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Open Source

Using the Windows System Restore Function

Windows XP

Image via Wikipedia

A lot of Windows users may experience serious operating system problems. These problems may be a result of spyware, viruses, software issues or hardware that was improperly installed. Any one of these issues can render the system partially or in some cases, completely unusable.

Fortunately, Windows comes with a System Restore utility that, in most cases, can solve the problems. It is a very speedy task — as long as you did not disable this feature.

Windows XP or ME Restore Instructions
Click the “start” menu and navigate to “programs.” Then go to “Accessories,” “System Tools” and finally, to “System Restore.”

Choose the” restore my computer to an earlier time” option and click “next.”

Select a date from the calendar that is presented. This calendar will only present dates that contain available restore points.

Click on your preferred date, followed by clicking on “next.” You will then click OK and “next,” at which time your computer will automatically shut down. Upon restart it will be restored to the point you previously indicated.

Windows Vista or 7 Restore Instructions.
Go to the start menu and navigate the following:
All Programs
Accessories
System Tools
System Restore

From “system restore,” click on “choose a different restore point,” followed by clicking on “next.”

Click on your desired restore point, followed by clicking on “next,” and the finally the “finish” option.

You will then click “yes,” when you are prompted. The restore feature will automatically shut down your computer. Once again, upon start up your system will have been restored to your chosen restore point.

The Skills You Need to Be Successful Working At Home

While working at home may sound easy to the inexperienced, the job itself a lot harder than you may think especially when all the work you do is through the computer. Sometimes, this makes it very difficult to treat working at home as an actual job. After all, there is no hurry to get up in the morning or rush hour traffic to beat coming home. However, there are some things that you should keep in mind before you take the leap into working at home from your computer.

In order to be successful staying at home for your job you have to be able to self motivate. This means actually waking up in the morning, just like you would at a job outside of the house. You also have to be able to research all kinds of unrelated and obscure topics quickly and efficiently  if it takes you too long to conduct as simple Google search then you’re going to costing yourself money.

A very important aspect of working at home on your computer is knowing how to meet deadlines  whether they are your own that you have imposed or clients waiting for work from you. It’s critical that you can deliver your work when you say you will, every single time. If you have never been good at following directions and turning work in then you probably shouldn’t quit your job to work at home from the computer.

You will also need to ensure you have the right technology and software.  Make sure  your computer can handle the work that needs to be done.  And get your hands on productivity like openoffice which you can download for free at openoffice.org.

The final tool in your skill box needs to be perseverance. Sometimes it can take a long time before you start to see rewards from your efforts, and for many people this is a very frustrating aspect of working at home. If you want to be successful working at home on your computer you need to be able to choose a plan and stick with it.

Jobs You Can Do Over the Computer

Computers have given us so many different ways to make money from the comfort of our own homes it can be really hard to narrow all the choices down Equally as frustrating can be trying to weed out all of the scams from the legit paying business opportunities out there. Here are a few jobs that you can easily do over the computer without ever leaving your house to commute in traffic again.

One of the first jobs that many people hear about doing online is writing all that online content has to come from somewhere right? Well, it turns out that becoming a writer online is a very possible reality for those who can spell correctly and put together meaningful sentences. It takes a lot more effort to maintain the jobs that it does to find them, so just make sure you are prepared for the workload before you start.

Another incredibly popular job that many computer savvy people do over the internet deals with design work  more specifically, designing websites. Because so many businesses are going online now there is an even greater demand for competent designers. Designers also get a pretty steady work flow from people who are just setting up hobby blogs as well. As long as you take the time to figure out where you should market your services, creating a work and home business designing other people’s websites can prove to be a very lucrative endeavor.

Another avenue that you might want to consider when you’re looking at working from home on the computer is internet marketing. Just be aware that it takes a lot more work than most websites give it credit for, so definitely be prepared to lose some sleep at night while you’re still getting started. However, once you have successfully created a good revenue stream this can become one of the most flexible lifestyles to lead.

The Advantages of Free Websites

When you’re first starting out trying to work from the computer a free website has a lot of perks. For instance, they’re free! It can be a pretty awesome feeling knowing that you created a successful business from scratch with little to no start up costs aside from your time. Here are a few other reasons why a free website is a great way to start out.

Most free websites make it really easy to build an attractive looking web page. They don’t really require any technical knowledge of coding, and most of the templates are as easy as clicking and dragging. The nice part about that is you can create a website in about an hour or so and then be done with it if you want to. Or, you can keep tweaking it and updating the content as you see fit. It’s all up to you!

