The Harmful Influence of the Computer

This simple statement is truer and clearer than one may realize. It is an established fact that nothing interesting is one-sided. Every little thing is this world has its pros and cons; nothing is perfect. This is especially true for electronic devices, prominent among them being the computer. You would be shocked to know that it was categorized as being among the 40 most health-damaging jobs.

Computerization has brought about a revolution in the world. The machine is desperately and heavily used every where – in schools, at home, in companies, institutions, and so on. No doubting its valuable contribution in the fields of space, agriculture, defense, education, etc., but after a period, it does have some negative effects. Some of these influences are as follows.

Effects on Education

As mentioned before, this machine has contributed effectively to the field of education. With the click of a button, one can gather all the possible information they want. However, what is happening today is that even children who cannot read and write yet, are already used to this machine. They develop at a very early age, the habit of playing on the computers for hours on end. Where were the good old days of outdoor play? At the age of four and five, they are already playing games and operating software. While this is good in the sense that it makes children tech-savvy, it is very harmful as well, as they get addicted to this machine and start misusing it over time. The actual interaction between the teacher and students has long gone. The Internet does provide a million online learning courses of course, but in some cases, instead of simplifying the education system, new complications have arisen.

Effects on Health

According to the latest research, this device does not improve our health, and it can seriously damage our system when it is improperly used. Manufacturers assert that the devices are absolutely harmless. Research though, has a different story to tell. When we work on this machine, staring at the monitor, we need to read, type, analyze, correct mistakes, and perhaps do all that more than once. The eyes have to try adjusting to all that pressure, and the eyesight may be damaged. People working for long hours on this machine have the most health complaints because of muscle and joint diseases. This might be restricted to neck torpor, pain in the shoulders, in the loins, etc. However, there can be more grievous problems such as the carpal tunnel syndrome, which refers to the damage of arm nerves due to the excessive time spent working on the PC.

The negative effects of computers on our eyes can be referred to as CVS (Computer Vision Syndrome), which includes dryness of the eyes, eyestrain, backache, neck ache, wrist ache, reduced acuity of vision, distress, reduced capacity of concentration, and so on.

The reasons for these health-related problems are – the excess of information and the electromagnetic fields.

Excess of Information: Our heart spends energy for blood circulation, and our lungs need energy for breathing. When it comes to our brain, it requires energy for managing pieces of information. Some scientists consider that the human brain uses 1,200 Kcal every day. Thus, the problem occurs when our brain needs to take away the energy resources from other organs in order to supplement for the energy lapse it has to face. Because of that, people are often under a high level of mental pressure, which may lead to anxiety, lack of energy, emotional instability, and inefficiency in completing the required work.

Electromagnetic Fields: Electromagnetic fields affect the biological processes of our body. People might feel dizziness because of exposure to weak electromagnetic fields. That is because those low-intensity fields reduce the intensity of blood pressure. For that reason, we are very likely to sense a decrease in our body temperature after overusing the laptop.

Effects on Society

We have become so addicted to this device, that we rarely communicate with people around us. We are capable of working alone due to this device, instead of collaborating with colleagues, if we were to do the work manually. The work environment has been severely affected due to this lack of interaction, thus promoting an anti-social culture. Worse still, and melodramatic though it may sound, it has brought about weak human bonds. If one is not a member of a social networking site, he/she is shunned away. People spend more time on these sites than talking with friends and family.

General Effects

This point might be categorized more under a disadvantage rather than a harmful influence. Since the advent of this machine and the Internet, people have nowadays begun to misuse it for various reasons. Hacking is a prime hazard. People have found ways to circumvent security issues and access private data, which is no less than a crime. They introduce spyware and malware in people’s machines. Personal data is being accessed illegally. Graphic software like Adobe PhotoShop, has been wrongly used to create pornographic videos. Computer crimes have come on the forefront, and little action is taken against the offenders.

