Categories
Tutorials

How To Set A Password To Protect Your External Drive

Want to stop prying eyes from snooping into the content of your external drive?

Or in the event of the loss of your flash drive (a very probable eventuality), you want to be assured that the information contained in it remains secured. Information that can be taken advantage of or used against you.

Then secure it Bitlocker. This feature has been bundled with Windows OS since Windows Vista. Though you will need the Professional, Ultimate or Enterprise versions of Windows 7, 8, 8.1 or 10 to activate bitlocker on your drive, you can however view the contents of the drive, if you have the password, on any PC with OS as old as Windows XP installed.

 

HOW TO ACTIVATE BITLOCKER ON YOUR DRIVE

  1. Insert the drive into your PC
  2. Identify the icon for the inserted drive and right click on it.
  3. Select “Turn Bitlocker On”
  4. Bitlocker initialises the drive. Takes a few seconds.
  5. A screen pops up asking you to CHOOSE HOW YOU WANT TO UNLOCK THE DRIVE
  6. Select the option to USE A PASSWORD TO UNLOCK THE DRIVE

Depending on the size of the drive and the amount of data contained in it, the encryption process may take a very long while. Best carried out on an empty drive, could take as little as less than a minute to complete.

* DO NOT INTERRUPT THE ENCRYPTION PROCESS*

After this procedure, the drive prompts you for a password any time the secured drive is inserted into any PC. However, there is an option to have the drive not request for password for trusted PCs.

This is a very simple procedure. However, you may find the video clip below helpful

Categories
Articles Technology

Windows Operating System And The Even-Year Jinx

I was and remain a committed fan of the Windows 8 Operating System. I found it very painful that the OS did not gain widespread acceptance as expected.

Microsoft’s attempt at forcing what they (and I) felt were features for an OS of the future was met with stiff resistance, which was expressed in its rather poor acceptance. A far cry from the success of its predecessor, the Windows 7.

I guess its true what they say, the customer is king. Moreso, the customer now has a lot more options to chose from now.

However, many had predicted doom for the Windows 8 OS long before it was even conceived. They call it the “Even Year” jinx. All Microsoft OS released in even years flopped! All, except Windows 98 – released 1998 & 1999 (2nd ed).

Roll Call: Windows 3.0 (1990), Windows 3.1 (1992), Windows Me (2000), Windows Vista (2006) and Windows 8 (2012).

PS: Windows 2000 was actually released in 1999.

Perhaps not to take chances, Microsoft is releasing the next iteration of its popular OS in 2015 – an odd number year. It has also listened to the complaints of its end users, incorporating the features they yearned, yes, especially the “Start Menu”.

I am presently taking the Preview Version of the new Windows 10 Operating System for a spin. Watch out for my review!

Screenshot (1)

Categories
Technology Tips

Upgrading From Windows 8 To Windows 8.1

A couple of weeks ago, i decided to upgrade my Windows OS from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1. Ordinarily, it does not sound like a big deal but it was.

Firstly, you will have to initiate the upgrade from within the Windows store. Perhaps due to the large number of early adopters it was almost an impossible task. It was even worse in regions were Internet speed is very slow.

Windows-8.1Secondly, the upgrade requires at least 3.5GB of download data. That is about half my monthly data allocation. For an incremental upgrade, it is definitely a whole lot of data!

Additional problems i also identified are;

1. I do a lot of Operating Systems installations (and reinstallation). Would i be going through the time and data wasting routine of an online upgrade, the only official route provided by Microsoft?

2. The finacial implication of the Internet data download for the OS download and setup is at least N4000 based on the rates from my ISP. It adds up quickly when you do a lot of installations like i do.

The ideal solution that would work for me would be;

1. Look for a “Once and for all” solution. By this, i would need to find a way to download an ISO image of Windows 8.1 which i can burn on a DVD and use repeatedly without a need for internet access to download a fresh install for every machine i need to install Windows 8.1 OS on. Also, I could easily share the DVD and save others the costly internet access and the stress of slow data downloads.

2. To save myself even the estimated N4000 for the Windows 8.1 OS download, i could wait till 12 midnight. My ISP gives its subscribers free internet access with no download restrictions from 12am – 6am daily. That way i could do a whole lot of post installation downloads. Very nice option that comes at a cost – your sleep!

