Sunday, February 6, 2011

250+ Tech books online

10 minute guide to lotus notes mail 4.5

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ActiveX programming unleashed

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Adventure in Prolog/AMZI

Algorithms CMSC251/Mount, David

Alison Balter's Mastering Access 95 development, premier ed.

Apache : The definitive guide, 3rd.ed.

Beej's guide to network programming/Hall, Brain

Beyond Linux from Scratch/BLFS Development Team

Borland C++ builder unleashed

Building an intranet with windows NT 4

Building an Intranet with Windows NT 4

Building expert systems in prolog/AMZI

C programming language

C Programming/Holmes, Steven

C++ Annotations

CGI developer's guide

CGI manual of style

CGI manual of style online

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CGI programming unleashed

CGI programming with Perl, 2nd.ed.

Charlie Calvert's Borland C++ builder unleashed

Client/server computing, 2nd.ed.

Client-server computing, 2nd.ed.

Common LISP, the language/Steele, Guy

Compilers and compiler generators : an introduction with C++/Terry, P.D.

Complete idiot's guide to creating HTML webpage

Computer graphics CMSC 427/Mount, David

Configuring and troubleshooting the windows NT/95 registry

Creating commercial websites

Creating web applets with Java

Crystal Reports.NET

Curious about the internet

Curious about the internet?

Dan appleman's developing activeX components with Visual Basic 5

Dan appleman's developing activex components with Visual Basic 5.0

Data structures CMSC420/Mount, David

Database developer's guide with visual basic 4, 2nd.ed.

Database developer's guide with Visual Basic 4, 2nd.ed.

Database developer's guide with Visual C++ 4, 2nd.ed.

Database developer's guide with Visual C++ 4, 2nd.ed.

Design and analysis of computer algorithms CMSC451/Mount, David

Designing implementing Microsoft internet information server

Designing implementing Microsoft proxy server

Developing for netscape one

Developing intranet applications with java

Developing personal oracle 7 for windows 95 applications

Developing personal Oracle 7 for windows 95 applications

Developing professional java applets

Developing professional java applets


Doing objects with VB.NET and C#

EAI/BPM Evaluation Series: IBM WebSphere MQ Workflow v3.3.2 & EAI Suite by
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Effective AWK programming

Enterprise javabeans, 2nd.ed.

Exploring java

GNOME/Sheets, John

Graph theory/Prof. Even

Hacking java

How intranets work

How intranets work

How to program visual basic 5.0

How to use HTML 3.2

Html : The definitive guide

HTML 3.2 & CGI unleashed

HTML 3.2 and CGI professional reference edition unleashed

HTML by example

Internet firewall

Intranets unleashed

Introduction to object-oriented programming using C++/Muller, Peter

Introduction to programming using Java/Eck, David

Introduction to socket programming

Java 1.1 unleashed

Java 1.1 unleashed, 2nd.ed.

Java 1.1 unleashed, 3rd.ed.

Java 114 documentation

Java AWT reference

Java by example

Java developer's guide

Java developer's guide

Java developer's reference

Java developer's reference

Java Distributed computing

Java enterprise

Java enterprise in a nutshell

Java foundation classes in a nutshell

Java fundamental classes reference

Java in a nutshell

Java in a nutshell, 3rd.ed.

Java language reference

Java security

Java servlet programming

Java unleashed

Java unleashed

Java, 2nd.ed.

_JavaScript : the definitive guide

_Javascript manual of style

_Javascript manual of style

Josh's GNU Linux Guide/Joshua's_GNU_Linux_Guide/

Late night activex

Late night activeX

Laura lemay's 3D graphics in and VRML 2

Laura lemay's activex and _VBScript

Laura lemay's graphics and web page design

Laura lemay's guide to sizzling websites design

Laura lemay's _javascript 1.1

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Laura lemay's web workshop Graphics web page design

Laura lemay's web workshop _javascript

Learning perl

Learning perl on win32

Learning the kornshell

Learning unix

Learning vi

Linux from Scratch/Beekmans, Gerard

Linux in a nutshell, 3rd.ed.

Linux kernel/Rusling, David

Linux network administrator's guide/Dawson, Terry

Linux system administrator's survival guide

MAPI, SAPI and TAPI developer's guide

Mastering access 95 development

Microsoft access 97 quick reference

Microsoft access 97 quick reference

Microsoft backoffice 2 unleashed

Microsoft excel 97 quick reference

Microsoft excel 97 quick reference

Microsoft exchange server survival guide

Microsoft frontpage unleashed

Microsoft word 97 quick reference

Microsoft word 97 quick reference

Microsoft works 4.5 6-In-1

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Ms backoffice unleashed

Mysql and msql

Netscape plug-ins developer's kit

Official gamelan java directory

Oracle built-in packages

Oracle PL/SQL built-in pocket reference

Oracle PL/SQL language pocket reference

Oracle PL/SQL programming guide to Oracle 8 features

Oracle PL/SQL programming, 2nd.ed.

