Category Archives: Computer & Laptop

How do manufacturers test my phone for durability?

Written by: Quintin Bentley Crevling

We have all dropped our phone and frantically attempted to brace the fall with our foot to avoid a cracked screen. It can be extremely frustrating to a consumer who spends hundreds of dollars on the newest technology, only to drop it once and then have a shattered screen. In fact, broken cell phones have plagued so many customers that cell phone repairs have grown to a $4 billion a year industry. Companies are combating this plague by implementing several extensive durability tests during the manufacturing process. Companies from many industries have begun purchasing products from purchasing products from NDT Equipment that test merchandise to ensure that manufacturers can create the best product possible. Major cell phone companies now perform a sit test, a bending/pressure test, and a torsion test to simulate the extreme circumstances our phones may endure.

The first phase of durability testing is the sit test. Many consumers carry their cell phone in their pants pocket for large portions of the day. This can bend and twist phones beyond their designed capacity. To test sitting durability, companies have started using a hydraulic press to push the phone onto three different surfaces to test the pressure a phone can take. The manufacturer will test on a flat surface, a slightly curved surface, and an extremely curved surface. When we sit on a hard surface with our phone in our back pocket it doesn’t bend too much, but softer surfaces tend to give, which makes the phone more likely to bend. Imagine sitting on a wood bench vs. sitting in a hammock with your phone in your back pocket. The hydraulic press will repeatedly apply pressure and then release pressure to simulate bending across multiple occurrences.

The largest factors when testing a cell phone’s durability are the amount of pressure being applied and the angle in which it is being applied. Apple does not publicly say how much pressure their phones can take, but they have stated that the iPhone 6 can handle roughly 25 kg of pressure during the bending test. Cell phone companies test the bending capacity by clamping the phone at the top and bottom, and then applying pressure to the middle of the phone until it bends beyond repair. In a similar fashion, manufacturers test for pressure by applying a single hydraulic rod to the center of the phone with 10 kg of weight. This is meant to simulate the amount of pressure a consumer could apply when they are using their phone.

The torsion test is very important to the durability of the phone, especially as phones are getting bigger. There are many scenarios in which our phones can become twisted in our jeans or in a bag with heavy items. In the torsion test, a phone is attached to a lathe at the top and bottom and each end is independently twisted. This test is very important to determine if the internal structure of the phone can handle distortion.


Transfer Music from iPod to Computer

Apple always follows certain procedures to prevent piracy of content. One way they do it is by using their own programs and software to keep data transactions from your iPod to the computer strictly in iTunes. However, there is a way to bypass this and get all the songs from your iPod directly on your computer.
The reasons to copy/paste songs from the iPod to your Mac or PC aren’t always related to piracy and file sharing. A time may come, when we have all our music stored on the iPod; and the music stored on the computer is lost, deleted, or corrupted. What do we do then?

In such a situation, if you want to get your audio files back onto your desktop computer or laptop, you will have to copy the files from the iPod onto your computer’s hard drive.

Usually the easiest way of doing this is to connect your iPod to the computer and after tweaking a few setting, you can directly copy/paste the songs from your iPod to the computer. The few setting that you have to tweak, and the entire process you have to go through is mentioned below. Note that the procedure is different for Macintosh machines and Windows machines.

If you think changing or tweaking your iPod settings is too much, then there are also certain software that will help you copy your music from an iPod to a computer. A few of the best software that perform these tasks are Senuti, CopyTrans, iPod Rip, iRip, and TouchCopy. Each software provides fast file transfer through an easy-to-use interface. Make sure the one you use can transfer all the tags properly. Apart from that, there isn’t much concern over the use of these software. They easily let you copy all the songs, podcasts, and videos to your computer/Mac, and give you a good panel to browse through your collection.

Copy-Pasting Music from iPod to PC

If you want to do the iPod-to-computer song transfer; you would require an iPod, its data cable, a computer with sufficient space to store files, and Apple iTunes software.

Step 1: Enable Disk Use
For accessing the music files on your iPod, you need to enable disk use on your iPod. To do this, connect your iPod to the computer using the data cable. Allow iTunes to open automatically; if it does not, open it manually. After iTunes recognizes the device, click on ‘Continue’ in the interface. Click on ‘Summary’ in the iTunes interface, check the ‘Manually manage music and videos’ option, and click on ‘OK’ and ‘Apply’ located at the bottom right of the interface. This will enable the iPod’s disk use.

Step 2: View Hidden Folders
Click on ‘My Computer’, and locate the iPod’s drive. To see the music files, you will have to first view hidden files. Select the ‘Tools’ option on the menu bar, select ‘Folder Options’, then ‘View’, click on the ‘Show hidden files and folders’ option, and then ‘OK’.