A quick search on the Internet brought up this link here. With it i was able to generate an ISO image of Windows 8.1. Took me almost 5 hours to download the data for the 3.5GB ISO image but, like they say, all is well that ends well.

Please note that if you follow the process in the link above closely, it will only generate the ISO image and should not install the OS yet. You can easily install the ISO image on a DVD.

For the OS installation proper from the DVD, you may encounter a problem whereby the product key may be rejected. Thing is, your license only qualifies you for an upgrade installation via the Windows Store and not a Clean Install. To get around this, pick up a temporary relevant product key from here for your installation, depending on the Windows OS type you purchased a license for. Note that you will still need to use your Windows 8 key to activate your installation online.

Good luck!

Categories
Controversies Gadgets Mobile Technology

Apple iOS – The Beginning Of The End?

That Apple copied, shamelessly, Android and about every other major mobile OSes in its iOS 7 is no longer news. But what beats me is why most online reviews fail to mention this shameful act but instead hail this “next-to-die-after-Blackberry” as the best thing to have happened to mankind.

Undoubtedly, iOS 7 is the biggest step this mobile OS has taken in years but in truth, it is only just about catching up with what Google’s Android has got going on for a couple of years.

appleNaturally, we would expect Google to respond – decisively – to the leverage Apple is having with its copycat innovation. One should not also forget that the so-called fingerprint technology that Apple has in its latest iPhone iteration, the iPhone 5s, is also a high tech photocopy of now Google’s Motorola Atrix phone innovation from back in 2011.

Ummh, these are indeed desperate times for Apple. Who would ever have thought that this once innovative company will stoop this low? All indicators seem to agree with what some analysts have predicted, the very steep decline of Apple’s fortunes by 2015.

Just my 2 cents here Apple, it may not be worth much. I believe the only lifeline left for you to remain relevant is to adopt Google’s Android business model – Open Source.

Any Geek worth his salt – that has seen the other greener side that is Android – would appreciate the very limiting ecosystem that iOS plays in. Obviously, the mobile OS is meant for those that love to be spoon-fed. Even my 3-year old hates to be spoon-fed! It beats me why “grown-ups” will allow Apple to do that?!!!

Those that hail the iOS 7 obviously have never experienced Android Custom ROMs. Custom ROMs are modified, usually enhanced mobile operating systems. I wholely recommended PAC-MAN , it is an android ROM on steriods. Trust me, try it and you will be hooked!

Well, like we say in Nigerian Pidgin English, let us continue to “siddon look” (Sit Down and Look) and see how it all plays out, eventually.

apple android

Categories
Gadgets Mobile

Android’s Killer Feature

It is no secret that Android has lots of good stuff going for it, but one of the platform’s most useful and distinguishing features is one you rarely hear discussed.

I’m talking about Android’s system-wide sharing capability — a process built into the operating system that many people take for granted. Android’s sharing function may not sound exciting, but don’t be fooled: It’s one of the most powerful and valuable components the OS has to offer.

Android’s sharing capability, known to developers as a form of “intent,” is about more than merely sharing in the social-oriented sense of the word. It’s a way for you to quickly and easily pass data between applications — anything from a Web page to a chunk of text or even an image.

The most important part about Android’s sharing system? Any application can take advantage of it; all a developer has to do is declare his program capable of receiving data, and boom: It’ll show up throughout the OS as a place to which data can be shared. That’s a sharp contrast to the setup on certain other (ahem) more restrictive mobile platforms, and the resulting difference in usability is enormous.

But enough geek-speak; let’s take a look at what this actually means in real-world terms. Here are a few ways you can make Android’s system-wide sharing work for you:

Android Sharing Menu• Tap and hold your finger on any text — in an email, on a Web page, or within most any application — and highlight a few sentences. Then tap the share icon (it looks like three dots connected together in the shape of a less-than-sign (“<“)) and you’ll see a list of apps to which the text can be sent.

With one more tap, you can beam the text directly into an app like Gmail, Google Drive, Dropbox, Google Voice, the stock text messaging tool, or practically any social application. There, you’ll be able to edit it, save it, and post/send it as applicable.