Oracle unleashed

Oracle unleashed

Oracle web applications PL/SQL developer's introduction

Patterns of enterprise application architecture/Fowler, Martin{574D77DF-6ED2-BC5-A6A8-02E59CA7482D}

PC week : the intranet advantage

Perl 5 by example

Perl 5 quick reference

Perl 5 unleashed

Perl 5.0 CGI web pages

Perl cookbook

Perl for system administration

Perl in a nutshell

Perl quick reference

Peter norton's complete guide to windows NT 4 workstations

Presenting activex

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Presenting javabeans

Presenting javabeans

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Programming perl, 3rd.ed.

Programming the Perl DBI

Red hat linux unleashed

Running a perfect intranet

Running Linux, 3rd.ed.

Sams teach yourself java 1.1 in 24 hours/

Sams Teach yourself java in 21 days/Lemay, Laura

Sams teach yourself linux in 24 hours/Ball, Bill

Sams teach yourself shell programming in 24 hours

Sams teach yourself TCP/IP in 14 days

Sed and awk


Sendmail desktop reference

Slackware linux unleashed

Special edition using java, 2nd.ed.

Special edition using _javascript

Special edition using _javascript

Special edition using _Jscript

Special edition using lotus notes and domino 4.5

Special edition using Microsoft SQL server 6.5, 2nd.ed.

Special edition using Microsoft visual Interdev

Special edition using perl 5 for web programming

Special edition using perl for web programming

Special edition using Visual Basic 4


Teach yourself activex programming in 21 days

Teach yourself C++ in 21 days

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Teach yourself CGI programming with Perl 5 in a week

Teach yourself database programming with VB5 in 21 days, 2nd.ed.

Teach yourself database programming with visual basic 5 in 21 days

Teach yourself HTML 3.2 in 24 hours

Teach yourself HTML 3.2 in 24 hours

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Teach yourself java 1.1 programming in 24 hours

Teach yourself jave in café in 21 days

Teach yourself Microsoft visual Interdev in 21 days

Teach yourself Microsoft visual Interdev in 21 days

Teach yourself oracle 8 in 21 days

Teach yourself perl 5 in 21 days

Teach yourself perl 5 in 21 days, 2nd.ed.

Teach yourself SQL in 21 days

Teach yourself SQL in 21 days, 2nd.ed.

Teach yourself TCP/IP in 14 days

Teach yourself TCP/IP in 14 days, 2nd.ed.

Teach yourself the Internet in 24 hours

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Teach yourself web publishing with HTML 3.2 in 14 days

Teach yourself web publishing with HTML in 14 days

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Thinking in C++/Eckel, Bruce - Vol.II, 2nd.ed.

Thinking in Enterprise Java

Thinking in Java, 2nd.ed.

Thinking in Java, 3rd.ed. (pdf)

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Unix hints and hacks/Waingrow, Kirk

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23 Ways To Speed WinXP, Not only Defrag

Since defragging the disk won't do much to improve Windows XP performance, here are 23 suggestions that will. Each can enhance the performance and reliability of your customers' PCs. Best of all, most of them will cost you nothing.
1.) To decrease a system's boot time and increase system performance, use the money you save by not buying defragmentation software -- the built-in Windows defragmenter works just fine -- and instead equip the computer with an Ultra-133 or Serial ATA hard drive with 8-MB cache buffer.

2.) If a PC has less than 512 MB of RAM, add more memory. This is a relatively inexpensive and easy upgrade that can dramatically improve system performance.

3.) Ensure that Windows XP is utilizing the NTFS file system. If you're not sure, here's how to check: First, double-click the My Computer icon, right-click on the C: Drive, then select Properties. Next, examine the File System type; if it says FAT32, then back-up any important data. Next, click Start, click Run, type CMD, and then click OK. At the prompt, type CONVERT C: /FS:NTFS and press the Enter key. This process may take a while; it's important that the computer be uninterrupted and virus-free. The file system used by the bootable drive will be either FAT32 or NTFS. I highly recommend NTFS for its superior security, reliability, and efficiency with larger disk drives.

4.) Disable file indexing. The indexing service extracts information from documents and other files on the hard drive and creates a "searchable keyword index." As you can imagine, this process can be quite taxing on any system.

The idea is that the user can search for a word, phrase, or property inside a document, should they have hundreds or thousands of documents and not know the file name of the document they want. Windows XP's built-in search functionality can still perform these kinds of searches without the Indexing service. It just takes longer. The OS has to open each file at the time of the request to help find what the user is looking for.

Most people never need this feature of search. Those who do are typically in a large corporate environment where thousands of documents are located on at least one server. But if you're a typical system builder, most of your clients are small and medium businesses. And if your clients have no need for this search feature, I recommend disabling it.

Here's how: First, double-click the My Computer icon. Next, right-click on the C: Drive, then select Properties. Uncheck "Allow Indexing Service to index this disk for fast file searching." Next, apply changes to "C: subfolders and files," and click OK. If a warning or error message appears (such as "Access is denied"), click the Ignore All button.

