Joe Wood

Early Computing at Princeton

All Princeton Alumni get the magazine known as the PAW for the Princeton Alumni Weekly.  It’s not really a weekly any more but the name stuck.  The April 4, 2012 issue had two interesting articles about early computing.  Alan Turing *38 (the asterisk or star indicates a graduate degree and an apostrophe means undergraduate degree…

RAM needs

RAM stands for Random Access Memory.  The RAM in your computer is where everything happens.  Programs reside on disk but, in the computer architecture proposed by John von Neumann and universally used in computers since, programs must be read into memory and can only be executed there.  The data also resides in RAM memory.  There…

CMOS

CMOS in an acronym for Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (usually Silicon).  You can look at the Wikipedia article for more detail but the most important aspect of CMOS for this article is that if it is in the off state or in the on state it uses essentially zero energy and therefore produces much less…

Laptop Lockups

Bless the little laptops.  Their tiny brains sometimes get so confused.  If your laptop is unresponsive to the power on/off button, perform this simple procedure and most of the time you will be back on the air in a minute or so. First, unplug the  AC adapter from your laptop. Second,close the top, if opened,…

Malware – Quick Definitions

Malware is a generic term for all types of software that the bad guys use to attack your computer for their nefarious purposes.  Some of these yo-yos are just pimply faced guys living in their mother’s basements trying to get creds with other hackers by bragging on their bulletin boards.  Others want to take over…

Hardware is a Commodity

These days hardware is a commodity and a bargain at that. Except for the Apple world which is vertically integrated, just about anybody’s hardware is as good as anyone else’s. There are some manufacturers where what you find in the box is whatever the purchasing manager got cheap that week. Most desktop computers are made…

Bots

If your PC is a bot or has been attached to a bot network, it means that you have been infected with malware that puts your machine under the control of a master machine somewhere in the world.  There are claims that some bot-nets are composed of millions of PCs. There are two main uses…

A Recent Event

Recently a customer came to me with a laptop running Vista.  Neither the keyboard nor the touchpad worked.  That was the simple part.  I plugged in an external USB keyboard and mouse, then, after they had been discovered and installed, I went to the Device Manager and removed the keyboard and touchpad.  After a reboot…