You can even share the text to Google itself to initiate a fast Web search — a great way to cross-reference information or get a definition on the fly.

• Tap the “Share” command in your phone’s Web browser. That’ll let you send the current page’s URL directly to any share-ready application — in order to share it with a colleague via email, for example, share it onto your favorite social service, or save it to a read-it-later tool like Pocket or a note-taking tool like Evernote. Everything’s interconnected — no extra steps or awkward app-toggling required.Android Photo Sharing

• Tap the share icon while viewing any image in your device’s Gallery. You can then send the image directly to a photo editing utility like Pixlr or Snapseed, where it’ll instantly pop up, ready to be fine-tuned. You can send it to a cloud storage service like Picasa, Dropbox, or Drive, where it’ll be saved to any remote folder you want. You can send it to pretty much any social app — a Facebook or Twitter client of your choice, Google+, or whatever floats your boat — and post it to your account right from there. Or you can send the image to Gmail or any text messaging app to attach it to an outgoing message.

• Tap the share icon next to a file in any file management application — whether a local file manager for your phone’s storage or a cloud file app like Dropbox or Drive — and you can send that file directly to any other storage service, be it cloud-based or local. You can send the file over to an app like Gmail as a new message attachment, too, or to any other share-ready service that makes sense in the context.

The possibilities are practically endless, but you get the idea. Once you get used to using Android’s system-wide share function, you’ll wonder how people — particularly those who use other (ahem) less accommodating mobile platforms — live without it and deal with data in such unintuitive ways. It’s a little thing, but man, it makes a big difference.

Computerworld

Categories
Articles

The Geek Shall Inherit the Earth

geekModern society is massively complex. We like to pretend that our mastery of tools and technology has made life easier or better, but in actuality it has never been harder to simply live life.

Above all else, tools and technology give us choices, and more choice means more complexity. Ten thousand years ago, life basically consisted of hunting, eating, and procreating, and stone arrowheads were the state-of-the-art, must-have devices. Over time we mastered new materials and devised new tools (iron, paper, plastics, computer chips), and society grew increasingly complex (trade, diplomacy, religion, global media).

Tools are force multipliers, and our tools and technologies are now so advanced that the tiniest of human machinations can have worldwide repercussions. Whereas once your actions very rarely affected anything or anyone beyond your immediate vicinity, today a single photo shot with a smartphone and uploaded to Facebook can change the world. Tools also used to have very specific purposes; but thanks to monstrously powerful general-purpose hardware and operating systems, our present-day computerized tools can perform an almost infinite number of diverse tasks, often simultaneously, in many cases without our even being aware that they’re being performed.

EACH WILL HAVE TO BEAR HIS OWN LOAD

To put it bluntly, most mere mortals simply have no idea how to handle the overwhelming power of modern devices. Do you know someone who has sent an embarrassing email or picture message to the wrong person, or misunderstood the privacy settings on their Facebook or Twitter feeds? How many of your friends know what really happens when you push the power button on your PC, or press play on Spotify?

Most mere mortals have no idea how to handle the overwhelming power of modern devices.

It wasn’t so long ago that most people completely understood every aspect of their tools, and this reflected in their proficiency with them. Today, there probably isn’t a single person alive who can tell you exactly how to make an LCD monitor, let alone a whole computer—and likewise, there are very few people who know how to properly use a computer. A modern PC outputs more data and has more functionality than a 1970s supercomputer that was operated by a dozen engineers. And yet in today’s always-connected, ubiquitously digital world, we expect a single, relatively uneducated person to somehow use these devices effectively.

Miraculously, the system actually works. Yes, people still screw up and crash their cars while texting, or get malware on their computer, but for the most part we make incredibly good use of the tools and technologies available to us.

Partly, this is due to the near-infinite adaptability of mankind—but it’s also due to geeks. Human civilization has always had elders who guide their spiritual children safely through life’s perils. In the olden days, these wise men and women would educate their communities in the ways of the world: how to nurture children, how to grow crops. In modern society, geeks are our sages, our shamans, our technocratic teachers.

