Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Best Upgrades to Improve PC Performance

When you’re using a computer for regular tasks, you don’t need it to boast a lot of power. Activities like gaming are another story, though, so you may want to bolster your PC to not only accommodate such purposes, but also reach maximal functioning. What are the best upgrades to improve PC performance, though? Focus on the following aspects of your computer to see the greatest results.

RAM

RAM, which is short for random access memory, is the short-term memory your computer uses to retain information on programs that you’re currently running. It helps when you are actively using programs and when you switch to different ones while keeping multiple ones open at the same time. By adding more RAM, your computer’s capacity for running applications increases so that you have the responsiveness you want.

There are different amounts you can add on depending on what you’re using your PC for and how much RAM it can handle. For example, 8 GB is considered a moderate upgrade for basic gaming, video streaming, and other similar tasks, while 16 GB is optimal for more complex, large-scale videogames and video editing. You can even go above this to 32 GB if you so choose.

Storage Drive

In addition to RAM, your PC may also benefit from a peripheral storage drive, particularly a solid-state drive (SSD). This type of memory retains data even after the computer is shut down, unlike RAM. It’s useful when you find yourself running out of storage space on your PC or when you’re after greater speed.

You’ll notice the difference in things such as boot-ups and application launches where the computer is retrieving stored information. This means less time spent on loading screens while you wait for your computer to catch up to the commands you’ve input.

Graphics Card

A graphics card is one of the best upgrades to improve PC performance when you’re heavily into gaming or video editing. It’s responsible for forming the images you see on the monitor, so the better your graphics card is, the higher the quality of visuals your computer can display. When you’re dealing with low frames per second in gaming, a better graphics card can take a lot of the burden off the CPU in the associated calculations, allowing it to perform its operations and create the images faster.

Many computers come with an integrated graphics card built into the motherboard, but this is often not enough for demanding tasks. You’ll want to augment your PC’s performance using discrete graphics cards that are separate from the motherboard but which can be connected to it as an enhancement.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Smart Parking Solutions: The Future of Parking Lots

The Internet of Things (IoT) is creeping into every facet of life. More things are connected to the internet today than ever before. IoT is the idea that everything should be or is connected to the internet in some fashion. Smart technology that connects home appliances to a central hub is a prime example of this. Things that one wouldn’t associate with “smart” technology are popping up all the time, including parking lots. Why would a parking lot need connectivity and what on earth are smart parking solutions? Smart parking lots are more prevalent than you know—learn more about them here.

What’s a Smart Parking Lot?

A parking lot is still a parking lot; it’s a place for you to leave your car when you go shopping or see a movie. Smart parking solutions are vehicle parking systems that help drivers find an empty spot. Each space in the lot is equipped with a sensor that tracks movement within the lot and reports back to an attendant or parking app. Using sensors in each parking space that detect the presence or absence of a vehicle, signs direct incoming drivers to available locations. Parking apps that help drivers find a vacant spot use this information as they drive and help ease the congestion on the streets. Smart counter systems keep track of cars coming and going through a lot and any specific area. A connected counting system can detect when a vehicle enters and leaves the parking facility. This way, IoT-based platforms can offer drivers a real-time counter of available spots. Facility managers can use counter systems to increase the parking facility’s efficiency, determine trends and patterns regarding customer flow, and predict future vehicle surges.

The Future of Parking Systems

In the past, when a lot was made, the only concern was how many parked cars could fit there. As time went on, new regulations and laws were passed that carved out space for disabled drivers and kept a minimum distance between vehicles. The Americans with Disabilities Act requirements for parking lots provided a certain number of handicapped spaces in lots. Now, with the IoT of parking lots, construction teams and design engineers have to consider where to place sensors in the pavement, how many to place, and their signal strength and functionality. Automated parking structures are coming into the fold now, too. They go up, rather than out. A driver pulls their car in and a series of elevators move it to an available spot and deliver it when the owner comes back. It’s like a building-sized car vending machine.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

How Computer Modeling Benefits the World

Computer modeling greatly improves how engineers, meteorologists, and scientists plan for the future or respond in a crisis. Specifically, computer modeling utilizes a variables plugged into a computer algorithm that can functionally simulate what will happen with certain conditions. Through computer modeling, technology saves all kinds of professionals the time and effort of going through with an action until they know more clearly how it may play out. If you’d like to learn more about how computer modeling benefits the world, continue reading.

Infrastructure Design

First, modeling affects how infrastructure takes shape. Architects must consider the overall integrity of the structures they design—bridges, office buildings, schools, and more—and do so by accounting for many complex, interacting forces on the structure. It’s difficult to know how gravity will act in certain areas and whether your foundation will sustain the weight of your materials. To simulate all of this without laying a brick, architects use computer modeling that’s equipped to include these forces. You can even use it to test how your structure will react to adverse conditions, such as a storm, which illustrates its flexibility. To give an example of one type of modeling, finite element analysis (FEA) helps those in the oil and gas industry determine how fluids will act on a system, as well as other applications in other fields.

