Custom Built Computer – Tips For Building Your Own Computer

Building a custom built computer is not as complicated as it seems, and given the benefits, you would probably never want to step foot into an electronics store again once you build your own! Instead of overpaying for a computer, why not build one that will fit your needs at a low cost? Here are some tips that will cover the basics on building a computer for the average user who surfs the internet, writes word documents, and watches YouTube movies.

First and foremost, you must determine what type of user you are and select the appropriate motherboard. If you are the average user, you would select a lower end motherboard within the $50 price range which can handle all regular tasks such as the internet, email, music, and movies. You can find a variety of motherboards listed at newegg.com and see all the consumer reviews which can help you select one that matches your needs.

One of the most important decisions you’ll make when choosing the motherboard is whether you will want an Intel vs. AMD brand CPU (central processing unit). An AMD is often recommended if you are looking to save the most money. Since you will be using the computer for daily tasks, the most cost efficient method would be to purchase the motherboard and CPU combo. This groups both of the parts into one selection so you do not have to spend separately on the two parts.

Secondly, after selecting the CPU and motherboard, you want to select the RAM (Random Access Memory). The more RAM you have, the more efficient your computer will be able to run programs. Computers these days need a minimum of 2GB to run efficiently and depending on the type of Operating System, you will need more or less. As the average user, you will want to select the standard of 2GB. RAM can range from $40-$60 depending on the brand, but it is a reasonable price for the average user.

Third, you will need to select a tower case to fit all of your parts together. There are several different types of cases from ATX full tower, mid tower, and a mini tower. The average user would want to select the ATX mid tower because of the large storage room inside for all the parts (motherboard, CPU, and RAM). Most ATX mid towers come with a power supply so you will not need to purchase one. Since you are selecting parts as an average user, the case’s power supply is sufficient enough to run the system.

After selecting these parts for own your computer, there are many helpful websites which provide you step by step instructions on how to assemble everything. A very helpful site is howstuffworks.com. The best advantage of building your own computer is cost. You will save a decent amount of money and the computer you build will be just as good as the one you would buy at the local electronic store.

P.S. Orr has been writing articles for 6 years on a variety of topics including product information.
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Speed Up the Computer – Tips For How to Speed Up Your Computer

My computer is running more and more slowly. Because it has a poor performance, this causes my PC to work ineffectively. How to speed up my computer? In order to avoid this disgusting trouble, I am thinking about if I need to buy a new PC to instead of the slow one. But, it is so expensive for me now. Fortunately, I can find some helpful tips which can effectively speed up my computer without buying a new computer.

1.Remove obsolete temporary files can speed up your computer

These files can eat up the precious on your hard disk over time and make your computer run slowly. In order to speed up your computer, you can download and install Registry Easy. Then, click “Scan Now”, it can enable you to safely remove Temporary files without deleting any data needed by your computer.

2. Clean out your registry can speed up you computer

Every time you uninstall a program, there are some leftover files on your computer, for instance, its entries, settings, configuration etc were still left over in the Windows registry. Unfortunately, the computer users don’t realize that Windows operating system will still read these invalid registry entries to load programs which didn’t exist at all when this wasted stuff become overloading over time, the computer will run more and more slowly. Fortunately, It can clean up the registry errors by using a free registry cleaner or registry tool, which can help you erase these unwanted entries, settings as well as fix the registry errors. It will help you speed up your computer instantly.

3. Defragment your hard drives can speed up your computer.

While you install or delete a program from your PC, this will create some invalid files that are separated all over the hard drives in pieces. It will take your operating system a lot of time to load the data on your PC. This is why your computer is running slow. How to speed up your computer? Defragment the fragment on drives can speed up the data access time. Just follow the step-by-step guide to get the job done on your computer. Click Start> All Programs> Accessories> System Tool> Disk Defragmenter

4. Remove the unwanted programs on the background and startup can speed up your computer.

In order to speed up your computer, just click Start> Control Panel> Add/Remove Programs> Find out the unnecessary programs> Click Remove

These processes can help you free up your hard disk and improve your PC performance.