5.) Update the PC's video and motherboard chipset drivers. Also, update and configure the BIOS. For more information on how to configure your BIOS properly, see this article on my site.

6.) Empty the Windows Prefetch folder every three months or so. Windows XP can "prefetch" portions of data and applications that are used frequently. This makes processes appear to load faster when called upon by the user. That's fine. But over time, the prefetch folder may become overloaded with references to files and applications no longer in use. When that happens, Windows XP is wasting time, and slowing system performance, by pre-loading them. Nothing critical is in this folder, and the entire contents are safe to delete.

7.) Once a month, run a disk cleanup. Here's how: Double-click the My Computer icon. Then right-click on the C: drive and select Properties. Click the Disk Cleanup button -- it's just to the right of the Capacity pie graph -- and delete all temporary files.

8.) In your Device Manager, double-click on the IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers device, and ensure that DMA is enabled for each drive you have connected to the Primary and Secondary controller. Do this by double-clicking on Primary IDE Channel. Then click the Advanced Settings tab. Ensure the Transfer Mode is set to "DMA if available" for both Device 0 and Device 1. Then repeat this process with the Secondary IDE Channel.

9.) Upgrade the cabling. As hard-drive technology improves, the cabling requirements to achieve these performance boosts have become more stringent. Be sure to use 80-wire Ultra-133 cables on all of your IDE devices with the connectors properly assigned to the matching Master/Slave/Motherboard sockets. A single device must be at the end of the cable; connecting a single drive to the middle connector on a ribbon cable will cause signaling problems. With Ultra DMA hard drives, these signaling problems will prevent the drive from performing at its maximum potential. Also, because these cables inherently support "cable select," the location of each drive on the cable is important. For these reasons, the cable is designed so drive positioning is explicitly clear.

10.) Remove all spyware from the computer. Use free programs such as AdAware by Lavasoft or SpyBot Search & Destroy. Once these programs are installed, be sure to check for and download any updates before starting your search. Anything either program finds can be safely removed. Any free software that requires spyware to run will no longer function once the spyware portion has been removed; if your customer really wants the program even though it contains spyware, simply reinstall it. For more information on removing Spyware visit this Web Pro News page.

11.) Remove any unnecessary programs and/or items from Windows Startup routine using the MSCONFIG utility. Here's how: First, click Start, click Run, type MSCONFIG, and click OK. Click the StartUpuncheck any items you don't want to start when Windows starts. Unsure what some items are? Visit the WinTasks Process Library. It contains known system processes, applications, as well as spyware references and explanations. Or quickly identify them by searching for the filenames using Google or another Web search engine.

12.) Remove any unnecessary or unused programs from the Add/Remove Programs section of the Control Panel.

13.) Turn off any and all unnecessary animations, and disable active desktop. In fact, for optimal performance, turn off all animations. Windows XP offers many different settings in this area. Here's how to do it: First click on the System icon in the Control Panel. Next, click on the Advanced tab. Select the Settings button located under Performance. Feel free to play around with the options offered here, as nothing you can change will alter the reliability of the computer -- only its responsiveness.

14.) If your customer is an advanced user who is comfortable editing their registry, try some of the performance registry tweaks offered at Tweak XP.

15.) Visit Microsoft's Windows update site regularly, and download all updates labeled Critical. Download any optional updates at your discretion.

16.) Update the customer's anti-virus software on a weekly, even daily, basis. Make sure they have only one anti-virus software package installed. Mixing anti-virus software is a sure way to spell disaster for performance and reliability.

17.) Make sure the customer has fewer than 500 type fonts installed on their computer. The more fonts they have, the slower the system will become. While Windows XP handles fonts much more efficiently than did the previous versions of Windows, too many fonts -- that is, anything over 500 -- will noticeably tax the system.

18.) Do not partition the hard drive. Windows XP's NTFS file system runs more efficiently on one large partition. The data is no safer on a separate partition, and a reformat is never necessary to reinstall an operating system. The same excuses people offer for using partitions apply to using a folder instead. For example, instead of putting all your data on the D: drive, put it in a folder called "D drive." You'll achieve the same organizational benefits that a separate partition offers, but without the degradation in system performance. Also, your free space won't be limited by the size of the partition; instead, it will be limited by the size of the entire hard drive. This means you won't need to resize any partitions, ever. That task can be time-consuming and also can result in lost data.

19.) Check the system's RAM to ensure it is operating properly. I recommend using a free program called MemTest86. The download will make a bootable CD or diskette (your choice), which will run 10 extensive tests on the PC's memory automatically after you boot to the disk you created. Allow all tests to run until at least three passes of the 10 tests are completed. If the program encounters any errors, turn off and unplug the computer, remove a stick of memory (assuming you have more than one), and run the test again. Remember, bad memory cannot be repaired, but only replaced.