Another great feature that free websites offer is the ability to change your design whenever you feel like it. Most make it really easy, and there isn’t any down time to your site during the transition. This can be wonderful for people who have never built a website before because they can change around the color scheme as many times as they like without dealing with the frustration of learning CSS and HTML.

One of the best reasons to use a free website is that is does not cost any money to test out a business idea. You can use the free site to see how well your key words will do and if you actually generate any visitors that are interested in buying your products. If it looks like your computer business has the potential to be successful you can then move it over to your own domain name and hosting. Who can argue with a free way to test out multiple business ventures?

Open Source Software Does its Part for Democracy

Numerous elections, especially on the presidential level, in the past decade have been shrouded in controversy over voting irregularities. We all remember Florida. There was Ohio, too. One area of contention has been the difficulty with absentee ballots for American citizens living abroad, including the men and women in the military stationed overseas. The issue is the slow process delivering and returning them. To combat this problem, the Board of Elections and Ethics in Washington, D.C. is implementing a pilot program that uses open source software for a digital voting service for absentee ballots. No longer relying on email or FAX, two systems with security concerns, the program is applying the transparent characteristics of open source software to democracy.

The fact is that the ballot box has become electronic and doesn’t appear to be going back to paper and pencil any time soon. While there isn’t anything inherently wrong with placing a vote digitally, the majority of electronic voting machines rely of proprietary software. This software is closed to the public and remains a mystery to many except the corporations that own the source code and its technology. Voters have no idea what happens once they place their vote on the touch screen. The pilot program gives hope of changes to come.

By replacing the current software in electronic voting machines with open source it makes them wholly transparent, which every productive democracy should be. In doing so, every American would be able to see the source code, study it and learn how it exactly works. Although most don’t have the technical know-how to do this, they would nonetheless be allowed access to do it and not be restricted by a company trying to protect its product. Additionally, opening the code for all to see will only strengthen its security. Like other open source software projects, people would be able to test it, search for bugs or weaknesses and construct solutions to make it better. If democracy is supposed to be open to all, why not the process that forms its foundation: voting?

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Are There Limits to Open Source Software’s Financial Potential?

In a capitalistic society the money-making potential of something is supposed to be boundless. Businesses can sell as much as they want and make as much money as they want. To some, this notion doesn’t pertain to open source software. Why? Because a lot of open source software is free or available at very low cost. Some estimates place its savings at 90% compared to proprietary software, which conceptually can only be inaccurate. However, what is accurate is that commercial vendors don’t score big pay days from licensing like their proprietary counterparts. Thus, the thinking is that the revenue potential of open source software can only go so far. So do the benefits of open source software also limit its potential?

Open source software’s detractors like to believe that its model is detrimental to the marketplace. They are the ones likely to subscribe to the previously mentioned 90% savings estimate. But if that were accurate, open source would have killed the market long ago since no competitor could survive such a difference. Opponents will still point to its inherent inability to generate large cash sums from software licensing, a speculative limit to its financial outlook and potential. But what they don’t seem to realize is that this is a mistake, since they are concentrating on only one business aspect of commercial open source software.

People labeling open source software as a limited money-maker are looking at the business side of it with a closed mind. True, it is not a cash cow when it comes to software licensing. But there is money, lots of money, to be made in other areas such as training, technical support, services, customization and additional or updated features. And this is where commerical vendors really generate their revenues. As more and more organizations adopt open source software, demands for these entities will grow dramatically. So just because a company is running their software off of Linux doesn’t mean they’re small potatoes. And it definitely doesn’t mean their market potential is any lower than anyone else.

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Software Giant Google Breaks Even More Ground With Chrome OS

Software giant Google has a reputation of venturing into new areas. What started as a search engine has expanded to smart phones and is now taking an even further step that will most assuredly shake up the software industry once again. Google is taking its web browser Chrome and turning it into a full on operating system. Microsoft and Mac are now on notice. Although they’ve had to deal with the success of open source software like Linux, they’ve never had to face an operating system backed by so much firepower. Some paranoid users may liken Chrome OS to a greedy corporation driven to world domination. In reality, it is a reflection of what open source software is capable of.

The ramifications go far and wide, touching not only software but hardware as well. Users are already migrating to mobile devices, laptops and tablets and moving away from the traditional computer. Chrome OS has the power to shove them along as they start demanding more flexibility from their operating systems to match their set of devices. Soon you can kiss wires, monitors and clunky computers good bye. Google’s Chrome OS will also help what open source software has already started, the infusion of competition into the software marketplace, pushing closed proprietary software to the brink of extinction. True, while Google itself is a large organization in the mold of Microsoft and Mac, it will most likely usher in a lot advanced open source applications that will ride their coat tails.