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Is Your Slow Computer Driving You Crazy? Slow Computer Tips

Dealing with slow computers can turn out to be a painful and frustrating task. However, you can manage it just fine if you know how to go about fixing things up. For starters, try and understand some basic slow computer fix tips, which help you in cases when your computer gets hung up in the middle of some important work.

The registry is one of the most important things that need to be sorted for a slow computer fix. Many people tend to neglect this, but the fact is that most of the blue screens and other errors that come up on your computer are because of a faulty registry program. Thus, it is really important to get a proper registry scan done. Also, you need to ensure that your computer has a good anti-virus program.

A good anti-virus program not only helps to heal the viruses that have already attacked your computer, by it also helps you to know about potential dangers from any website that you are browsing, or any application that you are about to run, or any file that you are about to download or open. Viruses can cause computers to slow down, so regular virus scans are very important.

Similarly, regular defragmentation is also important for your computer so that you can get rid of the junk files and the corrupted files that are taking up a lot of space on your disk. For slow computer fix, also try and get all your programs and software updated to the latest version, because of a lot many times, older versions of software or programs turn out to be the reason for your computer to run slowly. You must also always try to be careful about shutting down your computer properly each time, and not in a hurried way before the safe shutdown screen flashes.

Must see the video on registry problems at our Featured Online Fix. Increase Computer Speed with the latest articles at slowcomputerfixonline.com.

Computer Tips For Newbies

tips
tips

So you’ve got your first computer. Great! This new machine will open up a world of communication, shopping, entertainment and exploration like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Computers have become a part of everyday life, and now that you have one, you’ll quickly find it to be indispensable.

The thing though, is that computers are complex machines that require regular maintenance in order to keep working at their best. Just as your car needs oil changes and regular tune-ups, your computer needs to be checked and cleaned regularly. So let’s cover some of the basics of computer cleaning and maintenance.

Cleaning the external portions and internal hardware of your computer may be daunting at first, but it’s actually quite simple. The best place to start is with your monitor. If you have an old-fashioned CRT monitor (the sort that looks like a television set) then you can clean the front with a standard glass cleaner and a paper towel. If you have a flatscreen monitor, there are various anti-dust clothes you can use to clean it. The keyboard and internal parts of the computer can be cleaned using compressed air, which you can purchase in cans with special nozzles at almost any electronics store. The keyboard’s keys can also be cleaned with an antibacterial cleaning solution, although it is important to apply the solution to a paper towel and then wipe the keys rather than spraying it on the keyboard. You don’t want to short out the keyboard after all! This sort of cleaning is something that you should do once every month tips or so, to keep the computer from becoming clogged with dust and grime.

Now that the exterior of your computer is clean, it’s time to clean the interior. Almost all computers have antivirus software installed, and you should check that yours is up-to-date and set to scan on a regular basis. Most antivirus programs can be scheduled to run late at night or when you are at work, and it is best to schedule it to do so and then leave it on so that it will have the machine scanned when next you use it. It is also important to manage the computer’s software so that unnecessary or unwanted programs are removed. You should regularly go to the add/remove programs menu and uninstall software you no longer need or which has become obsolete. You should also regularly defragment your hard drive in order to allow it to read and write faster. All of this should be done about once a week, but you don’t have to do it all on one day.

Computers are amazing, but like any piece of complicated machinery, they need regular maintenance. If you take good care of your computer it will give you many years of service without needing upgrades. You put a lot of money into your machine, so be sure to take good care of it and it you will get the most out of your investment!

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Best Wishes,

Dave Kent

Which Software Testing Company?

A key area to focus on when considering a software testing company is its software testers. Today there exist two popular certifications, ISEB and ISTQB. Try and ensure that the software testers at least hold these certifications at foundation level. Another factor with regards to software testers is the amount of experience they have. Many software testing companies state that their testers have five years I.T. experience. But reading between the lines, this simply means that they have five years experience anywhere in the field of Information Technology. You should really ask the software testing company, how many years professional software testing experience they actually have.

