Components are those devices that are internal to a computer -- the PC boards, the central processor (CPU), the memory (RAM), disk and video controllers and so on.

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Moore’s law state that computing power will double their speed every 18 months or so. While many have predicted the law to end in the 1980’s, it has been going strong even today - but for how long? Moore's Law suggests exponential growth, and it is unlikely it will last forever.
Arrow Electronics was searching for a KVM (Keyboard/Video/Mouse) switch that could display on one single monitor the current status of all units being tested on the rack.
As cyber crime continues to grow in both numbers and sophistication, a troubling trend of optimization has emerged over the last year.

On Beyond Tools

A conversation I recently had with the DevOps manager of a major online retailer really made me think about DevOps monitoring tools. The manager and I discussed how several DevOps shops seem to define themselves based on the number of tools they have monitoring their build and IT stack. The point he went on to make is:

You can go up and down the isles at a conference with the corporate credit card and buy every tool in sight but all those purchases don’t make you a DevOps. All it makes you is the owner of many tools.

The point of the manager’s comment is that being an effective DevOps shop or IT service provider means you go beyond just owning tools. You have to incorporate those tools into a meaningful DevOps philosophy and an understanding of proper tool management and proper team integration. And, importantly from my humble perspective, proper alerting.

DevOps, as a philosophy, encourages shifting left and putting testing earlier into the process so that teams can be proactive in their support rather than reactive to problems. So, how does a DevOps enable this shift in thinking from reactive to proactive? Read on to find out.

Devops monitoring tools – a love affair

Devops is about bringing development and operational teams together. And to some extent, tools can be a way to improve this relationship. A recent whitepaper from Puppet describes how:

Or at least that’s the word according to a new blog from Tech Target on AWS’s new Managed Services (MS) offering. According to the blog, AWS is launching their AWS MS program to expedite the adoption of cloud by Fortune 1000 and Global 2000 companies. The article published last week notes AWS’ belief that companies want:

[T]o add additional automation, make use of standard components that can be used more than once, and to relieve their staff of as many routine operational duties as possible.

Further explanation is provided in AWS’ announcement of their new product which they claim is designed to take over system monitoring, incident management, change control provisioning and patch management. Indeed, these are usually functions that fall under the auspices of IT Ops. And as the Tech Target article goes on to note:

After all of this, the only ones left standing could be application developers, despite — or thanks to — Amazon’s vast array of development tools.

So, if we follow AWS’s logic, we might think that they have sunk their claws into the whole IT management life-cycle. The question then becomes, has AWS set the stakes for IT management to meet its maker? Ummmm, not so fast, Cowboy.

One cloud to rule them all

The first thing to note in reading the Tech Target blog
In the modern office, employees tend to move around the workplace a lot more freely. Conferences, collaborative groups, flexible seating and working from home require a new level of mobility. Technology has not only changed the behavior and the expectations of the workforce. It is also changing the
Great sound, comfort and fit, excellent build quality, versatility, compatibility. These are just some of the many reasons for choosing a headset from Sennheiser.
pc, laptop  monitor connection configurations

Author Comment

hi ericpete,
next time I will write current topics on ciphering algorithms.ok!
I have purchased two new systems and both are now Universal Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) based. UEFI is replacing BIOS for the desktop PC. It is a Linux based firmware with enough robustness it can communicate with a website without loading a OS. At the same time getting a system working under UEFI can be a little tricky. One prepackaged desktop system allowed me to install Windows 8.1 Pro with nary a hitch. The other one I built myself. Separate motherboard, CPU, RAM, hard drive etc. All well known manufactures and  top of the line items to be used primarily as a gaming system. You would expect this to work. I have built many systems this way.
In this particular system I was unable to install an OS. I also had trouble trying to just have the system act reliably during boot up. Below is my experience with this one system and I hope it helps someone not go through what I did.
The system RAM can really make the Universal Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) act very unusual and send you off  looking in several directions.  Some of the symptoms are no matter what device you try to boot from (DVD, USB, CD or hard drive) it may start booting and then just stop or reset itself sometimes over and over. Initially you suspect damaged media (scratched DVD), then you suspect the UEFI fast boot or the Windows 8.1 settings within the UEFI so you systematically eliminate them one by one, but it is still flaky. I was all the way down to as close to the backwards compatible …

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by:Robert Hatcher
It's my first. I went through hell getting UEFI to work and I was just trying to help others. There is little to no documentation on UEFI and every manufacturer seem to portray it differently. I'll see what I can do. next time I'll take my time and work offline and submit something as a finished product. In the meanwhile I'll see what I can do to make it a better article.
More and more people are using the enhanced small form-factor pluggable (SFP+) tranceivers, and speed is of utmost importance. Testing of speeds are critical to ensure that the devices will meet the speed requirements. There are some testing challenges, but once you overcome those hurdles, you’ll be on your way to learning more about the speed of the transceivers. 

