Guide to Processes

What are Processes?

Process is one of the core terms in operating systems. The simplest but very precise explanation is that a process is a program in execution, a running instance of a program. In the theory of operating system there are several states of a process, like running, blocked, terminated etc. but this is too much detail for somebody who is just eager to be able to monitor what is going on on his or her computer. (For those, who are interested in more detail, Operating Systems: Design and Implementation and Modern Operating Systems by Andrew Tanenbaum are an excellent source of indepth information about processes and operating systems as a whole.) Continue reading

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Dealing With Blue Screens of Death (BSOD)

If blue is your favorite color, maybe there is a guaranteed way to start hating it – by seeing it five times a day, accompanies by really charming messages that gently inform you that any unsaved information might be loss or that there was a hardware failure and so on. You guess what I am talking about? Blue Screens of Death, of course. The effects of Blue Screens can vary from causing slight irritation for the user, to real disaster for the data on the computer, to rushing to the computer shop for buying new hardware, etc. I was joking about the negative feelings towards the blue color because of frequent Blue Screens but if you really want (or have reasons – for instance if you are color blind), you can open the system.ini file and change the Screen of Death to be in a different color. More information about what to do after you open the system.ini can be found here. Continue reading

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Mini PCs: Size Does Matter

Mini PCs are one of the many examples of great technological products, which don’t have the popularity they deserve. This does not mean that Mini PCs are extremely rare because among technology enthusiasts they have always been popular and are often chosen as a second (or third) computer. I myself have a Mini PC as my main machine and a laptop, which I use mainly for Internet access and I can tell from experience that Mini PCs are really cute and they are as powerful as any other machine with comparable parameters. Continue reading

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A Guide to Rootkits

Rootkits can be named the most technically sophisticated form of malicious code (malware) and one of the most difficult to discover and eliminate. Of all types of malware, probably viruses and worms get the most publicity because generally they are wide-spread and many people know to have been affected by a virus or a worm, but this definitely does not mean that viruses and worms are the most destructive malware variety. There are more dangerous types of malware, because as a rule they operate in stealth mode, are difficult to detect and remove and can go unnoticed for very long periods of time, silently stealing data and modifying the files on the victim’s machine. Continue reading

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No Turnover of People – Should You Be Happy?

The daily problems an IT manager has to solve are so diverse that it is hardly possible to classify them in order of importance or difficulty. But one of the recurring problems that managers in many companies face is turnover of people. For some companies turnover of staff is a chronic disease that causes more trouble and leads to more problems than any other issue, including competition or market changes. Continue reading

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Offshoring – Vacation Time?

Offshoring is a controversial issue and it has supporters and opponents both in the countries where projects are outsorced from and in the countries to which the jobs go. The interests of the parties involved in an offshored project are different, therefore the arguments they have for and against offshoring are also different. But one is for sure – no matter if it is liked or disliked, outsourcing and offshoring are here to stay for the next decades. Continue reading

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XnView Review

Everybody has some small programs that can hardly do without. Well, in my case the programs are not exactly a few good ones but a whole lotta of them and one of the really beloved ones is XnView. I have tried many image browsers over the years and the other two I used for some time were Irfan View and ACDSee but after I was recommended XnView, I almost forgot about the rest. Continue reading

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The Use of Screencasts to Educate

Dealing with end-users or simply beginners is not always a pleasant and easy experience for tech jerks. I personally sometimes get irritated when I have to explain for a thousandth time a simple concept I have already clarified in layman’s terms a day or two ago. While I was working as Technical Support and I dealt with users all the time, one of the intricacies of helping people over the phone or via e-mail was the lack of picture – if only I could show them what I wanted, or see what was on their screen, then it would have been much easier to find the problem and solve it. Continue reading

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Is Google=Internet?

Searching the Web is easy. The difficult part is to find what you are looking for. While the search engines and mainly Google have done miracles in making millions of pages accessible, finding what you need when you need it is not always an easy task. And the truth is, that the ease with each Google has made it possible to retrieve most of the information we need, has made us lazy to search in depth, when the stuff we are looking for is not right at the the top of the first ten search results. Continue reading

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Why Offshoring Fails

Statistical data about offshoring failures is controversial and it is difficult to say whether the failure percentage of offshored projects is higher, lower, or equal to the failure rate of onshore projects. According to the 2005 Ventoro Report on offshoring, 45 percent of the respondents in their survey considered their offshoring strategy to be successful, while 36% considered it a failure. According to Gartner, “Through 2007, 80 percent of organizations that outsource customer service and support contact centres with the primary goal of reducing cost will fail.” So it seems that before declaring a project a failure, it is necessary to have clear criteria how to measure success and failure – by cost savings alone or by taking other factors (i.e. quality and customer satisfaction) into account. Continue reading

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