Many software testing companies offer a wide range of software testing services. Caution should be used though, as many of these companies will advertise these services but may not necessarily have the expertise to perform them. The types of software testing services that any professional company should offer are:

 

Functional Testing

Typical software products today include large amounts of critical functionality and complex features, added to this significant time pressures to get the product released make functional testing one of the most important stage of any software development. A software tester’s manual functional testing techniques have been proven to be highly effective at essentially determining whether or not the functionality actually works, or not. Versatile software testers can work from their own created test cases or use any pre-existing test cases you may already have. Good software testers readily use ad-hoc techniques when executing any tests to expand the test coverage. The aim during functional testing is to highlight any issues as early as possible so the developers can resolve it. This can obviously effectively reduce the development costs for your company.

Usability Testing

In order to ensure your software meets the needs of the end user; Usability Testing can be used. Not only will usability testing detect errors, but it will also detect navigational issues, language issues, workflow experience etc. Good software testers put themselves into the mindset of the end user and will report on the ‘look & feel’ of the software under test. Good software testers often build a set of test cases based on real end user scenarios or business cases to ensure the software is tested in a similar way to how the real end users will actually use the software. This type of software testing has been proven to increase the ROI of software developments by enhancing the end user experience and therefore potentially increasing product sales. As usability testing is trying to ensure that the end user experience is appreciated, we perform this type of testing manually.

Regression Testing

Regression testing is surprisingly often overlooked area of software testing. This is often due to the assumption that when new functionality is working correctly then the software is ready for release. However, more often than not, additional issues have been introduced that affect existing functionality. Software testers have the knowledge and experience to identify existing test cases that are suitable for regression. Regression test cases are commonly functional test cases that are reused at regular intervals throughout the software development to ensure that the expected results remain consistent, thus providing confidence that nothing has been adversely affected by the change.

Acceptance Testing

Acceptance testing is typically driven by the end user or customer. Acceptance test cases are normally executed by the customer prior to accepting the product. But commonly, these test cases are also given to the software developers to ensure their product meets the level of acceptance before the end of development. Software testers can perform execution of these test cases to highlight any issues to the development team as early as possible. Software testers can also derive expected acceptance test cases from customer requirements for you. On a smaller scale, our software testers can also derive smoke tests to act as a form of acceptance tests during stages of the software development life cycle.

 

Exploratory Testing

Commonly, while the software is being tested, a good software tester learns things that together with experience and creativity generates new good test cases to run. Good software testers consider exploratory testing to be an approach that can be applied to any test technique, at any stage in the development process. Software testers adopt the exploratory approach during all stages of testing. However, many software test teams use the exploratory testing approach during the final stages of a development just to allow software testers to roam freely throughout the software focusing on areas of functionality that the software tester has a ‘gut feel’ where there may be issues. This approach can often detect defects that have previously not been considered in other ‘more formal’ areas of software testing.

Installation Testing

Installation testing is a type of software testing that focuses on what customers will need to do to install and set up the new software successfully. The testing process may involve full, partial or upgrades install/uninstall processes. Good software testers will typically perform installation testing when a compiled version of the code has reached the final stages of testing or pre-production environment, from which it may or may not progress into final production. By the use of virtual machines, software testers can replicate many different operating systems and environments to fully test installation of software.

http://www.testing4success.com is a professional software testing company providing highly cost-effective outsource software testing services to companies around the globe. We can provide outsource software testing services to supplement your existing project, or provide dedicated outsource software testing for entire projects, all delivered on-time and with outstanding results. Please contact us with any questions you may have, or for a free quote.

Software Engineering and the Intelligence Community – Setting Real Time Standards

Software engineering is an essential discipline when designing and implementing high-performance data enterprises. Although software engineers are not certified or sanctioned by any standards body, use of software engineers with experience in the Intelligence Community increases chances of success.