20.) If the PC has a CD or DVD recorder, check the drive manufacturer's Web site for updated firmware. In some cases you'll be able to upgrade the recorder to a faster speed. Best of all, it's free.

21.) Disable unnecessary services. Windows XP loads a lot of services that your customer most likely does not need. To determine which services you can disable for your client, visit the Black Viper site for Windows XP configurations.

22.) If you're sick of a single Windows Explorer window crashing and then taking the rest of your OS down with it, then follow this tip: open My Computer, click on Tools, then Folder Options. Now click on the View tab. Scroll down to "Launch folder windows in a separate process," and enable this option. You'll have to reboot your machine for this option to take effect.

23.) At least once a year, open the computer's cases and blow out all the dust and debris. While you're in there, check that all the fans are turning properly. Also inspect the motherboard capacitors for bulging or leaks. For more information on this leaking-capacitor phenomena, you can read numerous articles on my site.

Following any of these suggestions should result in noticeable improvements to the performance and reliability of your customers' computers. If you still want to defrag a disk, remember that the main benefit will be to make your data more retrievable in the event of a crashed drive.

20 Great Google Secrets

20 Great Google Secrets

Google is clearly the best general-purpose search engine on the Web (see

But most people don't use it to its best advantage. Do you just plug in a keyword or two and hope for the best? That may be the quickest way to search, but with more than 3 billion pages in Google's index, it's still a struggle to pare results to a manageable number.

But Google is an remarkably powerful tool that can ease and enhance your Internet exploration. Google's search options go beyond simple keywords, the Web, and even its own programmers. Let's look at some of Google's lesser-known options.

Syntax Search Tricks

Using a special syntax is a way to tell Google that you want to restrict your searches to certain elements or characteristics of Web pages. Google has a fairly complete list of its syntax elements at

. Here are some advanced operators that can help narrow down your search results.

Intitle: at the beginning of a query word or phrase (intitle:"Three Blind Mice") restricts your search results to just the titles of Web pages.

Intext: does the opposite of intitle:, searching only the body text, ignoring titles, links, and so forth. Intext: is perfect when what you're searching for might commonly appear in URLs. If you're looking for the term HTML, for example, and you don't want to get results such as

, you can enter intext:html.

Link: lets you see which pages are linking to your Web page or to another page you're interested in. For example, try typing in


Try using site: (which restricts results to top-level domains) with intitle: to find certain types of pages. For example, get scholarly pages about Mark Twain by searching for intitle:"Mark Twain"site:edu. Experiment with mixing various elements; you'll develop several strategies for finding the stuff you want more effectively. The site: command is very helpful as an alternative to the mediocre search engines built into many sites.

Swiss Army Google

Google has a number of services that can help you accomplish tasks you may never have thought to use Google for. For example, the new calculator feature


lets you do both math and a variety of conversions from the search box. For extra fun, try the query "Answer to life the universe and everything."

Let Google help you figure out whether you've got the right spelling—and the right word—for your search. Enter a misspelled word or phrase into the query box (try "thre blund mise") and Google may suggest a proper spelling. This doesn't always succeed; it works best when the word you're searching for can be found in a dictionary. Once you search for a properly spelled word, look at the results page, which repeats your query. (If you're searching for "three blind mice," underneath the search window will appear a statement such as Searched the web for "three blind mice.") You'll discover that you can click on each word in your search phrase and get a definition from a dictionary.

Suppose you want to contact someone and don't have his phone number handy. Google can help you with that, too. Just enter a name, city, and state. (The city is optional, but you must enter a state.) If a phone number matches the listing, you'll see it at the top of the search results along with a map link to the address. If you'd rather restrict your results, use rphonebook: for residential listings or bphonebook: for business listings. If you'd rather use a search form for business phone listings, try Yellow Search


Extended Googling

Google offers several services that give you a head start in focusing your search. Google Groups


indexes literally millions of messages from decades of discussion on Usenet. Google even helps you with your shopping via two tools: Froogle

which indexes products from online stores, and Google Catalogs

which features products from more 6,000 paper catalogs in a searchable index. And this only scratches the surface. You can get a complete list of Google's tools and services at

You're probably used to using Google in your browser. But have you ever thought of using Google outside your browser?

Google Alert


monitors your search terms and e-mails you information about new additions to Google's Web index. (Google Alert is not affiliated with Google; it uses Google's Web services API to perform its searches.) If you're more interested in news stories than general Web content, check out the beta version of Google News Alerts


This service (which is affiliated with Google) will monitor up to 50 news queries per e-mail address and send you information about news stories that match your query. (Hint: Use the intitle: and source: syntax elements with Google News to limit the number of alerts you get.)

Google on the telephone? Yup. This service is brought to you by the folks at Google Labs


a place for experimental Google ideas and features (which may come and go, so what's there at this writing might not be there when you decide to check it out). With Google Voice Search


you dial the Voice Search phone number, speak your keywords, and then click on the indicated link. Every time you say a new search term, the results page will refresh with your new query (you must have JavaScript enabled for this to work). Remember, this service is still in an experimental phase, so don't expect 100 percent success.