Weather Prediction

Computer modeling depends on a significant data set to give reliable feedback. That’s a particular strength of weather-predictive modeling, which has years of data to feed into its predictive algorithm to track future weather patterns. The global forecast model (GFS) and others are important for day-to-day forecasting, but become integral when predicting the path of a hurricane or determining the extent of other extreme storms. If the computer model used correctly anticipates the storm’s path and danger, it saves lives.

Tracking and Projecting Infectious Diseases

Finally, most important now during this COVID-19 pandemic, computer modeling benefits the world by predictively determining where and how infectious diseases will spread. The challenge with computer modeling for these purposes is that, because computer modeling must mimic real life closely, it needs many variables inputted correctly to adequately guide action. Because much about the coronavirus is either recently known or still unknown, it’s difficult to incorporate these variables together. It’s likely more appropriate to model the virus’s transmission via more limited models when information is lacking.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

3 Interesting Facts About Electromagnetic Interference

Electromagnetic interference (EMI) affects technology significantly, yet it’s practically invisible. To give a broad definition, electromagnetic interference takes the form of emitted waves at a certain frequency that disrupt separate waves of the same frequency. In layman’s terms, a signal that’s too similar to another nearby signal stops working. This is very important for companies making and attempting to protect devices. Here’s a list of three of the most interesting facts about electromagnetic interference.

EMI Is in the Air and Everywhere—Sort Of

Many devices emit electromagnetic waves, but it can be difficult for us to imagine these frequency streams because they’re invisible to our eyes. In reality, these electromagnetic waves crisscross everywhere. However, they don’t travel through the air as you might imagine. For instance, sound waves(which are mechanical waves) can travel through mediums such as air, water, or solids, but electromagnetic waves do not.

There Are Three Kinds of EMI

Another interesting fact about electromagnetic interference is that there are actually three EMI varieties. First, inherent EMI emits from the device itself, meaning the device’s emitted frequency can affect its own functioning. Second, the world and its natural events (such as storms) also emit EMI. This type of EMI—known as natural EMI—can extend beyond the Earth—large celestial bodies in space also disrupt certain waves. Finally, man-made EMI comes from other devices and structures, ranging from large power lines to small pieces of tech.

Militaries Can Weaponize EMI

Finally, some militaries weaponize the disruptive potential of EMI to cause enemy technology to fail. Some militaries employ high-altitude electromagnetic pulses (HEMP) to impair enemy communication systems and gain the upper hand. Some parties use it for terrorist activities as well. This is why military technology must come with certain shielding protections that essentially render weaponized EMI harmless.

Friday, May 1, 2020

How to Improve Network Efficiency

The most dreaded words in the business world just might be. “the network is down.” When productivity and profitability rely on a fast and reliable network, IT professionals spend their time figuring out how to improve network efficiency.

It’s a Business Network, Not a Streaming Service

When everyone was still at the office, network slowdowns often happened because many people were using high-bandwidth applications, downloading big files, or streaming music all at once. Now that so many employees are working from home, it would seem those problems should disappear. But home-based workers may not realize that their problems with speed are coming from their own wireless home network. Everyone is home streaming movies, gaming, shopping, going to school, and trying to work online all at once. Provide home-based workers with suggestions about how to manage internet use at home to stay productive. Start by making sure everyone knows how to clear their cache regularly, and be helpful with suggestions about how to place routers and create faster wired connections with Ethernet cables for the device the WFH employee uses to complete their work.

Use Network Mapping and Monitoring Software

Dynamic network mapping allows IT professionals to see all the devices connected to the network, and monitoring helps identify hardware that may be the source of bottlenecks. With employees working from far-flung locations and using multiple devices to connect, keeping an eye on devices accessing your network is important not just for speed, but also for security. On the flipside, provide helpful information to home-based workers about how to encrypt their home networks and install your VPN or an app that provides VPN service.

The company’s website is its external face and lifeline to the outside world. Every minute of downtime might mean lost sales and customers. Monitor the company website daily and perform audits to ensure each page and link is working properly.

Sweep for Malware Regularly

Remind users to beware of phishing scams in their company email and advise them on how to spot a suspicious email. With data flowing in and out over home-based networks to the company network, there are more opportunities for malware to hitch a ride. Ensure network security software is up to date and that it routinely searches for malware. Plus, it must remove or quarantine any malware it may find.

Troubleshooting business networks is less onerous when improving network efficiency is a priority for all.