Software Engineering Defined

Software engineering is the application of a systematic, disciplined, quantifiable approach to the development, operation, and maintenance of software, and the study of these approaches; that is, the application of engineering to software. (Source Wikipedia)

Knowledge of programming is the main pre-requisite to becoming a software engineer, but it is not sufficient. Many software engineers have degrees in Computer Science or mathematics and physics due to the lack of software engineering programs in higher education. An organized mind and an interest in problem-solving are also prerequisites.

However, as data networks become more complex and indispensable in large organizations higher education has started to change with the introduction of new software engineering degrees, especially in post-graduate education.

Software Engineering as a Discipline

Software engineering contains a number of separate yet interrelated disciplines.

* Software Requirements

* Software design

* Software development

* Software testing

* Software maintenance

* Software configuration management

* Software engineering management, see also project management

* Software development process

* Software engineering tools and Computer Aided Software Engineering

* Software quality

* Social Software Engineering

Each sub-discipline has its own performance requirements and processes for success.

Jobs in Software Engineering – A Strong Market

Because the field of software engineering is broad and growing more complex because of the introduction of new technologies and applications, the potential for job growth is significant even in a down economy.

According to the Federal Government studies, the demand for qualified software engineers is significant and will continue to grow,

Computer software engineers are one of the occupations projected to grow the fastest and add the newest jobs over the 2006-16 decade.
Excellent job prospects are expected for applicants with at least bachelor’s degree in computer engineering or computer science and with practical work experience.
Computer software engineers must continually strive to acquire new skills in conjunction with the rapid changes that occur in computer technology.
Because computer networks and computing hardware and software are growing in power and complexity, the demand for qualified Software engineers is high. As the United States continues to be an information-driven society new, high paying jobs with quality benefits packages are available in the economy.
This is particularly true as the economy emerges from its depressed state.

Employment of computer software engineers is projected to increase by 38 percent over the 2006 to 2016 period, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. This occupation will generate about 324,000 new jobs, over the projections decade, one of the largest employment increases of any occupation.

Significant drivers of growth in the demand for software engineers include the adoption of new technologies for information efficiency in a competitive environment. This is particularly true as information networks grow in sophistication and interconnect.

In addition, information security concerns and cyber threats have given rise to new software requirements.

Concerns over “cybersecurity” will result in businesses and government continue to invest heavily in software that protects their networks and vital electronic infrastructure from attack. Cyber Security has become a major area of concern for the U, low costS, Department of Defense and the Intelligence Community.

Very few organizations are willing to trust the security of their new low-cost, offshore software engineering firms.

Finally, in economic and competitive terms low-cost offshore outsourcing is not a real threat because software engineering requires innovation and intense research and development expenditures. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

One area with a tremendous appetite for software engineers is the Federal Government. The Federal Government continues to grow and, with the present trend in Government spending, greater demand for IT and Cyber Security engineering specialists will also generate job demand.

Ensuring Quality Standards – A Problem

While there is tremendous demand for engineering professionals, the systems and networks designed and implemented by software engineers are often the heart of any large business of government enterprise. Quality and efficiency cannot be sacrificed for substandard performance.

Many who call themselves “Software Engineer” are not fully qualified and often produce low quality work output.

Many professions enforce quality standards through professional certification boards but professional certification of software engineers is confusing and, while many view it as a tool to improve professional practice, others consider it as an unnecessary encumbrance.

In the United States, most certification programs in the IT industry are oriented toward specific technologies and are managed by the vendors of these technologies.

No matter which way the debate goes, full accreditation will not serve as a quality standard backstop for software engineers in the foreseeable future so other, on the job standards, must be used to ensure engineering quality.

Documented past performance that is favorable or a history of software development in a demanding industry has now become a major factor in determining future success.

Software Engineering and the Intelligence Community – Real Time Certification

With the absence of any standard certification programs, employers and government service contractors must exercise great care when utilizing software engineers.to design or restore critical network or enterprise software.

 

Servicing the needs of the Intelligence Community is a demanding task but the experience will test the skills, work ethic and judgment of even the most seasoned software engineer. Thus engineers with IC experience command a premium wage and benefits based upon proving themselves capable,

When a formal certification is not available, broad and extensive software engineering experience in the Intelligence Community on a job candidate’s resume is often a valuable real time substitute.