In 2002, Google released the Google API (application programming interface), a way for programmers to access Google's search engine results without violating the Google Terms of Service. A lot of people have created useful (and occasionally not-so-useful but interesting) applications not available from Google itself, such as Google Alert. For many applications, you'll need an API key, which is available free from

. See the figures for two more examples, and visit

for more.

Thanks to its many different search properties, Google goes far beyond a regular search engine. Give the tricks in this article a try. You'll be amazed at how many different ways Google can improve your Internet searching.

Online Extra: More Google Tips

Here are a few more clever ways to tweak your Google searches.

Search Within a Timeframe

Daterange: (start date–end date). You can restrict your searches to pages that were indexed within a certain time period. Daterange: searches by when Google indexed a page, not when the page itself was created. This operator can help you ensure that results will have fresh content (by using recent dates), or you can use it to avoid a topic's current-news blizzard and concentrate only on older results. Daterange: is actually more useful if you go elsewhere to take advantage of it, because daterange: requires Julian dates, not standard Gregorian dates. You can find converters on the Web (such as


excl.gif No Active Links, Read the Rules - Edit by Ninja excl.gif

), but an easier way is to do a Google daterange: search by filling in a form at or

. If one special syntax element is good, two must be better, right? Sometimes. Though some operators can't be mixed (you can't use the link: operator with anything else) many can be, quickly narrowing your results to a less overwhelming number.

More Google API Applications offers three tools based on the Google API. The Google API Web Search by Host (GAWSH) lists the Web hosts of the results for a given query


When you click on the triangle next to each host, you get a list of results for that host. The Google API Relation Browsing Outliner (GARBO) is a little more complicated: You enter a URL and choose whether you want pages that related to the URL or linked to the URL


Click on the triangle next to an URL to get a list of pages linked or related to that particular URL. CapeMail is an e-mail search application that allows you to send an e-mail to with the text of your query in the subject line and get the first ten results for that query back. Maybe it's not something you'd do every day, but if your cell phone does e-mail and doesn't do Web browsing, this is a very handy address to know.

10 Security Enhancements

10 Fast and Free Security Enhancements
PC magazine.

Before you spend a dime on security, there are many precautions you can take that will protect you against the most common threats.

1. Check Windows Update and Office Update regularly (_; have your Office CD ready. Windows Me, 2000, and XP users can configure automatic updates. Click on the Automatic Updates tab in the System control panel and choose the appropriate options.

2. Install a personal firewall. Both SyGate ( and ZoneAlarm ( offer free versions.

3. Install a free spyware blocker. Our Editors' Choice ("Spyware," April 22) was SpyBot Search & Destroy (_ SpyBot is also paranoid and ruthless in hunting out tracking cookies.

4. Block pop-up spam messages in Windows NT, 2000, or XP by disabling the Windows Messenger service (this is unrelated to the instant messaging program). Open Control Panel | Administrative Tools | Services and you'll see Messenger. Right-click and go to Properties. Set Start-up Type to Disabled and press the Stop button. Bye-bye, spam pop-ups! Any good firewall will also stop them.

5. Use strong passwords and change them periodically. Passwords should have at least seven characters; use letters and numbers and have at least one symbol. A decent example would be f8izKro@l. This will make it much harder for anyone to gain access to your accounts.

6. If you're using Outlook or Outlook Express, use the current version or one with the Outlook Security Update installed. The update and current versions patch numerous vulnerabilities.

7. Buy antivirus software and keep it up to date. If you're not willing to pay, try Grisoft AVG Free Edition (Grisoft Inc., w* And doublecheck your AV with the free, online-only scanners available at w* and _

8. If you have a wireless network, turn on the security features: Use MAC filtering, turn off SSID broadcast, and even use WEP with the biggest key you can get. For more, check out our wireless section or see the expanded coverage in Your Unwired World in our next issue.

9. Join a respectable e-mail security list, such as the one found at our own Security Supersite at _, so that you learn about emerging threats quickly and can take proper precautions.

10. Be skeptical of things on the Internet. Don't assume that e-mail "From:" a particular person is actually from that person until you have further reason to believe it's that person. Don't assume that an attachment is what it says it is. Don't give out your password to anyone, even if that person claims to be from "support."

10 reasons why PCs crash U must Know

10 reasons why PCs crash U must Know

Fatal error: the system has become unstable or is busy," it says. "Enter to return to Windows or press Control-Alt-Delete to restart your computer. If you do this you will lose any unsaved information in all open applications."

You have just been struck by the Blue Screen of Death. Anyone who uses Mcft Windows will be familiar with this. What can you do? More importantly, how can you prevent it happening?

1 Hardware conflict

The number one reason why Windows crashes is hardware conflict. Each hardware device communicates to other devices through an interrupt request channel (IRQ). These are supposed to be unique for each device.

