Author Archives: shyam

About shyam

Network professional , Entrepreneur , technology enthusiast , still not a geek

How do you define your Computer


When it come to defining something , we will normally find that even the obvious things become complicated. It is true regarding the computer also.

For your elementary classes on computer  the definition of computer is simple and straightforward.  But when it come to judiciary and other law enforcing agents , the definition of any object hold much importance because any loopholes in the definition will  be critical.

So we  can have a thought about how a judicial system is going to define a computer . as of the IT act on year 2000, Indian judiciary has a complex definition of computer  system closing all the loopholes and avoiding any chances of misinterpretation of such complex electronic equipment.


Definition of a Computer under section 2(1) (i) of   IT Act 2000

” any electronic , magnetic , optical or other high speed data processing device or system which performs logical , arithmetic , and memory functions by manipulations of Electronic , magnetic or optical impulse and include all input , output , processing , storage , computer software , or communication facilities which are connected or related to the computer in a computer system or computer network”

Thank god I don’t have to remember  it for my examination , But at-least now you know how a computer looks like to Indian Judiciary 


Polaroid is back with instant Photography

I am an avid fan of Polaroid cameras. Even though  my family did not own a polaroid at the time  of its popularity , the trips to famous tourist destination also hold memories of polaroid pictures taken by tourist guides which they sold to us for high prices. Even though we have a film camera with us on such trips the fascination of instant photography was great.


Just like the film photography give way for digital photography , the instant photos lost it charm for most people with the introduction of the LCD screens of your digital cameras.  Still the  thought about instant emerging of the snaps from the camera and the waving process that make the picture sharper was really nostalgic.

To cash on that nostalgic feelings of so many people around the world like me and  to attract the new generation which does not seen a polaroid in action , the company is back with a digital version of the same . Polaroid Z340  is the new product from polaroid which tries to create their on market for instant  photo devices Now they are using a digital point and shoot camera integrated with a digital thermal printer to achieve the same result as of a classic polaroid . Even though It feel a little bit heavy and awkward for for a  person who used to today’s size zero point and shoots , the joy of instant photos will be a novelty for this generation .

Check it online  here on official web site of Polaroid 



Know the X factor of your drive

What does the X stands for in the speed of your CD or DVD drive ?


  The optical drives make their initial appearance   in music industry rather than computing industry.  Even the term Compact Disc was coined because the new medium was compact if we compare it with long play vinyl disks used to play music at that time. A typical audio CD hold as much songs as of a full size LP record and still it was compact . So we called it compact disk.


These initial disk s used CD-DA ( compact disk digital audio ) format  and normally called audio CD .  It made approx 500 revolutions per minute and if we think in terms of data transfer speed in computer it is about 150 kBps.

WE are not expecting your audio CDs to run any faster because you are not expecting to hear a music in a fast forward more . So this become a     de-facto  standard for the Audio CDs .

When Video CD format was introduced ( CD-DV ) they rotated at double speed of audio CD’s and if we think in terms of data transfer , it is 300 kBps . So the  Drives used to play Video CD’s are called 2X drives  . They will run at 1X when we play audio CD on them.

When Digital Data disks where introduced ( CD-DD ) , they tried to increase the data throughput by increasing the rpm and thus the data transfer rate and  comes standard like 4x , 8x and so to around 52X.

Please not that the 52X noted on your disk is the maximum value at which it can transfer the data . It will operate in 1X when you are playing audio CD and will be in 2X  when you are watching your Video CD .


what happens when we press refresh

What really happens  when we click ‘Refresh “?  will it improve the performance of the system  ?


If you have been with any typical graphic designer or a DTP operator  besides  his/her workstation , the most used function on the system is refresh .when ever an application take time to load , they will right click and select refresh , may be for 10 or more times  .

They are under the false impression that doing so will increase the speed and performance of the system. This belief is passed to them from their computer gurus and they religiously follow what they have been told and it become part of their daily life just like chanting a mantra .