Jon M. Stout is Chief Executive Officer of Aspiration Software LLC. Aspiration Software LLC is an Information Technology/Cyber Security services provider focused on the Intelligence Community (IC). For more information about Software Engineering.

Current Management Opportunities and Challenges in the Software Industry

industry

During the past 30 years, the world went through a very dynamic technological transformation. In retrospective, it can be stated without exaggeration that the emergence of electronic devices and the Internet have greatly impacted daily life as well as managerial practice to an unforeseen extent. The computerization of multiple business processes and the creation of large-scale databases, among many other radical technological advances, have to lead to enormous cost savings and quality improvements over the years. The interconnection of financial markets through electronic means and the worldwide adoption of the Internet have greatly reduced transaction and communication costs and brought nations and cultures closer to one another than ever imaginable. Computers are now fundamental tools in almost all businesses around the world and their application and adaptation to specific business problems in the form of software development is a practice that many companies perform on their own. In the past, such computerization and automation efforts were very costly and therefore only practiced by large corporations. Over the years, however, the software industry emerged to offer off-the-shelf solutions and services to smaller companies. Today, having survived the massive dot-com crash of the year 2000, software development businesses established themselves as strong players in the technology industry.

The emergence of numerous computer standards and technologies has created many challenges and opportunities. One of the main opportunities provided by the software sector is relatively low entry barrier. Since the software business is not capital intensive, successful market entry largely depends on know-how and specific industry domain knowledge. Entrepreneurs with the right skills can relatively easily compete with large corporations and thereby pose a considerable threat to other, much larger organizations. Companies, on the other hand, need to find ways to reduce turnover and protect their intellectual property; hence, the strong knowledge dependence combined with the relatively short lifespan of computer technologies makes knowledge workers very important to the organization. Knowledge workers in this industry, therefore, enjoy stronger bargaining power and require a different management style and work environment than in other sectors, especially those industries that have higher market entry capital requirements. This relatively strong position of software personnel challenges human resource strategies in organizations and it also raises concerns about the protection of intellectual property.

The relatively young industry is blessed with sheer endless new opportunities, such as the ability of companies to cooperate with other organizations around the globe without interruption and incur practically no communication costs. In addition, no import tariffs exist making the transfer of software across borders very efficient; however, the industry with its craft-like professions suffers from the lack of standards and quality problems. The successful management of such dynamic organizations challenges today’s managers as well as contemporary management science because of traditional management styles, such as Weberian bureaucracies, seem to be unable to cope with unstable environments.

Challenges in the Software Industry

Many studies indicate that present-day software development practices are highly inefficient and wasteful (Flitman, 2003). On average, projects are only 62% efficient, which translates to a waste of 37 %. The typical software development project has the following distribution of work effort: 12% planning, 10% specification, 42% quality control, 17% implementation, and 19% software building (2003). There are many possible interpretations of the nature of this distribution of resources. First, the extraordinarily high share of 42% for quality control purposes can indicate a lack of standards and standardized work practices. This large waste of effort may also be the result of inefficient planning and specification processes. Because the share of 19% for software building is a function of software complexity, hardware, and tools used, there is a chance to reduce it by carefully managing and standardizing internal work processes. The disappointing share of only 17% for implementation, however, should be alarming to business owners, since implementation activities are the main activity that results in revenue. The relatively low productivity level reported by Flitman (2003) seems to be also reflected in the fact that the average U.S. programmer produces approximately 7,700 lines of code per year, which translates to just 33 per workday (Slavova, 2000). Considering that a large software project, such as Microsoft Word, is reported by Microsoft to require 2 to 3 million lines of code, it becomes obvious how costly such projects can become and that productivity and quality management are major concerns to today’s software businesses. The challenge for contemporary software managers is to find the root of the productivity problem and a remedy in the form of a management practice.

