10 minutes, block all incoming calls, display the reminder "Wear your glasses." So, if you're at home, it's 7 p.m., and you launch the PDF viewer, all these Actions will automatically occur. Once you close the PDF viewer, leave home, or the time is past 11 p.m., all your normal settings will be restored. With this app, you can set up your android phone to automatically go silent when you go to church on Sunday and/or Wednesday and then sometime later return to normal. The only real limit to what you can do with this is your imagination. The free version has a 7-day trial of the full version after which it reverts to the free version's limited feature set. The full version runs about $5.
It's All "Geek" To Me: OLE: This week we have a term that you might hear at a bullfight; OLE. This is a Microsoft technology that stands for Object Linking and Embedding. It was originally designed to let you create compound documents, so that for instance you could put pictures into a Word document or Charts in a PowerPoint presentation, or cut or copy really any kind of data and paste it into another program's data. It was the forerunner behind something called the Component Object Model, and it became the foundation behind their ActiveX technology.
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