All said and done, we have to admit that the harmful influence of the computer is brought about by all of us. We need to know how carefully and legally to use it, and where to draw the line. As regards to health issues, we need to take certain precautions so that we stay away from the negative effects. All in all, one can conclude that any device if used ethically, is tremendously useful. On the other hand, if it is used in an illegal way, it is bound to cause trouble.

Computer Freezes After Startup – Troubleshooting Tips

While working on computers, there is a high probability that your system may freeze for no rhyme or reason. If your computer freezes frequently, it is time you first figure out the reasons behind such malfunctioning of your system.

Reasons Why Computer Freezes on Startup

There are myriad reasons for a computer freezing on startup. Following are a few causes, which could be detrimental in freezing your system more often.

Defective hardware (Electrostatic discharge and loose connections between hardware and computer motherboard)
Faulty software (Codes using lot of RAM; software infected with adbots, viruses and spyware)
Bugged operating systems (A corrupted Windows registry of operating system)
Infected drivers (Improper installation of drivers, small programs that enable the hardware and software to work in sync)

In all the above, the root cause that answers your query on why computer freezes is, almost all computers today are assembled and so the hardware components are manufactured by different vendors, which may result in hardware malfunctioning of the system. If your software is corrupted with malicious programs through Internet, freezing on startup is a warning sign indicating that your operating system may be at risk. This is because, viruses and spyware usually replicate their code and store them at hidden locations in your system, thereby using up more RAM. This eventually slows down your system. However, if the registry of the operating system is corrupted, then a symptom like computer freezing on startup would indicate warning to reformat your system.

Computer Freezes Shortly After Startup – Fixing the Problem

Sometimes, it may happen that you log into your system and as the system is loading, your computer freezes randomly, and no matter how many times you tap your keys and bang your mouse, the system remains frozen. In that case, I would suggest you to try the following:

– Reboot your system and set your system in clean boot.
– Click on Start, and type msconfig in the search box of the start menu and click on Enter.
– The system may prompt you for a confirmation, sometimes asking for an administrator’s password. Type the password and click on Continue.
– Now, click on selective startup on General tab and under the Selective startup of the General tab, clear the load startup items checkbox.
– Select Services tab and click the check box for Hide all Microsoft Services. Then click on Disable All.
– Click OK. And once the system prompts, click on Restart.
– If your system starts, apply divide and conquer algorithm to detect the non Microsoft service which is causing the problem, if your system is running on Windows Vista or Windows XP.

Once the startup fiasco is solved, check for the registry. Here are some steps to check this.

– Click on Start.
– In the search box of startup menu, type REGEDIT. Click Enter.
– Now find this registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem
– Once found, set the NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation to 1 to delete any duplicate or short versions for DOS names.

Computer Freezes After Startup But Works in Safe Mode – Fixing the Problem

Most people complain about the computer freezing up in Windows Vista and they might also observe that it prompts for the system to start in ‘Safe Mode’, once rebooted. Now before understanding whether this safe mode is advisable or not, it is important to understand what this safe mode is all about. Safe mode is a special way for Windows to load when a system is not starting in the normal mode. Now in the safe mode, not all functions are enabled. Most device drivers are not loaded (like that of printer and scanner). The command files autoexec.bat or config.sys are not run. Standard VGA graphic mode is used and not the normal graphics device driver. In this mode, the system checks for the msdos.sys for information to find the required Window files. So now the question arises, what to do once the system boots in safe mode? To check the root reason for what had caused Windows to load incompletely should be your first plan of action.

Click on Start, and click on control panel. In recent times, if you have added any device driver, try uninstalling it and then attempt a reboot. If your system starts normally, it means that the device was having some conflict with the driver software. Check further for installation of games or new applications and try uninstalling them as well, if you have doubts about their installation. However, if there is no problem with the hardware or the software, then it indicates a corrupt registry issue, which can be resolved only by getting a new installation copy of Windows.