THE GEEK IS MY SHEPHERD

Now more than ever before, the only way that we will successfully navigate technological pitfalls and make it out in one piece is if we listen carefully and follow in the footsteps of the geeks, the shepherds of society. This is quite a burden for geeks, who obviously have a better grasp of the underlying science and wizardry, but they’re still being buffeted by the same startling rate of advancement and myriad ethical and moral repercussions that technology is thrusting upon the rest of us.

Geeks must assimilate our technological advances, and then provide guidance for the rest of us.

As our shepherds, geeks must assimilate our technological advances, and then quickly provide guidance for the rest of us. You can probably remember a time when you asked a geek for advice on your next PC, whereupon he gladly imparted upon you the latest hardware, software, and peripheral wisdom. Or maybe you’re the geek to whom people come seeking council.

Today, with the exponential effect of Moore’s law and the emergence of pervasive, ubiquitous computing, it’s a little more complicated. It’s no longer a matter of the fastest computer or largest hard drive; we’re now talking about ecology (power usage, recycling), privacy (social sharing, behavioral targeting), and other philosophical quandaries that most geeks really aren’t ready for. Five years ago, almost all geeks agreed on which CPU was the fastest (the Core 2 Duo). Ask three today which mobile OS is the best, or what your Facebook privacy settings should be, and you’ll get three very different answers.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. As our interactions with hyper-advanced technology shifts from the hard sciences underpinning hardware (chemistry, physics) to the soft sciences that govern software (sociology, psychology, law), it’s understandable that absolute answers are becoming harder to come by. It isn’t vital that geeks always give the right answer, anyway: The main thing is that they know enough that they can give advice.

It isn’t vital that geeks always give the right answer, but that they know enough that they can give advice.

Ultimately, the real takeaway here is that we’re all beholden to the wishes and whimsies of our geeky compatriots. They have now taken over the mantle of the wise men the masses have always followed, and for better or worse there isn’t much we can do about it. At least geeks have been doing a pretty good job so far.

If you’re one of them, however, remember that you are not only a guide who must gently lead society through the uncertain, ever-shifting mists of bleeding-edge tech, but also a captain who must ride out any storms we suddenly find ourselves in. This is a lot of responsibility to bear, but like the priests, village elders, and witches that came before you, you will do the job, and you will hopefully do it to the best of your capability. Pay heed: Your actions will directly affect the adoption (or not) of technology, thus shaping the future of human civilization.

No pressure, geeks. No pressure.

Sebastian Anthony | PC Mag January 2013 Edition

Categories
Mobile

Firefox OS: Another Lab Experiment?

There are now a good number of mobile OS out there, with many still considered as not more than lab experiments. The likes of Jolla and Tizen fits this description perfectly.

Jolla, in particular, has a tall order of competing with Research In Motion’s upcoming BlackBerry 10 OS, as well as the latest version of Windows Phone for the lucrative title of third most popular mobile platform globally, behind Apple and Google’s operating systems. How that pans out, time will tell.

The ambitions of some of these mobile OS can be considered humorous at best. Not to be considered a “kill joy”, why not let us , em, humour them.

The new kid on the block is the Firefox OS, still in its alpha release. My initial hands on with this OS left an Android taste in my mouth. Simply put, the experience was too familiar.

Why take my word for it? Firefox has been nice enough to allow a simulation of its new OS using a firefox browser. Follow the steps below to grab it:

  • In your Firefox browser, go to this link and click the download link for your OS. This will install the r2d2b2g Firefox OS simulator extension.
  • Click on the link for your OS and allow Firefox to install the software in your browser
  • After installing, the Firefox OS simulator dashboard pops up immediately. No need to restart your browser.
  • Enable the simulator by clicking the “stopped” button on the top left side of the browser. The button turns green and is labelled “running”
  • The Firefox OS simulator pops up immediately.
  • Enjoy!

Categories
Hosting

Virtualization? What Is That?!

If you have the feeling that everyone else in the world understands virtualization perfectly while you are still trying to understand just what it is and how you might take advantage of it, take heart, you are not alone.

Virtualization, in simple English (no geek speak), refers to a concept in which access to a single underlying piece of hardware – Laptop, Desktop PC, Apple Mac – is coordinated so that multiple guest operating systems – Windows 7, XP, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, etc – can share that single piece of hardware, with no guest operating system being aware that it is actually sharing anything at all. (A guest operating system is an operating system that is hosted by an underlying virtualization software layer, often called the host system). A guest operating system appears to the applications running on it as a complete operating system (OS), and the guest OS itself is completely unaware that it’s running on top of a layer of virtualization software rather than directly on the physical hardware.