A plethora of recent studies addresses software development productivity and quality concerns. Elliott, Dawson, and Edwards (2007) conclude that there is a lack of quality skills in current organizations. Furthermore, the researchers put partial blame on prevailing organizational cultures, which can lead to counterproductive work habits. Of the main problems identified, project documentation was found to be lacking because documents are deficient in detail and not updated frequent enough. Quality control in the form of software testing is not practiced as often and there seems to be a lack of quality assurance processes to ensure that software is built with quality in mind from the beginning. Organizational culture was found to be deficient in companies where workers tend to avoid confrontation and therefore avoid product tests altogether (2007).

Since knowledge workers are the main drive in software organizations, creating a fruitful and efficient organizational culture constitutes the main challenge to today’s managers. The relationship between organizational culture and quality and productivity in software businesses was recently investigated by Mathew (2007). Software organizations tend to be people-centered and their dependency on knowledge workers is also reflected by the enormous spending remuneration and benefits of more than 50% of revenue. As the industry matures and grows further, the challenge to organizations is that larger number of employees need to be managed which brings culture to the focus of management. Mathew (2007) found that the most important influence on productivity was achieved by creating an environment of mutual trust. Higher levels of trust lead to greater employee autonomy and empowerment, which strengthened the existing management view that trust and organizational effectiveness are highly related. Those companies with higher trust and empowerment levels benefitted from more intensive employee involvement and thereby achieved better quality products (2007).

Product quality, however, depends on other factors as well that reach beyond the discussion of work processes. Relatively high employee turnover was found to have a detrimental effect on product quality and organizational culture (Hamid & Tarek, 1992). Constant turnover and succession increase project completion costs, cause considerable delays and expose the organization to higher risks because their development processes can be severely disrupted. While human resources strategies should help find ways to retain key personnel in the company, organizations need to nevertheless be prepared for turnovers and minimize their risks. One of the greatest risks for people-centered, knowledge worker organizations is the loss of knowledge when employees leave.

Buyers Guide to Parental Control Software

The Internet is now part of our everyday lives and people are learning more about both good and bad sides of the internet. Every day almost we hear stories about predators looking for children on the internet in chat rooms on social communities as MySpace. Parents are more aware that there are lots of information, pictures and people on the net that can be harmful for children out there on the on hate site, pornographic site and etc. Then there is the problem of kids overusing the internet and developing internet addiction and therefore not showing up for school, getting bad grades and quitting their sports and hobbies.

Parents want to guide and watch their children but at the same time know they cannot be there all the time sitting with them when they are online. So even though parents are aware of the danger of the internet, talk to their kids and monitor them at home, parents know it is not possible to be the one that keeps them safe all the time on the internet. They also know even if they trust them well, there is an accidental search that can lead to harmful and material even they are not looking for it. So deciding on buying parental control software is considered a logical and responsible step more parents are taking.

Buying parental control software could be something you just take few minutes in doing. You sit down in front of the computer, “Google” some right words for it, press a link and buy a product. At the same time, there is not certain that best software’s are those that will appear in top ten of Google search and you might be want to consider thinking what do I want my parental control software to be able to do for me?

You could start to buy asking other parents what they are using and asking for their experience. You could also try to browse around test look at their sites and read about that software; even send an email to the sales apartment. You should check if the software has a 15 days trial period so you can test the software. Check for things like is the software being updated, which is very important in this day by day changing the online world were dangers of the internet is always changing and software that the parental control software needs to work with is also updating and changing.

The biggest question you need to ask yourself when deciding on buying parental control software is the function of it. What do you want the parental software to do for you? Parental control software do not all have the same features and possibilities and you should, therefore, spend some time on thinking “what kind of parental control software do I need” Most of them will do different things for you and you may need different things for best safe surfing in your family. The possibilities are enormous. Let’s go over few things parental control software may have in their toolbox, so for you to use it in your buying guide you can look for those things you want to have when browsing through parental control website doing your own parental control software review.