When you face such an issue, do not jump into conclusions, that your system needs reformatting. Check out all the possible causes and try to figure out the core reason why your computer freezes after starting. And yes, one more important thing, always save your data in backup devices like CD or a pen drive. It will save your work at least!
Read more at Buzzle: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/computer-freezes-after-startup.html

Computer Keeps Rebooting Itself

A frequently rebooting computer can really be a frustrating experience for anyone. Common factors that cause this problem are,

– Issues with software
– Hardware malfunction
– Computer virus

Issues with Software

Software-related issues can cause the computer to restart frequently. To check if a faulty/corrupt software is the cause, try to run the computer in ‘Safe Mode’. If your computer keeps rebooting itself, the chances of an issue with the software are remote. On the other hand, if your computer does not reboot in the ‘Safe Mode’, then the problem is with the software. As the issue is related to the software, we recommend that you take the help of a programmer/technician to fix this issue.

Hardware Malfunction

A hardware malfunction is one of the most common reasons which leads to automatic rebooting. If you have recently added a hardware device, you need to disconnect it to check whether it is causing the computer to restart. Also, ensure that all the cables and power sources are properly connected to the computer. Sometimes, a loose connection can cause the computer to reboot over and over again. The possibility of the RAM being the culprit is remote, as with a faulty RAM (Random-Access Memory), the computer ceases to start, or shows a blank screen. To ensure that there is no hardware conflict in the computer, follow the path mentioned below.

Start → Search → Device Manager → Press Enter

Alternatively, you can go to the ‘Device Manager’ through the following path,

Start → Control Panel → Administrative Tools → Computer Management → Device manager

‘Device Manager’ will list all the hardware attached to the computer. A device which is not properly connected to the computer, will have one of the following against its name:

1. A yellow exclamation mark or ‘Other Devices’
2. A red ‘X’ symbol
3. Down arrow

1. A yellow exclamation indicates that a device is not compatible with other hardware devices, or its drivers have not been installed. To rectify this, delete all such devices which have a yellow exclamation mark against their name, or which fall under ‘Other Devices’. Restart the computer and check if these devices have been detected by the Operating System (OS). If the problem persists, you need to download the latest drivers for these devices. You can download the drivers from the manufacturer’s website.
2. A red ‘X’ symbolizes that the either the device has been removed, or the operating system is unable to detect it. Troubleshooting involves ‘enabling’ the device from the ‘Device Manager’ tool, and restarting the computer to check if the OS is now able to detect the device. If the device still remains undetected, you need to download the latest drivers for the device.
3. Devices with a down arrow against their name indicate that the devices have been disabled. They can easily be enabled through the ‘Device Manager’ tool.

To check if your computer is rebooting continuously because of ‘bad memory’, you need to run a scan. Windows OS is equipped with ‘Windows Memory Diagnostics’, which runs a memory test on the computer. You can open this tool by following the path mentioned below:

Start → Control Panel → Administrative Tools → Memory Diagnostics Tool

Computer Virus

Another reason for the continuous rebooting of a computer can be a virus attack. It can be a possibility that the virus has tampered with your OS settings and system files. A particular type of computer virus, known as ‘bar311.exe’, is known to cause a frequent rebooting problem. You can detect the presence of this virus by the path mentioned below.

Start → Run → Type ‘cmd’ (without quotes) → Hit Enter

If your computer restarts, this virus is present in your system. It might have entered your system because of a weak, outdated antivirus software. You can remove the virus by upgrading to the latest version of the antivirus software, and running a complete scan on the computer. An updated antivirus program will also protect your system from any future invasion of dangerous viruses.

Overheating is another reason which can cause a computer to reboot on its own. The hard disk, and the processors are the components of a computer which are particularly prone to overheating. To address this issue, check whether the cooling system, and the power source of the computer is working properly.

These were some of the common causes that can cause a computer to reboot itself continuously. In the end, we would like to say that proper hardware maintenance and updated antivirus software can go a long way in preventing automatic rebooting and other issues in a computer.

