The Best from the Digital Age

For most of us these days, using a computer has become a daily occurrence, so much so that many of us can’t imagine life without it. Completing work projects, checking correspondence, interacting socially and shopping online have all become part of our everyday existence, but not everyone has become part of the Digital Age. There is one significant group in our society which has been left behind by events, and it’s perhaps time to include them.

A significant number of the older members of our communities have little or no experience of computers, and will not be aware of the many benefits that regular internet usage can bring. In an era when we are encouraging young children to find their way around the web and to become increasingly au fait with everything computers can achieve, it seems a shame that we are neglecting those at the other end of the age scale.

Those who were born in the 1980s and beyond have grown up in an era of technological innovation, and are therefore better equipped to understand the many gadgets and gizmos that have appeared on the shelves of our stores ever since. Although there are plenty of older people who know their way around a digital camera or a mobile phone, there are still too many who struggle to understand just what a computer, and the internet, can do.

The first step is the most important one

Needless to say, switching on a computer and accessing the worldwide web is a simple operation for most of us, and if some of the less enlightened members of our senior communities could be encouraged to try it, they will undoubtedly be pleasantly surprised by this simplicity. The most difficult hurdle in this is likely to be the first one of all: how best to guide and support the uninitiated through that vital initial step.

A worthy campaign by the BBC in recent times to get older people involved in internet life produced some interesting results, with many initially reluctant participants discovering many of the benefits of web usage. If the momentum from this outreach programme could be harnessed further, we may find a growing number of men and women becoming more and more keen to put the computer through its paces.

Cloud Computing for the Home

Cloud computing not only transforms home computing, but the way we work and live. If that sounds overblown, consider how working from home and consuming entertainment have changed over the last few years. And the rise of the ‘Internet of Things’, which will co-ordinate internet connected devices, can make your home life more relaxing and enjoyable.

There are already lots of advantages to embracing cloud computing in your home, whether it’s for work, pleasure or managing your household.

Cloud Storage for the home:
One of the big early selling points of cloud computing has been the availability of cheap, plentiful storage space for photos, videos, work documents and anything else you can think of. Cloud storage providers include UK-based Memstore, along with U.S companies such as Dropbox, Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft.

It’s important to check out the various options and not just sign up to the most familiar brand names, as costs can vary depending on the storage needed. And in the UK it’s also well worth considering a UK-based provider like Memset, as they’ll be fully-compliant with UK specific laws and regulations, which isn’t the case for businesses based elsewhere.

Backing up anything valuable to you, whether its photos of your family, household documents like your insurance forms, or work documents, is essential. Many people rely on external hard drives for manual backups, which is a good idea. But these backups are often left sat next to computers, so in the event of a robbery, you lose both the originals and backups.

For peace of mind, backing up once to an external hard drive and once to a cloud service means that you have security whatever happens. And it’s low cost – Memstore is a great example as you only pay for the space you use and when you download beyond large amounts. For instance, you can store up to 100GB and download 20GB per month for just £3.95 per month.

If you check the disk space you’ve used on your computer and laptop now, you’ll probably find it’s a lot less to backup than you might think.

Cloud Streaming for the home:
Whether you enjoy music, movies or even videogames, we’re all becoming used to cloud storage and streaming.

If you just want instant access, you can choose from a variety of services such as Spotify to get access to a huge range of music, or Lovefilm and Netflix to stream movies to your tablet or TV – apps for games consoles mean you don’t need to move the computer or trail wires through your house.

But if you’re worried about relying on the cloud for all your entertainment, you can still buy physical CDs and DVDs etc. Legally backing up entertainment you own to cloud storage or a more tailored cloud service means the physical copy can be stored out of the way in the cupboard or loft, and you can now access the entertainment you own wherever you have an internet connection.

A new dawn of super-fast internet

4G finally goes live in the UK on the 30th of October heralding a new dawn of super-fast internet for Brits. After heavy delays caused by legal threats between the networks and legal threats within the industry, Orange and T Mobile’s owner, Everything Everywhere, has been granted permission by Ofcom to plough on ahead with the launch of the first LTE network on British soil over their existing 2G spectrum.