Filtering: Does the software have filtering option? Most software will filter (pornographic filter, hate site filters, making bomb filter, violence filter etc. sites for you, but you may want to think how and how much control you have over the filtering system. 1. Does the parental control software have a database of blocked and family friendly sites? 2. Does the software allow you to create additional filtering list of sites you want to block? 3. Does the software have the ability for you to only allow certain sites you choose and filter all other sites? 4. Does the software have a allow list have the ability to allow sites permanently and therefore overriding all another filtering system. 5. Does the software have the dynamic content filter that blocks sites based on the content on each site you open?

Blocking software: You may also want to know if the parental control software is also blocking software, allowing you to block software’s you may think is harmful.

1. Does the software Block p2P file sharing like e.g. torrent software that are often used to download illegal software, music, movies, games and adult material?

2. Does it block chat programs?

3. Does the software block games that are considered more addictive e.g. MMORPG games?

4. Does the software allow you to choose additional software from the computer and block it?

Monitoring Software: You may want to check if the parental control software allows you to monitor the overall use of the computer and give you a good report on what has been happening. Does the software monitor all keystrokes that will enable you to read what has been written on the computer based on the software the words were written in? You may also want to have a screen shots recording in the software to able you to see how what has been happening in a form of picture of the screen. The screen shots recording is also good as a proof if something bad happens, e.g. Predator harassing the child, or some other child bullying the child on chat application. With screen shots, you have a proof of what has happened after these incidents. Some software also has email monitoring of incoming and outgoing emails. Last option you may want to check for if the software monitors all cut and paste-ing on the computer both picture and text.

App that rates drivers’ behavior yields promising safety results on the road

There is plenty of software that you can obtain from a variety of sources such as by downloading from the internet or from the CD on the front cover of a magazine that you have purchased. You might think that all of this software is completely free and that you can do what you like with it. No matter how nice it would be if all of this software actually was free, this is rarely the case.

If you check out the documentation that comes along with this software you will usually find that the software is labeled as Shareware, or is a Trial or Demo version. If so then to use the software legally on an ongoing basis requires an additional payment to the software owner.

In each of these cases, the software that you have has been provided so that you can evaluate the product and decide whether it is the right one for you before you buy it. In the case of a demo version, some key function of the software such as save has been disabled in the version that you have and although you can try out the functionality of the software to see what it does you can’t actually do anything with the results.

A trial version is not quite so restrictive. Usually, with a trial version, you get full functionality but only for a limited number of uses or for a limited amount of time, at the end of that used the software will either disable itself completely or will convert to a demo version. The assumption in either of these cases is that you get to see what the program does and if you like it you then pay for the full version. In some cases converting your demo or trial version into the full version just requires you entering the code supplied when you paid for the product into the program that you already have.

Shareware is exactly the same as trial or demo software in that you are given permission to try the software for a limited period before buying it. The main difference between shareware and a trial or demo version is that the software may continue to function after the trial period expires. This doesn’t mean that you are legally entitled to continue using the software, it just means that the software owner is relying on your honesty to pay for the software. Continuing to use shareware after the trial period and without paying for it is just as illegal as taking a copy of purchased software off of your friend’s computer and installing it on your own.

So when is the software that you obtain from the Internet or on magazine cover CDs actually free?

Well, sometimes the magazines do a special deal with the software owners to put a free copy of an old version of their software on their CD along with a special offer to upgrade to the full version. This is usually advertised very clearly on the magazine cover and on the CD as well so it should be clear when this is the case. One thing that I have noticed recently regarding this type of software is that most of it requires that you register it via the internet in order to be able to continue using it beyond a short trial period. This can make it difficult to install such “free” software on a computer without an internet connection.

Other software that is free for you to use on your own computer should be clearly identified as Freeware, Public Domain, or software subject to the GPL (GNU public licence). Any software so marked is available for you to use on your own computer and most such software may also be copied and given to your friends as well (but check for any restrictions particularly if you obtained the software from a CD). In the case of public domain software you can do whatever you like with the software including selling it (if you can find anyone silly enough to buy something they can obtain free). GPL software may also be sold and even modified to perform additional functions. The only conditions on doing anything with software subject to the GPL is that the conditions of the GPL be met which includes the requirements that the source code be supplied along with the executable version and that any copies and product modified versions are also distributed subject to the GPL. Just because software is freeware doesn’t necessarily give you the right to do what you like with it, the owner may have given you the right to a free copy that you can run on your computer but they may have retained all of the other rights associated with the program for themselves.

