Update the Firmware On Your HDTV, Camera, Smartphone, PC, and More

Software updates aren’t just for PCs any more. Here’s how to fix bugs and add new features to your existing hardware with a few easy patches.

Loyd Case, PC World

These days, most of your electronics have miniature computers built-in: Home-theater gear, handheld devices, phones, and even appliances now have embedded smarts in the form of a microprocessor, memory, and software. And just like computer software, firmware–the software that runs on your gadgets–needs periodic updating.

Believe it or not, many new gadgets aren’t 100 percent complete when you buy them. Though a spiffy electronic toy may perform its basic functions, some of its promised features may be absent or incomplete. And to keep up with ever-changing kinds of content, your devices may require software enhancements to give old hardware new features.

To avoid antagonizing customers who might spend hundreds of dollars on a cool piece of hardware only to find a few months later that it no longer worked, manufacturers design much of their gear to allow updates. You won’t be able to get every feature of the latest and greatest product via downloadable updates, but firmware revisions can make your old equipment run faster and crash less often.
What Is Firmware?

Firmware is software stored in persistent memory–usually either flash memory or programmable, rewritable ROM (read-only memory)–that’s built into the device. Unlike apps loaded into your PC’s RAM, firmware doesn’t get erased when you power the system down. Firmware may store just the basic software needed to start up the system–like a PC’s BIOS–or it may store the entire operating system and applications suites, as with smartphones.


Software updates aren’t just for PCs any more. Here’s how to fix bugs and add new features to your existing hardware with a few easy patches.

Loyd Case, PC World

These days, most of your electronics have miniature computers built-in: Home-theater gear, handheld devices, phones, and even appliances now have embedded smarts in the form of a microprocessor, memory, and software. And just like computer software, firmware–the software that runs on your gadgets–needs periodic updating.

Believe it or not, many new gadgets aren’t 100 percent complete when you buy them. Though a spiffy electronic toy may perform its basic functions, some of its promised features may be absent or incomplete. And to keep up with ever-changing kinds of content, your devices may require software enhancements to give old hardware new features.

To avoid antagonizing customers who might spend hundreds of dollars on a cool piece of hardware only to find a few months later that it no longer worked, manufacturers design much of their gear to allow updates. You won’t be able to get every feature of the latest and greatest product via downloadable updates, but firmware revisions can make your old equipment run faster and crash less often.

What Is Firmware?

Firmware is software stored in persistent memory–usually either flash memory or programmable, rewritable ROM (read-only memory)–that’s built into the device. Unlike apps loaded into your PC’s RAM, firmware doesn’t get erased when you power the system down. Firmware may store just the basic software needed to start up the system–like a PC’s BIOS–or it may store the entire operating system and applications suites, as with smartphones. Leer más “Update the Firmware On Your HDTV, Camera, Smartphone, PC, and More”

How to Check the Health of your Hard Drive

To get started, you need to download the ISO image of SeaTools for DOS and create a bootable CD. Now boot the computer with the CD in the drive, accept the license agreement and run a long test (the full scan). If any defects are found, a list will be offered at the end or after aborting the disk scan.

Other computer vendors /disk manufactures including Samsung, Hitachi, Toshiba (Fujitsu), Western Digital, Lenovo, Dell, etc. too offer diagnostic tools that work only with their own brand of hard drives. If you are having frequent computer problems (like system hangs or fails to boot up), you may run these tools to confirm if the problems are hard drive related.

Important: While these tools can help you diagnose your hard drive’s health, they are still no good substitute for regular backups.


Hard disk failure is possibly the worst thing that can happen to your computer and it often occurs without giving any warning signs.

Test Your Hard Drive for Impending Problems

hard diskYou may however run certain tests on your computer beforehand to get an idea about the current condition of your hard disk. This should in turn help you decide whether a replacement drive is necessary or not. Leer más “How to Check the Health of your Hard Drive”

¿Cómo puede prolongar la vida útil de la batería de su computadora portátil?

Conozca cuáles son las unidades de energía disponibles en el mercado y cuáles son los consejos para que no lo deje a mitad de camino

¿Cómo puede prolongar la vida útil de la batería de su computadora portátil?

Cuando se compra una computadora portátil, ya sea una notebook o una netbook, el consumidor común no presta mucha atención a una cuestión vital: la batería. Sin embargo, recordará ese “detalle” cuando utilice el equipo y sufra con la poca vida útil que tiene la unidad de la energía.

Sucede que no es un tema es menor. Más si se tiene en cuenta que este año se venderán en la Argentina más unidades portátiles que de escritorio.

Según los datos que manejan en HP, el primer fabricante mundial de equipos informáticos, la suma de notebooks, netbooks y ultra portátiles se llevará casi el 60% de las 2,8 millones de computadoras que se despacharán este año en todo el país. Y de ese millón y medio de laptops, un 35% corresponderá a netbooks.