Step 3: Locate the Music Files
Double-click on the iPod’s drive, and now you will be able to see the ‘iPod_Control’ folder in which the music files are stored. In the ‘iPod_Control’ folder, locate the ‘Music’ folder, and double-click on it. You will see several folders named as F00, F01, F02, F03, and so on. View any one of its contents, and you can see the audio files. However, the names of music files will not be displayed; but you can see the artist, file duration, album, etc.

Step 4: Copy-paste Files in Your Computer
Copy-paste the files that you want in a folder on your hard drive. At this point of time, you would be thinking how the file names are to be renamed and identified. However, the best option is to open the saved folder in iTunes. After doing so, you will have all your music files sorted out in the iTunes music library. In the library, you will be able to view the names of all files.

Copying Music from iPod to Mac

Step 1: Launch Terminal
You can access the Terminal through /Applications/Utilities.

Step 2: View Hidden Files
Once you’re at the Terminal, type in the following commands:
AppleShowAllFiles TRUE (Then press Return)
killall Finder (Then press Return again)

Step 3: Locate the Files and Copy the Music
You’ll find the audio files in iPod Control > Music. Now you have to use the Finder to transfer the audio files to a folder of your choice on your Mac.

Step 4: Organize Files
In the iTunes menu, select File > Add to Library, open the folder where the songs have been copied to. The songs will now be loaded on to your iTunes.

Tips and Tricks

There are a few handy things that you should know, which help speed things up a little.

♫ Whenever you connect the iPod to the computer, the two will start auto-syncing with each other. Once auto-sync is complete, you can only view the iPod’s content through iTunes. You can bypass this and get your iPod listed in your PC’s explorer as a removable device. To do so, press and hold Shift + Ctrl immediately after plugging the iPod in. Keep pressing the keys till you get a source list that puts down the iPod as a removable disk in ‘My Computer’. The same can be done on the Mac by pressing and holding Command + Option.

♫ When you’re in the iPod’s folders, make sure the folder settings are changed to allow the viewing of hidden files and folders.

♫ You can view and/or change the location where iTunes stores its files on your computer, through the ‘Preferences’ tab. PC users can click on Edit > Preferences, and Mac users can click on the iTunes logo > Preferences. In the advanced tab, you’ll see the location where the files are stored.

♫ In the same ‘Advanced’ tab, you can check the ‘Copy files to iTunes media folder when adding to library’ option, so that every time the iPod is synced to iTunes, iTunes will copy new songs into the (default/custom) location.

♫ Always make sure that there is enough space on the iPod as well as the drive where iTunes will store the media library.

It’s tricky, but not impossible. It just takes a little patience and a proper solution. The solution I have given applies to iTunes version 8 and above. In that regard, please make sure you always install the latest version of iTunes when you’re doing this.

Fix an 'Invalid Partition Table' Error

An ‘Invalid Partition Table’ error is one of the errors you would encounter if you haven’t booted the computer to the right device. This article tells you how to fix this particular error.
Partition tables or partition maps store information to help load the operating system into the computer. The BIOS is a firmware that stores partition tables and the associated memory data. It’s the first thing that loads when you switch on the computer. The BIOS is required to check whether the partitions are in working condition. The most common use of the BIOS is to format your system or reinstall a better operating system (OS).

So imagine how you would feel when your OS doesn’t load, and shows a message Invalid Partition Table. Partition systems of old contained the Master Boot Record, which was responsible for the booting of the system. Since Windows Vista, manufacturers have started using a new system, GUID Partition Table (GPT), which allows the computer to be split into multiple partitions, extremely useful for dual-booting systems.

An invalid partition table error occurs due to the following reasons:

The MBR is trying to boot from some other device than the DVD-ROM, which is the first option in the boot priority order.
When some other device is connected to the USB port, like a flash drive or an external hard disk drive (HDD).
There is no operating system installed on the computer.

In the following sections, we shall tell you how to fix the invalid partition table error.

On Windows XP

Step 1: Analysis

Download Hiren’s BootCD, a free bootable software that will run at the time of booting, irrespective if your operating system works or not. Burn it to a CD/DVD and insert it in the CD drive to make it run.
Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart your computer.
Press F12 to enter BIOS and enter 1st Boot Setting : CD-ROM Group. Change the booting order to reflect the changes.
Save the changes.
Now restart the computer once again. Select Mini Windows XP from the options when it boots.
After the OS gets loaded, go to Start – Programs- Administrative Tools- Disk Management to see the status of each partition, i.e. C, D, and however many drives you may have. The amount of memory allocated to each partition can be seen.
If everything’s fine, go to Windows Explorer and check C Drive to see if an OS is installed.
If it isn’t, restart your computer once more.
Now run the Boot CD, and go to Master Boot Record Tools – Partition Table Doctor 3.5. This is not compatible with Windows Vista, 7, and 8.
Click on Partition Table Doctor 3.5, and make sure all data is saved, before clicking on OK.
You should scan bad sectors, if any, with HDD Regenerator. This software shows if any sectors have become corrupted and repairs it.