We would concern ourselves with two approaches to virtualization:

TYPE 1 (Bare Metal Virtualization)

In this approach to virtualization, a virtualization software is installed to run directly on the host’s hardware to control the hardware and to manage guest operating systems. Examples of such virtualization softwares include Xen, Citrix XenServer, KVM, VMware ESX/ESXi, and Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisor. This approach is very popular with corporate bodies and web hosting companies. The hardware referred to in this instance are usually enterprise grade servers.

TYPE 2 (Operating System Virtualization)

Operating system virtualization, by contrast, is an approach where guest operating systems (also called Virtual Machines) are installed on top of a conventional operating system using your regular laptops and desktop computers. This is made possible using special installed softwares like Virtual Box, VMWare Workstation.

This is the approach to virtualization that we are going to concern ourselves with and our software of choice will be Virtualbox

Subscribe to this blog and get informed on how even a non-geek can benefit from the beauty called virtualization

Categories
Hosting

Multi Boot vs Virtualization

A few days ago, i decided to shelve all forms of multibooting of Operating systems on my laptop and embraced Virtualization fully.

For the sake of the noobs in the house, Multi-boot or Multi-booting is the installation of multiple operating systems on different partitions of a computer, with the ability to choose which one to boot when starting the computer.

Virtualization, on the other hand, is the hosting of multiple virtualized Operating System environments within a single OS instance.

Either of these methods is good and one is not necessarily better than the other but — as is often the case — what matters is the method that is better for your particular needs.

So, what informed my switch to Virtualization option? And even more importantly, why would anyone ever want to run multiple operating systems on a computer?

Before i delve into this, it might help if i highlight the Pros and Cons of each of these options as highlighted in the table below:

[ws_table id=”2″]

I do a lot of OS testing, sampling out the various Linux distributions being churned out almost on a daily basis. I also do a lot of work on virtualized networks, creating a network of virtual computers within my computer. So, it was really a no brainer why i had to switch to Virtualization instead of multi booting.

To do this, i had to shell out N5000 (US$30) for an additional 4GB RAM to upgrade my laptop to 8GB. That way, my guest OS would have enough resources to work with.

Categories
Gadgets Mobile

Operating Systems Compared: Which is the Right Choice for Your Smartphone?

Today, choice of a smartphone is not only governed by features and cool looks, but also by the OS that runs on it. Here we analyze and compare the major smartphone operating systems, including iOS, BlackBerry, Android and Windows Phone.

iOS

It is said that Newton thought about the principles of gravity when he saw an apple falling from a tree. In the field of IT, Apple has always been almost game-changing. They have designed iOS to run only on devices marketed by Apple itself. This has both good and bad sides to it. The good side is that this brings in a sense of exclusivity and an aspirational factor when you own a iOS device, be it an iPhone or an iPad. Another factor that adds to this is that Apple hasn’t created too many variants of its products. There’s only the iPhone and iPad available in 2-3 configurations each. However, even the price for the base model is high enough for most buyers to consider.

The OS itself is easy to use and gives an extremely good user experience, thanks to the support for retina displays and a perfect touchscreen experience. On supported hardware, OS upgradability is smooth. The lack of Flash support hasn’t really deterred users from becoming fans of iOS (and Apple as a whole).

Where Apple does emerge as a clear winner is in the application ecosystem. This acts as a win-win for all three parties involved –the user, Apple and the developer. Apple follows a rigorous application approval process due to which the overall quality of available applications is bound to grow. Developers are given an easy way to track their application usage in detail, besides getting their share of the revenue. There is currently no support for external storage and this is one of the key reasons why Apple’s smartphone dominance in the US has not reflected to the same scale elsewhere. The built-in applications can work seamlessly with iTunes, which is by itself a very good product. Many C-level (top level) executives do use the iPhone as their business phone though, because it is very reliable.