For example, a printer usually connects internally on IRQ 7. The keyboard usually uses IRQ 1 and the floppy disk drive IRQ 6. Each device will try to hog a single IRQ for itself.

If there are a lot of devices, or if they are not installed properly, two of them may end up sharing the same IRQ number. When the user tries to use both devices at the same time, a crash can happen. The way to check if your computer has a hardware conflict is through the following route:

* Start-Settings-Control Panel-System-Device Manager.

Often if a device has a problem a yellow '!' appears next to its description in the Device Manager. Highlight Computer (in the Device Manager) and press Properties to see the IRQ numbers used by your computer. If the IRQ number appears twice, two devices may be using it.

Sometimes a device might share an IRQ with something described as 'IRQ holder for PCI steering'. This can be ignored. The best way to fix this problem is to remove the problem device and reinstall it.

Sometimes you may have to find more recent drivers on the internet to make the device function properly. A good resource is If the device is a soundcard, or a modem, it can often be fixed by moving it to a different slot on the motherboard (be careful about opening your computer, as you may void the warranty).

When working inside a computer you should switch it off, unplug the mains lead and touch an unpainted metal surface to discharge any static electricity.

To be fair to Mcft, the problem with IRQ numbers is not of its making. It is a legacy problem going back to the first PC designs using the IBM 8086 chip. Initially there were only eight IRQs. Today there are 16 IRQs in a PC. It is easy to run out of them. There are plans to increase the number of IRQs in future designs.

2 Bad Ram

Ram (random-access memory) problems might bring on the blue screen of death with a message saying Fatal Exception Error. A fatal error indicates a serious hardware problem. Sometimes it may mean a part is damaged and will need replacing.

But a fatal error caused by Ram might be caused by a mismatch of chips. For example, mixing 70-nanosecond (70ns) Ram with 60ns Ram will usually force the computer to run all the Ram at the slower speed. This will often crash the machine if the Ram is overworked.

One way around this problem is to enter the BIOS settings and increase the wait state of the Ram. This can make it more stable. Another way to troubleshoot a suspected Ram problem is to rearrange the Ram chips on the motherboard, or take some of them out. Then try to repeat the circumstances that caused the crash. When handling Ram try not to touch the gold connections, as they can be easily damaged.

Parity error messages also refer to Ram. Modern Ram chips are either parity (ECC) or non parity (non-ECC). It is best not to mix the two types, as this can be a cause of trouble.

EMM386 error messages refer to memory problems but may not be connected to bad Ram. This may be due to free memory problems often linked to old Dos-based programmes.

3 BIOS settings

Every motherboard is supplied with a range of chipset settings that are decided in the factory. A common way to access these settings is to press the F2 or delete button during the first few seconds of a boot-up.

Once inside the BIOS, great care should be taken. It is a good idea to write down on a piece of paper all the settings that appear on the screen. That way, if you change something and the computer becomes more unstable, you will know what settings to revert to.

A common BIOS error concerns the CAS latency. This refers to the Ram. Older EDO (extended data out) Ram has a CAS latency of 3. Newer SDRam has a CAS latency of 2. Setting the wrong figure can cause the Ram to lock up and freeze the computer's display.

Mcft Windows is better at allocating IRQ numbers than any BIOS. If possible set the IRQ numbers to Auto in the BIOS. This will allow Windows to allocate the IRQ numbers (make sure the BIOS setting for Plug and Play OS is switched to 'yes' to allow Windows to do this.).

4 Hard disk drives

After a few weeks, the information on a hard disk drive starts to become piecemeal or fragmented. It is a good idea to defragment the hard disk every week or so, to prevent the disk from causing a screen freeze. Go to

* Start-Programs-Accessories-System Tools-Disk Defragmenter

This will start the procedure. You will be unable to write data to the hard drive (to save it) while the disk is defragmenting, so it is a good idea to schedule the procedure for a period of inactivity using the Task Scheduler.

The Task Scheduler should be one of the small icons on the bottom right of the Windows opening page (the desktop).

Some lockups and screen freezes caused by hard disk problems can be solved by reducing the read-ahead optimisation. This can be adjusted by going to

* Start-Settings-Control Panel-System Icon-Performance-File System-Hard Disk.

Hard disks will slow down and crash if they are too full. Do some housekeeping on your hard drive every few months and free some space on it. Open the Windows folder on the C drive and find the Temporary Internet Files folder. Deleting the contents (not the folder) can free a lot of space.

Empty the Recycle Bin every week to free more space. Hard disk drives should be scanned every week for errors or bad sectors. Go to

* Start-Programs-Accessories-System Tools-ScanDisk

Otherwise assign the Task Scheduler to perform this operation at night when the computer is not in use.

5 Fatal OE exceptions and VXD errors

Fatal OE exception errors and VXD errors are often caused by video card problems.

These can often be resolved easily by reducing the resolution of the video display. Go to

* Start-Settings-Control Panel-Display-Settings

Here you should slide the screen area bar to the left. Take a look at the colour settings on the left of that window. For most desktops, high colour 16-bit depth is adequate.