Step 2: Recover Data

To recover data from the C drive, use recovery software like EASEUS Data Recovery or GetDataBack.
Copy-paste the files from the D drive and save this in an external hard disk drive or flash drive.

Step 3: Fix Partition Table

Boot the CD and choose Next to go to the next menu.
Choose MBR (Master Boot Record).
Next, choose Partition Table Doctor from the options.
Click on OK.
Now the program will open up. Click on the Operations menu and click on Rebuild Partition Table, to start repairing the damage to the partition.
Exit the program and eject the CD.
This would have taken care of the error. Now insert a bootable CD/DVD of your respective operating system and install it again to get your system running.

On Windows Vista, 7, and 8

Load the Windows Vista OS (or Windows 7 & 8) bootable disc, and press any key to boot from the DVD.
Choose the language, time, and currency. Now click on Next to continue, and click on Repair Your Computer.
When the System Recovery dialog box pops up, choose Command Prompt.
Type bootrec.exe and press Enter. This rebuilds the partition and fixes the problem.

These are the ways to fix the partition error on your computer. For novices and beginners not comfortable working with the BIOS, it’s recommended to get the error checked by a professional.

Best Computers for Kids

Buying the best computers for kids depends on many factors. This article will guide you in buying child-friendly computers for younger kids, including budget laptops for older children.
When it comes to selecting computers for kids, there are many choices. The main deciding factor is the age of the child. There are certain toy laptops suitable for kids of 1-3 years, while some suitable for 5-7 age range. Above this age you can consider a cheap laptop which has decent features, so you don’t have to be worried if accidentally any damage happens to the computer. Here are choices of various computers for kids.

Best Laptop Computers for Younger Kids (Age 1-7 Years)

For children who are in this age range, the best computers are toy laptops. It is good to introduce younger children to laptops, as it will help them to play many interactive games, puzzles, stories, etc. Also, they can enjoy playing different types of kid-friendly computer games. Many models of toy laptops for kids come in attractive colors. By keeping children in mind, these laptops are designed using tougher materials.

Disney Netpal is a good choice, but it comes at a high price. Other choices include Vtech V Smile, Vtech Nitro notebook, Oregon Scientific Batman PowerWing Laptop, etc. Make sure you look at the list of features the toy laptops offer, and see if the laptop you are buying is suitable for the child’s age.

Best Computer for Older Children (Age 8 +)

When it comes to selecting a computer for older children, the first question that arises is, whether to go for a laptop or a desktop computer? The biggest advantage of desktop computer over a laptop computer, is the price. As desktop computer in comparison to a laptop of same configurations is relatively cheaper. And, the biggest advantage of a laptop computer over a desktop computer is portability. But, it is recommended that you consider a laptop computer as there are many cheap laptops available today. You can either buy these, or buy a second-hand laptop which will be even more affordable.

So, when shopping a laptop computer for children, keep in mind these features – 1 GB RAM, TFT monitor of 10 or 13 inch, graphics card, good quality speakers system, and around 80 GB hard drive. 1 GB RAM will provide good computer speed and performance, while a TFT screen is better for the eyes, a graphics card is a good idea, as the child will be playing games on the computer and will need a graphics card to support it. Also, 80 GB hard drive is good enough to store music, movies, games, e-books, assignments, etc.

There are many options of cheap laptop computers for children. You can buy a very good second-hand laptop which has advanced features in it for a price near 300 to 500 dollars. If you wish to buy a new laptop for children, then the best computer for kids include Asus Eee PC, Intel Classmate PC, OLPC XO-1, Toshiba Satellite L635 Kids PC, etc. These laptops start from 100 dollars and range till 500 or more. Some of these laptops are specially designed, keeping the children in mind, like Intel Classmate series and Toshiba Satellite L635 Kids PC. So, look up for the features you need in the computer, and buy accordingly.

Now, there are many models of all-in-one PCs available. They come at competitive prices and are a good choice of computer for children who are 8 years or older. Wonder Family PC is a good choice of all-in-one computer. It is also ideal for parents who want to their office work. This computer comes with Windows 7 and is equipped with many educational games and applications for children. Apart from this computer, you can find many all-in-one PC by different brands like Sony, Apple, Samsung, Lenovo, etc. However, if you are buying a PC only keeping the child in mind and for some basic computer use for the rest of the family then go with Lenovo. Lenovo has affordable and durable all-in-one PCs from which you can choose.

So, decide what features you want in the laptop, and pick the best child-friendly computers for younger kids, or best, affordable laptop for older children. For older children laptops, you might also need to install some safety software.