When was the First Computer Made?

It is interesting to know that the term ‘computer’ was assigned to people’s job which consisted of performing calculations on a continuous basis, like navigational tables, tide charts, and planetary positions for astronomical needs.
Human errors, boredom and comparatively slow pace of working, led inventors to mechanize the entire process and eventually come up with machines that had brains – computers! Need for accurate and fast calculations led to the invention of tools like Napier’s bones for logarithms, the slide rule, calculating clock, Pascal’s Pascaline, and power-loom that used punched cards; which can be considered as the forefathers of today’s computers.

Talking about the history and evolution of computers, will be incomplete without the mention of Charles Babbage, who is considered the ‘Father of Computers’. He was making a steam-driven calculating machine, the size of a room, way back in 1822, which he called the ‘Difference Engine’.

The Difference Engine
The Difference Engine project, though heavily funded by the British government, could never see the light of the day. Yet, in pursuit of a better machine for more complex calculations, he came up with the ‘Analytical Engine’ that had parts parallel to the memory card and the central processing unit that our systems have today. Hollerith desk was later invented in the U.S. For the need to record the census in 1880, which used a combination of the earlier calculating tools that were invented.
Z1 Computer
In the 1940s there were attempts to make machines that served the purpose of computing numbers and problems, like the Z1 Computer in 1936.
Z Machines
Then Konrad Zuse also wanted to make something that would be like a computer, hence was created electromechanical “Z machines,” the Z3, in 1941, which was the first working machine, which featured binary arithmetic, including floating point arithmetic and a measure of programmability. Zuse also started the first computer start-up company, which was established in 1946.
The ABC
The ABC or Atanasoff-Berry Computer in 1942, Harvard Mark I Computer in 1944 also contributed to the evolution of computers that we know them today. It was not before the ENIAC that the public got its first feel of computers.
ENIAC / Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer
The Birth of ENIAC
It was during World War II that the need for computing artillery firing tables for the United States Army’s Ballistic Research Laboratory arose, which gave birth to the giant electronic brain – ENIAC. When the design and construction for this machine was financed by the United States Army, and the contract was signed on June 5, 1943; work progressed secretly in the University of Pennsylvania Moore School of Electrical Engineering, under the name ‘Project PX’.
Renaming of ENIAC
Three years of dedicated work by John Mauchly, J. Presper Eckert and their team towards making of ENIAC finally tasted success when it was announced to the public on February 14, 1946; which was formally accepted by the Army in July 1946. ENIAC was, however, shut down on November 9, 1946 for up-gradation and started again on July 29, 1947. It was operational until October 2, 1955. It was renamed as IEEE Milestone in 1987.
Properties of ENIAC
ENIAC was massive in its physical size if you compare it to modern PCs. It contained approximately 17,468 vacuum tubes, 7,200 crystal diodes, 1,500 relays, 70,000 resistors, 10,000 capacitors and around 5 million hand-soldered joints, which weighed about 30 short tons (27 t). It consumed around 150 kW of power. ENIAC was reliable, programmable, though not as easy and user-friendly as the modern-day computers.
First Ever Desktop Computer
Altair
The first desktop-sized computer system, designed specifically for personal use, was launched in 1974 by Micro Instrumentation Telemetry Systems (MITS). This first computer was called Altair, which started selling with an overwhelming response for little less than $400.
Many entrepreneurial firms smelled the market demand for such computers and started producing and selling these machines. Tandy Corporation (RadioShack) was the first major electronics firm to manufacture and sell personal computers in 1977 that had features like a keyboard and a cathode-ray display terminal (CRT).

Introduction of “Apple” to The World
In 1976, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started working on the homemade microprocessor computer board, Apple I. In early 1977, both formed a company called Apple Computer, Inc. and introduced the world to the first personal computer – Apple II which was complete with keyboard and color graphics capability.