MadMod Computing The MadMod Computing Newsletter

March, 2011 - Vol. 2011a

Welcome to this edition of The MadMod Computing Newsletter.   We hope that you enjoy the features of each issue and learn some computing skills along the way. For more topics on other newsletters, check out MadMod Computing Newsletters.

First, a reminder to make backups of your important files, and to keep your anti-virus software up-to-date.   Second use a software firewall and/or a router if using broadband.   Last, obtain all the critical Windows updates.

Featured in This Issue
1.     Do I need a server?
2.     My Computer's Time & Date
3.     Classical Connect (website)

1.    Do I need a server?
Servers these days can be very small, can join your network without a keyboard, mouse or monitor and can be set to regularly carry out tasks.  My personal preference is to use my server to make automated backups of the other computers on my system and to make sure that my company files are archived.  While small USB hard drives can be used to make backups too for individual computers, a server can automate multiple tasks.  A server could be used as a database host and as a headquarters for a business network of thin-client computers.  Typically found on the Internet are web servers to host websites, help manage e-mail and assist with e-commerce transactions.

The uses for a server are tremendously varied and many are made to serve multiple and simultaneous needs involving a diverse suites of applications.  A server can be useful for an individual with a large archive of pictures or music, is slightly more useful for a large family with different computers needing to archive their all their files and/or run their home entertainment center, and is probably a good idea for a small business to archive files, host the database and to run the company intranet.

Servers do come with costs, though using a Linux based server with a free version Ubuntu Server means only the hardware cost.  Remaining is the issue of a person to manage the server who's willing to travel the learning and time curves necessary to properly configure it.

2.    My Computer's Time & Date
First check to see if your computer is reporting the correct date and time.  On Windows computers, double-click on the time to open the application to fix what isn't correct.  Other types of computers usually have a control panel application which needs to be invoked to fix date and time.  Also check to see that the time zone is correct.

The date and time is stamped onto sent e-mails, documents saved, backup archives, when applications were installed, anti-virus updates, application upgrades, etc.  Incorrect settings also cause additional confusions when searching for files and folders by date.  Businesses need to be sure that documents created have the right date and time for legal reasons.

If your date and time settings revert to incorrect values, your computer's BIOS battery (like a large watch battery) may need to be replaced--an inexpensive and simple fix, but which requires a technician.  The BIOS battery keeps your computer's hardware settings current, and updates date and time values when the computer is off and/or unplugged.  Computers older than 4 years sometimes have this problem.

3.    Classical Connect (website)
Classical Connect Classical Connect is a free music site featuring classical music by a large number of well-known composers or by instrument.  Musicians who want their music to be heard can upload recordings they have made.

Signing up for a free account either as a listener or composer is easy to do.  Building a playlist from choices picked from the collections is also easy.  It's as if I had my old collection of CD's.  It's nice to have music available while I use my computer.  Try it and enjoy!

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