Here are some of the challenges you can expect when testing the speeds of transceivers and also some of the recommended ways to test the speed of any transceiver. Armed with this information, you should be able to achieve desired transceiver performance. 

1. Analog Transceiver Testing 
Analog transceiver testing requires a baseband signal that originates at the Radio Frequency tester and is provided to an analog transceiver. Usually, the DAC providing the signal is located internally. Parallel or serial digital input/output signals are commonly used, and these signals will be provided and acquired by the tester. The device will up-convert the baseband modulated signal to an Radio Frequency frequency. This type of transceiver will usually require a reference clock. A tester would acquire the signal, demodulate the signal, and test the parameters. 

2. Radio Frequency Tester Increasing Demands
Radio Frequency testers are growing in demand. They evolved from the analog signal analyzers and have grown to use digital modulation techniques. Third-order intercept, harmonic distortion, and compression have all …

When experiencing some peculiar problem with the functioning of your PC, how many times has it happened that you look for a solution and even google can’t help?

It could be that you are one of the only few people on earth who may have experienced it.

The above is generally a sign of some part (hardware) that is about to die but has not given up completely and is still working. To most of us and most of the times, it may seem normal until the hardware fails completely.

Basic Diagnosis:

When looking for a solution, my first gut reaction is to Google it (or search here on EE!). Nine times out of ten, I do land up with the information I was seeking. Well, if you are searching carefully, and still can’t find an answer, it is time to look into your hardware. I have always been inquisitive enough to go to extreme lengths to get something to work right if it ain’t working right. Listed are incidents that I have faced in real life that made me learn the lesson the hard way.

1. Case

It was quite some time ago, when even a 512MB Ram stick was precious. My PC had 512 MB Ram. Somewhere out of my Computer junk yard, I managed to get a spare 512 MB stick. Well, I plugged it in the spare RAM slot of the motherboard of my PC. BIOS memory test picked up 1024 MB and my spirits were held high. Windows booted and showed 1024 MB under the Properties sheet in “My Computer”.

Few days after many hours of operating …
System overheating may become a serious problem if not taken care of at the proper time. I am writing this article because I faced a similar problem.

All electronic devices produce heat, but computers are a special case - the processors both produce a lot of heat and are also very sensitive to overheating. Heat will affect the lifespan of the computer whether it is a Laptop or Desktop.

All motherboards, CPU, graphic card, hard disk drive come with sensors which can tell its current temperature. Each device has the maximum bearable temperature which is set by the manufacturer. If the device runs at maximum temperature for a particular period of time, it can go bad and you may have to replace it.

The CPU and GPU (Graphic Processor Unit) are common components which are adversely affected by overheating problems. If you try to run the CPU without the processor fan even for few seconds the internal circuits may be damaged or burned. Usually if the processor fan is not connected or not working the system won't start. This feature is to protect the processor. The normal working temperature of CPU should be around 40 Celsius and at heavy load it can go up-to 65 to 70 Celsius. Anything above will affect the CPU in the long run.

Common causes for overheating:
- Installing processor without thermal casing.
- Accumulation of dust in the processor heat-sink, blocking proper airflow.
- Blocking air intake …
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I just finished dealing with exactly this problem. My 4-week old computer suddenly started randomly shutting down. Turns out it was a bad liquid cooling system (stay away from XtremeGear from Cyberpowerpc).

Good article, I voted "Yes" above.
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Even without special monitoring software, it is often possible to detect when your CPU is heating up.   Here are two ways:

1) Open Task Manger, then minimize it.  A small CPU meter will show in the system status area (the "tray").  If the gauge ever gets near the top, you are maxing out your CPU (you can hover the mouse over the icon to see the CPU usage percentage) and your CPU is in danger of eventually overheating or shutting down with undesired consequences.

2) Listen for an increase in fan noise.  Most motherboards already have an internal sensor that increases cooling fan speed when the CPU is heated above normal levels.

And the common-sense advice for what to do in such cases:  Stop any unnecessary processes that are running.  Keep an eye on the CPU meter (and listen to the fan) -- when the system returns to a normal level, you are out of danger of a CPU meltdown.  