When we press the refresh button or press F5 when you are on desktop , the video memeory of your system is reloaded with the up to date information . If will be fine if you are browsing through network folder and it will help to detect a newly added share , or it will also help to redraw an icon that is showing up properly

But associating  it will any kind of performance increment is rubbish. technically , if you press refresh , the system is taking few micro seconds out of its life to serve your idiotic request and if you right click and refresh continuously , the system will slow down a bit because of the extra hard disk read write cycles it has to perform.


Surly it is a digital version of gritting your teeth or punding the desk when you are impatient  . Please  consult a neuro expert if the symptom sustains 

Why ROM is a RAM ?


As a computer student , if we are asked about the opposite term for RAM , the obvious answer is ROM.

So here we are just sharing some thoughts on why your ROM is also a RAM !


RAM or random access memory refers to the method by which the data is accessed   from  your memory .  Random Access means data can be accessed from your memory in a random manner , ie in any order irrespective of the order in which you are storing the data .


The opposite  term for RAM is Sequential access memory or SAM . ie data can be accessed from that kind of media in a sequential l manner only . Tape drives are classic examples of SAM.





So back to our point , all the electronic memories you are using in computers can access data randomly so we can call them RAM.  primarily There are two types of  RAM available , the Read Write -RAM and Read Only -RAM , ie RW-RAM and RO-RAM. According to the normal usable of the term , we prefer to call the RW-RAM as just RAMs and RO-RAMs as ROMs.

So bear in mind the fact that  ROM is also a RAM , but for your examinations , do not  go for this story if you are expecting an A grade for your computer paper




What differentiate Service Packs and Patches





Software development is a complex process and any software that roll out of the development centers have their own imperfections , most of which are evident in a a real life scenario.

Any  software company will try to address the problem by constant research and development process  that will make the products mature over time. Still if your software is a popular product like an operating  system , each and every day you will find new security vulnerabilities and software bugs .

A patch is an immediate response  to a situation.  if a software company identifies a specific issue with their product and the situation is pausing a threat to the operation of the product , they will appoint a team of experts who will work on the situation to find out a solution. It is called a Patch or Hot fix.  It is not a planned situation and address that  specific problem only .


A  service Pack is a planned collection of patches and fixes that is targeting  a  large group of customers than just addressing a specific situation .


Hope you find this Article from Technet  on  Why Service Packs are Better Than Patches   useful for more detailed explanation of the same .

What I loved most in this article from Microsoft is the line   Patches are by their very nature unplanned—and we always hope we’ll never need to build one. But software development is an imprecise science,  and we know that there will always be bugs—  

So that means Microsoft is not saying     “It’s Not A BugIt’s A Feature!”



Why Booting is called “Booting “


Yes , you know that cliche definition for booting you learned on your elementary classes on computing .


Booting :  is the process by which the computer loads the operating system files from the secondary storage systems in your computer ( like Floppy , hard disk ,or CD)   to the primary memory area ( R/W -RAM )    and after the successful  booting , the computer is ready to obey your commands .

So the question here is Why you are calling it the Booting ? when the actual process must be called loading !!


The term has some interesting origin  that date back to 19th century and was clevery adapted to as a computing term by some creative minds in mid  1950 ‘s .

the term booting is an abbreviation of the term ” Bootstrapping”   . I know it is not going to solve the situation because now the issue is what is Bootstrapping .

Bootstrapping is a phrase originated in US the meaning of which can be roughly explained as ” to Pull oneself up by His own Boot Strap ” . Try to visualize a situation where one person try to pull himself up by his own boot strap !

So , the term bootstrapping normally used to denote some thing that is almost impossible or describing any action which is fully performed by his own efforts .

So How the computer Boot Strap ?

hats off to to the person who first use the term bootstrapping for describing the loading process of computer system .

Before you turn on your computer system , it is a heap of plastic , metal , silicon and so many other things . After the process of booting is over , the machine magnificently convert itself in to a smart being which can respond to your actions  . So the journy from a heap of silicon to an intelligent equipment is done by the computer itself  by the process of one program calling another and so on until  he reach his  prompt or desktop

So we call the process as bootstrapping and abbreviated to booting .