As part of the deal Everything Everywhere has been forced to sell off a chunk of this to Three Mobile so that they don’t have monopolistic control over the new technology. Next year, the other networks will get their pick of the airwaves as the government prepares to sell of the 4G spectrum. Unfortunately, however, Apple’s iPhone 5 will only work at full speed on the old 2G spectrum that will be available from EE and Three. If you’re an iFan, then you’d better make sure your brand new iPhone is on one of these providers.

The platform for 4G services will only be available through the new “EE” brand so even T Mobile and Orange customers won’t be able to get the highest speeds unless they transfer their 4G ready pay monthly phones over to the new network on a 4GEE tariff. That said, it seems like the old network operators are trying to make it as easy as possible to transfer over to EE. They currently are offering a range of 4G enabled handsets like the Samsung Galaxy S3 LTE and the iPhone 5 at attractive prices in order to woo over consumers who want to prepare for the changeover and have their new phones straight away.

This head start for a 4G Britain doesn’t come without its drawbacks. By getting to the 4G buffet early, they’ve got the chance to pile their plate high with all of the early adopter customers who are willing to pay a premium for faster internet. Though they haven’t explicitly stated it, don’t be surprised if you’ll be looking at an extra four to five pounds a month on your bill. That means that the rest of us will either have to wait until the New Year for the upgrade or be willing to stump up the extra cash.

The Cheapest Computer to Date

If we look few decades back, it was almost impossible to think of working with a computer without any proficiency of knowledge about it. Gradually, the developers made it simple by making use of a graphical operating system. Now, it is simpler yet by the invention of Raspberry Pi, it has been developed by a charity called Raspberry Pi Foundation. It is not more than the size of a credit card. The feature which makes it genuinely special is its ‘ease of use’, especially for the beginners. Another important factor is its price, which is either $25 or $35, depending upon the version. The price is good news for them who can’t afford to buy a usual desktop.

These days computers are important, as these have become important means for communicating, be it for business purpose or some personal need. We could assure you that Raspberry Pi fulfills the basic needs of all classes of people. However, you need to understand one thing clearly, from the moment you take the circuit out of the package, do not expect things to happen automatically. If you do not know how to work with Raspberry Pi, land up on Raspberry Pi’s website for online help and start working with it.

Before purchasing a Raspberry Pi, you should know certain things about it to make a better choice. We have gathered a precise info about it, here you go:

Raspberry Pi has two versions, one is Model A and another is Model B. Model B is better version than that of Model A, and it is more expensive too. Let us see few of the features of both flavors of Raspberry Pi: Model A has only one USB port, but Model B has two such ports. Unlike Model B, Model A lacks in Ethernet port. Other than few certain things, major part of the hardware is more or less similar.

Let us dig deeper into the hardware section: It has 700MHz ARM1176JZF-S CPU, it has a Broadcom Video Core IV GPU, 256MB of SDRAM. RCA & HDMI are the two video outputs that you can find in the circuit, also a 3.5 mm audio output. It is important to note here, it receives its power from a micro USB adapter, this means that this circuit doesn’t have any Switch ON or Switch OFF button; rather it draws its power from plugging the adapter into the circuit.

It is not necessary to remind you of the fact that, you will not get a capable computer with the kind of price that has been mentioned, but it is also a fact that you will not have a great multi-tasking and web browsing experience with the circuit of Raspberry Pi. All that you can run are: fundamental desktop jobs, few low-end games which can otherwise made to run in lower models of smartphones, play HD videos.

Did we mention that, to use Raspberry Pi, you need few components such as: a monitor with digital connection and compatible video cable, a USB keyboard and a mouse (if required)? Do not forget a micro USB power adapter or else your computer will be a box, which is meant for a showpiece in the drawing room.

There is nothing exciting about it, as it is just a bare board with no chassis, you have to put all the efforts to build it as a computer and the difficult part is that, you need to know little bit of Linux to have a command over it.