Este proceso de crecimiento se aceleró en los últimos años: de las 700.000 unidades portátiles que se vendieron en 2008 se pasó a 900.000 en 2009. Pero este año “pegaron” el salto esperado para desplazar a las desktops.


Conozca cuáles son las unidades de energía disponibles en el mercado y cuáles son los consejos para que no lo deje a mitad de camino

¿Cómo puede prolongar la vida útil de la batería de su computadora portátil? <!– ­
–>

Cuando se compra una computadora portátil, ya sea una notebook o una netbook, el consumidor común no presta mucha atención a una cuestión vital: la batería. Sin embargo, recordará ese “detalle” cuando utilice el equipo y sufra con la poca vida útil que tiene la unidad de la energía.

Sucede que no es un tema es menor. Más si se tiene en cuenta que este año se venderán en la Argentina más unidades portátiles que de escritorio.

Según los datos que manejan en HP, el primer fabricante mundial de equipos informáticos, la suma de notebooks, netbooks y ultra portátiles se llevará casi el 60% de las 2,8 millones de computadoras que se despacharán este año en todo el país. Y de ese millón y medio de laptops, un 35% corresponderá a netbooks.

Este proceso de crecimiento se aceleró en los últimos años: de las 700.000 unidades portátiles que se vendieron en 2008 se pasó a 900.000 en 2009. Pero este año “pegaron” el salto esperado para desplazar a las desktops. Leer más “¿Cómo puede prolongar la vida útil de la batería de su computadora portátil?”

What Can I Do with a Dead Hard Drive?

Dear Lifehacker,
I have a dead hard drive that is out of warranty. Is there anything I can do besides recycle it?

Signed,
All My Drives are Down ‘n Dead

Photo by ArtMast.

Dear Down ‘n Dead,
You’re in luck. While your hard drive may be dead to its original function you can harvest parts from it for all sorts of fun and interesting DIY projects.

Before we delve into gutting your hard drive and repurposing its guts, let’s talk data security. While you didn’t specify what “dead hard drive” means, we’ll assume this means the disk is inoperable and any means of recovering the disk for use using software have failed. If the disk has truly sensitive data on it—data worth enough that someone would invest significant time and energy in recovering it—the only safe thing to do is to reference the Symphony of Destruction portion of our guide to properly erasing your physical media. If, on the other hand, the disk was mostly populated with your bootleg Bon Jovi concert rips, it’s ripe for all manner of DIY projects.

We’ve roughly ordered the following projects by the amount of effort and technical knowledge required to carry them out. At the start of the list you’ll need little more than basic tools and some patience. By the end of the list you’ll need to be comfortable with a soldering iron and working with electronics.

What Can I Do with a Dead Hard Drive?
Harvest Its Parts

One of the simplest things you can do with an old hard drive is harvest its magnets. Hard drives sport some super-powerful magnets that you can use for all sorts of things. The photo above shows a magnetic knife block made by carving recesses in a piece of wood for the hard drive magnets. Around the office we tend to just yank the magnets out of our old hard drives and use them for ultra-strong refrigerator magnets and to temporarily magnetize our tools when working with small parts.

While you’re gutting the hard drive, the platters are extremely polished and make pretty cool mirrors. Combine a platter with a hard drive magnet and you’ve got yourself a pretty awesome and geeky mini-mirror for your fridge, or your locker at the office or gym.

If you’re not interested in delving further into recycling the electronics inside, you could always turn the empty hard drive case into hidden safe. Not many thieves would care to root around in a bin of old electronics crap in your garage and even fewer would want to steal an old banged up hard drive.


What Can I Do with a Dead Hard Drive?Dear Lifehacker,
I have a dead hard drive that is out of warranty. Is there anything I can do besides recycle it?

Signed,
All My Drives are Down ‘n Dead

Photo by ArtMast.

Dear Down ‘n Dead,
You’re in luck. While your hard drive may be dead to its original function you can harvest parts from it for all sorts of fun and interesting DIY projects.

Before we delve into gutting your hard drive and repurposing its guts, let’s talk data security. While you didn’t specify what “dead hard drive” means, we’ll assume this means the disk is inoperable and any means of recovering the disk for use using software have failed. If the disk has truly sensitive data on it—data worth enough that someone would invest significant time and energy in recovering it—the only safe thing to do is to reference the Symphony of Destruction portion of our guide to properly erasing your physical media. If, on the other hand, the disk was mostly populated with your bootleg Bon Jovi concert rips, it’s ripe for all manner of DIY projects.

We’ve roughly ordered the following projects by the amount of effort and technical knowledge required to carry them out. At the start of the list you’ll need little more than basic tools and some patience. By the end of the list you’ll need to be comfortable with a soldering iron and working with electronics. Leer más “What Can I Do with a Dead Hard Drive?”

Stress Test Your Hardware to Troubleshoot Problems and Keep Your Computer Stable

Gadget blog Tested explains how to stress test your computer’s most important hardware—the most likely pain points in a buggy system—in order to diagnose and fix hardware problems that can commonly crop up in software errors and system crashes.