Of course, you can't just abort important system processes, but you can kill programs that are elective.  For instance, my QuadCore AMD CPU maxes out when I'm running more than three copies of FFMPEG, so I back off and run just one or two copies.  

Another note from experience:  If you can't figure out which process is maxing your CPU, click "Show processed from all users" in the Task Manager Processes pane.  A program running on a switched-our user session -- even a web browser -- can be the culprit.
As you can read I recycle all my old hardware and the time has come that my power supply of 200 Watt cannot provide enough power for my backup server.

I have lots of Compaq power supply's laying around, so I figured to use one of these PSU's. I tried to search on the internet for solutions to hotwire the power supply. The message I found in google was: "Connect the Green wire (PSON) with any black wire (Ground)".
Of course Compaq figured to use a non standard way, and nobody bothered to document this, so now I have done so. I hope you find this helpful!

Be AWARE, you can get a shock, so watch your fingers!!! Also these steps can burnout your power supply or any devices you connect to the Power Supply Unit (You are warned)

Okay, disconnect all the wires from the Compaq Power supply (Model: 221256-001) and since you will probably toss away the Compaq deskpro EN, be good to your environment -- recycle that thing.

Get a cheap cdrom, hdd that you can connect to one of the molex connectors so you have a minimum load on your power supply, or else the PSU will not do anything.

Plug in the power from the wall into your seperate power supply, and watch your fingers! Get the 24 pins Motherboard connector and look at the wires. First connect the Grey Wire to any brown wire (Use one of the thick wires not the thin wire!) on the connector with a paperclip (Just bend it into the right shape). Check your Power supply for funky smells, if not all goes well!!

 Connect the grey sense wire to a brown wire

Author Comment

The article is ready, i double checked it on grammer and spelling, but i'am dutch so be gentle! ;-)

When a connection to the internet is established, there always exists a modem between the connected device and the ISP (Internet Service Provider). The Operating System (OS) on your PC controls the modem which communicates with the ISP to establish a connection.

When you cannot connect to the internet, the most probable reason is that either your modem is not configured / installed properly or the login parameters being used are incorrect.

You can think of it as a simple phone in your premises which is used to make a Call. We can list the same process as below –

At your premises –

1.  You pick up the phone and hear a Dial tone.
2.  You dial a Number to the person you are calling.
3.  The phone company checks if you have sufficient credit to make the call.
4.  If you pass the test at step 3, then you are connected and you can talk to the person on the other end but if it fails then the connection is unsuccessful.
5.  When finished, you hang up.

In your PC –

1.  The Operating system checks for a modem and initializes it.
2.  The Operating system dials in to your ISP.
3.  The modem requests a connection to the internet with your ISP which checks your user credentials.
4.  If you pass the test at step 3, then the modem establishes a successful connection to the internet and you can browse the web but if it fails then the connection is unsuccessful.
5.  When finished, you disconnect.
A little history
Back in 1997 when I built my first custom computer using the revolutionary Gateway website I didn’t have much to choose from except for the CPU. The race between computer manufacturers was held back by processor manufacturers. They used to bring a new CPU every month or so and speed was the goal. Everybody thought that processors were going to run at 20 Gigahertz by 2010 until in the first years of the 21 century they realized that the money wasn’t in speed, but in the number of processors inside the chip. That’s when things begun to be interesting.

Companies from all over the world started to work in faster data transmission between components and bigger storage. The race took different ways: better and faster motherboards that could support those new processors and new memory systems for those motherboards. By 2002, manufacturers finally begun working hard to deliver the best user experience possible using those components. Audio got a little bit better (actually, there is nothing to improve in that area) and video started taking shape.

I’m sure anybody more than 30 years old can remember playing Digger, Sokoban and Prince of Persia with 1, 2, 8 and 16 colors in your PS2. You could get sick just by playing those more than 2 hours. We didn’t need all that green or orange in our lives! Well today everything has changed. Heck I can take my computer out of my backpack today, turn the screen over and start drawing in thousands of colors. No …

This article applies to

This article will be of use if you are the owner / supporter of any computer that comes with a discrete graphics card from nVidia / ATI Radeon (Now owned by AMD) or any embedded graphics solution and need to upgrade the graphics adapter drivers for the same but don't know how to go about it.

Why / When do I need to upgrade?