What this means for the individual user is surely obvious to those that currently run Linux, but for those that haven’t it will be a revelation. Google can reach the masses in a way other open source software projects are unable to do. It’s almost like watching a younger sibling finally reach the driving age. You know what the feeling is like and you can’t help but relive it vicariously through them. They will feel the experience of running a system that’s as good or superior to proprietary for absolutely free. Oh, and the constant updates and features. Awesome.

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Open Source Software Takes on Facebook in Social Media Market

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase
Us humans are social creatures that like to share with others. But we also can be very private, judiciously deciding to whom we share things with. So its not surprising that social media is the hottest thing to hit the Internet in the 21st Century, as well as the one of the most controversial. With social media software users are able to share information to the world. Leading the social media software bonanza so far has been Facebook. While the Internet star is used by millions and is still growing, its ascension however has come with pretty heady criticism concerning privacy and the use of people’s personal information.

Primarily, users are concerned over the ownership on their personal information-the pictures they upload, the messages they post, their location, etc. By using Facebook software to share that information with your friends it becomes owned by Facebook, not you. That information is available for anyone to see, not by your choice. In addition, this information is passed along to advertisers and other marketing firms to specifically target you with products based on that information. Plus, the privacy controls for the networking site are vague and limited. This has caused a major backlash from users across the Internet. Even Facebook’s very own users have created online groups protesting its practices, somewhat ironically, on Facebook.

But like other major issues across the Internet, open source software is there to pick up the slack from proprietary. One social media software project that will be hitting the market soon is Diaspora. It’s goal is to cover two of Facebook’s weaknesses by giving much more control to the user. This includes control over their personal information. Instead of using a third party to connect and share with friends the software will put them in touch directly keeping that information in the hands of the user, giving only the user the power to allow access to that information. The second area for improvement is an open source fan’s favorite, customization, as the source code will be the one thing available for anyone to see.

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Getting Paid in the “Open Source Software Game”

driver download, are offered for free, and their developers contribute for free, leaves many people scratching their heads. While Snoop Dogg might have a few choice words for not getting paid for his contributions, it’s imperative to look at the whole picture when analyzing the “open source software game”.

What people seem to forget is that there is really a tangible reward to all contributors of open source software: the end product. Or better yet, the evolving end product. Consider the subject of research and development. As a technology catches on, it leads to more investment in research and development until that technology is replaced by something better and that investment tappers off. This outline is the common “bell curve” and it certainly applies to open source software and its immense rewards.

Whether as an individual or organization, the investment compared to the return is quite great. For example, someone that does a little testing or solves a single bug in a system gets a powerful Web browser like Firefox from their troubles. Corporations and other organizations can substantially better their offerings to their customers by their involvement and investment of resources. Due to open source’s collaborative environment, the hands working on a project can be many creating a steadfast evolution of a technology. But of course, new technology will come about and contributors will move on to that next project for greater rewards.
Seeing the continued use of Linux in new devices shows that this model works.

Like an up and coming rapper spittin’ rhymes on a street corner, there are many young developers spittin’ programming code on the Internet–all for the right reasons.

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In Some Ways Apple and Open Source Software are Much Alike

vlc media player or xvid codec can also been seen in Apple. However, this isn’t so much of an indication of what Apple is doing right rather an indication to how successful the rise of open source software like Linux has been and how much hope there is for its future.

The keenest similarity between the two is the emphasis each places on the user. The general purpose of products from both is to quench the needs of individual users and in doing so advance the capabilities of programming and computing. This is evident in the behaviors of their target audiences. Both Linux users and Apple consumers are immensely loyal, and you could say proud. Face it, you don’t see many cars sporting Microsoft bumper stickers. Fan appreciation is very much alike as users for each system pay close attention to technical details and features and how they will evolve in new versions.

How Apple and open source software projects manage and develop their products are in sync as well. They are always customizable to meet the specific needs of users. In addition, features are continuously updated when advanced, keeping with the drive for product evolution. Along with updates new editions are released at a steady clip; we are all familiar with Steve Jobs special announcements every year. The environments are also similar in their relative openness to input. Developers are making a lot of noise creating all kinds of apps for the iPhone. However, in one way open source software is taking a page out of Apple’s playbook, it’s getting much bigger.