Archive for August, 2014

Binary Lesson 2 – Place Value

August 25, 2014

lesson02Because binary is the language of computers and digital devices, such as watches and calculators, it is beneficial to understand. As an example, how does a specific pattern of zeros and ones, such as 11000000, represent the decimal number 192 in the real world?

To understand this concept in binary, let us first examine how we express values in the decimal number system that we are familiar with.

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Binary Lesson 1 – Introduction to Binary and Number Systems

August 22, 2014

Number Systems and Binary

binary_headerIn everyday number usage, we use the Hindu-Arabic number system, which is also called the decimal or base 10 number system because it uses ten digits to express values.

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Beginning with zero, we count in consecutive whole numbers up to nine to specify ten digits. Values greater than 9 are represented using a combination of the existing ten digits. We can create different number systems following the same pattern. For example, a base 5 number system has five digits.

0 1 2 3 4

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The Satechi Aluminum Mouse Pad

August 8, 2014

pad2The keyboard, monitor, and mouse are the most important components of a typical computer system because they are the devices we interact with directly. Any discomfort with any of these devices can damage ourselves over time and even make us grumpy from discontent.

For example, a blurry monitor strains the eyes. A cheap-quality keyboard can harm the wrists and annoy others with its sound. And a mouse…well, that is a device that can make or break the whole computer experience for the computer connoisseur.

Since things often need things, even the lowly mouse needs love. For those who have invested in a high-quality mouse, such as the Mad Catz M.M.O.7 or the R.A.T.7, then the right mouse pad will show the mouse how much it is loved.

Seeking a better home for the M.M.O.7, I had the chance to examine the Satechi aluminum mouse pad. Is aluminum as noisy as reviews claim? Is mouse tracking reliable? Do the metal edges feel like razor blades? Is it compatible with Linux? (Okay, the last question is irrelevant, but yes, the pad works with Linux.)

Here are my thoughts…

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The Plugable USB 3.0 Multi-Card Reader and Linux

August 6, 2014
cd03Do you need a way to read external memory cards, such as SD and Memory Stick Duo, from Linux? How about a faster card reading method than using an external device, such as a camera?

If so, then here is an inexpensive, fast performer that is 100% plug-and-play compatible with Linux: The Plugable USB 3.0 Multi-Card Reader!

Yes, the name sounds plain, but I have found this to live up to its packaging boasts with impressive reliability. Read the rest of this entry »

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