BlackBerry OS

BlackBerry has a reasonably large range of devices to choose from and they are readily available in Nigeria. An entry level BlackBerry device costs less than thirty thousand naira and this has caused many casual users to explore the BlackBerry platform. While the built-in applications such as secure push mail and BBM have been huge hits and it has support for external storage, it’s application marketplace hasn’t been so successful. BlackBerry holds its own in the enterprise, where it is widely trusted to be secure for communication and collaboration.

Android

Thanks to the openness of the Android platform, the available device range for this OS is so wide that many models in the Nigerian market are cheaper than most feature phones, although still costlier than the basic phones. It has been reported to be not as easy to use as other mobile OSes though. Many term Android as a mobile OS for the geek. The widespread penetration of Android has also resulted in high fragmentation, and this is acting as a bane. OS updates reach different users in pretty different time-frames. That said, one of the key reasons Android has been so successful in Nigeria is that the OS supports sideloading apps out of the box. You can get Android applications from any source and install them. There are marketplaces from vendors such as Amazon. This makes it easy for the user to share applications and this seems to have caught on with Nigerian users, thanks to its affordability and external storage support. Users can themselves develop applications and install them on their device (as well as share them with others) without requiring to use any marketplace at all. The Android marketplace too is pretty large (although not as large as Apple’s) but due to the support for sideloading, malware is seen to be creeping into the Android marketplace and Google is reported to be taking efforts to curb the menace.

The built-in applications are obviously designed to work flawlessly with Google’s services such as Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, etc. One advantage of the open architecture is that there are extensive sources of both professional and community support available for both users as well as developers. Jelly Bean holds promise as a mobile OS but given the current lack of uniformity in the distribution of Android upgrades, it will take time before it reaches the mass in sizable numbers. In fact, developers too have been having a hard time since they need to target multiple versions of Android.

Windows Phone Mango and Beyond

It was only after Nokia’s Lumia range of handsets were launched that users began to take note of the new mobile OS from Microsoft. New because it is radically different from Windows Mobile (the last version being 6.5.3), both on the surface as well as under the skin. Unlike Windows Mobile , Windows Phone was developed keeping the consumer in mind. Currently there are a few second generation devices available in the market which come with Windows Phone Mango pre-installed. Nokia’s Lumia range also brought a decrease in the entry barrier to a more acceptable price point for a wider user base.

Like most consumer-focused software developed by Microsoft, Windows Phone is absolutely simple to use. In fact, many reviewers even termed this as a negative point stating that the OS might seem too unappealing to advanced users. Upgradability is a big pain though. Not only was there no officially supported means of upgrading a Windows Mobile 6.5.3 device to Windows Phone 7, but also Windows Phone 7 devices will not be upgradable to Windows Phone 8! This has caused widespread frustration amongst owners of Windows Phone devices, both first-generation as well as those who only recently purchased one. This is quite a drastic change from the desktop scenario where your Windows Vista-capable PC can run Windows 8 as well with no hardware changes requireds (unless you want to use the touch-optimized UI full-time). Sideloading first-party applications requires the device to be `developer-unlocked`, else you can install applications and games only through the official marketplace. The marketplace too was launched here in India only after the release of Windows Phone Mango about a year ago, when Microsoft officially launched the OS here. Although most of the popularly used iOS and Android applications have been ported for Windows Phone as well, in terms of sheer numbers, the marketplace is pretty small compared to Android/iOS. It is expanding very fast though, thanks to initiatives by Microsoft for developers such as the `I unlock joy` program, which is specific to India. Currently no devices support external storage. In fact, until the second generation devices, there were even no devices with a front-facing camera. The built-in applications such as Internet Explorer 9 mobile, Office 2010 mobile (including not just Word, Excel and PowerPoint but also SharePoint integration, Outlook and OneNote) , XBox Live and Zune, combined with best-in-class social network integration, has been a killer app as a whole for Windows Phone.

Other notable choices

Nokia’s combination of Symbian, Maemo/Meego and QT are each by themselves worthy platforms but they are slowly losing market share. And while Samsung’s Bada has not exactly lost market share, awareness about it amongst consumers remains very low.

In conclusion

There are things to look forward to in addition to the already released Android 4.1 and iOS 6. Windows Phone 8 is set to hit the market soon as well as BlackBerry 10 most probably after a few months. There is no stopping the surge in sales of smartphones.

 

Reference : PCQUEST