Graphics adapters are frequently updated to increase performance, improve stability and optimize the instruction sets that are use to display out output on monitors. Keeping your drivers up to date will always go a long way in keeping your system healthy, and in many cases solves many computer issues. You might be surprised to learn that graphics adapter driver related issues are among the greatest source of Windows problems and crashes.

Having the latest drivers (its a good idea to upgrade about 2-3 weeks after the initial release) is a GOOD thing and it is a rule that should be followed for all hardware devices in your system.


Finding out the current drivers you have

In the absence of any professional hardware detection solution, the easiest way to verify your current video card is to use the device manager in Windows. Since Windows 7 will soon become the defacto standard, I will be using that as a base for all further instructions.

To get your current details : Right click on My Computer -> Select Properties -> Select Device Manager

It is a very old trick to use a ram disk in order to boost PC performances, in the past, when in home environments the fastest common devices were floppy disks a part of the very small ram memory available was used to create a virtual hard drive, and was used to store critical data that had to be fast available and soon served to the PC.

The boost obtained in this way was simply outrageous and the very slow machines of those times (25 years ago) were in this way somehow well exploited.

As the technologies were constantly developed, faster and more reliable devices were spread on the market at all levels. Soon, we reached a condition for which a ram disk was not very important anymore in home environments, so the topic was less and less discussed or taken in consideration.

At present time, a ram disk is still an unknown item to the mass, and only in the last year many heard of the new SSD Hard disks.

SSD hard drives are composed of memory chips, the name of such a unit is Solid State Disk.
The chips can be of various kinds of flash memories and volatile standard RAM. They do not use an electromechanical system and metal disks to store the data.

Today the so commonly called SSD are mainly NAND flash memory based , this memory chips can store the data also when the power is cut off, prices going low and development going on, as of typical IT trend, made economically possible to launch on the mass market this devices.

Even though the initial high …
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by:Eric AKA Netminder

Contratulations! Your article has been published.

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So, if your PC is old or new and it does not boot or has no display then what do you do?

Precautions :
-During connecting or disconnecting devices, be sure to have the AC electrical power disconnected
-Temporarily ground yourself, or use a wrist strap to prevent electric static discharges from destroying certain components.

Here are my troubleshooting procedures:

-With a new motherboard: verify if all mounting standoffs' holes correspond with the holes in the motherboard!!
   Or test the motherboard outside the case, on a wooden  (non conductive) surface
-Clean the system from dust, then  test with the minimum setup:
 - Disconnect all peripherals devices (including the drives, CD, DVD, printers and keyboard) and network cables, except for the motherboard + CPU + 1 ram stick, video card, monitor and power supply
-Verify that the 4-, 6- or 8-pin CPU Aux power plug is connected
-Verify that the VIDEO card has a power connecter - if yes, connect the power to it!

Now, power-on  your PC.  On boot, do you have a display?
-if NO it is one of the connected devices: RAM, Power supply , video card or monitor.  So, if possible, swap ram, power supply, video card or monitor - leaving only motherboard and CPU
-test the ram in each slot, sometimes you have abad slot, causing ram problems
-if YES, then disconnect the AC electrical power, and start reconnecting each of the peripherals, devices and cables (one at a time) until the problem shows itself.  Before each of …
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chances are  : bad mobo = 95 % - - bad cpu = 5%
so the choice is easily made
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by:Fred Marshall
You might briefly mention asking the question "is it worth it? for some of this.  It depends on the intended audience.
I tend to always replace the power supply first.  It's easy, it's cheap and there are generally PSUs on the shelf.
 I'd say the same: PSU 95% Memory 5%.
Memory (not to be confused with Hard Drive Space) can greatly increase the performance of a computer. Each version of Window has greater demands on memory. My personal recommendation to get decent performance out of a machine is as follows:
Windows 2000 - 512MB minimum
Windows XP - 1GB minimum
Windows Vista - 2GB minimum
This is for a typical end user who uses Word Processing, Email, Internet etc. Intensive applications such as video or photo editing may require more for optimal performance.

There are many components when considering an upgrade for RAM: Type, Capacity, Speed, Pairs, etc. And it can be confusing to find what you need.
There are many types of memory, DDR and SODIMM being among the most common. It is vital when purchasing memory to find the right type, as other types will not physically fit or work in the system.
Each memory slot has a maximum capacity. This can be found either in the manual for the motherboard or from a system scanner

A Great tool to find all the information you need for your PC is the Crucial System Scanner at
This will tell you exactly what your computer has and has good pricing for the memory you need!