Hope this Wikipedia link will be helpful to you  for further reading on this subject





Power On Self Test – Demystified



As a person who is using a computing equipment , You are aware about the term called POST and you also know it is expanded as Power on Self Test. Yes the same process which begins after you press the power button of your system .  This post is an effort to move a little deeper in to the process of POST and the electronic details which may be useful to a chip level service person for his day to day life with Desktop and Laptop Motherboards .

Let us start our discussion with basic explanation of a typical motherboard . For the ease of explanation , we are using a desktop motherboard , but is also applicable to a laptop motherboard too.

The motherboard diagram given here only shows components  that take part in the power on self test to avoid  complexities


The ATX Power supply of the system comes to life at the moment you press the power button on the system  . the ATX power supply is turned on by the pluse produced by the power on switch . Before the system turns on by the power switch , the system is in Standby with ACPI.

3.3 volt  from the power supply will reach 6th pin of the IO   it turns the NPN  transistor attached to it to  active low

Npn transistor  will open way for 3 vdc to reach BIOS

BIOS will in turn  activate the I/O .

I/O and VRM ( voltage regulator Module ) will  collectively  produce the Power good signal ( PG ).

BIOS will produce data pulse which will reach the crystal oscillator circuit

14.3185  MHz generator by the crystal oscillator  will  produce 2 v ac  and clock generator IC will produce the output

12th pin of clock generator  will produce the pulse on the  27 th pin of the CPU and CPU will initiate the POST routine from the BIOS chip

The POST routine is stored in address location FFFF:O and is the basic program to test the functionality of all the components on your motherboard and add on cards

After the success full completion of thew POST , BIOS will load load the Bootstrap loader program which will initiate the operating system loading process typically called  Booting


( hope we can have a post on the process of Booting )


Why You Should not Purchase a Used Laptop


Buying    a used laptop is more risker than buying a used Desktop. So unless you are in a tight financial constrain ,

                                              do not go for used laptop.

The very basic question about a used laptop is that why the user  is selling it ? 


expected answers are ” I am going abroad and I do not want my laptop  to be left with my brother so I am selling it ” or ” I upgraded myself to an Apple so I hate using a typical laptop now a days ” and so on..

So we are not expecting a seller to announce the problems of the laptop he wish to sell to a prospective  buyer .

if you are not aware about the previous history of that laptop , better  ignore the deal. Even if checked by by hardware expert , there will be so many issues will not be apparent in  normal inspections. Let us discuss some of the key areas of concern here .


Hard disk Drive :  The bad sectors on the hard disk can be hidden from the normal  users by selectively created partitions by software  like Disk manager   So unless you delete all the partitions  , create a single partition with full size of the disk and do a normat format procedure , it is quite hard to find out the damage. Again the hard disk issues such as slow access speed is hard to find out without a long term testing and it will affect the productivity of your system.

LCD  panel : patches on the LCD panel and dead pixels will be hard to find unless you checked it in a full white surface .  More serious issues will be  related to the inverter  area of the LCD which will cause flickers and no display situation and will only surface after prolonged usage.

Chipset or Graphics Chip : 

The main cause of  most of the intermittent display issues of laptop is the dry solder of the BGA chips like Graphics chip or north bridge . The main concern to a used laptop buyer is that this kind of issues can be fixed by heating the chip using a IR heater and the system will work fine for the next two weeks.  Until the service person replace the BGA chip with a new one using a profession BGA re workstation equipment , there will be a strong chance of the recurrence of the situation. This issue is normally not known to a normal user or can not even detected with a normal inspection  . So unless you run a thorough burn-in test of the machine using diagnostic utilities continuously for days , it will be hard to diagnosis the issue .

Keyboard :  membrane keyboard are prone to failure  under humid conditions . The normal problem is the non responsiveness of some of the keys on your keyboard . If you clean the keyboard with a vacuum cleaner and apply enough pressure to the membrane keys , it will be willing to work for next few days . So you can not make sure that the keyboard of the used laptop is healthy by just using the word     “the Quick brown Fox jumps over the Lazy dog “



Some of the points mentioned above is applicable to your typical desktop systems too . But the  solutions for all these issues in a desktop is cheaper when compared to laptop.