Photo by kennymatic.

There’s no worse time for your PC to hit the fritz than when you’re in the middle of some sort of heavy-duty computer task, but for some reason you computer doesn’t seem to care. Tested’s guide walks through the tools to stress and monitor your system to hunt down and diagnose possible hardware problems with your CPU, RAM, and graphics card.


troubleshooting.jpgGadget blog Tested explains how to stress test your computer’s most important hardware—the most likely pain points in a buggy system—in order to diagnose and fix hardware problems that can commonly crop up in software errors and system crashes.

Photo by kennymatic.

There’s no worse time for your PC to hit the fritz than when you’re in the middle of some sort of heavy-duty computer task, but for some reason you computer doesn’t seem to care. Tested’s guide walks through the tools to stress and monitor your system to hunt down and diagnose possible hardware problems with your CPU, RAM, and graphics card. Leer más “Stress Test Your Hardware to Troubleshoot Problems and Keep Your Computer Stable”

Using Light, Intel Confirms Data Will Be Sent Wayyy Faster in the Near Future

Intel announced a prototype technology today capable of moving data at 50 Gbps, comparable to sending an entire HD movie in one second – foreshadowing faster, longer data connections that could be revolutionary for consumers and data center users.

The prototype represents an important advance in Intel’s research into silicon photonics – using lasers instead of electrons to send data – which the company has been working on for years. Intel hopes to scale up the technology until it reaches speeds close to a terabit per second – fast enough to transfer a copy of the entire contents of a typical laptop in one second, the company said.

Data transmission speeds over wire-based connections are limited by bandwidth and distance. Intel turned to silicon-based photonic devices in order to transcend these physical limitations and continue to make more powerful chips.

With the new process, electrical signals are translated into light at different-colored wavelengths, which are combined and travel down a single fiber. Then the light is separated back into wavelengths and converted back to electrons. The speeds are so high that processors, memory and other computer components will no longer need to be placed inches from each other, implying vastly different computer designs in the future, the company said.


Intel announced a prototype technology today capable of moving data at 50 Gbps, comparable to sending an entire HD movie in one second – foreshadowing faster, longer data connections that could be revolutionary for consumers and data center users.

The prototype represents an important advance in Intel’s research into silicon photonics – using lasers instead of electrons to send data – which the company has been working on for years. Intel hopes to scale up the technology until it reaches speeds close to a terabit per second – fast enough to transfer a copy of the entire contents of a typical laptop in one second, the company said.

Data transmission speeds over wire-based connections are limited by bandwidth and distance. Intel turned to silicon-based photonic devices in order to transcend these physical limitations and continue to make more powerful chips.

With the new process, electrical signals are translated into light at different-colored wavelengths, which are combined and travel down a single fiber. Then the light is separated back into wavelengths and converted back to electrons. The speeds are so high that processors, memory and other computer components will no longer need to be placed inches from each other, implying vastly different computer designs in the future, the company said. Leer más “Using Light, Intel Confirms Data Will Be Sent Wayyy Faster in the Near Future”

Nuevos “MacBook Air” para Septiembre

Apple está planeando lanzar un nuevo y mejorado “MacBook Air” para el mes de Septiembre. Se ha dicho que la empresa Apple está organizando grandes cantidades de nuevas MacBook Air para sacarlas a la venta en el próximo mes de Septiembre.

Macbook Air en todos sus angulos

Esta información fue proporcionada por el analista Keith Bachman de la empresa BMO. [Más…]
Esta es una buena noticia, ya que desde hace tiempo que no se sabía nada de la exclusiva MacBook Air, ya que Apple ha estado muy ocupado con el lanzamiento y ventas de sus nuevos dispositivos, el iPad y el iPhone 4.

El nuevo ultraportátil MacBook Air tendrá varias modificaciones, saldrán dos modelos diferentes y lo más destacado es que serán modelos más baratos. Con esto, Apple está tratando en convertir la nueva MacBook Air en el portátil más común, quitandole la imagen de un portátil exclusivo.

Solo han dado muy pocos datos sobre el nuevo MacBook Air, han comentado que tendrá una pantalla de 11.6 pulgadas en comparación de la pantalla actual de 13.3 pulgadas y su precesador será Intel Core iX, que es más barato y de bajo voltaje, según explican en electronista.

Esperemos más adelante a nuevos detalles de este MacBook Air renovado, que podría ubicar a Apple en el mercado de los ultra-portátiles más vendidos, aunque creo que el iPad será su competencia más directa. Suerte que en esto también sale ganando Apple.


Autor: Gaby MC

Apple está planeando lanzar un nuevo y mejorado “MacBook Air para el mes de Septiembre. Se ha dicho que la empresa Apple está organizando grandes cantidades de nuevas MacBook Air para sacarlas a la venta en el próximo mes de Septiembre.

Macbook Air en todos sus angulos

Esta información fue proporcionada por el analista Keith Bachman de la empresa BMO. Leer más “Nuevos “MacBook Air” para Septiembre”