If the screen freezes or you experience system lockups it might be due to the video card. Make sure it does not have a hardware conflict. Go to

* Start-Settings-Control Panel-System-Device Manager

Here, select the + beside Display Adapter. A line of text describing your video card should appear. Select it (make it blue) and press properties. Then select Resources and select each line in the window. Look for a message that says No Conflicts.

If you have video card hardware conflict, you will see it here. Be careful at this point and make a note of everything you do in case you make things worse.

The way to resolve a hardware conflict is to uncheck the Use Automatic Settings box and hit the Change Settings button. You are searching for a setting that will display a No Conflicts message.

Another useful way to resolve video problems is to go to

* Start-Settings-Control Panel-System-Performance-Graphics

Here you should move the Hardware Acceleration slider to the left. As ever, the most common cause of problems relating to graphics cards is old or faulty drivers (a driver is a small piece of software used by a computer to communicate with a device).

Look up your video card's manufacturer on the internet and search for the most recent drivers for it.

6 Viruses

Often the first sign of a virus infection is instability. Some viruses erase the boot sector of a hard drive, making it impossible to start. This is why it is a good idea to create a Windows start-up disk. Go to

* Start-Settings-Control Panel-Add/Remove Programs

Here, look for the Start Up Disk tab. Virus protection requires constant vigilance.

A virus scanner requires a list of virus signatures in order to be able to identify viruses. These signatures are stored in a DAT file. DAT files should be updated weekly from the website of your antivirus software manufacturer.

An excellent antivirus programme is McAfee VirusScan by Network Associates ( Another is Norton AntiVirus 2000, made by Symantec (

7 Printers

The action of sending a document to print creates a bigger file, often called a postscript file.

Printers have only a small amount of memory, called a buffer. This can be easily overloaded. Printing a document also uses a considerable amount of CPU power. This will also slow down the computer's performance.

If the printer is trying to print unusual characters, these might not be recognised, and can crash the computer. Sometimes printers will not recover from a crash because of confusion in the buffer. A good way to clear the buffer is to unplug the printer for ten seconds. Booting up from a powerless state, also called a cold boot, will restore the printer's default settings and you may be able to carry on.

8 Software

A common cause of computer crash is faulty or badly-installed software. Often the problem can be cured by uninstalling the software and then reinstalling it. Use Norton Uninstall or Uninstall Shield to remove an application from your system properly. This will also remove references to the programme in the System Registry and leaves the way clear for a completely fresh copy.

The System Registry can be corrupted by old references to obsolete software that you thought was uninstalled. Use Reg Cleaner by Jouni Vuorio to clean up the System Registry and remove obsolete entries. It works on Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 98 SE (Second Edition), Windows Millennium Edition (ME), NT4 and Windows 2000.

Read the instructions and use it carefully so you don't do permanent damage to the Registry. If the Registry is damaged you will have to reinstall your operating system. Reg Cleaner can be obtained from

Often a Windows problem can be resolved by entering Safe Mode. This can be done during start-up. When you see the message "Starting Windows" press F4. This should take you into Safe Mode.

Safe Mode loads a minimum of drivers. It allows you to find and fix problems that prevent Windows from loading properly.

Sometimes installing Windows is difficult because of unsuitable BIOS settings. If you keep getting SUWIN error messages (Windows setup) during the Windows installation, then try entering the BIOS and disabling the CPU internal cache. Try to disable the Level 2 (L2) cache if that doesn't work.

Remember to restore all the BIOS settings back to their former settings following installation.

9 Overheating

Central processing units (CPUs) are usually equipped with fans to keep them cool. If the fan fails or if the CPU gets old it may start to overheat and generate a particular kind of error called a kernel error. This is a common problem in chips that have been overclocked to operate at higher speeds than they are supposed to.

One remedy is to get a bigger better fan and install it on top of the CPU. Specialist cooling fans/heatsinks are available from or

CPU problems can often be fixed by disabling the CPU internal cache in the BIOS. This will make the machine run more slowly, but it should also be more stable.

10 Power supply problems

With all the new construction going on around the country the steady supply of electricity has become disrupted. A power surge or spike can crash a computer as easily as a power cut.

If this has become a nuisance for you then consider buying a uninterrupted power supply (UPS). This will give you a clean power supply when there is electricity, and it will give you a few minutes to perform a controlled shutdown in case of a power cut.