So just because you downloaded some software from the internet or from a magazine CD cover doesn’t mean that the software is free, it all depends on the license conditions associated with the software.

All software not in the public domain is subject to copyright. This copyright gives the software owner certain rights over their software such as the right to make copies of the software, the right to change the software, and the right to sell the software. When you obtain a copy of any software by whatever means, the software owner still retains these rights. What rights you get with respect to the software should be spelled out for you in the software license.

Free Software?

free
free free

There is plenty of software that you can obtain from a variety of sources such as by downloading from the internet or from the CD on the front cover of a magazine that you have purchased. You might think that all of this software is completely free and that you can do what you like with it. No matter how nice it would be if all of this software actually was free, this is rarely the case.

If you check out the documentation that comes along with this software you will usually find that the software is labeled as Shareware, or is a Trial or Demo version. If so then to use the software legally on an ongoing basis requires an additional payment to the software owner.

In each of these cases, the software that you have has been provided so that you can evaluate the product and decide whether it is the right one for you before you buy it. In the case of a demo version, some key function of the software such as save has been disabled in the version that you have and although you can try out the functionality of the software to see what it does you can’t actually do anything with the results.

A trial version is not quite so restrictive. Usually, with a trial version, you get full functionality but only for a limited number of uses or for a limited amount of time, at the end of that used the software will either disable itself completely or will convert to a demo version. The assumption in either of these cases is that you get to see what the program does and if you like it you then pay for the full version. In some cases converting your demo or trial version into the full version just requires you entering the code supplied when you paid for the product into the program that you already have.

Shareware is exactly the same as trial or demo software in that you are given permission to try the software for a limited period before buying it. The main difference between shareware and a trial or demo version is that the software may continue to function after the trial period expires. This doesn’t mean that you are legally entitled to continue using the software, it just means that the software owner is relying on your honesty to pay for the software. Continuing to use shareware after the trial period and without paying for it is just as illegal as taking a copy of purchased software off of your friend’s computer and installing it on your own.

So when is the software that you obtain from the Internet or on magazine cover CDs actually free?

Well, sometimes the magazines do a special deal with the software owners to put a free copy of an old version of their software on their CD along with a special offer to upgrade to the full version. This is usually advertised very clearly on the magazine cover and on the CD as well so it should be clear when this is the case. One thing that I have noticed recently regarding this type of software is that most of it require that you register it via the internet in order to be able to continue using it beyond a short trial period. This can make it difficult to install such “free” software on a computer without an internet connection.

Other software that is free for you to use on your own computer should be clearly identified as Freeware, Public Domain, or software subject to the GPL (GNU public license). Any software so marked is available for you to use on your own computer and most such software may also be copied and given to your friends as well (but check for any restrictions particularly if you obtained the software from a CD). In the case of public domain software, you can do whatever you like with the software including selling it (if you can find anyone silly enough to buy something they can obtain free). GPL software may also be sold and even modified to perform additional functions. The only conditions on doing anything with software subject to the GPL is that the conditions of the GPL be met which includes the requirements that the source code be supplied along with the executable version and that any copies and modified versions are also distributed subject to the GPL. Just because the software is freeware doesn’t necessarily give you the right to do what you like with it, the owner may have given you the right to a free copy that you can run on your computer but they may have retained all of the other rights associated with the program for themselves.

So just because you downloaded some software from the internet or from a magazine CD cover doesn’t mean that the software is free, it all depends on the license conditions associated with the software.

All software not in the public domain is subject to copyright. This copyright gives the software owner certain rights over their software such as the right to make copies of the software, the right to change the software, and the right to sell the software. When you obtain a copy of any software by whatever means, the software owner still retains these rights. What rights you get with respect to the software should be spelled out for you in the software license.