Suitable Notebooks for Women

Pink, is the color, and I’m colorblind to the rest. I talk from a female’s point of view, well aware of the fact that, for the most part, it may sound too baffling to men to see us women as slaves to colors. From furnishing our houses to selecting a car, from shopping a cocktail dress to buying a laptop, we’re less bothered about technicalities, and more bothered about the looks. And I doubt I’m different from your average Jane – don’t we all want to buy stuff that has killer looks, and is a head-turner? For me, nothing’s more uber-cool than to sit in a coffee-shop with my stylish colored notebook, while people around notice me and my notebook with the corner of their eyes. Well, there I get every bit of the attention! All you women out there who’re sick of the blacks and the whites and the grays and the coals, here’s reviewing some of the most suitable notebooks for females who believe style and taste is everything. Don’t you be anxious, the features aren’t compromised with, at all! My word.

Best Notebooks for Women: A Review

To some women, it might sound inane to associate a suitable notebook with colors. The idea is to just make you realize that a stylish, colored notebook will stand out from the mass of boring blacks and whites. Not to forget, you’ll come across as a lady with a sense of style, and a taste to flaunt, and simply someone who appreciates colors and vibrancy. The following notebooks are certainly the best picks for women who love working with style. Take a look.

Sony VAIO P Series
There’s something different about Sony VAIO notebooks – you never go unnoticed. A rare fusion of colors, and heart-throbbing textures will never make your notebook overlooked. With Sony VAIO, customize your notebook with specifications you want. Create a piece that suits your needs with the help of options that range from processors to hard disk configuration, and colors to textures. Let your notebook speak who you are. Pick up any color, and you’re bound to make a style statement. The most successful notebooks are the VGN-T350 weighing just 3.1 pounds, along with X505 which is ultra-thin.

Acer Aspire Series
Talk notebooks, an Acer won’t let you down. And when it comes to fulfilling requirements of women, the 10 inch notebooks put forth by Acer within the Aspire series don’t let you down. Wonderful specs, attractive features, and killer looks. Woman, if you’re looking for a notebook which looks extremely beautiful, but doesn’t compromise on specifications at the same time, pick up any notebook belonging to the Acer Aspire series. Aspire Ethos is my personal choice, though. However, two of the most successful models; Acer Aspire One Acer Aspire One D150 and Acer Aspire Timeline X are a lucrative bet.

Dell Inspiron Series
You cannot have a better photo-viewing experience with Dell Inspiron. The 14R and15R laptops that are newly designed with high-definition display add life to lifeless objects. If you’re fond of vibrancy, here’s your chance to brighten your world with the premium brush finish that the notebooks boast upon. Available in multiple colors and patterns, it has an inbuilt camera too! With cell battery up to 10 hours, you can take this beauty along while on the go, and take advantage of a variety of options.

Apple MacBook Pro Series
One of the most sought-after notebooks, the Apple MacBook Pro series offers a range of mini-notebook computers that are beautiful to hold, and durable to maintain. Especially, the 13 inch Apple MacBook Pro – Core 2 Duo 2.5 GHz notebook, which is an engineering achievement. For women who love thin, polished, and refined gadgets, there cannot be a better choice. Yes, they could be a pretty penny for many, but the experience… the experience is beyond par. You spend just once, and you’re set to make the crowd go doddering the moment you switch the device on. With a pristine LED-backlit display, the Apple MacBook Pro series offers the best mini notebooks in the tech-market.

Toshiba NB500 Series
Now this series offers notebooks in 7 colors, and therefore, is an ideal companion for all women. The best thing about Toshiba notebooks is that they provide with awesome keyboard width, thereby, allowing impressive touch typing speed. Up to 8 hours of battery life and superb reliability, the NB500 model under this brand name takes away all merit points. Under the NB500 series, Mini Notebook NB505-N508OR and Mini Notebook NB505-N500BL are the most impressive notebooks for girls. Reason: light-weight, impressive battery life, and can be customized.

While we’re done discussing the famous five, below is a list of the most successful notebooks under these brand names that you can choose from. Apart from the ones mentioned above, this list gives you an opportunity to take account of some more options. Take a look:

Toshiba Mini Notebook NB505-N508GN
Acer Aspire One A110/A150
Acer Aspire5315-2713 Notebook
Apple MacBook Pro – Core 2 Duo 2.5 GHz notebook – 15 inch
Dell Inspiron 14R N4110
Mini Notebook NB505-N508BN

You could always leave your desktop or laptop at home, and still stay connected with the world, all with the help of these stylish notebooks. The notebooks discussed above are always ready to go along with you, no matter where and when you go. Indeed, they’re value-rich companion computers that are stylish, smart, and truly yours.