It is a good investment if your data are critical, because a power cut will cause any unsaved data to be lost.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Mercedes-Benz Biome Concept (2010)

Mercedes Biome Concept

At the 2010 Los Angeles Design Challenge, the designers from the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studios in Carlsbad, California, surprised everyone with a revolutionary vision. Taking their inspiration from nature, they designed a vehicle which is fully integrated into the ecosystem, from the moment of its creation right through to the end of its service life. The Mercedes-Benz BIOME Concept grows in a completely organic environment from seeds sown in a nursery. Out on the road the car emits pure oxygen, and at the end of its lifespan it can be simply composted or used as building material.
"As the inventor of the motor car, we wanted to illustrate the vision of the perfect vehicle of the future, which is created and functions in complete symbiosis with nature. The Mercedes-Benz BIOME Concept is a natural technology hybrid, and forms part of our earth's ecosystem. It grows and thrives like the leaves on a tree" according to Hubert Lee, Head of the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studios in Carlsbad. This year the competition had called for the creation of a vision of a safe and comfortable 2+2 compact car featuring good handling and a first-class design, and weighing only 1,000 lbs (around 454 kg/kerb weight).

Mercedes-Benz symbiosis - a partnership with nature

The Mercedes-Benz BIOME Concept symbiosis vehicle is made from an ultralight material called BioFibre and tips the scales at just 875.5 lbs (around 394 kg). This material is significantly lighter than metal or plastic, yet more robust than steel. BioFibre is grown from proprietary DNA in the Mercedes-Benz nursery, where it collects energy from the sun and stores it in a liquid chemical bond called BioNectar4534. As part of this process, the vehicle is created from two seeds: The interior of the BIOME grows from the DNA in the Mercedes star on the front of the vehicle, while the exterior grows from the star on the rear. To accommodate specific customer requirements, the Mercedes star is genetically engineered in each case, and the vehicle "grows" when the genetic code is combined with the seed capsule. The wheels are grown from four separate seeds.
The Mercedes-Benz BIOME Concept is powered by BioNectar4534, which is stored in the BioFibre material of the chassis, interior, and wheels. In addition, Mercedes-Benz has developed a technology to equip trees with special receptors which can collect the excess solar energy and turn it into BioNectar4534. This creates a direct link with nature's energy sources and acts as an incentive to cover mobility energy requirements through more trees and at the same time maintain natural resources. Like plants, the Mercedes-Benz symbiosis vehicle also produces oxygen, thereby contributing to improving air quality. At the end of its service life, the Mercedes-Benz BIOME can be fully composted or used as building material. Thanks to the exclusive use of green technologies, the BIOME vehicle thus blends seamlessly into the ecosystem.


Beginning Quotes

Beginning Quotes

he beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names.
--Chinese Proverb
The past is but the beginning of a beginning.
--H. G. Wells
Every beginning is a consequence - every beginning ends some thing.
--Paul Valery
The beginning of wisdom is silence. The second step is listening.
-- Unknown
Keep on beginning and failing. Each time you fail, start all over gain, and you will grow stronger until have accomplished a purpose - not the one you began with perhaps, but one you'll be glad to remember.
--Anne Sullivan
Just as appetite comes by eating, so work brings inspiration, if inspiration is not discernible at the beginning.
--Igor Stravinsky
My advice to any young person at the beginning of their career is to try to look for the mere outlines of big things with their fresh, untrained, and unprejudiced mind.
--Hans Selye
Try to keep your soul young and quivering right up to old age, and to imagine right up to the brink of death that life is only beginning. I think that is the only way to keep adding to one's talent, and one's inner happiness.
--George Sand
Beginning Quotes
Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom.
--Theodore Isaac Rubin
It is a tremendous act of violence to begin anything. I am not able to begin. I simply skip what should be the beginning.
--Rainer M. Rilke
I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end.
--Gilda Radner
The beginning is the most important part of the work.
-- Plato
Gradualness, gradualness, and gradualness. From the very beginning of your work, school yourself to severe gradualness in the accumulation of knowledge.
--Ivan Pavlov
In the beginning you must subject yourself to the influence of nature. You must be able to walk firmly on the ground before you start walking of a tightrope.
--Henri Matisse
There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.
--Louis L'Amour
Doubt is the beginning, not the end, of wisdom.
--George Iles
He has half the deed done who has made a beginning.
-- Horace
A hard beginning maketh a good ending.
--John Heywood
Perplexity is the beginning of knowledge.
--Kahlil Gibran
The beginning and endings of all human undertakings are untidy.
--John Galsworthy
He who chooses the beginning of a road chooses the place it leads to. It is the means that determine the end.
--Harry Emerson Fosdick
There is no end. There is no beginning. There is only the infinite passion of life.
--Federico Fellini
The great majority of men are bundles of beginnings.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
The end is in the beginning and lies far ahead.
--Ralph Ellison
Innovators and men of genius have almost always been regarded as fools at the beginning (and very often at the end) of their careers.
--Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises.
-- Demosthenes
But the beginning of things, of a world especially, is necessarily vague, tangled, chaotic, and exceedingly disturbing.
--Kate Chopin
Beginnings are apt to be shadowy and so it is the beginnings of the great mother life, the sea.
--Rachel Carson
All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning. Great works are often born on a street corner or in a restaurant's revolving door.
--Albert Camus
The fear [reverence] of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
--Proverbs 9:10 Bible
The attainment of an ideal is often the beginning of a disillusion.
--Stanley Baldwin

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